Irene Bordoni, Actress/vocals
b. Ajaccio, Corsica, France.
d. Mar. 19, 1953, New York, NY, USA.
Irène Bordoni (16 January 1885 – 19 March 1953) was a French singer and a Broadway and film actress. Born in Ajaccio, Corsica, France from Italian family she had been a child actor, performing in Paris on stage and in silent films for a few years, having signed with theatrical agent André Charlot.

Bordoni made her first appearance on the stage at the age of thirteen, at the Variétés, Paris. She came to the United States on December 28, 1907, in steerage, on the S. S. La Provence. Bordoni's year of birth is given in standard theatrical biographies as 1895, that is, a decade after her actual birth year of 1885. She was 22 when she arrived in the United States in 1907. She went first to Reno, Nevada, where her father Antonio had settled previously.

~On Broadway
Bordoni made her Broadway debut in a Shubert brothers production of Broadway to Paris at the Winter Garden Theatre and was a successor to Anna Held as Broadway's idea of French piquancy and Continental flavor. She was in Miss Information (1915) and successive productions of Hitchy-Koo (1917 and 1918). 1919 audiences saw Bordoni in Sleeping Partners co-starring with H. B. Warner at the Bijou. In 1920 her "captivating voice and presence" graced As You Were at the Central Theater.
Bordoni introduced George Gershwin's hit song Do It Again with vivacity and verve in the 1922 Broadway show The French Doll at the Lyceum. The title of the show became her soubriquet. She also starred in Little Miss Bluebeard (1923) and Naughty Cinderella (1925) by Avery Hopwood, about which the theatre critic for the New York Times said, "Of Miss Bordoni one can report only what has been reported many times. Her voice, her accent and particularly her reeling eyes are, as ever, unmistakably attractive."

Noted for her seductive brown eyes and coquettish personality, Irène Bordoni is probably best remembered from musical theatre as the star of the 1928 Cole Porter musical Paris that featured the song "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)" which became Porter's first big success. Bordoni would record and sing many times live and on radio another Cole Porter song, "Let's Misbehave" with Irving Aaronson and His Commanders dance band. The song has been included on the soundtrack of five motion pictures including Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972), Pennies from Heaven (1981) and Bullets Over Broadway (1994).

Throughout her Broadway career, Bordoni was renowned for wearing only the most stylish of clothes, including costumes by Erte. During this time, Bordoni appeared in Lucky Strike cigarette advertisements with the quip, I smoke a Lucky to keep petite, which was said to have contributed to the tremendous increase in women's smoking in the 1920s. Bordoni wore her hair with trademark bangs, which she helped to popularize; indeed her 'look' was successfully emulated not only by her admirers but also by late 1920s budding Broadway starlet Claudette Colbert. She was stockbroker W. D. Hutton's first customer when he opened his branch office on West 57th Street.
During the 1930s, Bordoni was a guest singer on many variety programs as well as being featured on The RKO Hour. Bordoni pleased audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, as with Irving Berlin's It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow in London's West End in 1939.
~In Hollywood
Bordoni made her Hollwood debut in Warner Brothers Show of Shows (1928). In 1929 her Broadway play Paris was adapted to a talkie, also called Paris, for which she reprised her starring role. The film used the Vitaphone sound-on-disc sound system and was shot in early Technicolor. That year Bordoni also performed "Just an Hour of Love" (by Al Bryan and Ed Ward) for the Warner Brothers film The Show of Shows produced by Darryl F. Zanuck.

In 1932 Max Fleischer featured her in his follow-the-bouncing-ball Screen Song cartoon 'Just A Gigolo'. Her status as a major star of the American stage was such that in his song "You're The Top", Cole Porter included the reference "You’re the eyes of Irene Bordoni". During the 1930s, she continued to perform on stage and starred in another Warner Brothers musical comedy film. In 1940, Bordoni was part of another major Broadway success with the Irving Berlin musical Louisiana Purchase and again reprised her role in the Paramount Pictures film Louisiana Purchase (1941) with Bob Hope. She had another success in the role of "Bloody Mary" in the 1951 national tour of the musical South Pacific.
~Personal life
Bordoni was for a time married to actor Edgar Becman from whom she was divorced in 1917. On October 24, 1918, Irène Bordoni was married to and some years later (1929) divorced from Broadway producer and lyricist E. Ray Goetz, who produced many of her Broadway shows and whose sister Dorothy Goetz was Irving Berlin's first wife. At the height of her international appeal she maintained homes in increasingly stylish New York neighborhoods: from 230 Westend Avenue to 108 East 78th Street to 104 East 40th Street--as well as in Paris and Monte Carlo.
She invested in real estate in Palm Beach in the 1920s during the Florida land boom. Bordoni was later associated with theatrical agent and producer Avery Galen Bogue (05/1896 - 09/05/1951). Bordoni died on March 19, 1953 at Jewish Memorial Hospital in New York City. She was buried in the Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, New York.

Claude Abadie
b. Paris, France

Sandy Block, Jazz Bass
b. Cleveland, OH, USA.
Sandy Block, also credited as Sid Block (January 16, 1917 - ?) was an American jazz bassist.
Block played violin as a child, and grew up in Cleveland and Brooklyn. He picked up bass in high school and worked professionally in big bands from the late 1930s. He worked with Van Alexander, Chick Webb, Alvino Rey, and Tommy Dorsey and recorded with Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. He played with Charlie Parker on the only television appearance Parker ever made. After the 1950s Block worked extensively as a studio musician, including for folk ensembles such as The Greenbriar Boys. He played with Jimmy McPartland and Johnny Costa, but went into semi-retirement after the 1960s.

Ethel Merman, vocals/actress.
b. New York (Astoria), NY, USA
d. Feb. 15, 1984, New York, NY, USA.
ne: Ethel Agnes Zimmerman.
Ethel Merman (January 16, 1908 – February 15, 1984) was an American actress and singer. Known primarily for her powerful voice and roles in musical theatre, she has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage." In 1930, she starred in her very first Broadway show, George Gershwin's "Girl Crazy" singing the show-stopper "I Got Rhythm". Among the musicians playing in the 'pit' orchestra that evening were trombonist Glenn Miller, drummer Gene Krupa, and Benny Goodman was featured on clarinet.
Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are "I Got Rhythm," "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "It's De-Lovely," "Friendship", "You're the Top," "Anything Goes," and "There's No Business Like Show Business," which later became her theme song.
Biography: Ethel Merman: A voice like no other

Buddy Moss, guitar
b. Jewell, GA, USA. Eugene "Buddy" Moss (January 16, 1914 – October 19, 1984) was, in the estimation of many blues scholars, one of two the most influential East Coast blues guitarists to record in the period between Blind Blake's final sessions in 1932 and Blind Boy Fuller's debut in 1935 (the other being Josh White. A younger contemporary of Blind Willie McTell and Curley Weaver, Moss was part of a coterie of Atlanta bluesmen, and one of the few of his era lucky enough to work into the blues revival of the 1960s and 1970s.
A guitarist of uncommon skill and dexterity with a strong voice, he began as a musical disciple of Blind Blake, and may well have served as an influence on the later Piedmont-style guitarist Blind Boy Fuller. Although his career was halted in 1935 by a six-year jail term, and then by the Second World War, Moss lived long enough to be rediscovered in the 1960s, when he revealed a talent undamaged by time or adversity, but with major attitude problems.
In later years, Moss credited friend and band-mate Barbecue Bob with being a major influence on his playing, which would be understandable given the time they spent together. Scholars also attribute Arthur "Blind" Blake as a major force in his development, with mannerisms and inflections that both share. It is also suggested by Alan Balfour and others that Moss may have been an influence on no less a figure than Blind Boy Fuller, as they never met and Moss' recording career ended before Fuller's began—it is clear that Moss's first recordings display some inflections and nuances that Fuller didn't put down on record until some years later.

Irving Mills
Band Agent/Music Publisher
b. New York, NY, USA. d. 1985 
~by Scott Yanow
Irving Mills did a great deal to help jazz, making himself a great deal of money in the process. He is most famous for his work as manager for Duke Ellington during 1926-1939, helping Ellington gain his job at the Cotton Club, in addition to securing numerous recording sessions and important engagements. 

He also wrote the lyrics to some of Ellington 's songs, including "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing," "Mood Indigo," and "Sophisticated Lady." He had earlier worked with his brother, Jack, in establishing a music publishing business that became Mills Music, Inc.

Mills also promoted Cab Calloway, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson, Jimmie Lunceford, and Don Redman, and appeared as a singer on many sessions (including some with Ellington). He put together all-star recording groups under the names of the Whoopee Makers and Irving Mills' Hotsy Totsy Gang (1928-1930) and in 1931 became the manager for an orchestra, which he renamed the Mills Blue Rhythm Band. 
After breaking with Ellington in 1939, Irving Mills maintained a lower profile, but stayed active in management and music publishing into the 1960s.
John Robichaux
Jazz Violin/drums, leader
Thibodeaux, LA, USA
d. 1939.
John Robichaux (January 16, 1866, Thibodaux, Louisiana - 1939, New Orleans) was an American jazz bandleader, drummer, and violinist. He was the uncle of Joseph Robichaux.
John Robichaux moved to New Orleans in 1891, where he was the bass drummer for the Excelsior Brass Band from 1892 to 1903. During this time he also worked as a bandleader, playing violinist in his own ensembles from 1893 up until the time of his death. Among the ensembles he led was a 36-piece orchestra in 1913. Robichaux's bands were highly respected in his day and included many of the city's top musicians, such as Bud Scott, Lorenzo Tio, and Manuel Perez. He wrote over 350 songs and wrote many orchestral arrangements, which are now kept at the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive located at Tulane University. Robichaux also had a nephew named John Robichaux, who was a drummer who played extensively in New Orleans and played in the traveling musical One Mo' Time.

Lina Romay, vocals
ne: Rosa Maria Almirall.
She was also known as Betty Carter; Candy Coster; Candice Custer; Lennie Haydon; Lulu Laverne; and Jane Morgan (no relation to the "real" Jane Morgan.) In addition to her vocalizing, this multi-talented lady was also a film writer; director; actress; film editor and producer, but she is probably best recalled as a featured singer with the Xavier Cugat Orch.

Charley Straight
Composer, Arranger, Performer, Orchestra Leader, Accompanist, and Musical Director of the Imperial Player Roll Company. 
b. Chicago, IL, USA.
d. Sept. 21, 1940, Chicago, IL, USA.

Charles Theodore Straight (January 16, 1891 – September 22, 1940), better known as Charley Straight, was an American pianist, bandleader and composer.

He started his career in 1909 accompanying singer Gene Greene in Vaudeville. In 1916 he began working at the Imperial Piano Roll Company in Chicago were he recorded dozens of piano rolls. He became a popular bandleader in Chicago during the 1920s.

His band the Charley Straight Orchestra had a long term engagement at the Rendezvous Café from 1922 to 1925 and recorded for Paramount Records and Brunswick Records in the 1920s.

It was during the 1920s that Straight worked with Roy Bargy on the latter's eight Piano Syncopations. In describing "Rufenreddy", the fifth in the series, ragtime historian "Perfessor" Bill Edwards has stated:

The actual parentage of this piece will likely remain obscured to some degree, since Bargy's collaborator, Charley Straight, more or less may have let Bargy take credit when the piano rolls of the Eight Piano Syncopations were transcribed into sheet music form. It is likely that Straight wrote the bulk of the composition in 1918, and Bargy added many of his individual touches to it in the performance, the end result being that there is some of each of them within.

Straight died in Chicago on the evening of September 22, 1940 after being struck by a car. At the time, Straight was working as a sanitary inspector for the city of Chicago, and was emerging from a manhole in the street.

Robert Wilkins
Blues guitar, Hernando, MS, USA
d: May 26, 1987, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.
Age: 91. (Some claim d. May 30) 
Robert Wilkins: Information from

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

The Benny Goodman Orchestra brought Swing and Jazz to New York's famed Carnegie Hall. When asked how long an intermission he wanted, he quipped, "I don't know. How much does Toscanini get?".

Fate Marable, piano
died in St. Louis, MO, USA.
Age: 56.

Jabbo Smith, trumpet
died in New York (Manhattan), NY, USA.
Age: 82.

Emil Hofner
pioneer C&W steel guitarist
died from a stroke.
Age: 83.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include: 


Marion Harris - “Cuddle Up Blues”, (M.K. Jerome)

The California Ramblers

Ladd's Black Aces - “Runnin' Wild”


Isham Jones and his Orchestra


Harry Reser and his Orchestra
  • “Paddlin' Madelin' Home”

Josie Miles - “It's The Last Time I'll Be A Pastime For You”


Alberta Hunter - “I'm Hard To Satisfy”


King Oliver and His Orchestra - Freakish Light Blues

Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra - Doin' The Voom Voom


Benny Goodman Orchestra - "Sing, Sing, Sing" (at Carnegie Hall. perhaps first extended drum jazz solo recording).


Running Wild

Running wild, lost control.
Running wild, mighty bold.
Feeling gay, reckless too,
carefree mind all the time, never blue.
Always going, don't know where,
always showing..I don't care!
Don't love nobody, it's not worthwhile.
All alone, running wild!

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