Django Reinhardt
Gypsy Guitarist
b. Liberchies, Belgium
d. May, 16, 1953.
né: Jean Baptiste Reinhardt
Member of the Quintette Du Hot Club De France, a group of musicians who played Jazz as well as anyone in the world, - and were w orld famous. (Stephane Grapelli on violin; Django on guitar, Joseph and Roger Chaput on rhythm guitars, and Louis Vola on Bass Fiddle. Django was the first "foreign" musician (and the Quintet of The Hot Club of France was the first "foreign" group) t o exert an influence on American jazz. Two of his left hand fingers were useless due to a 1928 fire, yet he was still able to somehow adapt and continued playing a virtuosic guitar in a style drawn from his Gypsy background. In 1946, he toured the USA with Duke Ellington.
Django Reinhardt was the first hugely influential jazz figure to emerge from Europe -- and he remains the most influential European to this day, with possible competition from Joe Zawinul, George Shearing, John McLaughlin, his old cohort Stephane Grappelli and a bare handful of others. A free-spirited gypsy, Reinhardt wasn't the most reliable person in the world, frequently wandering off into the countryside on a whim. Yet Reinhardt came up with a unique way of propelling the humble acoustic guitar into the front line of a jazz combo in the days before amplification became widespread. He would spin joyous, arcing, marvelously inflected solos above the thrumming base of two rhythm guitars and a bass, with Grappelli's elegantly gliding violin serving as the perfect foil. His harmonic concepts were startling for their time -- making a direct impression upon Charlie Christian and Les Paul, among others -- and he was an energizing rhythm guitarist behind Grappelli, pushing their groups into a higher gear.

Not only did Reinhardt put his stamp upon jazz, his string band music also had an impact upon the parallel development of Western swing, which eventually fed into the wellspring of what is now called country music. Although he could not read music, with Grappelli and on his own, Reinhardt composed several winsome, highly original tunes like "Daphne," "Nuages" and "Manoir de Mes Reves," as well as mad swingers like "Minor Swing" and the ode to his record label of the '30s, "Stomping at Decca." As the late Ralph Gleason said about Django's recordings, "They were European and they were French and they were still jazz." A violinist first and a guitarist later, Jean Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt grew up in a gypsy camp near Paris where he absorbed the gypsy strain into his music. A disastrous caravan fire in 1928 badly burned his left hand, depriving him of the use of the fourth and fifth fingers, but the resourceful Reinhardt figured out a novel fingering system to get around the problem that probably accounts for some of the originality of his style. According to one story, during his recovery period, Reinhardt was introduced to American jazz when he found a 78 RPM disc of Louis Armstrong's "Dallas Blues" at an Orleans flea market. He then resumed his career playing in Parisian cafes until one day in 1934 when Hot Club chief Pierre Nourry proposed the idea of an all-string band to Reinhardt and Grappelli. Thus was born the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, which quickly became an international draw thanks to a long, splendid series of Ultraphone, Decca and HMV recordings.

The outbreak of war in 1939 broke up the Quintette, with Grappelli remaining in London where the group was playing and Reinhardt returning to France. During the war years, he led a big band, another quintet with clarinetist Hubert Rostaing in place of Grappelli, and after the liberation of Paris, recorded with such visiting American jazzmen as Mel Powell, Peanuts Hucko and Ray McKinley. In 1946, Reinhardt took up the electric guitar and toured America as a soloist with the Duke Ellington band but his appearances were poorly received.
Some of his recordings on electric guitar late in his life are bop escapades where his playing sounds frantic and jagged, a world apart from the jubilant swing of old. However, starting in Jan. 1946, Reinhardt and Grappelli held several sporadic reunions where the bop influences are more subtly integrated into the old, still-fizzing swing format. 
In the 1950s, Reinhardt became more reclusive, remaining in Europe, playing and recording now and then until his death from a stroke in 1953. His Hot Club recordings from the `30s are his most irresistible legacy; their spirit and sound can be felt in current groups like Holland's Rosenberg Trio.


Ray Abrams, Jazz tenor sax
b. New York, NY, USA.
né: Raymond Abramson.
Ray Abrams (born Ray Abramson on January 23, 1920 in New York City - died July 1992) was a jazz and jump blues tenor saxophonist. His brother was jazz drummer Lee Abrams. He first worked with Dizzy Gillespie in 1946 and later with Andy Kirk. He would go back and forth between these two for decades. Outside of his work with Gillespie he might be best known for the "Ray Abrams Big Band."
Ray Abrams - Wikipedia

Fred Lee Beckett
Jazz trombone
b. Nellerton, MS, USA.
Beckett was born in Nellerton, Mississippi, and began playing horn in high school. His professional career began in Kansas City in the 1930s, and soon after he landed a job with Eddie Johnson's Crackerjacks in St. Louis, Missouri. He played with Duke Wright, Tommy Douglas, Buster Smith, and Andy Kirk over the next few years, as well as time in a territory band with Prince Stewart and a gig in Omaha, Nebraska with Nat Towles. Later in the decade he played with Harlan Leonard. Early in the 1940s Beckett played with Lionel Hampton, with whom he recorded extensively (including behind Dinah Washington). He served in the Army during World War II, where he contracted tuberculosis; he died of the illness in 1946.
Fred Beckett - Wikipedia
Fred Beckett

Jerry Blake, Clarinet
b. Gary, IN, USA
d. Dec. 31, 1961

~by Scott Yanow
A fine journeyman player, Jerry Blake had a solid career before healthy problems permanently forced him out of music. Blake, who went to school in Nashville, started on the violin before switching to alto and clarinet. After playing with the Sells-Fioto Circus Band in 1924, he was stranded in Chicago where he soon joined Al Wynn's group. Blake worked with Bobby Lee and Charlie Turner's Arcadians and then spent much of 1928-29 in Europe with Sam Wooding. He played with Chick Webb, Zach Whyte's Chocolate Beau Brummels, Don Redman (1933-34) and then back in Europe with Willie Lewis (1934-35). Returning to the U.S., Blake gained some recognition for his work with Claude Hopkins, Fletcher Henderson (1936-38) and Cab Calloway (1938-42) where he ended up being the musical director. However after short stints with Count Basie, Earl Hines, Lionel Hampton and Don Redman during 1942-43, Jerry Blake (who never led a record date of his own) suffered a mental breakdown from which he never recovered. He spent much of the rest of his life in a mental institution.

Jerry Blake - Wikipedia

Freddy Webster, Sidney Catlett, Scoops Carry, Trummy Young,
Leonard Gaskin, Budd Johnson, Snags Allen, Dizzy Gillespie,
Doc West.
George "Scoops" Carry
Alto Sax/Clarinet
b. Little Rock, AR, USA.
d. Aug. 4, 1970.
George "Scoops" Carry already had something of a double meaning coming out of his combined middle name and surname, considering that doormen are often asked to carry things. The evolution of the nickname "Scoops" Carry, which is what this performer was most often credited under, implies all kinds of possible manual labor, but the fact of the matter is the main thing this fellow carried around was his alto saxophone and clarinet. He came from a musical family, so it could certainly be said that he was carrying on the family tradition begun by his mother, a music teacher. Guitarist Ed Carry, a Chicago bandleader, was his brother. George "Scoops" Carry began playing horns at the age of eight and studied at the Chicago Music College and Iowa University. His first professional music jobs were with the Cassino Simpson band and the Midnight Revellers; he first hit the road with Boyd Atkins' Firecrackers in the summer of 1930.
Carry was on the famous RKO theater circuit the following year, swinging heavily in a combo led by the fortunate Lucky Millinder. The next year saw the reunion of the Carry clan, as the reed carrier joined up with an orchestra led by his brother, who toted guitar picks. This worked out well through the mid-'30s, then Scoops Carry was off again with drummer Zutty Singleton, pianist and arranger Fletcher Henderson, and trumpeter and bandleader Roy Eldridge, all pretty solid jazz credits. This trend continued in 1938 with Carry taking on the difficult musical load of the Art Tatum quartet, followed in 1939 by a stint with Horace Henderson. The decade rounded out with a brief period as a member of Darnell Howard's quartet, then Carry was quickly in and out of several different groups before joining forces with Earl Hines in the fall of 1940.
Gigging almost every night and playing a range of inventive charts, the Hines band was plenty satisfying and carried Carry in its lineup over the next seven years, including small-band sides in 1946 that highlighted his clarinet blowing. Once he was through with Hines, Carry seemed to want to let go of music, or perhaps an even more stable economic situation was Scoop's choice of flavors. In 1947 he pushed music to the sideline and began studying law, eventually setting up his own practice in the Windy City and moving up the ranks to the state attorney's office.
~ Eugene Chadbourne
Teddy Napoleon, Piano
b. New York, NY, USA.
d. July 5, 1964.Teddy Napoleon is the brother of trumpeter Phil Napoleon, and pianist Marty Napoleon. In 1944, Teddy joined Gene Krupa's band, and worked with Gene - on and off- for maybe 15 or so years. The trio (Ventura-Krupa-Napoleon) was a regular attraction at the Jazz At The Philharmonic series of concerts. 
In 1933, Teddy began his professional career working with the Lee Castle orchestra, and went on to work in the Johnny Messner, Bob Chester and Tommy Tompkins bands. In (ca.) 1960, he joined his older brother Phil in Florida, where Phil had taken up residence. (Teddy led his own trio there, incidentally.) 
Teddy Napoleon - Wikipedia
Teddy Napoleon

Rev. Dan Smith, harmonica
b. Per-Due Hill, AL, USA.
by Bil Carpenter
Smith sang in church and played harmonica as a child. He didn't begin his professional career until the early '60s, when he played behind folk legends Rev. Gary Davis and Pete Seeger. However, his musical style is overwhelmingly oriented to Chicago blues.

Michel Warlop, Violin
b. Douai, France
d. March 20, 1947
Biography ~by Chris Kelsey
The French violinist Warlop had a short but varied career, working with such noted pop singers as Maurice Chevalier and Germaine Sablon (1934-1935), and with such jazz greats as violinist Stephane Grappelli and guitarist Django Reinhardt (1934-1937). Warlop also worked with the group Jazz du Poste Parisien, accordionist Louis Richardet, and in a group with fellow violinists Grappelli and Eddie South (in 1937).
He played in a duo with the expatriate American pianist Garland Wilson (1938), and worked with other American musicians visiting Paris, including most notably tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. Warlop played in the orchestra of saxophonist Raymond Lergrand (father of composer Michel Lergrand) in the early '40s and led a string septet (1941-1943). In 1942 he conducted the Paris Symphony Orchestra in a performance of his composition "Noel du Prisonnier." Warlop died in 1947 at age 36.
~ Chris Kelsey

Benny Waters
Tenor-soprano sax/arranger
b. Brighton, MD, USA
d. August 11, 1998.

Age: 96 Biography
~by Scott Yanow 

Until his death at the age of 96, Benny Waters was not only the second oldest active jazz musician (to Eubie Blake who made it to 100) but a powerful altoist who would be considered impressive if he were only 50. Waters' personal history covered virtually the entire history of recorded jazz, although he never really became a major name. He worked with Charlie Miller from 1918-1921, studied at the New England Conservatory, and became a teacher; one of his students was Harry Carney, remarkably. Waters played, arranged for, and recorded with Charlie Johnson's Paradise Ten (1925-1932), an underrated group that also for a time included Benny Carter and Jabbo Smith.
Waters, who was primarily a tenor saxophonist and an occasional clarinetist during this period, was influenced to an extent by Coleman Hawkins, and he recorded with both Clarence Williams and King Oliver in the 1920s. During the next two decades, Waters played in many groups including those led by Fletcher Henderson (for a few months), Hot Lips Page, Claude Hopkins, and Jimmie Lunceford. He led his own unit during part of the 1940s, played with Roy Milton's R&B band, and in 1949 went to France with the Jimmy Archey Dixieland group. Waters settled in Paris, working steadily, although he was largely forgotten at home. By the 1980s, he was visiting the U.S. more frequently, and Waters is heard in brilliant form on a 1987 quartet set for Muse on which he plays tenor, alto, and clarinet, in addition to taking some effective vocals. A short time later he went blind and stuck exclusively to playing alto (on which he played in a jump style reminiscent of Tab Smith, that shows the occasional influence of John Coltrane). The seemingly ageless Benny Waters continued recording and performing with a remarkable amount of energy, touring with the Statesmen of Jazz in 1995 and creating some miraculous music prior to his death on August 11, 1998. 

Percy Wenrich, composer
b. Joplin, MO, USA.
d. Mar. 17, 1952, New York, NY, USA.
Biography ~by arwulf arwulf 

As a boy, Wenrich played piano in a music store on Joplin's Main Street. Surrounded by sheet music in the shop, the young man decided to write his own musical composition. At the age of seventeen he created something entitled L'Inconnu, described as a two-step in 6/8 time, then arranged for a thousand copies to be printed and sold them in person, going from door to door. In 1901 he attended classes at the Chicago Musical College, an institution presided over by Flo Ziegfeld's father. Soon he'd squandered all of his funds while hanging out with the fast crowd in poorly lit saloons and had to borrow money for a return ticket to Joplin.

But Chicago continued to exercise its magnetism upon him, and within a few weeks Percy had returned to the Windy City and was manhandling pianos in the back rooms of various bars, clubs and cafes. It was during this time that he wrote “Wabash Avenue After Dark", destined to become enormously popular throughout Chicago without ever actually getting published. Percy's prelude to a subsequent career in Tin Pan Alley consisted of a large parcel of rags: “Ashy Africa--An African Rag" appeared in 1903, followed by “Peaches and Cream Rag" in 1905, then “Noodles" and “Chestnuts" in 1906. “Fun Bob", “Sweet Meats Rag", “Dixie Darlings", “Flower Girl" and “Bombay" were all eclipsed in 1907 by his first nationally successful rag, “The Smiles".
1908 was similarly productive, as Percy turned out “Memphis Rag", “Ragtime Ripples", “Crab Apples" and the highly regarded “Persian Lamb Rag". In order to pay the rent and save a little for later, Percy manufactured melodies at five dollars apiece--“junk for the ten cent store counters", he later called them--to bolster the lines of aspiring lyricists who sent their verses to Chicago's McKinley Music Company. Money resulting from this unflattering work did enable him to head east in 1908 to fill a position with the Jerome H. Remick company of New York. Joining him in this relocation was his wife, a vaudeville performer by the name of Dolly Connolly. Apparently the public was perfectly attuned to Percy's sensibilities, for 1909's “Put On Your Old Gray Bonnet" sold two million copies. He began to turn out rags and popular songs at a steady rate: “Alamo Rag" and “Silver Bell" appeared in 1910, “Ragtime Chimes", “Red Rose Rag" and “Sunflower Rag" in 1911. Wenrich formed a business partnership with Homer Howard in 1912, when they published “Kentucky Days" and “Moonlight Bay". “Whipped Cream Rag", “Snow Deer Rag" and “Ragtime Turkey Trot" came out in 1913.

sheet music cover
After a brief hiatus from publishing, during which Percy concentrated on composing while teaming up with his wife as a vaudeville duo, he hired in with the Leo Feist company. In 1914, in collaboration with lyricist Jack Mahoney, Wenrich brought out a wholesome number destined to become a standard in the traditional jazz repertoire: “When You Wore A Tulip and I Wore A Big Red Rose". Dolly Connolly, accompanied by Percy and drawing upon a repertoire consisting mostly of his songs, continued to perform live and enjoyed a certain amount of popularity on Columbia phonograph records. “Come Back, Dixie" was published in 1915, followed by “Sweet Cider Time, When You Were Mine" in 1916.

The First World War seems to have inspired Wenrich to compose “Where Do We Go From Here?" in 1917, while 1922's “All Muddled Up" was a healthy response to the authentically charged atmosphere of jazz so prevalent at that time. Percy Wenrich's last memorable song was “Sail Along, Silv'ry Moon", published in 1937. He passed away March 17, 1952 in New York City.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

American ragtime composer Charles H. Hunter dies of tuberculosis in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. His best remembered compositions include Tickled to Death, A Tennessee Tantilizer and Possum And Taters.
Charles Hunter (composer) - Wikipedia

The La Monica Ballroom - Santa Monica Pier in 1924.
The La Monica Ballroom, with a 15,000 square foot hard maple floor, opens on Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California, USA. Customers buy tickets for a dime and dance the Charleston, fox trot and waltz to the music of the La Monica Orchestra led by Don Clark who has come directly from Paul Whitman's Orchestra in New York City.

The Shrine Auditorium, home to the Grammy Awards, MTV Music Awards, American Music Awards and several Oscar and Emmy Awards, opens at 665 West Jefferson Boulevard, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, California, USA.

John Mills Jr of radio singing sensations The Mills Brothers dies of tuberculosis. His place in the group is taken by his father.

Marion Mann, accompanied by Bob Crosby and his Orchestra, records the Hoagy Carmichael song Ooh! What You Said, for Decca Records in New York City.

Duke Ellington and his Orchestra make their Carnegie Hall debut in New York City, USA. 

"Kid" Ory, trombone
died in Honolulu, HI, USA.
Age: 82 
Kid Ory

Paul Robeson, vocals
died in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Age: 77.
Samuel "Baby" Lovett, drums
died in Leavenworth, KS, USA.
Age: 94.
Sam Lovett | AllMusic


Texas Jim Lewis, leader of the 
"Lone Star Cowboys" died. 
Age: 80.

Thomas A. ("Georgia Tom") Dorsey
piano/gospel, died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 93.
Thomas Andrew Dorsey (July 1, 1899, Villa Rica, Georgia – January 23, 1993, Chicago) was known as "the father of black gospel music" and was at one time so closely associated with the field that songs written in the new style were sometimes known as "dorseys." Earlier in his life he was a leading blues pianist known as Georgia Tom.
As formulated by Dorsey, gospel music combines Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz and the blues. His conception also deviates from what had been, to that time, standard hymnal practice by referring explicitly to the self, and the self's relation to faith and God, rather than the individual subsumed into the group via belief.
Dorsey was the music director at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago from 1932 until the late 1970s. His best known composition, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord", was performed by Mahalia Jackson and was a favorite of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.. Another composition, "Peace in the Valley", was a hit for Red Foley in 1951 and has been performed by dozens of other artists, including Queen of Gospel Albertina Walker, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
In 2002, the Library of Congress honored his album Precious Lord: New Recordings of the Great Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey (1973), by adding it to the United States National Recording Registry.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra

The Tennessee Tooters - "Hot-Hot-Hottentot”, (Fred Fisher)

The Tennessee Tooters - How Come You Do Me Like You Do?

Waring's Pennsylvanians


Benny Goodman's Boys - “Wolverine Blues”, (Benjamin Spikes / John Spikes / Jelly Roll Morton)

Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys “Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella”, (Kahal / Wheeler / Fain) 

Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys -“There Must Be A Silver Lining (That's Shining For Me)”, (Walter Donaldson / Lee Morse)


Careless Love

Love, oh love, oh careless love
Love, love, oh careless love
You have caused me to weep
You have caused me to moan
You have caused me to lose my happy home
Don't never drive a stranger from your door
Don't never drive a stranger from your door
It may be your best friend knockin' on your door,
then it may be your brother, you will never now
Careless love, look how you carry me down
Careless love, look how you carry me down
You caused me to lose my mother and she's layin' in six feet of ground
Careless love I can't let you carry me down
Careless love, you drove me through the rain and snow
Careless love,you drove me through the rain and snow
You have robbed me out of my silver and out of all my gold,
I'll be damned if you rob me out of my soul
You've worried my mother until she died
You've caused my father to lose his mind
Now damn you, I'm goin' to shoot you and shoot you four five times,
and stand over you until you finish dyin'

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