How's Your Folks and My Folks


Vernon Brown, Trombone
b. Venice, IL, USA
d. 1979
A decent trombonist who was never a major star but was considered quite valuable in sections of big bands and for occasional solos, Vernon Brown today is best remembered for being part of Benny Goodman's Orchestra during 1937-40. More than a decade earlier he had gained some important early experience playing with Frankie Trumbauer in St. Louis (1925-26). A journeyman but a reliable musician, Brown was with many bands during the next ten years, most notably Jean Goldkette in 1928, Benny Meroff and (after moving to New York) Mezz Mezzrow in 1937. He became fairly well-known during his Goodman years although he only had occasional solos. Brown also played with Artie Shaw (1940-41), Jan Savitt, the Muggsy Spanier Big Band (1941-42) and the Casa Loma Orchestra. During the mid-1940's, Brown frequently popped up on Dixielandoriented record dates. He was chiefly a studio musician from the mid-1940's on other than some time spent playing with Sidney Bechet, leading a band in Seattle in 1950 and making occasional reunion tours with Benny Goodman. Brown 
played with Tony Parenti a bit in 1963 and remained active as a studio player into the early 1970's when he retired.
~ Scott Yanow

Louis DeVries, Trumpet
b. Groningen, Netherlands
d. Sept. 5, 1935, Zwolle, Netherlands.
In 1920, he started professional career working in Amsterdam's Tuchinsky Theatre Orchestra, then followed stints with the Excellos Five (1925-6), bass player Jack de Vries (1926-9 -his brother), in 1929 he was with violinist Marek Weber Orch., and in 1930 with Ben Berlin. During 1931-'32, he worked with bandleader Juan Llossas, after which he again worked with his brother (1932-5). In 1935, he toured Great Britain, and worked with Valaida Snow.

Bruno Henriksen
b. Copenhagen, Denmark
d. Feb. 27, 1984

Bobby Stark, Trumpet
b. New York, NY, USA
d. Dec. 29, 1945
One of the great unsung trumpeters of the 1920's, Bobby Stark was a major soloist with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra; his improvisations on three recorded versions of "King Porter Stomp" (the first one being in 1928) were arguably more exciting and creative than Bunny Berigan's famous solo on Benny Goodman's hit record in 1935. Stark, who started playing alto horn when he was 15, studied piano and reeds before settling on the trumpet. He had short stints in New York with June Clark (1925), Edgar Dowell, Leon Abbey, Duncan Mayers, Bobbie Brown, Bobby Lee, Billy Butler, Charles Turner, the early version of McKinney's Cotton Pickers and Chick Webb (1926-27).
Stark was a major asset with Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra during 1927-33, soloing on many records and, although showing the influence of Louis Armstrong, he often sounded quite original. With Henderson, Stark held his own with such fellow trumpeters as Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart and Henry "Red" Allen. Ironically his next association, with Chick Webb's Orchestra during 1934-39, found him overshadowed completely by trumpeter Taft Jordan; the two trumpeters had similar styles during the era and Jordan (who doubled as a vocalist) got nearly all of the publicity. After Webb's death in 1939, Stark stayed with the band (under the leadership of Ella Fitzgerald) for an additional year and then freelanced. He was in the Army for a year (1942-43), played with Garvin Bushell (1944) and Benny Morton's Sextet, and then died prematurely. How he would have handled the innovations of the bop era will never be known. Bobby Stark, who never led a record date of his own, deserves to be rediscovered for his contributions to Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra.
~ Scott Yanow
Bobby Stark - Wikipedia

Sylvia Syms, vocal 

d. May 10, 1992
Vocalist and jazz singer, Sylvia Syms was known as the "world's greatest saloon singer" by Frank Sinatra. She sang everything from cabaret music to light jazz. Her claim to fame is her versatility in singing, making every song original in its style and sound.

Sylvia Syms was born in New York City. Her interest in music developed at an early age, her first performance being in front of family and friends. She began her professional singing career in nightclubs where she met such singing legends as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Her career quickly took off and she released albums on the DRG label, the Bainbridge label and several other independent labels. She brought a new sound to jazz with such hits as "Wild Is the Wind" and "Cuando Te Fuiste De Mi."

Aside from her jazz performances she has released several pre-rock songs and albums. On the Prestige label she released the albums Sylvia Is! and For Once In My Life. She was accompanied by Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Willie Rodriguez, Sam Bruno and Johnny "Hammond" Smith. On these albums she recorded popular favorites as well as fresh releases. The favorites included "If You Could See Me Now," "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me," "Vaya Con Dios," "Yesterday" and "For Once In My Life." Sylvia Syms had a talented gift in that she took early rock songs and made them brand new as if they were being sung for the first time. This ability made her well-known in the music industry.

Along with upbeat rock songs, Sylvia Syms also recorded a CD full of love songs. The album, titled Sylvia Syms Sings/Songs of Love, includes such popular sentimentals as "Isn't It Romantic," "What's the Use of Won'drin," "We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye" and "Let Me Love You."

Sylvia Syms, the nightclub singer should not be confused with the British film and television actress, Sylvia Syms. Although the two both died in 1992, British actress Sylvia Syms was only 58 when she died, whereas Sylvia Syms the singer died at the age of 79 in New York City.

During her long career, Sylvia Syms recorded more than 15 albums in several different genres. Her musical contribution is that of singing several different styles of music with one voice. Confused throughout her life as also being a British actress, Sylvia Syms died with the recognition of being a talented jazz singer on May 10, 1992.
~ Kim Summers
Sylvia Syms Web-Site


Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Johnny Moore, guitar
died in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Age: 62.
Member: 'Three Blazers'
Johnny Moore - Wikipedia

George Boy Simpkins, vocals
died in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Age: 64.

Keith Coleman, C&W fiddle player with the group "Bob Wills, & the Texas Playboys" died.

Mary Mcbride, vocals
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 87.

Trumpeter, "Dizzy" Gillespie
died in Englewood, NJ, USA.
Age: 75 (cancer).
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (pron.: /ɡɨˈlɛspi/; October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer.
Allmusic's Scott Yanow wrote, "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time (some would say the best), Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up copying Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis's emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated . . . Arguably Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time."
Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmonic complexity previously unknown in jazz. His beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks and his light-hearted personality were essential in popularizing bebop.
In the 1940s Gillespie, together with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Jon Faddis and Chuck Mangione. "Dizzy" also composed some Jazz tunes including "Salt Peanuts", and "Night in Tunisia".

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Paul  Whiteman and his Orchestra - They Call It Dancing, (introducing "The Schoolhouse Blues"), (Irving Berlin)


Bailey's Lucky Seven
  • I'll See You In My Dreams
  • Won't You Come Back To My Arms?
  • The Only, Only One For Me 

Naylor's Seven Aces - Bye-Bye, Baby, (Motzen / Bloom)

Cotton Club Orchestra - Down And Out Blues, (Arthur Sizemore)

The Savoy Orpheans

  • Let Me Be The First To Kiss You Good Morning
  • Sally Lou
  • Haunting Melody [waltz]
  • Wagneriana


Art Landry and His Orchestra

New Princes' Toronto Band
  • How's Your Folks And My Folks?, (de Voll / Mecum)
  • The Tin Can Fusiliers
  • Fooling
  • Ukulele Baby

The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra
  • Dinah
  • I Want Somebody To Cheer Me Up
The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - Let Me Introduce You To My Rosie
The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - I Want To See A Little More Than I Saw

Jack Hylton And His Orchestra


Harry Reser and his Orchestra
  • Pretty Lips


The California Ramblers
  • My Troubles Are Over


Ted Lewis and his Band - Harmonica Harry (The Harmonica King), (Baxter)

Irving Mills' Hotsy-Totsy Gang - Barbaric, (Hoagy Carmichael )


    Jimmy Dorsey - Besame Mucho

    "They Call It Dancing" 

    Years ago when I was just a wee little thing
    A man never squeezed a girl till she got the ring
    They were both engaged before the boy took a chance
    But now all he has to do is ask her to dance

    They call it dancing, you see them cuddled up tight
    They're only dancing so ev'rything is all right

    Until the midnight cabaret closes
    You can see he and she rubbing noses

    She calls him "Mister" They're only friends it appears
    And then he'll twist her like they've been married for years

    A man can squeeze all the she's
    With his arms and his knees
    And they call it dancing, that's all

    They call it dancing, you see them cuddled up tight
    They're only dancing so ev'rything is all right

    Until the midnight cabaret closes
    You can see he and she rubbing noses

    If it's a ballroom she doesn't mind his embrace
    But in a hallroom she'd slap him right in the face

    A man can grab someone's wife
    Have the time of his life
    And they call it dancing, that's all 

    How's Your Folks and My Folks

    I'm just a little rollin' stone,
    Rollin' 'round all alone.
    I've learned a lot, but what have I got?
    Nothin' to call my own.
    I met a friend from my home town today.
    Believe me, I was mighty glad to say:

    CHORUS 1
    How's your folks and my folks down in Norfolk town?
    Not one word have I heard since I've been knockin' around.
    How's dear old dad and mother and all the family?
    How's little sis and brother? Do they ever talk about me?
    How's my gal, my old pal? That's the girl I left behind.
    Now I find she's always on my mind.
    I'm just an old black sheep and I'll get no sleep
    Till I'm Virginia bound.
    How's my girl and your girl down in Norfolk town?

    CHORUS 2
    How's your folks and my folks down in Norfolk town?
    Not one word have I heard since I've been knockin' around.
    How's dear old dad and mother and all the family?
    How's little sis and brother? Do they ever talk about me?
    Now, how's my gal, my old pal? That's the one I left behind.
    Now I find she's always on my mind.
    I'll get back there in that Dixie air
    And gain another pound.
    How's your folks and my folks down in Norfolk town?

    brought to you by...   
    Special Thanks To:
    Scott Yanow,  
    And all who have provided content for this site.