Henry James "Red" Allen Jr., Trumpet
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. April 17, 1967.
One of the last great New Orleans trumpeters to emerge during the post-Louis Armstrong era, Henry "Red" Allen has long been overshadowed by Satch and his successors but actually had a fresh new approach of his own to offer. Allen sounded modern no matter what the setting and the rhythmic freedom he achieved made his solos consistently unpredictable and exciting.
The son of Henry Allen, Sr. (a famous New Orleans brass band leader), he learned trumpet early on and played in his father's parade band along with other local groups.
After working on the riverboats with Fate Marable and Fats Pichon the following year, Allen joined King Oliver in Chicago. He recorded in New York with Oliver and Clarence Williams, and then Red Allen joined Luis Russell's superb orchestra and began his own solo recording career. Signed by Victor as an alternative to Okeh's Louis Armstrong, Allen's solos were original and brilliant from the start (particularly "It Should Be You"); throughout the 1930s his trumpet and gruff vocals would be heard on dozens of recordings and, even when the material was indifferent, Allen was usually able to uplift the music.
Henry Allen and His New York Orchestra
After notable stints with Luis Russell (1929-1932), Fletcher Henderson (1933-1934), and the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1934-1937), Allen became part of Louis Armstrong's backup band for three years, secure but somewhat anonymous work. However, starting in 1940, Red Allen led a series of impressive combos that were Dixieland-based but also open to certain aspects of rhythm & blues. Trombonist J.C. Higginbotham (a lifelong friend) and altoist Dan Stovall were on many of his recordings. From 1954-1965, Allen's frequently riotous group played regularly at New York's Metropole (Coleman Hawkins was occasionally among his sidemen), he visited Europe several times (including in 1959 with Kid Ory's band), and Allen was one of the most memorable participants in the December 1957 CBS TV special The Sound of Jazz.
Red Allen remained very active up until his death, and in the 1960s was proclaimed by Don Ellis as "the most creative and avant-garde trumpeter in New York." The European Classics label documents his recordings of the 1930s, and many (but not all) of his later performances are also available on CD.
~ Scott Yanow

Al Bowlly, vocalist/guitar
b. Lourenco Marques, Portuguese East Africa
d. April 17, 1941, London, Eng. UK.
(Died in WWII Air Raid while sitting in bed.)
Probably recorded more than any other vocalist - living or dead. Al Bowlly was the most popular vocalist in Britain during the 1930s, making more than 1000 recordings between 1927 and 1941. Al was born on January 7, 1899 in Mozambique to Greek and Lebanese parents, raised in Johannesburg, South Africa and killed by the explosion of a parachute mine outside his apartment in London on April 17, 1941. 
Al Bowlly showcased a range of material unsurpassed by any contemporary other than Bing Crosby. He was also a true international recording artist. He gained his musical experience singing for a dance band led by Jimmy Liquime in India and Singapore during the mid-1920s.

Just one year after his 1927 debut recording date in Berlin, Bowlly arrived in London for the first time in 1931, as part of Fred Elizalde's orchestra. That year, "If I Had You" became one of the first popular songs by an English jazz band to become renowned in America as well, and Bowlly had gone out on his own by the dawn of the '30s. During the next three years, he recorded over 500 songs and appeared with orchestras led by Ray Noble and Lew Stone. A visit to New York in 1934 with Noble resulted in more success and their recordings achieved popularity in the USA; he appeared at the head of an orchestra hand-picked for him and Noble by Glenn Miller (the band included Claude Thornhill, Charlie Spivak and Bud Freeman, among others).

During the mid-'30s, such songs as "Blue Moon," "Easy to Love," "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "My Melancholy Baby" were sizable American successes -- so much so that Bowlly gained his own radio series on NBC and traveled to Hollywood to film The Big Broadcast of 1936, which also starred one of his biggest competitors, Bing Crosby. He had successful throat surgery in the USA but was to have further difficulties with his voice late in his career. He returned to live in London in January 1937, appearing with his own band, the Radio City Rhythm Makers, as well as the orchestras of Sydney Lipton, Geraldo and Ken Johnson. Partnered with Jimmy Messini, Bowlly also branched out onto the London stage during the early '40s with an act called Radio Stars with Two Guitars. It was his last venture before his death in 1941.
Al remains one of the most highly regarded singers of his era because of the sincerity with which he could
deliver a lyric.
Al Bowlly FaceBook Group

Bob "BoBo" Jenkins, guitar
b. Forkland, AL, USA.
d. August 14, 1984 (aged 68), Detroit, Michigan, United States.
Bobo Jenkins was an American Detroit blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He also built and set up his own recording studio and record label in Detroit. Jenkins is best known for his recordings of "Democrat Blues" and "Tell Me Where You Stayed Last Night".
Bobo Jenkins

Herb Magidson
Herb Magidson
Composer Herb Magidson was an important songwriter for Broadway and Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s, and won the first Oscar ever awarded to a song. Born in 1906 in Braddock, PA, Magidson later studied at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, he got a job with a New York publisher and after only one year, he moved out to Hollywood to write film music.
He got a song into a film -- Show of Shows (1929) -- that same year, with many more to follow, including Gift of Gab, The Gay Divorcee, Hats Off (1936), Radio City Revels (1938), and Sing Your Way Home (1945), to name just a few. Some of Magidson's best-known songs include his Academy Award-winner "The Continental" (1934), "Midnight in Paris" (1935), "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (1936), "Gone With the Wind" (1937), "Music, Maestro, Please" (1938), "How Long Has This Been Going On?" (1939), "I'll Buy That Dream" (1945), and "I'll Dance at Your Wedding" (1947). His last hits, which include "Happiness," came in 1951. Over the years, Magidson collaborated with many lyricists such as Con Conrad, Allie Wrubel, Carl Sigman, Sam H. Stept, and Sammy Fain.
~ Joslyn Layne

'Chano' Pozo , Conga Drums
b. Havana (Matanzas), Cuba
d. Dec. 2, 1948, New York City, NY, USA.
(Murdered in a Bar Room Brawl.)
né: Luciano Pozo y Gonzalez.
Brother of Francisco "Chino" Pozo y Gonzalez
Chano Pozo played a major role in the founding of Latin jazz, which was essentially a mixture of bebop and Cuban folk music. He gained his musical background from Cuban religious cults. After moving to New York in 1947, he met Dizzy Gillespie who enthusiastically added him to his bebop big band. Among his features with Dizzy were "Cubana Be," "Cubana Bop," "Tin Tin Deo," and "Manteca"; Pozo co-wrote the latter two. Unfortunately, Chano Pozo had a hot temper and he was killed in a Harlem bar a month shy of his 34th birthday.
~ Scott Yanow

Keg Purnell, Drums
b. Charleston, WV, USA.
d. 1965 Biography
~by Scott Yanow

A fine swing-era drummer, Keg Purnell was a valuable if underrated accompanist. Purnell attended West Virginia State College from 1932-34, playing with the Campus Revellers . He toured with the declining King Oliver (1934-35), freelanced, led his own trio, played with the young Thelonious Monk in 1939 and had stints with the big bands of Benny Carter (1939-40) and Claude Hopkins (1941-42). Purnell worked steadily with the popular Eddie Heywood Sextet off and on from 1942-52, also making recordings with Rex Stewart ,Teddy Wilson and Willie "The Lion" Smith (1953). Later in his career, Purnell (who was inspired by Chick Webb and to a lesser extent Big Sid Catlett ) was part of Snub Mosley's group (starting in 1957). Purnell never led a recording date of his own but appeared on many during his prime years as a sideman.
Shirley Ross, Pop Vocalist
d. March 9, 1975.
Blonde band vocalist Shirley Ross came to films after fronting a popular radio and nightclub singing quartet. Her first notable film assignment was in blackface as a Harlem songstress in 1934's Manhattan Melodrama, in which she introduced the Rodgers and Hart standard "Blue Moon" (which in that film had different lyrics and a different title). She was signed to a Paramount contract shortly afterward, appearing opposite Bing Crosby in Waikiki Wedding (1937) and incongruously starring in the crime melodrama Prison Farm (1938).

Her most famous moment in films occurred in The Big Broadcast of 1938, wherein she and Bob Hope introduced Hope's signature tune "Thanks for the Memory." After co-starring with Hope in two subsequent films, Shirley Ross was seen in only a handful of pictures before closing out her Hollywood career in 1945.
~ Hal Erickson
Shirley Ross - Wikipedia

Bob Zurke, Piano
b. Detroit, MI, USA.

d. Feb. 17, 1944
Biography ~by Chris Kelsey 
One of the legions of jazz musicians to have lived hard and died young, the Detroit-born Zurke was best known for his stint as pianist with singer Bob Crosby's Bobcats. Zurke spent time with Oliver Naylor's Orchestra in Philadelphia during the late '20s and early '30s; he also recorded with bassist Thelma Terry & Her Playboys in 1928. Around that time, arranger Don Redman hired Zurke (and Glen Gray of the Casa Loma Orchestra ) to copy parts for arrangements he'd written for McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Zurke joined the Bobcats late in 1936, and (except for a 1937 hiatus brought on by a broken leg suffered in horseplay with Bob Haggart) remained with them until the summer of 1939, when he formed his own short-lived big band. That band broke up the following spring.
Alimony problems landed Zurke in jail briefly in 1940. After his release that August, he worked as a solo pianist. During the first half of 1941, he played in Chicago, Detroit, and St. Paul. He moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 1942. That August he began a tenure at the Hangover Club, where he would continue to play until his death in early 1944. On February 15, Zurke collapsed in the club and was taken to Los Angeles General Hospital; he died a day later at age 32.

Zurke was reasonably popular in his day, winning the Down Beat magazine poll in 1939 as best pianist. He was an adept boogie-woogie player and reportedly a favorite of Jelly Roll Morton. While his most famous association was with Bob Crosby, Zurke also worked with other musicians of note, including Connee Boswell, Bunny Berigan, the Andrews Sisters, and Bing Crosby (Bob 's brother). In 1983, the City of Hamtramck, MI, honored Zurke's memory with a memorial cruise; attendees included Bob Crosby.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Dat Include:

26 year old George Gershwin
completed the score of "Rhapsody in Blue".

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin makes his New York City professional debut with an appearance at the Manhattan Opera House. As well as becoming one of the world's premier classical violinists, Menuhin will form a spectacularly successful partnership with jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli.

Doctor Clayton, vocals
died in Chicago, IL, USA.

Chink Martin, guitar, tuba, bass
died in New Orleans, LA, USA.
Age: 94.
Chink Abraham, better known as Chink Martin (June 10, 1886, New Orleans - January 7, 1981, New Orleans) was an American jazz tubist.
Martin played guitar in his youth before settling on tuba. He played with Papa Jack Laine's Reliance Brass Band around 1910, and worked in various other brass bands in the city in the 1910s. In 1923, he traveled to Chicago and played with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, as well as with the Halfway House Orchestra, the New Orleans Harmony Kings, and the New Orleans Swing Kings. In the 1930s, Martin worked as a staff musician at WSMB radio. He continued to play tuba for his entire career, though he also picked up double-bass (like many tubists) from the 1930s onward. He played with dozens of noted New Orleans jazz musicians, appearing on record with Sharkey Bonano, Santo Pecora, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, and others, and released one album under his own name on Southland Records in 1963.
Chink Martin: Information from

Songs Recorded/Released
On this date include:


Virginia Liston - “I Don't Love Nobody”, (Porter Grainger / Bob Ricketts)


    Clarence Williams' Blue Five - “Cake Walking Babies From Home”, Vocal Chorus by Eva Taylor, (Clarence Williams / Chris Smith / Henry Troy)
    Red Onion Jazz Babies

    Clara Smith


    The Cotton Pickers
    • What Did I Tell Ya?

    Ted Weems and his Orchestra


    Irving Aaronson and his Commanders - “I Never See Maggie Alone”, Vocal refrain by Phil Saxe, (Harry Tilsley / Everett Lynton)


    Waring's Pennsylvanians
    • “Have A Little Faith In Me”, (Lewis / Young / Warren)

    Ben Selvin and his Orchestra


    Isham Jones and his Orchestra - “I'm So Afraid Of You”


    Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra

    • The Goona Goo (with Edythe Wright on vocal, Bunny Berigan on trumpet and Bud Freeman on tenor sax)


    Bing Crosby - Moonlight Becomes You


    Cake Walking Babies From Home
    ~by Chris Smith / Harold Troy /Clarence Williams

    Cake walkers may come, cake walkers may go,
    but I wanna tell you 'bout a couple I know
    High steppin' pair, Debonair
    When it comes for bus'ness not a soul can compare

    Here they come, look at 'em, demonstratin',
    goin' some, ain't they syncopatin'?
    Talk of the town, teasin' brown pickin' 'em up and layin' 'em down
    Dancin' fools ain't they demonstratin'?
    They're a class of their own

    Now the only way to win is to cheat 'em,
    you may tie 'em but you'll never beat 'em
    Strut your stuff , they're the cake walkin' babies from home
    Strut your stuff, strut your stuff, cake walkin' babies from home

    Here they come, look at 'em, syncopatin',
    goin' some, ain't they demonstratin'?
    Talk of the town, teasin' brown pickin' 'em up and layin' 'em down
    Dancin' fools ain't they syncopatin' 2?
    They're a class of their own

    Now the only way to win is to cheat 'em,
    you may tie 'em but you'll never beat 'em
    Strut your stuff, they're the cake walkin' babies form home
    Strut your stuff, strut your stuff, cake walkin' babies from home

    Note 1: cakewalk, a black American entertainment having a cake as prize for the most accomplished steps and figures in walking. Also, a stage dance developed from walking steps and figures typically involving a high prance with backward tilt. It is also used to indicate a one-sided contest or an easy task; Note 2: syncopatin', a rhythmical alteration which consists in welding into one tone the second half of one beat with the first half of the beat which follows.

    (American version)
    Written for: Spring Is Here (1930)
    Lyric: Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young
    Music: Harry Warren
    Year: 1930

    I wish I could say,
    In my little way,
    How you set my heart aflame.
    I tremble with fear
    Whenever you're near,
    I even forget my name;
    To live and love you is my only aim.

    My heart's humming,
    Better times are coming,
    Have a little faith in me.
    Skies will clear up
    Just to make you cheer up,
    Have a little faith in me.
    In the distance there's a silver lining,
    I see it shining,
    And that just means success and happiness.
    Oh, I'll come through, dear,
    With the help of you, dear,
    Have a little faith in me.

    Whatever the task,
    Whatever you ask,
    I'll always be glad to do.
    And let me confess
    I want to impress,
    I'm living to please just you;
    All that I ask is just a smile from you.

    brought to you by... 


    Special Thanks To:
    The Red Hot Jazz Archives,
    The Big Band Database, Scott Yanow,

    And all those who have provided content,
    images and sound files for this site.

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