Emile Barnes, Clarinet
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. 1970.
~by Scott Yanow
A respected New Orleans clarinetist, Emile Barnes made relatively few recordings during his career but can be heard on sessions for Folkways in 1951 and 1952 (which were issued in the '70s on LPs) and for Jazzology during 1961 and 1963. He was the brother of Polo Barnes and learned from the early clarinetists including Lorenzo Tio, Jr. and Alphonse Picou. Barnes worked with Buddy Petit and Chris Kelly (the latter throughout the 1920s). He spent much of the 1930s and '40s outside of music, but by the late '40s was gigging with Kid Howard, and he remained fairly active in the 1950s and '60s.

Emile Barnes - Wikipedia

Birleanna Blanks, vocals
d. 1968, New York, NY, USA.
Age: 79.
This half American Indian and half African American was one of the first 'Blacks' in the American musical comedy theatre. Before 1920, she teamed with her sister as a singing and dancing act touring the vaudeville circuit. In 1919, Birleanna sang in a whole series of musical comedies at the Lafayette Theatre in Harlem (New York city) beginning with "Over the Top", and then in other Negro theatres during the mid-1920s. She later sang with bandleader Fletcher Henderson's orchestra before leaving the music business in 1928.
Birleanna Blanks (1889 - 1968) - Find A Grave Memorial

Claude Boone
C&W Singer-Songwriter/Guitar/Bass Fiddle/Electric Bass
b. (near) Ashville, NC, USA.
Claude Boone sustained one of the longest careers in Country music, extending for half a century from the mid-30ís. This achievement becomes even more remarkable when one considers that it has nearly all been spent outside Nashville. Much of Claudeís work originated in Knoxville, but he was also a significant figure in Asheville and Charlotte. His music ran the gamut from Old-Time to Bluegrass to Honky-Tonk Country. Claude was born and reared in the mountain country of western North Carolina about twenty-five miles north of Asheville, a region steeped in traditional music.
The sounds of Jimmie Rodgers proved a greater inspiration to Claude in his youth, although both the Rodgers and the mountain sounds could be heard in Claudeís music as the years passed. Claude began his professional career in his late teens when he went to WWNC Asheville and joined Cliff Carlisleís band. He remained with the Carlisle entourage until 1938. During that time, he backed Cliff on his Bluebird and Decca records and also did a few duets with Cliff as well as with Walter Hurdt, Joe Cook and Leon Scott. Claude also released a solo rendition of The Hobo Blues. As Scott and Boone, the Elk Mountain Boys, the duo cut ten sides for Decca in a style somewhat similar to Wade Mainer and Zeke Morris vocally and the Delmore Brothers instrumentally.
When Cliff Carlisle went to WCHS Charleston, West Virginia, Claude accompanied him but soon returned to Asheville where he joined the newly arrived Carl Storyís Rambling Mountaineers. Claude would be associated with Carl in one way or another for the next 25 years, except for a period during the war when he served in the U.S. Navy and a short stint working at WNOX Knoxville with Buster Moore and Eddie Hill. After the war, Claude returned to the Rambling Mountaineers and they spent the next two decades working from bases in either Asheville or Charlotte but mostly Knoxville. Claude played either rhythm guitar or bass fiddle on all of Storyís Mercury and Columbia recordings as well as on many of the Starday and small label discs that Carlís group often made. Claude sang various parts and some solos on the Rambling Mountaineer recordings and even composed a few of the songs including one of the bandís more memorable numbers, Why Donít You Haul Off and Get Religion, In 1949, Claude had his own solo contract with Mercury, cutting six sides with instrumental support from Jethro Burns on mandolin, Homer Haynes on guitar and Young Anita Carter on bass fiddle.
During his time with the rambling Mountaineers, Claude also played a comedy character named "Homeless Homer." While continuing to work personal appearances with the Story group into the mid-60ís, Claude also became a staff musician on the Cas Walker Show at WBIR-TV Knoxville. He remained a stalwart on this daily early morning program for more than twenty years until it ended in 1983. By that time, Claude was content to retire to his home in suburban Strawberry Plains and spend more effort at his favorite pastime of fishing. Over the years, Claude has written several Country standards, such as Have You Come to Say Goodbye, You Canít Judge a Book By Its Cover and Wedding Bells. However, it seems to be generally acknowledged that Claude bought Wedding Bells from Arthur Q. Smith.
One could certainly term it a wise investment since the hit versions, first by Hank Williams and then, Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely, paid sufficient royalties that Claude purchased a home with his checks. Certainly, over the years, Claude Boone gained a reputation as one of the finest, most even-tempered and likable fellows in the music business. MCA Japan reissued an anthology containing one of the Scott and Boone duets and the Library of Congress Bi-Centennial series contained one of his Mercury solo efforts. Many of his recordings with Carl Story have also remained available. 
~Ivan M. Tribe

Elmer Snowden's Nest Club Orchestra in 1925
Left to right: Te Roy Williams (trombone), Elmer Snowden (leader and banjo), Joe Garland (alto and baritone saxophones), Walter Johnson (drums), Freddy Johnson (piano), Bob Ysaguirre (tuba), Prince Robinson (tenor sax and clarinet) and Rex Stewart (cornet).
Walter Johnson, Drums
b. New York, NY, USA.
d. 1977.

~by Scott Yanow
One of the top big band drummers of the 1920's and 30's (and influenced a bit by Kaiser Marshall), Walter Johnson was a supportive and consistently swinging player. He worked with Freddy Johnson (1924), Bobby Brown, Elmer Snowden (off and on during 1925-28) and Te Roy Williams (1927) but became best-known for his playing with Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra (1929-34 and also 1936-37 and 1941-42). Other swing era associations included the big bands of Sam Wooding (1934-35), LeRoy Smith (1935), Lucky Millinder (1938-39), Claude Hopkins (1939), Edgar Hayes (1940) and Coleman Hawkins. After his third stint with Henderson ended, Johnson freelanced for the remainder of his career, worked outside of music (as a bank guard), often playing with Tab Smith during the 1944-54 period and appearing with a variety of swing and mainstream combos into the 1960's. Walter Johnson never led his own record date but he recorded frequently during his prime years, most notably with Henderson.
Walter Johnson: Information from

"Pee Wee" King
C&W vocals/guitar/violin/composer/accordion/leader
b. Abrams, WI, USA
d. March 7, 2000, USA.
né: Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski
Biography ~by Steve Huey
A flamboyant and influential figure during his heyday, Pee Wee King remains somewhat underappreciated as a performer, though his fame as a songwriter is assured thanks to the smash hit "Tennessee Waltz." King helped modernize the sound and style of country music; he introduced electric instruments, drums, and horns to the notoriously conservative Grand Ole Opry, and dressed his band in sharply tailored, Western-style Nudie suits that looked anything but backwoods. Despite his affinity for Western swing and cowboy songs, King actually came from Polish extraction, which helped account for his eclectic approach to country music.
He was born Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski on February 18, 1914, in Milwaukee, and grew up in the northern Wisconsin town of Abrams (or possibly vice versa, according to some sources). His father headed a polka band, and young Frank (as he was called) eventually joined up, learning both fiddle and accordion but concentrating on the latter instrument.
He made his professional radio debut at age 14, and eventually started leading his own band, adopting the name Frank King (in tribute to polka bandleader Wayne King) and playing a mixture of polkas and cowboy songs. Starting in 1933, his band played regularly on the Milwaukee radio show The Badger State Barn Dance, where they were discovered by an up-and-coming Gene Autry. Autry hired them as his backup band, and nicknamed King "Pee Wee" for his five-foot six-inch height. In 1934, Autry and King became regulars on Louisville radio, but Autry soon departed for Hollywood.
King elected to stay behind in Louisville, and played with the Log Cabin Boys in 1935; the following year, he formed his own band, the Golden West Cowboys, which initially featured fiddler Abner Sims, guitarist Curly Rhodes, and singer Texas Daisy. In 1937, fiddler Redd Stewart joined the lineup, and would later become King's songwriting partner. Just as importantly, the group was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. 
They were an unorthodox selection that made traditionalists uncomfortable: not just for their wardrobe, but also for their flashy, professional showmanship and for the polka and waltz rhythms that drove some of their songs. They remained regulars over the next ten years, during which time King also hosted his own radio show in Knoxville; they also evolved into more of a Western swing band.
King first used an amplified electric guitar on-stage at the Opry in 1940, and introduced drums to the Opry stage in 1947. During that run, several prominent vocalists passed through the ranks of the Golden West Cowboys, including Eddy Arnold, Cowboy Copas, Milton Estes, Tommy Sosebee, and Becky Barfield. The Golden West Cowboys recorded and toured as Minnie Pearl's backing band over 1941-1942, and worked with Ernest Tubb as well. Additionally, King appeared in several Westerns playing himself as a bandleader; the first was 1938's Gold Mine in the Sky, starring his old friend Gene Autry. A new era for the band started in 1947. King left the Grand Ole Opry to return to Louisville and host his own TV show, which ran for the next ten years and was picked up nationally by ABC in the final two seasons. King also signed a recording contract with RCA, and Redd Stewart took over the lead vocal chores.
Inspired by Bill Monroe's hit "Kentucky Waltz," King and Stewart penned lyrics to an instrumental tune they'd been playing; recorded in December 1947, "Tennessee Waltz" became a number three hit for King the following year. Pop singer Patti Page cut her own version in 1950 and it was an enormous hit, topping the pop charts and selling several million copies; it ranked as one of the biggest country crossovers ever. King followed it in 1951 with "Slow Poke," a novelty tune that topped both the country and pop charts, spending over three months at number one. Other hit King compositions included "Silver and Gold" (1952), "Changing Partners" (1954), "Bonaparte's Retreat," "You Belong to Me," "Walk By the River," "Busybody," and "Bimbo," among others. King also returned to the movies, appearing in a couple of Charles Starrett Westerns during the early '50s.
King's run of commercial success tailed off after 1954; his TV show went off the air in 1957, and he continued to record for RCA until 1959. From then until 1963, he reunited with Minnie Pearl and led the Golden West Cowboys as her supporting band. In 1965, Tennessee adopted "Tennessee Waltz" as its official state song. King broke up the Golden West Cowboys in 1969 and went to work for the Country Music Foundation, at one point serving as its director. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974, later serving on its board of directors, and also made it into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. King passed away in Louisville on March 7, 2000, after suffering a heart attack.
Pee Wee King - Wikipedia

DeDe Pierce, Trumpet/Cornet
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. 1973
Biography ~by Bradley Torreano 
De De Pierce was an incredible trumpeter and singer who made jazz in the '40s, '50s, and '60s with his wife, singer/pianist Billie Pierce. Pierce was born in New Orleans, LA, on February 18, 1904. He first appeared playing with Arnold Dupas' band in 1924, playing the trumpet. One night while working at the Blue Jay Club in New Orleans, he met Billie and the two fell in love. They immediately began playing together, and by 1935 they were the regular house band at the Luthjens Dance Hall, where they stayed until the mid-'50s. They released albums throughout this period, but their exit from the dancehall was due to illness, which also stopped their recording career.

The two were both quite sick; eventually they were hospitalized and De De lost his sight during the ordeal. Despite this setback, they began recording again in 1960 and rekindled their careers. Deteriorating health would eventually take them out of the entertainment industry, but not before De De played with Ida Cox on her last tour. He passed away in November of 1973, leaving behind Billie after a long and fruitful career together.
De De Pierce: Information from
De De Pierce - Wikipedia

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

In Dahomey, the first full-length Broadway musical written and performed by African Americans (George Walker and Egbert Austin Williams), opens. It will run for 53 performances, and will find greater success on tour in the United Kingdom.

This is one of the most well known covers in the history of Life magazine.
This cover was released on February 18, 1926.

The musical revue Pleasure Bound opens at the Majestic Theatre, Broadway, New York City, USA, where it will run for 136 performances. The play stars one of the most popular female vocalists of the 1920s, Aileen Stanley who sold some 25m copies of her Victrola recordings.

The Mills Brothers
recorded "Paper Doll"
(Decca #18318).

Will Batts, violin
died in Memphis, TN, USA.
Age: 52.
Played with 'Jack Kelly's Jug Band'
Will Batts (1904 - 1956) - Find A Grave Memorial

Hattie Louise Bess
Owner of Tootsie's Orchid Lounge
in Nashville, TN,
Ivin Ballen, label owner (Gotham)
died in Miami, FL, USA.
Age: 69.

Paul Leroy Howard, alto sax
died in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Joe "Brother Cornbread" Thomas, clarinet
died in New Orleans, LA, USA.
Age: 78.
Joe "Cornbread" Thomas

Louis Keppard, guitar
died in New Orleans, LA, USA.

Eddie Williams, bass
died in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Age: 82.
Played with 'The 3 Blazers', and with 'Johnny Moore'.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Marion Harris - A Good Man Is Hard To Find

Marion Harris - For Johnny And Me


Original Capitol Orchestra - Mama Loves Papa

Piron's New Orleans Orchestra - Lou'siana Swing

Rosa Henderson - Hey Hey And He He, I'm Charleston Crazy - Piano Accompaniment by Fletcher Henderson
  • Do Right Blues - Piano Accompaniment by Fletcher Henderson

The Wolverine Orchestra

The California Ramblers
  • Two Blue Eyes


The Savoy Orpheans - In Your Green Hat

Ben Selvin And His Orchestra - Poor Papa

  • Tamiami Trail


Harry Reser and his Orchestra


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - Caprice Futuristic
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra Mississippi Mud - (Featuring Bix Beiderbecke, Original Rhythm Boys and Izzy Friedman


Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra - Harlemania

Lonnie Johnson - It Feels So Good


Ambrose And his Orchestra - I'm On A Diet Of Love
Henry Allen and His New York Orchestra - You Might Get Better, But You'll Never Get Well

Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra
  • I'm Following You
  • Should I?


King Oliver's Orchestra - Sugar Blues


Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra


Buster Bailey and his Rhythm Busters - Sloe Jam Fizz


A Good Man Is Hard To Find

My heart is sad and I'm all alone
my man's treating me mean
I regret the day that I was born
And the man I ever seen

My happiness is less today
My heart is broke, that's why I say
Lord, a good man is hard to find
You always get another kind

Just when you think that he's your pal
You look and find him foolin' 'round some old gal
Then you rave, you all crave
You want to see him in his grave

So if your man is nice, take my advice;
Hug him in the morning, kiss him at night
Give him plenty lovin'; treat your good man right

Oh, a good man is so hard to find
We always get that roughed old kind
Just when you think that he's your pal
You like and find him hangin' 'round some old gal

Then you rave, how you crave
You wanna see him dead layin' in his grave

So if your man is nice, take my advice
Hug him in the morning, kiss him at night
Give him plenty love madam, treat your man right
'Cause a good man nowadays sure is hard to find

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.

No comments: