Happy Birthday Brian Rust


Brian Rust and Sylvester Ahola

Brian Rust
b. London, England
d. January 5, 2011
~by Scott Yanow
Brian Rust's two-volume Jazz Records 1897-1942 (first published in 1961 and revised and expanded several times since) is the definitive discography for early jazz. A record collector since the age of five, Rust worked for the BBC in the 1950s and has been a jazz journalist since 1948, when he started reviewing records for theGramophone; he has written many liner notes and reviews on early jazz ever since.
In addition to the jazz discography, Brian Rust wrote a book on King Oliver with W.C. Allen in 1955 and has put together books on the recording output of a variety of labels, as well as compiling The American Dance Band Discography and The Complete Entertainment Discography.
  • King Joe Oliver (1955) (with W.C. Allen)
  • Jazz Records 1897-1942 (1961; revised)
  • The Victor Master Book, 1925-1936 (1970)
  • The Dance Bands (1972)
  • The Complete Entertainment Discography (1973)
  • The American Dance Band Discography (1975)
  • The H.M.V. Studio House Bands (1976)
  • London Musical Shows On Record 1897 - 1976, General Gramophone Publications (1977)
  • The American Record Label Book (1978)
  • Discography of Historical Records on Cylinders and 78s (1979)
  • British Music Hall On Record, General Gramophone Publications (1979)
  • Brian Rust's Guide to Discography (1980)

Harry Babasin, Bass/cello
b. Dallas, TX, USA
d. May, 21, 1988, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Harry Babasin was (along with Oscar Pettiford) probably the first bassist to play jazz cello. This LP reissue of a set originally for the MOD (Music of the Day) label features Babasin's Jazz Pickers (a quartet with guitarist Dempsey Wright, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Bill Douglass), plus guest vibraphonist Terry Gibbs. The music (five Babasin originals and three veteran standards) swings hard but lightly with Babasin's cello solos being the date's most unusual feature.
~ Scott Yanow
Joseph "Buster" Bennett
(Blues) saxophonist/vocalist
b. Pensacola, Florida, USA, d. July 3, 1980
Buster Bennett was an American blues saxophonist and vocalist. At various times in his career, he played the soprano saxophone, the alto, and the tenor. He was known for his gutbucket style on the saxophone. He also played the piano and the string bass professionally.
By 1930 or so, he was working in Texas, but spent most of his active career (1938 to 1954) in Chicago. He was employed as a session musician by Lester Melrose from 1938 to 1942; he played on recordings with Big Bill Broonzy, the Yas Yas Girl, Monkey Joe, and Washboard Sam. Concomitantly he played on sessions with Jimmie Gordon under Sammy Price's direction.
In 1945, Bennett signed a three-year recording contract with Columbia Records; he was marketed, not very accurately, as a Louis Jordan sound-alike.
In early 1946, while under contract to Columbia, Bennett appeared, under the name of his trumpet player, Charles Gray, on a recording for the short-lived Chicago label, Rhumboogie. He also made an unannounced appearance on a Red Saunders session on Sultan Records in 1946, and on a Tom Archia session for Aristocrat in 1947.
At the height of his popularity, in the late 1940s, he was known for his ability to draw customers into a South Side club - and for his cantankerous personality. On one occasion, he and Preston Jackson got into a fistfight at the Musicians Union hall, over a $2 debt.
Bennett recorded his last session for Columbia in December 1947. By 1956 he was out of music, because of the loss of recording opportunities and his own failing health. He retired to Texas, where he lived out the remainder of his life. He died in Houston in 1980, at the age of 66.

Russ Case, leader
b. Hamburg, IA, USA.
Later, musical arranger for the
Jackie Gleason show orchestra.

by Eugene Chadbourne
Russ Case was already an in-demand studio trumpeter and arranger in the mid-'30s, when he was still less than 25 years old. In the '40s he was the orchestra director for Perry Como on some of that artist's most classic recordings; considered such an essential part of Como knowledge, in fact, that a record label reissued two volumes of material in a series entitled Perry Como: The Russ Case Collection. Yet it would be hard to single out any particular credit as being most important in this artist's diverse and musically sophisticated career. 
His talents as a composer and arranger were largely self-taught, but good enough to keep him employed through most of the big-band era. He began learning the trumpet as a child. Case was still a teenager when he joined the staff of WOC radio in Davenport, OH, as a music arranger, sometimes getting to toss in a solo here and there. From here he moved on to Chicago, where he picked up a decent gig with the Frankie Trumbauer band. The Paul Whiteman Orchestra was the next job, requiring a move to New York City.
Whiteman kept Case on the case writing arrangements for both popular and classical concerts. Following the second World War, NBC radio snatched up Case for its studio orchestras, and from there, he proceeded into television. Episodes of so-called "classic television" such as the Pulitzer Prize Playhouse are very likely to have incidental and theme music scribbled out by Case. The Case studio orchestra backed up singers such as Julius LaRosa and Eddy Arnold on variety shows. Case, in the manner of other studio arrangers such as Mitch Miller, also put on an A&R hat, working as the RCA's director of pop music. It was in this capacity that he wound up arranging what would be one of Como's giant hits, "Till the End of Time." Case's job at the time of his death in the early '60s was as arranger for The Jackie Gleason Show, and he also arranged and conducted several Gleason albums. 
There is also a fairly large amount of material that was released under the name of Case or his orchestra. Much of this material was done at the height of the hi-fi era, with the expected result that Case dabbled in goofy percussion albums and created tracks such as "Doll Dance" that underwent reappraisal in the '90s when a new wave of interest developed in the type of records swinging bachelors had stuck on their turntables back in the '50s. Case also conducts and plays on the original studio cast albums of shows such as Oklahoma!, The Music Man, Finian's Rainbow, The King and I, and My Fair Lady.

Buster Harding
b. Canada, d. 1965
One of the top freelance arrangers of the swing era, Buster Harding was flexible enough to also write some modern charts during the bop era. He grew up in Cleveland where the teenager led his own band in the early 1930's. After working in Buffalo with Marion Sears and spending a year in Canada, Harding arranged and played second piano for Teddy Wilson's Orchestra (1939-40). He also wrote for Coleman Hawkins' short lived big band, headed a quartet and then was staff arranger for Cab Calloway (1941-42).
Harding became a very busy freelancer arranger for a variety of top bands including those of Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman ("Scarecrow"), Cab Calloway ("Jonah Joins The Cab"), Earl Hines, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Dizzy Gillespie and others including Billie Holiday in 1954. Harding was less active later in life although he worked for Jonah Jones for a period in the 1960's. Strangely enough, the underrated but talented arranger Buster Harding never led his own record date.
~ Scott Yanow

Steve Lewis
b. New Orleans, LA, USA
d. 1941, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
A piano man old enough to be remembered by Jelly Roll Morton, Steve Lewis played with many of the major large orchestras working in New Orleans in the first decades of the 20th century. He is also one of a small list of jazz players who finished out their lives in mental institutions, a fate most players' families only wish on them. Lewis on the loose began gigging professionally with the Silver Leaf Orchestra as early as 1910. He was later involved with the Olympia Orchestra and went on tour in 1917 with a revue fronted by Bill and Mary Mack.

The following year, the pianist was back in New Orleans playing piano with Armand Piron, with whose groups he was regularly associated for the next decade. Some of this time was spent in New York City, where Piron drank in several long stints; the pianist also was involved in some of Piron's recording sessions during this period. Obviously still in command of his faculties, Lewis was also active as a piano teacher in the '20s. Among his students was the bandleader Luis Russell. Following a decade in which the pianist both freelanced and led his own band, composing titles such as "Kiss Me Sweet," Lewis was committed to an asylum in Louisiana. He died a year later.
~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi
Moms Mabley
b. Brevard, NC, USA.
d. May, 23, 1975, White Plains, NY, USA.
née: Lorette Mary Aiken. (aka Jackie Mabley)
Jackie "Moms" Mabley was an American standup comedienne and a pioneer of the so-called "Chitlin' Circuit" of African-American vaudeville.

Bobby McFerrin Sr., vocals
b. Marianna, AR, USA
d. Nov. 17, 2006, (suburban) St. Louis, MO, USA.
Age: 85. (heart attack).
Bobby was one of eight children of a strict Baptist minister who forbade his son to sing anything but gospel music. However, in 1936, when McFerrin moved to St. Louis, a music teacher recognized and encouraged his talent. In the late 1940s and early '50s, McFerrin sang on Broadway, performed with the National Negro Opera Company and the New York City Opera Company.
In 1953, McFerrin won the Metropolitan Opera national auditions. His 1955 debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Amonasro in Aida made him the first black male member of the company. Interestingly, just three weeks previously, on Jan. 7, 1955, contralto Marian Anderson had made her historic debut as the first Black to sing a principal role at the Met. McFerrin went on to perform in 10 operas over three seasons.
Another interesting sidelight on his career is that McFerrin also provided the vocals for Sidney Poitier in the 1959 movie "Porgy and Bess". In 1973, he moved back to St. Louis. In 1989, he suffered a stroke, which did not affect his singing voice, and he continued to perform for many years afterward. Sadly, in June 2003, when he was honored by 'Opera America', doctors suspected he had Alzheimer's disease.
Robert McFerrin - Wikipedia

Lennie Tristano, Piano
b. Chicago, IL, USA.
d. Nov. 18, 1978
né: Leonard Joseph Tristano
Leonard Joseph Tristano (19 March 1919 – 18 November 1978) was a jazz pianist, composer and teacher of jazz improvisation. He performed in the cool jazz, bebop, post bop and avant-garde jazz genres. He remains a somewhat overlooked figure in jazz history, but his enormous originality and dazzling work as an improviser have long been appreciated by knowledgeable jazz fans. In addition, his work as a jazz educator meant that he has exerted a substantial influence on jazz through figures such as Lee Konitz and Bill Evans.

Joe Wick, Leader
b. Siegburg, Germany
d. 1978

Notable Events Occurring 
On This Date Include:

Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra recorded
"Green Eyes" featuring vocalists
Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly.

Clyde Hart, piano
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 35.

Armand Hug, pianist
Died in New Orleans, LA USA.
(b. Dec 6, 1910, New Orleans, LA, USA)
"Tampa Red"
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 77 ?
"Fiddlin'" Sid Harkreader died.
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra
  • Ching-a-Ling's Jazz Bazaar (Introducing: "At The Moving Picture Ball") - Featuring two pianos played by Hugo Frey and Frank Banta
  • Irene (Introducing: "Castle Of Dreams"/"The Last Part Of Every Party") (from the muscal comedy "Irene")


Ladd's Black Aces - Satanic Blues


Bennie Krueger and his Orchestra
  • Wild Papa


Ladd's Black Aces - Nobodys Sweetheart

Sara Martin - Everybody's Got The Blues


Fatty Martin's Orchestra - End O' Main

Fatty Martin's Orchestra Jimtown Blues

Harry Reser and his Orchestra


Irving Aaronson and his Commanders - Wimmin - Aaah! - Vocal refrain by Phil Saxe

The Little Ramblers - Could I? I Certainly Could

Percival Mackey's Band - Oh! Lady, Be Good
  • Fascinating Rhythm
  • Hang On To Me
  • So Am I


Martha Copeland - Sorrow Valley Blues

Five Harmaniacs
  • Sleepy Blues - Vocal refrain by Walt Howard

Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - Sensation


Jimmie Joy's Orchestra
  • From Monday On - Vocal Chorus by Orville Andrews
  • The Yale Blues

Bessie Smith - Spider Man Blues


Lonnie Johnson - Death Is On Your Track  - Piano Accompaniment by Jimmy Foster


Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers - Little Lawrence


State Street Ramblers - Sic Em' Tige'

Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - Hot And Anxious


My Honey's Lovin' Arms
~Joseph Meyer, Herman Ruby

I love your lovin' arms
They hold a world of charms
A place to nestle when I'm lonely
A cozy morris chair
Oh, what a happy pair
One caress, happiness
Seems to bless my little honey
I love you more each day
When years have passed away
You'll find my love belongs to you only
‘Cause when the world seems wrong
I know that I belong right in my honey's lovin' arms

I love your lovin' arms
They seem to hold a world of charms
A place to nestle when I'm lonely
A cozy morris chair
Oh, what a happy pair
One caress, happiness
Seems to bless my little honey
I love you more each day
When years have passed away
You'll find my love belongs to you only
‘Cause when the world seems wrong
I know that I belong right in my honey's lovin' arms
Oh when the world seems wrong
I know that I belong right in my honey's lovin' arms

Georgia Grind
~lyrics are written by A. Williams
~Lil Armstrong

Papa! Papa, just look at this
Out in the backyard, shakin' like this
Doin' that Georgia Grind,
That ol' Georgia Grind

Now everybody's ravin' 'bout that ol' Georgia Grind

I can shake it East
And I can shake it West,
But way down South I can shake it best
Doin' the Georgia Grind
I's just doin' the Georgia Grind

Everybody's talkin' 'bout that ol' Georgia Grind

Come in here gal! Come in here right now!
I see you're tryin' to be bad, but if you don't know how...
You do the Georgia Grind!
Oh, the Georgia Grind

Everybody's tryin'
To do the Georgia Grind

Well, ol' Miss Jones was in second place
She did the Georgia Grind through a stick of waste
She did the Georgia Grind,
She went crazy 'bout that Georgia Grind

Now everybody's ravin' 'bout that ol' Georgia Grind

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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