Wednesday

MARCH 8TH



BIRTHDAYS




1911
Heinie Beau
alto-tenor-baritone-bass sax/flute/arranger/Clarinet
b. Calvary, WI, USA. d. 1987.
Clarinet, reeds, arranger.
An outstanding clarinet player who was successful in both traditional and swing circles, Heinie Beau became a familiar figure in Hollywood circles, doing arrangements for radio and television as well as recording sessions. Beau had been in Tommy Dorsey's orchestra from 1940 - 1943. He recorded with Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and many jazz bands, particulary Red Nichols. Beau and Nichols were comrades and musical partners from the early '40s until Nichols' death in 1965. During the late '50s Beau re-arranged several Nichols' pieces, retaining the flavor and instrumentation of the originals while updating and infusing them with his own dynamic. He toured Europe in the '70s.
~ Ron Wynn

1914
Cassell Burrow, drums
b. Galloway, TN, USA.



1918
Sam Donahue, Tenor-alto Sax, Trumpet, valve trombone, Arranger, Leader
b. Detroit, MI, USA, d. March 22, 1974, Reno NV, USA.
(Some sources claim b. March 18, 1918). 
né: Sam Koontz Donahue. 
Just after Prohibition ended in America (and while Sam was still in school), he was offered a job in a newly legitimate Beer Hall. From 1933 to 1938, he led his own band. From 1938 -'40 he played in Krupa's band. In 1940 he was with both Benny Goodman and Harry James. From 1940-'42, he again led his own band in NYC - recording on both Okeh and Bluebird (RCA) Records.
Entering the US Navy during WWII, he assumed leadership of Artie Shaw's U. S. Navy Band from 1944-'45, and "battled" the Glenn Miller Army Airforce Band in London, England. Donahue's wartime London England broadcasts earned him fame both with the English public and US servicemen. 
Postwar saw him again in New York City with his own band, until, in 1951, he re-enlisted in the US Navy for a Six month tour of duty. After leaving the Navy, he found work with Tommy Dorsey. During 1954-'56, he led the Billy May touring band for Ray Anthony's organization.
During 1956-'59, he appeared at New York's famed Birdland and Bluenote clubs leading his own band. After this, he again briefly led his own band, and then became a member of the Stan Kenton orchestra. Five years after Tommy Dorsey died, Donahue took over the Dorsey orchestra (which soon became known as the Frank Sinatra Jr Show), and was still leading the band (in Reno, NV) when he was stricken with cancer.

1911
John "Bugs" Hamilton, Trumpet
b. St.Louis, MO, USA. d. 1947.


1908
Will Hudson
d. 1981, USA.
Bandleader/Composer.
(Will Hudson, and Hudson-DeLange Orch.)


1893 
"Mississippi" John Hurt, Vocalist
d. Nov. 2, 1966. nee: John Smith Hurt.
~Biography by Bruce Eder 
No blues singer ever presented a more gentle, genial image than Mississippi John Hurt. A guitarist with an extraordinarily lyrical and refined fingerpicking style, he also sang with a warmth unique in the field of blues, and the gospel influence in his music gave it a depth and reflective quality unusual in the field. Coupled with the sheer gratitude and amazement that he felt over having found a mass audience so late in life, and playing concerts in front of thousands of people -- for fees that seemed astronomical to a man who had always made music a sideline to his life as a farm laborer -- these qualities make Hurt's recordings into a very special listening experience.
John Hurt grew up in the Mississippi hill country town of Avalon, population under 100, north of Greenwood, near Grenada. He began playing guitar in 1903, and within a few years was performing at parties, doing ragtime repertory rather than blues. As a farm hand, he lived in relative isolation, and it was only in 1916, when he went to work briefly for the railroad, that he got to broaden his horizons and his repertory beyond Avalon. In the early '20s, he teamed up with white fiddle player Willie Narmour, playing square dances. 
Hurt was spotted by a scout for Okeh Records who passed through Avalon in 1927, who was supposed to record Narmour, and was signed to record after a quick audition. Of the eight sides that Hurt recorded in Memphis in February of 1928, only two were ever released, but he was still asked to record in New York late in 1928. Hurt's dexterity as a guitarist, coupled with his plain-spoken nature, were his apparent undoing, at least as a popular blues artist, at the time. His playing was too soft and articulate, and his voice too plain to be taken up in a mass setting, such as a dance; rather, his music was best heard in small, intimate gatherings. In that sense, he was one of the earliest blues musicians to rely completely on the medium of recorded music as a vehicle for mass success; where the records of Furry Lewis or Blind Blake were mere distillations of music that they (presumably) did much better on-stage, in John Hurt's case the records were good representations of what he did best. Additionally, Hurt never regarded himself as a blues singer, preferring to let his relatively weak voice speak for itself with none of the gimmicks that he might've used, especially in the studio, to compensate. And he had no real signature tune with which he could be identified, in the way that Furry Lewis had "Kassie Jones" or "John Henry."

Not that Hurt didn't have some great numbers in his song bag: "Frankie," "Louis Collins," "Avalon Blues," "Candy Man Blues," "Big Leg Blues," and "Stack O' Lee Blues," were all brilliant and unusual as blues, in their own way, and highly influential on subsequent generations of musicians. They didn't sell in large numbers at the time, however, and as Hurt never set much store on a musical career, he was content to make his living as a hired hand in Avalon, living on a farm and playing for friends whenever the occasion arose.

Mississippi John Hurt might've lived and died in obscurity, if it hadn't been for the folk music revival of the late '50s and early '60s. A new generation of listeners and scholars suddenly expressed a deep interest in the music of America's hinterlands, not only in listening to it but finding and preserving it. A scholar named Tom Hoskins discovered that Mississippi John Hurt, who hadn't been heard from musically in over 35 years, was alive and living in Avalon, MS, and sought him out, following the trail laid down in Hurt's song "Avalon Blues." Their meeting was a fateful one; Hurt was in his 70s, and weary from a lifetime of backbreaking labor for pitifully small amounts of money, but his musical ability was intact, and he bore no ill-will against anyone who wanted to hear his music.

A series of concerts were arranged, including an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, where he was greeted as a living legend. This opened up a new world to Hurt, who was grateful to find thousands, or even tens of thousands of people too young to have even been born when he made his only records up to that time, eager to listen to anything he had to sing or say. A tour of American universities followed as did a series of recordings: first in a relatively informal, non-commercial setting intended to capture him in his most comfortable and natural surroundings, and later under the auspices of Vanguard Records, with folk singer Patrick Sky producing. It was 1965, and Mississippi John Hurt had found a mass audience for his songs 35 years late. He took the opportunity, playing concerts and making new records of old songs as well as material he'd never before laid down; whether he eventually put down more than a portion of his true repertory will probably never be clear, but Hurt did leave a major legacy of his and other peoples' songs, in a style that barely skipped a beat from his late-'20s Okeh sides.
As with many people to whom success comes late in life, certain aspects of the success were hard for him to absorb in stride; the money was more than he'd ever hoped to see, even if it wasn't much by the standards of a major pop star; 1,000 dollar concert fees were something he'd never even pondered having to deal with. What he did most easily was sing and play; Vanguard got out a new album, Today!, in 1966, from his first sessions for the label. Additionally, the tape of a concert that Hurt played at Oberlin College in April of 1965 was released under the title The Best of Mississippi John Hurt; the 21-song live album was just that, even if it wasn't made up of previously released work (more typical of a "best-of" album), a perfect record of a beautiful performance in which the man did old and new songs in the peak of his form. Hurt got in one more full album, The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt, released posthumously, but even better was the record assembled from his final sessions, Last Sessions, also issued after his death; these songs broke new lyrical ground, and showed Hurt's voice and guitar to be as strong as ever, just months before his death. 
Mississippi John Hurt left behind a legacy unique in the annals of the blues, and not just in terms of music. A humble, hard-working man who never sought fame or fortune from his music, and who conducted his life in an honest and honorable manner, he also avoided the troubles that afflicted the lives of many of his more tragic fellow musicians. He was a pure musician, playing for himself and the smallest possible number of listeners, developing his guitar technique and singing style to please nobody but himself; and he suddenly found himself with a huge following, precisely because of his unique style. Unlike contemporaries such as Skip James, he felt no bitterness over his late-in-life mass success, and as a result continued to please and win over new listeners with his recordings until virtually the last weeks of his life. Nothing he ever recorded was less than inspired, and most of it was superb. 


1927
Dick Hyman
Piano, keyboards, arranger
b. New York, NY, USA.
né: Richard Roven Hyman.
His 1968 minor hit record "The Minotaur" with 'Dick Hyman & the Eclectic Electrics' was first single record ever entirely performed on a synthesizer (It ws a Moog Synth.).
Dick Hyman - Wikipedia

1912
Eddie Johnson, piano

1898
Homer "Slim" Miller, C&W Fiddle
b. Lizton, IN, USA.
Member: "The Cumberland Ridge Runners"

1899
George Mitchell, Cornet
b. Louisville, KY, USA.
d. May 27, 1972.
George Mitchell was so significant for his playing on many of Jelly Roll Morton's best recordings in the 1920s that it is surprising that he spent his last 40 years outside of music, living in obscurity. Mitchell, who began playing cornet when he was 12, started out playing professionally in Louisville. In addition to playing in brass bands and in theaters, he toured the South with the Rabbit's Foot Minstrel Show. Mitchell first visited Chicago in late 1919 when he freelanced and worked with Tony Jackson. He toured Canada from 1921-22 with Clarence Miller, worked for a short time in Milwaukee with Doc Holly and then settled permanently in Chicago.
The cornetist played with Carroll Dickerson (1923-24), Doc Cook (1924-25 and 1927-29), Jimmie Noone, Lil Armstrong (1925-26), Dave Peyton and the first Earl Hines big band (1929-31) before dropping out of music to become a bank messenger (working until the early 1960s). Although Mitchell played occasionally with concert orchestras in the 1930s, his significance to jazz ended in 1931. Mitchell's recordings with Morton (1926-27) found him displaying a beautiful tone, a solid improvising style and the ability to perfectly convey Morton's ideas. In addition, Mitchell (who never led his own record date) also recorded quite brilliantly with the New Orleans Wanderers and the New Orleans Bootblacks in 1926 (both were really the Louis Armstrong Hot Five with Mitchell in Armstrong's place), Johnny Dodds and Hines. Unfortunately, he was never part of the later classic jazz revival movements.
~ Scott Yanow
Ernst Höllerhagen with Belgian Pianist John Ouwerx
1903
John Ouwerx, Piano
b. Nivelles, Belgium
d. 1983.
The Belgian jazz pianist John Ouwerx was ahead of his time, realizing there would be a market for swinging music in the lowlands when many of his peers were still busy designing innovative waffle fixings. But even he didn't predict that he would someday be identified with recording songs mistakenly identified under the titles "Only Forever Locve Universe the Things You of Acres," and the slightly more sensible "I Can't Love You Anymore Sweeping the Floor." 
The failure to envision such a calamity can't really be blamed on the man, after all who could have envisioned the insanity of computer translation programs, which created the precending mess out of the titles of sides originally cut by Ouwerx and fellow Belgian jazz hotshot Johnny Jack for Decca. The same computer program identified the genre for this titles as "piano lecture" when it was done gargling with them, and perhaps a lecture is truly in order to explain what the titles are all about.
Ouwerx grew up in Belguim at the turn of the 20th century, moving to New York City in the hot summer of 1925. Listeners in this era might have heard him playing organ at the Strand Palace, a regular gig despite green-card issues. He made history upon his return to Belguim four months later, performing the country's premiere of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Through the late '20s, he performed in an ensemble entitled Bistrouille A.D.O. and also lectured on the subject of jazz. In 1928, he toured the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, and even got as far as Egypt. In another group under the leadership of violinist Marek Weber, Ouwerx toured Hungary and Germany as well as additional gigs among the chocolate dreamers of Switzerland. He began working as an arranger for film music, and made his premiere recordings in 1931 with Gus Deloopf.
In 1934, he was based out of Antwerp and played in the band of Robert De Kers, as well as with Stan Brenders. The activity of the latter gentleman brought Ouwerx his widest exposure. Brenders tapped his pianist friend to take part in a large-ensemble recording project highlighting the guitar stylings of Django Reinhardt. In other words, improvised passages played with such blinding speed and accuracy that the reaction of most guitarists is similar to a stroke, although not as physically dangerous. The instrumental lineup included a string section, as well as tracks cut with the violins and violas out having a sandwich break. The historic music that emerged from these sessions includes the tracks "Divine Beguine," "Nuages," "Djangology," "Eclats de Cuivres," "Django Rag," and the brilliant "Dynamisme."
Ouwerx worked under the baton of Brenders throughout the war years, from 1936 to 1944. 

Following this period he became involved in an extravagent musical kick, concerts of music for both two and four pianos, bringing him together with the aforementoned Jack as well as Egide Van Gils and Fud Candrix. The smooth Ouwerx was a regular piano tinkler at the Continental in Brussels, then took off for the Belgian coast of Africa, where he opened his own piano bar. A period of nearly a decade jazzing up the Belgian Congo ensued; long before this land was transformed into independent Zaire, the pianist was back in Belguim, even getting in on the World's Fair of 1958. The final 15 years of his life were spent running a piano bar in Brussels; he could be heard performing there, retaining a unique touch and pleasant melodic style.
~ Eugene Chadbourne

1900
Joseph Robichaux, Piano/songwriter
b. New Orleans, LA, USA. d. 1965
Joseph Robichaux, who had a lengthy career, is most notable for leading his New Orleans Rhythm Boys during five recording sessions (Aug. 22-26, 1933), which resulted in 22 selections plus two alternate takes. The three-horn, four-rhythm band was explosive and completely out of character for the typical soothing music of the era.
The nephew of early New Orleans bandleader John Robichaux, he began playing piano when he was quite young, and he attended New Orleans University. Robichaux worked for nine months with the O.J. Beatty Carnival. He first went to Chicago with trumpeter Tig Chambers' band in 1918, although he did not stay long. Back in New Orleans, Robichaux worked with Oscar Celestin, Earl Humphrey, Lee Collins, the Black Eagles (1922-23) and recorded with (and arranged for) the Jones-Collins Astoria Eight in 1929. Robichaux, who backed singer Christina Gray on several titles in a 1929 recording session, formed his own band in 1931.
Discovered by a talent scout in 1933, the group (which also included trumpeter Eugene Ware, Alfred Guichard on clarinet and alto, Gene Porter on tenor and the driving drumming of Ward Crosby) ventured to New York for the marathon recording sessions. Due to problems with the local union (which prevented them from working in clubs), Robichaux and his band returned home soon after the recordings. The group expanded to 14 pieces during the 1930s (one of their sidemen was the young altoist Earl Bostic, who contributed an arrangement for "Let Me Off Uptown" that he would later duplicate for Gene Krupa) and they toured Cuba.
The orchestra recorded for Decca in 1936 but the four selections were never issued. The big band dissolved in 1939 and then Robichaux became a solo pianist, mostly playing in New Orleans. He had many opportunities to be a sideman on R&B recording sessions in the early '50s and he accompanied Lizzie Miles in California. Robichaux's last years were spent as the pianist for George Lewis' Orchestra (1957-64) and in New Orleans, where he recorded with Peter Bocage (1962) and played at Preservation Hall. He died of a heart attack at age 64.
~ Scott Yanow

1920
Danny Turner, alto-tenor sax/flute/clarinet/piccolo
b. Farrell, PA, USA. 
d. April 14, 1995, New York, NY, USA.


1905
Jimmy Walker, piano
b. Memphis, TN, USA.


Notable Events Occurring 
On This Date Include:

1941.
Horace Heidt Orchestra recorded "G'bye Now"
(Columbia) with Ronnie Kemper vocal.


1965.
Tadd Dameron, piano/arranger
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 48.

1967.
Herman Chittison, piano
died in Cleveland, OH, USA.
Age: 58.

1971.
Francis Wolff, label co-owner (Blue Note)
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 64.

1979.
G. D. Young
died in Tyro, MS, USA.
Age: 82.
Member: "Fife & Drums"


1989.
Stuart Hamblen, (C&W)
singer-songwriter/actor,
died. 
Age: 80.

1992.
George "Red" Callender, bass
died in Saugus, CA, USA. 
Age: 76.


1993.
Billy Eckstine, vocals/trombone
died in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Age: 78.

1993.
Singleton Palmer, bass/trumpet
died in St. Louis, MO, USA.
Age: 80.
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:



1925



Art Hickman and his Orchestra - Little Devil - Earl Burnett, Director


1926



Irving Aaronson's Crusaders - All For You


The Clicquot Club Eskimos - Always

Edwin J. McEnelly’s Orchestra

1927



Clarence Williams' Washboard Band - Cushion Foot Stomp

1928



Waring's Pennsylvanians - Laugh, Clown, Laugh!
  • Dance Of The Blue Danube

1929



Carolina Club Orchestra - Oh Baby, What A Night!



Jay Whidden And His Band - A Dicky Bird Told Me So

  • The Toy Town Admiral
  • Ninette
  • Happy Days And Lonely Nights
  • I'm Crazy Over You
  • If I Had You
  • I'm Sorry, Sally
  • I Ain't Never Been Kissed

Billy Hays and his Orchestra

  • I'm Wild About Horns On Automobiles
  • My Sugar And Me
  • Sweet Virginia Rose

Art Gillham (aka The Whispering Pianist)

  • Blue Little You And Blue Little Me

Frank Melrose

Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra

The California Ramblers
  • When I'm Walkin' With My Sweetness

1935



Lucille Bogan - Skin Game Blues

1937





Bing Crosby and The Victor Young Orchestra - My Little Buckaroo

  • What Is Love?
  • Sentimental And Melancholy

1940





Cab Calloway and his Orchestra - Pickin’ The Cabbage

  • Paradiddle

LYRICS:


Based on a theme from the Opera "I Pagliacci"
(Ted Fiorito / Samuel M. Lewis / Joseph Young)
Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians (vocal: Ted Waring) - 1928

Life is a play and we all play a part
The Lover, the Dreamer, the Clown
The Dreamer and Lover are always in tears
The Clown spreads sunshine around
The life with a smile is the life worthwhile
The Clown till the curtain comes down

Even though you're only make believing
Laugh, Clown, laugh!
Even though something inside is grieving
Laugh, Clown, laugh!
Don't let your heart grow too mellow
Just be a real Punchinello, fellow

You're supposed to brighten up a place
And laugh, Clown, laugh!
Paint a lot of smiles around your face
And laugh, Clown, don't frown
Dressed in your best coloured humour
Be a pallietto and laugh, Clown, laugh!

TubaGirlFin
brought to you by... 
~confetta
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: