Curt Bois
Curt Bois (April 5, 1901 – December 25, 1991) was a German actor. He is best remembered for his performance as the Pickpocket in Casablanca (1942).

Bois was born in Berlin and began acting in 1907, becoming one of the film world's first child actors, with a role in the silent movie Bauernhaus und Grafenschlo├č. In 1909, he played the title role in Der Kleine Detektiv ('The Little Detective').

Bois' acting career spanned eighty years. His final performance was in Der Himmel ├╝ber Berlin (Wings of Desire, 1987). Bois performed in theatre, cabaret, musicals, silent film, and "talkies" over his career as an actor.

In 1934, the Jewish Bois was forced to leave his home in Nazi Germany for the United States, where he found work on stage on Broadway. By 1937, he had found his way to Hollywood and began acting in films, the best-known of which was Casablanca (1942), with a single speech warning about pickpockets as "vultures everywhere" while stealing the wallet of a gullible Englishman.

After World War II, Bois decided it was safe to return to Germany, which he did in 1950. He finished his life and career in Germany, first in the East, and finally in the West. Bois died in Berlin, the city of his birth, at the age of ninety.
Curt Bois

Martin Denny
b.New York, NY, US
d.March 2, 2005, Hawai'i Kai, Hawaii
Age: 93.
George Faye, trombone
Faye is perhaps best recalled for his
work with the Stan Kenton orchestra.

Herb Flemming, Trombone
b. Honolulu, Hawaii
d.Oct.3, 1976.
(Some sources say b.1900.)
~by Eugene Chadbourne

Herb Flemming was one of the jazz genre's most well-traveled artists from the historic early days of the American music scene. His real name was actually Niccolaiih El-Michelle, so he was really giving typographers something of a break by switching to Flemming with its controversial quota of the letter "m"--this artist is likely to appear credited as Herb Fleming just as often as Herb Flemming, sometimes even both spellings on the same album jacket. He went to music school in New York City beginning in 1910, studying several different brass instruments before settling on the trombone. A few years later his adventures began as he joined up with the 15th New York National Guard Band led by the illustrious Jim Europe in collaboration with Eugene Mikell. Soon, Flemming was sailing off to France with the Jim Europe's 369th U.S. Infantry Band.
In 1919 Flemming was out of uniform and back in New York City for further studies, taking trombone, cello and music theory at Frank Damrosch's Conservatory. Near the end of 1921 he made his debut as a trombonist on record with bandleader Johnny Dunn. Prior to his next European trip, this time at the behest of noted expatriate bandleader Sam Wooding, Flemming and partner Bobby Lee fronted a band in Philadelphia. Until 1927 Flemming toured all over Europe with Wooding and even did some gigs in South America.
Flemming continued playing with Wooding stateside for a brief period, then became part of Lew Leslie's Blackbirds revue. By the end of the '20s this show had provided an opportunity for more international touring, including popular appearances in London and Paris. The trombonist stayed in Europe and launched his own band in 1930, The International Rhythm Aces, but also continued working with Wooding. He joined the latter leader in Berlin yet was soon off on his own again, backing up the great performer Josephine Baker and taking his combo to Buenos Aires. 
Flemming traveled as if trying to make the normal musician seem like a homebody. Based out of Paris in 1933, he took his group to India for a Calcutta hotel stint that lasted half a year. The group also gigged in Shanghai and Ceylon. The mid '30s brought an opportunity to work with Sestto Carlin's Society Orchestra in Italy and a chance to try his lot as a vocalist at a club in Berlin. Flemming was also employed as an interpreter for the American Olympic team during this time.
Pianist Earl Hines finally provided a reason to return to the United States with an offer to work in his terrific band at the Grand Terrace venue; however, the trombonist's union card wasn't in order and he was not allowed to blow. He wandered off to Cicero, Illinois and began singing there, then joined up with Fats Waller for an engagement that started on the final night of 1940 and continued until 1942. With Waller, Flemming sang as well as played trombone. The subsequent step in his wanderings took him to California and although he continued doing many music gigs he took a day job as a tax inspector. This new home base allowed him a chance to poke his nose into the Hollywood film world; Flemming can be seen on screen in both Pillow to Post and No Time for Romance.
Herb Flemming and Sonny Greer,
Beefsteak Charlies, New York City, 1954.
Flemming took a vacation to New York City in 1949 and wound up staying. There was enough work offered to him for a return to full-time music, tallying in the free-lance opportunities plus a regular job with the fine trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen which ran from 1953 through 1958. Come the far-out year of 1964 and Flemming had moved on again, this time to Spain for a 16-month engagement in Madrid. He also had residencies in Torremolinos and Malaga and made some of his final recordings in Berlin alongside fellow veterans such as Albert Nicholas and Walter Bishop, Sr.. Despite all his efforts to wind up somewhere quite different then he started out, Flemming passed away in New York City.
Horace Malcolm, piano
b. Atlanta, GA, USA.
Member: 'Harlem Hamfats'
The Harlem Hamfats was a Chicago jazz band formed in 1936. Initially, they mainly provided backup music for jazz and blues singers, such as Johnny Temple, Rosetta Howard, and Frankie Jaxon for Decca Records, but when their first record "Oh Red" became a hit, it secured them a Decca contract for fifty titles. They launched a successful recording career performing danceable music.
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Bill Nettles
C&W songwriter

Earl "Jock" Carruthers
baritone sax
died in Kansas City, KS, USA.

Louis Nelson, trombonist
died in New Orleans, LA, USA.
Age: 87.
This trombonist was active in the New Orleans jazz scene of the 1920's he had worked with "Kid" Rena, the Original Tuxedo Orchestra, and spent 15 years with Sidney Desvigne's big band. Starting in 1944, he was closely associatedwith "Kid" Thomas Valentine, George Lewis and the many musicians in the 1960's who played New Orleans' Preservation Hall.

Roy Smeck, Ukulele, Banjo, Steel Guitar
died in New York, NY, USA.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


The Happy Six
  • I'm Nobody's Baby


Marion Harris - Malinda Brown
  • Maybe You Think You're Fooling


King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band - Canal Street Blues

Ladd's Black Aces - If Your Man Is Like My Man - Vocal by Mandy Lee


Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra - Night Hawk Blues - Vocal refrain by C.A. Coon and J.L. Sanders

Bessie Smith - Ticket Agent Ease Your Window Down


Waring's Pennsylvanians
  • Syncopation Sal


Jack Hylton's Kit-Cat Band
  • Two Lips On A Path Of Roses
  • You Can't Cry Over My Shoulder


Jungle Kings - Dark Town Strutters Ball

Ted Weems and his Orchestra - Nothin' On My Mind (But The Moonlight, The Starlight And You)

Original Memphis Five

Annette Hanshaw - Big City Blues
The California Ramblers - From Sunrise To Sunset (From Sunset To Dawn)

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - I'm in the Seventh Heaven


Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra - I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me


Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra - Medley Of Isham Jones Dance Hits - On The Alamo - Swinging Down The Lane - I'll See You In My Dreams
Waring's Pennsylvanians - How'm I Doin'?
  • Rhymes


Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra
Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra - West End Blues


Big City Blues
~Lyrics by Gus Kahn

Don't think tonight is thanksgiving
Everyone's goin' somewhere
Nobody knows that I'm living
They pass me by, I wonder why

I'm all alone, every night, how i moan
And how I fight those big city blues
I walk for miles, place to place, no one smiles
To help me chase those big city blues

I'm like a little tot who needs a lot of
Tenderness and care
All I've got is just a lot of
Sorrow and despair
Won't someone please talk to me
Don't refuse, hear my plea
And help me chase those big city blues

Each evening at 6 pm, lightheaded I'll look at them
I'm hoping that some nice person will meet me, greet me
Before I know it it's 12 o' clock, I feel like jumping right off a dock
Because I haven't found a person to cheer me, feel me, no one
Ever comes near me

I'm all alone, every night, how I moan
And how fight those big city blues
I just walk for miles, place to place, no one smiles
To help me chase those big city blues

Oh won't you please talk to me, don't refuse, hear my plea
And help me lose those mean ol' big city blues

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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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