Florence Cole-Talbert, vocals
b. Detroit, MI, USA.
FLORENCE COLE-TALBERT was a pioneer black concert and operatic soprano. Cole was born in Detroit, graduated from the Chicago Music College in 1916, and made her professional debut at Aeolian Hall (New York) in 1918. 
She was married to pianist-director Wendell P. Talbert. Cole-Talbert went to Europe in 1924, where she was acclaimed for her performance in the role of Aïda. She returned to the United States in 1927.
Cole-Talbert became a subject of controversy in the 1980s, when Brian Rust suggested in his Complete Entertainment Discography that she used the pseudonym "Flo Bert" for popular recordings on Gennett and Paramount. Careful research by Quentin Riggs and others, however, has since revealed that Flo Bert (who was a contralto, not a soprano, and whose style bears no perceptible resemlance to Cole-Talbert's) was a white vaudeville performer whose appearances were documented in Variety and other entertainment papers of the day.

Cole-Talbert had at least one title issued on the Broome label (the first black-owned record label) that might predate her Black Swan releases. Black Swan issued three Cole-Talbert sides (single-sided 7103 and double-sided 7104) in March 1922, all of which were later reissued by Paramount. One of her Black Swan masters was also issued on the mail-order National Music Lovers label under the pseudonym "Maria Pecelli." 

Florence Cole Talbert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chris Columbus, Drums. 
b. Greenville, NC, USA, USA
d. Aug. 20, 2002, New Jersy, USA.
Worked with Louis Jordan, Wild Bill Davis, Duke Ellington and Floyd Smith.
Biography ~by Eugene Chadbourne 
The controversy over who discovered America doesn't touch this historical American jazz figure, whose full name was Joseph Morris Christopher Columbus. He sometimes appears in credits as Joe Morris, but shouldn't be mistaken with the free jazz guitar player of the same name. This Joe Morris, and we'll stick to Chris Columbus from here on in and never mind the wrath of Queen Isabella, is an early 20th century jazz figure, although he kept playing well into the '70s, the decade as well as his age at the time. He also founded something of a musical dynasty, fathering jazz musician Sonny Payne.
Columbus was active as a bandleader for two decades beginning in the early '30s, including a residency at the Savoy Ballroom when it was the hippest music spot in town. From the mid-40s until 1952, he was a regular member of Louis Jordan's wailing combos, laying down a beat that is at times positively frightening; hence song titles such as "Brother, Beware." (Actually, the song is a warning about women, not rhythms). As rock music began to explode in the early '60s, Columbus was playing the funky organ combo of Wild Bill Davis. It was a sound that was considered old-fashioned at the time, and all involved were unconcerned about that opinion and unaware that their sound would be revived as an example of hip acid jazz rhythms in the 21st century.
In 1967, he worked with Duke Ellington, including a plethora of recording credits. The following decade, the drummer decided to take over band leadership duties again, although he took time out to tour Europe with his old boss, Davis, in 1972. While the tour lingered in France, he took part in several different recording sessions involving mainstream veterans such as trombonist Al Grey, organist Milt Buckner, and the legendary Chicago guitarist Floyd Smith, a regular playing partner of Columbus' in the Davis trios. In several interviews, the drummer chose a '50s live recording with Davis, Wild Bill Davis at Birdland, as the high point of his recording career.

Sammy Fain, composer/vocal. 
d. Dec. l6, 1989, Los Angeles, CA, USA (Cardiac Arrest) 
~by Joslyn Layne
Oscar-winning songwriter Sammy Fain wrote successful pop hits and show tunes for Broadway and Hollywood from the 1920s through the 1950s. Born in N.Y.C. on June 17, 1902, Fain went on to become a prolific composer of traditional pop tunes that were oft-covered by vocalists through the decades. The composer got his start when he penned a successful song shortly after getting a job with Jack Mills as a song-plugging pianist. This first hit was 1924's "Nobody Knows What a Red Head Mamma Can Do." Other hits that followed include "Wedding Bells (Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine)" (1929) and "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me" (1930).
Fain worked with many lyricists over the years, including Mitchell Parish, Irving Kahal, Jack Yellen, and E.Y. Harburg. He also worked with Lew Brown (of the famed Henderson-DeSylva-Brown songwriting team) with whom he co-wrote "That Old Feeling" (1937). It was sung by Virginia Verrill in the 1937 cinematic musical Vogues of 1938 and brought back, first by Peggy Lee, then again by songstress Jane Froman, who recorded it for the 1952 movie musical about Froman's life, With a Song in My Heart. Another 1930s song by Fain that was later revived is "I Can Dream, Can't I?" (1937), covered by the Andrews Sisters in 1949.
Other songs penned by Fain which were used in productions include "Are You Having Any Fun?," sung by Ella Logan in George White's Scandals of 1939, and "I'll Be Seeing You" (1938), which was sung in the Royal Palm Review of WWII (with Rudy Vallee, Tony Martin, and more), and used again in the 1944 movie The Royal Palm Review. Sammy Fain's next hit came in 1949, when both Dinah Shore and Bing Crosby cut popular recordings of "Dear Hearts and Gentle People." A few years later, Fain got his first Oscar for the smash hit sung by Doris Day, "Secret Love" (1953), which sold over two-million copies. 

In 1955, Fain garnered his second Oscar for the film title song Love Is a Many Splendored Thing. The Four Aces also recorded this tune and it was a million seller. In the late '50s, Sammy Fain songs were recorded by artists including Pat Boone ("April Love" in 1957) and Johnny Mathis ("A Certain Smile" in 1958).

"Red" Foley, C&W vocals/guitar. 
d. Sept. 19, 1968, USA, né: Clyde Julian Foley.

Clyde Julian Foley (June 17, 1910–September 19, 1968), better known as Red Foley, was an American singer, musician, and radio and TV personality who made a major contribution to the growth of country music after World War II.
For more than two decades, Foley was one of the biggest stars of the genre, selling more than 25 million records. His 1951 hit, "Peace in the Valley", was among the first million-selling gospel records. A Grand Ole Opry veteran until his death, Foley also hosted the first popular country music series on network television, Ozark Jubilee.
He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, which called him "one of the most versatile and moving performers of all time" and "a giant influence during the formative years of contemporary Country music."

Coot Grant, vocals.
b. Birmingham, AL, USA.
Worked with Kid Sox Wilson

~by Eugene Chadbourne
"Come on Coot Do That Thing" was the name of the song, and she did. Coot Grant was the main stage name of Leola B. Pettigrew, a classic blues singer and guitarist from Alabama whose legal name became Leola Wilson following her marraige to performing partner Wesley Wilson. The pair, who ironically were born in the same year, met and began performing together in 1905 and were wed seven years later. Pettigrew was already known as Coot Grant by this time, the name representing some kind of word play on the nickname "Cutie." She had been involved in show business since she was a child, beginning as a dancer in vaudeville. Prior to the beginning of the first World War she had already toured both Europe and South Africa, sometimes appearing under the name of Patsy Hunter. Her husband, who played both piano and organ, also performed under a variety of bizarre stage names including Catjuice Charlie, in a gross-out duo with Pigmeat Pete, as well as Kid Wilson, Jenkins, Socks and Sox Wilson. 

The husband and wife, billed as Grant And Wilson, Kid and Coot and Hunter And Jenkins, appeared and recorded with top jazz artists such as Fletcher Henderson, Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong. They performed in musical comedies, vaudeville, travelling shows and revues and in 1933 appeared in the film Emperor Jones with the famous singer Paul Robeson. Their songwriting was certainly as important as these performing activities. The couple published some 400 songs, most famous of which is "Gimme A Pigfoot", one of classic blues singer Bessie Smith's grandest hits. There seemed to be no subject this songwriting pair wouldn't touch, as evidenced by titles such as "Dem Socks Dat My Pappy Wore" and the unfortunately unreleased "Throat Cutting Blues".

On her own, Grant also recorded country blues including some collaborations with guitarist Blind Blake in 1926. The careers of both she and her husband began to falter in the mid '30s, with the pair returning to the studios only briefly in 1938, and again a decade later when Mezzrow hired them to perform and write material for his new King Jazz label. Grant kept performing following her husband's retirement in 1948, but eventually dropped so far out of sight that to date no details have been discovered about her death. All of the material she performed, solo and in duo with Wesley Wilson, has been reissued on archive labels such as Document.


James Weldon Johnson, songwriter.
b. Jacksonville, FL, USA.
James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938) was an American author, politician, diplomat, critic, journalist, poet, anthologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter, and early civil rights activist. Johnson is remembered best for his leadership within the NAACP, as well as for his writing, which includes novels, poems, and collections of folklore. He was also one of the first African-American professors at New York University. Later in life he was a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University.
James Weldon Johnson - Wikipedia

Don Kirkpatrick, Piano
b. Charlotte, NC, USA.
d. 1956, USA.
Biography ~by Scott Yanow
A decent pianist who was a talented arranger, Don Kirkpatrick kept busy during the swing era. As a player, he was best-known for his long-time association with Chick Webb (off and on during 1927-37) and Don Redman (1933-37). Kirkpatrick, who also worked with Harry White, Elmer Snowden, Zutty Singleton and Mezz Mezzrow, became a freelance arranger after leaving Webb. He wrote arrangements for many bands including those of Benny Goodman, Count Basie and Cootie Williams. Don Kirkpatrick (who never led his own band or record date) remained active as a player during the post-swing years, playing with Bunk Johnson (1947), Sidney Bechet (1951), Wilbur De Paris' New New Orleans Jazz Band (1952-55) and Doc Cheatham (late 1955) before dying at the age of 50 from pneumonia.

Bennie Krueger and his Orchestra
Benny Krueger, alto and tenor sax, clarinet. 
d. April (Or July) 29, 1967. (some claim b. July 17)
Biography ~by Eugene Chadbourne 
The saxophone has been associated so strongly with jazz for such a long time that it is probably hard to believe that there was a time prior to 1920 when the instrument had actually yet to make its appearance on a jazz record. This is where Benny Krueger comes in. Of no relation to the horrific character with knives on his fingers, this Krueger was known as a music director and orchestra leader for crooners such as Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallée. Also an accomplished songwriter, Krueger started out on clarinet and saxophone and began working with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1917, staying with the group for half a dozen years. 
This combo, featuring legendary New Orleans cats such as Nick LaRocca on cornet and drummer Tony Sbarbaro, is normally credited with cutting the world's very first jazz records. While it is normally a sign of intelligence to downgrade the contributions of record producers and A&R men in this genre, in the case of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band it was actually someone from the RCA Victor record company management who felt strongly that a saxophone belonged in this newly developing style. 

According to historical accounts, Krueger was the record company's choice, not the band's. In fact, Krueger and his instrument were supposedly shoved down the band's throat, an unfortunate and violent image considering a saxophone is involved. 

The decision was a good one, however. Recordings such as the 1920 "Palesteena" were big hits, representing the onset of a process in which the saxophone would forever be identified with syncopated music and improvisation. Such is not the case with Krueger himself, however, who by the mid-'20s had evolved into a bandleader and was cutting sides such as "Lovin' Sam" and a version of "Bye Bye Blackbird." Although operating on the periphery of jazz with an obvious overlap in both available musicians and repertoire, the Krueger style was strongly aimed at the dance band crowd. His recording sessions were part of hyperactive production schedules, attempting to stay abreast of the latest popular recordings. Bandleaders from this scene often created alternate versions of tunes under fictitious names.

Krueger also worked steadily as a contractor for various radio stations, and by the mid-'30s had established himself deep in the valley of Vallée by becoming this superstar hitmaker's musical director. His group also began backing up Crosby during this period, the arrangements leaving room for Krueger's alto saxophone comments. As a songwriter, Krueger specialized in the type of romantic sentimentality that has been popular since the first days of pop music. 

"Sunday," speaking of which, is his most prolifically covered ditty. It shows up in an R&B version by Louis Jordan and as saccharine '50s pop in the hands of Pat Boone, and was given the straight jazz treatment by one of the greatest saxophonists of all time, Lester Young. Another well-known Krueger standard is "I Don't Know Why," as in "I don't know why I love you like I do."

"Sing" Miller, Piano. 
b. New Orleans, LA, USA

d. May 18, 1990.
né: James Edward Miller.
Among the great early Jazz musicians with whome "Sing" worked are Kid Sheik Colar, Thomas Valentine, The Humphrey Brothers, Jim Robinson and Polo Barnes. "Sing" was also a member of 'The Harmonizing Browns Quartet'. 

~by Scott Yanow 
A fixture in New Orleans for decades, Sing Miller was a minor but very competent performer. Early on he sang with the Harmonizing Browns Quartet and played banjo before switching to piano in the late '20s. Miller spent most of his career freelancing around town, sometimes in bands (including with Percy Humphrey as early as the 1930s) and sometimes as a soloist. After a stint in the military (1942-45), Miller was a member of drummer Earl Foster's group for quite a few years (1945-61). 

In the 1960s he began playing at Preservation Hall and with such New Orleans All-Stars as Kid Thomas Valentine, Kid Sheik Colar, the Humphrey Brothers, Jim Robinson and Polo Barnes. Although never a famous name, Sing Miller toured Europe as a soloist in 1979 and 1981, and recorded as a leader for Dixie (1972) and Smoky Mary (1978).
Sing Miller - Wikipedia

Gene "Honey Bear" Sedric, Tenor Sax.
b. St.Louis, MO, USA. d. 1963, USA.
Worked with Fats Waller
A longtime member of Fats Waller's Rhythm, Gene Sedric appeared on many records with the great pianist, taking consistently colorful clarinet and tenor solos. Known as "Honey Bear" due to a period in the 1930's when he often wore a camel-hair overcoat, Sedric had a warm sound on his horns that fit his nickname. His father was a ragtime pianist. Sedric started his career playing with Charlie Creath in St. Louis and other early gigs included associations with Fate Marable, Dewey Jackson and Ed Allen (1922). After working with Julian Arthur, Sedric joined Sam Wooding's Orchestra in 1925. He toured with Wooding in Europe for the next six years, not leaving until the band broke up in 10 1931.

After returning to New York, Sedric briefly rejoined Wooding and was with Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra and Alex Hill for a short time. Most importantly, he became a member of Fats Waller's Rhythm in 1934 and worked steadily with Waller for the next eight years, taking time off when the pianist was featured as a solo attraction to gig with Mezz Mezzrow (1937) and Don Redman (1938-39). In 1943 Sedric led his own group, the following year he was briefly with the Phil Moore Four and in 1945 he worked with Hazel Scott. During 1946-51 Sedric led his own band which played in small clubs in New York.
Other associations included pianist Pat Flower (1946-47 in a Fats Waller alumni group), Bobby Hackett (1951), Jimmy McPartand, Mezz Mezzrow, Conrad Janis (starting in 1953), Dick Wellstood (1961) and other trad and mainstream players. Although he recorded many dates as a sideman (most notably with Waller), Gene Sedric just had a few record sessions as a leader, resulting in four numbers in 1938, 16 selections in 1946 (for Harmonia, Pathe and Keynote) and a couple songs shared with Mezz Mezzrow in 1953. Gene Sedric was active until two years before his death.
~ Scott Yanow

Sam Wooding and his Orchestra
Sam Wooding, Piano/Arranger. 
b. Philadelphia, PA, USA. d. Aug. 1, 1995, USA.
~by Eugene Chadbourne
This early American jazz bandleader's choice of career objectives is the principal reason he is not the household word among jazz fans like some other bandleaders of his generation. There are many critics who feel that things would have been very different for Sam Wooding had he not become one of the first wave of American expatriate jazz musicians living in Europe. If he had instead stayed on in America and gotten in on the raging domestic big band scene, odds are likely he would be as well-known as his contemporaries Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington. Instead, Wooding's activity had a different sort of impact on jazz history, and arguably just as an important one.
By focusing on the European continent, he became one of the most authentic purveyors of the new big band jazz sounds available to the European concert public, and indeed was creating music head and shoulders above the efforts of any of his competitors in this market. He furthermore pushed jazz into some completely new territory, where it picked up a fanatic following, as this exciting music is known to do. In 1926, Wooding was one of the first jazz artists to visit Russia, leading the orchestra that was part of the Chocolate Kiddies revue. This tour turned out to be historic for the history of not only jazz but live music performance in general in the communist regime. Having blown away Lenin and Stalin, Wooding went to Spain a few years later where his band actually cut some sides for the country's official Parlaphone label without managing to ruffle the feathers of the dictatorship. Self-taught for the most part, Wooding began playing piano professionally around 1912. His eventual assault on the clubs of New York City was interrupted by a more important offensive known as World War I. This was where Wooding got his first taste of European atmosphere, and was also where he met many other American players, members of brass bands who would go on to become blowing big band cats. One such acquaintance was trumpeter Elmer Chambers, who would join one of Wooding's first stateside outfits and stay for several years.
Chambers took his first band to Europe in 1925 when it was chosen to provide the music for the Chocolate Kiddies show. This was built up around the vaudeville team of Rufus and Drayton, Wooding's 11-piece band, 30 chorus girls, and a bunch of dancers and comedians. The band's set included arrangements of some of Duke Ellington's earliest music, with Tommy Ladnier one of the main soloists. The popularity of this revue led to an extended residency in Berlin and tours throughout Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom. Before returning home, the Chocolate Kiddies nipped down to South America for a working visit. He was home only a few months before beginning another European tour in 1931.
He made many of his recordings during these European sojourns, cutting sides for labels such as Vox, Polydor, and Pathe as well as the previously mentioned Spanish venture. Some of his most famous cuts as a leader include the titles "Krazy Kat," "Alabamy Bound," and "Bull Foot Stomp," which was recorded while the Spanish secret police sniffed around the studio. Record collectors go all misty eyed when the subject comes up of his live club recordings done in Paris for Pathe in the late '20s, which include tasty vocals by the likes of June Cole and Willie Lewis. Wooding seemed enamored with vocal music at that time, or perhaps was answering a commercial request.
A vocal trio including clarinetist Gene Sedric making noise without a reed in his mouth is part of the action on the wonderful track "Breakaway." Wooding continued leading bands abroad and sometimes in the U.S. until the mid-'30s, when he shifted to studying music. He earned a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Into the early '40s, he was most active as a teacher, although he also directed a gospel choir and later formed a small vocal group. In the '50s and '60s, he worked both as a solo act and in partnership with singer Rae Harrison. Into old age, he was still busy as a teacher and even performed frequently.
He was asked to perform at several events observing the American Bicentennial in 1976, including putting together his own ten-piece combo. Honored and respected by those particularly in the know, Wooding's timing always seems to have been slightly off in terms of establishing a bigger name for himself in jazz. By the time he was ready to focus on establishing a big band in the States, the popularity of this genre had largely died out and economics made the touring situation almost impossible. Wooding's greatest impact is most likely behind the scenes, as his outfits offered great working possibilities for many players. Tommy Ladnier, Freddy Johnson, Doc Cheatham, Frankie Newton, and Albert Nichols are all swing jazz era players who worked in his bands overseas as well as stateside. In 1935, he even had the great Sidney Bechet in his band for a stretch. His influence is also not confined to players from his own style of jazz. As a teacher, his pupils included the heavy duty bop trumpet blower Clifford Brown, while the projects organized in the twilight of his life offered experience opportunities for avant-garde players, such as trumpeter Malachi Thompson who performed in several Wooding outfits that were organized in New York City in the '70s. His career may have another type of impact in the long run in the area of jazz history and literature, as a large scale project has been underway for several years involving diaries he kept with religous regularity throughout his career.
His late wife began typing up these epic journals a few years after he passed away, and the project was then taken over by writer Rae Harrison, who believes the material has the potential to be an important written jazz history. The amount of material he wrote down about the early days of jazz both in the U.S. and abroad is sure to result in some significant information, although Wooding's attention to detail is reportedly far from complete: trumpeter Cheatham has had to provide lists of the musicians involved in tracks by European Wooding bands that have been chosen for various historic compilations. Harrison and his associates on this project were among the many jazz fans vocally dissatisfied with the marathon Ken Burns' Jazz project, as the superficial research that went into compiling this jazz history once again resulted in the exclusion of more complex artists such as Wooding.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include: 

Laura Dukes, Will Batts, Milton Roby and Robert Burse playing at a private white party
Milton Roby, violin
died in Memphis, TN, USA.
Age: 58
Member: 'Memphis Jug Band'

Famed singer Kate Smith
died. Age: 79 

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include: 


The California Ramblers


Abe Lyman's California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - Georgie Porgee
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - That's My Weakness Now - (With Vocal Chorus by The Rhythm Boys)


Tom Gerun and his Orchestra

Sammy H Stept (m) Bud Green (l)

Love, love, love, love,

Look what you've done to me!
The things I never missed
Are things I can't resist!

Oh love, love, love, love,

Isn't it plain to see
I just had a change of heart,
What can it be?

He's got eyes of blue,

I never cared for eyes of blue,
But he's got eyes of blue,
And that's my weakness now!

He's got curly hair,

I never cared for curly hair,
But he's got curly hair,
And that's my weakness now!

Oh my, oh me,

Oh, I should be good,
I would be good,
But gee!

He likes to bill and coo,

I never cared to bill and coo,
But he likes to bill and coo,
  Sothat's my weakness now!

He likes aaxophone,

I never cared for a saxophone,
But he likes a saxophone,
So that's my weakness now!

He likes those rainy days,

I never cared for a rainy day,
But he likes a rainy day,
So that's my weakness now!

Oh, let it rain, let it pour,

But I think he knows just what it's rainin' for!

He likes a long goodnight,

I never had a long goodnighty,
But he likes a long goodnight,
So that's my weakness now!

And he likes (scat),

And I never cared for (scat),
But he likes (scat),
So that's my weakness now!

What's more, what's more,

Oh I think he knows what (scat) is for!


He likes (scat),

I never cared for (scat),
But he likes (scat),
So that's my weakness now!
Oh, that's my weakness now!

THAT'S MY WEAKNESS NOW climbed to No. 5 in 1928 as the debut hit for the "Boop-Boop-A-Doop" singer Helen Kane. Crooner Bing Crosby recorded a notable version the previous year with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. That's My Weakness Now went to No. 17 for bandleader Russ Morgan in 1949 and has also been recorded by many legendary jazz artists.
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Special Thanks To: 
The Red Hot Jazz Archives, 
The Big Band DatabaseScott Yanow,

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


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