*** HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAE WEST ***
Mae West, singer/actror/playwright
b. New York (Brooklyn), NY, USA.
d. Nov. 22, 1980, Hollywood, CA, USA.
(complications from strokes).
née: Mary Jane Mae West.
During her career, Mae appeared in Burlesque, vaudeville, Broadway and movies. Among her films are 'She Done Him Wrong' (1933, a film which made Cary Grant a star), and 'My Little Chickadee' (1940, co-starring W. C. Fields). As a playwright, her works include 'Sex' (1926, for which she was arrested and spent ten days in jail on obscenity charges), and 'Diamond Lil' (1928, a huge Broadway success).
The 1978 film 'Sextette' was her last. Her demise came when she suffered a series of Strokes. Her autobiography, entitled "Goodness had nothing to do with it", is a line she spoke in her very first film "Night After Night". A hat check girl, after seeing Mae's jewlery. exclaimed, "Goodness! What lovely diamonds!" Mae replied, "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie." Although Mae had only a small part, she displayed a wit that would to make her world famous. Movie-goers fell in love with the first woman to make racy comments on film. Her co-star, George Raft, said of Mae, "She stole everything but the cameras."
Walter Brown, vocals
b. Dallas, TX, USA.
Worked with Jay McShann Blues singer Walter Brown fronted the roaring Jay McShann Orchestra (which included young alto saxist Charlie Parker) in 1941, when the roaring Kansas City aggregation cut their classic "Confessin' The Blues" and "Hootie Blues" for Decca. The Dallas native remained with McShann from 1941 to '45 before going solo (with less successful results).
~ Bill Dahl
Larry Clinton, leader/arranger/composer
b. Brooklyn, NY, USA.
d. May 2, 1985, Tucson, AZ, USA.
Tag: "The Old Dipsy Doodler".
Larry Clinton (August 17, 1909 – May 2, 1985) was a trumpeter who became a prominent American bandleader.
Clinton was born in Brooklyn, New York. He became a versatile musician, capable of playing trumpet, trombone, and clarinet. While in his twenties, he became a prolific arranger for dance orchestras; bandleaders Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Glen Gray, Louis Armstrong, and Bunny Berigan all used Larry Clinton charts.
His first stint as a bandleader was from 1937 to 1941, and he recorded a string of hits for Victor Records. The Clinton band's repertoire was split between pop tunes of the day ("I Double Dare You," "Summer Souvenirs," etc.), ambitious instrumentals penned by Clinton (the most popular, "A Study in Brown," begat four sequels in different "colors"). and swing adaptations of classical compositions. This last category swept the industry, and orchestras everywhere were "swinging the classics" by adding pop lyrics to melodies by Debussyand Tchaikovsky. His version of Debussy’s "Reverie", with vocalist Bea Wain, was particularly popular. Entitled "My Reverie", his version peaked at #1 on Billboard's Record Buying Guide in 1938.
Clinton's band was predominantly a recording group that also played college proms and hotel ballrooms. On the strength of Clinton's record hit "The Dipsy Doodle," Vitaphone and Paramount Pictures signed the band to star in three 10-minute theatrical films. All three were filmed in New York.
In 1941 Clinton and his band appeared in six short musical films, designed for then-popular "movie jukeboxes." (The films were ultimately released as Soundies in 1943.) This was one of his last jobs as a bandleader; he quit the music business upon the outbreak of World War II, and became as a flight instructor. He resumed his musical career and enjoyed further success as a bandleader from 1948 to 1950. He remained active in the music business until 1961. He died in 1985 inTucson, Arizona, at the age of 75.
Georgia Gibbs, vocals
b. Worcester, MA, USA.
d. 9 December 2006, New York City, New York, USA.
d. 9 December 2006, New York City, New York, USA.
née: Fredda Lipson or Gibson.
Tag: 'Her Nibs, Miss George Gibbs'.
When Gibbs was six months old, her father died and she was placed in an orphanage for some six years. Reclaimed by her mother, she then took as her surname, her mother's new married name, Gibson. When building her career in the 50s, Gibbs was unfairly maligned by rock critics for covering the R&B hits of LaVern Baker and Etta James. In reality, she was a genuinely talented pop vocalist, whose jazz-tinged approach reflected years of experience in the big band era, a period when there was no stigma attached to cover versions.
Gibbs' big break in showbusiness came in 1936 when she joined the Will Hudson-Eddie De Lange Orchestra, recording for Brunswick Records. That led to a radio career in 1937, including Your Hit Parade. There were also recording stints with the bands of Frank Trumbauer (1940), Artie Shaw (1942) and Tommy Dorsey (1944). On the Jimmy Durante Camel Caravan radio show 1943-47, Gibbs received her trademark nickname when host Garry Moore dubbed her "Her Nibs, Miss Gibbs".
Gibbs first entered the charts in 1950 with a cover version of Eileen Barton's "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked A Cake" (number 5 pop), and had her first number 1 hit with "Kiss Of Fire", a vocal version of the 30s tango instrumental "El Choclo". After gaining another hit with "Seven Lonely Days" (number 5 pop 1953), Gibbs achieved notoriety in 1955 when she hit with two note-for-note cover versions of R&B tunes - "Tweedle Dee" (US pop number 2) by Baker and "Dance With Me, Henry" (US pop number 1) by James. "Kiss Me Another" (US pop number 30) and "Tra La La" (US pop number 24) kept her in the public eye in 1956, but not for long. Her last chart record was "The Hula Hoop Song" (US pop Top 40, 1958), which tried to ride the success of the silly toy fad. In the UK, Gibb's chart success was minuscule, constituting two one-week appearances by "Tweedle Dee" and "Kiss Me Another", respectively.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.
Ola Belle Reed
b. Lansing, NC, USA.
Ola Belle Campbell Reed (August 17, 1916–August 16, 2002) was an American folk singer, songwriter and banjo player. Born in Lansing, North Carolina, Reed's songs often speak of Appalachian life and traditions. Her best known songs have been recorded by mainstream bluegrass and country artists. High on a Mountain, has been recorded by Del McCoury, Tim O'Brien, and Marty Stuart. I've Endured, has been recorded by Del McCoury. The annual Ola Belle Reed Homecoming Festival in Lansing celebrates her life and music.
In 1986, Reed was awarded an NEA National Heritage Fellowship.
b. Williamsport, PA, USA.
Jazz pianist James Sherman played in various swing groups from the mid- to late '30s, but is best known for his hand in composing the jazz standard "Lover Man." Co-written with Jimmy Davis and Roger Ramirez, "Lover Man" was first recorded by Billie Holiday, and has since been recorded by countless jazz vocalists, including Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Lena Horne, Betty Carter, Shirley Horn, and more. In addition to playing with Billie Holiday, Sherman also played piano for other swing groups recording during the mid- to late '30s, including bands fronted by Stuff Smith, Lil Armstrong, and Mildred Bailey.
~ Joslyn Layne
Frank Francesco Lanzalotti Sylvano
B. Aug. 17, 1901, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
D. Sep. 1, 1964, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USAThe son of Joseph Lanzalotti, and Mary Magdelene Sylvano, his surname transitioned from his father's to his mother's with the name Sullivan also used briefly in the midst of the transitions. In the 1920 US Census he is listed as a railroad laborer but by the 1930 Census he is married to Lenore with daughters Jean and Joan. Brother Scotty is also living with them. His occupation is listed a singer with an orchestra. He was a well known jazz vocalist in his day and the band's recordings are still in demand.
"The Isham Jones band made a series of popular gramophone records for Brunswick throughout the 1920s. He led one of the most popular dance bands in the 1920s and 1930s....From 1929 to 1932, his Brunswick recordings became even more sophisticated with often very unusual arrangements (by Gordon Jenkins and others; Jones was his own arranger early on, but cultivated others for offbeat arrangements). During this period, Jones started featuring violinist Eddie Stone as one of his regular vocalists. ... His other vocalists included Frank Sylvano, Billy Scott, Arthur Jarrett and Stone."
~quoted from the Wikipedia article about Isham Jones.
Gloria Van, Vocalist
b: Alliance, OH, USA
d: Dec. 24, 2002, Kidney Failure.
née: Lucia Fanolla.
Born same year as singer Jo Stafford. At age 5 her family moved to southeast side of Chicago, where her father, a baker, found work selling Yeast. It was the Prohibition period, and he was selling to two Gangs who needed the yeast for their 'bootleg' beer works. Mobster Al Capone 'requested' him to sell only to the Capone gang. Feeling that this was not essential, he continued. In 1929, Chicago Police found him dead. After completing high school and then working briefly as a clerk at Goldblatt's Bakery, Van found work a few nights a week singing popular tunes at Siegel's Barbecue Stand on the South Side (of Chicago) before working full time at Knowle's Cafe in Hyde Park. Subsequently, Ms. Van would find full time work singing with such bands as Johnny "Scat" Davis, Art Van Damme, Hal McIntyre, and Gene Krupa, all of whom also toured widely.
By now, She had taken the stage name of Gloria Van, and would appear on stage wearing sequined gowns. She was the singer on NBC television's "Wayne King Show," where she was dressed sometimes as an Italian peasant girl, or as a Native American Indian on the variety show. Gloria, a woman whom some said defined "torch singer", next became a regular on Jack Paar's "The Tonight Show". In 1960, at composer Hoagie Carmichael's request, she sang his song "Stardust", with a 100-piece orchestra at the Chicago Music Festival in Soldier Field. She was often a guest performer on TV shows including those of comedian Bob Hope, Don McNeil's Breakfast Club, and Chance of A Lifetime.
Gloria's met her husband, Lynn Allison, (Sax and vocals) when they were both working with the Gene Krupa band. Lynn later also worked with the Glenn Miller band. and had his own music shop. (Lynn died in 1993.) During that time, Gloria stayed home caring for their three children. She also worked in the insurance industry, and, after undergoing two successful open-heart surgeries, she joined 'Mended Hearts', a group that visits recovering heart patients. And, she kept right on singing! In subsequent years, Gloria worked with the Dick Kress Band and the Elk Grove, Mt. Prospect and Yorkville community bands. Just three months before her demise, she appeared with Rick Falotta and the Yorkville band at the Paramount Arts Center in Aurora, Illinois. Gloria possessed a very smooth Big Band singing voice and loved performing. She was survived by her two daughters, Sue Stuberg and Nan Allison; and six grandchildren.
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:
James "Buddy" Butts, vocals
died in Norfolk, VA, USA.
Member: 'Norfolk Jubilee'
Tab Smith, arranger/alto sax
died in St. Louis, MO, USA.
Tab Smith - Wikipedia
Tab Smith - Wikipedia
Lyricist Ira Gershwin
dies in Hollywood, CA, USA.
Hammie Nixon, Blues harmonica
died in Brownsville, TN, USA.
Pearl Bailey, actress/singer
died in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Age: 72 (Coronary).
W. L. Richardson, vocals
died in Nashville, TN, USA.
Member: 'Fairfield Four'
"Wild" Bill Davis, organ/piano/arranger
died in Moorestown, NJ, USA.
Worked with Louis Jordan
On This Date Include:
Borbee's Jass Orchestra - Paddle-Addle
Original Dixieland Jass Band - Barnyard Blues
Wilbur Sweatman's Jazz Orchestra
- Rock-ABye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody
- Those Draftin' Blues (Introducing: "Somebody's Done Me Wrong")
The Happy Six
- South Sea Isles (Introducing "She's Just A Baby" from George White's Scandals of 1921)
Bailey's Lucky Seven - Chicago
Benson Orchestra of Chicago - Sobbin' Blues
Thomas Morris and his Seven Hot Babies - Ham Gravy
Sissle and Blake - Ukelele Lullaby
The Little Ramblers - And Then I Forget
Texas Alexander - Evil Woman Blues
Isham Jones and his Orchestra - Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia
Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra
Fats Waller and his Rhythm - Don't Let It Bother You
From the film "She Done Him Wrong" (1933)
Anyone can see what's the matter with me
I've been hurried and rushed off my feet
Never had a minute's repose from walking the street
So I've thought it out and there isn't any doubt
My conclusion is all for the best
I need someone who can supply comfort and some rest
A guy what takes his time, I'll go for any time
I'm a fast movin' gal who likes them slow
Got no use for fancy drivin', want to see a guy arrivin' in low.
I'd be satisfied, electrified to know a guy what takes his time
A hurry-up affair, I always give the air
Wouldn't give any rushin' gent a smile.
I would go for any singer who would condescend to linger awhile
What a lullaby would be supplied to have a guy what takes his time
A guy what takes his time, I'd go for any time
A hasty job really spoils a master's touch
I don't like a big commotion, I'm a demon for slow motion or such
Why should I deny that I would die to know a guy who takes his time
There isn't any fun in getting something done
If you're rushed when you have to make the grade
I can spot an amateur, appreciate a connesseur in his trade
Who would qualify, no alibi, to be the guy who takes his time