Benny Carter, Alto Sax
b., New York, NY, USA
d. July 14, 2003.
né: Bennett Lester Carter
~ Scott Yanow
To say that Benny Carter had a remarkable and productive career would be an extreme understatement. As an altoist, arranger, composer, bandleader, and occasional trumpeter, Carter was at the top of his field since at least 1928, and in the late '90s, Carter was as strong an altoist at the age of 90 as he was in 1936 (when he was merely 28).His gradually evolving style did not change much through the decades, but neither did it become at all stale or predictable except in its excellence. Benny Carter was a major figure in every decade of the 20th century since the 1920s, and his consistency and longevity were unprecedented.

Essentially self-taught, Benny Carter started on the trumpet and, after a period on C-melody sax, switched to alto. In 1927, he made his recording debut with Charlie Johnson's Paradise Ten. The following year, he had his first big band (working at New York's Arcadia Ballroom) and was contributing arrangements to Fletcher Henderson and even Duke Ellington.

Carter was with Henderson during 1930-1931, briefly took over McKinney's Cotton Pickers, and then went back to leading his own big band (1932-1934). Already at this stage he was considered one of the two top altoists in jazz (along with Johnny Hodges), a skilled arranger and composer ("Blues in My Heart" was an early hit and would be followed by "When Lights Are Low"), and his trumpet playing was excellent; Carter would also record on tenor, clarinet (an instrument he should have played more), and piano, although his rare vocals show that even he was human.

In 1935, Benny Carter moved to Europe, where in London he was a staff arranger for the BBC dance orchestra (1936-1938); he also recorded in several European countries. Carter's "Waltzing the Blues" was one of the very first jazz waltzes. He returned to the U.S. in 1938, led a classy but commercially unsuccessful big band (1939-1941), and then headed a sextet. In 1943, he relocated permanently to Los Angeles, appearing in the film Stormy Weather (as a trumpeter with Fats Waller) and getting lucrative work writing for the movie studios. He would lead a big band off and on during the next three years (among his sidemen were J.J. Johnson, Miles Davis, and Max Roach) before giving up on that effort.
Carter wrote for the studios for over 50 years, but he continued recording as an altoist (and all-too-rare trumpeter) during the 1940s and '50s, making a few tours with Jazz at the Philharmonic and participating on some of Norman Granz's jam-session albums. By the mid-'60s, his writing chores led him to hardly playing alto at all, but he made a full "comeback" by the mid-'70s, and maintained a very busy playing and writing schedule even at his advanced age. Even after the rise of such stylists as Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, and David Sanborn (in addition to their many followers), Benny Carter still ranks near the top of alto players. His concert and recording schedule remained active through the '90s, slowing only at the end of the millenium. After eight amazing decades of writing and playing, Benny Carter passed away quietly on July 13, 2003 at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 95.

Benny Carter Web-site

Jazz Hot Bio
Benny's Match Game
BBC - Radio 3 Jazz Profiles - Benny Carter

Rupert Cole, Alto Sax/clarinet
b. Trinidad, British West Indies
~ Eugene Chadbourne
While many jazz musicians from the British West Indies immigrated to England, beginning in the early '30s, this prolific recording artist did things differently. Rupert Cole, who would eventually be able to build a medium-sized raft simply out of the Louis Armstrong sides he appeared on, went to New York City instead. His departure from Barbados took place in 1924, a few years ahead of the players that headed for merry old England. Cole had learned clarinet in his homeland but began to double on the alto sax upon arriving in New York, finding this horn to be somewhat more attractive to the city's bandleaders. His major job through the '20s was with Bill Brown and His Brownies, followed by a short stint with Horace Henderson. 
 In 1932 he began what would be a long range collaboration with the fine bandleader Don Redman. His connection to this outfit was so strong that it took an offer such as the formation of Louis Armstrong's Big Band in 1938 to lure him away. It turned out to be no fickle move, as Cole stayed put in this new Satch-batch until 1944, only to go back to Redman once Armstrong grew weary of carting such a large group around. In the mid '40s Cole moved over to a big band fronted by trumpeter Cootie Williams for several years. Lucky Millinder and Wilbur De Paris were among the leaders Cole worked with in the '50s, a decade which also began his 
gradual backing off from full-time musical status. Cole could be heard in a trio led by George Wettling in the '60s, but rarely outside of New York City. He is the father of the drummer and vibraphonist Ronnie Cole.

Charlie Gaines, Trumpet
b. Philadelphia, PA, USA.
~ Eugene Chadbourne
The senior member of the swinging Gaines family was a trumpeter, occasionally dabbling on trombone, who played a part in many high points of the '20s and '30s music scene such as recordings with Fats Waller and touring with the illustrious Hot Chocolates revue. The lifestyle must have seemed appealing to his son Charlie Gaines, Jr., who followed the trail of discarded valve spit and became a trumpeter himself. A second son named Stanley Gaines opted for the other end of the tonal spectrum and became a bassist. As for old man Gaines, he first swang into action as a teenage member of various Philadelphia brass bands. From that style he became involved in the new blend of ragtime and syncopation taking hold in dance bands led by Charlie Taylor, Charlie Johnson and others. In 1920 he moved to New York City and became a heavily perspiring member of an orchestra under the direction of Wilbur Sweatman.
Another important development in terms of staying busy was signing on to the house band staff of composer, publisher and sometimes performer Clarence Williams, leading to a series of classic blues recording sessions. Through the '20s the trumpeter played with Sam Wooding--but did not follow him to Europe--and Earl Walton with whom he did hit the road. By the middle of the decade he had begun collaborating with Leroy Smith, with whom he continued playing for about five years. This tenure included the aforementioned theatrical revue, a big hit with the public. Gaines also freelanced around Smith's itinerary, recording and gigging with Waller and his old boss Johnson among others.
The next decade marked Gaines' attempt to become a bandleader in his own right, a project that he launched after returning to Philadelphia. Apparently Gaines had nothing to lose by taking occasional breaks from his Charlie Gaines Orchestra to continue working with Smith in 1931 and to join the brass section of Louis Armstrong's orchestra the next year. Recording his own composition "Ants in My Pants" was a highlight of Gaines' career that took place back in New York in 1934 with an assist from Williams. Gaines settled into the life of a local bandleader after this, residents of Philadelphia seeming to have an opportunity to hear him play on just about any evening. There was a lengthy residency for his band at the Carroll's venue through the '50s and by the late '60s Gaines had slimmted down to a trio at the Hangover Club. Jazz researchers seemed to lose track of Gaines once he retired, however. References published in 2003 still do not indicate that he had died, even though he would have been 103 years old at that point.
Charlie Gaines

Herald Goodman, vocals
b. Ohio, USA.
Member: "The Vagabonds", a group formed in 1927 with members: Curt Poulton (vocals/guitar, b. 1907, Dulaney, W. VA, USA), Dean Upson (b. Nov. 12, 1900, CHicago, IL, USA), Herald Goodman, who joined the group ca. 1930. 
For a time they had a show called 'The Vagabond Club' over a fifty-six-station hookup with NBC. In late 1931, radio station WSM Nashville Manager Harry Stone invited the trio to join the station as members of the WSM staff, and to appear on the Grand Ole Opry, (they were the first vocal group to star on the Op'ry) After this that they began to emphasize the Old-Time and Folk element of their repertoire. They formed their own publishing and record company, Old Cabin, which became the first such Country organization in Nashville. However, The Vagabonds attempt to sell Pop songs to a Country audience eventually caused problems. In 1934, they decided to split. Herald Goodman went to Oklahoma, Dean Upson returned to Chicago and Curt stayed at WSM to work as a soloist, and occasionally with the Delmore Brothers. WSM had a strong hold, and by 1938, the three men were back at the station and The Vagabonds were briefly reactivated. Herald Goodman subsequently formed a Western Swing band, "The Tennessee Valley Boys" (recorded by Bluebird). Upson worked briefly in WSM’s booking department before becoming Commercial Manager for radio KWKH in Shreveport, LA, where he helped to establish "The Louisiana Hayride" show. Poulton formed a band of West Virginia sidemen and worked briefly on the Opry and over Knoxville radio. Later, he worked as a single in the Midwest and died in 1957.

Lucky Millinder, singer/dancer/leader
b. Anniston, AL (raised in Chicago, IL), USA
d. Sept. 28, 1966, New York, NY USA.
né: Lucius Venable.
"Lucky" was essentially a frontman, and occasional singer who went on to conduct several impressive big bands. He first found work in Chicago as a dancer. In 1931, he led his first big band, using his real name at first, but soon changed it to 'Lucky Millinder'. From 1934-'38, he fronted the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (owned by band agent Irving Mills).
In 1940, "Lucky" formed his own orchestra for a booking at New York's famed Savoy Ballroom. Among his sidemen were singer/guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe, pianist Bill Doggett and for a brief time in 1942, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and altoist Tab Smith.
From 1940-'52, and on a last session in 1955, Millinder fronted studio bands on recordings. By then, the big bands era was all over, and Millinder spent his later years as a liquor salesman and a radio disc jockey.
Anniston, Alabama, Lucky Millinder

Peter Packay
Peter Packay (Brussels , August 8 1904 - 1966), the stage name of Pierre Paquet, was a Belgian jazz composer, and -trompettist - arranger .
Packay studied at the Atheneum of St. Gilles, and then followed a study engineer at the Institute Dupuich. There he met multi-instrumentalist David Bee . From 1924 he taught himself self-taught trumpet playing. He had a passion for Dixieland music and above all listened to Louis Armstrong , Bix Beiderbecke and Red Nichols . Peter also liked the band Jimmy Dorsey . He was a member of the amateur orchestra Variety Ramblers and went in 1925 when Bistrouille Amateur Dance Orchestra play. Even David James came in 1925 with The Bistrouille ADO, and together with his friend Packay he formed a year later The Red Beans, which both musicians wrote compositions and arrangements. She toured with The Red Beans by Italy , Spain , France and Netherlands was disbanded the group in 1929.
When music publisher / promoter Félix Faecq with Chas. Remue & His New Stompers in London in 1927, the first Belgian jazz album went to pick up, five of the fourteen recordings written by David James and Peter Packay "Vladivostok", "Pamplona", "Slow Gee-Gee ',' The Bridge of Avignon 'and' Allahabad.
In the period 1936-1939 Packay led his own big band Peter Packay's Swing Academy.
Peter Pakay

John W. "Knocky" Parker Jr., Piano
b. Palmer, TX, USA
d. Sept. 3, 1986, USA. 
"Knocky" Parker, Dick Wellstood and the "Galvanized Washboard Band". Sidemen included: Peter Ecklund, cornet; Howard Vidal, trombone; Tommy Sancton, clarinet; Mark Finks, banjo, guitar and vocals; Arthur Hovey, tuba; Julie Hovey washboard; Kathy Finks played tambourine occasionally.
allmusic ((( Knocky Parker > Overview )))

Axel Stordahl, Leader
b. New York, NY, d. Aug. 30, 1967
Axel Stordahl (August 8, 1913 – August 30, 1963) was an arranger who was active from the late 1930s through the 1950s. He is perhaps best known for his work with Frank Sinatra in the 1940s at Columbia Records. With his sophisticated orchestrations, Stordahl is credited with helping to bring pop arranging into the modern age.
BIO Axel Stordahl - Wikipedia
Victor Young, Violinist/Composer/leader
b. Aug 8, 1900, Chicago, IL, USA.
d. Nov 11, 1956, USA.
Composed many hit tunes including "Sweet Sue".
Biography ~ Joslyn Layne
M.D. at Brunswick Records 1930-34, then followed Jack Kapp to Decca Records. American composer Victor Young gave up a successful career as a concert violinist for popular music, becoming a major musical figure from the 1930s through the mid-'50s, writing many popular songs and scores for over 300 Hollywood films.
Young was born on August 8, 1901, in Chicago where his father was a tenor in the Chicago Opera Company. He was ten-years-old when his mother died and after this, Young went with his sister to Warsaw, Poland, where they were raised by their grandparents. He studied violin under Isador Lotto at the Warsaw Conservatory of Music, and then with private tutors before debuting in the Warsaw Philharmonic. His debut was such a total success that a music patron gave him a 1730 Guarnerius and Young was invited to tour Europe with various concert orchestras. He moved back to the U.S. after the outbreak of WWI, worked as a concert violinist, and eventually conducted movie theater orchestras in Los Angeles and Chicago, before he decided to focus on pop music.
Young was an arranger and violinist in the Ted Fio Rito Band during the 1920s, while still conducting a dance theater and two movie theater orchestras. Later in the decade, Young also began conducting on Chicago radio. He moved to N.Y.C. in 1931 to work in radio and from this time on, conducted in a variety of settings, including Don Ameche's variety show and with Al Jolson. Young also served as bandleader through the 1930s and 1940s, most often backing up vocalists during the latter. In 1935, he moved to the West Coast; worked first on Paramount Pictures' Anything Goes (1936); and then became so busy with arranging, conducting; and working as music director for the movie industry that he wrote no pop songs from this time until 1940, when three different movies successfully featured his songs. Other Paramount films that he worked on include The Light That Failed (1939), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), and The Greatest Show on Earth (1953).
Young also worked for Columbia Pictures on such films as Golden Boy (1939), My Foolish Heart (1949), The Quiet Man (1953), and Around the World in 80 Days (1956). In all, Young worked on over 300 films. Along with his movie work over the decades, Young had many successful singles, made occasional radio appearances, and scored a couple of Broadway productions. He received 20 Oscar nominations and was posthumously awarded an Academy Award for Around the World in 80 Days' score. Young worked with many lyricists over the course of his career, including Ned Washington, Ed Heyman, and Joe Young. Some of his best-known songs include "Sweet Sue" (1928), "Beautiful Love" (1931), "Love Me Tonight" (1932), "A Ghost of a Chance" (1933), "Stella by Starlight," "Love Letters" (1946), "Golden Earrings" (1947), "My Foolish Heart" (1950), "When I Fall in Love" (1952), and "Around the World" (1956).
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

14 year old Benny Goodman began his 
professional career playing clarinet in a band 
on a excursion boat Chicago-based Lake Michigan.

Bing Crosby became the first singer to record 
for the newly created Decca Records.
(Decca number D-100. "Just A-Wearyin' For You", and "I Love You Truly").

Johnny Dodds, clarinet
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 48
Sam Goody, Founder (Sam Goody Record Stores)
died in New York (Queens), NY, USA.
Age: 87.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Edna Hicks accompanied by Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra - You've Got Everything A Sweet Mamma Needs But Me
James P. Johnson
The California Ramblers

Jay C. Flippen and his Gang
  • Darktown Broadcasting (Part 1)
  • Darktown Broadcasting (Part 2)
Herb Wiedoeft's Cinderella Roof Orchestra
Bessie Smith

Jabbo Smith's Rhythm Aces

Harry Reser and his Orchestra
  • How Are You Tonight In Hawaii
  • I Don't Mind Walking In The Rain (When I'm Walking In The Rain With You)

Luis Russell and his Orchestra - At The Darktown Strutters Ball - Vocal Chorus by Sonny Woods

Joe Sullivan

~From the Broadway Musical "Show Boat" (1927)
~(Jerome Kern / Oscar Hammerstein II)
Dere's an ol' man called de Mississippi
Dat's de ol' man dat I'd like to be!
What does he care if de world's got troubles?
What does he care if de land ain't free?
Ol' man river,
Dat ol' man river
He mus'know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes'keeps rollin'
He keeps on rollin' along.
He don' plant taters,
He don't plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants'em
is soon forgotten,
But ol'man river,
He jes keeps rollin'along.
You an'me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin' an' racket wid pain,
Tote dat barge!
Lif' dat bale!
Git a little drunk
An' you land in jail.
Ah gits weary
An' sick of tryin'
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But ol' man river,
He jes'keeps rolling' along.
Colored folks work on de Mississippi,
Colored folks work while de white folks play,
Pullin' dose boats from de dawn to sunset,
Gittin' no rest till de judgement day.
Don't look up
An' don't look down,
You don' dast make
De white boss frown.
Bend your knees
An'bow your head,
An' pull date rope
Until you' dead.
Let me go 'way from the Mississippi,
Let me go 'way from de white man boss;
Show me dat stream called de river Jordan,
Dat's de ol' stream dat I long to cross.
O' man river,
Dat ol' man river,
He mus'know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin'
He jes' keeps rollin'
He keeps on rollin' along.
Long ol' river forever keeps rollin' on...
He don' plant tater,
He don' plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
but ol' man river,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.
Long ol' river keeps hearing dat song.
You an' me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin an' racked wid pain.
Tote dat barge!
Lif' dat bale!
Git a little drunk
An' you land in jail.
Ah, gits weary
An' sick of tryin'
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But ol' man river,
He jes'keeps rollin' along!
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