Showing posts with label McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Show all posts

SEPTEMBER 17TH


BIRTHDAYS

McKinney's Cotton Pickers
1895
William "Bill" McKinney, Drums/Leader
b. Cynthiana, KY, USA
d. Oct. 14, 1969, Cynthiana, KY, USA.
Best recalled for his band -McKinney's Cotton Pickers. The band went on to better things under different Leaders, such as Don Redman who drilled the band to perfection, but always as McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Worked with: Benny Carter, James P. Johnson, Coleman Hawkins, Quentin Jackson, Hilton Jefferson, Claude Jones, Don Redman, Todd Rhodes, Tench Robinson, Rex Stewart and Fats Waller.
William McKinney is among the elite artists in black classical music to have an ensemble of immense historic importance named after him. Never mind that the image associated with McKinney's Cotton Pickers is not one that anyone is very happy about, the surname McKinney itself no doubt mingling down from some plantation owner. While this is the name forever linked with the cotton-picking band, much of the credit for quality music in the outfit's set list goes to Don Redman and Benny Carter, both acknowledged geniuses of the jazz arranging discipline. McKinney had the good sense to hire them, however, having stepped over from a combination of drummer and bandleader to management duties. He only stayed in the music business for a couple of decades, most of which was spent running bands, not playing in them.

McKinney was born in Kentucky near the end of the 19th century and served in the Army during the first World War. His earliest playing activities were as a circus drummer. Once he quit moving around to the extent that job called for, McKinney became associated with the music scene in Ohio, leading Springfield's snazzy-sounding Synco Septet. Perhaps wary of alliteration, the group changed its name to the Synco Jazz Band. This was the group that eventually evolved into McKinney's Cotton Pickers, undertaking tours that went way beyond the perimeters of typical territory bands. This band's territory was the entire United States; thus, there were periods when the group was based out of California, Kansas City, Minneapolis and so on.

Cuba Austin, a drummer and not an addition to the prior list of locales, took over McKinney's rhythmic assignment long before the sinking of "Synco" in the combo's name. In the early '30s there were several different bands touring as McKinney's Cotton Pickers--far from approving of such chaos regarding his franchise, McKinney was actually apparently chilling out during this period. In early 1935 he presented his own, supposedly legitimate version of the group at a Boston venue. Until he retired from music in the '40s he fluctuated between business managing and full-out management leadership of bands operating under his name. McKinney also ran the Cosy Cafe venue in Detroit in the late '30s. His final decade as a working man was spent in a Detroit auto factory.
~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi
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1902
Adam Aston
Born: Adolf Loewinsohn
17 September 1902
Warsaw, Poland
Died: 10 January 1993 (aged 90), London, England

Other names: Adam Wiński, Adam Stanisław Lewinson, J. Kierski, Ben-Lew
Adam Aston (born Adolf Loewinsohn, 17 September 1902, Warsaw, Poland: died 10 January 1993 in London, England) was a Polish singer, actor, and pianist of Jewish origin. 

He sang in Polish, Hebrew and Yiddish and was one of the most popular artists in interwar Poland. He often worked with Henryk Wars. He also went under the names Adam Wiński, Adam Stanisław Lewinson, recorded also under names J. Kierski, Adam Winski and Ben-Lewi. He used the name Ben-Lewi when recording in Hebrew.

He debuted at the revue theater (music hall, cabaret) Morskie Oko in Warsaw. He made his first record in 1927; in 1930 he began to work with Henryk Wars at the Morskie Oko cabaret and adopted his stage name of Adam Aston.


He recorded gramophones for Syrena Rekord, Odeon, Parlophon, Columbia, and Lonora, singing as many as 900 songs between 1930-39.[1] He also appeared in two musical comedy films: Dwie Joasie and Manewry miłosne in 1935. He also sang the Polish version of Cheek to Cheek (Polish title: W siódmym niebie - "In Seventh Heaven").


In 1920, he fought in the Polish–Soviet War. After the outbreak of World War II he was evacuated to the east and performed in Lvov, which was then under Soviet occupation. In late 1941, he joined the Polish II Corps of General Anders as part of the Polska Parada cabaret. In 1944, he fought at the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy. After the war he lived in Johannesburg, South Africa and in 1960 moved to the United Kingdom.
Adam Aston


1892
Thomas "Mutt or Papa Mutt" Carey
b. New Orleans, LA
d. Sept 3, 1948
An important New Orleans trumpeter whose best work was generally not captured on record, Mutt Carey still became an inspiration for revivalists. Born to a musical family and able in his early days to play drums, guitar, and alto, Carey switched permanently to cornet (and later trumpet) in 1912. He played in the Crescent Orchestra before joining Kid Ory's band for the first time in 1914.

Carey visited Chicago for the first time in 1917 with Lawrence Duhe's band and, after returning to New Orleans, he went to Los Angeles with Ory in 1919. They recorded two numbers as Spikes' Seven Pods of Pepper Orchestra in 1922 and accompanied a few singers. When Ory left for Chicago in 1925, Carey took over the group, which appeared in a few silent films and provided background music for a few Hollywood studios in the '20s. Carey often had a day job during the Depression, but in 1944, he rejoined Kid Ory's band and finally had further opportunities to record, both with the trombonist and (after leaving Ory in 1947) as a leader shortly before his death.
~ Scott Yanow


1923
"Hank" Williams, C&W vocals 
b.Georgiana, AL, USA. d. Jan. 1, 1953. 
né: Hiram Williams.

Hank Williams (/hæŋk wɪljəmz /; September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), born Hiram King Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. 

Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.

Born in Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama, Williams moved to Georgiana, where he met Rufus Payne, a black street performer who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals or money. Payne had a major influence on Williams's later musical style. During this time, Williams informally changed his name to Hank, believing it to be a better name for country music. After moving to Montgomery, Williams began his career in 1937 when WSFA radio station producers hired him to perform and host a 15-minute program. He formed as backup the Drifting Cowboys band, which was managed by his mother, and dropped out of school to devote all of his time to his career.
When several of his band members were conscripted to military service during World War II, Williams had trouble with their replacements and started drinking heavily, causing WSFA to dismiss him. Williams eventually married Audrey Sheppard, who became his manager for nearly a decade. After recording "Never Again" and "Honky Tonkin'" with Sterling Records, he signed a contract with MGM Records. In 1948 he released "Move it on Over," which became a hit, and also joined the Louisiana Hayride radio program. In 1949, he released a cover of "Lovesick Blues," which carried him into the mainstream of music. After an initial rejection, Williams joined the Grand Ole Opry. He had 11 number one songs between 1948 and 1953, though he was unable to read or notate music to any significant degree. 

Among the hits he wrote were "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Hey, Good Lookin'," and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."During his last years Williams's consumption of alcohol, morphine and other painkillers severely compromised his professional and personal life. He divorced his wife and was dismissed by the Grand Ole Opry due to frequent drunkenness. Williams died suddenly in the early morning hours of New Years Day in 1953 at the age of 29 from heart failure brought on by pills and alcohol. Despite his short life, Williams has had a major influence on country music. The songs he wrote and recorded have been covered by numerous artists, many of whom have also had hits with the tunes, in a range of pop, gospel, blues and rock styles.
1901
Floyd Campbell
drums/vocals
b: Sept. 17, 1901, Helena, AK, USA. 
d. Sept. 30, 1993
~by Eugene Chadbourne
Claiming to have recorded the first blues might not be as big a boast as saying one invented the wheel, but it could be considered in the same department. Once the claim by Chicago jazz musician Floyd Campbell is actually explained in more detail -- he claims to have recorded the first blues by a male singer, not the first blues of all time -- it could perhaps be even considered credible. The recording in question was a session for Okeh in 1929, at which he recorded several tracks including "Marcus St. Blues" and "The Cold Hand Blues." Campbell, who taped several long interviews for the Chicago Jazz Institute, says that classic female blues singers of the era such as Clara Smith and Bessie Smith, also confirmed that he had been the first man to record a blues song.

Campbell was a drummer and vocalist who achieved success on a local level as a jazz bandleader in the Chicago area up until the second World War. He began singing in school, but it was liquor, literally, that got him into the music business for good. His father owned a combination barbershop and pool hall in Helena, AR. Across the street was a sort of casual bar which employed a pianist and drummer to provide music. It didn't take long for the musicians to get wind of the fact that the young man across the street liked to sing, and so it became habitual to invite him over from time to time to knock out a few tunes with them.

The drummer was a fellow they called "Slick," and the chances of any further discographical research on this particular character are slim to zip (and slim just left town). Slick got too drunk to play himself one night, so the pianist asked Campbell to come over and sit in, just try to keep time, no tiny request for a novice drummer. "This happened a number of times," Campbell told the Jazz Institute, allowing him an opportunity to learn the drums while out in the field, as would be said in the army. He finally must have sounded good to the owner of the club, who offered him his own drum set and five dollars a night to play regularly. From then on, he was a professional, making the same salary Loft Jazz performers were lucky to pull down in New York City 50 years later, although none of them got a drum set for their efforts.

In the late '20s he relocated to St. Louis at the invitation of pianist Cranston Hamilton. Once again he found employment to the magic tune of five dollars a night, this time in a hotel band. Apparently at the time he performed some kind of novelty act that he described as a "humanity whistle," also claiming that it was different than the "palm whistle" gimmick other players were performing at the time. This was obviously some way of creating whistling sounds utilizing a part of the human anatomy, but since no further description has been given, readers are free to indulge in their own imagination. Whatever it was, it so impressed the hotshot local bandleader Charlie Creath that he hired Campbell away from his hotel gig. He both gigged and recorded with the Creath outfit, leading to the previously mentioned blues recordings of which he was so proud. He went to work with drummer Zutty Singleton and singer Faith Marable. He began leading his own band out of St. Louis in 1927, playing on the radio as well as regularly on riverboats. He collaborated with the great Louis Armstrong during this period.

If it wasn't for financial squabbles, this relationship might have been much more extended, as one of the riverboats that contracted Campbell were hot to have Satchmo in the band. The initial offer was 74 dollars per week for Satchmo, which shows a marked increase over five dollars a night, although it was still not to the liking of Armstrong, whose latest recordings such as "Heebie Jeebies" were beginning to cause a commotion.

Campbell offered Satchmo 100 dollars a week, top pay for a sideman back then, but it was still no go. The riverboat turned around and fired Campbell for not proposing to trim all the other players' salaries considerably, then throw the added money saved this way into the Satchmo pot until the outcome would be a total too high for the trumpeter to refuse. Campbell, however, felt this was immoral and that the 54 dollars a week the normal sidemen in the band were getting was low enough.

He went on to become involved in many battles with clubowners and other bookers as well various branches of the musicians' union during his tenure in the tough music business town of Chicago. He took over the Roberts-Campbell band initially, then began leading his Floyd Campbell Band for nearly a decade. His band included reed players Herman Barker, Oett Mallard, and Al Washington, trombonist Al Wynn, trumpeters Louis Ogletree and Louie Alahard, pianists Ruth Crowder and Billy Brown Marino, and drummers Oliver Coleman and Ellis Bartee. With the drastic changes in the music scene after the second World War, Campbell decided to toss the baton in the fireplace. He went to work for the post office, where he was honored after 25 years of service.

1906
"Blind" James Campbell, guitar
b. Nashville, TN, USA.

Among the last of a dying breed of Southern street musicians, bluesman Blind James Campbell and his Friendly Five were a staple of the Nashville musical landscape for decades. Campbell was born in Music City on September 17, 1906; although he played guitar from the age of 13, he did not pursue performing as a livelihood until the age of 30, when he was left permanently blind following an accident at the fertilizer plant where he worked. He then formed a group dubbed the Nashville Washboard Band, a loose-knit aggregation which consisted of himself on vocals and guitar, mandolin, lard can (or tub bass), and a washboard; they honed their skills not only on the streets but also at area parties, typically playing to white audiences but also sitting in at black roadhouses.

Campbell followed much the same path in the years and decades which followed, later informally rechristening the band the Friendly Five; in 1962 he was discovered by Arhoolie Records chief Chris Strachwitz, who recorded him with a backing group consisting of multi-instrumentalist Beauford Clay, trumpeter George Bell, second guitarist Bell Ray and tuba player Ralph Robinson. Unhappy with the quality of the recordings, Strachwitz returned to Nashville a year later and recorded Campbell again; the best selections were then assembled for release as the LP Blind James Campbell and His Nashville Street Band.
~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

1902
Louis "Big Eye" Nelson, Trombone
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. April, 5, 1990, New Orleans, LA, USA.
Played with: Sidney Desvigne, George Lewis, Punch Miller, Kid Rena, and Kid Thomas. Active in the New Orleans jazz scene of the 1920's, Nelson first played the alto sax before permanently switching to trombone. He played in the 'Original Tuxedo Orchestra', and for 15 years with Sidney Desvigne's big band. He was closely associated with 'Kid Thomas' Valentine (starting in 1944), and George Lewis.

In the 1960's he was still playing with the many musicians at the Preservation Hall in New Orleans. In addition to touring and recording with the "Legends of Jazz", Nelson, starting in 1964, began recording as a leader for the G.H.B., LaCroix, Nola and other small labels. An erratic trombonist, Louis Nelson would often play one great chorus, and then slip completely out of tune on the next chorus. While detractors saw little value in his playing, to his fans he could do no wrong. 
* His birthdate varies depending on the source : P

1917
Al "Dr. Horse" Pittman, vocals
b. Vinnia, GA, USA. 
Al 'Doctor Horse' Pittman

Have you heard of a horse who could talk? You have? Well, now you're about to hear of a horse who could sing and dance! And that horse was also a doctor, how about that? Al "Dr. Horse" Pittman (born in Vinnia, Orlando in 1917, died on April 28, 2004 at 85) was an elevator boy who dreamed about the career of professional dancer in New York.

In 1937 he joined a comedy-music group The Five Pork Chops led by Lucius "Doc Sausage", and drifted also into recording business. However, it took some 20 years until he cut his first solo 45s. The best-known works of this charmic artist are his two 45s recorded in 1958 for Bobby Robinson’s Fire label and a straight-blues LP made in 1962 with Sammy Price.

1918
Hubert Rostaing, Tenor Sax
b. Lyons, France
d. June 10, 1990 Paris, France.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

1931.
RCA Victor began demonstrating a very early version of their Long-Playing (LP), 33~1/3 RPM phonograph record. 17 Years later, RCA introduced the very short-lived 45RPM phonograph record, which was soon obsolesced by Columbia Records own introduction of "their" 33~1/3 RPM phonograph record.

1951.
Jimmy Yancey, piano
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 53
James Edwards Yancey was an American boogie-woogie pianist, composer, and lyricist. One reviewer described him as "one of the pioneers of this raucous, rapid-fire, eight-to-the-bar piano style". Wikipedia
Born: February 20, 1894, Chicago, IL
Died: September 17, 1951, Chicago, IL

1959
Omer Simeon died in New York.
Omer Victor Simeon was an American jazz clarinetist. He also played soprano, alto, and baritone saxophone and bass clarinet. Wikipedia
Born: July 21, 1902, New Orleans, LA
Died: September 17, 1959, New York, NY
Albums: Clarinette à la créole (Mono Version)
Music group: Red Hot Peppers

1977.
Lou Hooper, piano
died in Charlottetown, Newfoundland, Canada.
Age: 83.
Kenny "Rudy" Trietsch, leader
(Hoosier Hot Shots)
died in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Age: 84.

2002.
Jazz pianist Michael "Dodo" Marmarosa
died of a heart attack at age 76.


Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:

Arthur Pryor's Band
  • By The Watermelon Vine
1908

Arthur Pryor's Band
  • Polka Po Wykupie
  • That Rag
1917 

Joseph Smith and his Orchestra
  • That's It
  • Umbrellas To Mend
1919


Raderman's Jazz Orchestra - Avalon


Maggie Jones - I'm a Back Bitin' Mama

Original Memphis Five
The California Ramblers
1926

Elgar's Creole Orchestra
Elgar's Creole Orchestra - When Jenny Does Her Low-Down Dance


Five Harmaniacs - Coney Island Washboard
King Oliver's Dixie Syncopators - Dead Man Blues
King Oliver's Dixie Syncopators - Someday Sweetheart

King Oliver's Jazz Band - Snag It

The Broadway Bell-Hops
  • Don't Be Angry With Me
  • Who Could Be More Wonderful Than You?
Tram - Bix and Lang
Wringin' and Twistin'

Savannah Syncopators
Someday Sweetheart
1927

Anglo-Persians (Katzman Orch.). - A Siren Dream
Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra

Regent Club Orchestra (Haring Orch.)
  • King For a Day
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
1929


Blue Steele and his Orchestra - Shadows of Love

Memphis Jug Band - What's The Matter?
1930
Abe Lyman and his Orchestra

Bubber Miley and the Mileage Makers - The Penalty of Love

1936

Guy Lombardo Royal Canadians
1937

Buster Bailey and his Rhythm Busters - Afternoon In Africa
1939

Harry James and his Orchestra
  • Willow Weep for Me
Martha Raye with Dave Rose Orchestra
  • I'll Walk Alone
  • Body and Soul
Frank Sinatra with Harry James Orchestra
  • All or Nothing At All
LYRICS:

Lyrics and music by Al Jolson and Vincent Rose
I found my love at Avalon

Beside the bay
I left my love at Avalon
And sailed away
I dream of him at Avalon
From dusk until dawn
And so I think I'll travel on
To Av-va-lon

Yes I found my love at Avalon

Beside the bay
I left my love at Avalon
And sailed away
Oh I, dream of him at Avalon
From dusk until dawn
And so I think I'll travel on
To Av...va-lon...

~Benjamin F Spikes & John C Spikes

Someday, sweetheart,
You may be sorry
For what you've done
To my poor heart;
And you may regret
Those vows that you've broken,
And the things that you did to me
That made us drift apart.
Oh, you're happy now,
And you can't see how
Those weary blues
Will ever come to you;
But as you sow,
So shall you reap, dear;
And what you reap
Will gonna make you weep,
Someday, sweetheart!
Someday, sweetheart,
Oh you're gonna be sorry, oh yes1
For what you done
To my poor heart;
And you may regret
Those vows that you've broken, oh-oh-oh-oh!
And the things that you did to me
That made us drift apart.
Oh, you're happy now,
And you can't see how
Those weary blues
Ever gonna come to you;
But as you sow-ho-ho,
So shall you reap,
And what you reap
Is gonna make you weep,
Someday!
Come on baby,
Have a heart!
Don't you tell me
That we have to part.
You know I've loved you
From the start,
You'll rue the day,
And blue is the day
You break my heart.

TubaGirlFin
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~confetta

JULY 30TH


HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARLIE BOWMAN!

1889 - 1962
Charlie Bowman, C&W vocals/guitar
The Hill Billies, born Gray Station, TN, USA.
Charles Thomas Bowman (July 30, 1889 – May 20, 1962) was an American old-time fiddle player and string band leader. He was a major influence on the distinctive fiddle sound that helped shape and develop early Country music in the 1920s and 1930s.

After delivering a series of legendary performances that won him the first prize in dozens of fiddle contests across Southern Appalachia in the early 1920s, Bowman toured and recorded with several string bands and vaudeville acts before forming his own band, the Blue Ridge Music Makers, in 1935. In his career, he would be associated with country and bluegrass pioneers such as Uncle Dave Macon, Fiddlin' John Carson, Roy Acuff, Charlie Poole, and Bill Monroe.
1912
Benny Featherstone
Trumpet/drums/leader
b. Tasmania, Australia, d. 1977. 


1903
Hilton Jefferson, Alto Sax
b. Danbury, CT, USA d. 1968. USA
~ Scott Yanow
A fine soloist whose sound and style became strongly influenced by Benny Carter (who was four years his junior), Hilton Jefferson was considered a valuable musician during the swing era although he never gained much fame. Jefferson actually began his professional career as a banjoist in 1925 (with Julian Arthur's Orchestra in Philadelphia) but he soon switched permanently to alto. He worked with Claude Hopkins on four occasions (1926-28, 1932, 1934-36 and 1939), Chick Webb also four times (1929-30, 1930-31, 1936 and 1938) and had stints with King Oliver (1930), McKinney's Cotton Pickers (1931-32), Benny Carter (1932 and 1933), Henry "Red" Allen (1934) and most notably with Fletcher Henderson (1932-34 and 1936-38).


Although never the main soloist, Jefferson did get his fair share of solo space with each of these orchestras and he recorded frequently. He spent the 1940's with Cab Calloway's big band and later (after the orchestra broke up) Cab's small band. Jefferson freelanced after leaving Calloway in 1949, he rejoined Cab briefly in 1951 and then was with Duke Ellington(1952-53), replacing Willie Smith in the slot formerly held by Johnny Hodges. After leaving Ellington,Jefferson only worked as a part-time musician (getting a day job as a guard at a bank) but he often popped up in mainstream settings including with Harry Dial, Noble Sissle, Rex Stewart, Buster Bailey, the Fletcher Henderson Reunion Band of 1957, Wally Edwards' Uptown Concert Band and Mercer Ellington's Orchestra. Hilton Jefferson only cut six selections as a leader in his entire career, one number apiece for Folkways and Apollo in 1946 and four titles in 1957 for Victor.
1899
Gerald Moore, pianist
b. England.
Gerald Moore CBE (30 July 1899 – 13 March 1987) was an English classical pianist best known for his career as an accompanist for many distinguished musicians. Among those with whom he was closely associated were Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schumann, Hans Hotter, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Victoria de los Ángeles and Pablo Casals.


Moore gave lectures on stage, radio and television about musical topics. He also wrote about music, publishing volumes of memoirs and practical guides to interpretation of lieder.
1909
Bell Ray, violin/guitar
b. Franklin, TN, USA.
Played with 'Blind John Campbell'

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

1937.
The American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) was organized as a part of the American Federation of Labor.



1942.
Jimmy Blanton, bass
died in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Age: 23
James Blanton was an American jazz double bassist. Blanton is credited with being the originator of more complex pizzicato and arco bass solos in a jazz context than previous bassists. 
Wikipedia

Born: October 5, 1918, Chattanooga, TN

Died: July 30, 1942, California
Sam Phillips, founder of SUN Records
died in Memphis, TN, USA.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:

1923

Clarence Williams' Blue Five - Wild Cat Blues

Charles A. Matson's Creole Serenaders - 'Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do
  • I Just Want A Daddy (I Can Call My Own)

1926
Art Landry and His Orchestra 

1927



Clara Smith and her Five Black Kittens - Black Cat Moan
1929

Roger Wolfe Kahn and his Orchestra
  • Do What You Do!
  • Liza (All The Clouds'll Roll Away)
1930

McKinney's Cotton Pickers - Hullabaloo - (From Warner Bros. picture "Dancing Sweeties") - Vocal refrain by Dave Wilborn

1931

The Travelers
  • Begging For Love
  • I Apologize
  • I Can't Get Mississippi Off My Mind
  • Parkin' In The Moonlight
1934

Lucille Bogan - Lonesome Midnight Blues
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