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Showing posts with label fats waller. Show all posts




Image result for HELEN MORGAN
Born on July 2, 1900
Helen Morgan, vocals
b. Danville, IL, USA.
d. October 9, 1941, Chicago, IL, USA. (liver ailment)
née: Helen Riggins A very renowned singer and actress who, during the 1920's and '30's, worked on Broadway and in New York nightclubs. She also starred in ten Hollywood films of the early sound era, including the first Hollywood isssue of Jerome Kern's historic play "Showboat".
Helen made her screen "debut" in the sound prologue to the 1929 part-talking film of "Show Boat", she sang the songs that she made famous in the original Broadway stage version, but didn't appear on the the screen (the role of Julie LaVerne was played silently by Alma Rubens) . But in 1936, Morgan finally got the chance to both act and sing the role of Julie in the first all-talking film version of "Show Boat". Unfortunately, it was her last film. She died (Alcoholism) just five years later. Her spouses were : Maurice Maschke, Jr. (1933 - 1935, divorced), and Lloyd Johnston (1941 - 1941, 'til her death).

Born in Danville, Illinois, on August 2, 1900, Helen Riggins took the name Morgan in her childhood when her divorced mother remarried.

Various conflicting accounts of her entry into show business survive, but she apparently obtained some voice training, sang in speakeasies, and in 1920 got a job in the chorus of Florenz Ziegfeld's Sally. More nightclub singing in Chicago and perhaps a beauty contest in Montreal led to a small role in George White's Scandals in 1925. 

In that year she had an engagement at Billy Rose's Backstage Club, where the crowded conditions obliged her to perch on her accompanist's piano, an informal touch that soon became a trademark.
"Bixie" Crawford, vocals
b. Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Sang with the Count Basie band.

Anatie "Natty" Dominique, trumpet
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. Aug. 30, 1982, USA.
In the 1920s, he recorded with "Jelly Roll" Morton and Johnny Dodds, et al, and even in the 1940s, he was still active and recorded with Dodds and Jimmy Noone. Very early on, he worked in Emmanuel Perez's Imperial Band (Perez taught him to play the trumpet). When WW1 ended, he went to Chicago and worked (2 years) with Jimmy Noone, then Carroll Dickenson's band for 4 years, and along with such N.O. Jazzmen as George Filhe and the Dodds brothers played various Chicago clubs. He eventally retired, became a 'redcap' at the Chicago airport, - but would occasionally play with the Dodds' and others. : ) 
Natty Dominique - Wikipedia
Red Hot Jazz Bio

Lorenzo Herrera
Lorenzo Esteban Herrera (August 2, 1896 – 1960) is a Venezuelan singer and composer of the first half of the 20th century.

Johnny Long, Leader/Left Handed-Fiddle
b. Parkersburg, W. VA
d. Oct. 31, 1972, Parkersburg, W. VA.
Johnny Long was an American violinist and bandleader, known as "The Man Who's Long on Music". He was raised on a farm in Newell, North Carolina, currently a subdivision of Charlotte. Wikipedia
Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy (August 2, 1905 – December 14, 1993) was an American actress. Trained as a dancer, she devoted herself fully to an acting career following a few minor roles in silent films. Originally typecast in exotic roles, often as a vamp or a woman of Asian descent, her career prospects improved following her portrayal of Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934). Her successful pairing with William Powell resulted in 14 films together, including five subsequent Thin Man films.

Polk "Pork" Miller, banjo
b. Burkeville, VA, USA.
Member: 'Old South Quartette'
Polk Miller (August 2, 1844 – October 20, 1913) was a pharmacist, musician, and slavery apologist from Richmond and Bon Air, Virginia.
Early life
Polk Miller was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia in August 1844. While growing up, he learned to play the banjo from slaves on his father's plantation. He became a druggist in Richmond in 1860. During the American Civil War, he served as a Confederate artilleryman.

At his drugstore in Richmond, Miller began making remedies for Sergeant, his favorite hunting dog. His friends soon found these remedies worked for their dogs as well. In 1868, began selling the products in the drugstore. This was the beginning of Sergeant's Pet Care Products, Inc. The tradename was established in 1886. By 2007, over 400 pet care products were sold under the Sergeant's trade name.
In 1892, he began performing music professionally. Through the 1890s he had a solo act in which he played banjo, sang songs and told stories. Already comfortably well-off from his drugstore business, Polk Miller had little need to earn money from such appearances, using them to raise funds for church repairs, Confederate monuments and Confederate veterans, while broadcasting his apologist views. In his own words: "As an entertainer, it has been my aim to vindicate the slave-holding class against the charge of cruelty and inhumanity to the negro of the old time."

Polk Miller and his "Old South Quartette" had a variety show of "Stories, Sketches and Songs" depicting African American life before the Civil War. Miller was white, and the four members of the quartet were black. Until recently, only 2 of the 20 or so black singers that sang in the quartet were widely known: James L. Stamper and Randall Graves. However further research has identified the names of five others: Anderson Epps, first or lead tenor; Archie Johnson, baritone; Clarence Smith, second tenor; Alphonso DeWitt, basso; and Walter Lightfoot, baritone. They gained national prominence and toured between 1900 and 1912.

At one performance, Mark Twain introduced Polk Miller at Madison Square Garden. Although he did not perform in blackface, Polk sometimes billed himself as "The Old Virginia Plantation Negro" and performed Negro spirituals and pop and folk tunes such as James A. Bland's Carry Me Back to Old Virginny. Miller and his quartet played colleges and military schools, as well as the "most exclusive social clubs" in New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. Polk Miller and the Old South Quartette also performed at African American churches.

Polk Miller's and the Old South Quartette were featured on some of Thomas Edison's earlier phonograph recordings.

In 2008, Tompkins Square issued seven 1909 Edison cylinder records and seven 1928 QRS/Broadway disc recordings in the compilation Polk Miller & His Old South Quartette.

Death, legacy
Polk Miller died on October 20, 1913. He was buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery.

Polk Miller's scrapbook is now in the archives of the Valentine Museum at Richmond. It is notable in that it recorded the problems with racial discrimination the five faced in both the northern and southern portions of the United States as the group traveled and toured.

A few miles west of Richmond, Bon Air was founded by principals of the Richmond and Danville Railroad as a Victorian resort. Polk Street there was named in honor of Polk Miller. Bon Air Elementary was the inspiration for a series of children's books about the kids of the Polk Street School, by Patricia Reilly Giff.

Miller's recorded renditions of the traditional gospel song "Old-Time Religion", and the song "Watermelon Party" are featured in the 2013 video game BioShock Infinite.
Andy Secrest
b. Muncie, IN, USA
d. 1977
Biography ~ Eugene Chadbourne
Andy Secrest played in both jazz combos and studio orchestras from the '20s through the early '50s. He then left music to become a real estate agent, a move that places him firmly within the mini-grouping of players who have made the same career choice, some of whom may have been inspired by the lyrics to Col. Bruce Hampton's song entitled "Real Estate." This isn't the only category of players that Secrest fits into, either. The brass specialist often comes under observation as one of bandleader Paul Whiteman's long-term sidemen. As a result of the Whiteman connection, Secrest also makes the list of instrumentalists who get confused with other instrumentalists. In this case his non-doppelgänger is Frank Siegrist, who also played with Whiteman. 

 Secrest seems to have started his professional career in Cincinnati, working in an orchestra under the direction of Freda Sanker. For several years beginning in 1927, Secrest played both trumpet and cornet in the Jean Goldkette band at a ballroom in Kansas City. The association with Whiteman began shortly thereafter and lasted until 1932. The next move for Secrest was heading to California and the studios of Hollywood. He began working for studio bandleaders such as Victor Young, John Scott Trotter, and Billy Mills, and can be heard on many vintage recordings by Bing Crosby, Mildred Bailey, Anita O'Day, and others. Secrest was in the brass section of Ben Pollack's excellent band in the late '30s and also performed at jazz festivals on the West Coast during the '50s.
The Virtual Victrola: Andy Secrest Centenary

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Robert Allen Cole, songwriter
died in Catskill, NY, USA.
Age: 48.
Robert Allen Cole (July 1, 1868 – August 2, 1911) was an American composer, actor, playwright, and stage producer and director. In collaboration with Billy Johnson, he wrote and produced A Trip to Coontown (1898), the first musical entirely created and owned by black showmen.
Bob Cole (composer)

RCA Victor recorded Benny Goodman and his quartet playing "Smiles".
Benny Goodman on clarinet, Lionel Hampton on vibes, Teddy Wilson on piano, and Gene Krupa on drums. (DAMN! SUCH BIG STARS IN ONE ROOM!)

Clyde "Porkchop" Lasley, vocalist
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 61
Recorded for: "Bea & Baby Records"

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Frisco Jass Band - All I Need Is Just A Girl Like You

University Six - I Ain't Got Nobody
Seattle Harmony Kings - Breezin' Along (With The Breeze)

Fats Waller - Ain't Misbehavin'

Red Nichols' Five Pennies - My Future Just Passed


Lucille Bogan - Changed Ways Blues

Marion Harris - Singin' The Blues

Singin' The Blues

Oh, Daddy, I've been weepin'
Just like a willow tree
Without a wink of sleepin'
Where is your sympathy?
All is glad round the (???)
Since you said goodbye to me
Oh, I'm just singin' the blues
Til my Daddy comes home
The meanest feeling pursues
Since he left me all alone
For every blue strain cuts new pain
Right into my heart
And I just sigh at that cryin' part
It sure gets your nerves
When you hear yourself moan
If I got all I deserve
I wouldn't be here all alone
I wouldn't walk all night
And sit by the window in the candlelight
Singin' the blues
Till my Daddy comes home
I'm singin' the blues
Till my Daddy comes home
Don't know what else I can do
Since he left me here all alone
I watch & wait all night
Just sittin' by the window in the candlelight
Just singin' the blues
Till my Daddy comes home
Oh, Daddy

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Gene Austin
Singer-Songwriter b. Gainesville, Texas, USA.
né: Eugene Lucas (later taking his stepfather Jim Austin's surname).
When he was age 15, Austin joined the U. S. Army, and was a member of the 1916 expedition to capture Mexican bandit Pancho Villa. He was still in the Army in 1917, during World War I, and served overseas in France. After his service discharge, he relocated to Baltimore, MD, where he studied both dentistry and law, and somehow bypassed both of those fields for a career in music, as a singer and as a composer. 

Prior to the invention of Radio and Recordings, singers had to have very lusty voices. If the theatre go-er in the back row couldn't hear the performer, that would be the end of that performer's career. The invention of the microphone changed all that. Now, - a singer could cuddle up to the microphone, and "purr" or "croon" into the instrument.Soon, the appelation "crooner" was attached to those singers who needed an electronic boost for their singing voices. Austin's tenor voice became very well known in the early days of radio and the hand-cranked phonographs of the 1920s and 1930s. The microphone was his friend. 
In 1923, his recording career began. In 1924, Gene had a huge hit with the song ""When My Sugar Walks Down the Street", composer Jimmy McHugh's first big hit, with lyrics by Austin and Irving Mills. Other hit songs Austin introduced during the '20s included "My Melancholy Baby," "Girl of My Dreams," "Ramona," "Carolina Moon," and "Sleepy Time Gal." His RCA Victor recordings sold a total of more than eighty-six million copies; one of the recordings, "My Blue Heaven" (1927), sold over twelve million records. (Remember, this was in a time when many people didn't own a radio or a phonograph.)
During this period of his recording career, Austin had both the 'pull' and good musical taste to insist that only Fats Waller was good enough to provide piano accompaniment for him, and no one else. In time, Austin would also compose over a 100 songs --without ever learning to read or properly notate music.
Among his many compositions are "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street," "How Come You Do Me Like You Do?" and "Lonesome Road." 1932 saw his film debut. He ultimately made three: 'Sadie McKee', 'Gift of Gab', and 'Melody Cruise'. In the 1930s, He worked principally as a nightclub entertainer. In 1939, he and Billy Wehle began working with in a tented musical-comedy show that spent the winter in Gainesville, TX. In 1940, that show opened during the Circus Roundup of the Gainesville Community Circus. His career waned after that. The most popular singer of the late '20s recorded practically nothing between the late '40s and '50s until an NBC-TV late 1950s telecast of The Gene Austin Story brought him back into the limelight.
One of the tunes he sang on that program, "Too Late," dented the Pop charts giving him his final chart hit. After the TV special, he resumed nightclub appearances. Sadly, the 'Nightclub Era' was also coming to a close. Still, Gene continued to write songs until the last ten months of his life, when he developed lung cancer. Thoughout the '40s and '50s, he made his home in Las Vegas, NV. In 1962, he ran for governor of Nevada but was badly beaten by incumbent Grant Sawyer. Austin enjoyed five different marriages. He only stopped writing songs in the final ten months of his life, after developing lung cancer. Gene died on January 24, 1972, in Palm Springs, California, and was survived by his wife, Gigi, and two daughters from a previous marriage.
Johnnie Bailes
b. West Virginia, USA
d. Dec. 1989. né, John Jacob Bailes -part of 'The Bailes Brothers'.

The four Bailes brothers, Kyle (born May 7, 1915), Johnnie (June 24, 1918), Walter (January 17, 1920), and Homer (May 8, 1922), came from very humble beginnings and were raised in an area known as Dogtown, later called North Charleston before being incorporated into Charleston.

Captain John Handy
Alto Sax/clarinet
b. Pass Christian, MO, USA
d. 1971.
Biography  ~Scott Yanow
Capt. John Handy (no relation to the modern altoist John Handy) was unusual in the New Orleans revival movement because he played Dixieland alto influenced by R&B. A veteran who had been playing clarinet on and off in New Orleans since the 1920s (often with his group the Louisiana Shakers), Handy (who switched from clarinet to alto in 1928) was virtually unknown to the outside world until he started recording in the 1960s. 

During that decade, he played regularly with Kid Sheik Cola's group and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band; toured Europe; and recorded for several labels including GHB, RCA (two interesting records), and the Jazz Crusade label. His enthusiastic and very musical playing made him one of the top New Orleans musicians of the 1960s; "Hindustan" was a favorite feature.

Clyde Doerr, Saxophone
Clyde Doerr (24 June 1894 - 2 August 1973) saxophonist and band leader of the 1920's. Clyde Doerr Orchestra, Club Royal Orchestra.

Phil Harris
Wonga Phillip "Phil" Harris (June 24, 1904 – August 11, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, jazz musician, actor, and comedian. He was born to Harry and Dollie Harris. His mother was of Irish descent. 

Phil Harris Ambassador Hotel. The historic Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles opened its doors on Wilshire Blvd in 1921.
Though successful as an orchestra leader, Harris is remembered today for his recordings as a vocalist, his voice work in animation (probably most famous later in his career for his roles as bears, one being Baloo in Disney's The Jungle Book, and as Little John in Disney's Robin Hood). He also voiced Thomas O'Malley in Disney's The Aristocats and probably best known for doing his last role as Patou in the 1991 Don Bluth film Rock-A-Doodle. 

Harris was also a pioneer in radio situation comedy, first with Jack Benny, and then in a series in which he co-starred with his wife, singer-actress Alice Faye, for eight years. In 1981, he sang, Back Home Again in Indiana before the Indianapolis 500.

Read More: Phil Harris

Charlie Margulis, Trumpet
b. Minneapolis, MN, USA.
d. April 24, 1967, USA.
~ Eugene Chadbourne

Amongst historic jazz musicians who doubled as chicken farmers, Charlie Margulis could proudly claim to have the most loaded basket artistically. 

Rising out of a highly disciplined corps of accomplished theater music performers in the '20s, the Minnesotan became associated with a series of classic jazz bandleaders including Paul Whiteman in the latter half of that decade and Glenn Miller in the '30s. 

The trumpeter also conducted activities under another name, Charlie Marlowe. As the combination of Marlowe and/or Margulis, he was hardly out of breath in the '40s and '50s, playing on many freelance recording sessions from bases in both California, where he was Marlowe, and New York City, where he was Margulis.
Minneapolis movie theaters in which admission to a triple bill cost a dime were Margulis' introduction to the professional musician's life. From there he went on to work with territory bands led by Eddie Elkins, Paul Specht and others. He joined a Detroit group, Jean Goldkette's Book-Cadillac Hotel Orchestra in 1924, working under a friendly conductor named Joe Venuti who went on to become a famous swing violin player. Margulis' next boss was bandleader Ray Miller in a period when the trumpeter roamed back and forth between Detroit and Chicago. In 1927 Margulis began working with Whiteman, the relationship lasting nearly three years and concluding in a traditional manner for progressive jazz bands, with various sidemen stranded on the West coast.
Margulis managed to straggle back to New York City, bad luck perched on his shoulder. He got so sick that he had to return to California in order to recover but by the middle of the '30s was well enough to log in for a New York City recording session with the Dorsey Brothers. Caught up in the excitement of the new swing style, a logical extension of what Whiteman had been doing but with a more danceable flow, Margulis tried out life as a bandleader as well as spending a year on tour with another Miller, this one a genre messiah, Glenn Miller. The stint put him "In the Mood" for the surname as well as the style, at least from the evidence of a 1938 stint with Jack Miller. 
Meanwhile, the trumpeter's activities as a bandleader also continued -- like many of his peers, Margulis sought the economic safety net of the recording studios when public tastes began to embrace styles such as doo wop and R&B. The trumpeter's chicken farm in the late '30s was another attempt at economic intervention, yet in the '40s and '50s his flexibility as a freelancer financially fried more eggs.
Charlie Margulis

Ramblin' Tommy Scott
C&W guitar/vocals/entertainer
b. (near) Toccoa, GA, USA.
né, Tommy Lee Scott.

Probably best recalled for his work on the radio station "WWVA Jamboree", out of Wheeling, West Virginia. Tommy was a featured soloist and also did a black-face routine (which he did for audiences in several states). Another of his characters was that of "Luck McLuke" (a talking mannequin) which, throughout most of his career, was his favorite comedy routine. Circa 1948, he had his own show "Ramblin' Tommy Scott's Hollywood Hillbilly Jamboree". In 1939, he married his wife, Frankie. They had a child named Sandre Yvette Scott. At the time, both were a part of his show.
Emett "Babe" Wallace, songwriter
b. New York, NY, USA.
Worked with Louis Jordan.
~Jimy Bleu
Truly a Renaissance man, Emett Babe Wallace, born 1909 in Brooklyn, N.Y., is the epitome of a "show-biz" person. After becoming a bouncer for Harlem's Savoy Ballroom at age 19, he went on to eventually perform as a singer there. He also performed in the most noted venues worldwide; including Small's Paradise, The Apollo Theater and The Cotton Club. Around 1940, he fronted Ella Fitzgerald's band and in 1956, went on to reside in Israel, where he became a popular recording artist for the Blue Jazz record label, singing in English and Yiddish.

From there he took Europe by storm performing in Spain, France, Germany and Holland, sharing the stage with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Della Reese, Johnny Otis and Cab Calloway to name a few. 

As an actor, Babe is among the early pioneers of Black Cinema, starring in numerous films alongside some of the finest names in the industry. His career took flight, when in 1943 he co-starred in the 20th Century Fox classic "Stormy Weather", with Lena Horne and Bill Robinson. 
Babe Wallace and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson 1943
He went on to perform in stage musicals such as "Anna Lucasta " in London during 1947, " Les Folies Bergere " in Paris during 1952 (appearing as the first Black male star), and "Guys and Dolls" on Broadway during 1976, with Robert Guillaume and James Randolph. In 1989, he was presented the prestigious Paul Robeson Award by the Black American Cinema Society, along with Marla Gibbs.

Babe is a prolific songwriter, poet and novelist, who has some of his works included in the Schomburg Research Center for Black Culture. Of his thousands of songs, some have been recorded by Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald and Cab Calloway. In 1999, Burger King franchise featured one of his songs "A Chicken Ain't Nothin But A Bird" in their TV/radio ad campaign.

Babe Wallace died on December 3, 2006, Englewood, NJ.
Babe Wallace

Lidia Wysocka
Lidia Wysocka (June 24, 1916 – January 2, 2006) was a Polish stage, film and voice actress, singer, cabaret performer and creative director, theatre director and costume designer, editorialist.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Billboard Magazine replaced
the term 'Race Record', with
'Rhythm & Blues' on their
record charts.
Race Record

Pianist Joe Dean
died in St. Louis, MO, USA.
Age: 73.
Vocalist Albennie Jones
died in New York, (Bronx), NY, USA.
Age: 74.

Wallace "The Cat" Mercer Sr, DJ/Sax
died in Pensacola, FL. USA.
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra - Number Ten
The California Ramblers - After You've Gone

Waring's Pennsylvanians

Abe Lyman's California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra
  • This Is Love

Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra - Honeysuckle Rose


Fats Waller and his Rhythm
Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra
  • Ain't Misbehavin'
  • I Can't Give You Anything But Love
  • Naturally

~Fats Waller

No one to talk with, all by myself
No one to walk with, but I'm happy on the shelf
Ain't misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.
I know for certain the one you love
I'm through with flirtin', it's just you I'm thinkin' of
Ain't Misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.
Like Jack Horner in the corner
don't go nowhere, what do I care
Your kisses are worth waitin' for . . . Believe me.
I don't stay out late, don't care to go
I'm home about 8, just me and my radio
Ain't Misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Music: Jimmy McHugh  Words: Dorothy Fields

I can't give you anything but love, Baby,
That's the only thing I've plenty of, Baby.
Dream awhile, scheme awhile, We're sure to find,
Happiness, and I guess, All those things you've always pined for.
Gee, I'd like to see you looking swell, Baby,
Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, Baby.
Till that lucky day, you know darned well, Baby,
I can't give you anything but love.


Don't Get Around Much Anymore 
~Duke Ellington 

Missed the Saturday dance, 

heard they crowded the floor 
It's awfully different without you, 
don't get around much anymore 

 Thought I'd visit the club, 

got as far as the door 
I just couldn't bear without you, 
I don't get around much anymore 

 Darling I guess, 

my mind is more at ease but nevertheless, 
why stir up memories 
Been invited on a date, 
I might have gone, 
but what for I just couldn't bear it without you, 

I don't get around much anymore 

 Don't get around much anymore

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