Showing posts with label helen morgan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label helen morgan. 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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Lee Wiley, Vocals
b. Ft. Gibson, OK, USA.
d. Dec. 11, 1975, New York, NY, USA.
Her father was a missionary who married a 'Genuine American', - an Oklahoma Cherokee princess, and Lee was one of the offsprings of that marriage (her friends often called her, "Princess"). Ran away from home at age 15 and by age 17 was already a top singer in Chicago and New York, where she soon found herself singing and recording with Leo Reisman's Orchestra, as well as doing some dramatic work on radio. After finishing the 1930s, singing with Victor Young, Johnny Green and other commercial radio orchestras (such as Paul Whiteman and later Willard Robison), she worked her way into the New York Jazz clubs (started working with Eddie Condon in 1939). 

During the '30s, one of her original compositions "Any Time, Any Day, Anywhere" became a huge hit (due to a Joe Morris-Laurie Tate record release). Lee's sister, Pearl, was married to Jimmy Doane, who managed both "The Famous Door" and "The Onyx Club" on New York's famed 52nd Street ("Jazz Street"). And so, in 1936, Lee began visiting the clubs and meeting all the "Jazz" musicians, including such 'Dixielanders" as Joe Bushkin, Eddie Condon, Billy Butterfield, and Jess Stacy. In 1943, she married Jess Stacy, - the marriage lasting 5 years during which time she toured with his band. She appeared at some of the Eddie Condon's Town Hall concerts during the remainder of that decade. 
In the late 1940s, she was working as a 'Single' in night clubs, and continued to make occasional appearances on TV during the 1950s. There was an absolutely delightful husky and erotic warmth to Lee's voice that the Gershwins and Cole Porter had in mind when they wrote their songs and she soon became the first singer to devote an entire album to the music of one composer. Her warm voice with a wide vibrato, together with her ability to select superior tunes, interpreting the lyrics sensitively, made her one of the truly distintive feminine voices in the Jazz world. Her classic recordings of Rodgers and Hart, Gershwin, Porter, and Arlen are considered the highpoints of her career."
Goebel Reeve
C&W/Wester vocals/guitar
b. Sherman, TX, USA.
Tag: "The Texas Drifter"
Goebel Reeves was a singer/songwriter who eschewed his middle-class upbringing to become a hobo known as "the Texas Drifter" and sometimes as "George Riley, the Yodeling Rustler"; he penned one of Woody Guthrie's signature tunes, "Hobo's Lullaby" (drawing the melody in turn from a Civil War song, "Just Before the Battle, Mother"), and according to legend and his own claims, he taught Jimmie Rodgers to yodel. (They are thought to have traveled and performed together in the early '20s.)
Reeves was born in Sherman, TX, and grew up in Austin after his father was elected to the Texas state legislature. In 1917, he joined the U.S. Army and was shot while serving on the front lines overseas. He was discharged in 1921 and apparently chose to become a vagabond, temporarily earning a living as a singer. He did a stint as a seaman before making his recording debut for OKeh in 1929 and began using the aforementioned monikers the next year. Through the 1930s he cut about 35 sides for various labels; they followed the Rodgers mold in their mix of freedom-of-the-road yodeling numbers, comic pieces (such as a mother-in-law joke parody of "St. James Infirmary"), and sentimental ballads, but Reeves specialized in reflective hobo-philosopher recitations that were quite distinct from Rodgers' hobo pieces. He composed virtually all of his own recorded material. His last recordings were made in 1938 for a radio-transcription company in Hollywood; they were mostly recitations and poems.
Occasionally Reeves appeared on radio in both the U.S. and Canada, doing brief stints on The Rudy Vallée Show, The National Barn Dance, and The Grand Ole Opry. Later in the '30s, he returned to his seafaring career and spent time in Japan. During World War II he entertained U.S. troops and then, because he spoke some Japanese, worked for the U.S. government in Japanese-American internment camps. Reeves died in a veterans' hospital in Long Beach, CA, in 1969. Several LP reissues in the 1970s reintroduced the almost forgotten Reeves to country collectors, and his complete studio recordings were collected on the 1994 Bear Family release Hobo's Lullaby.
~ Sandra Brennan & James Manheim
Goebel Reeves: Information from

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Jeanette Loff
Actress and singer Jeanette Loff (October 9, 1906 – August 4, 1942) Loff's motion picture career began with an uncredited role in the silent film version of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Cecil B. Demille offered her a contract and she quickly became one of Hollywood busiest actresses. Jeanette got the chance to show off her soprano voice in films like King Of Jazz and Party Girl.

Jeanette Loff

Elmer Chester "Pops" Snowden
b. Baltimore, MD, USA
d. May 14, 1973
His band introduced Duke Ellington to New York, - and the world. MP# BIO: A fine banjo player, Elmer Snowden was the original leader of the Washingtonians, a group that would become the Duke Ellington Orchestra; a dispute over money in the mid-'20s soon found him "at liberty."
Snowden had met Ellington in 1919 and before that he had worked with Eubie Blake in Baltimore. He was quite active in the 1920s as a businessman, agent, and musician, running several bands and recording occasionally. But, although he worked steadily in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, he was essentially a minor figure during those years. In 1963, Snowden moved to California to teach at Berkeley, he toured Europe with George Wein in 1967, and made a few final recordings. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Mynie Sutton

b. Niagara Falls, Canada 

d. June 17, 1982
Myron Pierman "Mynie" Sutton (October 9, 1903, Niagara Falls - June 17, 1982, Niagara Falls) was a Canadian alto saxophonist and bandleader. 
Sutton worked in dance ensembles in Buffalo, New York and Cleveland, Ohio between 1924 and 1931. He returned to Canada in 1931 and founded the Canadian Ambassadors in Aylmer, Quebec; this was one of very few black jazz bands based out of Canada in the 1930s. The group operated out of Montreal from 1933, playing at Connie's Inn, the Hollywood Club, and Cafe Montmartre, in addition to doing tours of Quebec and Ontario. Pianists in the ensemble included Lou Hooper and Buster Harding.By 1941 the Ambassadors had disbanded, and Sutton returned to his birthplace of Niagara Falls, where he played locally for decades. He made no commercial recordings. A collection of materials devoted to Sutton is held at the Concordia University library in Montreal.
Mynie Sutton - Wikipedia

Rest In Peace Helen Morgan!
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:


Famed "Torch" Singer Helen Morgan died.
Helen Morgan (August 2, 1900 – October 9, 1941) was an American singer and actress who worked in films and on the stage. A quintessential torch singer, she made a big splash in the Chicago club scene in the 1920s. She starred as Julie LaVerne in the original Broadway production of Hammerstein and Kern'smusical Show Boat in 1927 as well as in the 1932 Broadway revival of the musical, and appeared in two film adaptations, a part-talkie made in 1929 (prologue only) and a full-sound version made in 1936, becoming firmly associated with the role. She suffered from bouts of alcoholism, and despite her notable success in the title role of another Hammerstein and Kern's Broadway musical, Sweet Adeline (1929), her stage career was relatively short. Helen Morgan died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 41. She was portrayed by Polly Bergen in the Playhouse 90 drama The Helen Morgan Story and by Ann Blyth in the 1957 biopic based on the television drama.
Helen Morgan - Wikipedia
Campbell Playhouse Radio Broadcast Show Boat (March 31, 1939)

Helen Morgan @ Find a Grave

The Musicians Union strike 
(began August 1, 1942) ended.
One year later, the Record
companies again began recording.

Julius Jacquet, tenor sax, 
died in Oakland, CA, USA.
Age: 54.

"Chick Hurt"
Member: "The Prarie Ramblers," died.
Age: 56.

"Sister" Rosetta Tharpe
gospel vocals/guitar
died in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Age: 57.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Wikipedia

Johnny Wiggs, cornet
died in New Orleans. LA, USA.
Age: 78.
Johnny Wiggs - Wikipedia

Jimmy Cain, tenor sax
died in Detroit, MI, USA.
Age: 86.

Samuel H. Clark, Label owner 
(ABC Paramount Records)
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 74.

Greely Walton
tenor-barisax, died.
Age: 89.

Greely Walton (October 4, 1904, Mobile, Alabama - October 9, 1993) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
Walton played violin in his youth before settling on saxophone, and studied music at the University of Pittsburgh in the 1920s. He worked first with Elmer Snowden in 1926, then with Benny Carter (1929) and for an extended period with Luis Russell (1930–37). During this time Russell's ensemble was occasionally led by Red Allen, and served as Louis Armstrong's backing ensemble for a period. After leaving Russell, Walton worked with Vernon Andrade (1938), Horace Henderson (1941), Cootie Williams as a baritone saxophonist (1942–43), and Cab Calloway (1943–45). From 1945-47 he acted as musical director for doo wop group The Ink Spots, and played with Noble Sissle and Sy Oliver towards the end of the decade. He did work in radio and television in the 1950s before retiring from music in that decade.
Greely Walton - Wikipedia

Smoky Dacus
Member: "Texas Playboys," died.
Age: 90.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include: 


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - "Dancing Honeymoon"

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - "An Orange Grove in California" (Irving Berlin)

Ted Lewis and his Band - "Show Me The Way"


Midight Rounders - 
"Bull Fiddle Rag"


Blind Willie Dunn and Lonnie Johnson - "Deep Minor Rhythm Stomp"

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - "Nobody's Sweetheart" (Kahn / Erdman / Meyers / Schoebel)"

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - "Without a Song" (Rose / Eliscu / Youmans)"  

Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers - "Fickle Fay Creep" 

Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers "Gambling Jack"

Louis Armstrong and his Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra - "Body And Soul" (From "Three's A Crowd")


Russ Columbo - "Prisoner of Love" 

"Prisoner of Love"
~recorded this date by singer Russ Columbo.
(Victor records)

~Prisoner Of Love~
**First recorded by writer Columbo in 1931
**Words by Leo Robin and Music by Russ Columbo and Clarence Gaskill

Alone from night to night you'll find me
Too weak to break the chains that bind me
I need no shackles to remind me
I'm just a prisoner of love

For one command I stand and wait now
From one who's master of my fate now

I can't escape for it's too late now
I'm just a prisoner of love

What's the good of my caring if someone is sharing those arms with me
Although she has another, I can't have another for I'm not free

She's in my dreams awake or sleeping
Upon my knees to her I'm creeping
My very life is in her keeping
I'm just a prisoner of love

What's the good of my caring if someone is sharing those arms with me
Although she has another, I can't have another for I'm not free

She's in my dreams awake or sleeping
Upon my knees to her I'm creeping
My very life is in her keeping
I'm just a prisoner of love

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