Showing posts with label pork miller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pork miller. 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

brought to you by...




"Jelly Roll" Morton, jazz, pianist/leader/composer/vocals
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. July 10, 1941, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
né: Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe. Born into a Creole family, he took the name "Morton" by Anglicizing the name of his step-father, Mouton.

American musician Jelly Roll Morton (1885 - 1941) was America's first great jazz composer and one of the foremost contributors to American music. A pioneering jazz musician and leader as well, Morton claimed to have invented the term jazz and the musical style itself at the height of the Swing Era in 1902 while he performed in New Orleans.

Morton was also an influential composer; his works were widely recorded, reaching a vast audience.

Although an important and respected innovator in the transitional period from early to orchestral jazz, Morton had a predilection for embellishing the truth about himself.

Because of this, the validity of his claim that he invented the term "jazz" is uncertain. With a penchant for the ostentatious, Morton was known for his colorful clothing and the diamond in his front tooth. Morton's vast output of work was recorded in 1938 at the Library of Congress during a series of several interviews. The resulting eight hours have been called by the Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, "perhaps the most important oral history of jazz ever issued."

Much of the information about Morton's early life is uncertain, due in no small measure to his tendency to invent facts about himself. He was born Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe, on either September 20, 1885, or October 20, 1890, and probably in Gulfport, Louisiana, or Gulfport, Mississippi. Morton's creole father, E.P. Le Menthe (or LaMothe), was a carpenter. La Menthe was also a classically-schooled trombonist and took young Morton to the French Opera House in New Orleans. But La Menthe abandoned the family when Morton was very young. After Morton's mother married Willie Morton, the boy lived in Biloxi and Meridian, Mississippi, and then in New Orleans, mostly under the care of his aunt and godmother, Eulalie - or "Lallie" - Echo.

Morton's Aunt Lallie took him everywhere, including saloons and even jail. But it was in jail, when he heard the inmates singing, that Morton found his first musical inspiration. His first musical instrument, though made of a tin pan and two chair legs, sounded to him like a symphony. Soon Morton learned to play other, more traditional instruments. By age five he could play the harmonica and at age six he had mastered the Jews' harp. Morton was an accomplished guitarist by age seven.

He studied the guitar and was soon playing in street bands. He then learned the trombone, which he played in the houses of the red light district in New Orleans known as Storyville. By the time he was a teenager, he also played the piano, which he learned after hearing a concert at the opera house. His aunt sent him to study for a time with a black university professor of music. Morton's mother died when he was 14 or 15, but his aunt was by far the greatest influence in his life. A firm believer in voodoo, his aunt kept glasses of water around the house from which Morton believed he heard voices echoing in the night. Morton also heard chains rattling and the sewing machine running. He would forever be influenced by voodoo and always kept holy water near his bed.

Morton began to earn money - $20 in tips on his first night - as a pianist and gambler in the red light district of New Orleans. Morton's family had great respect for opera, but any other type of music was considered inappropriate, so when his aunt found out where the money for Morton's new clothes was coming from, she threw him out of the house so he would not corrupt his younger sisters.

Discovered Jazz
In 1902, Morton met famous ragtime pianist and composer Tony Jackson. Morton began meeting with Jackson and other musicians in back rooms after all the nightclubs closed, playing until the afternoon. Morton claimed that jazz was born there and that the word was his invention. About this time, he wrote "New Orleans Blues" and "King Porter Stomp," among other early tunes.

When he left his aunt's house, Morton also left New Orleans, never to return. He wandered the country, spending time in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Chicago in 1904, and in Mobile, Alabama, in 1905. He found work as a musician, a pool shark, and a gambler. Morton even worked as a vaudeville comedian in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1908, and three years later he toured with McCabe's Minstrel Troubadours in St. Louis and Kansas City.

In 1911, Morton arrived in New York City sporting a diamond in his front tooth. It was there that he first played "Jelly Roll Blues," which was published for orchestra in Chicago in 1915, making it perhaps the first jazz orchestration ever published. Several more Morton orchestrations would follow.
Success in the 1920s
The 1920s were Morton's most productive years. He was offered a job in Los Angeles in 1917, where he worked as a bandleader and in other entertainment areas. He also traveled a great deal, performing anywhere from Alaska to Tijuana, Mexico. While in Los Angeles, he began a relationship with Anita Johnson (or Gonzales), a girlfriend from New Orleans. Johnson had owned a saloon in Las Vegas but moved to Los Angeles and bought a small hotel. Morton often referred to her as his wife, although there is no record of their marriage. Johnson was musically inclined herself, and she wrote the lyrics for Morton's "Dead Man Blues." Johnson had a good singing voice, as well, but Morton never allowed her to perform. She also traveled with him when he went on tour, mainly because Morton was intensely jealous of her and did not want her out of his sight.

By this time, Morton owned several small businesses. He was making money and establishing a name for himself. Morton was not above being ostentatious and boastful. He sometimes showed friends a trunk full of money, and his diamond-studded apparel and teeth were well known. Yet, there was no denying his distinctive personality. He was part showman and part sideshow barker. In an age when musicians all wore tuxedos, Morton preferred white trousers and shoes, a wine-colored jacket, and diamonds on his tie and his socks. But he was a dedicated composer, often waking up at night to scribble ideas and later demanding that the band musicians followed his compositions to the note.

In 1922 or 1923, Morton left Johnson and Los Angeles, returning to Chicago. For the next five years, he was the staff arranger for the Melrose Publishing House. A great number of his compositions were recorded during this period, including influential pieces on the Gennett label. He recorded "London Blues," "Grandpa's Spell," and "The Pearls." He also spent some time with a group of white musicians known as the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Morton was one of the first blacks to play in a mixed band.
Morton reached the height of his popularity between 1926 and 1930. He formed a band called the Red Hot Peppers and produced several classic recordings for the Victor label, both in Chicago and New York. The classics "Kansas City Stomp," "Sidewalk Blues," "The Chant Mournful Serenade," and "Ponchatrain Blues" were released during this period. Morton's Chicago recordings also featured some of the best sidemen from New Orleans, such as Kid Ory on the trombone and Baby Dodds on the drums. He also found time to tour with W.C. Handy and played piano with Henry Crowder's band.

While at the Plantation Club in Chicago in 1927, Morton first met Mabel Bertrand, a creole dancer who had been raised in a convent after her parents died and who had entertained in Europe. They were married in 1928 and traveled together in Morton's Lincoln, while the rest of the band rode in a colorful bus proclaiming, "Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers." In 1928, Morton spent two months at Harlem's Rose Danceland in New York City. The following year he led an all-girl revue in Chicago, and in 1931 he was back in Harlem with his own ensemble. He became the house pianist in Harlem's Red Apple Club in 1934.
~The Depression Took Its Toll
By this time, the Depression was taking its toll on the recording industry. Big bands with 
such colorful figures as Louis Armstrong were coming into fashion, and Morton did not 
adapt to this new style. Due to his failure to adapt, Morton's success and prestige were 
dwindling. His fall in popularity as a bandleader had also nearly collapsed his financial empire
when he moved to Washington, D.C. in 1935 for a long engagement at a the Jungle Club.
One night at the club in 1939, Morton admonished and then slapped a rowdy club patron. The
man attacked Morton with a knife, slicing Morton in the head and chest. He never fully
recovered from the incident, which only aggravated other existing health problems. In order to
survive, Morton began accepting small weekly checks from Catholic Charities.
For a short time in 1938, Morton established a music publishing company in New York. 
With his recordings, he took advantage of public interest once again focused on the New
Orleans jazz style. But his health was failing. Morton returned to Los Angeles in 1940, leaving 
his wife behind, although he kept in touch with her.

While in Los Angeles, he renewed his relationship with Anita Johnson. Hoping that the
California climate would restore his health, Morton formed a new band. Before long, his failing
strength made it impossible to work. In May of 1941, Morton checked into Los Angeles County
General Hospital. On June 10, at the age of fifty, Morton died in Johnson's arms. The cause of
death was heart failure resulting from chronic high blood pressure. A high mass was sung for
Jelly Roll Morton in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. His pallbearers included Kid Ory
and other members of his band. Morton's will did not mention his wife. Whatever he had of
value, including royalties, was bequeathed to Anita Johnson.
~Morton's Legacy
George C. Wolfe's 1992 Broadway musical, Jelly's Last Jam, was loosely based on Morton's life. Recognized as the first great composer of jazz, he was an excellent pianist and an intelligent innovator who changed the early ragtime style into a new form. Morton's early works have become collector's items. Perhaps no jazz musician from the early days is now so completely recorded on disc. Morton's great legacy is found in the eight hours of recordings and interviews collected together by Alan Lomax in 1938 and released to the public ten years later.

His compositions and arrangements, many of which reflect his Creole background, include “Dead Man Blues,” “Jelly Roll Blues,” “King Porter Stomp,” “Black Bottom Stomp,” “Mama Nita,” “Mamie's Blues” (or “219 Blues”), “Moi pas l'aimez ça,” “The Pearls,” “Sidewalk Blues,” and “Wolverine Blues”. The publication of his collected scores in 1982 helped to spark a Morton revival in the United States.
~See biography by A. Lomax (1950).

Jelly Roll Quotes:
"Get up from that piano. You hurtin' its feelings" 
"In 1908 Handy didn't know anything about the blues and he doesn't know anything about jazz and stomps to this day. I myself figured out the peculiar form of mathematics and harmonies that was strange to all the world but me. " 
"I have been robbed of three million dollars all told. Everyone today is playing my stuff and I don't even get credit. Kansas City style, Chicago style, New Orleans style hell, they're all Jelly Roll style."
"My contributions were many: First clown director, with witty sayings and flashily dressed, now called master of ceremonies."  
Wikipedia Bio
*(NOTE: SOME SOURCES GIVE JELLY ROLL’S BIRTHDAY AS SEPT. 20th..and some as October 20th)

Adelaide Hall, Vocalist/Dancer
b. New York, NY, USA.
d. Nov. 7, 1993
Age: 92.
Now best recalled as a vocalist, but Adelaide always considered herself to be a Dancer. (She was one of the "Hot Sepia Chorines" at New York's famed Cotton Club, when Duke Ellington worked there. The Duke later used her voice as an Obligato on his hit recording of "Creole Love Song" - which in retrospect was her "Big Break".
Adelaide Hall is one of those forgotten singers, prominent between the two World Wars but overlooked in the years that followed. That she was one of the top black singers of her era makes her lack of recognition or representation in the record catalog especially frustrating, It's even more astonishing when one realizes that Hall was the vocalist on Duke Ellington's original 1927 hit recording of "Creole Love Call," introduced the song "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" to the world, and was second in popularity only to Josephine Baker in prewar Paris.

Adelaide Hall was born in Brooklyn, New York, sometime between 1895 and 1909 (many biographers presume that the year 1901 is most likely correct), the older of two daughters of William Hall and Elizabeth Gerard. William Hall taught piano at the Pratt Institute, and he started both daughters in music at an early age.  

Adelaide gravitated toward singing rather than the piano, however, and with her sister Evelyn formed a piano-vocal duet, performing at church and school events. The family was devastated by the death of Evelyn during the influenza epidemic of 1918 -- by then her father had also passed on, and Hall turned her attention to supporting herself and her mother. 

Her first break came on Broadway in 1921 when she ws selected for the chorus of the revue Shuffle Along. In 1923, she was in the cast of the show Runnin' Wild, and the following year she married a merchant seaman from Trinidad named Bert Hicks.

During late 1927, Hall found herself booked on the RKO-Keith's theater circuit for a series of shows on the same bill with Duke Ellington. It was during this engagement that she discovered a brand new Ellington tune called "Creole Love Call," which became a celebrated collaboration between the two musical legends -- they recorded it together, along with a handful of other tracks, in late October of 1927 for the Victor Record Company, and "Creole Love Call" went on to became a major Ellington first hit -- his first-and Hall's signature tune for decades.

A year later, Hall stepped into the shoes of leading lady Florence Mills, who had died suddenly, in the Blackbirds revue on Broadway and introduced the song "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." She seemed unstoppable as the songs and the hits kept coming her way. A two-week engagement at the London Palladium (which was later extended elsewhere for the visit) in 1931 led to the beginning of a contractual relationship with the English Decca label, which resulted in recordings of eight new songs at the time and numerous records in the next dozen years.
Back in the USA, Hall was on tour when she encountered a young pianist named Art Tatum, who was recommended as a replacement by her own accompanist, Joe Turner, when he decided to move on. The two performed together for a short time, and managed to record as well.
Hall's career might've continued in the United States, but for a series of ugly incidents that ensued when, taking advantage of her success, she, her husband, and her mother moved to a home she'd bought in Larchmont, New York. The upscale white community was unprepared to have a Black family in its midst and did its best to force them out legally -- that having failed, the house was then set afire, and while it was saved, Hall was unwilling to risk the safety of her mother. She brought her back to New York City, but nothing was ever quite the same for Hall or her husband.

In the mid-'30s, they moved to Paris, where she became an overnight sensation as a singer. The City of Lights made Hall into a star during its last great postwar flowering, when the likes of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli were just starting to build their joint legendary careers, Chevalier was in his prime, and Josephine Baker was the toast of the city. Hall and her husband even opened their own club, which was a success.

In 1938, she ran into difficulty when a young man claiming to be member of European nobility approached Hall and threatened to kill her and himself if she didn't agree to a romantic assignation. Rather than stay around to find out whether any part of what he said -- even the royal title -- was real, the couple lit out for London, availing themselves of an offer for Hall's services from the legendary English theater producer Charles B. Cochran. Cochran, best remembered today for Rodgers & Hart's Ever Green (the basis for the celebrated film Evergreen), had a knack for recognizing expatriate American talent, and had already given Black American choreographer Buddy Bradley a new start and a new, rich career in England. Cochran persuaded Hall to come to London to star in a show called The Sun Never Sets. Hall and her husband never looked back -- it was off to London, where she made her home permanently. In less than a year, she and her husband had a club of their own in the city and were entertaining guests such as Fats Waller (an old friend of Hall's from New York), with whom she also got to record. 
Hall also got to appear in movies -- not that Black performers didn't do movies in America, but they were usually limited to small specialty appearances in major films or else to starring roles in low-budget pictures aimed specifically at Black audiences. In England, the roles were more exotic. For Hall, screen immortality came on the cusp of World War II, when she was cast in 1939 as the nurse to the princess played by June Duprez in Alexander Korda's The Thief of Bagdad (1940); Hall had no dialogue in the Technicolor fantasy classic, starring Sabu and Conrad Veidt, but she got a chance to show her skills with operatic-style singing in a poignant performance of a lullaby written by Miklos Rozsa, sung in a garden while the princess and her ladies in waiting listened languidly.

The war turned millions of British lives around, including Hall's. The club owned by Hall and her husband was destroyed by a direct hit during a German air raid, but fortunately for all concerned, Hall had cleared the building earlier in the evening, somehow anticipating that a tragedy was impending. As the war went on, she prepared personal welcomes for the American soldiers who were coming over in ever-increasing numbers, opening her own house on a regular basis, and she later joined the uniformed entertainment corps. Commissioned and dispatched to perform to troops, she built a new popularity among the Allied troops with her performances in combat zones that hadn't been in Allied hands at all long. She was performing in Germany before the nation had entirely been secured by the Allies.
After World War II, Hall returned to England and continued to perform and record. She also turned to some theatrical work, appearing in a West End production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate -- in 1957, she returned to the USA to work in the Broadway production of Jamaica, starring Lena Horne. 

Her husband's declining health took Hall out of performing, and it was years after his death in 1963 before she resumed working in public. By that time, she was doing straight acting roles with Helen Hayes, as well as readings of poetry and music alongside Peter O'Toole and Dame Sybil Thorndyke. She performed in cabaret in the 1970s, and cut new versions of her old classics with accompaniment by Humphrey Lyttelton, and cut a tribute album in memory of Duke Ellington.
Ironically, during the 1980s, Hall was in almost as much demand as she'd been in the 1930s, as a result of the release of the movie The Cotton Club. The film raised interest in the actual history of the celebrated performing venue in Harlem, and Hall was among the very few survivors from the ranks of those who'd performed there, and found herself in constant demand for interviews and even performances. By that time, however, she was in her eighties and her health was failing. Hall passed away in late 1993 after a short illness. Adelaide Hall was a very influential stylist as a performer from 1920s into the mid-'40s. Her early work, in particular, crossed over easily between jazz and pop without offending either camp's sensibilities, and she introduced more than her share of hits and pop and jazz standards.
~ Bruce Eder
John McClanian aka Johnny Best, trumpet
b. Shelby, North Carolina, USA
d. Sept. 19, 2003, La Jolla, CA, USA.
The highly competitive nature of jazz trumpeters reaches a symbolic apex of some sort in the surname of this performer, a North Carolinian who began playing professionally at the age of 15. Sometimes credited as the chummy Johnny Best, the excellent trumpet man is associated with some classic recordings by vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. He also enjoyed stints in the most popular big bands of the swing era, picking up paychecks from the likes of Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, and Benny Goodman, the latter leader also sabotaging the trumpeter's charts on-stage so that he would sound worst, not Best. In the '50s, the trumpeter pointed the bell of his horn toward the studio scene, showing up in musical styles with a much softer edge and sometimes much less swinging.
In the beginning, Best was himself a bandleader. Through the late '20s, he led his own group in high school and continued honing his ensemble abilities at Davidson College and the University of North Carolina in outfits such as the Duke Blue Devils and the University of North Carolina Dance Band. Combo leader Hank Biagnini utilized Best regularly for several years, beginning in 1933. At that point, the trumpeter returned to college in North Carolina, then hooked up with bandleader Les Brown, a harbinger of future gigs with the slick orchestra of Ray Conniff. Best took off for Chicago around 1936, barnstormed with Charlie Barnet, and then showed up with Shaw. Through the late '30s and early '40s, he was back and forth between the Shaw shop and the Miller mill, even following the former bandleader into the Navy and playing in his band there. The war experience also got Best over to Europe, where in 1944 he gigged with Sam Donohue's Navy Band as well.
The trumpeter joined up with Goodman at the end of the war; realistically enough, he was part of the cast of musicians in The Benny Goodman Story biopic a decade later, and probably found star Steve Allen much easier to get along with. By the time this film was shot, Best was well into his tenure as a Hollywood studio player, work he had been increasingly offered since the late '40s. In the '50s, he played on many records by Bing Crosby, Jerry Gray, Rosemary Clooney, and Billy May, among others; he also hit the road with May in 1953. Best was a busy bee over the next 15 years, keeping up with an often bursting session itinerary and in the '60s also gigging five nights a week at the notorious Honeybucket Club in San Diego. A new version of the Bob Crosby Bobcats hired Best for a road tour in 1964, and in the '70s and '80s the trumpeter remained busy with studio projects as well as regular European tours.
~ Eugene Chadbourne
Tadeusz Faliszewski 
Tadeusz Faliszewski (1898-1961) (Jerzy Nowogródzki, Jerzy Orowski, Jan Pobóg, Jan Saskowski), Polish singer, cabaret actor, director of revues and operettas. Husband of actress Halina Kidawska. Spent his childhood in Lviv. Served in the army in World War II.

Made his debut as actor in 1922, played in Cracow, Radom, Kalisz, and Czestochowa. He and Adam Aston, Henryk Wars and Tadeusz Sas-Jaworski were the Chór Warsa. Performed in Warsaw cabarets like Morskie Oko and Nowy Ananas, later founded his own literary cabaret Rajski Ptak.

In a 1937 Polish radio contest for vocalists he came in third after Mieczyslaw Fogg and Stefan Witas. He sang many songs with texts by Andrzej Włast. He starred in the Konrad Tom film Parada Warszawy in 1937, and with Eugeniusz Bodo in 1938 film Królowej przedmieścia.

Mal Hallett, Leader
d. 1952.
Swing pioneer Mal Hallett graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music. During WWI he entertain troops in France as a member of Al Moore's orchestra. In the 1930s Hallett formed a very progressive dance band that spent most of its existence touring the New England area. During its heyday Hallett's orchestra featured many young singers and musicians who would go on to become big stars in their own right, such as Gene Krupa ,Jack Teagarden ,Frankie Carle , Jack Jenney, Toots Mondello, Irene Daye , and Pied Piper Clark Yocum.

Though the group had many followers the band's hard hitting style kept them from ever achieving any big success. Hallett was also older than most of the other swing leaders, and he had trouble connecting with the younger fans. Mal Hallett passed away in 1952.

Stuart Hamblen
C&W singer/songwriter/actor
b. Kellyville, TX, USA. 
The name alone evokes a big, beefy hard-livin' type and that's exactly what Stuart Hamblen was. Popular for singing hits like "My Mary" and "Texas Plains" during the '40s, Hamblen was also cast as the ranch "tough" in many cowboy flicks of the era, as his reputation with the bottle served him well for the role.
Hamblen, however, eventually found God and left country music altogether, opting to host an L.A.-based radio show, named with Hamblen's trademark flare, The Cowboy Church of the Air.

Carl Kress, Guitar
b. Newark, NJ, USA
d. June 10, 1965, Reno, NV, USA. 
 One of the great guitarists of the 1930s, Carl Kress had a very sophisticated chordal style on acoustic guitar. He originally played banjo before gradually shifting to guitar. Kress played with Paul Whiteman in 1926 and then became a very busy studio musician, recording with all of the top white musicians (including Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols' Five Pennies, and two classic duets with Eddie Lang) in those segregated days.
Kress often teamed up with fellow guitarist Dick McDonough in the 1930s, he co-owned the Onyx Club on 52nd Street for a time, and continued working in the studios into the 1960s, playing during his last years in a duo with George Barnes. Most of Carl Kress' solo and duet (with McDonough) recordings from the 1930s are long overdue to be reissued.
~ Scott Yanow
Carl Kress

Johnny Moore, guitar
b. Austin, TX, USA.
Member: 'Three Blazers'

Edward O. "Poggy" Pogson
b: London (Action), England, UK.
d. Jan. 31, 1980.
Played with: Geraldo; Jack Hylton; Jack Payne; and Billy Ternent among others.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Polk Miller, banjo
died in Richmond, VA, USA.
Age: 69.
Member: Old South Quartette. 
Polk Miller

Tommy Dorsey Orch records
~All the Things You Are".
Jack Leonard vocal.

"Cryin'" Sam Collins, guitar
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Budd Johnson, tenor sax
died in Kansas City, MO, USA.
Age: 73 (b. Midland, TX 1910).
Curtis Massey, Sax, died.
Age: 81.
Member: "Louise Massey & the Westerners".

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Margaret Johnson accompanied by the Black and Blue Trio - “When a 'Gator Holler, Folks Say It's A Sign Of Rain”

Annette Hanshaw - *“Don't Take That Black Bottom Away” - (Sometime in October 1926… exact date is unknown)

Thomas Morris  and his Orchestra
Devonshire Resturant Dance Band - "Short And Sweet”

Annette Hanshaw - “Are You Happy?” - (Sometime in October 1927, exact date is unknown)

Annette Hanshaw - “Just Another Day Wasted Away” - (Sometime in October 1927, exact date is unknown)

Memphis Jug Band - “Beale Street Mess Around”
Memphis Jug Band “I'll See You In Spring, When The Birds Begin To Sing”


Duke Ellington and his  Cotton Club Orchestra - “Awful Sad”


Phil Baxter and his Orchestra - “Down Where The Blue Bonnets Grow”
Benny Goodman Orch.
  • "I Thought About You"

Don't take that Black Bottom Away

No one ever gave me a tumble

at a party or ball
still I learned a certain step
that gave me quite a rep
I became the life of the party
one to boast every day
that red hot rhythm
can't be with em
Now they want to take it away
I'm trying
You can take my coat and hat
take away my dog and my cat
but don't take away that black bottom
black bottom
You can take the sun away
leave me with those clouds of gray
but don't take that black bottom away
Heh, Heh
Every night I do that dance
I loose my self control
It has taken full possession of my very soul
just take every thing you can
you can even take my man
but don't take that black bottom away
Take some poison alcohol
I won't miss that stuff at all
but don't take away that black bottom
black bottom, black bottom
Take away those fancy plays
where they see a woman pays
but don't take that black bottom away
heh, heh
When they did that shimmy dance
I really didn't mind
when the cops say pasee
I didn't mind

At the close of every day

on my knees you'll hear me praying
don't take that black bottom away
Just take every thing you can
you can even take my man
but don't take  that black bottom
Don't take the sunshine out of my life

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