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Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Category

a1101_barbara_dane_03Barbara Dane (born May 12, 1927) is an American folk, blues, and jazz singer.

"Bessie Smith in stereo," wrote jazz critic Leonard Feather in the late 1950s. Time said of Dane: "The voice is pure, rich … rare as a 20 karat diamond" and quoted Louis Armstrong’s exclamation upon hearing her at the Pasadena jazz festival: "Did you get that chick? She’s a gasser!"

Career as singer

Moving to San Francisco in 1949, Dane began raising her own family and singing her folk and topical songs around town as well as on radio and television. A jazz revival was then shaking the town, and by the 1950s she became a familiar figure at clubs along the city’s Embarcadero with her own versions of women’s blues and jazz tunes. New Orleans jazz musicians like George Lewis and Kid Ory and locals like Turk Murphy, Burt Bales, Bob Mielke and others invited her onto the bandstand regularly. Her first professional jazz job was with Turk Murphy at the Tin Angel in 1956.

a1101_barbara_dane_01To Ebony, she seemed "startlingly blonde, especially when that powerful dusky alto voice begins to moan of trouble, two-timing men and freedom … with stubborn determination, enthusiasm and a basic love for the underdog, [she is] making a name for herself … aided and abetted by some of the oldest names in jazz who helped give birth to the blues." The seven-page Ebony article was filled with photos of Dane working with Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Clara Ward, Mama Yancey, Little Brother Montgomery and others.

By 1959, Louis Armstrong had asked Time magazine readers: "Did you get that chick? She’s a gasser!" and invited her to appear with him on national television. She appeared with Louis Armstrong on the Timex All-Star Jazz Show hosted by Jackie Gleason on January 7, 1959. She toured the East Coast with Jack Teagarden, appeared in Chicago with Art Hodes, Roosevelt Sykes, Little Brother Montgomery, Memphis Slim, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon and others, played New York with Wilbur De Paris and his band, and appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson as a solo guest artist. Other national TV work included The Steve Allen Show, Bobby Troop’s Stars of Jazz, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

In 1961, the singer opened her own club, Sugar Hill: Home of the Blues, on San Francisco’s Broadway in the North Beach district, with the idea of creating a venue for the blues in a tourist district where a wider audience could hear it. There Dane performed regularly with her two most constant musical companions: Kenny "Good News" Whitson on piano and cornet and Wellman Braud, former Ellington bassist. Among her guest artists were Jimmy Rushing, Mose Allison, Mama Yancey, Tampa Red, Lonnie Johnson, Big Mama Thornton, Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry.

In her speech to the GI Movement of the Vietnam War Era (whose text can be found in the booklet that’s included in Paredon Records’ FTA! Songs of the GI Resistance vinyl album of 1970), Barbara Dane said, "I was too stubborn to hire one of the greed-head managers, probably because I’m a woman who likes to speak for herself. I always made my own deals and contracts, and after figuring out the economics of it, I was free to choose when and where I worked, able to spend lots more time with my three children and doing political work, and even brought home more money in the end, by not going for the "bigtime." I did make some really nice records, because I was able to choose and work with wonderfully gifted musicians."

Political activism

She continued to weave in appearances as a solo performer on the coffeehouse circuit with her folk-style guitar. She also stepped up her work in the movements for peace and justice as the struggle for civil rights spread and the Vietnam war escalated. She sang at peace demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and throughout the US and toured anti-war GI coffeehouses all over the world. In 1966, Barbara Dane became the first U.S. musician to tour post-revolutionary Cuba.

In 1970 Dane founded Paredon Records, a label specializing in international protest music. She produced 45 albums, including three of her own, over a 12-year period. The label was later incorporated into Smithsonian-Folkways, a label of the Smithsonian Institution, and is available through their catalog.

In 1978, Dane appeared with Pete Seeger at a Rally in New York for striking coal miners.

Blues singer and role model

When she was in her late 70s, Philip Elwood, jazz critic of the San Francisco Examiner, said of her: "Dane is back and beautiful…she has an immense voice, remarkably well-tuned…capable of exquisite presentations regardless of the material. As a gut-level blues singer she is without compare." Blues writer Lee Hildebrand calls her "…perhaps the finest living interpreter of the classic blues of the 20’s." In a 2010 profile on Barbara produced by Steven Short of KALW in San Francisco, Bonnie Raitt said "she’s always been a role model and a hero of mine – musically and politically. I mean, the arc of her life so informs mine that – she’s – I really can’t think of anyone I admire [more], the way that she’s lived her life." The interview is archived on the KALW website.

Text from Wikipedia 

 

Barbara Dane – Livin’ with the Blues – 1959 – The whole LP

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a1018_nancy wilson_01

Nancy Wilson (born February 20, 1937) is an American singer with more than 70 albums, and three Grammy Awards. She has been labeled a singer of blues, jazz, cabaret and pop; a "consummate actress"; and "the complete entertainer." The title she prefers, however, is song stylist. She has received many nicknames including "Sweet Nancy", "The Baby", "Fancy Miss Nancy" and "The Girl With the Honey-Coated Voice".

Career

When Wilson met Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, he suggested that she should move to New York City, believing that the big city would be the venue in which her career could bloom. In 1959, she relocated to New York with a goal of obtaining Cannonball’s a1018_nancy wilson_04manager John Levy as her manager and Capitol Records as her label. Within four weeks of her arrival in New York she got her first big break, a call to fill in for Irene Reid at "The Blue Morocco". The club booked Wilson on a permanent basis; she was singing four nights a week and working as a secretary for the New York Institute of Technology during the day. John Levy sent demos of "Guess Who I Saw Today", "Sometimes I’m Happy", and two other songs to Capitol. Capitol Records signed her in 1960.

Wilson’s debut single, "Guess Who I Saw Today", was so successful that between April 1960 and July 1962 Capitol Records released five Nancy Wilson albums. Her first album, Like in Love, displayed her talent in Rhythm and Blues, with the hit R&B song "Save Your Love for Me." Adderley suggested that she should steer away from her original pop style and gear her music toward jazz and ballads. In 1962, they collaborated, producing the album Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley, which propelled her to national prominence, and Wilson would later appear on Adderley’s live album In Person (1968). Between March 1964 and June 1965, four of Wilson’s albums hit the Top 10 on Billboards Top LPs chart. In 1963 "Tell Me The Truth" became her first truly major hit, leading up to her performance at the Coconut Grove in 1964 – the turning point of her career, garnering critical acclaim from a1018_nancy wilson_02coast to coast. TIME said of her, "She is, all at once, both cool and sweet, both singer and storyteller." In 1964 Wilson released what became her most successful hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with "(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am", which peaked at No. 11. From 1963 to 1971 Wilson logged eleven songs on the Hot 100, including two Christmas singles. However, "Face It Girl, It’s Over" was the only remaining non-Christmas song to crack the Top 40 for Wilson (#29, in 1968).

After making numerous television guest appearances, Wilson eventually got her own series on NBC, The Nancy Wilson Show (1967–1968), which won an Emmy.Over the years she has appeared on many popular television shows from I Spy (more or less playing herself as a Las Vegas singer in the 1966 episode "Lori," and a similar character in the 1973 episode "The Confession" of The F.B.I.), Room 222, Hawaii Five-O, Police Story, The Jack Paar Program, The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show (1966), The Danny Kaye Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Kraft Music Hall, The Sinbad Show, The Cosby Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Soul Food, New York Undercover, and recently Moesha, and The Parkers. She also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Merv Griffith Show,The Tonight Show, The Arsenio Hall Show and The Flip Wilson Show. She was in the 1993 Robert Townsend‘s The Meteor Man and in the film, The Big Score. She also appeared on The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars and the March of Dime Telethon. She was signed by Capitol records in the late 1970s and in an attempt to broaden her appeal she cut the album Life, Love and Harmony, an album of soulful, funky dance cuts that included the track "Sunshine", which was to become one of her most sought-after recordings (albeit among supporters of the rare soul scene with whom she would not usually register). In 1977 she recorded the theme song for the The Last Dinosaur, a made for TV movie which opened in theaters in Japan.

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In the 1980s, she recorded five albums for Japanese labels because she preferred recording live, and American labels frequently did not give her that option. She gained such wide popularity that she was selected as the winner of the annual Tokyo Song Festivals.

In 1982 she recorded with Hank Jones and the Great Jazz Trio. In that same year she recorded with Griffith Park Band whose members included Chick Corea and Joe Henderson. In 1987 she participated in a PBS show entitled Newport Jazz ‘87 as the singer of a jazz trio with John Williams and Roy McCurdy.

a1018_nancy wilson_06In 1982 she also signed with CBS, her albums here including The Two of Us (1984), duets with Ramsey Lewis produced by Stanley Clarke; Forbidden Lover (1987), including the title-track duet with Carl Anderson; and A Lady with a Song, which became her 52nd album release in 1989. In 1989 Nancy Wilson in Concert played as a television special.

In the early 1990s, Wilson recorded an album paying tribute to Johnny Mercer with co-producer Barry Manilow entitled With My Lover Beside Me. In this decade she also recorded two other albums, Love, Nancy and her sixtieth album If I Had it My Way. In the late 1990s, she teamed up with MCG Jazz, a youth-education program of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, nonprofit, minority-directed, arts and learning organization located in Pittsburgh, PA.

In 1995, Wilson performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the San Francisco Jazz Festival in 1997. In 1999, she hosted a show in honor of Ella Fitzgerald entitled Forever Ella on the A & E Network.

All the proceeds from 2001’s A Nancy Wilson Christmas went to support the work of MCG Jazz. Wilson was the host on NPR‘s Jazz Profiles, from 1996 to 2005. This series profiled the legends and legacy of jazz through music, interviews and commentary. Wilson and the program were the recipients of the George Foster Peabody Award in 2001.

Wilson’s second and third album with MCG Jazz, R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) (2005), and Turned to Blue (2007), both won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

Awards and honors

In 1964, Wilson won her first Grammy Award for the best rhythm and blues recording for the album How Glad I Am. She was featured as a "grand diva" of jazz in a 1992 edition of Essence. In the same year, she also received the Whitney Young, Jr. Award from the Urban League. In 1998, she was a recipient of the Playboy Reader Poll Award for best jazz vocalist.

a1018_nancy wilson_07In 1986, she was dubbed the Global Entertainer of the Year by the World Conference of Mayors. She received an award from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in 1993; the NAACP Image Award – Hall of Fame Award in 1998, and was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999. She received the Trumpet Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1994. Wilson received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990, at 6541 Hollywood Blvd. She received honorary degrees from the Berklee School of Music and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Wilson has a street named after her in her hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio. She co-founded the Nancy Wilson Foundation, which exposes inner-city children to the country.

Wilson was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships award in 2004, the highest honors that the United States government bestows upon jazz musicians. In 2005 she received the NAACP Image Awards for Best Recording Jazz Artist. She received the 2005 UNCF Trumpet Award celebrating African-American achievement, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP in Chicago, and Oprah Winfrey‘s Legends Award.

In September 2005, Wilson was inducted on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Wilson was a major figure incivil rights marches of the 1960s. Wilson said, "This award means more to me than anything else I have ever received."

Times.com, August 20, 2006: "It’s been a long career for the polished Wilson, whose first albums appeared in the 1960s, and she faces that truth head-on in such numbers as ‘These Golden Years’ and ‘I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up’. Shorter breathed these days, she can still summon a warm, rich sound and vividly tell a song’s story. With a big band behind her in ‘Taking a Chance on Love‘, she also shows there’s plenty of fire in her autumnal mood".

At the Hollywood Bowl, August 29, 2007, Wilson celebrated her 70th birthday with an all-star event hosted by Arsenio Hall. Ramsey Lewis and his trio performed "To Know Her Is To Love Her".

Text from Wikipedia 

Nancy Wilson + Carl Anderson at the Carnegie Hall (complete)

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960_MamieSmithMamie Smith (née Robinson) (May 26, 1883 – September 16, 1946) was an American vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist and actress, who appeared in several films late in her career. As a vaudeville singer she performed a number of styles, including jazz and blues. She entered blues history by being the first African-American artist to make vocal blues recordings in 1920. Willie "The Lion" Smith (no relation) explained the background to that recording in his autobiography,Music on My Mind

Musical career

On August 10, 1920, in New York City, Smith recorded a set of songs written by the African-American songwriter Perry Bradford, including "Crazy Blues" and "It’s Right Here For You (If You Don’t Get It, ‘Tain’t No Fault of Mine)", on Okeh Records. It was the first recording of vocal blues by an African-American artist, and the record became a best seller, selling a million copies in less than a year. To the surprise of record companies, large numbers of the record were purchased by African Americans, and there was a sharp increase in the popularity of race records. Because of the historical significance of "Crazy Blues", it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994, and, in 2005, was selected for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

Although other African Americans had been recorded earlier, such as George W. Johnson in the 1890s, they were African-American artists performing music which had a substantial following with European-American audiences. The success of Smith’s record prompted record companies to seek to record other female blues singers and started the era of what is now known as classic female blues. It also opened up the music industry to recordings by, and for, African Americans in other genres.

Smith continued to make a series of popular recordings for Okeh throughout the 1920s. In 1924 she made three releases for Ajax Records which, while heavily promoted, did not sell well. She also made some records for Victor. She toured the United States and Europe with her band "Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds" as part of "Mamie Smith’s Struttin’ Along Review". She was billed as "The Queen of the Blues". This billing of Mamie Smith was soon one-upped by Bessie Smith, who called herself "The Empress of the Blues." And like Bessie did, Mamie too found that the new mass medium of radio provided a way to gain additional fans, especially in cities with predominantly white audiences. For example, she and several members of her band performed on KGW in Portland OR in early May 1923, and she earned very positive reviews.

Various recording lineups of her Jazz Hounds included (from August 1920 to October 1921) Jake Green, Curtis Moseley, Garvin Bushell, Johnny Dunn, Dope Andrews, Ernest Elliot, Porter Grainger, Leroy Parker, Bob Fuller, and (June 1922-January 1923) Coleman Hawkins, Everett Robbins, Johnny Dunn, Herschel Brassfield, Herb Flemming, Buster Bailey Cutie Perkins, Joe Smith, Bubber Miley and Cecil Carpenter.

While recording with her Jazz Hounds, she also recorded as "Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Band", comprising George Bell, Charles Matson, Nathan Glantz, Larry Briers,Jules Levy, Jr., Joe Samuels, together with musicians from the Jazz Hounds, including Coleman, Fuller and Carpenter.

Film career and later years

Mamie Smith appeared in an early sound film, Jailhouse Blues, in 1929. She retired from recording and performing in 1931. She returned to performing in 1939 to appear in the motion picture Paradise in Harlem produced by her husband Jack Goldberg. She appeared in further films, including Mystery in Swing, Sunday Sinners(1940), Stolen Paradise (1941), Murder on Lenox Avenue (1941), and Because I Love You (1943). She died in 1946, in New York.

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Dorothy Lucille Tipton6

Billy Lee Tipton (December 29, 1914 – January 21, 1989) was an American jazz musician and bandleader. Born Dorothy Lucille Tipton, he is also notable for the post-mortem discovery that, though he lived his adult life as a man, he was biologically female.

Early work

In 1936, Tipton was the leader of a band playing on KFXR. In 1938, Tipton joined Louvenie’s Western Swingbillies, a band that played on KTOK and at Brown’s Tavern. In 1940 he was touring the Midwest playing at dances with Dorothy Lucille Tipton5Scott Cameron’s band. In 1941 he began a two and a half-year run performing at Joplin, Missouri‘s Cotton Club with George Meyer’s band, then toured for a time with Ross Carlyle, then played for two years in Texas.

In 1949, Tipton began touring the Pacific Northwest with George Meyer. While this tour was far from glamorous, the band’s appearances at Roseburg, Oregon‘s Shalimar Room were recorded by a local radio station, and so recordings exist of Tipton’s work during this time, including "If I Knew Then" and "Sophisticated Swing". The trio’s signature song was "Flying Home", performed in a close imitation of Benny Goodman’s band.

As George Meyer’s band became more successful, they began getting more prestigious work, performing with The Ink Spots, the Delta Rhythm Boys, and Billy Eckstineat the Boulevard Club in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Bandleader

Tipton began playing piano alone at the Elks club in Longview, Washington. In Longview, he started the Billy Tipton Trio, which consisted of Tipton on piano, Dick O’Neil on drums, and Kenny Richards (and later Ron Kilde) on bass. The trio gained local popularity.

During a performance on tour at King’s Supper Club in Santa Barbara, California, a talent scout from Tops Records heard them play and got them a contract. The Billy Tipton Trio recorded two albums of jazz standards for Tops: Sweet Georgia Brown and Billy Tipton Plays Hi-Fi on Piano, both released early in 1957. Among the pieces performed were "Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man", "Willow Weep for Me", "What’ll I Do", and "Don’t Blame Me". In 1957, the albums sold 17,678 copies, a "respectable" sum for a small independent record label.

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After the albums’ success, the Billy Tipton Trio was offered a position as house band at the Holiday Hotel in Reno, Nevada, and Tops Records invited the trio to record four more albums. Tipton declined both offers, choosing instead to move to Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a talent broker and the trio was the house band at Allen’s Tin Pan Alley, performing weekly. He played mainly swing standards rather than the jazz he preferred. His performances included skits in the vaudeville tradition, in which he imitated celebrities such as Liberace and Elvis Presley. In some of these sketches, he played a little girl. He mentored young musicians at the Dave Sobol Theatrical Agency.

In the late 1970s, worsening arthritis forced Tipton to retire from music.

Personal life

Dorothy Lucille Tipton4Early in his career, Tipton presented as a male only professionally, continuing to present as a woman otherwise. He spent those early years living with a woman named Non Earl Harrell, in a relationship that other musicians thought of as lesbian. The relationship ended in 1942. Tipton’s next relationship, with a singer known only as "June", lasted for several years.

For seven years, Tipton lived with Betty Cox, who was 19 when they became involved. According to Cox, they had a heterosexual relationship. Betty remembered Tipton as "the most fantastic love of my life." Tipton kept the secret of his extrinsic sexual characteristics from Betty by inventing a story of having been in a serious car accident resulting in damaged genitals and broken ribs, and that it was necessary to bind the damaged chest to protect it. From then on, this was what he would tell the women in his life.

Tipton was never formally married in a ceremony, but several women had drivers’ licenses identifying them as Mrs. Tipton. In 1960, Tipton ended his relationship with Cox to settle down with nightclub dancer and stripper Kitty Kelly (later known as Kitty Oakes), who was known professionally as "The Irish Venus". They were involved with their local PTA and with the Boy Scouts. They adopted three sons, John, Scott, and William. After Tipton’s death, Kitty gave several interviews about him and their relationship. In early interviews, she said, "He gave up everything… There were certain rules and regulations in those days if you were going to be a musician," in reference to breaking into the 1920−30s music industry. William described Tipton as a good father who loved to go on Scout camping trips.

Their adopted sons became difficult to manage during their adolescence. Because of the couple’s ongoing arguments over how they should raise the boys, Tipton left Kitty in the late 1970s, moved into a mobile home with their sons, and resumed an old relationship with a woman named Maryann. He remained there, living in poverty, until his death.

Death and aftermath

Dorothy Lucille Tipton2In 1989, at the age of 74, Tipton had symptoms he attributed to emphysema and refused to call a doctor. He was actually suffering from a hemorrhaging peptic ulcer, which, untreated, was fatal. It was while paramedics were trying to save Tipton’s life, with son William looking on, that William learned that his father had female anatomy. Tipton was pronounced dead at Valley General Hospital. The coroner shared this with the rest of the family. In an attempt to keep the secret, Kitty arranged for his body to be cremated, but later after financial offers from the media, Kitty and one of their sons went public with the story. The first newspaper article was published the day after Tipton’s funeral and it was quickly picked up by wire services. Stories about Tipton appeared in a variety of papers including tabloids such as National Enquirer and Star, as well as more reputable papers such as New York Magazine and The Seattle Times. Tipton’s family even made talk show appearances.

Two wills were left by Billy Tipton: one handwritten and not notarized that left everything to William Jr.; and the second, notarized, leaving everything to Jon Clark. A court upheld the first will, and William inherited almost everything, with John and Scott receiving one dollar each. According to a 2009 episode of the documentary program The Will: Family Secrets Revealed, which featured interviews with all three sons, it was revealed that a final court judgment awarded all three sons an equal share of his wife Kitty Tipton’s estate (not Billy Tipton), which, after lawyers’ fees, amounted to $35,000 for each son.

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703_camille howardCamille Howard (March 29, 1914 – March 10, 1993) was an American R&B pianist and singer.

Howard was born in Galveston, Texas. When in California in the 1940s, she became the featured piano player with Roy Milton’s Solid Senders, playing on all their early hits on the Juke Box and later the Specialty record label, including "R. M. Blues" (1946).

After that record‘s success, she featured on more of Milton’s records, occasionally as singer. Record label head Art Rupe also began recording her as a solo artist, with her biggest hit coming with "X-Temporaneous Boogie".

She continued to record successfully in the early 1950s, but the growth of rock and roll and her own religious convictions ended her career.

Howard died in Los Angeles in March 1993

Front Title:
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The Boogie And The Blues 
Camille Howard
 
Rock Me Daddy Vol. 1 
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2006
Blues Jazz, Jump Blues, Early R&B
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Rock Me Daddy
Camille Howard 
 
Rock Me Daddy Vol. 1
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The Mood I’m In
Camille Howard 

Rock Me Daddy Vol. 1
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2006
Blues Jazz, Jump Blues, Early R&B

The cd is a 25-song reissue of her 1947-52 Specialty material, about half previously unreleased. Includes "You Don’t Love Me" and "Money Blues," but not the chart hits "Fiesta In Mexico" and "XTemporaneous Boogie." Perhaps too suave and refined for the R&B/rock era, and as comfortable with jazzy ballads as boogies, Howard was nonetheless an important, and nowadays overlooked, star of the transitional era between jump blues and R&B.

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Trumpet player, singer and dancer – the woman who became so adept, so quickly at the trumpet that she was dubbed “Little Louis” after Louis Armstrong, who said she was the second best player in the world (after himself!).

Her career soared in the 1920s and she toured the world, playing in North America, Europe and Asia, and reached even greater heights in the 1930s when she was the toast of Paris and London.

She was emotionally scarred by her experiences in WWII and became addicted to morphine – in 1941, while touring in Denmark, she was arrested by the Nazis and kept in a Nazi-run Danish prison until may 1942, when she was released in a prisoner exchange.

Valaida continued to perform, however – she finally succumbed to a brain haemorrage backstage while at the Palace Theatre in New York.Fortunately there is a significant recorded body of her work, much of it available on Youtube.

Here’s a link to a small selection of her recordings and for more on her life and career, here’s her Jazzitalia entry.

Text and image found at Anything Goes

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The Ingenues was a vaudeville style all-girl jazz band based in Chicago, which toured the United States and other countries from 1925 to 1937. Managed by William Morris, the group performed frequently for variety theatre, vaudeville and picture houses, often billed as the opening stage show before double features. They headlined the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927, Glorifying the American Girl, an act featuring 12 white baby grands as well as various combinations of brass bands, strings and woodwinds. The group specialized in jazz, Tin Pan Alley, light classical works and Dixieland. They were celebrated for their versatility as most members, including star soloist and "trick trombonist" Paula Jones, doubled on both novelty (accordions, banjos) and symphonic instruments. The group toured Europe, South Africa, Asia, Australia and Brazil (where they also recorded for Columbia Records). The band appeared in several film shorts including The Band Beautiful and Syncopating Sweeties (Vitaphone 1928) and Maids and Music (RKO, 1937). "Maids and Music" was produced independently by Milton Schwarzwald’s Nu-Atlas Productions and released as a 16mm home movie by Pictoreels. Sequences from this and other Schwarzwald short subjects were also re-edited into Soundies; in the case of "Maids and Music" the Soundies excerpt was titled "Ray Fabing’s Versatile Ingenues."

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536_Julie Driscol_01Julie Tippetts (born Julie Driscoll, 8 June 1947, London, England) is an English singer and actress, known for her 1960s versions of Bob Dylan‘s "This Wheel’s on Fire", and Donovan‘s "Season of the Witch", both with Brian Auger & The Trinity. Along with The Trinity, she was featured prominently in the 1969 television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, singing "I’m a Believer" in a soul style with Micky Dolenz. She and Auger had previously worked in Steampacket, with Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart.

"This Wheel’s on Fire" reached number five in the United Kingdom in June 1968. With distortion, the imagery of the title and the group’s dress and performance, this version came to represent the psychedelic era in British music. Driscoll recorded the song again in the early ’90s with Adrian Edmondson as the theme to the BBC comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, whose main characters are throwbacks to that era.

Since the 1970s, Driscoll has concentrated on experimental vocal music, married jazz musician Keith Tippett and collaborated with him. Her name is now ‘Julie Tippetts’, thus using the original spelling of her husband’s surname. She participated in Keith Tippett’s big band 536_Julie Driscol_03Centipede and, in 1974, took part in Robert Wyatt‘s Theatre Royal Drury Lane concert; released a solo album, Sunset Glow in 1975; and was lead vocalist on Carla Bley‘s album Tropic Appetites and in John Wolf Brennan‘s "HeXtet".

Later in the 1970s, she toured with her own band, and recorded and performed as one of the vocal quartet ‘Voice’, with Maggie Nichols, Phil Minton and Brian Eley.

In the early 1980s, Julie Tippetts was a guest vocalist on an early single by pop-jazz band Working Week, on the song "Storm of Light", which brought them the attention of a wider audience. Though the band later continued with other vocalists – notably with Tracey Thorn of Everything but the Girl fame and the band’s long term staple, another Julie, last name Roberts – it was this single that marked the band’s arrival and a brief infatuation from the British and European public with stylish pop incorporating a strong jazz flavor, thus marking Julie Tippetts, née Driscoll, as a vocalist for every age.

cover Title:
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Wheels On Fire
Julie Driscol, Brian Auger & The Trinity
 
Open 
1967
1967
Rock/Rhytm ‘n Blues 
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Road To Cairo
Julie Driscol, Brian Auger & The Trinity
 
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1967
1967
Rock/Rhytm ‘n Blues
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Season Of The Witch 
Julie Driscol, Brian Auger & The Trinity
 
Open
1967
1967
Rock/Rhytm ‘n Blues

I apologise for the sound quality on this record, but I’ve had it since 1967 – Ted 😉

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510_Ethel Waters_02

Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977) was an African-American blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress. She frequently performed jazz, big band, and pop music, on the Broadway stage and in concerts, although she began her career in the 1920s singing blues.

Her best-known recordings include "Dinah," "Stormy Weather," "Taking a Chance on Love," "Heat Wave," "Supper Time," "Am I Blue?" and "Cabin in the Sky," as well as her version of the spiritual "His Eye Is on the Sparrow." Waters was the second African American, after Hattie McDaniel, to be nominated for an Academy Award. She is also the first African American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award, in 1962.

510_Ethel Waters_03Career
After her start in Baltimore, Waters toured on the black vaudeville circuit. As she described it later, "I used to work from nine until unconscious." Despite her early success, she fell on hard times and joined a carnival, traveling in freight cars along the carnival circuit and eventually reaching Chicago. Waters enjoyed her time with the carnival and recalled, "the roustabouts and the concessionaires were the kind of people I’d grown up with, rough, tough, full of larceny towards strangers, but sentimental and loyal to their friends and co-workers." She did not last long with them, though, and soon headed south to Atlanta, where she worked in the same club with Bessie Smith. Smith demanded that Waters not compete in singing blues opposite her. Waters conceded and sang ballads and popular songs. Around 1919, Waters moved to Harlem and there became a celebrity performer in the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s.

Waters obtained her first Harlem job at Edmond’s Cellar, a club that had a black patronage. She specialized in popular ballads and became an actress in a blackface comedy called Hello 1919. Jazz historian Rosetta Reitz points out that by the time Waters returned to Harlem in 1921, women blues singers were among the most powerful entertainers in the country. In 1921, Waters became the fifth black woman to make a record, on the tiny Cardinal Records label. She later joined Black Swan Records, where Fletcher Henderson was her accompanist. Waters later commented that Henderson tended to perform in a more classical style than she would prefer, often lacking "the damn-it-to-hell bass."

She recorded with Black Swan from 1921 through 1923. In early 1924, Paramount bought the Black Swan label, and she stayed with Paramount through that year. Waters first recorded for Columbia Records in 1925, achieving a hit with her voicing of "Dinah", which was voted a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. Soon after, she started working with Pearl Wright, and together they toured in the South. In 1924, Waters played at the Plantation Club on Broadway. She also toured with the Black Swan Dance Masters. With Earl Dancer, she joined what was called the "white time" Keith Vaudeville Circuit, a traditional white-audience based vaudeville circuit 510_Ethel Waters_04combined with screenings of silent movies. They received rave reviews in Chicago and earned the unheard of salary of US$1,250 in 1928. In 1929, Waters and Pearl Wright arranged the unreleased Harry Akst song "Am I Blue?," which then appeared in the movie On with the Show and became a hit and her signature tune.

Although she was considered a blues singer during the pre-1925 period, Waters belonged to the vaudeville style of Mamie Smith, Viola McCoy, and Lucille Hegamin. While with Columbia, she introduced many popular standards including "Dinah," "Heebie Jeebies," "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Someday, Sweetheart," "Am I Blue?" and "(What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue" on the popular series, while she continued to sing blues (like "West End Blues," "Organ Grinder Blues," etc.) on Columbia’s 14000 race series. During the 1920s, Waters performed and was recorded with the ensembles of Will Marion Cook and Lovie Austin. As her career continued, she evolved toward being a blues and Broadway singer, performing with artists such as Duke Ellington. She remained with Columbia through 1931. She then signed with Brunswick in 1932 and remained until 1933 when she went back to Columbia. She signed with Decca in late 1934 for only two sessions, as well as a single session in early 1938. She recorded for the specialty label "Liberty Music Shops" in 1935 and again in 1940. Between 1938 and 1939, she recorded for Bluebird.

In 1933, Waters made a satirical all-black film entitled Rufus Jones for President, which featured then-child performer Sammy Davis Jr. as Rufus Jones. She went on to star at the Cotton Club, where, according to her autobiography, she "sang ‘Stormy Weather’ from the depths of the private hell in which I was being crushed and suffocated." She had a featured role in the wildly successful Irving Berlin Broadway musical revue As Thousands Cheer in 1933, where she was the first black woman in an otherwise white show. She had three gigs at this point; in addition to the show, she starred in a national radio program and continued to work in nightclubs. She was the highest paid performer on Broadway at that time. MGM hired Lena Horne as the ingenue in the all-Black musical Cabin in the Sky, and Waters starred as Petunia in 1942, reprising her stage role of 1940. The film, directed by Vincente Minnelli, was a success.

She began to work with Fletcher Henderson again in the late 1940s. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 1949 for the film Pinky, under the direction of Elia Kazan, after original director, John Ford, quit, due to his disagreements with Waters. According to producer Daryl Zanuck, Ford "hated that old…woman (Waters)." Ford, Karzan stated, "Didn’t know how to reach Ethel Waters." Kazan later referred to Water’s "Truly odd combination of old-time religiosity and free-flowing hatred.". In 1950, she won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for her performance opposite Julie Harris in the play The Member of the Wedding. Waters and Harris repeated their roles in the 1952 film version of Member of the Wedding” In 1950, Waters starred in the television series Beulah, but quit after complaining that the scripts’ portrayal of blacks was "degrading." She later guest starred in 1957 and 1959 on NBC’s The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford. In the 1957 episode, she sang "Cabin in the Sky."

510_Ethel Waters_01

Despite these successes, her brilliant career was fading. She lost tens of thousands in jewelry and cash in a robbery, and had difficulties with the IRS. Her health suffered, and she worked only sporadically in following years. In 1950-51 she wrote the autobiography His Eye is on the Sparrow with Charles Samuels, in which she wrote candidly about her life. She explains why her age has often been misstated: her mother had had to sign a paper claiming Waters was four years older than she was, and that she was born in 1896. His Eye is on the Sparrow was adapted for a stage production in which she was portrayed by Ernestine Jackson. In her second autobiography, To Me, It’s Wonderful, Waters states that she was born in 1900. Rosetta Reitz called Waters "a natural … [Her] songs are enriching, nourishing. You will want to play them over and over again, idling in their warmth and swing. Though many of them are more than 50 years old, the music and the feeling are still there."

cover Title:
Artist:
Recording:
Recorded:
Released:
Genre:
Harlem on my mind
Ethel Waters 
The Chronological Ethel Waters 1933 -1938
1933
1999
blues/Jazz
cover Title:
Artist:
Recording:
Recorded:
Released:
Genre:
Trade Mark
Ethel Waters
The Chronological Ethel Waters 1933 -1938
1938
1999
blues/Jazz
cover Title:
Artist:
Recording:
Recorded:
Released:
Genre:
Jeepers Creepers
Ethel Waters
 
The Chronological Ethel Waters 1933 -1938
1938
1999
blues/Jazz
cover Title:
Artist:
Recording:
Recorded:
Released:
Genre:
St Louis Blues
Ethel Waters
 
The Chronological Ethel Waters 1946-1947
1947
1999
blues/Jazz

Text from Wikipedia

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486_mickey_championBorn in Lake Charles, LA, powerhouse blues singer Mickey Champion has worked with the likes of T-Bone Walker, Little Esther Phillips, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, and many others in her long but unfortunately largely unsung five-decade career. Discovered in L.A. (where she continues to make her home in the Crenshaw District) by bandleader and ever-vigilant talent scout Johnny Otis, Champion recorded several impressive R&B sides in the 1950s and early ’60s, none of which established her as a household name. The wife of bandleader Roy Milton until his death, Champion began recording again in 2000, releasing I Am Your Living Legend! that year, followed by What You Want in 2003, both on Tondef Records. She was the subject of a video documentary produced by Paul Vic and Oletha Rogers called Champion Blues, and in 2008 Ace U.K. issued her collected singles from the 1950s and 1960s under the title Bam a Lam: The R&B Recordings 1950-1962

These three recordings are from that Collection – Ted:

front Title:
Artist: Recording: Released: Genre:
I’m A Woman 
Mickey Champion 
Bam a Lam:The R&B Recordings 1950 – 1962
July 15, 2008
Jazz Blues / Jump Blues

http://color=#333333I’m%20A%20Woman
front Title:
Artist: Recording:  Released: Genre:
I’ve Got It Bad
Mickey Champion 
Bam a Lam:The R&B Recordings 1950 – 1962
July 15, 2008
Jazz Blues / Jump Blues

http://color=#333333I’ve%20Got%20It%20Bad
front Title:
Artist: Recording: Released: Genre:
I’m Telling You
Mickey Champion 
Bam a Lam:The R&B Recordings 1950 – 1962
July 15, 2008
Jazz Blues / Jump Blues

http://color=#333333I’m%20Telling%20You

Text from allmusic.com

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255_jazz

Is it just me, or is it something that doesn’t sit quite right with the title of that photo – Ted

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Ottilie Patterson (31 January 1932 – 20 June 2011) was a Northern Irish blues singer best known for her performances and recordings with the Chris Barber Jazz Band in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

PD*45461575

Biography
Anna Ottilie Patterson was born in Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland, on 31 January 1932. She was the youngest child of four. Her father, Joseph Patterson, was from Northern Ireland, and her mother, Jūlija Jēgers, was from Latvia. They met in southern Russia. Ottilie’s name is an Anglicised form of the Latvian name "Ottilja". Both sides of the family were musical, and Ottilie trained as a classical pianist from the age of eleven, but never received any formal training as a singer.

239-Ottilie Patterson_002In 1949 Ottilie went to study art at Belfast College of Technology, where a fellow student introduced her to the music of Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton, and Meade Lux Lewis.  In 1951, she began singing with Jimmy Compton’s Jazz Band, and in August 1952 she formed the Muskrat Ramblers with Al Watt and Derek Martin.

In the summer of 1954, while holidaying in London, Ottilie met Beryl Bryden, who introduced her to the Chris Barber Jazz Band.

She joined the Barber band full-time on 28 December 1954, and her first public appearance was at the Royal Festival Hall on January 9, 1955. Between 1955 and 1962 Ottilie toured extensively with the Chris Barber Jazz Band and issued many recordings: those featuring her on every track include the EPs Blues (1955), That Patterson Girl (1955), That Patterson Girl Volume 2 (1956), Ottilie (1959), and the LP Chris Barber’s Blues Book (1961); she also appeared on numerous Chris Barber records.

She and Barber were married in 1959. They divorced in 1983.

239-Ottilie Patterson_003From 1963 or so, she began to suffer throat problems and ceased to appear and record regularly with Chris Barber, officially retiring from the band in 1973. During this period she recorded some non-jazz/blues material such as settings of Shakespeare (with Chris Barber) and in 1969 issued a solo LP 3000 years with Ottilie which is now much sought by collectors.

In early 1983, Ottilie and Chris Barber gave a series of concerts around London, which were recorded for the LP Madame Blues and Doctor Jazz (1984). This is her most recently issued recording.

Ottilie is buried in Movilla Abbey Cemetery, Newtonards, Northern Ireland in the Patterson family grave. Her gravestone, marked Ottilia Anna Barber, is by the wall adjacent to the car park.

In Feb 2012 a plaque marking her birthplace in a terraced house in Comber was unveiled and the same evening a sell-out musical Tribute was performed at the La Mon Hotel, Comber.

Solo LPs
Ottilie’s Irish Night
(Pye NPL 18028) (1959)
3000 years with Ottilie
(Marmalade 608 011) (1969)
Spring Song
(Polydor 2384 031) (1969)
Back In The Old Days
(Timeless CBJBLP 4001) (1988)
(recorded 1959-1962)

264_otillie patterson
The next 7 days you’ll find all
tracks from this LP in the box
widget in the right column

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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intro_ill_rsrg_thumb5_thumbEven the most music interested among us can sometimes get lost in all the different labels music journalists and record companies choose to put on recordings. This glossary may help you find your way in this label jungle. As you can see from the text above here this glossary is from 1979 and as this is a retro blog that works alright for me. Besides, any music styles that has emerged since then is of little interest to me, with the possible exception of neo-classic country. I’m sorry to say that dance, trance, hip-hop, rap and the rest simply don’t do it for me – Ted


You’ll find Glossary A – B here

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Riverboats And Jazz

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The S.S. Sidney, the first boat to feature a New Orleans band on the river, which helped to spread the word about the special talents of Crescent City musicians.

The Sidney was commissioned in 1911 and remained in the Streckfus fleet under that name until 1924, when it was renamed the Washington. This was the first boat to feature a New Orleans band on the river, and it helped to spread the word about the special talents of Crescent City musicians. Marable had formed a band of fellow Kentuckians in 1917, but he later recalled that while they "played real nice, they could not compare to the New Orleans boys." The Streckfus excursions ran from New Orleans to St. Paul, Minnesota, allowing numerous opportunities for patrons up and down the Mississippi River to hear what these players had to offer. Thus, musicians in places such as St. Louis, Missouri, and Davenport, Iowa, gained exposure to New Orleans style music, although it was confined to some extent by the guidelines set down by Marable and Captain Joe Streckfus. Even so, musicians and dancers alike could tell that New Orleans players were somehow different. As Captain C. W. Elder claimed, "None of the others had what was called good solid beat rhythm music with the Dixieland flavor." One may safely conclude, then, that much of the success of the Streckfus Steamboat Line in developing the excursion trade after World War I rested on the special abilities of the New Orleans bands and the jazz flavor they brought to their performances.

Photograph from the Joseph M. Jones Steamboat Collection, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University. Text from Hogan Jazz Arcives at Tulane University

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11422_bb2From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer.

With Louis Armstrong, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s. His turns on "Singin’ the Blues" (1927) and "I’m Coming, Virginia" (1927), in particular, demonstrated an unusual purity of tone and a gift for improvisation. With these two recordings, especially, he helped to invent the jazz ballad style and hinted at what, in the 1950s, would become cool jazz. "In a Mist" (1927), one of a handful of his piano compositions but the only one he recorded, mixed classical influences with jazz syncopation. Beiderbecke also has been credited for his influence, directly, on Bing Crosby and, indirectly, via saxophonist Frank Trumbauer, on Lester Young.

A native of Davenport, Iowa, Beiderbecke taught himself to play cornet largely by ear, leading him to adopt a non-standard fingering that some critics have connected to his original sound. He first recorded with a Midwestern jazz ensemble The Wolverines in 1924, after which he played briefly for the Detroit-based Jean Goldkette Orchestra before joining Frankie "Tram" Trumbauer for an extended gig at the Arcadia Ballroom in St. Louis, Missouri. Beiderbecke and Trumbauer both joined Goldkette in 1926. The band toured widely and famously played a set opposite Fletcher Henderson at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City in October 1926. The following year, Trumbauer and Beiderbecke left Detroit to join the best-known and most prestigious dance orchestra in the country: the New York–based Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

11422_bb1Beiderbecke’s most influential recordings date from his time with Goldkette and Whiteman, although they were generally recorded under his own name or Trumbauer’s. The Whiteman period also marked a precipitous decline in Beiderbecke’s health, brought on by the demand of the bandleader’s relentless touring and recording schedule in combination with Beiderbecke’s persistent alcoholism. A few stints in rehabilitation centers, as well as the support of Whiteman and the Beiderbecke family in Davenport, did not check Beiderbecke’s decline in health. He left the Whiteman band in 1930 and the following summer died in his Queens apartment at the age of twenty-eight.

His death, in turn, gave rise to one of the original legends of jazz. In magazine articles, musicians’ memoirs, novels, and Hollywood films, Beiderbecke has been reincarnated as a Romantic hero, the "Young Man with a Horn". His life has been portrayed as a battle against such common obstacles to art as family and commerce, while his death has been seen as a martyrdom for the sake of art. The musician-critic Benny Green sarcastically called Beiderbecke "jazz’s Number One Saint," while Ralph Berton compared him to Jesus. The historical Beiderbecke, meanwhile, is the subject of scholarly controversy regarding his true name, his sexual orientation, the cause of his death, and the importance of his contributions to jazz.

 

 

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