Frequent posters include Glenn (Mittler, not Miller), Tony, Pete, Richard, Bill, Dave W., Gary, Dennis, George, and Jim. Their recent topics have covered Miller medleys; the Paradise Restaurant in New York City, where Glenn's band performed in 1938; date corrections of various Miller airchecks; I Kept My Secret, the new book purporting to tell what really happened to him; Miller's smoking and health in late 1944; and transcripts of vintage articles (even one titled "Why I Hate Glenn Miller's Music," written by George Frazier in the March 1942 issue of Music and Rhythm).
MUSING ON MONROE
Meanwhile, at the Yahoo "Vaughn Monroe Group," things are likewise polite and professional, as moderated by Claire Schwartz.
For instance, one participant, Jerry Furris, posts his own research and thoughts for discussion on a near-daily basis. Current topics have included compositions by Vaughn Monroe; Monroe at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas; Boston-area appearances; the new double-CD "The Main Event" on Jasmine Records; a proposed but rejected multi-movie deal with Monroe and Republic Pictures in the early 1950s; Monroe's gold records; and the Teac GF-350 vs. the Crosley CR248 Songwriter, two compact home units with turntables to transfer vinyl records onto CD.
Right now, members of the affiliated Vaughn Monroe Society are hard at work organizing a gathering of fans in Boston, to take place in May 2007. For details as they become available, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Claire, Jerry, Polly, Herb, Marian, Kathy, and the rest of the online group of "moonracers," as Furris likes to call them, to share your Vaughn Monroe interests.
Online discussion about Buddy Rich is also available, through a "Message Board" on the official Rich website, buddyrich.com.
Among the latest interaction has been Rich video clips posted to youtube.com; his World War II Marine Corps service; a reminder about the recent Mosaic Records reissue of "Rich in London"; and a request for information from someone who reported that he is writing about Rich in his Thesis for a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Because the site was created with the blessing of Buddy's daughter, Cathy Rich, she occasionally shares some news or participates in discussion.
Another place to check out is the "Big Band Talk" forum on David Miller's "Swingin' Down the Lane" website at bigband-era.com.
One person, Michael P. Zirpolo, has single-handedly given the discussion a shot in the arm, with his factual, interesting inquiries and responses. Subjects he generated himself include the present round on vocalist Edythe Wright; lesser-known big band venues across the U.S.; James C. Petrillo, leader of the American Federation of Musicians; who arranged Ravel's Bolero as recorded by Benny Goodman on August 11, 1939; who the drummer is (Buddy Rich? George Wettling?) on the widely-circulated December 29, 1938 aircheck of Jeepers Creepers by Artie Shaw; and whether any radio broadcasts by Shaw's band with vocalist Billie Holiday are extant.
Respond to these questions, expand your knowledge reading other posts, share your memories, or start your own new topic. But be advised, discussion and opinions by certain others can get spirited at times (and not always in the Christmas spirit).
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
Dick Johnson, clarinetist (leader of the Artie Shaw Orchestra '83-'06 ) and alto saxophonist
(Spivak '52-'53; Morrow '56-57), b. December 1, 1925
Don Sebesky, trombonist (Covington '56; Ferguson '58-'59; Kenton '59) - arranger,
b. December 10, 1937
Clark Terry, trumpeter (Hampton '45; Barnet '47-'48 / '58 Everest "Cherokee" LP / '66-'67;
Basie '48-'51 / '76 Pablo "Basie Jam" LP; Ellington '51-'59), b. December 14, 1920
Pete Rugolo, pianist - composer (Grier '41; Kenton '45-'49), b. December 25, 1915
Abbe Lane, singer (Cugat '50s) - actress, b. December 16, 1932
Tony Martin, vocalist (Noble '38; Miller AAF '43), b.December 25, 1913
Johnny Frigo, bassist (Chico Marx '43-'45; J. Dorsey '46-'47) - violinist,
b. December 27, 1916
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
In 1970, Harry James' female vocalist was Cathy Chemi. She toured with the band as it crossed the U.S., including stops in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois, as well as an overseas trip to Germany during that September.
"On a personal level, my time with the James' band changed the course of my life," she wrote a few years ago, "having married one of Harry's lead trumpet players, Skip Stine. Skip and I were privileged to share a friendship with Harry which continued until his death in 1983. Our respect for him and our association with his band has been a rewarding, humbling experience and an important part of our lives."
Chemi will sing again with a big band this New Year's Eve, at the Olympian Ballroom in West Reading, PA.
Dave Black, 78, drummer (Ellington '53-'55), Dec. 4, pancreatic cancer
Jay McShann, 90, pianist - bandleader, Dec.7, "after a brief illness"
Martha Tilton, 91, vocalist (J. Dorsey '37; Goodman '37-'39; Shaw '40 Now We Know /
Dreaming Out Loud [Victor]; Whiteman '42 Serenade in Blue [Capitol]), Dec. 8,
died in her sleep of natural causes
"Georgia Gibbs" (aka "Fredda Gibson"), 87, vocalist (Hudson-Delange '36 If We Never
Meet Again [Brunswick]; Kemp '39 If It's Good (Then I Want It) [Victor]; Shaw '42
Somebody Nobody Loves / Not Mine / Absent-Minded Moon [Victor]; Flanagan '54
"Let's Go to Town" shows), Dec. 9, "complications from leukemia"
Dolores O'Neill, 92, vocalist (Shaw '37 A Strange Loneliness [Brunswick] / '50; Chester
'39-'40; Krupa '51 "Cavalcade of Bands" TV show), Dec. 12, cancer
Kenny Davern, 71, clarinetist / alto saxophonist (Flanagan '54; Teagarden '54), Dec. 12,
Oscar Klein, 76, guitarist (Hampton '56 Ex Libris [ Sweden ] LP "Lionel Hampton Meets
Fatty George") - trumpeter, Dec. 11
Ted Hallock, 85, producer of 13-part 1998 public radio series, "The Mystery of Artie Shaw,"
Dec. 16, heart attack
NEW IN-PRINT AND / OR ONLINE
Briggs, Colin. "Swing Out, Sisters," Classic Images, Dec. 2006, pp.63-73.
[ motion picture work by female songsters incl. Ginny Simms (Kyser '35-'41) ]
Flockgart, Gary. "McVay helps keep spirit of Glenn Miller alive," Edinburgh [ Scotland ]
Evening News / scotsman.com, Dec. 22, 2006. [ re: UK Miller Orchestra directed by Ray McVay, 1988- ]
Fratallone, Stephen. "Remembering Anita O'Day: Sassy Jazz Song Stylist . . . Dies At
Age 87," jazzconnectionmag.com, Dec. 2006.
---. "Remembering Bobby Byrne: Trombone Great Dead At Age 88,"
jazzconnectionmag.com, Dec. 2006.
Friedwald, Will. "Kenny Davern, 71, Leading Jazz Clarinet Player," New York Sun /
nysun.com, Dec. 14, 2006.
---. "Martha Tilton, 91, Strong Voice of the Swing Era," New York Sun / nysun.com,
Dec. 13, 2006.
French, David. "Ray and Basie: We Meet at Last: Two legends collaborate via digital
technology," Jazztimes, Dec. 2006, pp.29-30.
Gans, Charles J. "Quincy Jones Replays 1960 Tour on DVD," Washington [ D.C. ] Post /
washingtonpost.com, Dec. 27, 2006.
Gillespie, James. "The Movies of Benny Goodman: A Pictorial Retrospective: Take 5,"
The Clarinet, Dec. 2006, pp.74-79. [ fifth and final installment ]
Heckman, Don. "Overdue Ovation: Snooky Young," Jazztimes, Dec. 2006, pp.38-39.
Hentoff, Nat. "Final Chorus: Louis Armstrong: Music Heads," Jazztimes, Dec. 2006, p.122.
"Jazz great Jay McShann dies," United Press International / upi.com, Dec. 8, 2006.
Klopus, Joe. "Death won't keep Jay McShann's legend down: McShann made the blues
jump, but also made jazz glow," Kansas City Star / kansascity.com, Dec. 21, 2006.
[ Klopus traces how McShann's music encompassed more than just blues ]
MacGillivray, Scott and Ted Okuda. The Soundies Book: A Revised and Expanded Guide
to the "Music Videos" of the 1940s (iUniverse.com, Dec. 2006).
Martin, Douglas. "Martha Tilton, 91, 'Sweetheart of Swing,' Dies," New York Times /
nytimes.com, Dec. 13, 2006.
McClellan, Dennis. "Obituaries: Martha Tilton, 91; '40s vocalist known for 'And the
Angels Sing'," Los Angeles Times / latimes.com, Dec. 12, 2006.
McDonough, John. "Ray Charles + Count Basie Orchestra: Ray Sings, Basie Swings,"
DownBeat, Dec. 2006, p.88. [ review of Concord 30026 ]
Miller, Stephen. "Georgia Gibbs, 87, Bubbly Singer in 1940s and 1950s," New York Sun /
nysun.com, Dec. 12, 2006.
"New Year '07: Val Air nostlagia," Des Moines [ IA ] Register / desmoinesregister.com,
Dec. 31, 2006. [ the historic Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines celebrates New Year's Eve with a big band and a
rock band alternating sets ]
Ouellette, Don. "The Question Is ... What do you think of 'Frankenjazz'?," DownBeat,
Dec. 2006, p.16. [ comments about the Charles - Basie Orchestra project ]
Panken, Ted. "Reissues: Scaled Down Dizzy," DownBeat, Dec. 2006. [ review of Mosaic 234 ]
"Passings: Bobby Byrne, 88; played trombone for the Dorsey brothers, led his own bands,"
Los Angeles Times, Dec. 2, 2006.
Ratliff, Ben. "Keeper of the Jazz Flame to Get His Due," New York Times / nytimes.com,
Dec. 24, 2006. [ re: National Endowment for the Arts award to be given to Dan Morgenstern in January 2007 ]
Russell, Robert. "Jay McShann Legendary pianist and bandleader dies: Pantheon of
jazz loses a pillar," Kansas City Star / kansascitystar.com, Dec. 8, 2006.
Shultz, John. "Musicians, community leaders and others gather for a jazz-filled tribute to
Jay McShann," Kansas City Star / kansascity.com, Dec. 17, 2006. [ McShann's funeral was
held 12/16/06 ]
"Swingin' the Christmas blues," Bromsgrove [ UK ] Advertiser, Dec. 6, 2006. [ re: "Back to Basie,"
the Count Basie tribute orchestra; article claims " . . . of all the big bands this orchestra remains the biggest crowd-puller world-wide." ]
Tumpak, John. "Margaret Whiting: Still a Class Act," L.A. Jazz Scene, Dec. 2006, pp.3-5.
NEW DVDS - SELECT LIST
Harry James: "Best Foot Forward," Warner Home Video [ 1942 ]
Andy Kirk: "Killer Diller," Alpha Video ALP5227D [ 1948 ]
various (Bob Crosby; Tommy Dorsey): "Presenting Lily Mars," Warner Home Video [ 1943 ]
NEW CDS - SELECT LIST
Ray Anthony: "Dixieland Swing," Montpellier ( UK ) 20 [ = 1955 LP "Big Band Dixieland" Capitol T 678
+ asst'd singles ]
Bunny Berigan: "Bunny / Bunny Berigan & His Boys," Collectables 7847 [ = 1960 LP "Bunny"
RCA Camden CAL-550 and LP "Bunny Berigan & His Boys" Epic LA 16006 ]
Xavier Cugat: "Cugat's Favorite Rhumbas," Vocalion ( UK ) 1948 [ = 1945 4-disc 78rpm set
Columbia C 110 (reissued 1949 as 10-inch LP Columbia CL 6021) + asst'd 1940-55 recordings ]
Duke Ellington: "Vol.12: Blue Abandon: Radio Transcriptions and Concert Recordings
1946," Naxos Jazz Legends (UK) 8.120812
Ralph Flanagan: "Always," Sounds of Yesteryear ( UK ) 722 [ assorted 1946-53 singles ]
Benny Goodman: "On Stage with Benny Goodman and His Sextet: Recorded 'Live' in
Copenhagen," Vocalion ( UK ) 4338 [ = 1972 2-LP set London BP44182/83; NOTE: duplicates CD
Universal ( Japan ) UCCU-9192/3 released 2006 ]
Coleman Hawkins: "The Essential Sides Remastered 1929-1939," JSP ( UK ) 931 [ 4-CDs ]
Ted Heath: "Big Band Bash / America Swings Coast to Coast," Vocalion ( UK ) 4343
[ = 1962 LP "Big Band Bash" London SP 44107 + 1977 LP "Coast to Coast" London SP 44284; NOTE: duplicates "Big Band Bash"
portion of CD Collectors' Choice Music CCM-085-2 "Two Classic Albums From Ted Heath" released 1999 and entire CD London
820 355-2 "Coast to Coast" released 1985 ]
Harry James: "Harry James and His Orchestra 1954," Circle CCD-39 [ = 1982 Circle LP CLP-39
of World transcription session from 2/18/1954 ]
Stan Kenton: "The Kenton Era," Sounds of Yesteryear ( UK ) 723 [ 2-CDs = 1955 4-LP set
Capitol WDX 569 ]
Ralph Marterie: "Caravan," Montpellier ( UK ) 24 [ = LP "Swing Baby" Mercury MG-20124 + select cuts from
LP "Young America Dances" Mercury MG-20198 + single Caravan ]
Glenn Miller Orchestra, The: "A Timeless Christmas with The Glenn Miller Orchestra,"
LaserLight 13 346 [ incl. Jingle Bell Rock; Do You Hear What I Hear?; Sleigh Ride ]
Lawrence Welk: "A Wunnerful, Wunnerful Christmas with Lawrence Welk," LaserLight
ARTIE SHAW TRIBUTE CD IS RELEASED
A new compact disc, "Star Dust & Beyond: A Tribute to Artie Shaw," featuring clarinetist Dick Johnson, is now available on the Crazy Scot Records label (#20061).
Johnson (leader of the Shaw Orchestra since 1983) is heard with an 18-piece big band.
The music includes new arrangements of a number of tunes closely associated with or previously recorded by Shaw, some standards, several more contemporary pieces, and two originals by Johnson.
Complete contents -- including composer, arranger, and conductor information -- is:
In the Still of the Night (Porter) arranged and conducted by Robert Freedman
with touches of The Gramercy Five sound
Fungii Mama (Mitchell) arranged and conducted by Robert Freedman
Gone with the Wind (Wrubel-Magidson) arranged and conducted by Robert Freedman
The Grabtown Grapple (Shaw-Harding) arranged and conducted by Jay Brandford
Star Dust (Carmichael) arranged by Lennie Hayton + Robert Freedman, conducted by Freedman
featuring Lou Colombo, trumpet
Moody Street (Ciavardone) arranged and conducted by Robert Freedman
My Funny Valentine (Rodgers-Hart) arranged and conducted by Robert Freedman
Waltz for Debby (Lees-Evans) arranged and conducted by Robert Freedman
I Concentrate On You (Porter) arranged and conducted by Jay Brandford
Anniversary Song (Chaplin-Jolson) arranged by Sonny Burke, conducted by Robert Freedman
Shaw recorded Burke's chart, at a slower tempo and with strings, for Musicraft on September 19, 1946
Bossa for Pam (Johnson) arranged and conducted by Robert Freedman
When the Sun Comes Out (Arlen-Koehler) arranged and conducted by Robert Freedman
My Romance (Rodgers-Hart) arranged and conducted by Jay Brandford
Pray Tell, Sarah, Where's Dan? (Johnson) arranged and conducted by Robert Freedman
Johnson sometimes evokes the clarinet sound or mannerisms Shaw employed during his last five years of playing, and the band occasionally plays a voicing that is not unlike something which Shaw's '49-'50 band did.
The project was recorded February 20 and 21, 2006 at Bennett Studios in Englewood, NJ.
For sound samples and ordering details, visit the website somerledcharitablefoundation.org.
KEEP 'EM FLYING
One bit of news from the above-mentioned Yahoo "Glenn Miller Fans" group is that the Airmen of Note will this month be releasing another freshly-prepared Miller tribute CD, "Keep 'Em Flying."
The track listing, shown below, includes both big hits and more obscure selections:
Keep `Em Flying (3:09)
St. Louis Blues March (4:43)
Anvil Chorus (3:46)
(The) Rumba Jumps! (2:48)
Everybody Loves My Baby (3:11)
Moonlight Serenade (3:35)
In the Mood (3:12)
When Johnny Comes Marching Home (2:54)
Rhapsody in Blue (3:13)
My! My! (2:24)
Tuxedo Junction (3:38)
I Just Got a Letter (2:42)
Take the "A" Train (3:31)
Pagan Love Song (3:26)
American Patrol (3:22)
I'll Be Seeing You (3:33)
Admittedly, the Airmen of Note CDs are typically not available for purchase by the general public, but they may find their way onto the Internet to be heard or possibly even downloaded. Or one could always ask their local library to try to get copies.
HOLIDAY WISH LIST
Now for some requests of my own; these are NOT items now scheduled for release, just a half-dozen "wish list" suggestions I'd like to make to certain CD producers:
Alistair Robinson, Hep: the complete 1949-1950 Artie Shaw Thesaurus Transcriptions
Gilles Petard, Classics: the chronological Ray McKinley 1936-1956
Michael Cuscuna, Capitol Jazz: reissue of the Charlie Barnet Quartet's "Jazz Oasis" album
(Capitol ST 1403), recorded live in 1959 at the La Paz Hotel in Palm Springs, CA, expanded
with unreleased tracks
Gordon Anderson, Collectors' Choice: the complete "Music Made Famous By Glenn Miller"
concert of May 26, 1961, featuring Tex Beneke, Ray Eberle, and The Modernaires with Paula
Kelly, including previously-unreleased selections, licensed from Warner Brothers
Scott Wenzel, Mosaic: the complete 1962-1964 Philips Woody Herman performances
Carl Hallstrom, Al-Tone Record Society: more un-edited Glenn Miller broadcasts
C'mon, gentlemen - don't be a grinch!
FOR THE RECORD
Public hearings by the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress,
to gather information for a study about the current state of recorded sound preservation and restoration, will take place December 19th at the Princeton Club of New York City.
They hope to hear from scholarly and professional organizations involved with the production, study, use, or preservation of recorded sound; representatives of major and specialized sound archives and institutional collections holding commercial and unpublished sound recordings; record labels; audio engineers; and the legal community and other specialists working with copyright, fair use, and intellectual property law.
They also are asking for response from individuals with collections of recordings. (Any big band fans want to voice their opinions?) If you would like to participate, written comments can be submitted through their website, loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb. Deadline to write is January 29, 2007.
SEE THE BIG BANDS IN-PERSON - SELECT LIST
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: Dec. 3, Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, Seattle,
WA; Dec. 5, Tulare Community Auditorium, Tulare, CA; Dec. 9, Davies Symphony Hall,
San Francisco, CA; Dec. 10, Flint Center, Cupertino, CA
Les Brown's Band of Renown directed by Les Brown, Jr.: Dec. 2 / 4-7 / 9: Mickey Gilley
Theatre, Branson, MO
Larry Elgart and His Orchestra: Dec. 10, Neel Performing Arts Center, Manatee Community
College, Bradenton, FL
Sammy Kaye Orchestra directed by Roger Thorpe: Dec. 1, Langeloth, PA; Dec. 2,
Romer's Catering, St. Henry, OH; Dec. 3, United Methodist Home, Warren, IN; Dec. 4-5,
Bear Creek Farms Theatre, Bryant, IN; Dec. 16, [ private ] Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ;
Dec. 17, New Paltz High School, New Paltz, NY
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: Dec. 1-10, conclusion of Japan tour; Dec.
12, Lackawanna College, Scranton, PA; Dec. 14, Lincoln Theatre, Marion, VA; Dec. 15,
private, Arlington, VA; Dec. 16, Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News, VA; Dec. 17,
Paramount Theatre, Charlottesville, VA; Dec. 18, Camden County Community College,
Blackwood, NJ; Dec. 19, Sequoia Restaurant, Washington, DC
Doc Severinsen: Dec. 31, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA [ with The Seattle Symphony ]
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK A WALK WITH ME?
The Starr-Gennett Foundation of Richmond, Indiana is making plans for a Walk of Fame, celebrating the history of the Gennett record label, which was headquartered there. Louis Armstrong, who recorded for Gennett in 1923, is to receive the first marker. (Others who recorded in their studios included Duke Ellington and Lawrence Welk.)
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