Over 2500 items relating to Fats Waller, from the files of his manager - agent, Phil Ponce, are scheduled to be auctioned off Feb. 27th, as part of an offering of "Printed & Manuscript African Americana." The materials are organized into 19 notebooks, and include "signed contracts, copyrights, and receipts, correspondence to and from Phil Ponce (retained copies), biographical material, radio scripts (mimeograph and hand-wrtten by Waller), posters, flyers, programs, photographs, music and ephemera," covering a 10-year period starting when Ponce joined Waller in late 1932.  According to Swann Auction Galleries of New York, the collection was expected to bring between $40,000 to $60,000.
    Meanwhile, an estate sale of items which once belonged to former Benny Goodman vocalist Helen Ward and her husband, Bill Savory, will be held Feb. 23rd through the 25th in Falls Church, VA.  There are to be "1000 CDs, records, books, 'The Helen Ward Song Book' lp . . ." available, along with the couple's furniture, antiques, and other possessions.

Snooky Young, trumpeter (Lunceford '39-'42; Basie '42 / '43 / '45 / '46-'48 / '57-'62;
  Hampton '44-'45), b. Feb. 3, 1919
Sammy Nestico, arranger - composer (Basie '67-'84), b. Feb. 6, 1924
Buddy Morrow, trombonist (Shaw '36-'37; T. Dorsey '38-'39; Whiteman '39-'40; Crosby
  '41-'42) - bandleader ('50-'73; Miller Orch. '74; T. Dorsey Orch. '77- ), b.Feb. 8, 1919
Gene Lees, author (Leader of the Band: The Life of Woody Herman; Meet Me at Jim &
  Andy's Jazz Musicians and Their World; Gene Lees' Jazzletter), b.Feb. 8, 1928
Elliot Lawrence, pianist - bandleader, b.Feb. 14, 1925
Pete Christlieb, tenor saxophonist (J. Gray '63-'64; Zentner '65; Bellson '67; Severinsen /
  Tonight Show '72-'92), b.Feb. 16, 1945
Orrin Tucker, saxophonist - bandleader, b.Feb. 17, 1911
Buddy DeFranco, clarinetist (Fio Rito '42; Barnet '43-'44; T. Dorsey '44-'45 /
  '45-'46 / '47; Basie '50) - bandleader ('51; Miller Orch. '66-'74), b. Feb.17, 1923
Joe Wilder, trumpeter (Hampton '46; Lunceford '47; Basie '53-'54), b.Feb. 22, 1922
Joe LaBarbera, drummer (Herman '72 "The Raven Speaks"), b.Feb. 22, 1948
Dave Pell, tenor saxophonist (Brown '48-'55), b.Feb. 26, 1925

    Johnny McAfee worked as a saxophonist and / or vocalist with several famous bands, including Eddy Duchin '39 (Speaking of Heaven; Well, All Right!), Tony Pastor '40-'42 (I Want to Live; Hurry Back to Sorrento; A Pretty Co-Ed Has Gone to My Head), Harry James '42-'43
(Daybreak; A Poem Set to Music), and Buddy Morrow '46-47? (I'd Be Lost Without You).  McAfee's granddaughter, Maude Maggart, is today making a name for herself in the world of musical cabaret.  She just finished an engagement at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, and, no doubt, McAfee, now age 93, is a very proud grandfather.

Whitney Balliett, 80, jazz writer (New Yorker '57-'01 [ per NY Times obit ]; American Musicians:
  Fifty-fix Portraits in Jazz; American Musicians II: Seventy-one Portraits in Jazz),
  d.Feb. 1, 2007, liver cancer
Peggy Gilbert, 102, saxophonist - bandleader, d.Feb. 12, 2007, complications of
  hip surgery
Charlie Fischer, 89, trombonist - vocalist (Barron '38?-'46?), d.Feb. 15, 2007
Janet Blair, 85, vocalist (Kemp '40) - actress, d.Feb. 19, 2007, complications of
Al Viola, 87, guitarist (James; Anthony; Brown), d.Feb.21, 2007, cancer
Buddy Schutz, 92, drummer (J. Dorsey '39-'45), d.Feb. 24, 2007
Burt Collins, 75, trumpeter (Hefti '55; Herman '56 / '58 Everest "Herd Rides Again" LP;
  McKinley '66 Dot "Greatest Hits" LP), d.Feb. 24, 2007
Bobby Rosengarden, 82, drummer (Goodman '65 / '72 / '73 / '79 / '80), d.Feb. 27, 2007,
  kidney failure

Arnold, Thomas K.  "A different 'Ozzie' reality show," St. Paul [ MN ] Pioneer Press /, Feb. 18, 2007.  [ rather than rock star Ozzy Osbourne, story is about Ozzie Nelson; 24 episodes of
   Nelson's TV show, "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," will be released on DVD in May ]
"Beat lives on, Buddy, The," Great Yarmouth [ UK ] Mercury, Feb. 22, 2007.  [ April 1st concert
   with guests including Jack Parnell and two former Rich band members, Jay Craig (baritone sax) and Bob Martin (alto sax) ]
Budzak, Gary.  "Jazz orchestra performs best of big-band era," Columbus [ OH ]
  Dispatch /, Feb. 15, 2007.  [ 88-year-old Gerald Wilson (Lunceford '39-'42)
   conducts the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in several "Big Band Time Machine" performances at the Southern Theatre ]
Cantor, Mark.  "Celluloid Improvisations: Woody Herman and his Orchestra," IAJRC
  Journal, Feb. 2007 (Vol. 40 No.1), pp.22-30.
Clear, Marty.  "Obituaries: Big band member gave up road, but not love of music,"
  St. Petersburg [ FL ] Times /, Feb. 23, 2007.  [ re: Charlie Fischer ]
"Doc Severinsen brings band in March," Des Moines [ IA ] Register, Feb. 6, 2007.
   [ ". . . to the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines March 10 as part of Doc's Farewell Tour . . ." ]
Giddins, Gary.  "Cadenza: Incomparable!," JazzTimes, Feb. 2007, p.26.  [ Giddins recalls his
   1970s meeting with Anita O'Day ]
"Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival turns 40," KTVB [ Boise, ID ], Feb. 22, 2007.
Rapka, Linda.  "Good Vibrations: Hammering It Out with legendary jazz vibraphonist
  Terry Gibbs," Overture, Feb. 2007, p.1+.
Reaney, James.  "Opinion: Lombardos tuned into right thing: They ensure Louis
  Armstrong is welcome despite racist club owner," London [ ONT, Canada ] Free Press /, Feb. 8, 2007.   [ how Armstrong became a lifelong friend of  Guy Lombardo and his brothers ]
Scanlon, Bill.  "Miller book 'garbage,' expert says: Author says he helped cover up
  friendly fire death," Rocky Mountain [ CO ] News /, Feb. 21, 2007. 
   [ Miller expert Alan Cass comments about the book I Kept My Word ]
Schlueter, Roger.  "Trumpeter immortalized 'Sugar Blues,'" Belleville [ IL ] News-Democrat /, Feb. 5, 2007.  [ Q&A column in which a reader asked what was Clyde McCoy's theme song;
   to respond, Mr. Schlueter quoted my website's biographical sketch of McCoy ]
Schrieber, Curtis.  "Concert Review: Wilson spins Big Band gold in CJO performances,"
  Columbus [ OH ] Dispatch /, Feb. 15, 2007.  [ ". . . Wilson's presence
   inspired the ensemble to terrific performances of challenging works . . . " ]
Wahl, Brick [ sic ].  "Down with the Count: The Frank Capp Juggernaut Big Band at
  Charlie O's," LA [ CA ] Weekly /, Feb. 14, 2007.  [ performance on Feb. 19 ]
Wald, Gayle F.  Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer
  Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2007).  [ 272-pg biography of Tharpe
   (Millinder '41-'42 / '43 "AFRS Jubilee") ]
Wertz, Marjorie.  "Singer Vaughn Monroe's road to stardom went through Jeannette,"
  Pittsburgh [ PA ] Tribune-Review /, Feb. 9, 2007.  [ traces Monroe's local
   connections to Jeannette; comments from relatives and Claire Schwartz of The Vaughn Monroe Society ]
"Year in Review, The: Highs & Lows: Glenn Miller's Death Finally Explained.  Or Not.,"
  JazzTimes, Feb. 2007, p.56.

Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: Feb. 1: Arlee Theater, Mason City, IL;
  Feb. 2, Symphony Center, Chicago, IL
Cab Calloway Orchestra directed by C. Calloway Brooks: Feb. 17, Cape Charles, VA
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole: Feb. 10, Owls Head Transportation Museum,
  Owls Head, ME
Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Paul Ellington: Feb. 23-24, Kleinhans Music Hall,
  Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY
Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians directed by Al Pierson: Feb. 10, Walker, MN; Feb. 12,
  Laughlin, NV; Feb. 13, Selma, AL; Feb. 14, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ [ and Marietta,
  GA? ]; Feb. 15, Sun City West, AZ; Feb. 16, Palm Desert, AZ; Feb. 17, Prescott, AZ;
  Feb. 17-18, Robinson Theatre, Waltham, MA [ "Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians with Ty Lemley" ]
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: Feb. 1, Frostproof Performing Arts Center,
  Frostproof, FL; Feb. 3, Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, NC; Feb. 7, private, Fairfax, VA;
  Feb. 8, private, Richmond, VA; Feb. 9, Boyking Center, Wilson, NC; Feb. 10, Alabama
  Theatre, North Myrtle Beach, SC; Feb. 13, Cross Creek County Country Club, Mt. Airy,
  NC; Feb. 14, Crystal Coast Civic Center, Morehead City, NC; Feb. 15, College of
  Albemarle, Elizabeth City, NC; Feb. 18, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Feb. 20,
  Fayette Civic Center, Fayette, AL; Feb. 22, Nederland High School, Nederland, TX;
  Feb. 24, Williams Trace Baptist Church, Sugar Land, TX; Feb. 25, Leander High School,
  Leander, TX; Feb. 28, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Louis Prima, Jr. and The Witnesses [ 8-piece band ]: Feb. 14-15, Club 3121, Rio Hotel,
  Las Vegas, NV
Doc Severinsen and His Big Band: Feb. 22, Sunset Center Theater, Carmel, CA
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Dick Johnson: Feb. 22, Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA;
  Feb. 24, Sellersville Theatre, Sellersville, PA; Feb. 25, Grand Opera House, Wilmington,
Bill Tole: Feb. 25, guest with The Coastal Communities Concert Band, Carlsbad
  Community Church, Carlsbad, CA

    Big Bands International readers voted for their "Favorite Big Bands" of 2006, and here are the results:
1. The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien
2. The Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes
3. The Mike Vax Orchestra
4. Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
5. The Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Dick Johnson

United Kingdom
1. The Syd Lawrence Orchestra directed by Chris Dean
2. The Glenn Miller Orchestra UK directed by Ray McVay
3. Paul Lacey's Back to Basie Orchestra
4. The BBC Big Band directed by Barry Forgie
5. The Bert Kaempfert Orchestra directed by Tony Fisher
    The Jazz Museum in Harlem, on E. 126th St. in New York City, will present various "Harlem Speaks" programs this month.  Record producer George Avakian will appear Feb. 8 and trombonist Bill Hughes, present leader of The Count Basie Orchestra, on Feb. 22.   For more information, view the website

Benny Goodman: "The Gang's All Here," 20th Century Fox
Lucky Millinder: "Harlem Double Feature: Paradise in Harlem / Burlesque in Harlem,"
  Alpha Video   [ Millinder in "Paradise in Harlem" ]

Louis Armstrong: "The Early Years: Recorded Live 1938 to 1949," Collectables 811;
    "'Live' in Northbay, Ontario, Canada . . . May 13, 1958," Sterling 11307
Tex Beneke: "Garry Stevens Sings," Sounds of Yester Year ( UK ) DSOY 727
Bunny Berigan: "Frankie Trumbauer: 'Live at the Hickory House - 1937,'" Sterling 11507  
   [ featuring Berigan as a member of Trumbauer's band ]
Duke Ellington Orchestra [ sic ]: "The Legendary Duke: In Memoriam," Collectables 835 
   [ Satin Doll + select Musicraft sides ]
Maynard Ferguson: "On a High Note: The Best of the Concord Jazz Recordings,"
  Concord 30214
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra: "Swing Tonic: 1939-1946," Jasmine ( UK )
  JASCD 456  [ 2-CD set ]
Horace Heidt: "Musical Nights," Jasmine ( UK ) JASCD 455  [ 2-CD set ]
Harry James: "Spotlight On Harry James," Sounds of Yester Year ( UK) DSOY 726
Ben Pollack: "Ben Pollack and His Orchestra 1933-1935," Sterling 22707
various artists: "Classic Chu Berry Columbia and Victor Sessions," Mosaic MD7-236 
   [ 7-CD set incl. examples of his work with the Fletcher Henderson and Cab Calloway orchestras ]

    The 49th annual Grammy Awards, held February 11 in Los Angeles, had something of interest for jazz fans: Dan Morgenstern, longtime Director of The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, was given a "Best Album Notes" Grammy Award, for his text to the Fats Waller CD set, "If You Got to Ask, You Ain't Got It!."  Congratulations, Dan! 

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compiled by Christopher Popa
    The Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, held at the University of Idaho in Moscow, celebrates its 40th year this month.  The Festival, to be held Feb. 21-24, will feature concerts and workshops by nearly 50 jazz musicians, along with student performances, and displays from the University's jazz collections.
    One of the program highlights this year is an appearance by The Lionel Hampton New York Big Band, on February 24th.
    From around 1989 on, Phil Leshin acted as Hampton's manager (he had earlier served as his publicist).
    "That is the one thing I did not negotiate, Lionel did that himself," Leshin told me in 2005.  "He was out there on the West Coast and got a call to play at the University of Idaho, and they said they wanted to have a big jazz concert and call it 'The Lionel Hampton Jazz Concert,' and he loved that idea.  And they asked him, 'Can you bring in some other people?' and he said, 'Let me see who I can get.'  And he made some phone calls and, over the next couple of years, he brought in Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan... God, everybody you can think of... and Gerry Mulligan.  And I was there at one concert with him, where Clint Eastwood came in, 'cause he was a big fan of Lionel's."     
    This year, Lynn “Doc” Skinner who retired as Executive Director of the Festival after 35 years, will be honored.  With Hampton's assistance, Skinner was credited with taking the Festival from a one-day event to its present four-day schedule, which attracts thousands of student musicians and jazz fans.
    Hampton really enjoyed it, too.
    "He just loved the whole thing of calling it a 'Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival,' instead of, let's say, 'The Newport Jazz Festival,' Leshin pointed out.  "And it was the only place that offered him that.  A lot of other colleges liked his support and his help, and he had given money over the years to many colleges.  I think Dartmouth was one, certainly the Spelman and some of the black colleges down South.  But the only one who offered him his own... ultimately, his own building... it's now called the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho."  
Lionel Hampton (1908-2002)