Cornetist Bix Beiderbecke was known for, among other things, his work in the orchestras of Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman.  The first "Memorial Jazz Festival" in Beiderbecke's name took place in Davenport, IA during 1972, and they're now up to number 35 which will be held July 27 through the 30th.  Even after all these years, there's still plenty special, such as the impressive line-up of jazz experts who will present seminars that weekend.  Scheduled to appear are producer George Avakian, Michael Cogswell of The Louis Armstrong House and Museum, historian Frank Driggs, Deborah Gillaspie of The Chicago Jazz Archive at the University of Chicago, director Dan Morgenstern of the Institute of Jazz Studies, Bruce Boyd Raeburn of The Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University, photographer Duncan Schiedt, and author Richard Sudhalter.  Musicians who will be participating include such big band veterans as pianist Dick Hyman, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, clarinetist Ken Peplowski, and trumpeter Randy Sandke. 
    "Armstrong and Africa" is the latest exhibition at The Louis Armstrong House and Museum in Queens, NY.  Using actual itineraries, it explores his travels through Africa in 1956 and 1960, and displays instruments, photographs, postcards, and scrapbooks from his personal collection.  Also, excerpts from Edward R. Murrow's "Satchmo the Great," a film documentary that followed Armstrong during his first visit to the Gold Coast (Ghana) in '56, are being shown.  The exhibit runs through December 3rd.

    Since 2001, SwingStreets has taken thousands of people on tour around New York City, to see some famous jazz landmarks.  For example, their signature "Harlem Walk" visits the one-time neighborhood of The Savoy Ballroom and The Cotton Club, and passes by the former homes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Fletcher Henderson, Fats Waller, and others.  Reservations are required, and tours often sell out in advance.   For more details, consult their website,

Cab Calloway Orchestra directed by C. Calloway Brooks: July 10, "Midsummer Night Swing,"
  Lincoln Center, New York, NY; July 19-20, Pori Jazz Festival, Finland
Maynard Ferguson and Big Bop Nouveau: July 14-15, Zanzibar Blue, Philadelphia, PA;
  July 18-23, Blue Note, New York, NY
Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians directed by Al Pierson: July 12, Ford County Fair,
  Melvin, IL
Woody Herman's Thundering Herd directed by Frank Tiberi: July 14, Montgomery High
  School, Skillman, NJ; July 16, "15th Annual Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz,"
  Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT
Sammy Kaye Orchestra directed by Roger Thorpe: July 23, Sellersville Theater,
  Sellersville, PA; July 25-30, riverboat cruise from Cincinnati, OH to Pittsburgh, PA,
  aboard the Mississippi Queen
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: July 1, Leelanau Sands Casino,
  Peshawbestown, MI; July 3, Twin Lakes Park, Latrobe, PA; July 7, private, Anthony, KS;
  July 9, Wichita Theatre, Witchita Falls, TX; July 11, Starlite Ballroom, Wahoo, NE;
  July 13, Scottsville High School, Scottsville, KY; July 14, Monteagle Sunday School
  Auditorium, Monteagle, TN; July 17, LaComedia Dinner Theater, Springboro, OH;
  July 19, Lake Anna Park, Barberton, OH; July 20, Duncan Plaza, Massillon, OH; July 22,
  American Music Theatre, Lancaster, PA; July 24, Bear Creek Farms, Bryant, IN;
  July 25,  White Lick Arts Amphitheater, Danville, IN; July 27, Hoover Auditorium, Lakeside,
  OH; July 28, Connellsville High School, Connellsville, PA; July 30, Capitol Theatre,
  Chambersburg, PA; July 31, Ocean City Music Pier, Ocean City, NJ
Russ Morgan Orchestra directed by Jack Morgan: July 9, Indiana Roof Ballroom,
  Indianapolis, IN; July 19-23, riverboat cruise from St. Louis, MO to Madison, IN,
  aboard the Mississippi Queen
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Dick Johnson: July 4, Discovery Park Festival, Freeport,

    The episode of "The Lawrence Welk Show" which aired on PBS-TV stations July 8th was
a "Tribute to Swing & Sweet Bands."  Music included And the Angels Sing, Got a Date with
An Angel, and Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree.  New introductions and transitions were
given by former Welk singer Ava Barber.

Doc Severinsen, trumpeter (Fio Rito '45; Barnet '47-'49; S. Donahue '48; T. Dorsey '50),
Rusty Dedrick, trumpeter (Stabile '38-'39; Norvo '39-'41; Thornhill '42-'42 and '46-'47;
  McKinley '46), b. 7/12/1918
Roc Hillman, guitarist (Dorsey Bros. '34-'35; J. Dorsey '35-'40; Kyser '40-'47) - composer,
Danny Bank, saxophonist (Barnet '42-'44; Goodman '45-'46; Whiteman '47; Shaw '49-'50),
  b. 7/17/1922
Kay Starr, vocalist (Crosby '39; Miller '39; Venuti '39-'42; Barnet '43-'45), b. 7/21/1922
Ronny Lang, saxophonist (Ennis '47; Brown '49-'90? [ not continuous ]), b.7/24/1927
Louis Bellson, drummer (Fio Rito '42; Goodman '42 and '46; T. Dorsey '47-'49; James '51;
  Ellington '51-'53; Dorsey Bros. '55-'56), b.7/26/1924
Hank Jones, pianist (Kirk '45; Shaw '53-'54; Goodman '56-'58), b. 7/31/1918

Irving Green, 90, co-founder of Mercury Records, July 1, natural causes
"Smiling" Jack Smith, 92, vocalist (member of The Three Ambassadors vocal group with
  Arnheim '31 / Grier '32 / Harris '33) - TV host ("You Asked for It"), July 3, leukemia
Don Lusher, 82, trombonist (Heath '52-'61; leader of "The Ted Heath Band" '76-'00),
  July 5
June Allyson, 88, actress ("Helen Miller" in "The Glenn Miller Story" '53), July 8,
  pulmonary respiratory failure and acute bronchitis
Bill Miller, 91, pianist (Barnet '33 / '39-'42 / '46 / '47; Haymes '35-'36; Norvo '37-'38;
  James '53), July 11  [ he had recently fallen and suffered a broken hip, had a heart attack, and, subsequently,
   underwent triple bypass surgery ]

    Former clarinetist - bandleader Artie Shaw was considered to be a litigious person, involved in a number of high-dollar legal actions against others, in the years after he left music.  He died at age 94 in December 2004, and, ironically, the last of his eight wives had to sue his estate.
    Keyes, now age 89, revealed that while she was married to Shaw, he wrote a two-page contract, in which they promised each other half of their estates.  They were man and wife from 1957 to 1985, though they had separated in 1970.  After Shaw's death, she asked his executor for the money, but he refused. 
    The verdict, delivered July 21st, awarded Keyes $1.42 million, said to be about half of Shaw's estate. 
    The Los Angeles Times has reported that the Hollywood Palladium, one of the most famous venues of the big band era, is at risk, now that a developer, Combined Properties Inc., plans to purchase the building and the adjoining large parking lot.  It's likely that residences, stores, and a hotel may be constructed on the site.  "We are going to try our hardest to save the Palladium and restore it," an executive with Combined Properties told the Times.  "We are analyzing it right now and working to come up with plans everyone would be excited about."  The ballroom, built in 1940 near the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Vine St., does not have official landmark status.

    The innovative hip-hop duo OutKast, with Andre Benjamin (as "Andre 3000," or "Dre")
and Antwan Patton ("Big Boi") have flipped a piece of Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher
for their new single, Mighty O, which is part of their "Idlewild" soundtrack.  While Calloway
was known for singing "Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-ho," the words in OutKast's new song sung by
"Andre 3000" are "Mighty-I-de-I-de-I, O-de-o-de-o-de-o."

Duke Ellington: "Duke Ellington Octet: At the Rainbow Grill [ August 17 ]1967," Gambit
  (Sp) 69248; "The Chronological 1953," Classics (Fr) 1432; "Time's a-Wastin'
  (1945-1946)," Naxos Jazz Legends (UK) 8.120811; "The Popular Duke Ellington,"
  BMG (Japan) BVCJ 38072; "Far East Suite," BMG (Japan) BVCJ 38073; "And His
  Mother Called Him Bill," BMG (Japan) BVCJ 38131
Benny Gooodman: "Together Again," BMG (Japan) BVCJ 38090
Bobby Hackett: "Live At Nick's and Boston," Vintage Music Productions VMP 0201
Earl Hines: "Here Comes," BMG (Japan) BVCJ 38117(New)
Gene Krupa: "The Chronological 1953-1954," Classics (Fr) 1433; "Gene Krupa and
  Buddy Rich: Burnin' Beat," Universal (Japan) UCCU-9265
Billy May: "The Invitations with Billy May and His Orchestra," Liberty (Japan) TOCP-70035
Alvino Rey: "The King Sisters with Music By Alvino Rey: Aloha," Capitol (Japan)
Buddy Rich: "Sweets Edison - Buddy Rich Quartet," Definitive DRCD 11298; "Richcraft,"
  Universal (Japan)UCCU-9261 [ = Mercury MG-20451 ]
Pete Rugolo: "TV Top Themes," Gambit  Records (Sp) 69247
Jack Teagarden: "1930 Studio Sessions," Jazz Oracle (Can) BDW 8053   [ rare recordings
   including some newly-discovered alternate takes ]
Fats Waller: "Complete Victor Piano Solos / Complete London Suite / Rare Radio
  Transcriptions," Definitive Records DRCD 11297
Paul Whiteman: "Whiteman Stomp," Sounds of Yesteryear (UK) DSOY711
various artists: "Hits of the 1930s, Vol.2 (1931-1933)," Naxos Nostalgia 8.120842
   [ incl. Calloway, Spitalny, and Lombardo ]

Duke Ellington: "Berlin Concert 1969," Impro-Jazz IJ 509; "Berlin Concert 1964,"
  Impro-Jazz IJ 510
Coleman Hawkins: "Coleman Hawkins - Sweets Edison Quintet: London Concert 1964,"
  Impro-Jazz IJ 508
Artie Shaw: "Second Chorus," Image Entertainment HRS 9455DVD  [ HRS = Hal Roach Studios series ]

Clooney, Nick.  "Betty's legacy in song," Cincinnati [ OH ] Post /,
  Jul. 19, 2006.   [ looking back at the career of Betty Clooney, who sang with her sister, Rosemary, for Tony Pastor's band
   from 1946-49 ]
Corbett, John.  "Vinyl Freak: Dick Johnson: Most Likely...," DownBeat, Jul. 2006, p.18.
Fratallone, Stephen.  "Anita Is Back!: Legendary Songstress of Jazz, Anita O'Day,
  Remains Indestructible With New CD,", Jul. 2006.
Friedwald, Will.  "Bill Miller, 91, Accompanist and Conductor for Sinatra," New York Sun
  /, Jul. 14, 2006.
Gittler, Harvey.  "The Big Band Hall of Fame: a missed opportunity," [ Elyria, OH ]
  Chronicle Telegram /, Jul. 24, 2006.   [ a grandfather visits the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
   in Cleveland, but would have rather gone to a big band hall of fame ]
Greene, Julie E.  "Daylight serenade: Glenn Miller Orchestra performs matinee,"
  [ MD - PA - WV ] Herald-Mail /, Jul. 27, 2006.
Haygood, Wil.  "Frank Jr., the Unsung Sinatra: He's Got a Big Heart and His Pop's Voice,
  But Just a Shadow of His Success," Washington [ DC ] Post /,
  Jul. 9, 2006.
Lindberg, Jeff.  "What Jazz Can Learn From American Idol," Chicago Jazz Magazine,
  Jul./Aug. 2006.   [ Lindberg, Artistic Director of The Chicago Jazz Orchestra, discusses an upcoming "battle of the bands"
   with The Count Basie Orchestra ]
Lydick, Beverly J.  "Glenn Miller Orchestra is returning to Wahoo," Fremont [ NE ] Tribune
  /, Jul. 7, 2006. 
McNally, Owen.  "Woody Herman's 'Herd' Still Thundering, 70 Years Later," Hartford [ CT ]
  Courant /, Jul. 13, 2006.
Moore, Lois.  "Wisconsin's big band past," Milwaukee [ WI ] Journal Sentinel /, Jul. 16, 2006.   [ the Park Ponderosa Ballroom in McFarland, WI presents Dick Jurgens' music
   under Don Ring's direction ]
Piral, Dunstan.  "The Producer Meets the Count: How John Hammond Brought Basie to
  New York," DownBeat, Jul. 2006, p.40+.
Prigozy, Ruth.  "Why We Need a Biography of Dick Haymes," Classic Images, July 2006,
  pp.65-67.  [ Prigozy bemoans poor research done by others in the past about Haymes ]
Shelldone, Michelle.  "Palm Beach Gardens clinic's study leads to breakthrough in
  treating blindness," TC Palm Post [ North Palm Beach County, FL ] /,
  Jul. 23, 2006.   [ patients include Marian Monroe, 94, widow of Vaughn Monroe ]
Simunac, Daniela.  "Marketing plan urged as visits sag at Lombardo site,"
  London [ Ontario, Canada ] Free Press /, Jul. 24, 2006.   [ attendance is down
   at the Guy Lombardo Music Centre, so city officials want to improve marketing efforts ]
Watson, Earl.  "All right, I'll say it: Welk is the man," The Villages [ FL ] Daily Sun /, Jul. 22, 2006.  [ an appreciation of Lawrence Welk's TV program, and an update on
   Diane Semonski, one of the singing Semonski Sisters, who performed on the show from 1974-78 ]

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JULY 2006
reported by Christopher Popa

    It was time for the annual "Louie Bellson Heritage Days" in his birthplace of Rock Falls, Illinois, and Bellson and his wife, Francine, were the guests of honor.  The "Heritage Days" ran through the 9th, and the public could visit the house where Bellson was born, see a museum exhibit about his career, observe a drum competition, and attend a free concert featuring him.
    Then, on July 12th, the River Music Experience Center in Davenport, Iowa hosted "Louie Bellson Day," including an exhibit and concert, featuring Bellson sitting in. 
    To top it off, he turned 82 on the 26th of this month.
The legendary Louis Bellson [ above ]
returns home to Rock Falls, IL.
Photo ©2004 by Francine Bellson and used with permission.