The big bands are back
in a new and exciting way!
JUNE 2011
compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA


    162 selections made in the 1920s for Victor by legendary bandleader Paul Whiteman are included in the "National Jukebox," a new joint venture of the Library of Congress and Sony Music.  The project gives access to thousands of recordings long out of circulation because of commercial or copyright issues, through free online streaming.
    Among the titles by Whiteman and His Orchestra which can be heard are Rhapsody in Blue, Say It with Music, What'll I Do, Stumbling, Carolina in the Morning, It Had to Be You, and San.   
    In fact, at this writing, all pre-1925 acoustic recordings originally made for Victor have been uploaded, and the next phase will add early discs done for Columbia.
    It was reported that in the first 48 hours, the "Jukebox" logged more than 1 million page views and 25,000 streams.  
    Data will be given to Sony on which recordings are streamed most frequently, with Sony retaining the option to release things on CD.     
    Gene DeAnna, Head of the Library of Congress' Recorded Sound Section, explained, "We have an agreement with Sony that if anything is reissued for the commercial market, we'll take them down" from the "Jukebox."
    Sound recordings weren't given protection under federal copyright laws until 1972, so ownership of recordings from before then falls under state or common laws.  Congress is now considering whether to cover the pre-1972 recordings, as well, in the hope of enhancing public access and seeing that the recordings eventually go into the public domain.

    In the Spring 2011 issue of Jazziz magazine (Volume 28 Number 03), writer Steve Futterman considered the 25 "most influential" women in jazz history and, happily, a large portion of them got their start with big bands.
    At the top of his choices was Ella Fitzgerald, who worked with Chick Webb's band.
    "Simply put, no one ever made a song - any song - swing quite like her," Futterman stated.
    Billie Holiday, who was with Count Basie's and Artie Shaw's bands, took second.
    "She didn't have any vocal range to speak of," Futterman commented, "yet there was - and has been - no more expressive singer than Billie Holiday."
    Number three on his list was Sarah Vaughan, who came to fame with Earl Hines' and Billy Eckstine's bands.
    Futterman wrote that she was "as technically gifted and musically adept as she was emotionally expressive" and "exemplified the jazz singer as virtuoso."
    Other women making it to his top 25 included number seven, Mary Lou Williams of Andy Kirk's band, and whom Futterman credits with "outstanding swing-era work"; number eleven, Peggy Lee, hired by Benny Goodman, and who later developed a "low-keyed inventiveness and earthy blues feeling"; number twelve, Anita O'Day, who was featured with Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton, and whom Futterman judged as possibly "the hardest swinging" vocalist of the big band era; number thirteen, Lena Horne, who sang with Charlie Barnet and recorded with Artie Shaw, and who had "poise, charisma and extraordinary beauty"; and number eighteen, Dinah Washington, who was with Lionel Hampton, and who "could sing anything but no matter the material, always imbued it with an unmistakable strain of blues and gospel."

Brian Belton.  "B.B.'s Big Band Beat," In Tune International, No. 232 June 2011, p.34.
    His pick of the month is "Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra: A Night at the Movies"
    (MCD04), which Belton feels is a "most enjoyable CD that keeps this great aggregation
    at the top of the musical tree."  And he calls "The Glenn Miller Orchestra Plays the
    Music of Vincent Youmans and Hoagy Carmichael" (Sounds of YesterYear DSOY 836),
    put together by Michael Highton of The [ International ] Glenn Miller Society, a "very well
    compiled collection."
"Doris Day to release new record," BBC News /, June 1, 2011.  Titled "My
    Heart" and to be released in September by Sony UK, it will include nine previously-
    unreleased recordings from the mid-1980s by the former Les Brown band vocalist.
"Glenn Miller story for film success?," Bedford [ England ] Today, June 3, 2011.  A stage
    play about Miller, now being presented in the United Kingdom, may be made into a
    film, possibly titled "The Lost Flight."
Lawrence Hoffman.  "Sunnybrook turns 80, keeps old traditions alive," [ Pottstown, PA ]
    Mercury, June 11, 2011.  The Sunnybrook Ballroom opened its doors on Memorial
    Day of 1931.
Tammy La Gorce.  "Jazz Historian's 15-Year Dream: Book on Louis Armstrong," New York
    Times, June 26, 2011, p.NJ12.  Ricky Riccardi, age 30, is the author of a new book
    about Armstrong's later years and the archivist for the Louis Armstrong House Museum
    at Queens College in New York.   
Don Manning.  "Swing High!: Big Band Life in Fiction," IAJRC Journal, Vol. 44 No. 2 /
    June 2011, pp.28-30.   Portion of a fictional story. 
Dick Raichelson.  "Dr. Ian Crosbie's sidemen correspondence," IAJRC Journal, Vol. 44
    No. 2 / June 2011, pp.37-38.  A letter and questionnaire to Crosbie from Clint Garvin,
    who played saxophone for Jack Teagarden's orchestra in 1939-40.
Linda Rapka.  "Member Spotlight: Life Member Rosalind Cron: An American Sweetheart,"
    [ Los Angeles Federation of Musicians Local 47 ] Overture, June 2011, p.7.  As the
    Smithsonian Institution presents an exhibit about the first interracial all-girl band in
    America, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, one of the band's alto saxophonists,
    Rosalind Cron, the first white member of the group, reflects on the times.
Robert W. Rice.  "Class of 1911," In Tune International, No. 232 June 2011, pp.15-16.
    Remembering Stan Kenton and his accomplishments.  Rice reveals that Kenton told
    composer Guy Wood, who wrote Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy, which Kenton
    recorded in 1945, "To be perfectly honest with you Guy, I've always hated that song,
    but it's been the biggest selling record I've had."
Gerry Stonestreet.  "The Jazz Pages: Some recent CDs reviewed," In Tune International,
    No. 232 June 2011, p.21+.  Includes "Gene Krupa: Drummin' Man: His 43 Finest
    1927-1958" (Retrospective RTS 4174), about which Stonestreet comments, "Unlike
    other CDs devoted to solo musicians, this one probably has more variety than most,
    as the drummer is rarely the focus of attention . . . Some great jazz here . . . all
    sounding great . . . "
"Viaero Glenn Miller SwingFest nearly here," The Fort Morgan [ CO ] Times, June 4, 2011.
    Celebrating Miller this month in his boyhood home of Fort Morgan, with dances,
    museum tours, and more.
Herb Young.  "Jazzy Reads: 19 - Billy Eckstine 1939-1953 by Dieter Salemann," IAJRC
    Journal, Vol. 44 No. 2 / June 2011, p.91.  Positive review of Salemann's spiral-bound,
    90-page volume about Eckstine, including a solography, discography, band routes,
    and engagements from 1939 to 1953.
Michael P. Zirpolo.  "Shavian Matters Revisited: Part 2," IAJRC Journal, Vol. 44 No. 2 /
    June 2011, pp.50-57.  More on Shaw's music and mindset, primarily covering the
    years 1941-45.    

Whitey Thomas, b.June 29, 1920.  Trumpeter with Miller AAF '43-'45; Miller Orch.-Beneke

Clint Neagley, 94, d.June 22, 2011.  Alto saxophonist with Krupa '39-'41; Goodman '41-'42
    / '42 - ' 43 / '53.
Paul Whiteman (1890-1967)
Benny Goodman.  "AFRS Benny Goodman Show Volume 7," Sounds of YesterYear [ UK ]
    DSOY 852.  Show numbers 15 and 16.
Lionel Hampton.  "The New Look," Essential Media Group.
Stan Kenton.  "Stan Kenton Conducts the Berlin Dream Band," Sounds of YesterYear [ UK ]
    DSOY 855.  Live performance from 1969, including Reuben and Young Blood.
Tony Pastor.  "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time," Circle CCD 179.
    23 tracks recorded between 1945-50, including In a Persian Market, One Meatball, All
    Alone, Young Ideas, Uncle Remus Said, Sioux City Sue, and I Surrender, Dear.
Louis Prima.  "The Velvet Lounge: Louis Prima with Sam Butera and Keely Smith," Bear
    Family [ G ] BCD 17203.  30 tracks and a 36-page booklet.
Various artists.  "Marijuana Madness," Universal 618822.  Includes Calloway The Man From
    Harlem; Kirk All the Jive Is Gone; Krupa I'm Feeling High and Happy; Williams Old Man
    River (Smoke a Little Tea); and Goodman Texas Tea Party.

Christopher Popa follows-up:
    Satchmo's many fans, including young Ricky Riccardi, will be glad to know that the CD "Icon: Louis Armstrong" (Hip-O 015528) entered the "Traditional Jazz Albums" chart in Billboard at #12 on June 11.
    And the "battle of the bands" between the Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw orchestras in Montreal on June 26 was declared... a tie. 

go to Big Band Library homepage

Ralph Flanagan.  "Plays for Dancing Volume 4,"
    Sounds of YesterYear [ UK ] DSOY 853.  Includes
    Armed Forces' Radio "All-Star Parade of Bands"
    from Hollywood Palladium in February 1954; an
    AFRS "One Night Stand" broadcast from the
    Chase Club in St. Louis, MO on June 6, 1958; and
    an AFRS "ONS" from the Hotel Peabody in
    Memphis, TN on November 7, 1958.
Dizzy Gillespie.  "Four Classic Albums: For Musicians
    Only / Roy and Diz #2 / Sonny Side Up / Dizzy in
    Greece," Avid [ UK ] 1028.  2-CD set of music
    recorded in the mid-1950s.
Image courtesy of Circle Records.
    On Sunday, June 26th, there'll be a "battle of the bands," with The Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Matt Koza versus The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Gary Tole.  The concert will be held at 2:00 pm at the Place-des-Arts in Montreal, in the Province of Quebec, Canada.

Count Basie Orchestra directed by Dennis Mackrel.  June 9, Coral Gables Congregational
    Church, Coral Gables, FL; June 10, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Ponte Vedra, FL; June
    29, "Toronto Jazz Festival," Toronto, Canada.
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole.  June 25, Fort Morgan, CO; June 27,
    Chautauqua, NY.
Hal McIntyre Orchestra directed by Don Pentleton.  June 24, Moseley's on the Charles,
    Dedham, MA.
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Gary Tole.  June 1, Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre, New
    Philadelphia, OH; June 3, [ private ], Park Vista Hotel, Gatlinburg, TN; June 6, Derby
    Dinner Playhouse, Clarksville, IN; June 8, Pearson Lakes Art Center, Okoboji, IA; June
    10-11, "Glenn Miller Birthplace Festival," Clarinda High School, Clarinda IA; June 12,
    Guaranty Bank Parking Lot, Cedar Rapids, IA; June 17, Foellinger Theatre, Fort Wayne,
    IN; June 19, Grandview State Park, Beckley, WV; June 22, Louis-Freschette Theatre,
    Quebec City, Province of Quebec, Canada; June 24, Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto,
    Ontario, Canada; June 25, National Art Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Matt Koza.  June 20, Artpark, Lewiston, NY; June 22,
    Smith Opera House, Geneva, NY; June 23, The Carlyle Club, Alexandria, VA.