According to Linda Stewart of the Wichita Falls, TX Times Record News, "The Vernon Hotel Motel Committee of the Chamber of Commerce has conditionally agreed to set aside $50,000 toward the project . . . Farr-Nash said that it is a little ironic that when Teagarden returned to Vernon in August 1941, he stayed at the former Wilbarger Hotel, located just across the alley from the future location of the museum. He has a picture of Teagarden's bus parked about 15 feet from the museum site. During that visit, Teagarden was honored as a local hero and given the key to the city on the courthouse square. Farr-Nash said his number one goal for the museum is to be able to secure the [ Showler ] collection by raising enough money to buy it and move it here. 'The sad part is that if we can't raise the money, this will go away and Vernon will lose a really tangible part of its history,' Farr-Nash said. An extensive documentary detailing the life of Teagarden compiled by Schowler [ sic ] will be shown at the Plaza Theater as a fundraiser. Farr-Nash said Schowler [ sic ] spent more than $135,000 of his own money traveling and conducting interviews for the documentary. 'After watching this film, you will feel like you actually knew Jack Teagarden,' he said."
In an article for the Fort Worth Business Press, Michael H. Price instead identifies the name of the person heading up the effort to get Showler's collection to Vernon as "Mark Finn," and writes that it will take about ten percent of a $175,000 fundraising campaign for Showler's materials to be moved there.
The public will have an opportunity to pay their respects to drummer-bandleader Louie Bellson at two memorial services which will be held this month. On Mar. 3rd, a visitation is scheduled from 4 to 7 pm at Esterdahl Mortuary in Moline, IL, and on Mar. 4th a 12 Noon visitation and 1 pm service at the Bethel Assembly of God Church in Rock Island, IL, followed by private interment in Moline, IL, his boyhood home.
Bellson died on Feb. 14th from complications of Parkinson's disease. He had suffered a broken hip from a fall last November.
Welcome Back, Dick
Last month, clarinetist Dick Johnson, 83, who led The Artie Shaw Orchestra from 1983 to 2006, returned to playing in public after a long illness. He was the musical guest during the evening of Feb. 15th at Benjamin's Restaurant in Taunton, MA. Proceeds were donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
This month, The Shaw Orchestra, now being directed on the road by Rich Chiaraluce, performs on the 19th at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts in Newnan, GA; on the 20th at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (formerly the Cornerstone Church) in Ponte Vedra, FL; on the 25th at Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, FL; and on the 29th at the State Theatre in State College, PA.
More Big Bands In-Person
Tex Beneke Orchestra directed by Jim Snodgrass: Mar. 1, Civic Arts Plaza, Thousand
Oaks, CA [ with Tony Martin (Noble '38; Miller AAF '43), The Modernaires, others ]; Mar. 3,
McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert, CA [ with Peter Marshall, The Modernaires, et al ].
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole: Mar. 3, Troy University, Troy, AL; Mar. 5,
Center Theater, Hartsville, SC; Mar. 28, Turnage Theater, Washington, NC.
Les Elgart Orchestra directed by Russ Dorsey: Mar. 21, private party ("Art Susman
Birthday Bash"), Casino Club, Chicago, IL.
Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Paul Ellington: Mar. 10, Ginger Rogers Theater,
Medford, OR; Mar. 11, Ross Ragland Theatre, Klamath Falls, OR; Mar. 13, Napa Valley
Opera House, Napa, CA; Mar. 14, Warnors Center for the Arts, Fresno, CA; Mar. 15,
California State University, Fullerton, CA; Mar. 17, Truman State University, Kirksville,
MO; Mar. 18, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; Mar. 20, Schaumburg Prairie
Center, Schaumburg, IL; Mar. 22, Touhill Performing Arts Center, St. Louis, MO.
Woody Herman Orchestra directed by Frank Tiberi: Mar. 7, "Beavercreek Weekend of
Jazz," Beavercreek, OH.
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke: Mar. 4, Surfside, FL; Mar. 7, Cartersville,
GA; Mar. 8, Newberry, SC; Mar. 11, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Mar. 13, Stuart, FL; Mar. 27,
Avi Resort, Laughlin, NV.
Gene Krupa Orchestra directed by Mike Berkowitz: Mar. 2, Sun City, FL; Mar. 4, Palm
Beach Gardens, FL; Mar. 5, Stuart, FL.
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: Mar. 1, Hemmens Cultural Center, Elgin,
IL; Mar. 5, Homewood High School, Homewood AL; Mar. 6, Mississippi State University,
Meridian, MS; Mar. 7, Saenger Theatre, Hattiesburg, MS; Mar. 8, Diamondhead Country
Club, Diamondhead, MS; Mar. 10, Leesville High School, Leesville, LA; Mar. 12,
Azalee Marshall Cultural Activities Center, Temple, TX; Mar. 13-15, Meyerson Symphony
Hall, Dallas, TX [ with singer Debby Boone ]; Mar. 16, Leach Theatre, Rolla, MO; Mar.
19, Vance Brand Civic Auditorium, Longmont, CO; Mar. 21, Plainview Country Club,
Plainview, TX; Mar. 22, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; Mar. 24, Eastern
New Mexico University. Roswell, NM; Mar. 27, Northern Arizona University Convention
Center, Flagstaff, AZ; Mar. 28, Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler, AZ; Mar. 29,
Yavapai College Community Center, Prescott, AZ; Mar. 30, Buena Performing Arts
Center, Sierra Vista, AZ.
Introducing Ray Eberle, Jr.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien will present a new male vocalist, though his name harkens back to the original Miller band. Ray Eberle, Jr., one of four children of Ray Eberle, one of the famed Miller vocalists from the late 1930s and early '40s, is scheduled to join the Orchestra when it appears in Dallas (see above listing). The young man, who was born in March 1968 and will turn 41 years old this month, is known among family as "J.R." Incidentally, Perry Como was Ray Jr.'s godfather.
Happy Birthday to You
Orrin Keepnews, writer (A Pictorial History of Jazz: People and Places From New Orleans to Modern Jazz) -
record producer, b.Mar. 2, 1923.
Rocky Rockwell, trumpeter - vocalist (Welk '51-'62), b. Mar. 2, 1923.
Harry Prime, vocalist (T. Dorsey '47; Flanagan '49-'53), b.Mar. 5, 1920.
Dick Hyman, pianist (Goodman '50 / '55 / '85-'86) - arranger, b.Mar. 8, 1927.
Keely Smith, vocalist (Prima '49-'61), b.Mar. 9, 1932.
Donn Trenner, pianist (Fio Rito '43-'45; Morrow '47?; Brown '54-'56 / '57-'60?), b.Mar. 10, 1927.
Quincy Jones, trumpeter (Hampton '51-'53; Gillespie '56) - composer (Basie '58 Rat Race / The Midnight Sun Never
Sets / Meet B.B.), b.Mar. 14, 1933.
George Avakian, record producer, b.Mar. 15, 1919.
Bob Wilber, clarinetist - soprano sax (Hackett '57; Goodman '58), b.Mar. 15, 1928.
Larry Elgart, saxophonist (Byrne; Les Elgart) - bandleader (Les & Larry Elgart; Larry Elgart), b.Mar. 20, 1922.
Bill Hughes, trombonist (Basie '54-'57 / '63-'84) - leader (Basie Orch. '03- ), b.Mar. 28, 1930.
Geoff Clarkson, 94, pianist (Brown '43-'46; '47-'54 / '74 ), d.Mar. 10, 2009.
Alan D. Livingston, 91, Capitol Records producer-executive ('46-'56? / 1960s) and brother of
composer Jay Livingston (Buttons and Bows, Mona Lisa, Stuff Like That There, Haven't Got a Worry),
d.Mar. 13, 2009, "age-related causes."
New In-Print and / or Online
David Bernhart, "Can You Name This Bandleader?," The Bandstand [ Big Band Academy
of America ], Mar. 2009, p.1+ [ brief biography of Henry Jerome ].
Chales DeStefano (editor), "On the Road with your favorite bands," Glenn Miller Productions
Barney Gallagher, "An old friend's passing brings memories of the big band era," [ North
Andover, MA ] Eagle Tribune, Mar. 15, 2009 [ the death of Don Sutherland prompted a
recollection of when Sutherland and others invited Glenn Miller to appear in Haverhill -
may have been Jan. 13, 1939 ].
Phil Holdman, "Twenty-Five Years Ago: The Browsers 'Live' From the Famous Blackhawk
Restaurant," The Great Escape ( online newsletter ) / dixieswing.com, Issue No. 12
Mar./Apr. 2009, p.8 [ recalling a 1984 program held at the Blackhawk in Chicago, with
Frankie Masters and others present ].
Perry Huntoon, "Gene Krupa: A Centennial Tribute," The Great Escape ( online newsletter ) /
dixieswing.com, Issue No. 12 Mar./Apr. 2009, p.1+ [ personal remembrance ].
"In his own words... Rusty Jones," Chicago Jazz Magazine, Mar.-Apr. 2009, pp.5-8
[ questions posed to drummer Rusty Jones, born Isham Russell Jones II in 1942, and
whose great uncle was bandleader Isham Jones ].
Doug Pomeroy, "Ain't No Pops on Pops: Audio Restoration of Louis Armstrong's Big
Swing Band The Fleischmann Broadcasts," IAJRC Journal, Vol. 42 No. 1 / Mar. 2009,
pp.36-41 [ issued as "Louis Armstrong: Fleischmann's Yeast Show & Louis'
Home-Recorded Tapes," a 2-CD set, Jazz Heritage Society 5289147 ].
Peter Robinson, "Man Friday: Little Brown Jug: The sheer innocent Americanness of Glenn
Miller," Forbes, Mar. 26, 2009 [ Robinson's teenage children have discovered the big
bands, including Miller's Little Brown Jug, which they have on an iPod ].
Dieter Salemann, "Ruling of The Court of Jazz Justice: The Case Against: American Big
Bands," IAJRC Journal, Vol. 42 No. 1 / Mar. 2009, pp.21-23 [ "a faulty and sloppy book,"
says Salemann ].
Kevin Sullivan, "Artie Shaw's music lives," [ State College, PA ] Daily Collegian, Mar. 26,
2009 [ The Shaw Orchestra directed by Rich Chiaraluce appears at State College on
the 29th; Chiaraluce states, "We are going to be playing a lot of the hits, especially from
Artie's 1938 band . . . Artie's solos were very, very difficult to play. If you try to learn them
you will appreciate his immense talent" ].
Julie E. Washington, "Photographer Frank Kuchirchuk donates Cleveland jazz photos to
Oberlin College," Cleveland [ OH ] Plain Dealer, Mar. 17, 2009 [ Kuchirchuk, 84, took
his photos at the old Lindsay's Sky Bar in 1953, including images of Dizzy Gillespie,
Billie Holiday, and others ].
Can't wait for the release of Hunton Downs' The Glenn Miller Conspiracy: The never-before-told story of his life - and death from Creative Book Publishers International? The publication (first shown as 267 pages in length, now listed as 292 pages on the Midpoint Trade Books website) has been delayed numerous times.
Presently, Mr. Downs appears in an online video commenting on his research and states that Miller didn't die in an airplane crash into the English Channel, but, rather, was tortured to death by the Nazis following a failed World War II military operation. The video is posted at kewego.com/video/iLyROoafJ7l2.html, and I, for one, consider it fascinating viewing.
Barnes and Noble says the book will be published Mar. 31st, while other sources indicate Apr. 15th or Apr. 30th.
That's Real Change
Duke Ellington has become the first African-American to be prominently featured on a U.S. coin in circulation, with the recent release of a quarter honoring the District of Columbia.
"Like many great Americans who succeed in what they love doing, Duke Ellington was
equal parts talent, hard work, passion and perseverance," U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy said
during a ceremony at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
Ellington was born and raised in Washington, DC, and he was one of the Black music legends who helped to establish the city's U Street as an entertainment corridor.
The quarter's reverse shows Ellington seated at a grand piano with the inscriptions "District of Columbia" and "Justice for All," the District's motto.
New Compact Discs
Count Basie, "Only the Best of Count Basie," Collectables 1110 [ 6-CD bundle pack of
titles previously released by Collectables ].
Bunny Berigan, "Berigan Gets Started," Audiophonic 090126 [ 32 performances on 2 CDs
by Bunny and the "Rhythm Makers," originally cut as transcriptions for Thesaurus during
1936-38, including That's a Plenty, You're Not the Kind, My Walking Stick, and 'Tain't
So, Honey, 'Tain't So ]. WARNING! All material already issued on CD, and more completely, on "Bunny Berigan &
the Rhythm Makers: Volume One: 1936 & 1938 Sing! Sing Sing! (Jass J-CD-627, 1990) and "Bunny Berigan and the
Rhythmakers [ sic ]: Vol.2: 1938: Devil's Holiday," (Jass J-CD-638, 1992).
Billy Butterfield, "A Lovely Way to Spend An Evening," Montpellier ( UK ) MONTCD051
[ a complementary issue to "The Song Is You," MONTCD037; includes music recorded
for Westminster and RCA Victor from 1954-58 ].
Frankie Carle, "Around the World / Frankie Carle and his Beautiful Dolls," Vocalion ( UK )
CDNJT 5210 [ = RCA Victor albums LSP-1499 and LSP-1559 ].
Jan Garber, "Remember Me," Montpellier ( UK ) MONTCD054 [ 24 standards, many
done for the album "Melodies and Memories" (Decca DL 74416, later reissued as
MCA 211) on Sept. 20, 1962, such as Remember Me, Moments to Remember, and
I'll Remember April ].
Bobby Hackett, "'Live' From the London House," Mr. Music MMCD-7019 [ Hackett and his
quartet, taped at the club in Chicago during June 1959 ].
Harry James, "'Live' On the Coast," Mr. Music MMCD-7018 [ selections broadcast live
between Dec. 27, 1943 and Feb. 6, 1944; plus three V-Disc selections made Nov. 17,
1943 ]. Broadcast portions originally transcribed as AFRS ONS Fill #1 and AFRS ONS Fill #5.
---, "Only the Best of Harry James," Collectables 1165 [ 5-CD bundle pack of titles
previously released by Collectables ].
Spike Jones, "Back in Radio's Day with Spike," Collector's Choice Music CCM-2004
[ two radio sitcom pilots starring Jones and his City Slickers, recorded for NBC in
front of a live studio audience in Nov. 1945 ].
Wayne King, "Dream Time," Vocalion ( UK ) CDLF 8135 [ = Decca album DL78863,
recorded in October 1957 ].
Charlie Spivak, "Sweet and Lovely," Joyce JRC 1030 [ 20 tracks including select airshots
from the Hollywood Palladium in 1943 and the "NBC Bandstand" in 1956, as well as
transcriptions for World in 1944 ].
---, "Moonglow," Montpellier ( UK ) MONTCD055 [ a mixture of 23 tracks from Design
(recorded in Jul. 1958) and Decca (the "Dance to Sweet Trumpet in Soft Moonlight" LP,
DL74355, recorded in Aug. 1962) ].
various, "The Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras: The Legends Live On in Hi-Fi Stereo,"
Montpellier ( UK ) MONTCD051 [ = the LPs "The Fabulous Arrangements of Tommy
Dorsey in Hi-Fi" (Decca DL78802) by Warren Covington and The Tommy Dorsey
Orchestra + "Jimmy Dorsey's Greatest Hits" (Epic BN 529) by Lee Castle and The Jimmy
Dorsey Orchestra ].
---, "Only the Best of the Dorsey Brothers and Other Jazz Legends of the Roaring Twenties,"
Collectables 1130 [ 3-CD bundle pack of titles previously released by Collectables ].
CD Sneak Peeks
In April, the retro jump / swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will release their 11-song CD tribute to Cab Calloway, "How Big Can You Get" on the Vanguard label. The selections are Come On with the "Come On"; Tarzan of Harlem; The Calloway Boogie; The Jumpin' Jive; How Big Can You Get?; Old Man of the Mountain; The Ghost of Smokey Joe; Reefer Man; Hey Now, Hey Now; Call of the Jitterbug; and Minnie the Moocher. If you'd like to hear a sample, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will perform The Calloway Boogie on ABC-TV's "Dancing with the Stars" on Mar. 17th.
And this coming May will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benny Goodman, born May 30, 1909 in Chicago and Sony Legacy will commemorate the occasion with the release of a "100th Anniversary Boxed Set."
Reny On Classics
I recently asked Reny Brown of Worlds Records in CA what has held up the latest announced chronological big band titles on Classics ( Fr ). According to Reny, "the owner has suspended production until distribution in the U.S. is found. And that doesn't seem likely at this point. The label has been looking since last summer and there aren't that many distributors left as they have already been represented by three."
various artists, "Woody Woodpecker Favorites," Universal [ 15 cartoons incl. "The Pied
Piper of Basin Street," feat. Jack Teagarden on the soundtrack ].
send feedback about March 2009 "Big Band News" via e-mail
FEEDBACK AND FOLLOW-UP
Christopher Popa follows-up:
While Ray Eberle Jr. did join The Glenn Miller Orchestra for their
concerts in Dallas in mid-March, he did not remain with them.
According to one band member, Eberle Jr. "is unable to travel day
to day on the ol' bus due to a medical condition in his leg."