Happy Birthday Charlie Barnet


    Charles Daly "Charlie" Barnet
    Tenor Sax
    b. New York, NY, USA. d. Sept. 4, 1991, USA.
    by Scott Yanow

    Charlie Barnet was unusual in several ways. One of the few jazzmen to be born a millionaire, Barnet was a bit of a playboy throughout his life, ending up with a countless number of ex-wives and anecdotes. He was one of the few white big band leaders of the swing era to openly embrace the music of Duke Ellington (he also greatly admired Count Basie). Barnet was a pioneer in leading integrated bands (as early as 1935). And, although chiefly a tenor saxophonist (where he developed an original sound out of the style of Coleman Hawkins), Barnet was an effective emulator of Johnny Hodges on alto in addition to being virtually the only soprano player (other than Sidney Bechet) in the 1930s and '40s.
    And yet Charlie Barnet was only significant in jazz for about a decade (1939-1949). Although his family wanted him to be a lawyer, he was a professional musician by the time he was 16 and ironically in his career made more money than he would have in business. Barnet arrived in New York in 1932 and started leading bands on records the following year, but his career was quite erratic until 1939. Many of Barnet's early records are worthy but some are quite commercial as he attempted to find a niche. Best is a sideman appearance on a 1934 Red Norvo date that also includes Artie Shaw and Teddy Wilson.

    In 1939, with the hit recording of "Cherokee" and a very successful run at the Famous Door in New York, Charlie Barnet soon became a household name. In addition to the fine trumpeter Bobby Burnet (who soloed on many of Barnet's Bluebird records), such sidemen as guitarist Bus Etri; drummer Cliff Leeman; singers Lena Horne, Francis Wayne, and Kay Starr; pianist Dodo Marmarosa; clarinetist Buddy DeFranco; guitarist Barney Kessel; and even trumpeter Roy Eldridge spent time with Barnet's bands. Although at the height of his popularity during 1939-1942 (when his orchestra could often play a close imitation of Ellington's), Barnet's recordings for Decca during 1942-1946 were also of great interest with "Skyliner" being a best-seller.
    By 1947 Barnet was starting to look toward bop. Clark Terry was his star trumpeter that year, and in 1949 his screaming trumpet section included Maynard Ferguson, Doc Severinsen, Rolf Ericson, and Ray Wetzel. Barnet, however, soon lost interest and near the end of 1949 he broke up his band. Semi-retired throughout the remainder of his life, Charlie Barnet occasionally led swing-oriented big bands during short tours and appearances, making his last recording in 1966.
    Charlie Barnet - Wikipedia
    The Biography Of Big Band-leader Charlie Barnet
    Solid! -- Charlie Barnet Biography

    Sterling Bruce Conaway
    banjo/guitar/mandolin, d. 1973, Washington, D.C., USA (Brother of banjoist and guitarist Lincoln M. Conway.)
    The instruments Sterling Conaway brought to a session might lead to the conclusion that a bluegrass or oldtime type had arrived, ready to provide whatever is needed on either mandolin, guitar or banjo. This player was actually associated with the early days of jazz, beginning with Duke Ellington's very first combo and continuing with a 1920 line-up of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He also had a brother who played both banjo and guitar, Lincoln Conaway. By 1923 Sterling Conaway had relocated from Washington D.C. to Chicago, where he began collaborating with Carroll Dickerson.
    A great deal of work in Europe soon followed. Conaway associated himself with Noble Sissle's group in 1931, Freddy Johnson a few years later and continued swinging amongst the expatriate community through this decade. Naturally this led to a 1938 stint with Leon Abbey, one of the more active American bandleaders abroad. Conaway also led his own band in Europe and largely remained in the role of a multi-instrumentalist, ignoring the trendy focus on guitar which began to dominate the jazz scene. Perhaps this wasn't such a great decision, but for whatever reason this performer retired from full-time music following his return to America in the '40s.
    ~ Eugene Chadbourne
    Sterling Conaway: Information from Answers.com

    Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra - 1929
    Left to Right: David "Jelly" James, Ken Roane, George Temple, Oliver Blackwell, Emmanuel Casamore, Lockwood Lewis, Ralph Bedell, Andy Pendelton, Felix Gregory, Perry Smith, Hank Duncan seated Fess Williams.
    Henry James "Hank" Duncan, piano
    b. Bowling Green, KY, USA. d: July 7, 1968, Long Island, NY, USA. Grad. Fisk Univ.
    One of the great pianists to come out of Kentucky, Hank Duncan was indeed adept enough to play a second keyboard alongside the virtuoso Fats Waller. After leading his own group in Louisville and taking a band he called the Kentucky Jazz Band up to Detroit in 1919, Duncan spent a cold half of a decade in Buffalo before moving to New York City and a prominent position on the jazz scene there. He began his Big Apple chewing with three years in Fess Williams' band, at one point holding the job of musical director -- but not for long.
    In the early '30s the pianist toured with King Oliver, followed by a rhythm section spot in a group collaboratively led by trumpeter Tommy Ladnier and the great soprano saxophonist and clarinetist Sidney Bechet. Duncan would continue to perform and record with Bechet throughout his career. His next assignment was Charlie Turner's Arcadians, the context in which Duncan survived the piano duel with Waller. In the late '30s Duncan was working in a trio led by drummer Zutty Singleton, and had also begun playing solo in New York clubs. The latter endeavor, unfortunately accompanied by the roar of the yabbering crowd in some cases, would develop into the pianist's main focus in later years, particularly a stretch at one club that began in 1947 and lasted through 1963. Duncan was also a reliable pianist in many small bands that were into mainstream or New Orleans jazz styles, including Mezz Mezzrow in the '40s and Lee Blair in the early '60s.
    ~ Eugene Chadbourne
    Hank Duncan - Wikipedia

    Mahalia Jackson, Singer
    *Some Sources list her Birthday as October 26, 1911. 
    Mahalia Jackson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She died January 27, 1972 in Evergreen Park, Illinois. She was 61 years old. 
    No artist brought more acclaim to gospel music than Mahalia Jackson. She was born in 1911 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and moved to Chicago when she was 15. At 22, she had become a well known local singer. She brought a southern style of singing with her to the North. Her interest in gospel music, combined with the power and emotive quality of her voice gave her a rare presence when she sang. Dorsey had heard her as early as 1928, but it wasn't until 1937 that they began to work together. Their collaboration would last 14 years. 
    Mahalia Jackson Biography - Biography.com

    Walter Melrose
    October 26, 1889 in Sumner, Illinois,Walter Melrose (1889 - 1973) was a music publisher and lyricist in the 1920s and 1930s.
    He was born in Sumner, Illinois, and was the brother of Lester Melrose, with whom he established a music store in Chicago. This became successful after the Tivoli Theatre opened in the same street, greatly increasing the amount of passing trade. Melrose branched into music publishing when Jelly Roll Morton turned up in his store, and hits such as Wolverine Blues and King Porter Stomp became highly successful for the company. In 1926 he arranged a series of recordings for Victor Records by Morton's Red Hot Peppers, which have come to be regarded as landmarks of early jazz. He later parted company with Morton acrimoniously, and stopped paying him royalties for his compositions.
    He and his brother published the jazz standard "Tin Roof Blues" composed by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings" in 1923. He also wrote the words to that song.
    Melrose added lyrics to many existing jazz compositions that his company published, such as "Copenhagen". He established one of the major publishing companies with his brother, known as Melrose Brothers Music: The House That Blues Built.

    Tony Pastor
    Tenor Sax/Vocal/Leader
    b. Middletown, CT, USA.
    d. Oct. 31, 1969, Old Lyme, CT, USA.
    ~by Scott Yanow
    A novelty singer who (like Louis Prima) often emphasized his Italian heritage, Tony Pastor earlier in his career played swing tenor. Pastor started playing C melody saxophone while in high school. He worked with John Cavallaro (1927), Irving Aaronson's Commanders (1928-30) where he met Artie Shaw, and Austin Wylie (1930). Pastor led his own group in Hartford, Connecticut during 1931-34 and then was with Smith Ballew, Joe Venuti and Vincent Lopez. Pastor was an important part of Artie Shaw's first two big bands, the short-lived string combo and the clarinetist's very successful 1938-39 orchestra; in the latter group Pastor (as tenor-sax soloist and the male vocalist where his singing showed off the influence of Louis Armstrong) was one of the stars.
    When Shaw fled to Mexico in late 1939, Pastor (who had gained a bit of a name) soon formed his own successful orchestra, a big band that continued until 1959. The emphasis was more on novelties than jazz but there were occasional strong recordings in the swing vein. Most notable among Pastor's alumni were the Clooney Sisters (Rosemary and Betty) in the late 1940's. After breaking up his big band in 1959, Pastor formed a vocal group with his two sons, continuing to perform until he retired in 1968. As a leader, Tony Pastor recorded regularly during 1940-59 including for Bluebird, Victor, Columbia, Decca, Roulette, Everest and Capitol.
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    Tony Pastor (bandleader) - Wikipedia

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    Notable Events Occurring
    On This Date Include:

    Composer Cole Porter
    recorded (Victor) his own
    composition, "You're the Top".
    (From B'way show: 'Anything Goes').

    The image “http://www.nndb.com/people/123/000023054/judy%20garland%20500c.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
    Talented twelve-year-old Frances Gumm sang on Wallace Beery's NBC radio show. MC and comedian George Jessel had given her the name of Judy Garland because he thought it was better than her own.

    Hattie Mcdaniel, actress/vocals
    died in Los Angeles (Hollywood), CA, USA.
    Age: 57

    Hattie McDaniel
    Hattie McDaniel - Wikipedia

    Grace Smith, vocals
    died in Newark, NJ, USA.
    Age: 81.

    Songs Recorded/Released
    On This Date Include:


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    Josie Miles
    Graveyard Dream Blues”

    Rosa Henderson - “He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar”
    “I Want My Sweet Daddy Now”


    Clarence Williams' Blue Five - “Squeeze Me”
    “You Can't Shush Katie”

    Arcadian Serenaders - “Angry”
    Arcadian Serenaders - “The Co-Ed”


    Gowan's Rhapsody Makers
    “I'll Fly To Hawaii”

    Bessie Smith - “One And Two Blues”
    Bessie Smith “Young Woman's Blues”


    New Orleans Owls - Goose Pimples
    “The New Twister”

    New Orleans Owls - Throwin' The Horns

    Blue Steele and his Orchestra
    I'm Drifting Back To Dreamland - Vocal refrain by Bob Nolan
    Let's Forgive And Forget - Vocal refrain by Bob Nolan

    Red Nichols' Stompers
    Make My Cot Where The Cot-Cot-Cotton Grows

    Red Nichols' Stompers - Sugar”

    The Broadway Bell-Hops - Make My Cot Where The Cot-Cot-Cotton Grows
    Up In The Clouds
      Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra - Sugar


      Waring's Pennsylvanians
      Just Another Night


      Ted Lewis and his Band - Old Playmate
      An Ev'ning in Caroline

      Leo Reisman Orch., with Lee Wiley on vocal. - "Time On My Hands"


      Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - All Through the Night


      Time On My Hands

      Leo Reisman Orch., with Lee Wiley on vocal.
      Time on my hands, you in my arms 
      Nothing but love in view 
      Then if you fall, once and for all 
      I'll see my dreams come true 
      Moments to spare 
      With someone you care to 
      One love affair for two 
      And so with time on my hands 
      And you in my arms 
      And love in my heart all for you


      Cliff Edwards "Ukulele Ike"
      “It's Only A Paper Moon” - (Billy Rose / Yip Harburg / Harold Arlen)

      I never feel a thing is real 
      When I'm away from you 
      Out of your embrace 
      The world's a temporary parking place 
      Mmm, mm, mm, mm 
      A bubble for a minute 
      Mmm, mm, mm, mm 
      You smile, the bubble has a rainbow in it 
      Say, its only a paper moon 
      Sailing over a cardboard sea 
      But it wouldn't be make-believe 
      If you believed in me 
      Yes, it's only a canvas sky 
      Hanging over a muslin tree 
      But it wouldn't be make-believe 
      If you believed in me 
      Without your love 
      It's a honky-tonk parade 
      Without your love 
      It's a melody played in a penny arcade 
      It's a Barnum and Bailey world 
      Just as phony as it can be 
      But it wouldn't be make-believe 
      If you believed in me
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