Wednesday

AUGUST 25TH


HAPPY BIRTHDAY EDYTHE BAKER!

BIRTHDAYS

1899
Edythe Baker, piano
d. August 15, 1971
Biography
~ Scott Yanow
A talented but now obscure classically trained pianist, Edythe Baker moved to New York City in late 1919 and made a series of piano rolls for the Aeolian company during the next six years that ranged from ragtime to melodic pop tunes of the day (such as "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" and "Sweet Man"). Her strong technique and sense of swing make these rolls (some of which were reissued on a Folkways LP in 1983) come alive.
Baker performed in vaudeville with the Ziegfeld Frolics and was featured on Broadway in musical comedies. In 1927 she moved to England, where she appeared in a revue and recorded 22 selections on records during 1927 and 1931-33. After marrying a member of a prominent British banking family, Baker settled in England and eventually gave up playing. After World War II, Edythe Baker returned to the U.S., ending up as a piano teacher in Wurstboro, New York.
*Note that new research on Edythe Baker has changed some of the parameters of her life, including her birth date and year, verified on several legal documents including three passports. Her correct date of birth is August 25, 1899 in Girard, Kansas, and her date of death is August 15, 1971 in Orange, California. 
READ MORE HERE:


1901
Charlie Burse, guitar, ukulele, vocals
b. Decatur, AL, USA.
Member: 'Memphis Jug Band'. Ca. 1928, "The Uke Kid" as he was first known. became associated with this group, -only a couple of years after the group had begun recording.
When a musician is described by biographers as "obnoxious and abusive at times," it naturally makes the individual in question seem all the more fascinating, especially if the person was armed with a ukulele. Such is the case with the Uke Kid, eventually best-known by his real name, Charlie Burse. He was not an original member of the historic Memphis Jug Band, but he became part of the loose roster of players associated with this group around 1928, only a couple of years after the group had begun recording. With Memphis as hot and sticky as it is, staying close to the shade seems to be a smart idea and in the case of Burse, that meant none other than Will Shade, the fascinating Memphis multi-instrumentalist who learned about jug band music in Kentucky and then brought the new sound to Memphis where it went over like a good fireworks display.
Although they were lifelong associates and continued playing together for nearly four decades, Shade and Burse were not at all alike personally. The former man was all business; indeed, he was the business manager of the Memphis Jug Band, hired all the musicians, and was one of the first Memphis players to become a full-time musician and buy his own home with the proceeds. Burse, on the other hand, seems to have established a reputation as a hell-raiser and nothing but, although the term "egotist" is sometimes tossed in for good luck. Keeping the Uke Kid in line was just another of Shade's shady responsibilities, but it doesn't seem to have caused any serious friction because the two men kept up a happy musical relationship right up until Burse's death in the mid-'60s.
Blues Street
One of their last recording efforts together was the wonderful Beale St. Mess Around album on Rounder, although it unfortunately was not released commercially until almost ten years after Burse died. This was a gathering of Memphis country blues and jug band vets, getting together in house to frolic around with the music they loved. Other members of the Memphis Jug Band at one time or another included Hattie Hart, Charlie Polk, Walter Horton, Memphis blues scene stalwart Furry Lewis, Memphis Minnie and her husband Kansas Joe McCoy, Dewey Corley, and Vol Stevens. Burse seems to have played more instruments than all these folks combined. In the true jug band tradition, he came to a session or gig loaded for bear, handling just about every instrument with strings on it that is normally used in country or country blues music, including tenor guitar, banjo, ukulele banjo, regular guitar, and mandolin. Ironically, he may have never actually played a normal ukulele, although jug band music scholars are still engaged in fisticuffs on this subject.
In addition, he was a master rhythm keeper on the spoons and an enjoyable vocalist. In 1939, Burse put together his own band, the Memphis Mudcats. The Memphis Jug Band had at that point been stuck in low gear since the mid-'30s, when the public's taste in recordings began shifting and leaving the old-time jug band music at the bottom of the hill. Perhaps in reaction to these changing trends, the new Burse project boasted what was thought to be a more modern sound than the traditional jug band. This included an actual bass replacing the jug and the more sophisticated saxophone taking the place of the whining harmonica.
This group may not have lasted long, but there was at least the opportunity to cut some sides for Vocalion. Burse went at it with relish in the late '30s, coming up with an especially enjoyable set of sides that included the promise of "Good Potatoes on the Hill," the pleasure of finding a "Weed Smoking Mama," and the gut-ache of "Too Much Beef." His song "Bottle Up and Go," itself based on a long strain of traditional material, seems to have been influential in the later progress of this particular lyric, often recorded as "Step It up and Go" blues players will sometimes to be said to be doing the Charlie Burse or "Memphis" version of the song.
With this and other cultural accomplishments under his belt, along with whatever else was required to be abusive and obnoxious, Burse got the solo thing out of his system and went back into partnership with Shade, the two of them continuing to find performing opportunities around Memphis, although the gigs were not always on the level they might have wanted. The two bluesmen kept busy with Memphis house parties and playing for donations on street corners. As the Memphis music scene revitalized itself in the '60s and '70s, traditional players such as this became local heroes. Shade and Burse were first rediscovered and recorded by blues researcher Samuel Charters in 1956, during a period when Memphis' reputation for murders was running far ahead of music. Unfortunately, Burse passed away before too much of this new found glory could trickle down his way.
~ Eugene Chadbourne



1905
"King" Garcia, Trumpet
b. Juncos, Puerto Rico
d. 1983 The temptation for a jazz trumpeter to shed the name "Louis" for something less associated with an established star on the instrument is understandable; so is the urge to reach for the royalty rung in a genre populated with Dukes, Counts and even other Kings. Louis "King" Garcia was best known as a sideman in bands led by the Dorsey Brothers, individually or together. Garcia came from Puerto Rico, where he began playing trumpet in high school and then joined the Municipal Band of San Juan. He came under something of a heavy jazz influence in this context, at least in terms of family ties, since band director Manuel Tizol was the uncle of Juan Tizol, famed Duke Ellington sideman and instigator of knife fights. Following some work with the Victor Recording Orchestra, Garcia relocated to the United States in the early '20s. In the middle of that decade he was working with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, then moved on to an orchestra led by $Emil Coleman. While Garcia's relationship with the Dorsey Brothers had the major impact on the trumpeter's discography, his involvement with Coleman was more wide ranging and he would return to this orchestra for regular work in the '40s. Studio activity increased markedly in the '30s, including not only the Dorsey sessions but sides under Garcia's name as well as back- up for a forgotten but interesting vocalist named Amanda Randolph. Garcia played in 1935 with the Vic Berton Orchestra and with Richard Himber the following year, edging out of jazz into the world of society dance bands. Things heated up a bit more in the next years, however, as he moved from several years of musical intoxication with the Nat Brandwyne outfit to the full-out antipasto serving of the Louis Prima Big Band in 1939. He was still doing a a variety of studio calls in the '40s, in the latter part of that decade leading his own Latin band. After an exodus out to California in the '60s he faded from the scene, his health no longer allowing much playing. He is no relation to trumpeter Louis Garcia of the band Nueva Creacion. 
~ Eugene Chadbourne



1903
Claude Hopkins
Claude Driskett Hopkins (August 24, 1903 – February 19, 1984) was an American jazz stride pianist and bandleader.
Born: August 24, 1903
Alexandria, Virginia
Died: February 19, 1984
New York City
Genres:  Jazz
Occupations: Bandleader
Instruments: Piano
Years active: 1924–1984
~Biography
Claude Hopkins was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1903. Historians differ in respect of the actual date of his birth. His parents were on the faculty of Howard University. A highly talented stride piano player and arranger, he left home at the age of only 21 as a sideman with the Wilbur Sweatman Orchestra but stayed less than a year. In 1925, he left for Europe as the musical director of The Revue Negre which starred Josephine Baker with Sidney Bechet in the band.
He returned to the USA in 1927 where, based in Washington, he toured the TOBA circuit with The Ginger Snaps Revue before heading once again for NYC where he took over the band of Charlie Skeets. At this time (1932–36), he led a fairly successful Harlem band employing many jazz musicians who were later to become famous in their own right such as Edmond Hall, Jabbo Smith and Vic Dickenson (although it's worth noting that his records were arranged to feature his piano more than his band). This was his most successful period with long residencies at the Savoy and Roseland ballrooms and at the Cotton Club. In 1937 he took his band on the road with a great deal of success.

He broke up the band in 1940 and used his arranging talents working for several non-jazz band leaders and for CBS. In 1948/9 he led a "novelty" band briefly but took a jazz band into The Cafe Society in 1950. From 1951 up until his death, he remained in NYC working mostly as a sideman with other Dixieland bands playing at festivals and various New York clubs and recording. Often under-rated in later years, he was one of jazz's most important band leaders and has yet to be given full recognition for his achievements. He died on 19 February 1984, a disillusioned and dispirited man.

As popular as Hopkins' band was, it never achieved the high level of musical brilliance that Ellington, Henderson, Hines, Basie, Webb or Lunceford achieved. Besides Hopkins' piano being featured within the band, the high-pitched vocals of Orlando Roberson brought the band a good part of its popularity.
Claude Hopkins  
Yanow, Scott. "Claude Hopkins: Biography"



1910
Ruby Keeler
Born: Ethel Hilda Keeler
August 25, 1910
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died: February 28, 1993 (aged 82)
Rancho Mirage, California, USA
Years active: 1923–1989
Spouse(s): John Homer Lowe (1941–1969; his death; four children)
Al Jolson (1928–1939; divorced; 1 adopted child)

Ruby Keeler (born Ethel Hilda Keeler; August 25, 1910 – February 28, 1993) was a Canadian-born actress, dancer and singer most famous for her on-screen coupling with Dick Powell in a string of successful early musicals at Warner Brothers, particularly 42nd Street (1933). From 1928 to 1940, she was married to singer Al Jolson. She retired from show business in the 1940s but made a widely publicized comeback on Broadway in 1971.

Early life:
Keeler was born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, to an Irish Catholic family, one of six siblings. Two sisters, Helen and Gertrude, had brief performing careers. Her father was a truck driver, and when she was three years old, her family packed up and moved to New York City where he knew he could get better pay. But it was not enough: there were six children, and although Keeler was interested in taking dance lessons, the family could not afford to send her.
Keeler attended St. Catherine of Siena parochial school on New York's East Side, and one period each week a dance teacher would come and teach all styles of dance. The teacher saw potential in Keeler and spoke to her mother about Ruby taking lessons at her studio. Though her mother declined, apologizing for the lack of money, the teacher wanted to work with her so badly that she asked her mother if she would bring her to class lessons on Saturdays, and she agreed.
During the classes, a girl she danced with told her about auditions for chorus girls. The law required professional chorus girls to be at least 16 years old; although they were only 13, they decided to lie about their ages at the audition. It was a tap audition, and there were a lot of other talented girls there. The stage was covered except for a wooden apron at the front. When it was Ruby's turn to dance, she asked the dance director, Julian Mitchell, if she could dance on the wooden part so that her taps could be heard. He did not answer, so she went ahead, walked up to the front of the stage, and started her routine. The director said, "who said you could dance up there?" She replied, "I asked you!" and she got a job in George M. Cohan's The Rise of Rosie O'Reilly (1923), in which she made forty-five dollars a week to help her family.
Early dance career:
Keeler in "Footlight Parade" (1933)
She was only fourteen when she was hired by Nils Granlund, the publicity manager for Loews Theaters, who also served as the stageshow producer for Texas Guinan at Larry Fay's El Fay nightclub, a Speakeasy frequented by gangsters. She was noticed by Broadway producer Charles B. Dillingham, who gave her a role in Bye, Bye, Bonnie (produced by L. Lawrence Weber), which ran for six months. She then appeared in Lucky and as Mamie in The Sidewalks of New York, also produced by Dillingham. In the later show, she was seen by Flo Ziegfeld, who sent her bunch of roses and a note, "May I make you a star?". She would appear in Ziegfeld's Whoopee! (before being replaced before the opening by Ethel Shutta) in 1928, the same year she married Al Jolson.
The two met in Los Angeles (not at Texas Guinan's as he would claim), where Nils Granlund had sent her to assist in Loew's marketing campaign for The Jazz Singer. Jolson was smitten and immediately proposed. The couple married September 21, 1928, in Port Chester, New York, in a private ceremony. The two sailed the following morning for a brief honeymoon before she began her tour with Whoopee! The marriage (during which they adopted a son) was reportedly a rocky one. They moved to California, which took her away from the limelight. In 1929, at the urging of Ziegfeld, Jolson agreed to Keeler's returning to Broadway to star in Show Girl.




In 1933, producer Darryl F. Zanuck cast Keeler in the Warner Bros. musical 42nd Street opposite Dick Powell and Bebe Daniels. The film was a huge success due to Busby Berkeley's lavish innovative choreography. Following 42nd Street, Jack Warner gave Keeler a long-term contract and cast her in Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Dames, and Colleen. Keeler and Jolson starred together in Go Into Your Dance. Frank Tashlin's 1937 cartoon, Jolson and Keeler appeared on Broadway one last time together for the unsuccessful show Hold On To Your Hats in 1940.

Later life:

After a difficult marriage, Keeler and Jolson were divorced in 1940. In 1941 she married John Homer Lowe and left show business the same year. Keeler and Lowe had four children. Lowe died of cancer in 1969.


In 1963, Keeler appeared in The Greatest Show on Earth, Jack Palance's television series based on the earlier Charlton Heston circus film of the same name. In 1972, Keeler was acclaimed as a star again in the successful Broadway revival of the 1920s musical No, No, Nanette along with fellow Irish-Americans Helen Gallagher and Patsy Kelly. The production was "Supervised by" Keeler's 42nd Street director, Busby Berkeley, adapted and directed by Burt Shevelove and choreographed by Donald Saddler, who won the Tony Award for his musical staging. Ruby Keeler starred in the musical for two seasons on Broadway, followed by two additional years touring in the show.

Honors:


In 1992, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her. She has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6730 Hollywood Blvd.

Death:

Ruby Keeler died of cancer in Rancho Mirage, California, and is interred in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Orange, California.

Links:

Ruby Keeler - Wikipedia
Ruby Keeler, Tap-Dancing Actress, Is Dead at 82
For Actress Ruby Keeler, Another Opening, Another Show



1918
Freddie Kohlman, Drums
b. New Orleans, LA, USA
d. 1990 USA.
Freddie Kohlman (August 25, 1918, New Orleans - September 29, 1990, New Orleans) was an American jazz drummer, vocalist, and bandleader.
Kohlman studied under Louis Cottrell, Sr. and Manuel Manetta, and played early in life with A.J. Piron, Joe Robichaux, Papa Celestin, and Sam Morgan. He moved to Chicago in the middle of the 1930s, where he played with Albert Ammons, Stuff Smith, Earl Hines, and Lee Collins. After returning to New Orleans in 1941, he led his own band from 1944. In the middle of the 1950s he played briefly with Louis Armstrong and recorded as a leader with the Jambalaya Four (1953), then became the house drummer at Jazz Limited in Chicago before returning to New Orleans once again in the 1960s. There he played with Louis Cottrell, Jr., the Dukes of Dixieland, and the Onward Brass Band (1968).
In 1969 he appeared at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. He played in European festivals with his own groups in the 1970s and 1980s. He recorded with Chris Barber and Dr. John in 1980, and also appears on record with Albert Nicholas, Art Hodes, Bob Wilber, Harry Connick, Jr., the Excelsior Brass Band, and the Heritage Hall Jazz Band.


1917
William "Billy" Moore, Jr.
b. Parkersburg, W. VA, USA. Although he often worked as a pianist, Billy Moore is best known for being a talented swing-based arranger. He started out his career near the top, replacing Sy Oliver (when Oliver joined Tommy Dorsey) as the chief writer with Jimmie Lunceford's Orchestra. Moore was not exclusive to Lunceford for long and he later wrote for Charlie Barnet, Jan Savitt and Tommy Dorsey. He became a music publisher in the late 1940s and soon was moving away from jazz. Moore relocated to Europe in the early 1950s where he wrote music for French groups. He was the musical director and pianist for a pop vocal group (the Peters Sisters) from 1953-60. Later on Moore was the staff arranger for a Berlin radio station and worked with the Delta Rhythm Boys in Europe. He settled in Copenhagen in the 1970s where he continued working as a freelance arranger. Oddly enough for a writer, Moore never led any record dates of his own.
~ Scott Yanow


1912
Caughey Roberts
alto & baritone saxes/clarinet
b. Tuskegee, AL, USA.
Played with Basie, and Roy Milton.
Caughey Roberts (August 25, 1912 – December 15, 1990) was an American jazz alto sax player, best known for his time in the Count Basie Orchestra in the 1930s.
He was born in Boley, Oklahoma, later moving to Los Angeles. He played both baritone and alto sax, and clarinet. During the early-1930s, he was a music band teacher at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles. He later joined Buck Clayton’s 14-piece jazz ensemble (known as the Harlem Gentlemen). They traveled by cruise liner to Shanghai, China where they performed an extended engagement at the elegant Canidrome Ballroom. He would eventually leave Shanghai before the 1937 Second Sino-Japanese War. After returning from Shanghai, he replaced Buster Smith in the Count Basie Orchestra, leaving in 1937 when he was replaced by Earle Warren. He also played in Roy Milton's band. He was in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946, and was assigned as a musician to play in the all black band. In later years he played in the traditional jazz band at Disneyland's New Orleans Square with Teddy Buckner and others.

He died in Los Angeles in 1990 at the age of 78.


Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include: 



1929.
Wayne "Buzzin'" Burton, vocals
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 36.



1944.
Anton Lada, songwriter/Drums
died in Santa Monica, CA, USA.
Age: 53.



1980.
Edith Pinder Spence, vocals
died in Nassau, Bahamas.
Age: 70.



Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:



1920



Paul Biese's College Inn Orchestra

Ted Lewis and his Band - Fair One

1922



Original Six
  • All Or Nothing At All
  • Meet Me Next Sunday (I'll Wait For You)

1924



Bailey's Lucky Seven
  • Go Emmaline
  • Lucille

1926




Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - Cho-Cho-San


1927



The Broadway Bell-Hops


Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra
  • There's A Cradle In Caroline - With Vocal Refrain by Seger Ellis
  • Three Blind Mice






1928



Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra - King Joe

Charley Straight's Orchestra - Do You, Don't You? - (Vocal Chorus by the Vagabounds)
  • Waiting And Dreaming - (Vocal Chorus by the Vagabounds)

1929




Ruben "River" Reeves and his River Boys - Have You Ever Felt That Way?

LYRICS:


There's A Cradle In Caroline
Music: Ahlert, Fred E.
Lyrics: Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young

There's a cradle in Caroline
A bough in a tree, a bowing to me
There's a cradle that I call mine
A carpet of green, you know what I mean
And while stretchin' out upon the lawn the heavens kissed
Why even in my sleep I dream of what I've missed
There's a blanket of stars that shine
They beckon a guest, a sheltering nest
There's a cradle in Caroline
Calling me back, calling me back to rest

TubaGirlFin
brought to you by
~confetta