Thursday

AUGUST 26TH

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIMMY RUSHING!

BIRTHDAYS


1903
James Andrew "Jimmy" Rushing, vocalist
Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
d. June 8, 1972.
aka: 'Mr Five by Five'.
He started with the Benny Moten band and continued when Count Basie assumed leadership. He was known as "Mister Five-By-Five" -- an affectionate reference to his height and girth -- a blues shouter who defined and then transcended the form. The owner of a booming voice that radiated sheer joy in whatever material he sang, Jimmy Rushing could swing with anyone and dominate even the loudest of big bands. Rushing achieved his greatest fame in front of the Count Basie band from 1935 to 1950, yet unlike many band singers closely associated with one organization, he was able to carry on afterwards with a series of solo recordings that further enhanced his reputation as a first-class jazz singer.
Raised in a musical family, learning violin, piano and music theory in his youth, Rushing began performing in nightspots after a move to California in the mid-'20s. He joined Walter Page's Blue Devils in 1927, then toured with Bennie Moten from 1929 until the leader's death in 1935, going over to Basie when the latter picked up the pieces of the Moten band. The unquenchably swinging Basie rhythm section was a perfect match for Rushing, making their earliest showing together on a 1936 recording of "Boogie Woogie" that stamped not only Rushing's presence onto the national scene but also that of Lester Young. Rushing's recordings with Basie are scattered liberally throughout several reissues on Decca, Columbia and RCA. While with Basie, he also appeared in several film shorts and features.
After the Basie ensemble broke up in 1950, a victim of hard times for big bands, Rushing briefly retired, then formed his own septet. He started a series of solo albums for Vanguard in the mid-'50s, then turned in several distinguished recordings for Columbia in league with such luminaries as Dave Brubeck, Coleman Hawkins and Benny Goodman, the latter of whom he appeared with at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958 as immortalized in "Brussels Blues." He also recorded with Basie alumni such as Buck Clayton and Jo Jones, as well as with the Duke Ellington band on Jazz Party. He appeared on TV in The Sound of Jazz in 1957, was featured in Jon Hendricks' The Evolution of the Blues, and also had a singing and acting role in the 1969 film The Learning Tree.
~ Richard S. Ginell
Jimmy Rushing - Wikipedia
Jimmy Rushing's Hot Spot
Jimmy Rushing at harlem.org



1906
Mickey Bloom, trumpet
b. New York, NY, USA.
This trumpeter, who also made a few recordings on the obscure but attractive-sounding mellophone, was the brother of pianist Rube Bloom. The brothers grew up in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, with Mickey Bloom blasting away on bugle, then trumpet, all the way through high school. Well, not quite all the way, since he dropped out to go on the road in a revue backing comedian George Jessel. Jettisoned by Jessel, Bloom took root in the musical garden of the St. Louis Five up until 1923, when he became associated with the Georgia Melodians, a move indicating a nose pointing south. Bandleader Irving Aaronson made use of the trumpeter from the following year through 1927, including several European tours. In the late '20s, Bloom did a great deal of playing in New York City theater orchestras behind bandleaders such as Walt Rosner, Vincent Lopez, and George Olsen.
Another bandleader from this period, Hal Kemp, was more of an on-the-road-type guy and took the trumpeter to Florida and Europe. 

In the '30s the relationship with Kemp continued, but Bloom also began playing with Andre Kostelanetz, one of the pioneers of mood music. Swing seemed to suit Bloom more, and he gravitated toward the Dorsey Brothers and their brand of big-band jazz by 1933, also dabbing dandy doolah backing up one of the most popular crooners, Rudy Vallée. In the late '30s, the trumpeter played with Ray Noble's band but also continued to camp with Kemp.  A period of studio work preceded Bloom's eventual involvement with the U.S. Army and the Second World War; he went back into the studios when peace temporarily broke out and pretty much stayed in the world of session men through the '50s and '60s, including a stint in Hollywood. While his trumpet can no doubt be heard, most often uncredited, on a variety of recordings from this period, including commercials and soundtracks, the serious meat of his discography comes from the '20s and '30s. The world of reissues is fully capable of putting a Bloom on things, featuring the trumpeter in many different settings, for example alongside other great developing trumpet players of the era, including Bunny Berigan and Red Nichols. One combo called the Captivators, which cut sides for Brunswick in the late '20s, combined the trumpeter with his pianist brother as well as historic reed player Larry Binyon. Bloom also dabbled in songwriting, getting a jump on pop psychology with "You're OK," co-written in the early '30s with Mitchell Parish.
~ Eugene Chadbourne


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1905
Ernie Fields, alto & baritone saxes/leader 
b. Nacogdoches, TX, USA
d. May 16, 1997
The career of trombonist and bandleader Ernie Fields seems quite typical for the jazz scene of the '30s and '40s, the hornman leading his own roving territory band. In the '50s, Fields moved over to a more elite rank, at least in terms of selling records. His cover version of the big-band chestnut "In the Mood," drenched in R&B as if the song had literally fallen into a river full of soul, was a massive hit in 1959.
After that it was his son, Ernie Fields Jr., who carried the torch -- or more appropriately the horn cases -- into the genres of soul and funk and the bands of artists such as Marvin Gaye and Fred Wesley. Discographers sometimes miss this distinction, creating the unfortunately inaccurate image of a cat born in 1905 who was still comfortable holding forth in the heyday of Rick James. The real career of Fields, as opposed to this super-freak fantasy, goes back to dances at taverns at which the cover charge was only ten cents, gigs at outdoor carnivals staged next to the freak show, and whatever other dates Fields' groups might have gotten prior to being discovered by record producer John Hammond in 1939.
Raised in Oklahoma, Fields began as a pianist, added the trombone and made the horn his main instrument after graduating from the Tuskegee Institute. In the early '20s Fields ran a band out of Tulsa called the Royal Entertainers. At this point he had no desire to hit the road, even turning down an offer from bandleader Cab Calloway. By the next decade, however, Fields had realized there was no way to make a living without leaving town. His group began to travel the Southwest, finally heading to New York at Hammond's invitation to record for the Vocalion label. Fields was not one of the Hammond artists who would become a national jazz star, such as Charlie Christian or Benny Goodman, but he continued to work steadily. In the late '40s he cut sides for small labels such as Frisco and Bullet, transforming his sound through a smaller band and a repertoire shift from big band swing to R&B.
He continued to straddle these styles into the '50s, taking swing standards such as "Tuxedo Junction" and "Begin the Beguine" and rocking out on them. The concept struck the big ore when Fields put himself "In the Mood" -- although the bandleader himself must not have been too sure it would be a hit, originally putting the tune on the B-side of a single. He retired in 1966, by which time his son had already embarked on his own career as a saxophonist, naturally including some stints in his father's bands. Fields Jr. has also worked as a producer and talent agent.
~ Eugene Chadbourne


1896
Jesse Greer
Jesse Greer (August 26, 1896 – October 4, 1970 New York City) was an American Broadway songwriter. His musical Shady Lady was staged in 1933 with additional music by Sam H. Stept. Greer composed "Just You, Just Me" for the 1929 musical film Marianne with lyrics by Raymond Klages, as well as "Kitty from Kansas City", "Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now" and "Baby Blue Eyes".


The Dining Hall of the June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation in Ashford, Connecticut, is named in his honor. Greer was an early financial contributor to the Boy Scouts of America and would often visit the camp until his death. The Camp Staff would sing "The Hills of My Connecticut" upon his arrival.



1911
Lester Lanin, orchestra leader
Lanin is not really a jazz musician and didn't truly head a jazz orchestra. Instead, he supervised a strictly dance band that performed nice, polite tunes for high-society functions. They were most famous for playing at a string of Presidential inaugural balls, beginning with Eisenhower, and also did many dates in Europe for royalty.
~ Ron Wynn

1904
Sonny Lee, Trombone 
b. Huntsville, TX, USA.
Fans of classic jazz of the big band variety know the affable trombonist Sonny Lee from the Jimmy Dorsey band, but this gig didn't happen until late in Lee's career, a period that it is presumably all right to refer to as "lately," at least for punsters. Born Thomas Ball Lee, his middle name was just a vowel off describing the object he would be staring at for most nights of his life -- the bell of a trombone.
He began performing on the instrument while still in college in both his native state of Texas and in St. Louis, MO, joining the Scranton Sirens in the latter locale, where in 1925 he also began collaborating with the great Frankie Trumbauer. The trombonist also cut his first sides in this early period with bandleader Charlie Creath.

From 1933 through 1936, Lee worked steadily in the ensemble of Isham Jones, having paid dues with a long list of groups including that of Vincent Lopez. Musically he began to coast into smoother and smoother territory, leaving Jones' eccentricities for Artie Shaw's lyrical clarinet and also performing in a theater orchestra under the direction of composer and bandleader Gordon Jenkins. Trumpeter Bunny Berigan snatched the trombonist away from that ensemble in 1937, but there is no reason to believe Jenkins wrote his hit entitled "Goodbye" to commemorate the occasion. Nearly a decade of involvement with Dorsey began the following year. Lee seems to have dropped out of the music business for the final decades of his life. Discographer Tom Lord, who lists the trombonist twice under both his nickname and real name, credits him on nearly 200 recording sessions between 1925 and 1946.
~ Eugene Chadbourne



1917
Dolores O'Neill, vocalist
Sang with Bob Chester, Jack Teagarden, Gene Krupa, and Artie Shaw. Dolores' hubby, Alec Fila played with Glenn Miller band.



1911
Bob Short, Tuba
d. 1976.
Played with 1945 Jack Teagarden band; 1946-'50 with Castle Jazz Band; 1951-'54 with Turk Murphy; then with Bob Scobey before rejoining Turk Murphy in Aug. 1958.



1924
Frances Wayne, vocals
b. Boston, MA, USA
d. Feb. 6, 1978, Boston, MA, USA.
née: Chiarina Bertocci.
Sang with Charlie Barnet's 1942 orchestra. With Theodore "Red" Saunders Orch, in 1944. Also with Woody Herman and Sam Donahue bands. Long time member of Bob Hope Show.


Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

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1873.
Lee DeForest was born.
Inventor of the triode vacuum tube,
thus making radio broadcasting possible.
Lee de Forest

1955.
Bob Miller, songwriter/band leader
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 59.

1980.
Jimmy Forrest, tenor sax
died in Grand Rapids, MI, USA.
Age: 60
Jimmy Forrest - Wikipedia


1981.
"Foots" Thomas, tenor sax
died in Englewood, NJ, USA.
Age: 74
Worked with Cab Calloway.
Walter 'Foots' Thomas - Wikipedia



Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:



1920


Marion Harris - I Told You So



1926



Sonny Clay's Plantation Orchestra - California Stomp


Jack Hylton's Kit-Cat Band
  • I've Got Some Lovin' To Do



1927



Blue Steele and his Orchestra - Girl Of My Dreams, I Love You



1929



Clarence Williams' Jazz Kings - A Pane In The Glass



1932


Lee Morse and Her Bluegrass Boys. (Kalmar/Ruby) - Something In The Night



1933


Duke Ellington and his Orchestra

Duke Ellington and his Orchestra - Three Little Words - vocals by Paul Whiteman's
Original Rhythm Boys

LYRICS:

Three Little Words


Three little words, oh what I’d give for that wonderful phrase,
To hear those three little words, that’s all I’d live for the rest of my days.
And what I feel in my heart, they tell sincerely.
No other words can tell it half so clearly.
Three little words, eight little letters which simply mean I love you.



SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT
(Wenrick / Kresa / Young)
Lee Morse - 1932

Oh, everything looks different, so different to me
Seems like I'm gazin' out of two different eyes
Lah-dah-dah-dah-doh
Now everything seems pleasant, so pleasant to see
All of this happened out of the clear blue sky

Somethin' in the tune they're playin'
Makes me hold you tight
Somethin' in the words you're sayin'
Somethin' in the night

One thing I can't help from seein'
Somethin' in your eyes
Oh, I know no human being
Luckier than I

Ev'rything's takin', takin' the turn
I wished it would take
Ev'rything's breakin', breakin' the way
I hoped it would break

Somethin' fills my heart with fire
While I hold you tight
Somethin' makes you my desire
Somethin' in the night

Somethin' in the tune they're playin'
Makes me hold you tight
And somethin' in the words you're sayin'
Somethin' in the night

One thing I can't help from seein'
Is somethin' in your eyes
Oh, I know no human being
Luckier than I

Ev'rything's takin', takin' the turn
I wished it would take
Ev'rything's breakin', breakin' the way
I hoped it would break

Somethin' fills my heart with fire
While I hold you tight
Aah, somethin' makes you my desire

Somethin' in the night

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