Monday, June 01, 2009

Thufferin' Thuccotash! (Updates!)

Last time around, I posted a few highlights from the second Grits/Zorch show, aired on Mothers' Day.

One of those cuts was the Missourians's incredible Swingin' Dem Cats. I dedicated it to Annie, Elvis and the other feline residents at Chez Grits. After I posted that blog chapter I was reminded of this rather silly picture:
It goes back a few the old Cajun and Bluegrass Festivals at Escoheag, RI. On this particular weekend (in the late 1990s), I kept invoking the spirit of the Warner Brothers cartoon character, Sylvester. Yeth, I wath lithping and thputtering...all weekend. I'm sure that my companions were beginning to get a bit sick of the whole thing...

Anyway, late Sunday afternoon, I noticed a couple of volunteers painting the faces of the youngsters...I dropped a few bucks into their kitty and they put a puss on my puss. My friends loved of them snapped the looks like I'm trying to scratch him.
By the way, I still have that Blind Lemon Jefferson shirt somewhere...and it's still able to be worn! It's got to be around fifteen years old.'s the other side of Cats...Two Hundred Squabble. Note that the number in the title is spelled out. For some reason, when Charles Delauney and friends were compiling the original Hot Discography, they must have written the number in Arabic numerals...which somehow got misinterpreted as Latin it was printed in the book as Loo Squabble.
59173-2 Two Hundred Squabble The Missourians Victor V-38145
NYC 17 February 1930: Lockwood Lewis, conductor; R. Q. Dickerson, Lammar Wright, trumpets; De Priest Wheeler, trombone; William Thornton Blue, George Scott, clarinets & alto saxes; Walter Thomas, clarinet, tenor & baritone sax; Earres Prince, piano; Morris White, banjo; Jimmy Smith, tuba; Leroy Maxey, drums.

A couple of days ago, while proofreading the last entry (sometimes it takes me a couple of days to tighten the wording and check the various links) , it occurred to me that I omitted a couple of fairly important titles...

April 29, 2009 was the 110th anniversary of the birth of my favorite musician, Duke Ellington...I had to play something great for a mini-tribute!

I decided to play a couple of my favorite cuts from one of my favorite albums...the legendary Fargo (North Dakota) dance.

Jack Towers and Dick Burris asked Ellington if they could record a complete show the next time Duke and the band came around. Ellington assented. So, in early November 1940, they set up two mics and a recording turntable at the Crystal Ballroom in Fargo. The results were extraordinary...we now have an idea of what the Ellington band was really doing during this important stage in their history.

Supposedly, this was a slightly "off" night...the trumpet section was minus Cootie Williams, who had just departed a few days before. Duke was trying out his replacement for the first time that night. That was Ray Nance, who stayed with the band for over 25 years! (If this was an "off" night, imagine what a good night must have sounded like!)

The dance went on for five sets...Towers and Burris recorded the whole night. Occasionally, the disc needed to be changed in the middle of a song. The vocals are a bit off-mic (when they were recorded...a couple of minor songs didn't get preserved). But the sound is quite good, and much of the music is amazing...even at the end of the night when everything was a bit ragged around the edges.

The two cuts I chose were Ko-Ko, a somewhat fuller arrangement than the one that Victor had recorded a few months earlier (probably my favorite side from the 1940s), and a fantastic version of their current radio theme, Sepia that features extra choruses by bassist Jimmy Blanton (who died less than two years later) and Ben Webster's tenor sax.

Ko-Ko Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra
Sepia Panorama (long version) Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra
Crystal Ballroom, Fargo, North Dakota, 7 November 1940: Rex Stewart, cornet; Wallace Jones, Ray Nance, trumpets; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol, trombones; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwick, Ben Webster, Harry Carney, reeds; Duke Ellington, piano; Fred Guy, guitar; Jimmy Blanton, bass; Sonny Greer, drums.

Oh yeah...the Duke picture above was signed to my parents...and it's framed on my wall.

My old pal Metal-Muncher went on an Atlantic Records label kick this month...he scanned a few of my labels for his blog: .

Since the bottom two 45s in his scan are my records, I think I'll show them here too...and I'll have to play them too, right? They're not exactly easy 45s to find:

The first one is a bit of a mystery to's not in the online Atlantic discography (no, I don't have the Lord jazz discography. Anybody out there want to donate their old version?), and it's in a strange 15000 series. Actually, I've never seen another in this series. But the black-and-silver label is quite striking!

A-1100 Vaya Con Dios Wingy Manone and his Orchestra Atlantic 45-15001
A-1101 The Song From Moulin Rouge Wingy Manone and his Orchestra Atlantic 45-15001
July/August 1953: Wingy Manone, trumpet & vocal; others (Orchestra and Town Criers) unidentified.

Both sides are quite pleasant...worthy successors to the many "jazzing the pop hits" records that Wingy recorded for Bluebird in the late 1930s.
This blue-and-silver "Jazz Series" label lasted a few years, adding the pinwheel to the bottom of the big "A" within a year or two...

This example is originally from the Blues and Roots album by Charles Mingus. It still amuses me to see and hear this great recording on a 45 rpm single. Here it is...with that consarned fadeout at the end of the first side!

4732-3 Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, Pts. 1 & 2 Charles Mingus Atlantic 5006
NYC, February 4, 1959: Willie Dennis, Jimmy Knepper, trombones; John Handy, Jackie McLean, alto saxes; Booker Ervin, tenor sax; Pepper Adams, baritone sax; Horace Parlan, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Dannie Richmond, drums.

The pride of my Atlantic 45 rpm collection is this:
Joe signed this at the original Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence in early 1981 (I think!).

Big Joe Turner might not have been able to read...but he most certainly could sign his name (even if it was a bit of a chore)!! I watched him do it ...he wrote out "Joe Turner" rather slowly (he was crippled up by arthritis, after all), and he then added the "BIG" at the top.

A-1209 Shake, Rattle And Roll Joe Turner Atlantic 45-1026
NYC, February 15, 1954: Joe Turner, vocal; with unknown, trumpet; Wilbur De Paris, trombone; Sam "The Man" Taylor, tenor sax; Haywood Henry, baritone sax; Jesse Stone, piano; Mickey Baker, guitar; Lloyd Trotman, bass; Connie Kay,

Oh, what the's the flip side (from an earlier session):

A-1220 You Know I Love You Joe Turner Atlantic 45-1026
New Orleans, LA, December 3, 1953: Joe Turner, vocal; with Lloyd Lambert's Orchestra: John Girard, trumpet; Worthia Thomas, trombone; Gus Fontenette, Joe Tillman, Alvin "Red" Tyler, saxes; Edward Frank piano; Lloyd Lambert, bass; Oscar Moore, drums.
Here's another great yellow Atlantic, also recorded in the Crescent City...and Red Tyler's on this one too!

A-1308 Jam Up Tommy Ridgley and his Band Atlantic 45-1039
A-1200 Wish I Had Never Tommy Ridgley and his Band Atlantic 45-1039
New Orleans, 1953-4: Tommy Ridgley, piano & vocal; Lee Allen, tenor sax; Red Tyler, baritone sax; others unknown. (It seems that these are from separate sessions.)

Jam Up has been a favorite for a long time...apparently it was a good seller in 1954. In 1962, Atlantic dusted it off and issued this:

A-1308 Jam Up Twist Tommy Ridgley Atlantic 45-2136

Hey...wait a minute! It's not the same! The "twist" effects were dubbed in over a different take! My guess is that Jam Up Twist was the earlier take (notice that Red Tyler's baritone sax solo is somewhat buried...he's better miked on the earlier-released version).

A-1200 Wish I Had Never (2) Tommy Ridgley Atlantic 45-2136

Interesting...even the flip side is a different take! Notice that Tommy sings "...touch your devilish lips" on the first version. Here he kisses them.

Another weird thing about this 45...every copy I've seen is black and white, like a promo...but there's nothing on the label that says that it's not for public sale. And the record omits any mention of Ridgley's band.
I recently traded a very early goodie (you can see and hear the piece I traded here ) for a piece that I wanted...very badly!

Here 'tis...hope you like it. You know I do!

HAT-141-2 Dangerous Woman Mississippi Jook Band Melotone 6-12-71
HAT-145-3 Barbecue Bust Mississippi Jook Band Melotone 6-12-71
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 20 July 1936: Blind Roosevelt Graves, guitar; Uaroy Graves, tambourine; Cooney Vaughn, piano...who the vocalist and "kazooer" are remain unknown.

Here's another item I got the other's not jazz or blues, or country...but it is a pleasant dance record with a Latin flavor, and a touch of humor. It's on an early Gennett Electrobeam, too!
X0388A El Ucuyali (Fox-Trot) Orquesta de Los Toreros Musicos Gennett S-6014
X0389 El Picaflor (One-Step) Orquesta de Los Toreros Musicos Gennett S-6014
NYC 10 December 1926: Don Alvaro(?), Orquesta de Los Toreros Musicos
I've seen a couple of listings that imply that Don Alvaro was the conductor of this orchestra.

This record is dedicated to those people who say that the hot jazz I love sounds like cartoon music. Sure, there were many Max Fleischer 'toons that used popular jazz bands for their soundtracks (and most of the other animators had a few jazz-related cartoons as well), but that "cartoon music" observation always bugged me a bit.
I think these sides are a bit more "cartooney" than the average record...maybe it's the whistle on El Picaflor.
And, last but not least, I promised a picture of Our Lady of Backyard Divots, Lily! Here she is...
Not the best pic, but it'll do for the time being. The way her eyes reflected red for this pic is amusing...we don't think she's possessed, though.

...and here's a cool song I dedicate to her. It's an Ellington one too!

061318-1 Chocolate Shake Duke Ellington Orchestra Victor 27531
Los Angeles. 26 June 1941: Same personnel as Fargo date above.

********************************************* more thing...I just checked the counter (the one for the blog...not the one made of Formica)'s up to 6510! The Sanctum gets something like 25 hits every day now! Thanks! I'm glad to see that so many people out there have such exquisite taste! ;->)


Ravel said...

I ADORE yr blog. Discovered thanks to Lee Hartsfeld, that I'll have to thank too...
So many treasures here! So varied!
Good job (if it can be considered as one, hahaha!)

ZorchMan said...

My pleasure! Thanks for the thumbs-up!

Lee has a good blog too...