||Smithsonian||The Mississippi Rag|
|Joslins Jazz Journal||Davenport Democrat and Leader: A Short interview of Bix's Mother||Daily Times: Radio Station Tribute to Bix||The All-America Swing Band Selected by Paul Whiteman|
|Life Magazine Article About Swing||Articles in celebration of Bix's 100th birthday in the magazine Jazzit||Copying Bix, an article in the Mississippi Rag||Bix in the Dec 9, 1927 Issue of the Cleveland Press||Jazz Information, The Weekly Magazine|
|The Wolverine Orchestra in Variety||The Jean Goldkette Orchestra in Variety||Articles About Bix in 1927-28 Issues of the Melody Maker||Bix in the Amherst Student||Red Nichols on Bix in Down Beat|
|Bix and Miff in the London Times||British Columbia Pamphlet, Concerto in F||A List or Articles About Bix by Joe Showler||A
Chapter About Pee Wee Russell by Charles Edward Smith
Wolverines in the New York Times
Interview of Red Nichols in Rhythm Magazine
Interview of Fritz Putzier by Jim Arpy
Review of "Man and Legend" and
Beiderbecke Remembered by
of George Avakian's Columbia three LP set
Case of the Two "In A Mists, by Dick Hyman
by Stephen Longstreet.
Music, March 1936. Article by Vic Moore.
|That New Orleans Horn - Charles Edward Smith
||Wolverine Days - George Johnson
||The "Happy Music" of Chauncey
Doctor Jazz Magazine 1968
|Play It For Me, Daddy - Saga Magazine,
Impressions by Jim Moynahan
Bix-Hardy Story, by Armand .
Jazz Journal, Dec 1950
My Merry Oldsmobile
St. Louis Trumbauer Orchestra in Carbondale, IL
Democrat, Davenport, IA
October 13, 1955
|Reviews of Bix's Recordings in Swing Music
Magazine, April 1936
About Bix in Downbeat Magazine Jan 13, 1954
||Bix And Benny IAJRC Journal, vol 42, No. 3,
in Collectors Guide to Jazz on
Bootleg & Reissue 78 R.P.M. Records 1932 to 1952.
by Geoffrey Wheeler
|Young Man With A Hoirn and Young Man With A
Beiderbecke: His Influences and
Playing Style While with the Wolverines
||Bix: What Made Him Unique?
||Chicago: The Twenties and Bix
||Melody Maker Review of "Sweet Sue"
|Don Murray, The Early Years, 1904-1923.
||Bix in Storyville No 12, Aug-Sep 1967
||"Tone Poem": Bix by Amy Lee.
Larkin's Review of "Bix, Man and Legend" from The New Statesman,
25 Oct 1974.
|The First American Issue of Margie by Bix
and His Gang
||Bix at the Northwestern University Senior
Ball, March 10, 1922
||My Gal Sal
||Bix, by Fred Turner, Smithsonian, July
1997, Vol 28, Issue 4.
||A Conversation With Charles Margulis
|Variety Review of Whiteman's Carnegie Hall
Concert, Oct 7, 1928.
||Bix in "Hear Me Talkin' To Ya."
Tune, Different Titles
The Story of Bix Beiderbecke's Davenport Blues
||An Interview of Spiegle Willcox
[Gillette] Remembers Bix in Wolverine Days.
||Why Jass Is Dying?
the time being, I will post in this section only major articles
magazines. As the site grows and becomes more complete, I hope to be
to include other, less comprehensive articles. There are a number of
about Bix and related topics in current issues of the Past
Times, Joslin's Jazz Journal, and undoubtedly in other jazz
I will include some of these articles, and others, in the future.
I am indebted to Leslie Johnson, editor of the Mississippi Rag, for providing the list of references quoted above.
Jazz Journal. The
Journal has published three stories, written by Bill Saunders,
Bix at Lake Forest Academy. The first story was published in the
1998 issue and dealt with the location of the Academy, the grounds, and
the dormitory (East House) where Bix roomed while at the Academy. There
was a follow-up in the November 1998 issue of JJJ. It went into detail
about Bix's activities in music and in sports during the year he spent
at the Academy. The third article was published in the February 2000
It provides exciting news: two hitherto unknown photographs that
Bix (in blackface) are included. They are photographs related to the
initiation activities. Another interesting image in the article is that
of a dance card form the Academy Football Dance of November 26, 1921.
back page of the card has the following writing: "MUSIC BY
I am grateful to Hans Eekhoff for alerting me to the existence of the photographs in the February issue of JJJ and to Frank Manera for sending me a copy of the article.
Davenport Democrat and Leader: A Short Interview of Bix's Mother. The April 25, 1928 issue of "The DavenportDemocrat and Leader" carried a story about Bix Beiderbecke. It was discovered by Rich Johnson in March 2001. I am grateful to him for his generosity in making a copy and sending it to me. I copy below the entire article.
[1921 photograph of Bix]
perhaps the finest trumpeter in the country, will now play for you his
own composition 'In a Mist'."
This simple announcement in the Paul Whiteman orchestra broadcast in the midnight program over the national networks from New York Tuesday night electrified the Davenport listeners-in, and most of all a little family group in the B. H. Beiderbecke home, 1934 Grand avenue. Their son, Leon, was that same "finest trumpeter."
But six months ago he joined Paul Whiteman's orchestra after repeated requests from that famous jazz leader. His reticence was due to the fact that he played by ear and scarcely knew one note from another. Now he is a soloist and a composer; this latter with the aid of a fellow musician who wrote the score as he played it, "In a Mist" he played on the piano in this featured broadcast.
"Bix", as he was known by the gang, and there always was a gang of "fellers" with him in his boyhood days, has displayed his jazz tendencies since earliest youth. He went to the local schools, went 3 years to Davenport high school and one year to the Lake Forest academy in Lake Forest, Ill. He was known as a jazz artist in every school he attended but beyond that school had little appeal and he had no inclination to go on to college.
Music lessons, too, were too much like a grind. He took piano lessons for a time from two local instructors, not more than a score in all. He had wonderful promise, his teachers said, but he veered away from the labor of learning. What was the use of droning "one, two, three, four" when you could rattle the latest jazz tune thru a magic sense entirely apart from mathematics? So ran his youthful reasoning.
He exhibited the same attitude toward a business career. During the summers he assisted his father in his coal office, but for a life work he had other plans.
For the past three years he has been cornetist with the Jean Goldkett [sic] orchestra of Detroit, and it was in one of the musical tours with that organization that Paul Whiteman heard him play. He is now 25 years old.
"We can always tell when Bix's horn comes in," says his mother."We know everytime Paul Whiteman's orchestra is on the air and Leon knows we'll be listening in. The air is carried out by the other cornetist but the sudden perky blare and the unexpected trills-those are the jazz parts and they are Leon's."
I think this article, in particular, the statement by Bix's mother, is of great significance. There has been, in the Bix literature, the view that Bix did not get along with his family. This article shows that the Beiderbecke family (note that Bix's mother talks about "we") followed Bix's career closely ("We know everytime Paul Whiteman's orchestra is on the air and Leon knows we'll be listening in.") and had a good appreciation of exactly how Bix was playing with the band. They clearly understood Bix's unique musical contribution to the Whiteman orchestra: "the sudden perky blare and the unexpected trills". That is what fellow musicians said later on. I remind you of George Johnson's statement: "Bix was a fountain of ideas that were spontaneous, as unexpected to himself as they were to us." Mrs. Beiderbecke displays an astonishing insight and a deep understanding of Bix's unique musicianship.
I thank Rich Johnson for sending me a copy of the ad in the Daily Times.
Daily Times: Radio Station Tribute to Bix
The August 8, 1931 issue of the Davenport newspaper carried the following column.
"Station WOC Pays Tribute to Memory of Bix Beiderbecke. Stations WOC and WHO paid a brief tribute to Leon Bix Beiderbecke, who died Thursday night in New York City, during the broadcasting of the Valley dance program this noon, when Bert Sloan, pianist, played one of his compositions, 'In A Mist,' and the announcer read the following statement.
'We are saddened at the untimely death of Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke, Davenport boy who made himself famous as one of the leading trumpet players of the Unidted States.
Bix passed away last Thursday at 9:30 p.m. in New York City after a brief illness of pneumonia. Recognized as a musical genius while still in his home town, Leon Beiderbecke went to the cities where for three years he acted as trumpet soloist, playing for "The King of Jazz," Paul Whiteman, who recognized Bix's ability and termed him "the finest trumpeter in the country." He was connected for about the same length of time with Gene [sic] Goldkette's orchestra in Detroit, during which he did considerable recording and broadcasting.
It was quite natural that anyone so talented should turn to the work of composing music, and among the many numbers which he brought out, one stands forth as a fine example of modern rhythm.
In memory of Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke, Bert Sloan will play as a piano solo this young genius'outstanding composition, 'In A Mist.'"
I thank Rich Johnson for sending me a copy of the article.
All-America Swing Band Selected by Paul Whiteman
The September 10, 1938 of Collier's includes an article by Paul Whiteman where he discusses his choice of musicians for the "All-America Swing Band." Whiteman writes, "I am going to pick the All-America supercolossal swing band of our time... One more thing before we go into our dance: A good swing man is a good musician. I have nothing but contempt for the so-called highbrow music lovers who look at swing wih contempt... Every man I'm picking on my All-America team, except one, is a fine reader of music... I am not only presenting the greatest swing band in the country; I am presenting a group of the best musicians in the country. I said that one of my selections [Art Tatum who was blind] can't read music. I'll explain that when I come to it."
"Here they are folks."
Carl Kress **
Alto Sax Jimmy Dorsey **
Alto Sax Benny Carter
Tenor Sax Ed Miller **
C melody Sax Frankie Trumbauer **
Trumpet Manny Klein
Trumpet Charlie Teagarden **
Trumpet Roy Elridge
Trumpet Louis Armstrong
Trombone Tommy Dorsey **
Trombone Jackson Teagarden **
Trombone Jack Jenney
Piano Art Tatum
Piano Bob Zurke
Violin Joe Venuti **
Violin Al Duffy
Violin Matty Malneck **
Violin Eddie South
Bass Violin Bobby Haggart
Clarinet Benny Goodman **
Clarinet Artie Shaw **
Vibraharp Adrian Rollini **
Drums Gene Krupa **
Drums Ray Bauduc **
The stars following the name identify the
recorded and/or played with Bix (slightly more than half of the
chosen by Whiteman). Of course, Bix (also Eddie Lang) is not in the
only living musicians were included.
Whiteman commented on every one of the choices he made. I copy here a few selected ones directly relevant to the subject of Bixology..
"Frankie Trumbauer is going to play the C melody sax on my team and you know that there is no one in the country within a mile of Frankie. Did you ever hear him play "Singin' the Blues" as a solo? Man, you ain't heard nothing if you ain't heard Frankie give that one out."
"Now we come to the trumpet, and when you
word trumpet you think of Bix Beiderbecke. Bix was the "Beau Geste" of
the trumpet; he was supreme at his style. I have seen swing fans shake
their heads in admirationafter hearing a trumpet play a chorus and have
heard them say, "That guy is so great that he never plays a chorus
the same way." That's another fallacy about swing I would like to nail.
Any time Bix played a chorus it was almost a complete composition in
And when he got it right he kept it in unless he could improve it.
Once I heard Bix shake his head sadly after hearing a trumpet player and say, "He plays so many notes and they mean so little."
Bix was a note miser. He never played an unnecessary note or an accidental one. The sheer beauty of some of his passages rings in my ear as I write this. It's too bad that Bix had to go."
"Manny Klein is my first selection on the trumpet. I will say without qualification that Manny Klein is the greatest all-around trumpet player alive today. That takes in a lot of territory but not too much for Manny to cover."
"I know that Rex Stewart of Duke Ellington's band is terrific and I know some think Bunny Berigan could chase them all out of town, but right now I come to picking a trumpet player about whom there will be no argument. If anyone objects to my putting Louis Armstrong on our All-America band, I will swing a viola around his neck. Louis started the present style of swinging a trumpet and he has popularized it and thousands are now copying Ol' Satchmo' Armssstrong. If I ever took an All-America swing band to Europe without Armstrong, those British swing fans would tosss me right out. Satchmo' can do a great many things. You haven't lived until you have heard him sing "Jonah in the Belly of the Whale;" and you haven't heard real swing if you haven't heard Armstrong on hat trumpet. Now if Armstrong couldn't play a note, I'd still want him around. He is the greatest ad lib. entertainer I know, a cheerful, happy-go-lucky son of a gun."
Some rather provocative comments, in particular Whiteman's assertion about the "myth" of Bix never playing a chorus the same way twice.
I am grateful to an anonymous Bixophile and to Rich Johnson for calling my attention to this article.4/11/03.
Magazine Article (uploaded
April 23, 2003)
The August 8, 1938 issue of Life has an 11-page article about "swing." As one might anticipate for an article in Life, there are more photographs than text. The article consists of the following stories.
1. "Swing, the Hottest
kind of Jazz Reaches Its Golden Age." A general introduction with
of Tommy Dorsey, Bob Crosby, Arty (sic) Shaw, Red Norvo and the Benny
band (which at the time included, among others, Dave Tough, Harry
James, Ziggy Elman, Harry Goodman, Jess Stacy, Bud Freeman, and Arthur
Rollini. Here are some excerpts from the introduction..
The most articulate hot musician cannot give a strict definition of Swing. But all definitions agree that Swing is based on: 1) a driving and fluid unmechanical rhythm over which 2) soloists improvise as they play. Whatever the definition, everyone admits that of all jazz Swing is musically the most vital and interesting. Today, it is enjoying its golden era not only popularly but artistically.
Swing's first age of glory began a dozen years ago. Spreading North with Negroes from New Orleans after the war, its influence focused in Chicago in 1926 around Bix Beiderbecke. It died in 1931, revived in 1934 with the success of Benny Goodman and the visitation of the jitterbugs.
2. "Swing's Black
importance of "King" Oliver, "Prince"Armstrong, "Duke" Ellington and
Basie in jazz. Includes photos of the bands and of Louis Armstrong.
is the complete text.
Sometime after 1900, Swing was born in New Orleans where even funeral bands, having played respectfully on the way to the cemetary, broke into jazz on the way home. In 1914, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (white) brought jazz out of its birthplace. Modern Swing came out with two trumpeters, "King" Oliver and "Prince" Armstrong who, like the most royal of Swing's personages, were Negroes.
The late Joe "King" Oliver took the rough, street corner jazz of New Orleans, cleaned it up and gave it form. "Prince" Louis ("Satchelmouth") Armstrong, who had learned to play trumpet in a waif's home, learned to play Swing in Oliver's band, perfected his style under Fletcher Henderson. Blessed with unbelievable technique and a rich imagination, Armstrong became the greatest of all Swing musicians.
Quieter, more studious than the rampant Armstrong is Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington. Only a fair pianist but an extraordinary leader-composer-arrnager, Ellingotn has taught his band to play the subtlest and most varied kind of jazz. Bill "Count" basie, a top-notch pianist, has written a major Swing classsic, "One O'Clock Jump."
3. A Young Man with a Hot
Became Hero of Fact and Fiction. The only story about a single
accompanied with photos of Bix as child, at Lake Forest, with the
Jugglers, with the Wolverines and with the Paul Whitmean Orchestra.
is the complete text.
In 1922, Louis Armstrong, years ahead of his time in Swing, was playing his colossal solos with King Oliver in Chicago. A promising 19-year-old white trumpeter named "Bix" Beiderbecke heard him and realized immediately that Armstrong's music was true hot style, that by comparison his own playing was faltering and "corny" (i.e.stale and outdated). Bix Beiderbekce was too fine a musician to be simply an imitator. But he boldly decided to absorb Negro style which white musicians then scorned to play. The decision was momentous. It made Bix the greatest of white trumpeters (he actualy played cornet) and the most important of all white jaz influences. It also brought him early death and posthumous fame. Last May, "Young Man With A Horn," a novel by Dorothy Baker based on Bix's life, was published. A good book, it is now a best-seller.
Leon Bismarck [sic] Beiderbecke was born to a stid merchant of Davenport, Iowa in 1903. When he was 3 and still wearing bangs and dresses he could play one-finger pieces on the piano. Later he learned to play the cornet by listening to phonograph records. Shipped off to Lake Forest Academy near Chicago, the city which was fast becoming the country's Swing capital, he stayed in school only one year, left to start his jazz career, got jobs in small bands. After 1923, his style suddenly became mature. Around here gathered dozens of hot players who have since become famous -Teagarden, Russell, Dorsey, Freeman, Trumbauer., etc. All were profoundly influence and inspired by Bix. In 1927, Bix reached the top. Paul Whiteman took him on as first trumpet.
When musicians talk about Bix's playing, they gasp for adjectives. He had tremendous drive and lift. His tone was ravishing, his taste sure, his improvisations amazingly rich. When musicians talk about Bix as a person, they recall him as a dour, reticent man, with a small face that went tense and agonized when he played as if he were trying to blow himself into his horn. His only interest was music. After quitting work in the early morning, he would round up other muscians, go off on long, exhausting, drunken "jam" sessions. He led the irregular, dissipated life that swing players have always led.
Bix always felt frustrated. His music never satisfied him. He always wanted to do things that were beyond the capacity of either his instrument or his music. he drove himself too hard. In 1931, his worn, unhappy body broke down. Bix caught a summer cold, quickly succumbed. He was only 27 when he died.
I will comment on this piece at a later time.
4. Jitterbugs Are Poison
Bread & Butter. An account and photographs of jitterbugs.
are several mentions of Bix in the text.
Bix Beiderbecke, an earnest artist, would sadly turn over in his grave if he knew that the art for which he died had been taken over by the jitterbugs. ... To the hot musicians, jitterbugs are plain poison. But they must be humored because they have brought prosperity to Swing. In 1931, with the depression, the death of Beiderbecke and the rise of "sweet bands", the interest in Swing grew faint. ... The hot musician is further annoyed when jitterbugs burst into impolite applause after a soloist has finished his chorus.
The last sentence strikes a chord: it is one of my pet peeves. Artie Shaw, in a recent interview, also complained about the habit of jazz (swing in the article) aficionado [often misspelled with two fs] to applaud after a soloist completes his chorus.
5. Hot Players Make 12-in Records. A short piece about small combos making hot records. Photos of Bud Freeman, Jack Teagarden, Eddie Condon, Pee Wee Russell and Buddy Hackett. Here are some excerpts.
The most exciting swing performances have been given by groups of pick-up musicians who met in a jam session or recording studio for the simple delight of playing as they pleased. Bix Beiderbecke always dreamed of getting together a great pick-up band, making twelve-inch records -long enough to give soloists chance to round up thier work. For the frustrated Bix, the dream never came true. But a short while ago in a Manhattan recording studio, the kind of band Bix longed for came together to make the twelve-inch records he wanted to make. They were from five diferent bands. All but two had played with Bix. Two of them, Russell and Condon, appear in the tattered sanpshot on page 54. [The photograph is on p. 215 of "Bix: The Leon Beiderbecke Story" by Philip and Linda Evans] Mostly they recorded never-written song, whose general outlines were sketched on the spot. Like most good Swing, the music was literally composed by the player as he played. Released under the Commodore label, the records will probably become collectors' s items.
I believe the recording session discussed above is from April 30, 1938 where Embraceable You, Meet Me Tonight, Diane and Serenade to A Shylock were recorded. The first and last titles were issued in a 12-inch Commodore 1501 as Jam Session at Commodore No. Two. The band consisted of Bobby Hackett, Jack Teagarden, Pee Wee Russell, Bud Freeman, Jess Stacy, Eddie Condon, Artie Shapiro and George Wettling.
5. Here Are 30 Good Hot Records. A
of 30 hot records, in Life's opinion. Accompanied wih photos of B.
[sic], E. Fitzgerald, F. Henderson, T. Wilson, J. Marsala, M. Bailey,
Smith, C. Boswell, F. Waller, G. Krupa, M. Sullivan and Slim and Slam.
Here is the text.
LIFE has compiled, from considered opinions, a list of good swing records. Printed below they form the nucleus of a good collection for those who would like to know more about hot music. The list does not include hard-to-get collectors items. All these disks can be bought at stores which keep a fairly compelte hot stock. Included are some items of special interest like the Beiderbecke piano solo (Bix was alnmost as good on the piano as on the horn) and the freak swing success, "Flat Foot Flugie."
Albert Ammons, piano, Boogie Woogie Stomp.
Louis Armstrong, trumpet, West End Blues.
Mildred Bailey, vocalist, Long About Midnight.
Bix Beiderbecke, cornet, Riverboat Shuffle.
Bix Beiderbecke, piano, In A Mist.
Bunny Berrigan [sic], cornet, I Can't get Started.
Connie Bowsell, vocal, Bob White.
Eddy [sic] Condon's Windy City Seven, Carnegie Drag.
Bob Crosby's Band, South Rampart Street Parade.
Tommy Dorsey, trombone, Stardust.
Duke Elington's Band, Clarinet Lament.
Ella Fitzgerald, vocal (Chick Webb's Band), A Tisket, A Tasket.
Benny Goodman, clarinet, Don't Be That Way.
Benny Goodman Quartet, Moonglow.
Fletcher Henderson's Band, Money Blues.
Gene Krupa, drums, Blues of Israel.
Meade Lux Lewis, piano, Yancy Special.
Joe Marsala, clarinet, Hot String Beans.
Red Norvo, xylophone, Blues in E Flat.
King Oliver, trumpet, Dipper Mouth Blues.
Arrtie Shaw, clarinet, Nightmare.
Bessie Smith, vocal, Young Woman's Blues.
Stuff Smith, violin, You'se A Viper.
Joe Sullivan, piano, Honeysuckle Rose.
Jack Teagarden, trombone, Diane.
Fats Waller, piano, Dinah.
Teddy Wilson, piano, Body and Soul.
Mary Lou Williams, piano, Overhand.
Maxine Sullivan, vocal, Overhand.
Slim and Slam, vocal and double bass, Flat Foot Flugie.
An odd selection. I note that only Bix and Benny Goodman have two selections each. No sselections from four of my favorite jazz musicians of all times, Miff Mole, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang and Adrian Rollini.
Credit for the photographs of Bix Beiderbecke is given to Bismarck [sic] H. Beiderbecke, Lake Forest Academy, Downbeat, Scholl (probably Warrren) and M. mesirov (known later as Mezz Mezzrow).
I am indebted to Mike Heckman, Rich Johnson and an anonymous Bixophile for calling my attention to this article.
Rag Article (uploaded June 3, 2003)
The June 2003 issue of the Mississippi Rag carries a four- page article "Copying Bix: Cornet Solos From Bix Beiderbecke's First Three Recording Sessions" by Albert Haim. The article discusses in depth the fact that Bix's solos in the Wolverines recordings of "Jazz Me Blues" "Copenhagen" and "Tiger Rag" were copied by several cornetists/trumpeters soon after the recordings were issued. The author provides a hypothesis to explain how Bix's solo in Tiger Rag was copied in recordings from 1925-1927 in spite of the fact that the commercial records of Tiger Rag were not issued until 1936. Images of the record labels and of the Wolverine Orchestra are included. The article is documented with citations and references.
in jazzit in Celebration of Bix 100 (uploaded
June 11, 2003)
The Italian jazz magazine "jazzit" is published bimonthly. The March/April 2003 issue (Year V, Number 15) carries two articles in tribute to Bix's 100th birthday. The articles are preceded by an introduction written by Vincenzo Martorella, the editorial director of the magazine.
1. Davenport Blues. A translation by Vincenzo Martorella of the pertinent section in the article by Randy Sandke "Bix Beiderbecke: from a Musician's Perspective," Annual Review of Jazz Studies, Vo. 9, 1997-1998, pp. 165-260.
2. In A Mist: A Voyage in the Fogs of the Myth. A translation by Vincenzo Martorella of the pertinent section of the Bixography website.
In addition there are announcements of some of the celebrations of Bix 100 (Centennary Cruise, Concert at the Blue Lantern, JVC jazz Festival, Ascona Festival and Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival) and an interview of Randy Sandke.
in the Dec 9, 1927 Issue of the Cleveland Press (uploaded
May 19, 2004)
Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra had an engagement in the Allen Theater, Cleveland, Ohio from December 4 to December 11, 1927. The Cleveland Press had an article about Whiteman and his band in the December 9, 1927 issue. A copy of the page in the paper is reproduced in page 308 of "Bix: The Leon Bix Beiderbecke Story" by Philip R. and Linda K. Evans. The image is poor and it is hard to read the fine print. Through the courtesy of Elizabeth Beiderbecke Hart, we now have an opportunity to examine carefully the article. Liz had a high resolution scan of the article made and transferred to a CD. When Bix sent the page of the Cleveland Press to his parents, he wrote two remarks on the page. On top of the page, Bix wrote, "They got me sketched good looking & Tram hideous, how about the moustache?" Bix was referring to sketches of Bix and Tram in the issue. Bix's sketch is in the same page as the article. Tram's sketch is in another page. Neither Liz nor I have a copy of Tram's sketch. I am trying to get a copy of Tram's sketch. Bix's second remark comes next to a paragraphy marked by Bix. The paragraph reads, "To our way of thinking, no child should be started in life without being brought up on this kind of music." Bix wrote, "Get a load of this". To see the scan of the page, go to http://bixbeiderbecke.com/clevelandpressbix.jpg The image is 1MB in size. Be patient when downloading.
I am grateful to Liz for kindly sending me the CD with the scan.
"HOT RECORD SOCIETY ISSUES ALBUM OF WOLVERINE RECORDS WITH BIX
Five rare Beiderbeckes, repressed from Gennett originals, will be released this week by the Hot Record Society in an album titled: "Young Man With A Horn; Bix and the Wolverines".
Two sides,"Davenport Blues" and Toddlin' Blues", were made by Bix and his Rhythm Jugglers, featuring Tommy Dorsey, Paul Mertz, Don Murray, Howdy Quickwell and Tom Gargano.
The other eight sides were made by the Wolverines Orchestra, the band in which Bix began his career in the early twenties. The titles include "Fidgety Feet", "Jazz Me Blues", "Oh Baby", "Tiger Rag", "Sensation", "Tia Juana", "Big Boy", and "Royal Garden Blues".
With the new reissues, all of the records Bix made with the Wolverines some fifteen years ago are again available, with the exception of two sides. "Riverboat Shuffle" and "Lazy Daddy" had been previously issued by the H.R.S., and "Copenhagen" is available on U.H.C.A.
A booklet on the records, prepared by Charles Edward Smith, will be released with the album."
The album was reviewed in Vol. I, No. 19, January 26, 1940. here is the review.
YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN: BIXBEIDERBECKE and THE WOLVERINES (Hot Record Society Album No. 2). By the Wolverines: Fidgety Feet (HRS 22); Sensation (HRS 23); Big Boy -- Tiger Rag (HRS 24); Jazz Me Blues -- Oh Baby (HRS 25); Tia Juana -- Royal Garden Blues (HRS 26). By Bix and his Rhythm Jugglers; Davenport Blues (HRS 22); Toddlin' Blues (HRS 23). Personnels listed on labels.
For its second album of reissues the Hot Record Society has selected ten sides by Bix Beiderbecke (eight with the Wolverine Orchestra, two of Bix's Rhythm Jugglers). The masters from which the reissues have been pressed were dubbed, from the Gennett originals, several years ago, for English Brunswick. And, to mention the least important point first, the dubbings are technically uneven. Some are good; on others the reproduction is foggy, and on "Royal Garden Blues" the dubbing needle actually skipped a groove. Comparison of the current prices of Gennetts, however, with the price at which these reissues have been made available, places these facts in their proper perspective.
And these recordings,of course, are invaluable to the student of Bix. They show a less mature musician than Bix's later discs true; but, on the other hand, they are the only ones which show the young man with a horn playing with a permanent band of authentically jazz structure. There are always the Whitemans and Goldkettes and Carmichaels in which Bix took a solo, or a break; there are Frank Trumbauer's rather half-hearted pickup waxings, and Bix's own records with his own pickup band. But only these records of the Wolverines show Bix as a member of a small jazz band, following the jazz tradition as it had been expressed by the Dixieland Band, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and King Oliver's Creole Band.
No one, we think, has considered the Wolverines as a great band. It was a young band, short-lived, and never reached its maturity. But for what it was, it was good; following the best models, playing the best tunes, and always following its best musician, Beiderbecke.
So there's no listening to this album merely for Bix's solo work. There are solos, to be sure; an extraordinarily melodic chorus on the "Royal Garden Blues", a restrained solo in "Jazz Me Blues" excited solos in "Oh Baby" and "Tiger Rag", and so forth. There are other solos: some acceptable low-register clarinet work by Jimmy Hartwell, a few poor tenor solos of George Johnson's, even one hardly note-worthy piano solo by Bix. But most of the records are the Wolverines' ensemble; and it's for the ensemble, and Bix's part in it, that they should be heard.
Not that the Wolverines' ensemble was by any means perfect. On some of these sides, in fact, it's downright amateurish. On others, though the kids got together behind Bix and really played with drive and conviction. The best sides, at a rapid recount, are "Oh Baby", which has a pretty excited jump and the three sides which, as Charles Edward Smith remarks in his leaflet with the album, show most clearly the influences of the Wolverines: "Royal Garden Blues", for King Oliver, "Sensation" and "Fidgety Feet" for the Dixieland Jazz Band, "Tiger Rag", "Jazz Me Blues" and Big Boy" are also acceptable; only "Tia Juana" is really bad.
A special word should be said for "Davenport Blues" and "Toddlin' Blues", which were recorded by Bix and a pick-up band including Tommy Dorsey and Don Murray, shortly after Bix had joined Jean Goldkette's orchestra. The men were better musicians than the Wolverines, though doubtless less used to playing together; and the results might well have compared to Bix's best work -- except that, as Charles Edward Smith puts it, the boys got into the bottle before they got into the wax. The product was two pathetically disorganized sides, on which nevertheless ("Toddlin"' especially) Bix and Murray were feeling the music.
These few remarks,
not pretend to the definitive word either on Bix Beiderbecke as a
or on the Wolverines as an orchestra. Those who are already familiar
the Gennetts need no review; while those who aren't, had better listen
to this album pretty carefully. "
Wolverine Orchestra in Variety (uploaded
December 8, 2003)
The Wolverine Orchestra played in the Cinderella Ballroom, 1600 Broadway, New York City from September 12, 1924 to the end of December 1924. On December 26, 1924 they were replaced by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Bix did not last for the entire engagement. He left the Wolverines on October 11, 1924 as he had accepted a job with the Jean Goldkette orchestra in Detroit.
The following are news items, ads and reviews related to the Cinderella Ballroom and the Wolverines published in Variety during September and October 1924.
Wednesday, September 10, 1924.
BALLROOMS ARE OPENiNG UP; NOVELTIES
Cinderella Starts Friday - Intercity Dance Contest
The Cinderella Ballroom, Boadway and 48th Street, New York, opens Friday (Sept. 13) with Willie Creager and His Ambassadors (Louis Katzman, business manager) as the featured attraction. The Ambassadors are Vocalion disk artists. The Wolverines, a new "hot" combination from Chicago, will be the alternating orchestra.
The Cinderella, under the direction of the Joseph Brothers and Robert Blum, is planning a series of novel stunts this fall such as an intercity dancing contest in conjunction with the Paradise, Newark, which they took over from Ray Miller, and Danceland,Philadelphia, actively managed by Jack Fiegl. The Cotton Picker's Orchestra at Danceland will be brought in to the Cinderlla and the Ambassadors sent to Quakertown as part of the stunt.
The cabaret night feature successfully tried last season will be resumed this fall. The Joseph's contention anent the introduction of the entire revues from the various cabarets and cafes is that it builds business for the restaurants in reciprocation for the courtesy for the reason that the regular sstepping out crowd that patronizes the dance hall on week days is attracted to the cafes on week ends. The dance halls in turn draw their Saturday and Sunday business from the "cake eaters," who otherwise stay at home.
The Roseland opens Sept. 16 with Vincent Lopez, Jan Garber and Herb Wiedoft's orchestras to augment the Sam Lanin, Phil Romano and Fletcher Hendrson's combinations.
Remarks. Note that Willie Creager's
are the featured attraction, the Wolverines being the "alternating"
I am not quite sure I understand the economic advantages of the
night feature." According to Brian Rust ("Jazz Records"), "Willie
was the leader and drummer of the Ambassaddors, and rumor persists that
his band recorded with Bix Beiderbecke when both were playing in the
Ballroom, New York, in the automn of 1924." With a detailed Bix
available now, the only sides that could possibly have Bix in them are
those recorded on October 2, 1924. Three sides were waxed,. "My Best
and "Me and the Boy Friend" were rejected. "All Alone" was issued as
5581. I have not heard these recordings.
Wednesday, September 24, 1924.
BAND AND ORCHESTRAS REVIEWS
THE WOLVERINES (7)
This "hot" septet hails from around Chicago, last playing a Gary, Ind., pavilion. It was "discovered" by the Josephs of the Cinderella ballroom management, who tout this combination highly.
As a torrid unit it need doff the mythical chapeau to no one. Their sense of rhythm and tempo is ultra for this type of dance music, and their unquestionable favor with the dance fans speaks or itself.
Leon Beiderbecke is a "hot" trumpet; Dick Voynow plays piano; Jim Hartwell, clarinetist, highly effective; ditto the bass Wilford Leibrook; Vic Moore is at the drums and George Johnson, sax.
The band has struck favor from the sart. Out West they recorded for the Gennett disks, but although less than a week on Broadway, they have "dates" with a numer of minor companies, with the Brusnwick also interested.
Remarks. So much for the myth that Bix Beiderbecke's name was found only twice in newspapers during his lifetime. Note that Bix is referred to as "Leon Beiderbecke" and that his name is mentioned first in the review. Note that "hot" is used twice, but jazz not even once.
Wednesday, October 1, 1924.
OXLEY AT CINDERELLA
Harold Oxley and his Orchestra of 11 pieces open at the Cinderella Ballroom, New York, Oct. 4, succeeding Willie Creager's Ambassadors. Oxley's band is a Paul Specht unit.
Beginning in April 1927 and continuing until
1928, the British magazine "Melody Maker" published one article and
record reviews about Bix Beiderbecke.
I am indebted to Nick Dellow for kindly scanning theses wonderful -and revealing- pages from the Music Maker and for his persmission to upload the scans.
SENIOR CLASS DANCE IS WELL ATTENDED BY STUDENTS AND GUESTS
Bix Beidebecke [sic] and Dorsey Bros. Furnish Excellent Music for Gala College Affair
One of the
successful class dances at Amherst in recent years took place Saturday
afternoon and evening, when the annual Senior Hop was held on College
The historic building was decorated in green and white while the
was placed on the stage in front of a background of silver, red, yellow
and white streamers. The building was made even more comfortable by the
many chairs and davenports which were a loan from the fraternities. The
dance was attended by approximately 135 couples and 85 stags.
The music was furnished by two bands, one led by Bix Beiderbecke who alternated with the Dorsey brothers orchestra under the supervision of Tom Dorsey. The smaller of the two, Beiderbecke's, is considered one of the best five piece outfits in the country. The dance commenced at four o'clock on the arrival of the Smith and Mount Holyoke girls and continued until 6 P.M. when supper was served at the Lord Jeffery Inn. Dancing was resumed at 7:30 P.M. and continued until middnight with a brief intermission at 10:30 P.M. when the Smith and Mount Holyoke girls departed. The exceptionally large number of out of town girls present kept the dance going until twelve.
In their biography of Bix, "Bix: The Leon Beiderbecke Story," Philip and Linda Evans report,
"March 14, 1931 (Sat)- Dorsey Brothers Orchestra played Senior Hop in College Hall at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Date booked by Art Michaud.
Personnel: Bix (c); Bunny Berigan, Bill Moore (t); Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller (tb); Jimmy Dorsey, three others (rds); Arthur Schutt(p); Carl Kress(g); Johnny Morris(d); unknown sb. College newspaper; "Bix's grop was considered one og the best five-piece outfit in the country." The five pieces would be Bix, Tommy, Jimmy, Arthur and Johnny."
In a 1969 interview, Johnny Morrris told Philip Evans, "Bix was very moody and despondent .... not anxious to play, but out of the big band we formed a small jazz group and finally succeeded in getting Bix to "jam" with us."
The Amherst Student article
made available through the Courtesy of Amherst College Archives &
Collections at http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives
I am grateful to Peter Nelson for his help with the article.
Nichols on Bix in Down Beat
Here is a complete transcript of an article that appeared in the August 1937 issue of Down Beat.
"Musicians Killed Bix Beiderbecke!"
"Bix Died Of A Broken Heart, Says Famous Leader of Five Pennies"
by Carl Cons
Between sets at the College Inn, Chicago, Ill.
Sober as a grim-pussed judge on election day, carrot-topped, world famous Red Nichols fortified himself behind a glass of beer. He didn't touch it. But six cigarette butts and two dance sets later he exploded.
"Gin and weed? Hell! They didn't kill him. MUSICIANS KILLED BIX BEIDERBECKE!
"Some of those same musicians living today know what I mean. Bix died of a broken heart. And it was broken by the professional jealousy of musicians who couldn't stand to be outplayed by him so easily.
"Bix was a wonderful and sensitive musician and wanted to be friends with every one. He could do more on one note than any group of 100 cornet players and you can put me at the last.
"After he died and jealous musicans had nothing to fear, they began to realize what a great artist he was.
"Yes, Bix was appreciated after he was dead. But when he needed a lift, they wouldn't give it. Many a night they got him drunk and if he slipped or didn't play up to his best, they would pan the hell out of him."
Red shrugged his shoulders resignedly. he has a sense of sportsmanship, and a keen admiration for the great Beiderbecke, "It's a dirty shame, isn't it," he went on, " that a mans's own kind can be so bitter toward him? The very guys that should have been the first to appreciate his talents were the ones who were more eager to discredit him."
Nichols, who plays in the Bix tradition and who has recorded some of the most polished classics of jazz with his famous Five Pennies, has been the unhapppy recipient of much severe and unintelligent criticism by the "great unwashed" or the "not-dry-behind-the-ears" tribe of critics that swarm over the country today mouthing authoritative nonsense about everything.
HARDENED BY CRITICISM
Their unknowing "bull-in-the china-shop" remarks have had their effect and though they come from outsiders, they have unwittingly handicapped another great musician. Red is hardened by a life full of criticism but it has made him, nevertheless, reticent and word-shy.
The man is one of the few remaining great musicians of the so-called "golden era" of swing, and it is a damn dirty shame if the same blind jealousy of fellow musicians and the inane remarks of trigger-mouth critics should parallel Bix's tragedy by making Red so sel-conscious and discouraged as to affect and spoil his own artistry and inspiration for playing."
Two different issues are brought up in this article: First, Bix's fellow musicians who pushed or facilitated his drinking in excess and who, according to Nichols, did it from jealousy. The second, a retaliation on the part of Nichols to criticism by jazz writers. I understand the second issue. Nichols has been -unfairly in my opinion- one of the most maligned musicians in jazz. I am not convinced that the first one is accurate. I do believe that some of Bix's fellow musicians did him no favor by dropping by his hotel room at all hours of the day to drink and have a laugh (in part, perhaps, at Bix's expense), by keeping him drinking in speakeasies at all hours of day and night. However, I doubt that this was done out of petty jealousy. I believe -and I freely admit that this is speculative- that these "friends" were rather superficial individuals who viewed daily life as an unending stream of drinking and so-called "having fun." Some stupid people think that seeing an individual drunk beyond control is funny.
Columbia Pamphlet, Concerto in F. Uploaded
May 14, 2004
Nick Dellow kindly sent scans of every page of the pamphlet published by Brirish Columbia to accompany the 1928 Paul Whiteman recording of Concerto in F.
Under construction. Only links to articles are provided at this time.
Charles Edward Smith wrote a chapter on Pee Wee in “The Jazz Makers” edited by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff, 1958.
Here are some excerpts from the chapter.
“The period around 1920 and a bit later would take months to sort out-from the time he first heard records by the Dixieland Band to the time he heard them, and later, Bix, in person. Pee Wee had considerable respect for that band, as did Bix, and for both of them this meant respect for Shields. Between them they knew every note and nuance of those Dixieland Victors. “
”When he first recorded a solo on Tiger Rag, Bix based it upon Shield’s clarinet part!"
"Pee Wee describes the Arcadia as it was in 1926. “I remember they used to have a Sunday afternoon thing at the Arcadia Ballroom. Ordinarily, the band would complain about the extra work, but Bix would really look forward to it. He said he liked to see the kids dance. He liked to watch them do things like the Charleston. He said he liked it because the kids had a fine sense of rhythm. And in their way, the kids knew what Bix was doing. They knew he was doing something different because he made them want to dance.”
Very interesting. It confirms what I have been emphasizing for a while, namely, that Bix spent most of his professional life as a member of dance bands, hot perhaps, but dance bands nonetheless.”Bix and Pee Wee used to visit a speakeasy in South Bend. It was pleasant place and had a piano that Bix liked to play. But it was too expensive or the amount of liquor they were putting away, especially when it came time to wrapping up bottles for the cottage they lived in out in the lake. The bartender, being sympathetic to musicians, as bartenders often are, told them of a place where they could get good home-made stuff, jugs of corn buried in the cornfield to elude the revenuers. That sounded fine. The bartender drew a map, without which they’d certainly have gotten lost. Then they were off, in Dan Gabe’s [sic; it should be Gaebe] Studebaker … At last they came to a dirt road and, driving down it, saw a faded brown house, barns equally nondescript, and were met by two yapping dogs whose eager menace reminded them of the bartender’s warning: ‘When you get there’-the bartender had leaned confidentially across the mahogany-‘don’t go inside. Don’t go up to the house. Don’t even get out of the car. Just blow the horn and yell.’ They blew the horn and yelled. Whatthey saw at first gave little cause for alarm-three blowsy and barefooted old maids. Then a fourth party-they soon learned it was a brother-emerged from the barn, holding a double-barrelled shotgun. Pee Wee shook his head, thinking about it. ‘It was a cannon!’
‘When he came up close we told him the bartender’s name.’
‘Who else you know there?’
They told him.
‘We understand you’ve got some good whisky here.’ Adding, as though an explanation, ‘We’re musicians.’
‘Where are your horns.?’
They explained hat the instruments were out at the lake. Then Bix added helpfully, ‘I can play piano.’
‘That so?’ Bix got a calculating look; then they were asked inside… They were shown into a papered parlour with a pull-down kerosene lamp, a potbelly stove and, conspicuous to Bix and Pee Wee, the old-fashioned parlour organ that was to test their veracity. Bix took it in stride, playing something sweet and simple. This wasn’t a time for cats and alligators. The barefoot bootleggers simpered and began to look like three dear old ladies from Dubuque. The defender of home, hearth and hooch lowered his gun and gave them a taste of good corn whisky. “
I am grateful to Nick Dellow for scanning the article and sending it to me.
The Bix-Hardy Story. Uploaded
Article by Armand Hug in the December 1950 issue of "Jazz Magazine. Pianist Armand Hug was born in New Orleans on December 6, 1910, and died in New Orleans on March 19, 1977. He lived in New Orlans most of his life. Hug met Bix in New Orleans on October 28, 1928 when the Paul Whiteman Orchestra gave two concerts in the St. Charles Theatre. Armand Hug transcribed several Bix recordings for piano and included them in a Jazzology LP album "Bix Hug." To read the article, click on the following links.
in Storyville 122, December 1985-January 1986.
thank Nick Dellow for his generosity; he scanned the article, sent the
images, and gave me permission to upoad here.
Me Talkin' to Ya: The Story of Jazz Told by the Man Who Made It"
by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff consists of interviews of jazz
musicians telling their stories in their own words. The following are
links to the pages in the chapter about Bix Beiderbecke and the pieced
together statements throughout the book by Pee Wee Russell and Jimmy
Nick Dellow scanned the relevant pages of the book and put together the comments by Pee Wee Russell and Jimmy McPartland. I am grateful to Nick for his generosity in sharing the scans with the Bixography audience.
BRIEF TABLE OF CONTENTS
|A Brief Biography||Articles in Magazines||The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society|
|Bix's Musical Genius||Video
||Items of Special Interest|
|Biographies||Audio Tapes||Information of Related Interest|
|Chapters in Books||Museums||A Stamp for Bix in 2003|
|Scholarly Dissertations||Miscellaneous||Links to Related Sites|
|Obituaries||Readers' Queries and Remarks||Celebration of Bix's Musical Legacy|
The Original 78's
Analysis of Some Recordings: Is It Bix or Not ?
Complete Compilations of Bix's Recordings
Tributes to Bix
Miscellaneous Recordings Related to Bix
In A Mist