Tuesday

AUGUST 16TH


“Piron-Williams Orchestra.” Photograph by Arthur P. Bedou. 1915.
Bedou’s portrait of this band organized for a vaudeville tour that never materialized
included such future jazz stars as Clarence Williams (top left), Jimmie Noone (clarinet),
Oscar Celestin (cornet), Armand Piron (violin), and Johnny St. Cyr (lower right). Bedou
had a studio in Tremé and toured as a staff photographer with Booker T.Washington.
William Ranson Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library Special Collections, Tulne University Library.

BIRTHDAYS



1905
Tony Almerico, trumpet/vocal/leader
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
Artist Biography 
~by Eugene Chadbourne
This trumpeter, bandleader, disc jockey, and just all-around champion of New Orleans jazz comes from the Italian side of that city's musical equation. With a major wave of Italian immigration in Louisiana occurring between 1900 and 1920, the same two decades in which the city's jazz scene literally exploded, it is only logical that many Italians became as involved in swinging music as flipping pizzas. Italians were nightclub managers as well as musicians, in either case defying many of the segregation laws on the books as blacks and whites came together both as players and audiences. Almerico was part of the important frontl ine of Italian jazz players, a list that also includes fellow cornet men Joseph Bonano and Peter Lacaze and trombonists Giuseppe Alessandra and Baroque Dominic. 
Almerico began his musical studies in Jesuit high school, and professionally cut his teeth on the dime-a-dance scene. He began leading his first band in 1936, following nearly a decade of intense sideman work. This included groups such as Slim Lamar & His Southerners, which recorded for Victor in both Memphis, TN and Camden, NJ in the late '20s, and Mart Britt & His Orchestra, the brainchild of a multi-instrumentalist bandleader. Britt, who played banjo, bass, and drums, proved himself fearless in a 1932 Atlanta Victor recording session, daring to ask both the musical questions "Who Paid Poker with Pocahontas (When John Smith Went Away?)" and "Who Paid the Rent for Mrs. Rip Van Winkle (When Rip Van Winkle Went Away?)".
On record, jazz listeners inevitably are introduced to Almerico via his recordings with classic blues goddess Lizzie Miles. But in addition, Almerico's own bands and various pick-up all-star bands cut a variety of sides over the years for labels such as Imperial, Viking, and Dot. The excellent Cook label has in its catalog both Miles material featuring Almerico and several volumes of the trumpeter's own band enjoying a Clambake on Bourbon Street. Another pair of volumes on which the trumpeter participates are entitled Benefit Night for Monk Hazel: Parisian Room, and feature some of the earliest recordings of the well-known New Orleans clarinetist Pete Fountain. Other Almerico band recordings feature him in the company of greats such as the spiritual trombonist Santo Pecora, the cuddly pianist Armand Hug, the fit trumpeter Slim Lamar, and the protective clarinetist Harry Shields.
In one way, Almerico can be considered to have done all of these peers one better, as well as many other veterans of this city's scene. It is hard to come up with an example of a more tireless promoter of the city's jazz style. By the mid-'50s Almerico had developed a second career as a nationally broadcast disc jockey. His radio show was featured on WJMR, also the home of the illustrious host Poppa Stoppa, and one of the city's great broadcast outlets until, eventually, it was watered down into a CNN outlet. Even as a member of a band as casual as the Dixieland Jazz All-Stars, Almerico finds a way to elevate the possibilities of the occasion. The group's long-running gig at the Parisian Room developed into both a seminar and launching pad, as Almerico created the proposition of a "junior" band that would hold forth between breaks, thus encouraging important younger players such as Connie Jones and Charlie May. Almerico's 11-piece band, often featured on shipboard dance cruises up the Mississippi, also has a superb reputation. Vocal talent featured in his groups include the Ryan Sisters, Sue Miller, and Molly Duncan.
Tony Almerico | Biography | AllMusic


1908
Alfred Elkins, (Blues) bass.
Exact year and place of birth unknown. Often played his 'One String Bass'). Elkins worked (and recorded) with such men as guitarist Robert Petford (b. ca, 1908, Yazoo City, MS, USA, d. unknown), Pianist Curtis Jones (b. Aug. 18, 1906, Naples, TX, USA), Lorenzo Tucker (tenor sax), L. C. McKinley (electric guitar), "Judge" Riley (drums), "King Kolax" (trumpet, né: William Little. b. Kansas City, MO, USA, Nov. 6, 1912. He often claimed b. 1918, but his death certificate in the files of the 'Chicago Federation of Musicians' confirms 1912).



1915
Albert "Al" Hibbler, Singer
Little Rock, AK, USA.
Sang with The Duke Ellington Orchestra and others. Al Hibbler (August 16, 1915 - April 24, 2001) was an American vocalist with several pop hits. He is best known for his million selling recording of "Unchained Melody" (1955). Once described by Duke Ellington as "our major asset", the bandleader was referring to Hibbler's deep-toned, dramatic vocal style, with its heavy vibrato... "You could drive a truck through that vibrato," said one musician... which brought Hibbler and the band considerable popular acclaim. He achieved national prominence in the United States with the Ellington orchestra in the mid 1940s, and went on to build a substantial career, which included continuing involvement with jazz musicians.
1915
Murray McEachern,  Trombone/tenor,alto/violin/trumpet/tuba/bass
b. Toronto, Canada, d. (?) 1982 During the 1930's and '40s Swing era, he played with the bands of Benny Goodman, Glen Gray and the Casa Loma, Bob Crosby and Paul Whiteman. When the Big Band era faded, McEachern became a Hollywood studio musician. He played the trombone solos in the movies "The Glenn Miller Story," "The Benny Goodman Story" and "Paris Blues"
Murray McEachern - Wikipedia



1888
Armand J. Piron, Violin
b. New Orleans, LA
d. Feb. 17, 1943, New Orleans, LA, USA.
Age: 55.
This very well known old New Orleans musician worked with the Olympia Brass Band; Papa Celestin's band, and with composer W.C.HANDY. Armand John "A.J." Piron (August 16, 1888–February 17, 1943) was an American jazz violinist, band leader, and composer. Piron was born to what was then called a Creole of color family in downtown New Orleans. From his childhood, he had to use a crutch to walk. He began playing violin professionally in about 1904 and, by 1912, was leading the Olympia Orchestra (which included Bunk Johnson, Big Eye Louis Nelson Delisle, and Clarence Williams).
In 1915, Piron and Williams together started the Piron and Williams Publishing Company, and in their first year of business published Piron's composition “I Wish That I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate”, which became his biggest hit. After touring briefly with W.C. Handy in 1917, he started an orchestra under his own name, which soon included such notables as Lorenzo Tio and Steve Lewis. Piron's New Orleans Orchestra quickly became the best paid African American band in New Orleans, for Piron landed regular jobs at both the Spanish Fort amusement park and the exclusive white New Orleans Country Club. In 1923, Piron took his band to New York City as part of his ambition to make the group nationally known. He succeeded in making a hit there, landing a residency at the Roseland Ballroom, and making recordings for three different companies.



The influence of Piron's band on the New York scene can be heard in the records of other New York bands of that time, such as Fletcher Henderson's (although Piron's influence on New York music would be eclipsed a year later when Louis Armstrong arrived in the city). In early 1924, some of Piron's band members were finding the cold northern winter and unfamiliar food and culture objectionable. Piron put the matter to a vote and, to Piron's frustration, the majority of the band voted to return home. Back in New Orleans, he again lined up good jobs, returning to the Country Club, playing at Tranchina's Restaurant and on the excursion steamships Capital and President into the 1930s; in about 1935, he decided to dramatically change the sound of his orchestra to swing, in line with popular taste. Piron died on February 17, 1943.
1911
Don Talty, Label owner
(Formal Records) b. IL, USA.


1889
Paul Warmack, C&W Mandolin/Guitar/Vocals
b. Whites Creek, TN, USA
d. July 2, 1954
Member: "Paul Warmack and his Gully Jumpers".
The group was formed 1927, and was comprised of leader Paul Warmack, Charley Arrington (Fiddle, b. 1893, TN, USA. d. unknown), Roy Hardison (Banjo, b.July 19, 1896, TN, USA. d. Feb. 1966), and Burt Hutcherson (Guitar, b. 1893, TN, USA. d. July 10, 1980). The 1920s and '30s were the heyday for Southern string-band music, and one of the best was Warmack and his Gully Jumpers. Some other groups active at the same time include 'Dr. Humphrey Bate and the Possum Hunters', ' McGee Brothers (Sam and Kirk)', 'Binkley Brothers' Dixie Clodhoppers', ' Uncle Dave Macon & Sam McGee', 'Sid Harkreader & Grady Moore', and the 'Arthur Smith Trio'.
Read More...



1914
Edythe Wright

Edythe Wright (August 16, 1914 - October 27, 1965) was an American singer who performed with the band led by Tommy Dorsey from 1935 to 1939.

Early life

Edythe Wright was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, the youngest child of Harrison Burr Wright and Hanna(h) Heffernan. Her siblings were Ethel (b. 1900), James (b. 1902), Estelle (b. 1904), Kathryn (b. 1908), Thomas (b. 1910) and Helen (b. 1912). Harrison was a second cousin to the Barrymore acting family of Philadelphia. It is not clear whether he was related to the Maurice Barrymore (born Blythe) side of the family or the Georgiana Drew side. He was also an actor with the troupe of Harrigan and Hart which was a popular act in the late 19th and early 20th century.

In 1900, Edythe's parents Harry Wright and Hannah Wright were living in Ward 2 of Bayonne, New Jersey (Hudson County). Harry was born in Florida in 1861 to Scottish emigrants and has no occupation cited. Hannah (née Heffernan) was born in 1879 in New York to Irish emigrants. A daughter, Ethel, is also listed, her birth year given as 1899 with an age of eight months. This is the only census where Harry is mentioned. In future censuses Hannah is listed as married or widowed and her children have the surname Wright but no listing of Harry has been found.

In the 1910 census Hannah and her children are listed as living in Leonia (Bergen County, New Jersey at the home of Harold Chase who is married to Hannah's sister Helen. Chase was a baseball player for the New York Yankees who eventually was scarred by allegations of throwing games and illegal betting. In addition to Harold (born in California in 1883), Helen and Hannah (who now is listed as being born in 1882 instead of 1879), the household contains the children Harold E. Chase (age 2), Ethel Wright (age 10), James Wright (age 3), Katherine Wright (age 3), Thomas Wright (age 8 months) as well as Hannah and Helen's parents Thomas Heffernan (age 58), Anna Heffernan (age 56) and sister-in law Mary Nieran (age 36).

Somewhere between 1910 and 1920 Hannah and her children moved to Ward 1 of Bayonne where they rented a home. Edythe Wright is listed as being born in 1915 and the 1920 census lists Hannah as a widow so presumably Harry has died. Since we know Edythe was born in August 1916 and not 1915, he would have expired somewhere between August 1916 (unless he died while Hannah was pregnant assuming conception of December 1915) and whenever the census was taken in 1920. Thomas Heffernan has apparently died between 1910 and 1920 as he is absent in this census.


The 1920 census lists Hanna Wright as the head of household, age 38 the 1882 birthdate has carried over and widowed. Her children are listed as Ethel Wright (age 20), James Wright (age 18), Estelle Wright (age 16), Kathryn Wright (different spelling, age 12), Thomas Wright (age 10), Helen Wright (age 8) and Edith Wright (age 5). Hannah's mother Anna Heffernan (age 72) is also listed as living with the family. No occupation for Hanna is listed.


According to the 1930 census the family has moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey and Hanna has married Patrick Bradshaw (who like Harrison is about twenty years older than she). The residents of the Bradshaw/Wright household were Patrick Bradshaw (age 62, Irish immigrant), head of household, Hanna, wife (now born in 1885, the third birth year change in four censuses), children John Bradshaw (age 7), Thomas Wright (age 19), Helen A. Wright (age 16) and Edythe M. Wright (age 14). Anna Heffernan has apparently died since the last census. Ethel has apparently married and moved out. It is not clear if John Bradshaw is the child of Patrick and Hannah. As Edythe stated in Bandstand in 1939 that she had seven siblings, it would seem that he was her half-brother. The birthdates of the other children have also shifted by a year or so.


The census information conflicts with information provided by Edythe herself in Bandstand (a short-lived Tommy Dorsey publication from 1939). The Bandstand article says she was born in Bayonne (correct) but moved to Highland Park at the age of 2 months (possible if Harry died forcing Hannah to move in with relatives but the census of 1920 lists a residence of Bayonne). The 1930 census lists her as Edith M. Wright when her Christian name was Edythe H. Wright. Both Bandstand and the reminiscences of Pee Wee Erwin (Dorsey's trumpet player) speak of residences in Highland Park but the census states New Brunswick as the place of residence.


Further research is needed to document Edythe's activities between 1930 and 1935 and determine exactly how she became known to Tommy Dorsey. A February 8, 1938 article in MIT's newspaper The Tech says, "She hails from New Brunswick, New Jersey, where, prior to graduation, she was a leader in high school amateur theatricals and athletics." In Bandstand Edythe states that she went to St. Peter's Parochial School and St. Peter's High School (closed 2007) in New Brunswick before transferring to New Brunswick High School where she graduated in 1933. From there she spent time running a coffee shop with her sister (which one is unstated), studied drama at the New Jersey College for Women at New Brunswick (now a part of Rutgers) and spent her summers at Sea Girt, New Jersey. During the summer of 1935 she was asked by bandleader Frank Dailey to fill in for his vocalist Nancy Flake during an engagement at the Asbury Park Casino. She was heard by Tommy Dorsey's agent and despite her supposed dislike of being a band vocalist and lack of formal musical training, accepted a permanent job with Dorsey. She was twenty-one years old.


Big Band era
Edythe Wright's career spanned from September 1935 through September 1939. She made 121 studio recordings (of which 120 were issued on 87 discs) with Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra/Clambake Seven/California Ramblers, several recordings under a pseudonym for transcription purposes, was a fixture on radio (Jack Pearl Show, Raleigh-Kool), contributed arrangements to the Dorsey band. However, in September 1939 she left the Dorsey band and was immediately replaced by Anita Boyer and then Connie Haines.

Post-Dorsey era

Evidence exists that Edythe did at least one broadcast for the Ellery Queen radio series (#148 "The Frightened Star") broadcast on July 14, 1940 with a rebroadcast in October 1943. She apparently spent the war years in California and returned to New York/New Jersey in 1950 to manage Sy Oliver (advertised in Variety). Oliver at that time was affiliated with Decca Records.

Somewhere along the way she married John T. Smith. The date of the wedding is unknown. According to the U.S. Census of 1920 Smith was born in 1919 and resided in Milburn Township. The 1930 census lists his residence as Sea Girt. According to his U.S. Army file, he enlisted in the Army on October 6, 1941 and was assigned to Fort Dix with the rank of private. His civilian occupation(s) are listed as "Motorcycle Mechanic or Packer, High Explosives (Munitions worker, ammunition) or Toolroom Keeper or Stock Clerk or Stock Control Clerk". He served as a combat engineer in Alaska during World War II. Smith died in June 1981.


During the 1950s she was apparently a Democratic Committeewoman from Wall Township, New Jersey and according to Rose Shiffman directed amateur theatricals at the Chadwick Beach Club in the early 1960s. Her residence was 10 Pershing Avenue in Manasquan, New Jersey. She died from pancreatic cancer at the Point Pleasant Hospital on October 27, 1965. She left behind her husband and son as well as three brothers and three sisters. She was 51 years old.


According to her obituary she was laid out at the Meehan Funeral Home in Spring Lake Heights, a Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Denis Roman Catholic Church in Manasquan with burial taking place at St. Catherine's Cemetery in Spring Lake Heights.

Edythe Wright
All Music Guide Bio


tuning-woman
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

1925.
Edna Hicks, vocals
died in Chicago, IL, USA
Age: 29 (died at home in a Petrol fire accident).

1938.
Robert Johnson, guitar/songwriter
("King of the Delta Blues")
died in Greenwood, MS, USA
Age: 27
1939.
New York City's famous vaudeville house, The Hippodrome, closed it's doors.
There were several places called the Hippodrome around the USA and in England. In the USA, they were not theatres, per se, but rather designed for the wide variety of vaudeville, and Circus acts then so popular. (Incidentally, in 1905, The Hippodrome opened it's doors with the gala musical revue, A Yankee Circus on Mars.)
1971.
"Too Tight Henry" (Henry Lee Castle), guitar
died in Chicago, IL, USA
Age: 71.


1977.
Elvis Presley died in the bathroom of his home,
Gracelands, in Memphis, TN, USA.
Age: 42 (heart attack)
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Day Include:



1923


Paul Ash and his Granada Orchestra
  • Half-Past Ten (Sop Tim Bom)
  • My Thoughts Are You
  • Open Your Heart



Mamie Smith - My Mammy's Blues


1926



Victoria Spivey

  • Blue Valley Blues

1927





Texas Alexander - Farm Hand Blues

Original Memphis Five - How Come You Do Me Like You Do?

1929




Oliver Cobb and his Rhythm Kings - Hot Stuff

1932



Annette Hanshaw - It Was So Beautiful
Annette Hanshaw - We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye

LYRICS:

~Roy Bergere (m) Gene Austin (l)
Sat up till daybreak,
Couldn't even sleep, awake,
Oh, I sat up till daybreak.
All I could do was think
The way I've been treated would drive a woman to drink!
How come you do me like you do, do, do?
How come you do me like you do?
Why do you try to make me feel so blue?
I ain't done nothin' to you!
Oh, do me right or just let me be,
I can beat your doin' what you're doin' to me!
How come you do me like you do, do, do?
How come you do me like you do?
How come you do me like you do?
I ain't done nothin' to you!
Oh, if you rave I'll have to get you told,
I can change your temperature from hot to cold!
How come you do me like you do, do, do?
How come you do me like you do?
How come you do me like you do, do, do?
How come you do me like you do?



We thought that love was over

that we were really through
 I said I didn't love him that we'd begin anew
 and you can all believe me we sure intended to
 but we just couldn't say good-bye
The chair and then the sofa
 broke right down and cry
 the curtains started waving
for him to come inside
I tell you confidentially
 the tears were hard to hide
 and we just couldn't say good-bye
The clock was striking 12 o' clock
 it smiled on us below
with folded hands it seemed to say
we'll miss you if you go
So he came back and kissed me
and when I looked around
the room was singing love songs
and dancing up and down
now we are both so happy
because at last we found
that we just couldn't say good-bye
People in love are funny
mighty hard to explain
one minute they quarrel
then theyr'e back together again
take my case for instance
we had a little fuss
listen ladies and gentleman
Here's what happened to us
And you can all believe me
that we sure intended to
The chair and then the sofa
broke right down and cried
I tell you confidentially
the tears were hard to hide
The clock was striking 12 o' clock
It smiled on us down below
with folded hands it seemed to say
we're going to miss you if you go
so he came back and kissed me
and when I looked around
the room was singing love songs
and dancing up and down
now we're both so happy
because at last we found
that we just couldn't say good-bye


brought to you by...
~confetta


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