Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Your Shouts from the Balcony

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Your Shouts from the Balcony

Article excerpt

Dear Editor,

An apology to Dorothy and Henry Nelson regarding my article on Helen Humes. The correct surname of her adopted niece and nephew on the West Coast was Nelson, not Williams. I must have been thinking of another friend in the Los Angeles community, Dorothy Williams.

* Robert Brackney

[Not to be confused with singers Dorothy and Hannah Williams, who cut 1926 sides in Chicago with the Ben Pollack Orchestra. -Ed.]

Dear Editor,

Thanks for the concluding part of Black British Swing but I should correct the notion therein that Soft Winds was not written by Jay McShann, but by Benny Goodman.

* Paul Oberdorfer

Dear Editor,

I want to thank the contributors to the June 2009 Journal for making the issue such a success! I can also say that about issues preceding it! Regarding several items in the issue: There is an unpublished photograph of Bix and his family assembled on the front stairs of Bix's boyhood home in Davenport, Iowa. I have not seen the photograph but it has been described to me. It is owned by the three Braren brothers. They are related to Bix through his mother's side. My understanding is the photo will remain private within the Braren family.

One of the brothers, Ken Braren, is an artist, and a designer of LP and book jackets. Ken worked with Paul Bacon for years, and one of his principal designs was the famous Thelonious Monk 'mock postage stamp' LP cover. Unfortunately, Ken no longer has the original artwork, which he says was about three feet high. It was prompted, in part, by the fact that Riverside owner, Bill Grauer, was a major stamp collector, with a special interest in stamps from pre-World War I Africa. As a promotional gimmick to market the Monk LP, sheets of stamps were printed up and stamps given away. Slightly larger than the conventional U.S. postage stamps of the time, they look just like real stamps, except their value is '33-1/3'. Some were mistakenly used as actual postage on mail, reportedly resulting in a visit from the FBI. The story of the stamps is featured in The American Philatelist, (June 1990, p.511).

In his letter in the June Journal, Tom Pletcher mentions some of his father's Bluebird recordings being issued in India. American Victor recordings would likely have been issued on the HMV label, while Bluebird issues would have been released on the now-rare The Twin label. The U. S. Library of Congress doesn't even have any copies. American artists issued on The Twin include Artie Shaw. Example is I Have Eyes/You're a Sweet Little Headache on catalog number Ft. 8665. This is the same as the (American) Bluebird pairing. The label has a bright yellow field with red logo of infant twins and red design elements. Typography is black. My thanks to IAJRC member, Jehangir Dalal, for providing me with a photocopy of the label. Mr. Dalal is a treasure of information about jazz, especially releases on Indian labels. This includes recordings by Bunny Berigan. He very kindly sent me a copy of a photograph of him standing with Jeff Atterton, Stanley Dance, and Harry Lim in front of the 47th Street Sam Goody in New York in 1972. Atterton worked at the 47th Street store, while Lim worked at the Third Avenue store. I used to encounter both of them while shopping at the respective stores.

In item MW/77 in the June Discographical Forum, Malcolm Walker cites the Hall of Fame label as a source for Gillespie-Parker recordings. Hall of Fame was an American label, most likely a bootleg from the 1960s or '70s that issued a number of albums taken from the Jazztone Society label and other labels. Some of the Hall of Fame albums originally derived from Urania through Jazz-tone and retain the same album names. Many of the albums have a generic cover featuring a Greek-style temple and the words 'Jazz Greats'. The label has a yellow field with black type. One can find quite a few of these on E-bay. Some Jazztone albums also were issued on the American Recording Society (ARS) label, but where licensed. …

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