Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Additions, Corrections & Updates

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Additions, Corrections & Updates

Article excerpt

Jazz knowledge is constantly changing, as new facts come to light every day; discographical data is never up-to-date, despite the great efforts of discographers such as IAJRC members, Tom Lord, Malcolm Walker and Dick Raichelson (to mention just three of many). The purpose of this column is to make additions corrections and updates to information previously appearing in the Journal.

Additions to Bubber Miley and Rudy Williams

By Tom Buhmann

After my 3-part portrait of James 'Bubber' Miley (IAJRC Journal vol. 47 No. 4, vol. 48 No. 1-2) and my article on the life and music of Rudy Williams (IAJRC Journal vol. 49 No. 1) I have received this interesting additional information:

Bubber Miley, IAJRC Journal vol. 48 No. 1, p. 22:

When I wrote this chapter I was not aware of Steve Lasker's article in VJM, Vintage Jazz Mart VJM 170, Autumn 2014, page 10 "The Duke, the 'Southern Syncopator ' and the Mysterious Record Label from 1925". I discovered that later, thanks to Mark Berresford. In his article, Steve Lasker sets the date for the fire in the Hollywood Club to December 16, 1924 and the reopening as The Kentucky Club to February 19, 1925. Steve Lasker also details that the singers and dancers in the initial revue at the rebuilt Kentucky Club were African American, but that white entertainers with Bert Lewis, who received top billing in ads, replaced them on March 18, 1925. The subject of Lasker's article is to discuss whether Duke Ellington accompanied Bert Lewis on a recording that was made during the spring of 1925 and that is beyond the scope of my Bubber Miley-portrait, but in the article Lasker states that Bert Lewis and Ellington worked together in the Club Kentucky from March 18 until early August 1925 and again from September 9 to October 22, 1925 and that does not match the information that I found about the Ellington band's New England jobs and other outside engagements during the same period.

Bubber Miley, IAJRC Journal vol. 48 No. 1, p. 23:

Steve Lasker has November 23, 1925 as the date where the Ellington band could return to the Kentucky Club stage after the failed engagement at the Cameo Club.

Steve Lasker's information also adds valuable information to the movements of the Ellington band in 1926. In his article, he establishes that on December 23, 1925 the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that 41 New York night clubs and speakeasies would be padlocked for prohibition violations, including the Club Kentucky. The order was carried out on March 22 1926 where the Kentucky Club was closed for 6 months pursuant to a court order and it did not reopen until September 25. The Ellington band must have worked elsewhere during this whole period and my text should therefore be amended accordingly.

A fellow collector pointed out to me, that if some of Bubber Miley's time away from Ellington in 1925-26 was spent as a member of Elmer Snowden's orchestra at the Bamville Club, it was hardly during the same period when Rex Stewart was Snowden's featured cornetist, but rather as Rex Stewart's replacement. Rex Stewart left Snowden to join the Fletcher Henderson band around April/May 1926, so following this line of thought, Bubber Miley's period with Snowden would be from then up until he rejoined Ellington in June. There is no documentation for these assumptions, but they sound convincing in my ears.

Bubber Miley, IAJRC Journal vol. 48 No. 2, p. 26:

In the Journal, vol. 48 No. 4 p. 55 Derek Coller quotes Richard Rains for the information that take 14 of Leo Reisman's Body And Soul was also issued on Victor.

Rudy Williams, IAJRC Journal vol. 49 No. 1, p. 18:

In my article on Rudy Williams, I neglected to mention that young Bob Inman discovered the Savoy Sultans shortly after their debut at the Savoy Ballroom on Labour Day 1937. According to his diary (Swing Era Scrapbook, The teenage diaries & radio logs of Bob Inman 1936-38, compiled by Ken Vail), he first went to hear them on October 31, 1937 and was as most others swept away by their swinging performance (page 277-78). …

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