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Tuesday, September 25, 2012


STARS OF JAZZ - JULY 30, 1956 - SHOW #6

COMMENTARY © James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved

The TV Guide copy for the 6th Stars of Jazz program on July 30, 1956  was a generous eight line entry singling out the appearance of Jack Teagarden plus Matty Matlock and his Rampart Street Paraders.  It failed to mention the special appearance of Paul Whiteman who would reminisce with Jack Teagarden about the Whiteman band with the “Three T’s” — Charlie & Jack Teagarden and Frankie Trumbauer.  The show focused on the style of jazz that came to be known as Chicago style jazz with the Rampart Street Paraders being a prime exponent of that genre.

The five tunes performed on the show — STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE, DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS, LOVER, BASIN STREET BLUES and HINDUSTAN — were released on LP by Calliope Records in the late 1970s when that label had access to the original studio tapes that recorded all of the Stars of Jazz shows.

Bobby Troup promoted the newest release by Matty Matlock’s RAMPART STREET PARADERS on the Columbia Records label, DIXIELAND, MY DIXIELAND.  The members of the band were introduced: Matty Matlock’s Rampart Street Paraders: Clyde Hurley, trumpet; Abe Lincoln, trombone; Matty Matlock, clarinet; Eddie Miller, tenor sax; Stan Wrightsman, piano; George van Eps, guitar; Phil Stevens, bass; Nick Fatool, drums. Jack Teagarden also had a recent album released on the Capitol label, THIS IS TEAGARDEN, but Troup did not show the album cover or give it an endorsement.

The request to have viewers write to the station to request copies of Woody Woodward’s JAZZ AMERICANA created an avalanche of mail with over 8,000 pieces of mail delivered to the station in several USPS canvas mail sacks.  The advertising department at channel 7 took the sacks along when they visited their first choice of a potential sponsor, Anheuser-Busch, and the future of Stars of Jazz became secure with Budweiser Beer as the primary sponsor of the series.  The previous episode had been underwritten by the Schweppes (USA) who continued to be a secondary sponsor on this program with the famous spot featuring Commander Whitehead (a real person) promoting Schweppes Quinine Tonic.

Stars of Jazz received rave reviews in the press as noted in the composite flyer below:

The video clip below on YouTube presents the entire 30 minute show with Budweiser and Schweppes commercials included.  Criticism of the show was primarily directed at Troup’s initial delivery, his darting eyes as he followed the teleprompter, but Bobby soon became at ease in his role as host and his natural demeanor and affability won over audiences. The story lines were at times on the corny side, written to entertain, but much of the history and evolution of jazz would be communicated throughout the shows two and a half year run on ABC television.

(left: Norm Abbott, Pete Robinson, Paul Whiteman, Jimmie Baker, Bobby Troup and Jack Teagarden - right: Jack Teagarden and Paul Whiteman)

The production script for this show is missing from the Jimmie Baker archive.

The ABC network granted permission to the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service to distribute the Stars of Jazz shows to armed forces overseas via their transcription service. The AFRTS guidelines stipulated that all commercial content had to be removed from the program.  Thus the commercial spots for Budweiser Beer and Schweppes Quinine Water were removed by the transcription service.  The July 30, 1956 program was Show #1 in the AFRTS series, transcription master #AF-6254X dated July 19, 1957.

The photos that greatly enhance this presentation have been provided courtesy of the Ray Avery Estate.  The author would like to extend a most heartfelt thanks to Cynthia Sesso, Licensing Administrator of the Ray Avery Photo Archives.  Please note that these photos remain the property of the Ray Avery Estate and are used here with permission.  Any inquiries regarding their use, commercial or otherwise, should be directed to:  Cynthia Sesso at CTSIMAGES.

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