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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MATTY MATLOCK & THE RAMPART STREET PARADERS / JACK TEAGARDEN / PAUL WHITEMAN

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.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET / BETTY ROCHE


STARS OF JAZZ - JULY 23, 1956 - SHOW #5


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


The TV Guide copy for the fifth Stars of Jazz program was a brief two line listing that Dave Brubeck and his quartet were guests on the program, no mention of Betty Roche or the fact that Dave Brubeck had appeared on the cover of Time magazine and his quartet was perhaps the most popular jazz combo in America.  Dave was the second jazz artist to appear on the cover of Time, Louis Armstrong being the first to grace the magazine.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet was appearing at Zardi’s Jazzland for an extended engagement in the summer of 1956.  The members of the quartet during this period included Paul Desmond on alto sax plus Norman Bates on bass and Joe Dodge on drums.  Dave had recently signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and had three LPs in release when the quartet appeared on Stars of Jazz: JAZZ GOES TO COLLEGE (CL 566),  DAVE BRUBECK AT STORYVILLE, 1954 (CL 590) and BRUBECK TIME (CL 622).


Bobby Troup presented an abbreviated history of Dave Brubeck’s musical growth, noting that Dave had studied with the French composer, Darius Milhaud, at Mills College.  Dave first heard of Milhaud through his brother, Howard.  Howard had studied with Milhaud at Mills along with Pete Rugolo, the first male students to be admitted to Mills.  Howard’s enthusiasm for Milhaud was one factor that influenced Dave’s desire to study with Milhaud. Brubeck was also familiar with one of the first jazz-influenced classical works that Milhaud had composed, LA CREATION DU MONDE.  The fact that Milhaud liked and respected jazz was very important to Brubeck.  Brubeck first met Milhaud in 1942.  Howard was teaching at Mills at the time and was Milhaud’s assistant.  Dave was a student at College of the Pacific in Stockton and made an appointment for an interview with Milhaud.  He hitch-hiked from Stockton to Mills college for the interview and played a composition that he had written.  Milhaud asked Dave to play some jazz as well. Dave knew he would be entering the armed forces soon and resolved to study with Milhaud when he returned to civilian life after the war.

Betty Roche was best known as a featured vocalist with the Duke Ellington Orchestra where her version of TAKE THE “A” TRAIN helped to cement that tune in the jazz standard repertoire.  Miss Roche was backed on her Stars of Jazz appearance by William Austin on piano, James Aton on bass and Stan Levey on drums.  She performed Bobby Troup’s ROUTE 66 and IN A MELLOW TONE (announced by Bobby Troup as BABY YOU & ME).  Miss Roche had recently recorded an album as leader for Bethlehem Records and mentioned during her interview with Bobby that it should be available shortly.

At the close of Stars of Jazz on July 16th Bobby had announced that the first 200 viewers who wrote to the station would receive a copy of Woody Woodward’s JAZZ AMERICANA book.  The response was overwhelming and on this show Bobby apologizes that the supply of 200 copies quickly were spoken for but asks that viewers wishing the book secure a copy as it retailed for a modest seventy five cents and was widely available at bookstores and news agents.  The station was able to secure a sponsor for this show, Schweppes (the quinine tonic mixer) and the commercial breaks featured Commander Whitehead, playing himself, who always had a supply of Schweppes Tonic on hand when entertaining. See details at:

http://www.tvacres.com/admascots_commander_whitehead.htm



Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Pete Robinson and Joe Dodge













John Tynan (Down Beat Magazine) presents award to Buddy Collette as Bobby Troup looks on, photo by Dudley Blake.



Friday, September 21, 2012


SHELLY MANNE & HIS MEN / CORKY HALE


STARS OF JAZZ - JULY 16, 1956 - SHOW #4

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


The TV Guide copy for the fourth Stars of Jazz program noted that Shelly Manne was the featured instrumental jazz artist, no mention of Corky Hale or the artist who would appear on the program and execute a work of art while Shelly Manne & His Men performed BEA’S FLAT (a Russ Freeman composition) in the background. 

Edmond Kohn’s art work had recently been featured in a series of jazz albums released by Pacific Jazz Records as part of their “West Coast Artist” series that had been conceived by Dick Bock and William Claxton.  Other well known West Coast artists who were featured in the Pacific Jazz "West Coast Artist" series included Robert Irwin, Keith Finch, Sueo Serisawa, Vito (a Los Angeles based sculptor) and John Altoon.  A complete discussion of this series can be found at the Jazz Research blog devoted to a complete labelography of the Pacific Jazz / World Pacific line. 



Shelly Manne’s combo that appeared on this program had recorded two LPs for Contemporary Records that featured the original “Men” in the combo, Stu Williamson on trumpet and valve trombone; Charlie Mariano on alto sax; Russ Freeman on piano; Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Shelly on drums.  Shelly Manne & His Men performed a blues to open and close the show plus BERNIE’S TUNE and DOXY by Sonny Rollins in addition to BEA’S FLAT.  BERNIE’S TUNE was performed at a very fast tempo in an arrangement by Jack Montrose.

Bobby Troup’s script to introduce Corky Hale would be frowned upon today with its “oh gosh, girls can play jazz as well as men” tone (it was probably frowned upon then as well).  Bobby mentions several notable women in jazz before introducing Corky who plays A FOGGY DAY on harp accompanied by Howard Roberts on guitar followed by a rendition of IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU with Corky doing a vocal while backing herself on piano.  Corky would be on Stars of Jazz again in mid August when she accompanied Billie Holiday on piano.  When Lady Day appeared at Jazz City when in Los Angeles, Corky accompanied her at that gig as well.  Bobby Troup noted that Corky had recently cut an album for the Gene Norman Presents label.  Corky had also appeared on vinyl previously backing KItty White on a Pacific Jazz, Pacifica label release.

Stars of Jazz had been given a four week trial and would be cancelled if they could not find a sponsor to underwrite continued production of the show.  Executive Producer Pete Robinson approached Woody Woodward who had recently published a book on jazz with Peterson Publishing’s Trend Books division entitled JAZZ AMERICANA.  The publisher agreed to donate 200 copies to Stars of Jazz to help promote the book and hopefully to generate interest in the TV series by having viewers write to the station to receive one of the 200 donated copies of the book.  Bobby Troup ended the show with a plug for the book and announced that the first 200 viewers who wrote to the station would receive a free copy of the book.


Charlie Mariano, Russ Freeman, Shelly Manne


 

Corky Hale

CORKY HALE - A FOGGY DAY / IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU


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.


(some of the script pages are missing unfortunately)









Sunday, September 16, 2012

CHET BAKER QUINTET / THELMA GRACEN


STARS OF JAZZ - JULY 9, 1956 - SHOW #3

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


The display ad in the Los Angeles Times announcing the appearance of the Chet Baker Quintet on Stars of Jazz most likely reached a wider audience than the brief notice in TV Guide.  Once again TV Guide failed to note that a vocalist was appearing on the show, and the description was in error as the variations of OUT OF NOWHERE would be performed by Thelma Gracen, not the Chet Baker Quintet.  Thelma Gracen was the second songbird to appear on Stars of Jazz and had recorded an album for EmArcy Records in December of 1955.  Two of the songs she performed on that album were featured on the show, OUT OF NOWHERE and NIGHT AND DAY, backed by Bobby Hammack.

Chet's quintet opened with DIG, followed by one of Chet's vocal numbers, THE THRILL IS GONE.  The group closed out the show with a performance of TO MICKEY'S MEMORY.  

Stars of Jazz frequently utilized a back projection screen to illustrate a point being made by Bobby Troup.  One of Ray Avery's most well known photographs from this show is of Chet on his trumpet with a back projection of Bix Beiderbecke clearly seen on the back projection screen. Chet's method of playing and sound was often compared to Beiderbecke's.

Jazz City was located at 5510 Hollywood Boulevard at Western Avenue.  The list of jazz artists who appeared at Jazz City in the mid fifties was a veritable WHO’S WHO of the leading jazz musicians performing and touring at that time.  The Chet Baker Quintet was actually a sextet if you included Bill Loughborough on boobams, an instrument that he and David Buck Wheat invented.  The balance of the quintet included Phil Urso on tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons on piano, Jimmy Bond on bass and Peter Littman on drums. The photo of Chet playing the boobams was taken at Jazz City by Howard Lucraft.  Howard hosted the Jazz International meetings at Jazz City each week and was usually on hand other nights with his camera.

Stars of Jazz became a magnet for photographers who engaged in jazz photography.  Norman Abbott’s suggestion that the stage set be in dark tones and shadows hi-lighted by Vince Cilurzo’s lighting effects provided an ideal backdrop for still photography.  Ray Avery had missed the first two shows with Stan Getz / Kid Ory and Erroll Garner / Faith Winthrop, but was in attendance at virtually every show that followed.  The producers welcomed photographers as long as they obeyed some basic ground rules when the show was in live broadcast.


Bobby Troup and Thelma Gracen on Stars of Jazz


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