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There was a Czech wedding band there Ulanoff as described chick Webb's early years in his history of jazz in America and thereby has given us another view of jazz in New York in the 20s and also in the description of the economic difficulties of a jazz man and leader. He provides an indication of equally difficult times that many other jazz musicians have had to and still are undergoing. Chick Webb was born crippled. He was born on February 10th 99 in Baltimore Maryland into a poor family a family conscious family. Is the fact that he was crippled didn't seem to bother him and it very rarely bothered others. His first job was peddling papers when he was nine he was already following the parade bands around Baltimore and saving up for his own set of drums. When he finally got the drums he evolved a set of exhibitions which could be counted upon for a good Saturday night return in say a dozen dollies. The first study drumming job to come his way after he had worked the Chesapeake Bay excursion boats for some time was with a jazz all abandon the jazz although band wasn't much musically but it was important for two of its men. Chick Webb and John true hired the guitarist.
They remained close friends afterwards when true had left a New York chick wanted to go badly but his friend returned quickly out of luck. They decided to try again together. You know you like to hide luckier this time. Got an out of town job I worked around town I got to know Bobby Stark and that fine trumpet player appreciated chick Webb's drumming and got him a job in the band he played with Eddie go down when Check clicked he sent for true height. The two of them made $60 apiece a week a fortune said Jack who saved all but ten dollars of it weekly. Then the band broke up and Chick Webb was out of work for a year. Playing Sunday sessions at Small's Paradise in Harlem with Toby Hardwick Johnny Hodges Benny Conner and Duke Ellington Chick began to get around among the top flight musicians and he spent a lot of time together and when the Ellington sextet landed its Kentucky Club job Duke found an opening at the black bottom club for check to lead his own band. But Chick refused. He just wanted to play not lead. Johnny Hodges wouldn't hear of the refusal and checked found himself leading a
band. The first check my band was a quintet had on a good time. Hodges on alto Don Kirkpatrick piano and Bobby Stark trumpet. They played engaging relaxed jazz. After five months Ellington helped into another job at the paddock club this time with a payroll for eight. Now Williams came in on Tenet to stay with check for many years and a man named slats a fine trombone is joined up. This was nine hundred twenty eight. Check out his paddock Club Band and read music but it cut the Fletcher Henderson and King Oliver bands in one night battles of music at the newly opened Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. It should be limited to that. This was all over during his period of decline. The Web band impressed the listener so much that although it was booked for a year it played on and off of the ball room for ten there were changes during that important decade. But the quality of Chuck Webb's music on the Savoy stands remained constant no matter when he played elsewhere. There was a certain meaning for check in the bar room called the track because it looked like a racetrack and this was Chicks music go home. He left the bar room after his first year stayed away for almost two years before
coming back but after he came back he never left for such a considerable period again after some time on the road a 1928 chick in his band went to the Rose dance land and they were a success in New York. They study a year and a half until chick received an offer for a tried vaudeville to try flop. The band was badly presented in a setting that wasn't right for it. Webb wanted to go back to the Savoy which had refused the band after its road tour because Chick insisted on adding man. He struggled for more months than he liked to remember. Fletcher Henderson borrowed to hide in Bobby's stock for an audition and only two had returned. The band broke up but still check didn't give up. He had his choice of big bands to play with now and in Henderson any band he wanted but he wanted his own. Everybody recognized his drumming greatness check by this time recognized his own leading talent and he was determined to express that. A number of fine musicians recognize that leading talent to persuade a chick to work in front of them. Toby hideaway killed in Jefferson Elmer Williams on saxophones. Jimmy
Harrison a legendary trombonist Lewis Bacon who was hunted in Chad Collins on trumpets. Now my James on bass guitar. Kirkpatrick piano the new Chick Webb band booked was booked into the Roseland Ballroom where I did very well. After more than a year there chick went on the road again and club hot cloud Hopkins went in. Hopkins was a smash hit and the management insisted on his staying. Then he kind of joined chick Webb's band then left taking a number of hits man in check was discouraged and struggling again. His band was out of work for 17 months and very low in spirits. Then Jimmy Harrison died. The Savoy at that point hired Chick Webb in a 1930 he was safely ensconced once more at the big ballroom with one hundred and forty eighth Street and Lenox Avenue. Things began to break for Jackie when on the road once more with a hot chocolates review touring company. The band seemed really set for big important things with ineffective personnel. Fine arrangement arranging and the unique encouragement that security economic and spiritual can give. The next time she went back into the Savoy he went back for good. He went
back to Amman to build the best orchestra ever and he went back with a good band that got progressively better. Edgar Samson joined up on alto the saxophones consist of Peter Clarke who took most of the clarinet solos as well as lead alto Samson Alto and Omar Williams on tenor the trumpets where Ronald Jones lead Taff Jordan Sandy Williams on trombone a fixture with the band until chix death and when James Bays Joe Steel piano in true had a good time. Samson became a full time arranger for the band originals like don't be that way when dreams come true blue mine are stopping at the Savoy. Some of which he later did for Benny Goodman sprang from Samson's arranging and Chick was on his way. There's a Chick Webb band with chick on drums and clap hands. With. Hit. That.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. At an amateur night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem one Wednesday in 1934
you continues. Chuck Webb came down to see if anyone of genuine vocal ability might pop out his vocals were being handled in the quivering tenor made popular by the work of Orlando Robson with Claude Hopkins band. Man was Charlie Linton so checks out from some ordinary singing dancing and comedy until a nervous but personable girl came on to sing Judy a popular song that she knew the audience and she moved. He decided Ella Fitzgerald was the girl for his band and hired check brought out a home to live with him and his wife. He clothed her directed her life brought her along with the band. I think it was a full year before he allowed her to sing in public and build everything around her as the long sought at last found commercial attraction the band needed. There was a naturally gifted singer and one of the greatest in the history of jazz with an extraordinary feeling for singing the way a good jazz man plays improvising first rhythmically in later years melodically. She had a little girl's natural stage presence and great communicable warmth. Now if it's Gerald gave the final push that was needed to make the band a real success it soon
became one of its most successful initial records. Was this Ella Fitzgerald recording. I love my mom a little bit. It was not a thing. Do you wear make up when she's around. Oh yeah. Oh my love
and bring it back. Jack Webb died in 1939 after much pain. I went on to become perhaps the most musical of all singers in the history of jazz for emotional reasons there are some myself included who prefer Billie Holiday but I'm purely musical grounds. No one I believe has ever had the ear the beat the phrasing of Ella Fitzgerald and her uncanny evolution of the art of scat scene. The use of vocables mostly Vols rather than words so that as in a performance like this her voice is an instrument. I. Think. About it being.
Good to me. Do you get it that it oh that it would mean you. Know you. Did it and it did you do. Do you know that you know not enough. How long is unparalleled I believe in the musical
skill. Taste fullness of phrasing with which she handles a ballad. He finally has a remarkable recording of Ella Fitzgerald in performance.
There are many voices of the 30s and 40s of jazz significance. There was Leo Watson a
fantastically imaginative scat singer. One critic while slightly word tipsy called him the James Joyce of jazz. He did let us say make full use than any one of the stream of consciousness vocal technique here with Dickens and he combines his scat vocalisation with a deadly parody of the sword Jasmin like of the song sonny boy. You have been listening to the evolution of jazz recorded series prepared and produced by
Nat Hentoff under the auspices of Northeastern University and presented by the Lowell Institute cooperative broadcasting Council. The evolution of jazz was recorded in the Boston studios of WGBH FM. This is the national educational radio network.
The Evolution of Jazz
Episode Number
Jazz in the 30s and 40s, Part Two
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program looks at more jazz figures from the 1930s and 1940s, such as Lionel Hampton and Mary Lou Williams.
Series Description
Jazz historian Nat Hentoff presents a series that traces the history of jazz, from its musical and cultural roots to its contemporary forms. "The Evolution of Jazz" was originally broadcast from WGBH in 1953-1954, and was re-broadcast by the National Educational Radio Network in 1964.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Jazz musicians--United States--Biography.
Media type
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Host: Hentoff, Nat
Producer: Hentoff, Nat
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-32-27 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:20
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Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 27; Jazz in the 30s and 40s, Part Two,” 1954-05-14, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 27; Jazz in the 30s and 40s, Part Two.” 1954-05-14. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 27; Jazz in the 30s and 40s, Part Two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from