BIX: A Radio Program From Miami University Interviews of People Who Knew Bix
Audio of Interview of Hoagy Carmichael
Peter Lesley's Close-up on Bix Beiderbecke
An Interview of Jimmy McPartland An Interview of Norman Payne by Nick Dellow An Interview of Bill Rank and Gene Prendergast

An Interview of Irving Brodsky An Interview of Sylvester Ahola Bix Beiderbecke: Never the Same Twice
An Interview of Richard Sudhalter
An Interview of Joe Rushton


BIX: A Radio Program From Miami University

Description of Each Twenty Nine Minute Broadcast (copied verbatim from the pamphlet published to advertise the series.) Final Comments

   In my opinion, the nineteen tapes that make up BIX represent a national treasure which must be preserved. I checked the Library of Congress holdings, and, as far as I can ascertain, no copy of the tapes exists in their possession. I hope to investigate this question in detail in the near future with the purpose of having the Library of Congress designated as depository of this fantastic piece of American history and tribute to Bix. Suggestions are welcome.
    Lastly, a piece of trivia: the Wolverines' first campus dance job took place on January 25, 1924. They played at the junior prom at Miami University. Almost fifty years later, Jim Grover, as a beginning graduate student at Miami University, begun his formidable project simply entitled "BIX".

Addendum, 9/30/02. The programs are now available. Go to

Interviews of People Who Knew Bix

    The Michigan State University Voice Library possesses a number of sound tape reels of interviews of individuals who knew Bix Beiderbecke personally. In the interviews, the various individuals talk about their personal knowledge of Bix and relate their experiences and/ or some anecdote of interest. The descriptions which follow are copied from the entries in the World Catalogue database, accessible from university libraries and perhaps other public libraries.

Peter Lesley's Close-up on Bix Beiderbecke
       Terry, a Bixophile living in New Zealand, sent me a tape of a 1961 BBC program entitled "Peter Lesley's Close-up on Bix Beiderbecke." The Bix segment was broadcast as part of the "Jazz Records Request " program with Steve Race as the presenter. Terry tells me that in his programs, Steve Race "used to have invited guests talking about and playing records of jazz personalities." Evidently, Peter Lesley was one of the guests and he presented a special about Bix. Steve Race is an 80-year old English pianist, composer and broadcaster, and is still active.  Peter Lesley is/was a record producer. Terry recollects that the program was broadcast in August of 1961, perhaps to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Bix's death. Terry adds, "I feel that the chance should be given to pass this on rather than let it moulder away in my collection." Finally, Terry comments that the quote from Otis Ferguson (the author of the magazine article "Young Man With A Horn") at the end of the program illustrates beautifully that "Bix is alive."
       The program is now available on demand. Click

I am grateful to Terry Porritt for his generosity in sharing this unique document, which may well be the only one in existence, with Bixophiles around the world.

An Interview of Jimmy McPartland (uploaded Feb 23, 2004)
Richard "Dixie Dick" Kammeier had a traditional jazz program -Dixieland Brunch- on Tampa's community radio station, WMNF. On February 3, 1982, Dick interviewed Jimmy McPartland. A few months ago, Dick sent my a tape of the program. I uploaded two excerpts from the program.
1. Jimmy tells about Bix buying him (Jimmy) a cornet.
2. Jimmy tells about his recording of "In A Mist" for his "Shades of Bix Album." The recording follows the interview.

To listen to he interview, go to
and click on the link.

I am grateful to Dick for his gift of the tape of the program.

An Interview of Norman Payne (uploaded March 16, 2004)
Norman Payne was a British trumpet player who was strongly influenced, in his early career, by Bix Beiderbecke. Born in 1910, he started playing professionally in 1926. In 1928, he was a member of Fred Elizalde's band at the Savoy Hotel. There he met the bass saxophone player Adrian Rollini and his two buddies, Bobby Davis and Chelsea Quealey. In the late 1920s Norman Payne made recordings with Fred Elizalde, the New Mayfair Orchestra (Ray Noble), the Rhythm Maniacs, Spike Hughes, etc. British jazz researcher Nick Dellow interviewed Norman Payne around 1985. Nick kindly made portions of his interview available. Various segments of the interview can be heard by clicking on the following links. The files are in mp3 format. you will need an mp3 player (winamp, music match, etc) to listen to the files.
Norman Payne on Bix. 788KB
Norman Payne on Bill Challis. 466KB
Norman Payne on Chelsea Quealey. 1074 KB
Norman Payne on Fred Elizalde. 692 KB
Noman Payne on Adrian Rollini and Bix. 1082 KB.

To hear a couple of selections by Norman Payne, go to, scroll down and click on the link to WBIX # 29.

I am indebted to Nick Dellow for his gift of the mp3 files and for his permission to upload them here.

An Interview of Bill Rank and Gene Prendergast. (uploaded March 25, 2004)
The first Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Festival took place in 1972. Several of the musicians who had played with Bix were guests of honor at this event. Two of them, Bill Rank and Gene Prendergast, were interviewed by an unknown person.
The original tape with the interview was an open reel tape in its box with the notation "Davenport, Iowa." Marie Prendregast Brubaker, Gene's daughter, found the reel in a box in her mother's house and kindly sent it to me. Until I listened to it, we had no idea of its contents. At the end of the tape there is a short piano number in the Bix style. Marie tells me that the pianist is not Gene Prendergast.
To listen top the interview (about 15 minutes) click on the link You will need realplayer to listen to his file.

I am grateful to Marie Prendergast Brubaker for kindly sending me the tape and for her permission to upload it to the Bixography website.

An Interview of Irving Brodsky. (uploaded May 12, 2004)
Phil Schaap interviewed Irving Brodsky in the 24-hour Bix birthday broadcast over WKCR on March 10, 1992. Irving Brodsky, long-time pianist with the California Ramblers,  recorded several sides with Bix in 1930: Rocking Chair, Barnacle Bill the Sailor, Deep Down South, I Don't Mind Walking in the Rain and I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure.

An Interview of Sylvester Ahola. (uploaded May 24, 2004)
Brian Rust, the legendary British discographer, writer and collector, interviewed Sylvester Ahola in his radio program of May 24, 1981, over Capitol Radio, London, UK. To listen, click on the links:

I am grateful to Nick Dellow for kindly sending me a copy of the interview and for his permission to upload it.

Bix Beiderbecke: Never The Same Twice. (uploaded December 4, 2004)
Bix Beiderbecke was born on March 10, 1903. In March 2003, there were, throughout the world, several tributes to Bix - concerts, radio broadcasts, birthday celebrations.
On March 9, 2003, at 9:00 pm, WFIU, the radio station of Indiana University, broadcast a one-hour program about Bix properly entitled "Bix Beiderbecke: Never the Same Way Twice." As described in the WFIU website, the program was "a portrait of an American Jazz Pioneer in sound and story." The program was produced
and narrated by David Brent Johnson and had three guests who provided commentary: Richard M. Sudhalter, jazz writer, musician, historian; Pat Harbison, Indiana University School of Music faculty member and trumpeter; and Michael McGerr, cultural historian and Indiana University Associate Dean. To listen to the program click on the link

I am grateful to David Brent Johnson for kindly sending me a copy of the program and for his permission to upload it.

An Interview Of Richard Sudhalter. (uploaded Oct 1, 2008)
Richard Sudhalter was interviewed in London in the mid 70s. He talked about Bix and the New Paul Whiteman Orchestra.  43min 32sec

I am grateful to Malcolm Walton for kindly sending me a copy of the program and for his permission to upload it.

An Interview Of Joe Rushton. (uploaded Dec 4, 2010)
Bass saxophonist Joe Rushton was interviewed in the mid 1950s in his home in Silverlake, CA  by recording engineer Ewing Nunn.
What follows  is a brief biography of Joe Rushton (from Grove Music Online).

, Joe [Joseph Augustine, Jr.]

(b Evanston, IL, 1 Nov 1907; d San Francisco, 2 March 1964). American bass saxophonist. He took up bass saxophone in 1928, having previously played drums, clarinet, and other saxophones. In Chicago he led his own band until 1932 and performed with other bandleaders for the rest of the 1930s. During the early 1940s he worked with Jimmy McPartland and Bud Freeman and went to California as a member of Benny Goodman’s group (November 1942 – September 1943), with which he performed on the soundtrack to the film The Gang’s All Here (1943). Rushton settled in California, where he worked with the pianist and bandleader Horace Heidt (February 1944 – spring 1945) and made recordings both as a leader (1945, 1947) and as a sideman; his playing is well represented by Carolina in the Morning (1945, Jump 4), recorded by Floyd O’Brien’s State Street Seven. From 1947 to spring 1963 he collaborated with Red Nichols, recording, touring Europe, appearing in five Snader telescriptions (1950), and playing in the film The Five Pennies (1958). Rushton also recorded during this period with Louis Armstrong (1947) and alongside Matty Matlock and Eddie Miller, among others, in the Rampart Street Paraders (1954).

To listen to the interview, click on the following link     A better quality transfer is avialble in
I am grateful to Josh Rushton for his generosity in providing the mp3 file and for permission to upload it here. Josh tells me that Joe Rushton's birthdate given in the Grove Music Online biography is in error. The correct birthdate is April 19, 1907.

Return to the top  Return to home page   Return to Detailed Table of Contents


A Brief Biography  Articles in Magazines The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society
Bix's Musical Genius Video Tapes  Items of Special Interest
Biographies Audio Tapes Information of Related Interest
Chapters in Books Museums A Stamp for Bix in 2003
Scholarly Dissertations Miscellaneous Links to Related Sites
Obituaries Readers' Queries and Remarks Celebration of Bix's Musical Legacy

The Original 78's
Analysis of Some Recordings: Is It Bix or Not ?
Complete Compilations of Bix's Recordings
Tributes to Bix
Miscellaneous Recordings Related to Bix
In A Mist