Eddie Lang(under construction)
Paul Mertz              
Bud Freeman (under construction)
Doc Ryker
Gene Prendergast (under construction)
Vic Moore
Adrian Rollini
Sylvester Ahola
Goldkette Family

    In this section, I will provide information about the musicians who played and recorded with Bix. I will include, whenever possible, biographic and discographic information,  photographs, and any other relevant material, mostly previously available but, occasionally, newly discovered.

Eddie Lang

     Eddie Lang was born Salvatore Massaro on October 25, 1902 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eddie Lang, in the words of Richard Hadlock (Jazz Masters of the Twenties, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 1965), "working without precedent or predecessors, virtually wrote the book on jazz guitar in the twenties."
    Eddie's association with Joe Venuti is legendary, but he also stood on his own as a superb musician of impeccable taste. He was in high demand as an accompanist, most notably, he was with Bing Crosby beginning in 1931 and ending with his premature death in 1933. He also accompanied, among others, the Boswell Sisters, Annette Hanshaw and Bessie Smith. During his too brief career, Eddie Lang was associated with the orchestras of Jean Goldkette, Red Nichols, Roger Wolfe Kahn, Paul Whiteman, the Dorsey Brothers and, last but not least, Frank Trumbauer. He was present in most of  Bix and Tram recordings, and his work in the immortal "Singin' the Blues" and "I'm Coming Virginia" is of the highest quality and creativity. Eddie Lang was one of the musicians, along with such other jazz giants as Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Pee Wee Russell and Bud Freeman, chosen by Bix Beiderbecke for the last recording session under his name on September 8, 1930. Eddie Lang was also there on September 15, 1930 when Bix, with Hoagy Carmichael and his Orchestra, cut his last two records.
    The plaque dedicated to Eddie Lang is located in South Philadelphia, in the neighborhood where Eddie Lang grew up. The photograph of the plaque is by Michael "Hawkeye" Herman.

I thank Enrico Borsetti for calling my attention to the photograph. I am grateful to Michal "Hawkeye" Herman for kindly giving me permission to post the photograph.
This brief account is to be followed by a more in-depth treatment in the future.

Medical Report on Lang's Operation.
    David L. Mandell, MD from the Department of Otolaryngology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, U.S.A. published an article entitled "Jazz and Otolaryngology: The Death of Guitarist Eddie Lang." The reference is Laryngoscope, Volume 111(11), November 2001 , pp 1980-1983. The article provides a little biographical information about Eddie Lang and then analyzes the circumstances surrounding the operation that resulted in his death. To see the complete article click the link.

I learned about the existence of this article from a post by Robert Greenwood in the Yahoo Hot Jazz discussion group.

A Website Totally Dedicated to Eddie Lang.
    Mike Peters,  jazz historian and musician (as a guitarist, he has worked with Joe Venuti, Bob Wilber and the Smithsonian Jazz Repertory Company) has launched a website totally dedicated to Eddie Lang, The url is
The site consists of several pages such as biography, links, etc. One page is entitled "Sessionography" and so far [as of Nov 1, 2003] the years 1923 and 1924 have been completed. Additional pages are under construction.
Update: Dec 2, 2006. The site is inactive.

An Article About Eddie Lang in the March 1956 South Philadelphia Monthly. A Robbins Folio.
Article:   Page 1.  Page 2.
Folio.  Front.  Back.

Thanks to Stephen Hester for kindly sending the scans.

An Article About Eddie Lang in the March 15, 1958 Saturday Evening Post.
Page 1.  Page 2.  Page 3.
Thanks to Stephen Hester for kindly sending the scans.

Paul Mertz
    Paul Mertz participated in the January 26, 1925 recording session of  Bix Beiderbecke and His Rhythm Jugglers, the historic session that brought us the immortal "Davenport Blues". Paul Mertz also appeared in several other recordings of Bix with the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, and in the February 4, 1927 session where Bix and Tram recorded the seminal jazz classsic "Singin' The Blues". The silent 16 mm film of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra in its 1926 Eastern tour is sometimes known as the Paul Mertz film because he was given a copy of the film by Edith Horvath, the sister of Charlie Horvath who actually owned the original film. Stills from the film appear in Man and Legend and in The Leon Bix Beiderbecke Story through the courtesy of Paul Mertz and Edith Horvath. Paul Mertz was present on April 2, 1975 at the unveiling of the plaque at 1600 Broadway, the building where the Cinderella Ballroom was located. Clearly, Paul Mertz is an important figure in Bix's lore.
    Paul Madeira Mertz was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on September 1, 1904. Paul joined the Goldkette organization in 1923 and left in February 1927 to join Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians. Between March 1929 and 1933, Paul was with several bands -Irving Aaronson' Commanders, Red Nichols, and Horace Heidt. Beginning in 1933, Paul was an arranger for some of Hollywood's major studios, namely, Columbia, MGM and Paramount.
   Tom McIntosh published an article in the April 23, 1972 issue of the Los Angeles Times reporting his interview of Paul Mertz. [Incidentally, Tom Mc Intosh, a serious Bix fan, was involved with Lawrence Kersta in voice prints analyses of Bix's recordings and of recordings with Bix "sound alikes". This was reported in the liners for the LP album "It Sounds Like Bix" (Broadway # 104) and in the February 27, 1972 issue of the Los Angeles Times.] Perhaps the most significant quotes from the article with the report of Mertz's interview are the following.
1. "Why, he had a wonderful, warm home life," said Mertz. "He was a happy, relaxed, easygoing guy."
2. "He [Mertz] is working on a musical now, based on the life and times of Bix Beiderbecke (Bix Beiderbecke, Superstar?). "A couple of young fellows from one of the studios came out a while back," he said. "They wanted to do a movie on Bix -not a travesty like 'Young Man With A Horn,' but a serious film. Anyhow, one of their superiors killed the project when he found out there wasn't any real love interest in Bix's life, that all he cared about was drinking and playing music
3. "He sent me homemade tapes in which he played three of Bix's fine piano compositions and one of his own."
To see the complete article, kindly scanned by Rich Johnson, click here.
I am happy to report that in 1972 Rich Johnson and Jim Arpy were given a tape by Paul Mertz. In the tape, Paul Mertz plays Bix's compositions (including Davenport Blues), some Jean Goldkette, one of his own compositions, some Eastwood Lane and Hurricane. To listen to the tape, click here.
I am grateful to Rich Johnson and Jim Arpy for a copy of the tape and for their permission to upload it in this site.
I thank Jean-Pierre Lion for his generous gift of a copy of the article of the Los Angeles Times of April 23, 1972.

Recordings of Paul Mertz with Bix.
January 26, 1925, Toddling Blues,  Bix Beiderbecke and His Rhythm Jugglers.
January 26, 1925, Davenport Blues, Bix Beiderbecke and His Rhythm Jugglers.
January 28, 1927, Proud Of A Baby Like You, Jean Goldkette And His Orchestra.
January 28, 1927,  I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover, Jean Goldkette And His Orchestra.
January 31, 1927, I'm Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now, Jean Goldkette And His Orchestra.
January 31, 1927, Hoosier Sweetheart, Jean Goldkette And His Orchestra.
February 1, 1927, Look A t The World And Smile, Jean Goldkette And His Orchestra.
February 1, 1927, My Pretty Girl, Jean Goldkette And His Orchestra.
February 3, 1927, A Lane In Spain, Jean Goldkette And His Orchestra.
February 4, 1927, Trumbology, Frank Trumbauer And His Orchestra.
February 4, 1927, Clarinet Marmalade, Frank Trumbauer And His Orchestra.
February 4, 1927, Singin' The Blues, Frank Trumbauer And His Orchestra.
Paul Mertz on "Remembering Bix" by Ralph Berton. (uploaded Sep 24, 2005).

Following the publication of Leonard Feather's review of  Berton's book in the April 7, 1974 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Paul Mertz sent a letter to the editor. Mertz commented on several aspects of  Feather's review.

1. Feather wrote "Berton brings a picture which, though fictionalized to a degree, offers a perceptive insight into the Jazz Age from the perspective of Beiderbecke, Berton and others similarly alienated." Mertz comments on the phrase "fictionalized to a degree." He writes, "That phrase is a pregnant one, best assessed by those of us who personally knew and associated with him." "Fictionality tends to thrive when reminiscences must surmount a 40-year interim, and it surely does in this book." "The purport of the title of the work is misleading. More apropos (sic) would have been, "A Hagiography of the Berton family"; and, possibly, subtitle, "Its help in the transfiguration of Bix." "Also, sporadically, there is "speculative" analysis of the Beiderbecke character from womb to tomb."

Paul Mertz also wrote a review of Berton's book and sent copies to several of his friends. Here it is, in its totality through the courtesy of Tom Pletcher.

"Ralph Berton's book on Bix Beiderbecke compares favorably to that of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Both books are based on pipedreams.

Mr. Berton has talent as a writer, but shows inability to do any honest research into his subject. Mr. Berton, aside from possibly three interviews (and one of these claims he was misquoted!), relies on books that can be found at the nearest public library.

Perhaps this book should have been retitled to deal solely with the sexual activities of the Berton family? There can be no explanation as to why Mr. Berton has sought to drag down the name of Bix Beiderbecke to that low level. It is sensationalism, alone, that Mr. Berton offers rather than a factual view of Bix's life. Does Mr. Berton need a buck that badly?

What I can determine is that Mr. Berton has only a passing knowledge, at best, of what Bix Beiderbecke was doing during his professional career, and absolutely no knowledge of what Bix was doing in his adolescent years.

Where does one start to identify the mistakes? When an author is clearly in doubt as to his facts in his book, as Mr. Berton is, an attempt to try and list the mistakes would take more time that I care to devote. For the record, I was less than half-way through the book and had stopped counting the mistakes at twenty-five.

Mr. Berton would have the reader believe that as a youth of 13 years, (though, by his own admission, many thought that he looked eleven years old), he palled around with Bix, who was then 21. The constant reminders to the reader of how he amazed Bix by his vast knowledge of a variety of subjects, became increasingly hard to swallow.

Particularly intriguing was Mr. Berton's account of Bix's passing in Queens General Hospital. Yes, it was sad to read the account. Sad because it never happened that way! Bix died in his rooming house. A simple bit of research could easily have established this fact.

There are many injustices toward the Beiderbecke family, including the incorrect spelling of Bix's father's name. Any information about the family woul have been easy to come by for there are many Beiderbeckes still living, including Bix's sister Mary, and they could have supplied correct information. But agin, that would mean doing a bit of research, and that would only get in the way of prefabrications.

Mr. Berton focuses the book in the summer of 1924 and the days that the Wolverine Orchestra spent at Gary, Indiana. It is undersstandable how, at that tender age, he was confused on how his brother, Vic Berton, could have been the drummer then with the band, while they still retained their own drummer, Victor Moore. Mr. Berton solves that mystery by alternating the two on drums. Amazing! Even goes so far as to identify a photo (# 6, sandwiched between pages 240 & 241) incorrectly to support his "theory." The man identified as Vic Moore (#2) is Min Leibrook. Give a closer look. Where was Vic Moore? On vacation during the Gary engagement. Who said so? Vic Moore, himself. (By the way, on the opposite page, that is Sylvester "Hody [sic]" Ahola with the trumpet, not Howdy Quicksell, as identified. Howdy played the banjo.)

Mr. Berton falls repeatedly into the traps that have snared all past mythical accounts on Bix's life. This is due to his heavy reliance on books that have previously been proven incorrect in their attempts to deal with Bix. Some of his mistakes are so unforgivable that it reduces his stature to that of a neophyte in the realm of the Beiderbecke world.

It is obvious that any effort toward true research would have caused Mr. Berton's pipedreams to burst, and like Walter Mitty, he preferred to live in a dream world -not the world of reality. Too bad, for Bix deserves so much better than having a purple accounting of his life as written by Mr. Berton."

I am grateful to Tom Pletcher for sendding me the copy of Mertz's review of Berton's book.

Interview of Paul Mertz by Tim Fitak.

On March 18, 1984, Tim Fitak interviewed Paul  Mertz in his home in Hollywood Hills, California. To listen to the interview, generoulsy provided by Linda and Tim Fitak, click on the following links.
Interview of Paul Mertz by Tim Fitak. Part 1. (46.54 min) (real player needed)
Interview of Paul Mertz by Tim Fitak. Part 2. (29.58 min) (real player needed)

The first photograph discussed in the interview is from February 1923. It was kindly sent to me years ago by Rickey Bauchelle, Doc Ryker's daughter. I could not scan the whole photo, so I did it in two pieces.  Rickey also sent me a copy of the back of the photo with the names of  the musicians.

Photo of  the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, February 1923.
1. Front: Left justified.
2. Front: Right justified.
3. Back of Photo with signatures of musicians.

The Compositions of Paul Mertz.
The ASCAP website lists tens of compositions by Paul Mertz, mostly "cues" for Hollywood films. The tunes composed by Mertz are,

I'm Glad There is You

The lattter is Mertz's most successful composition. It was co-composed with Jimmy Dorsey, published in 1941, and recorded by the following artists.


As far as I know, "Erratiquue" was never recorded.

"Hurricane" was recorded several times in 1926 and 1927 by various bands that included Red Nichols and Miff Mole.

09/14/26 The Redheads
11/10/26 Miff and Red Stompers 
01/26/27 Miff Mole  and His Litttle Molers
03/03/27 Red Nichols and His Five Pennies
05/16/27 The Six Hottentots

Paul Mertz composed this tune in Paris in 1928. Mertz was in Paris at the time with the Fred Waring Orchestra. According to Warren K. Plath, writing in 1977 in the liners for the LP album "Lud Gluskin et son Jazz, Paris-Berlin, 1928-1932, Vol II, Wolverine 2, Paul Mertz "presented  Gluskin with his arrangement of hios composition which is  basically a tribute ro Bix's piano chording. Play this one sometime alongside of 'In A Mist'."
Lud Gluskin recorded the tune in Berlin on January 16, 1929; it was released as Homocord 4-3022. There was a typographical error in the title given on the label: "Enuli", instead of "Ennui," described as a slow-fox composed by  Paul Mertz. The musicians in the recording were Eddie Ritten and Faustin Jeanjean (t); Emile Christian (tb); Gene Prendergast Georges Charon, Maurice Cizeron, Serge Glykson (reeds); Spence Clark, bsx); Frred Zierer (vn0; Paulie Freed (p);Howard Kennedy(bj); Arthur Pavoni (bb); Bart Curtis (d)' Lud Gluskin (lead). [Information from "Lud Gluskin, A Bio-Discography" by Horst Bergmeier and Rainer E. Lotz.]  "Ennui" was included in the LP album Wolverine 2, and in an Australian CD, Lyric CD73 . A real audio streaming file is available here.
On March 18, 1984, Tim Fitak interviewed Paul  Mertz in his home in Hollywood Hills, California. Paul Mertz recorded the tune on piano and provided some comments. Through the generosity of Linda and Tim Fitak, a copy of the  tape of the interview is available here.

Note added September 30, 2005. Rob Roth informed me of an additional composition by Paul Mertz entitled "Good Bye Blues." Here are the cover and first page of the sheet music. I thank Rob for sending the scans.

The following items were kindly scanned and sent by Rich Johnson. Uploaded 12/08/2006

Invitation to Delta Sigma Upsilon Fraternity "Leap Year" Dance."
The dance took place on February 29, 1924 at the Lochmoor Golf Club in Detroit. The music was provided by "Mertz-Dorsey." Click here to see the image.

Information about Mertz's activities with Fred Waring. Click here.

Letter form Paul Mertz to Ben Denison.
Page 1.
Page 2.
Page 3.
Page 4.

Ben Denison is the painter of  "Rehearsing Davenport Blues," 
the Rhythm Jugglers in the legendary January 26, 1925 recording session at the Gennett studios in Richmond, Indiana

Additional information uploaded on Dec 8, 2010.

From the 1910 US Census, Reading, PA. Living at 502 North Ninth Street
Jacob M. Mertz, Head, age 35, born in Pennsylvania, baker
Anna Mertz,  wife, age 33, born in Pennsylvania
Paul M. Mertz, son, age 5, born in Pennsylvania
Earl M. Mertz, son, age 2, born in Pennsylvania
1920 US Census The family lives at 1019 Tenth Street and Jacob's occupation is real estate broker.
Paul Mertz was with Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians from 1927 to 1929. It is well known that Mertz went to France with Waring. Here is the passenger list showing Mertz returned to the US on the SS Ile de France, sailing from Plymouth on Jul 12, 1927. and arriving in New York on Jul 17, 1928.

Note that Mertz gave his address as c/o Fred Waring, Tyrone, PA. Some of the other passengers are musicians in the Waring band, banjoist Fred Buck, trumpeter Nelson Keller. Waring appeared on the next page of the manifest, having sailed from Le Havre on Jul 11, 1927. While in France, Waring's Pennsylvaniasns appeared in the luxurious Les Ambassadeurs Restaurant and in the prestigious concert hall La Salle Pleyel.
Mertz went to Bermuda with Waring's Pennsylvanians in Dec 1927. He returned on the SS Fort St. George on Dec 29, 1927.

<>Bud Freeman  (under construction)
    Bud Freeman participated only in three recording sessions with Bix, and all took place in 1930, in the twilight of Bix's short life. Nevertheless, each session brought us magnificent performances by Bix. The May 21, 1930 session with Hoagy Carmichael and His Orchestra brought us he explosive solo in "Barnacle Bill, the Sailor". The September 8, 1930 gave us the gift of one of Bix's most poignant performances in "I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure". From Bix's last recording session of September 15, 1930 with Hoagy Carmichael and His Orchestra we have ten measures of highly inspired Bix in "Georgia On My Mind." The next year, on May 1, Freeman is part of the pick up group (that included Bix), under the leadership of Benny Goodman, that played for a house party at Princeton University Cottage Club.
    Although the direct association between Bud Freeman and Bix had come towards the end of Bix's  life, Bix's influence on Freeman goes back much earlier. But before Bix, Bud Freeman was inspired by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band.
    Lawrence "Bud" Freeman was born in Austin, at the time a suburb of Chicago, on April 13, 1906. Music was all around Freeman: he grew up in a musical family and his high school buddies, the famous or infamous Austin High School Gang  -which included Jimmy and Dick McPartland, Frank Teschmacher, and Jim Lannigan - were nuts about jazz. The members of the Austing High Gang were steady customers of  the Spoon and Straw, a local soda parlor. There was a victrola and many records in the establishment and the youngsters used to play them. One afternoon in 1922, they came upon a record by the Friar's Society Orchestra, later to be known as the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. "We were so excited by that first record that we decided that afternoon to become jazz musicians and form our own band, which Dick later named the Blue Friars.'" writes Bud Freeman in his book "Crazeology: The Autobiography of a Chicago Jazzman", as told to Robert Wolf, University of Illinois Press, 1989. Bud Freeman and his musical friends went to the Friar' Inn to hear the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. In 1923, Bud Freeman and his high school buddies started frequenting the Lincoln Gardens. Freeman writes, "After that we never went back to the New Orleans Rhythm Kings because when we heard the King Oliver band, we knew we were hearing the real thing for the first time. At this point, Bud Freeman took up the C-melody sax. His progress was much slower than that of his fellow Austinains: Tesch, the McPartlands and Lanigan had learned the violin. By the summer of 1924, Bud became good enough on the C-melody sax that, with the help of drummer Dave Tough, he got a job playing at a roadhouse in Sheybogan, Wisconsin.
    In 1925, Bud met Bix. "I was nineteen when Harry [Gale] took me to hear Bix, who had just left the Wolverines and was sitting in with Charlie Straight's band at the Rendezvous on the near North Side. It was a band that played for dancing and a floor show; all the big stars used to go there. As Harry and I entered the club I saw Bix with his cornet about fifty feet away. Our eyes seemed to meet. Here I was facing this great genius I so idolized. Harry knew him, so we went backstage after the last set and waited for the band to walk off. That night I had one of the great thrills of my live. I told Bix how excited I was to meet him, that I had heard every record he had made. He sat down at the piano and started to play compositions by Debussy and Eastwood Lane, his favorite. Then he played some of his own. I rattled on, telling him how great I thought his compositions were, almost embarassing him with my compliments." "If Bix had lived longer he would have become one of American greatest composers. He had a love of the great composers of the day, such as Ravel, Holst, Schoenberg, and Debussy. They were a big influence on Bix, and you can hear their influence in his playing of "In A Mist" and "Flashes" and "In The Dark." It was Bix who got David Tough and me into listening to them. They gave us a much better feeling for jazz."
    Louis Armstrong was also an importance influence on Bud Freeman. Bud and his buddies regularly went to the Sunset to hear Louis and Earl Hines with the Dickerson band. Bud Freeman writes, "I was so involved in listening to jazz that I can't tell you what life was like in those days. We did not live as other people did. Music was twenty-four hours a day. When we weren't performing, we were listening. Whenever a new Bix or Louis record came out we would have a party. Some guy would serve wine and food at his parents' home and we would discuss the record, but not as critics would. We talked about phrases. We would sing a phrase and play it over and over. We were learning, but we were learning through feeling. No one was invited who did not feel it."
    In the summer of 1925, Bud Freeman was playing tenor sax, the instrument that would bring him fame. In 1926,  the Austin High Gang called themselves Husk O'Hare's Wolverines. Jimmy McPartland was the leader and the musicians were Dave Tough (drums), Tesch (clarinet), Floyd O'Brien (trombone), Jim Lanigan (tuba, bass), Dave North (piano), Dick McPartland (banjo) and Bud Freeman (alto sax). They got a job at the White City Amusement Park on the South Side. Bud Freeman writes, "Bix and Pee Wee had come to hear our band at White City because they had heard so much about it. We, of course, were honored to have them there. Dave Tough was playing in our band and they absolutely flipped over us. They invited us to go hear them at Hudson Lake. We left on a Saturday night and got there on Sunday morning. Bix and Pe Wee were rooming together in a lake cabin. When we got there, we banged on their door and when nobody answered we walked in. There they were, completely passed out; they had been drinking pretty heavily. We shook Pee Wee and he just sort of woke up swinging; he thought somebody was attaciking him. A few minutes later we were jamming. We slept that morning and then went with them to their afternoon session at the ballroom. It was amazing how beautifully they played with their terrible hangovers. I suppose they had their little drinks sitting up on the bandstand, but there was one thing about Bix: he might have had a few drinks just to nurse his hangover but I do not recall ever seeing him play drunk. He played so magnificently all the time."
    We move to 1927, the year where Bud Freeman as part of the McKenzie-Condon Chicagoans recorded for posterity "Nobody's Sweetheart", "Liza" and "China Boy." Bud Freeman tells how Red McKenzie and Eddie Condon met. The Paul Whiteman Orchestra had an engagement during the week of November 7-13, 1927 at the Chicago Theater. Every night, Bix, the Dorsey brothers and a few Chicago musicians jammed in Sam Beer's My Cellar at 222 North State Street (the Three Deuces). After a day or two, as the word got out of what was going on, the place was mobbed by musicians and public alike. Among the musicians who showed up were Red McKenzie and Eddie Condon. Bud Freeman writes, "After he met Condon at 222 North State McKenzie started hanging around with the Austin High Gang... Not long after that we made our first recording for OKeh Records. It was Red who was responsible for getting us that date. He had a lot of nerve. He went up to OKeh records and insulted one of the producers and got us a recording session. It was Condon's date, but McKenzie arranged it. The group was called McKenzie-Condon Chicagoans, with Eddie on banjo, Joe Sullivan on piano, Jim Lannigan on bass, Jimmy McPartland on cornet, me on tenor, Teschmacher on clarinet and Gene Krupa on drums...on the strength of my solos on  "Nobody's Sweetheart", "Liza" and "China Boy" for the OKeh date, I got an offer to go with Ben Polack's band."
    In January 1928, Bud Freeman joined the Ben Pollack Orchestra in New York. The other musicians in the band were Jimmy McPartland (cornet), Al Davis (trumpet), Benny Goodman (clarinet), Harry Goodman (bass), Dick Morgan (guitar), Gil Rodin (alto sax), Ben Pollack (drums), Glenn Miller (trombone), Vic Breidis (piano). Of course, Bud played tenor sax and the venue was  the Little Club, described as a "posh night spot." In July 1928, Bud was invited by George Carhart to join a band to play in the Ile de France on her maide voyage from New York to Le Havre.  Bud took the job, mostly to get to Paris and see his old buddy Dave Tough who was playing in L'Abbey, an Argentinian restaurant, with a band led by Danny Polo, a clarinet player who had been with the Jean Goldkette orchestra as a temporary replacement for Don Murray. (Danny Polo plays the 32-bar clarinet solo in the legendary reocrding of "My pretty Girl"). Bud did not stay long in Paris. Within a short time he was back in Chicago where he recorded for OKeh Craze-O-logy. For the next several years, Freeman kept moving back and forth between New York and Chicago, "working in dime-a-dance joints and theater pits, in gangster-owned clubs and speakeasies." When in New York, Bud occasionally played in Ivy League Schools. To make ends meet, he made recordings when he would be called. Bud participated in the 1930 sessions of Hoagy Carmichael at the recommendation of Bix and at the Bix Beiderbecke session that brought us "I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure". Freeman claims that, on the first recording session, "We did a recording of "Stardust". "Stardust", of course, became a classic and Hoagy eventually must have becoema millionaire through it. But we played it at the wrong tempo. Everybody in the band said, "Get rid of that stupid tune," and we threw it out.Six months or a year later, Isham Jones, the gfamous dance band leader, recorded it as a ballad and it became a tremendous hit abd there wasn't a band in that era that didn't play it." There is no independent documentation to support this claim. The comprehensive discographies "Jazz Records" and "American Dance Bands" by Brian Rust provide no support for that claim. Unissued recordings are invariably listed, but there is no listing of an unisssued recording of Stardust in any of the three recording sessions of Hoagy Carmichael in 1930. Freeman also claims that at this point, Bix, the Dorsey brothers, Joe Sullivan, Gene Krupa, Dick McDonough and Adrian Rollini started rehearsing with the intention of going to Europe. dsx

Leonard Stanley "Doc" Ryker
    Doc Ryker is one of only two musicians (the other was Howdy Quicksell) who was with the legendary Jean Goldkette Orchestra from its inception in 1922 until it was disbanded in 1927. During these years, Doc played with several famous jazz and dance band musicians such as Steve Brown, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Eddie Lang, Bill Rank, Frank Trumbauer, Joe Venuti, and, last but not least, Bix Beiderbecke. I venture to guess that, if I were to ask any Bixophile for a list of the three most important Bix recordings of all times, the majority would include "Singin' the Blues", "I'm Coming Virginia", and "Clementine" in their lists. It turns out that Doc Ryker played with Bix in two of these seminal recordings, "I'm Coming Virginia" and "Clementine.".
    Thus, Doc Ryker should be viewed, if only for historical reasons, as an important jazz musician when it comes to the subject of Bixology and jazz and dance bands from the 1920's. But he was much more than that. By all accounts, Doc Ryker was an accomplished musician who played excellent lead alto saxophone; a perceptive man who defined, succinctly and accurately, Bix's style as "sweet-hot"; a principled individual who did not compromise his artistic integrity: "We were strictly a musician's band," Doc Ryker told writer Amy Lee in 1940. "We played the way we wanted to, and didn't care whether the people liked it or not. The boys just couldn't - and wouldn't - play hokum." (Richard M. Sudhalter, "Lost Chords: White Musicians and Their Contribution to Jazz, 1915-1945, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 317).
    I was very fortunate to have met Grace "Rickey" Bauchelle, the daughter of Doc Ryker, and her husband, Don Bauchelle, at the 1999 Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival in Davenport, Iowa. Rickey and Don have been very gracious and generous : they have shared with me a lot of the material and documentation that Norma Ryker, Doc's wife and Rickey's mother, had kept as part of the family's precious possessions. I, in turn, and with their permission, am pleased to share with the readers of the Bixography web site some of the material Rickey and Don kindly gave me.

    Transcription (verbatim) of a Five Page Document Hand Written by Norma Ryker in the 1970's.

                                 "Doc" Ryker

    "Doc" was born (on February 3, 1898, editor's addition) at Manville, Indiana, a suburb of Madison, Indiana, and "Rykers Ridge" on the Ohio River. Parents were Herbert H. and Ida Jones Ryker. They moved to Indianapolis in "Doc's" early school years, and he attended # 57 grade school, Manual Training High School, Butler University, and was admitted to Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Shortly after W. W. I was declared, he enlisted, and left College.
    His outfit was soon sent to Fort Shelby at Hattiesburg, Miss. where he was made Company Bugler, as he had studied cornet for a year in Indianapolis. At that time a new instrument had entered the scene in Indianapolis, when the Six Brown Brothers came to town, the first time "Doc" had seen or heard a saxophone, and he was fascinated, and wanted one. His folks sent him one shortly after he arrived at Camp Shelby.
    As Company Bugler, he was allowed from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to practice bugling. He used to take his sax and bugle and go far from Camp to practice, putting his book up in a small scrub oak tree, and taught himself how to play saxophone. Some of the other boys in Camp could play instruments and they soon were playing music for jobs in Hattiesburg and for officers parties. By the time their Company was shipped overseas, (one year) they had greatly improved and were considered pretty fair musicians.
    Upon his return from France, he soon received a call form Cliff Wagoner, (drums) "who lived near me in Indianapolis, and had been in my Company in the Army, to try out for a small dance band job, which I got" says "Doc". "Cliff's brother Fred, Everett Hughes, Ernie Karch and Russ Holler were also in that band. We harmonized together, and it went quite well."
    His first steady job was at Crystal Theater with Tade Dolan, then later on he went to Isis Theater with Glen and Ruby Jones for a while.
    He decided to study Chiropractic at Ross College in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and met John Watt who had an orchestra there. He soon was playing club jobs, while going to school. It was there that he first played with Howdy Quicksell. After his course was over, he went to Chicago and took a medical review course, then took the State Board of Medicine Examination (which lasted three days) and got a license to practice in Illinois. He never followed up on this, as music was too lucrative. This is where he got the name "Doc" from the musicians he played with.
    "I went back to Indianapolis to see the folks", "Doc" said, "and got a call for a job at the Canoe Club. They needed a banjo player so I called Howdy Quicksell."
    "Doc" went on a job in Louisville, Ky. with Horace Waters for a while, then received a call from Jean Goldkette in Detroit. Howdy Quicksell had recommended him for saxophone after he had met Charlie Horvath, Goldkette's right hand man. They were forming a new band to be called the Jean Goldkette Orchestra. He got the job and was with the band from beginning until it disbanded in 1927 - Sept. 18th at Roseland Ballroom in New York City.
    Paul Whiteman was offering some of the men a job in his band. Adrian Rollini was getting a band together for a job in the New Yorker Hotel, and George Gershwin invited "Doc" to join the group he was assembling for a new musical show "Funny Face" featuring Fred and Adele Astaire that was to open in a new theater, named the Alvin on Broadway soon. It ran over a year, but Adele wanted to leave to marry an English Lord, so it closed, and Fred went to L.A. to make movies.
    Jean Goldkette had several other groups of musicians under his banner, so when Frank Trumbauer came to Detroit in the early spring of 1926, Jean took him on, as he had booked a summer job at Hudson Lake Casino, Indiana, 20 miles from South Bend. He also had a Casino at Island Lake for that same summer, where the Victor Goldkette orchestra had played the previous year (1925). Jean decided to divide up the Victor Goldkette Band and augment each half with some of Frank Trumbauer's men, and therefore keep both groups working all summer. The group that Bix was in, composed of Frank Trumbauer, sax., Dee Orr, drums, Dan Gaebe, bass, Pee Wee Russell, tenor sax and clarinets, Sonny Lee, trombone; the Goldkette men were "Doc" Ryker, sax and baritone, Freddie Farrar, trumpet, Itzy Riskin, piano, Frank DiPrima, banjo. The band went over well, and everyone like Bix. He was easy to get along with, and always had girls that liked him. The married couples had a cottage to live in, but the single fellows all lived in one cottage across from the Blue Lantern Ballroom, next to the hotel, where you had to take your showers @ 25c each, as there were no real bath facilities in the cottages. As Pee Wee and Bix were not too anxious to keep clean, some of the boys got them out on the lake and dumped them in, so they got a bath. Bix took it all in good stead, the only time he seemed to get annoyed was if anyone told him he played like Red Nichols. He thought Red was a pretty mechanical player, but he liked him personally. He really liked everybody.
    Edith Horvath (Charlie's wife) and I used to try to clean up the boys' cottage, as they left all the the sour milk and cartons, tin cans, and leftovers, and all debris left all over and it was a mess. A funny thing happened to Edith one day when she had poured into a large wash basin, all the sour milk and garbage, intending to take it outside to dump it, when she slipped on the porch and went down into all the mess. Fortunately she wasn't hurt, but she ruined a woolen bathrobe she had on over her cloths as it was so cold that day.
     Sundays were the day that the musicians from Chicago would come out to hear the band and especially Bix, and once a very young man in his teens came by the name of Benny Goodman. Six or seven years later he was in N. Y. and played a job in New Brunswick, N. J. for Tommy Dorsey who hired Doc for it also and Buddy Freeman. We lived in the same apartment building in Jackson heights, Long Island, at that time with Tommy. Tommy hadn't started his own band yet, but was playing at radio stations and booking jobs on the side. He had arranged for us to move into the same Apt. Bldg. as he and Toots lived in, in Jackson Hts. when we decided to move out of N. Y. hotels.
    Doc worked at the Astor Hotel for a year, also at several favorite nightspots including the Palais D'Or, Hollywood Restaurant, several Schubert shows, and fronted his own band for a year at the Corso Restaurant in Yorkville. He also taught saxophone, until his pupils were drafted in W. W. II. Then he retired from the music business.
    During the war years he worked at the Sperry Gyroscope Co. on Long Island for 23 years. Sperry had many recreation club features for employees and we joined a dance club and learned all the latest dances, especially the Latin dances.
    Since retirement in 1965, from Sperry, we have enjoyed teaching dancing here in Florida where we now live, and also our trips out to Davenport each year to honor Bix. We were present at the first memorial in 1971 (it was fabulous) before the B. B. M. S. of Davenport was formed and have continued each year in order to support it.
    "Doc" and I met on a double date, with Howdy Quicksell and his date at the Graystone in Detroit. We'll celebrate our 52nd Anniversary on April 14, 1978. Swimming, dancing and travel are our hobbies.

Additional, Complementary Information.

     In 1921, Jean Goldkette was musical director for the Detroit Athletic Club. He directed a semi classical group during the week, and had a small dance band for weekends. But Jean wanted to have a large dance band (a la Whiteman) under his own name, and in 1922 his chance came up: he and his friend Charles Horvath were asked to run the Graystone Ballroom and they took the opportunity to organize a large dance band. In 1923, the owners of the Graystone could not pay the band and turned over the ballroom to Jean who remodeled it, and hired additional musicians to make the band into the "greatest hot white band" in the country. The following year, the Goldkette band started its fabulous recording career with the Victor Company.
    A "Swing Magazine" issue of 1939, details how Jean built his orchestra. In the Spring of 1922, Howdy Quicksell went to Detroit where there were rumors of good jobs to be found with a band for a new ballroom. Howdy went to an audition where he met Charles Horvath who, in addition to playing drums, was the manager of the new band. Howdy suggested to Horvath that he get in touch with Doc Ryker, a good prospect as alto sax man. Both Howdy and Doc were selected for the new band. The band continued evolving and adding players in 1923 and 1924. Doc Ryker suggested Bill Rank, a fellow musician from Indianapolis. Thus started the legendary Jean Goldkette orchestra, which eventually would include Bix and Tram.

Chronological Discography
Includes only recordings that were issued.

 March 27, 1924, Detroit, MI, Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        In The Evening
        Where The Lazy Daisies Grow
        It's The Blues
March 28, 1924, Detroit, MI, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        Fox Trot Classique
        Cover Me Up With Sunshine of Virginia
November 24, 1924, Detroit, MI, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        I Didn't Know (with Bix)
        I Want To See My Tennessee
November 25, 1924, Detroit, MI, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        Play Me Slow
        Honest And Truly
        What's The Use of Dreaming?
        Adoration (with Bix)
January 28, 1926, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        After I Say I'm Sorry
February 3, 1926, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        Behind the Clouds
        Drifting Apart
February 4, 1926, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        Sorry and Blue
April 22, 1926, Camden, NJ, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
April 23, 1926, Camden, NJ, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
     Gimme A Little Kiss, Will Ya? Huh?

From here on, unless specified otherwise, all recordings include Bix

October 12, 1926, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
October 15, 1926, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        I'd Rather Be the Girl In Your Arms
        Cover Me Up With Sunshine
January 28, 1927, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        Proud Of A baby Like You
        I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover
January 31, 1927, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        I'm Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now
        Proud Of A baby Like You
February 1, 1927, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        Look At The World And Smile
        My Pretty Girl
February 3, 1927, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        Sunny Disposish
        A Lane In Spain
February 4, 1927, New York, NY, with Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra
        Clarinet Marmalade
        Singin' The Blues
May 6, 1927, Camden, NJ, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        Slow River
May 9, 1927, New York, NY, with Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra
        Ostrich Walk
        Riverboat Shuffle
May 13, 1927, New York, NY, with Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra
        I'm Coming Virginia
        Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
May 16, 1927, Camden, NJ, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        In My Merry Oldsmobile (no Bix)
May 23, 1927, Camden, NJ, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        In My Merry Oldsmobile
August 25, 1927, New York, NY, with Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra
        Three Blind Mice
        Blue River
        There's A Cradle In Caroline
September 15, 1927, New York, NY, with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
        Blue River
September 16, 1927, New York, NY, with Joe Herlihy and His Orchestra
        Bye-Bye, Pretty Baby (no Bix)
        Rolling Around in Roses (no Bix)

    According to Brian Rust the musicians in the Joe Herlihy's orchestra are James Hanson, Fuzzy Farrar, Bill Rank, Don Murray, Doc Ryker, Frank Trumbauer, Itzy Riskin, Howdy Quicksell, Steve Brown and Chauncey Morehouse, basically the Jean Goldkette orchestra. It is noteworthy that  these records are not listed in the complete Trumbauer discography in "Tram: The Frank Trumbauer Story" by Philip R. Evans and Larry F. Kiner with William Trumbauer.

Selected Correspondence
    I am including correspondence with Brigitte Berman and a letter from Jean Goldkette. The letter from Ms. Berman is important in that it shows the detailed approach she took in the conception and execution of the documentary about Bix. The answer from Norma and Doc Ryker is illustrative of the insights that Doc had into the personality and musicianship of the great Bix Beiderbecke.
    The letter from Jean Goldkette is important not only as a historic document, but also because it shows Jean's deep concern for how the Band (Jean uses a capital B to refer to his Victor recording band) is doing in its Eastern tour. The other lesson from Jean's letter is that he must have had a lot of confidence in Doc's judgment and trusted Doc as a responsible and dutiful individual.

Letter From Brigitte Berman

                                   Toronto, Ontario, March 7, 1979
Dear Mr. Ryker,

    Please allow me to introduce myself to you: I am a freelance documentary film maker, working at the present time for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Over the last year and a half, I have been researching a documentary on the life and music of Bix Beiderbecke. However, the documentary on Bix is not being made for the CBC, rather it is a pet project of mine, a labor of love so to speak, which I have been working on on my own time and up until now it has been funded entirely by myself. It is just that I feel that this film ought to be done before it's too late and while enough musicians and friends of Bix from the old days are still alive who can participate in the making of the film. An accurate film record needs to be put together in order to keep alive the spirit of the early jazz days and its many important contributors. So here I am, attempting to do just that.
    Over the past year I have contacted and visited with most of the people whose appearance in the film and whose contributions to the documentary is of vital importance, people like Bill Challis, Bix's sister Mary Louise Shoemaker, Izzy Friedman, Paul Mertz, Esten Spurrier, and many, many others. All of those whom I have contacted so far are willing and eager to co-operate and are as excited by the project as I am myself. Without all their help, I certainly could not have proceeded as far as I already have.
    As you can well imagine, the circle of people and musicians who spanned Bix's life and career is getting smaller with each coming year and it will continue to become increasingly difficult to accurately reconstruct the story of this important musician. I realize that we are talking about something that happened a very long time ago and that it can be difficult to recall some of those days, but any help at all, like your own personal comments regarding Bix, and bits and pieces of information and insight, would be most valuable to this project and will be very much appreciated.
    Please allow me to tell you a little bit more about the film: it was hearing Bix Beiderbecke's music which first inspired me into making a documentary on Bix, especially when I then also realized that no documentary film record was available on this great musician.
    This is the kind of documentary which is very dear to me, -preserving events, people and places from the past and doing it accurately. The film will be a historical tribute and will primarily include the first hand reminiscences of a group of people who spanned Bix Beiderbecke's musical career and personal life from early childhood to his death.
    I would appreciate it very much indeed if you could find the time to send me some of your own comments about Bix, both as a person and as a musician. Also, I realize that your wife knew Bix too, perhaps she might be able to add a few comments?
    Could you describe to me the days from the Goldkette band, how Bix struck you then, what you noticed most about him and any particular anecdotes that you remember? When did you first meet Bix and hear his music? How would you describe his playing? What do you personally think was so special about Bix? How did the other musicians treat Bix? Did they seem to idolize him, if they did, how was Bix affected by that? You spent the summer of 1926 at Hudson Lake, living in a cottage near where Bix was rooming with Pee Wee Russell. What do you remember of those days. Your comments regarding this summer are especially important because you are the only person left who can talk about those days? How did the audiences like the music that was being played? It has been said that Bix played his best that summer. Is that true? I know this means reaching back a long ways, but please Mr. Ryker, anything at all that you could comment on, I would greatly appreciate. When was the last time you saw Bix? What do you remember most about him? If you were to describe Bix, the person, to someone to really wanted to understand what Bix was like, how would you describe him?
    I have read just about everything that has been written about Bix, both in book form and in numerous articles and I know that several of your comments are included in the book "Bix, Man and Legend", but would it be possible for you to tell me in your own words what you remember? You see, a person is seen in different ways by many people and in order to have a fuller understanding of the whole picture, it is important to collect the various comments of many different people. So please, may I ask you to try and remember back those many years? Also, should anything else spring to mind that I have not touched on in this letter, would you please be so kind as to include it in your comments?
    I thank you very much for your patience and I sincerely hope that you will be able to help me with this endeavour. I look very much forward to hearing from you and remain,
    With Kindest Regards,
    (signed) Brigitte Berman

Answer from Norma Ryker (At this time, Doc Ryker could not see well and his wife Norma did the writing for him), transcribed by Rickey Bauchelle.
    Doc recalls Bix coming to the Graystone to hear the band in October 1925 and sat in with the band for a few sets. He could not read music but he filled in beautifully an all the boys were impressed with him. he was shy but friendly and very humble. he had a good sense of humor and Doc says he would jokingly say " I ain't got much technique but I've got a lousy tone". He always got a laugh and he'd would come out with cracks like that often. The whole Goldkette band was the same way, very good humored and all got along very well. It was later on that after he had joined Frank Tumbauer's group, that Frank's group joined the Jean Goldkette orchestra and played at Hudson Lake, Indiana the summer of 1926. Bix always played well not only at Hudson Lake. His problem was he drank too much, but it never seemed to harm his playing. Several of the single fellows drank also, but we did not get into that, so our contact with Bix was mostly at rehearsal, jam sessions and on stage. Last time we saw Bix was the last night at Roseland when the band broke up on September 18, 1927.
    After the summer at Hudson Lake, Bix and Frankie Trumbauer stayed with Goldkette and played all winter long at the Graystone with the band (the Island Lake group had returned also). Some of those fellows knew Bix from when they had played around Chicago.
    (Rickey writes : I believe from this point on, Norma is actually quoting from Doc.)
    Bix couldn't read but he could fake - he could always find another note. No matter how many notes were played he'd always find one that somebody else did not have. He had an uncanny ear. Funny thing - when we came to New York to make Victor records most of the NY bands were using two trumpets, not knowing the reason for Goldkette's three trumpets (Bix couldn't read). Many of the NY bands added a third trumpet. The same thing happened with Steve Brown on string bass, everyone was using tubas up till then. Steve was really a marvel on his bass. No one could slap it like he did. When he moved it upstage to play, the dancers stopped to watch.
    What struck me most about Bix was his sweet-hot style. Although he played hot it was his beautiful tone, everything sounded so sweet, although it was never schmaltzy or anything. I liked the harmony he would play. Very often when he'd take a chorus I'd be listening so intently I'd almost forget to come in. He was way ahead of all of us in the things he was playing. He had a love of concert music such as Debussy, Ravel and Eastwood Lane, and when in Detroit would go on Sundays to hear the Detroit Symphony and had established quite a friendship with the concert master there.

Letter From Jean Goldkette

Exclusive Victor Record Artists


Doc Ryker,
c/o Victor Recording Orch.,

Dear Doc:

Hope my letter reaches you and all the boys in the best of health. I heard some great reports about the Band. Is that all true? Have you enough arrangements? Also, does the Band make enough arrangements? and is the Band rehearsing enough to insure success on Broadway. I wish you would write me a letter, Doc, and tell me everything - how the Band is coming along and any suggestions you may have.

Did you receive the arrangement on "Cubist" by Griselle, also four or five orchestrations on Blues by Melrose Brothers such as African Capers, Maple leaf, etc. Please advise whether you received same, also your opinion on same as I must write to each of these people our exact reaction on these numbers. Handwritten addition: also on Phil Wing's arrangements.

The Graystone is going over great. Plenty of inquiries as to when the Band is coming back. Remember, Doc, going to New York again and recording means that the Band has to be 100%, so I am extremely anxious to hear from you by return mail to know exactly the condition of the Band, what's being done and what is necessary to be done immediately to assure success in the East.

I saw your wife a couple of times here. She looked wonderful.

Not much news from me except I am working hard all the time. Looks like we are going to have a big season. Opening the new Hotel Savoy October the second. Also the D.A.C.

Trusting that I shall hear from you real soon and with kindest regards to yourself as well as the boys, I am

                                                        Most sincerely yours

                                                        (Signed)  Jean   Pres
                                                        Jean Goldkette orchestras
                                                        and Attractions, Inc.

I am very grateful to Rickey  (Doc Ryker's daughter) and Don Bauchelle for their generosity in providing me copies of the material posted herein.

Links to Images Related to "Doc" Ryker
Copy of "Doc" Ryker's contract with Jean Goldkette
Page 5 of Norma Ryker's handwritten document

The Final Story on Joe Venuti's Birth Place (under construction)
by Albert Haim

I have all the documents that I was seeking.

1. Social Security Application for Account Number.
I found 27 Joseph Venutis in the Social Security Death Index. Three were of the right age. One of them had died in Seattle, WA, the known location of Joe Venuti's death. The SSDI gave a social security number. With the number at hand, I requested from the Social Security Administration a copy of Joseph Venuti's application. Here is a scan of the copy I received.

The names of father and mother are given as James and Rose Macchio, respectively. Note in two places the weird way Joe Venuti writes the capital letter J; whoever received the application wrote a normal J above Joe's bizarre J. Note also that Joe Venuti was born in Philadelphia -neither in Italy, nor on a ship in the middle of the high seas- on September 16, 1903. Finally, note that Joe anglicized the names of father and mother. His father was born Giacomo and his mother Rose. The translation of Rosa into Rose is obvious. That of Giacomo into James is not so obvious. To make sure, I went to a website that gives equivalence between Italian and English given names.
Indeed James is Giacomo and viceversa. A couple of additonal remarks. True to his Italian heritage, Joe Venuti was living in a "Villa Italia" and was working at the Frank Sebastian Cotton Club. Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller also made appearences at that West Coast Cotton Club.

2. Thirteenth Census of the United States: 1910-Population.
You may remember that I found in the Ellis Island Records a Giovanni (Joseph) Venuti born in Italy. This Joseph Venuti was six years old when he arrived to New York with his mother Maria Costa on December 22, 1906, with destination her sister's home at 840 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA. From the office of registrar of births in Spafadora, Enrico obtained a copy of the birth certificate of this Joseph (Giovanni) Venuti. He was born in Spafadora, Sicily on August 26, 1900, father Antonino, mother Maria Costa. (I believe this Joseph Venuti died in Los Angeles in 1976). I obtained the records of the 1910 US Census for Philadelphia for Christian Street. Here is a scan of the pertinent portion. Sorry about the quality. It is a scan of a printout of a microfilm!

Several observations. First, there were no Venutis living at 840 Christian Street in 1910. My guess is that Giuseppe Venuti and his mother stayed with Giuseppe's aunt for a while and eventually moved with the head of the family, Antonino. However, I got a huge bonus by looking at the microfilm. It turns out that in 1910, THE Joe Venuti was living at 832 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA with his very large family. It consisted of the following. (ages in 1910)
Giacomo, father, age 46, born in Italy, arrived in the US in 1895.
Rosa, mother, age 46, born in Italy, arrived in the US in 1900.
Carmelo, brother, age 21, born in Italy, arrived in the US in 1900.
Fradio, brother, age 19, born in Italy, arrived in the US in 1900.
Concetta, sister age 17, born in Italy, arrived in the US in 1900.
Andrew, brother, age 15, born in Italy, arrived in the US in 1900.
Giovannina, sister, age 9, born in Philadelphia, PA.
Joseph, himself, age 6, born in Philadelphia.

Another find in the census. It turns out that there was another Venuti family living at 838 Christian Street. That family consisted of father Domenico Venuti(age 38, born in Italy, arrived in the US in 1880), wife Rosa (age, 30, born in Italy, arrived in the US in 1895), daughter Domenica (age 6, born in Philadelphia), son Joseph (age 8, born in Philadelphia) and son Pasquale (age 2, born in Philadelphia).

It turns out then that in 1906, there were three Joseph Venutis ages 2, 3 and 5 (really two Josephs and one Giuseppe) living respectively at 832, 838 and 840 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA. THE Joe Venuti was born in 1903 in Philadelphia, PA and was living at 832 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA.


William Eugene Prendergast (under construction)

1.Orange Blosssoms in 1925.   Taken at the Book Cadillac Hotel. Sitting at the piano, Hank Biagini, leader, trumpet. Left to right: Ed Murray, piano; Ray Eberle, alto; Tommy Gargano, drums; Al Cox, banjo; Bill Maitland, tuba; Spike Knoblock (Glen Gray), alto; Gene Prendergast, tenor; Ed Arnold, trombone; Jack McGahey, violin. Gargano recorded "Davenport Blues" and "Toddlin' Blues" with Bix and His Rythm Jugglers on January 26, 1925.
2. Lud Gluskin Orchestra in December 1927. Back row, left to right: Maurice Cizerone, alto sax; Fred Zierer, violin; Gene Prendergast (alto sax, clarinet; Eddie Ritten, first trumpet; Ted Gobel, drums; Reuel Kenyon, piano. Front row, left to right: Merrow Bodge, tenor sax; Leo Arnaud (Leo Vauchant), trombone; Lud Gluskin, leader; Faustin Jeanjean, second trumpet, Arthur Pavone, string bass.
3. Members of the Lud Gluskin Orchestra with Jimmy Dorsey in 1930. Taken at Le Touquet, France. Jimmy Dorsey on vacation from Ted Lewis in London visits friends from the Goldkette days. Left to right: unidentified American; Howard Kennedy; Paulie Freed; Gene Prendergast; Eddie Ritten; unidentified Frenchman; Jimmy Dorsey.
Vic Moore
(uploaded Jan 12, 2006)

Vic Moore was the drummer of the Wolverine Orchestra during Bix's tenure with the band. With the invaluable help of  Mary Daniel, grand-niece of Vic Moore, I have gathered some information about Vic Moore. It is presented here.

Victor Moore was born July 12, 1902 in Chicago and died Aug. 19, 1976 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
The 1910 US census shows the family of  George C. and Esther M. Moore living at  1429 Chase Avenue, Chicago. Illinois. George was born in Ireland, as were his father and mother. Esther was born in Indiana, but her father and mother were Irish. In 1910, George was 54 and Esther was 46. George immigrated to the United States in 1880. George and Esther had ten children:  George W, 24; Marguerite M, 22; Jeanette A. 21; Ester B, 19; Kathleen C. 17; Ileen, 14;  Lucy, 12; Edith, 9;Victor C., 7; Marie,  3. George C and George W, are described as real estate brokers, working on their own account. The 1920 US census shows George and Esther still living at 1429 Chase Avenue, Chicago. Most of the children are gone, except for Edythe [sic], Victor, Marie and  Illeen [sic] . Illeen is listed as Illeen Redfield with two children, Patricia, 4, and John, 2. Ileen was Mary Daniel's grandmother.

Aditional information about the Moore family in the 1910s and early 1920s comes from a messages from Mary (Cahill) Daniel. Mary is the daughter of Patricia Redfield, daughter of Ileen Moore Redfield, one of Vic Moore's older sisters.

Message from Mary Daniel, Jan 10, 2006. "
In the 1910 census, there is a Lucy listed. There was no Lucy! The name that should have been there was Sue. Never could figure out what happened! In the 1920 census you see the name Ileen [spelled Illeen in the census form]  (my grandmother, who was divorced) and my mom and her brother, Patricia & John, who were all living with Grandma and Grandpa Moore."

Message from Mary Daniel, Jan 8, 2006.
"Vic was the tenth of eleven children born to George Cuthbert (Cork, Ireland) and Esther Marie (Marlowe) (Terre Haute, IN) Moore. My grandmother, Ileen (Moore) Redfield was the seventh child. There were 3 boys and 8 girls!! All the children were born in Chicago.
Vic's father was in real estate in Chicago and Palm Beach. I think. Their main residence was at 1429 Chase Avenue. The first winter home in Palm Beach was a small cottage on Australian Ave. in 1919. From 1921-1926 their winter home was (and still is) located at 419 Sea Spray Avenue."

Some recollections from Mary Daniel

Jan 7
I have fond memories of Uncle Vic visiting us in Dixon, IL and later in Florida when he would visit "my favorite neice", my Mom, Pat Cahill. He would line up glasses of water (or whatever beverages were on the table after a good meal) and bang out a tune with knives along with whatever 78 record he had brought along for Mom and Dad to hear.

Jan 8  Hoagy Carmichael and Uncle Vic were friends and, with George Johnson, they traveled by train to stay with Vic's family and work private parties. (from "Sometimes I Wonder"). My grandmother always told us that Hoagy wrote Stardust on her parents piano. My Mom remembers sneaking up behind Hoagy with her brother, Jack, and "scaring" him. My uncle recalled that during a hurricane, Hoagy fled from his bedroom and stayed under the piano til the storm had passed. And it was also said that Oscar Hammerstein lived "across the street" from the Moore's on Sea Spray. Of course, this is all family lore handed down through the years and is a target of my research.

Jan 9
Apparently, the Palm Beach social circle that my grandmother and my teenaged Mom "ran in"  were an extension of Vic's friendships. I have 8 x 10 pictures autographed to Mom from; Frank Prince, a vocalist with Ben Bernie's Orchestra; a musician named Manny Prager who I think played tenor sax and clarinet with the Dick McDonough Orchestra; Donald Novis, an actor who appeared in movies from 1929 to 1951 and Buddy Rogers who was married to Mary Pickford. Mom often spoke about a friendship with Gracie Barrie, a singer who married Dick Stabile and conducted his orchestra while he was in the service during WWII. She also sang for Abe Lyman and Leon Belasco. According to all that I have found on Gracie, she also sang on Broadway between 1933 and 1941. Mom had 2 pictures of from May of '34 and another from March of '35.
The last picture that I have is of Vic Duncan who I cannot identify. There are 2 snapshots of this Vic with Little Jackie Heller! Do you know who he is?
Now, don't think that  because I am dropping these names on you that I know a lot about these people. Only what Mom had told me and what I have garnered from the internet!! Oh, and I know they spent a lot of time at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. As one story goes, Johnny Weismuller taught my Mom to dive in 1922 at the Breakers Casino Pool when she was 6 years and 2 months old.
Another story was told to me by mom's brother, born in 1917. He said that the President Warren Harding visited Palm Beach and somehow was handed my uncle to hold. Later in the day the hotel caught fire from a curling iron left unattended by Chicago Mayer William Dever's wife. I did research on this and found a line in an article about the hotel that said.."The "second" Breakers burned on March 18, 1925. The fire was said to have been started by one of those "new fangled curling irons."

Jan 9 I have uncovered a letter that was written to my grandmother in 1976. It is apparently in reply to a letter she wrote informing him that Vic was hospitalized for an unknown reason. I had copied this years ago from Grandma Ileen's original.

Jan 10
When we moved to Florida in '62 we stayed with Uncle Vic for a couple weeks until our furniture arrived. I remember he had a comedian friend who lived next door or nearby (I think) named Woody Woodbury.

Jan 10
I believe that I had mentioned Uncle Vic playing 78s at our home in FLA. Vic told me when I was older that they would be cutting a record in the studio and someone like Jack Teagarden would walk in, pick up a horn and start playing which would, of course, mess up the recording session, but made for a great jam session! They would cut 8 or 10 records for the men to keep and set another recording date! Mom wanted so badly to have a few of those records from Vic's collection, but his last wife, Clesta Walker Moore, sold them to heaven knows who!! My older brother Bill was into jazz and would have liked having a record or two!
Bill went to hear Louis Armstrong in Spring Valley, IL sometime back on the late 50's when we lived in Dixon. Mom gave him a picture of Uncle Vic to use to try and meet Louie. Bill took it to the guards at the side of the stage at intermission and convinced them to take it to Mr. Armstrong. Bill waited while the man walked down a  hall and around a corner. Within minutes, Bill heard Louie holler, "Man, that's a picture of Mr. Vic! Who had this picture of Mr. Vic!! Show that boy in here!!" Bill was escorted into Louie's dressing room and talked with him for awhile til  Louie had to go back on stage!

jan 16 Yes, that smile was Vic. I don't believe I ever knew such a mild mannered person. He was a sweetheart! (referring to wolverines photo) Vic is also the only one with his hair NOT parted down the middle! He had, as all the Moore's did, such beautiful blue eyes.

I sent an e-mail message to the registrar's office of Northwestern University asking information about a Victor Moore enrolled at the university in the late teens or early twenties. The answer?

He [Victor Moore] was enrolled only for the Summer Session of 1935 and his home address was listed as Somerset, Kentucky.

Obviously, a different Victor Moore. However, it is interesting that two sources mention Vic Moore being a student at Northwestern: both provide incorrect information!!

There is a lot more to Moore than the Wolverines.

by Albert Haim The association of Vic Moore with Bix goes back to 1922. They met in the Friars Club where Bix, Moore, Don Murray, George Johnson, Jimmy Hartwell, Vault De Faut, Min Leibrook, etc. hung around night after night, absorbing the music produced by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings.

The following comes from Evans and Evans.

On August 5, 1922 Bix joined the Vic Moore-Bud Hatch quartet in Delavan Lake, Wisconsin. Early in 1923, Vic Moore, George Johnson and Hoagy Carmichael went to West Palm Beach, Florida, where Vic’s parents lived. According to Evans and Evans, Bix was supposed to join them.

In late October 1923, Bix joined the band at the Stockton Club in Hamilton, Ohio. After a week at the club, the band consisted of Bix, Jimmy Hartwell, Bob Gillette, Dudley Mecum (composer of Angry, one of my favorites), George Johnson, Ole Vangsness and Bob Conzelman on drums. Except for the last two and Mecum, this is almost the Wolverine Orchestra of 1924. On New Year’s eve, 1924, a fight between two gangster’s groups erupted in the club. The band left for Chicago and early in January 1924, Conzelman and Vangsness quit the band, while Vic Moore and Dick Voynow joined it.

Other accounts differ on the composition of the band in the Stockton Club. According to George Johnson (Frontiers of Jazz, Ralph De Toledano, p. 123), in October 1923 Jimmy Hartwell got a contract with the Stockton Club for a seven-piece band. Supposedly, Jimmy Hartwell called Dick Voynow who went to Hamilton with Vangsness, Gillette, a sax player, Conzelman and Bix. After a week, the sax player was replaced by George Johnson.

According to Vic Moore (Swing Music, March 1936; I am indebted to Rich Johnson and an anonymous Bixophile for this citation), Vic Moore, George Johnson, Min Leibrook and Bix played around Chicago before 1923 in a ”vague sort of semi-pro group we called the Ten Foot Band.” In the article by Horst J.P. Bergmeier in Storyville n°145 (March 1991) cited by Jean-Pierre, the Ten Foot Band is mentioned. I have not been able to find a mention of the Ten Foot Band in Evans and Evans. The index in Sudhalter and Evans gives a reference to the Ten Foot Band in p. 96, but I could not find a mention of the band in that page or adjacent pages.

When the contract of the Wolverines at the Cinderella ballroom expired, the band went down to Florida at the urging of Moore and Johnson. According to Johnson, Moore went to work with his father’s real estate business for a few weeks and eventually opened his own office. Johnson tells us that in the next year Moore made $100,000 “and lost it one evening when the banks closed overnight with all his cash on deposit.”

The next time we hear from Vic Moore (Rust’s discography) is in October 1927 when he recorded with the original Wolverines; he recorded again with that group in May 1928.

Now we have Bergmeier’s account of Vic Moore in 1928 in Paris with a broken shoulder and settling into real estate in Fort Lauderdale. No date is given for the real estate activity.

Just a couple of additional items. As I was looking for the article by George Johnson, I came across an article in the August 1936 issue of Tempo. Three pieces of information, relevant to my present post, are given about Vic Moore. “Gillette, Johnson and Moore had attended school at Northwestern University.” “In Florida the band lost another member when Vic Moore struck it rich in real estate.” “Vic Moore is now manager of the Decca offices in Detroit.”

Which of the two Vic Moores who last made a social security claim from Fort Lauderdale is the Wolverines Vic Moore? Maybe neither. However, with the finding that Vic Moore was in Detroit MI in 1936, the younger of the two Vic Moores (the one who applied for his SS card from Michigan) is no longer to be ruled out.

I still think that the younger Moore (although I agree with Jean-Pierre that he looks older than the other guys) is a better bet than the older one. I can see a 20-yeaqr old Moore hanging around in the Friar’s Inn with some of his fellow students from Northwestern and as a 26 yea old going to Europe. It is harder to conceive of a 25 year old hanging around with teenagers in the Friar's Inn and of a 33 year old guy going over to Europe with Carhart (23), Purvis (22) and Freeman (22).

There are two questions about Florida that remain unanswered. Moore was in Chicago in 1927. When did he leave Florida? Moore was in Michigan in 1936. When did Moore leave Michigan to go to Florida?

Adrian Rollini (uploaded Jan 21, 2008)

I am grateful to Steve Hester for sending the information about Rollini and his kind permission to include it here.

Sylvester Ahola. (Uploaded Jul 9, 2009)

Trumpet player Sylvester "Hooley" Ahola was
born in Gloucester, MA on May 24, 1902. His parents were from Finland. His first professional engagement, 1921, was with Frank E. Ward's Orchestra in Massachusetts. In 1926, Ahola joined the Paul Specht orchestra in New York and travelled with the band to England. In 1927 he had brief engagements with the California Ramblers, Bert Lown, Peter van Steeden. In the Fall of 1927, Ahola joined the short-lived Adrian Rollini's New Yorkers. The cornet player in the band was Bix Beiderbecke.

When the New Yorkers dissolved, Ahola sailed to England where he first joined the Savoy Orpheans. In October 1928 he became a member of the Bert Ambrose orchestra and stayed with the band until August 1931, when he returned to New York. He spent several years with the Peter van Steeden orchestra. He was a member of the NBC staff orchestra until he retired in 1940. Ahola died in February 1995.

Reference:. "Sylvester Ahola, Gloucester Gabriel" by Dick Hill,
Scarecrow Press, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (Metuchen, N.J,) , 1993.

In October 1983, record collector and researcher Nick Dellow visited Hooley at his home near Gloucester, MA, at which time he took this photograph (note: listen to the mp3 to appreciate the significance of the white whales!)

Sylvester Ahola talks about, and plays on his Victrola, the Edison Diamond Disc of "Country Bred and Chicken Fed" and "So Long North" by Dale Wimbrow, with a backing band that features trumpet solos and breaks by Hooley.

Part 1.
Part 2.

Transfer by Nick of his own copy of this Edison Diamond Disc, on which "Country Bred" is a different take
Transfer by Nick of his onw copy of 
"So Long North."

Details about the recordings.

Wimbrow (the Del-Mar-Va Songster) and his Rubeville Tuners
Peter Dale Wimbrow-ukulele-vocal acc. by Sylvester "Hooley" Ahola-trumpet/Phil Wall-piano/Johnny Morris-drums-effects
Recording date and place: New York, Thursday, December 2, 1926
Edison 51894
Country Bred and Chicken Fed – 11346 (take A)
So Long North – 11347 (take B)
Note: Ahola plays across mellophone leadpipe for train effects on 11347.

I am grateful to Nick for his generosity in sending all this material.

Goldkette Family.
(Uploaded Apr 14, 2011)

Louis Goldkette's Horsemanship in Varions Ads in the London Times, of 1862.
(Comments by Anthony Baldwin)

Clearly, "M. (i.e. Monsieur) Goldkette" is Louis, and "Mdlle (i.e. Mademoiselle) Goldsmith" is Jeanette Goudsmet, his wife:

< style="font-weight: bold;">The Times, 27 Jan. 1862, p.6: <> 
"ASTLEY'S ROYAL AMPHITHEATRE — THIS EVENING, THE COLLEEN BAWN(*). After which, astounding scenes in the Circle by the great Norwegian equestrians young Gunerius, Mdlle. Halverson, M.Goldkette. To conclude with the pantomime, JOHNNY GILPIN'S RIDE TO EDMONTON." <> 

The Times
, 30 Jan. 1862, p.8: <> 
"ASTLEY'S ROYAL AMPHITHEATRE — Enthusiastic reception of young Gunerius and Madame Halverson, the Norwegian wonders. THE COLLEEN BAWN every evening. To be followed with the most daring riders in the world, young Gunerius, Mdlle. Halverson, M.Goldkette. Clown, Mr. Tom Fillis. Concluding with the equestrian pantomime, JOHNNY GILPIN'S RIDE TO EDMONTON. A Morning performance of the Pantomime every Saturday at 9 o'clock, during which the Norwegian wonders will appear. Stage Manager, Mr. W.Searle."

The Times
, 4 Feb. 1862, p.6, and 6 Feb 1862, p.8: <> 
"ASTLEY'S ROYAL AMPHITHEATRE — THIS EVENING, THE COLLEEN BAWN. After which, astounding scenes in the Circle by the great Norwegian equestrians young Gunerius, Mdlle. Halverson, Mdlle. Goldsmith, M.Goldkette. To conclude with the pantomime, JOHNNY GILPIN'S RIDE TO EDMONTON."
(NB: clearly, "Mdlle. Goldsmith" is Mrs. Louis Goldkette, Chan's mother, Constantin's grandmother)

 The Times, 19 Feb. 1862, p.2:
"ASTLEY'S ROYAL AMPHITHEATRE — Sole Proprietor and Manager, Mr. W.Batty — THIS EVENING, Rumsey and Newcomb's double troupe of ETHIOPEAN MINSTRELS. New scenes in the Circle by Mdlle. Mazotte, M.Goldkette, and M. Gerard Goldsmidt. To conclude with a Farce."

<><>------------ <> 
(*) Astley's was a theatre in Lambeth, Surrey, just over the Thames from Westminster, in what is now inner London. It specialised in popular drama and feats of horsemanship. I assume "THE COLLEEN BAWN" was the name of a play. Gerard Goldsmidt (i.e. Goudsmet) is related to Jeanette, as I've seen his name before. He's either her brother or her father. The reference to "Norwegian Wonders" might be born out by the fact that most of Louis' other children seem to have been born in Scandinavia

Louis Goldkette's Gravestone.

Data About Death of Goldkette Family Members.

Birth Certificate of Chan Goldkette.

Birth Certificate of  Constantin Goldkette.

Passport of Constantin Goldkette.

I am very grateful to Anthony Baldwin for his generous gift of copies of the above documents. For additional information about the Goldkette family, see Anthony's article in

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

Bix and Hioagy under construction

Rich J wrote yesterday and told me about the time Hoagy was invited to the Bix festival in Davenport.
<I>”Jim Arpy was reading some of his old articles and found one about Hoagy. Don O'Dette had invited Hoagy to the Bix Festival back in the '70s and Hoagy sent a reply saying that health problems prevented him from attending but, Hoagy enclosed a home recording of an original tune that he written entitled "The Piano Pedal Rag." Hoagy said it was unpublished and he wrote it thinking of Bix and how he would have played it.”</I>
It turns out that the score and the recording of "Piano Pedal Rag" are
available in the Hoagy Carmichael archives. Here are details of the recording.
Title:        Piano pedal rag [sound recording] / [composed and performed by] Hoagy Carmichael.
Composer/Performer/etc:        Carmichael, Hoagy, 1899-
Publication info:        [1972]
Physical description:        1 sound tape reel : analog, 15 ips, full track; 10 in.
Note:        Title from container.
Performer note:        Hoagy Carmichael, piano.
Event note:        Master tape recorded July 11, 1972 at Paramount Recording Studios in Hollywood Calif.
Subject headings:   
    * Ragtime music.
    * Piano music (Ragtime).
    * Hoagy Carmichael Collection.
Online access: Not available
Call number:        86-745-F ATL 15375
The complete score is found at
In his biography of Hoagy, Sudhalter writes, in connection with a concert (June 27, 1979) in celebration of Hoagy entitled, "The Stardust Road-A Hoagy Carmichael Jubilee."
"Crosby (Bob) motioned the guest of honor (Hoagy) to join him on stage. Hoagy needed no coaxing. Sitting beside Mike Renzi at the piano, he went through an impromptu performance if his Bix-flavored confection
"Piano Pedal Rag."


I just wrote to the Carmichael archives and asked for a copy of the recording. I doubt that they will send it to me, but what the heck, it is only a few strokes on the keyboard and the click of a mouse.


Of course, this is not the first time that Hoagy writes a piece of music under the inspiration of Bix; the immortal “Stardust” is another example.


Here is an excerpt of a CBC 1964  interview of Hoagy where he talks about Bix, Stardust, and other fascinating topics.

Is it true that Stardust is a series of arpeggii (I thought the plural of arpeggio was arpeggios)? It seems to me that, often, a sequence of notes in Stardust do not all belong to a given chord, but I will defer to the experts. Also note that Hoagy tells that he helped invent jazz.