In this section I will exhibit selected photographs of Bix Beiderbecke and related subjects. I will have portraits, photos of Bix with fellow musicians and friends, programs of concerts and dances, and miscellaneous images. Some of the images were scanned at high resolution and may take a minute or more to download. The images were obtained through the generosity of several individuals. I am grateful to Susan Atherton, Dave Bartholomew, Rickey Bauchelle, Michael Bezin, Scott Black, Enrico Borsetti, Brownie, Sergio Calve, Nick Dellow, Hans Eekhoff, Joe Giordano, Frank Hagenbuch, Stephen Hester, Rich Johnson, Michael Kieffer, David Logue, Veniero Molari, Randy Skretvedt, Rob Rothberg, Will Severns, Mike Schultz, William Trumbauer, John Vincent, Frederick C. Wiebel, Jr. and Jerry Zolten for providing many of the images and for kindly giving me permission to exhibit them in the present gallery. I will acknowledge their individual contributions by adding their initials after the title of the image. Unless stated otherwise, I am responsible for all the text associated with the images.
Programs, Sheet Music, Ads, Buildings
Beiderbecke Family Cemetery Plot. D.B.
The Beiderbecke family has a plot in Oakdale Cemetery in Davenport, Iowa. Bix was buried here on August 11, 1931. Bix's stone is the one on the right.
I am grateful to Dave Bartholomew for sending me a scan of this photograph which he took in 1981.
Beiderbecke in January 1927. H.E.
Bix first joined the Jean Goldkette orchestra in October 1924, but the association lasted only two months. Bix could not read music well and could not keep up with the steady addition of new material needed for the weekly radio broadcasts. Moreover, Eddie King, the Victor recording director, took a strong dislike toward Bix and his jazz solos. Bix rejoined the Jean Goldkette orchestra in September 1926, this time a successful association that lasted for a year. Mug shots of all musicians in the Jean Goldkette Victor Recording orchestra were taken in January 1927 for publicity purposes. At that time, the orchestra consisted of -Bix, Brown, Farrar, Lodwig, Mertz, Morehouse, Murray, Quicksell, Rank, Ryker, Trumbauer and Willcox.
Pages From Tram's Diary, Dec 3 and 4, 1928. W.T.
During the writing of "Tram: The Frank Trumbauer Story" by Philip R. Evans and Larry F. Kiner with William Trumbauer, Studies of Jazz, No.18, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey and The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, N.J., & London, 1994, the 1928 diary of Frank Trumbauer was located. Two images of pages from the diary, December 3 and December 4, 1928 are presented here. The text follows.
Dec 3. Detroit & no Bix when he should be(?) he missed the best town on the map.
Saw Gene [sic] Goldkette also Charles & they like me Im sure, Hope they succeed..
Paul offered me his Stutz ? for my record money and I jumped at it boy what a car and how I can go home now to show the folks boy Im very happy over the whole thing.
Dec 4. Athens Ohio
Cant play for thinking of that car and my trip home Mitzi will pass out when she sees that car Boy its beautiful and plenty fast Sure wish I could get to St. Louis but I don't think I can make it.
Trumbauer refers to Bix's absence on December 3. Bix had a breakdown on November 30, 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio and stayed there to recuperate under the care of a doctor and a male nurse.
I thank Bill Trumbauer for kindly sending the images and for permission to upload them here.
Uploaded Dec 2004.
|Two Pages from
Trumbauer's Diary, Nov 19 and 20, 1928. W.T.
During the writing of "Tram: The Frank Trumbauer Story" by Philip R. Evans and Larry F. Kiner with William Trumbauer, Studies of Jazz, No.18, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey and The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, N.J., & London, 1994, the 1928 diary of Frank Trumbauer was located. Two images of pages from the diary, November 19 and 20, 1928 are presented here. The text follows.
Nov 19. Sioux City Iowa
Bix day all the folks were there and lauded long and loud.
I wish he would straighten up.
Nov 20. Sioux Falls, S.D.
bought a coat here that is one coat. 135 But I'll make it up some how.
The Paul Whiteman Orchestra presented a concert in the Central High School Auditorium in Sioux City, Iowa on November 19, 1928 as part of the Whiteman tour in the Fall of 1928. Sioux City and Davenport are on opposite ends of Iowa, a distance of about 260 miles. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that Bix's folks -presumably Bismark, Agatha, and Burnie and perhaps his wife (they had a three-month old child, Charles) attended. Note the concern displayed by Frank Trumbauer about his friend Bix. Evans and Evans (Bix: the Leon Bix Beiderbeke Story) write that around this time, "Paul became concerned over Bix's drinking. He first asked Frank Trumbauer to speak to him, and then he tried a little fatherly advice. Bix promised to straighten up and actually succeeded in giving up the alcohol for a time. Bix maintained a sober appearance as the band played dates in Iowa (Nov 22, Cedar Rapids; Nov 23, Clinton) and the Beiderbecke family members attended the concerts."
I thank Bill Trumbauer for kindly sending the images and for permission to upload them here.
Uploaded Dec 2004
Werner von Binzer. V.M.
Bix's grandfatehr, Charles (born Carl), was born in Prussia in 1836. He arrived in Davenport in 1956 and married Louis Piper in 1860. Two of their children were Bismark Herman (Bix's father) and Lutie. Lutie married Max von Binzer. Only one of her three children survived, Werner. Utie and Werner moved to California in 1922. Werner von Binzer was a banjo player. Note the resemblance of Werner's ears to Bix's They stick out!
I am grateful to Veniero for sending me a scan of the photograph.
Father in First Car in Davenport. R.R.
The book "Them Was the Good Old Days: In Davenport, Scott County, Iowa," by W. L. Purcell, 1922, Purcell Publishing Co, has a photograph of the "first automobile in Davenport." In fact, the photo shows two cars with six gentlemen. One of the six is identified as B. H. Beiderbecke, Bix's dad.
It would appear that Bix's dad was into cars. In this photo, he is shown sitting in the first car in Davenport. It is worth pointing out that the available documentation shows that Bix's dad did not have "garden variety cars," such as Fords, etc. The two interesting cars we know he owned are a Davis and a Reo.
This image was obtained by scanning a postcard of the Bix Beiderbecke mural on the building located at Brady St. and West River Drive, Davenport, Iowa. The mural portrait is by Loren Shaw. The photograph of the mural is by Dennis/Karen Clevenger.
I am grateful to Richard M. Sudhalter for his generous gift of the postcard.
Last Residence. A.H.
Bix's last stay in Davenport was from November 1930 to February 1931. Late in February 1931, he moved into room 605 of the 44th Street Hotel in New York where he stayed until late June. At this time, Bix moved for a few days with Rex Gavitte at 24-60 32nd Street, Astoria, Queens and then to a new apartment house at 43-30 46th Street, Sunnyside, Queens. The photograph of the entrance to the apartment building was taken on August 6, 1999, when a group of Bixophiles gathered in front of the house to honor the memory of Bix.
|Memorial to Bix
This is V Disc No. 774. It was produced by the Music Branch, Special Services Division, War Department. It is a 12-inch, 78 rpm recording. Side A has "A Handful of Stars" by Ray Noble and his Orchestra with a trumpet chorus by Lt. Harry Johnson and "Singin' the Blues" by Buddy Hackett and his orchestra. Side B has "Dancing on the Ceiling" by Glen Gray and his Orchestra with Red Nichols on trumpet. On the label is written "Memorial "SS" Release (As suggested by Dr. John Dale Owen)".
Image of side A.
Image of side B.
|Blue Lantern Casino
In May 1926 Frank Trumbauer lead a Goldkette unit at Hudson Lake, Indiana. The engagement lasted from May 22 to August 30, 1926. The orchestra played at the Blue Lantern Casino. In August 2000 Rich Johnson of the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society accompanied by Journalist Jim Arpy went to the site where the Blue Lantern Casino is located and took photographs of the Casino and of the cottage where Bix and other musicians from the band spent the summer of 1926. The initial account, before Rich and Jim visited the Blue Lantern Casino can be read by clicking the linkhttp://ms.cc.sunysb.edu/~alhaim/itemsofspecialinterest.htm#The Summer of 1926 at the Blue Lantern Inn at
Here is the account of the visit and links to some of the photographs that Rich took. Rich wrrote on 08/25/00:
"The cottage [where Bix stayed in the summer of 1926] is no longer yellow, but blue. We met the
Millers, Lorraine & Del (parents of the owner, their son, who lives in St. Louis), at the Casino and followed them to the cottage. It is now located at least a mile from its original location which was south of the Casino and by the railroad tracks. Del had just installed a wooden railing around the front porch the day before we arrived, which I noticed right away. Upon entering the front door
you find yourself in a room which was probably the place where Bix's piano stood. Off to your right were doors that led into two small bedrooms. This was the original cottage. Since then, they have added a room across the back which contains a kitchen and bath. It was very exciting just being there and thinking back to when Bix, Pee Wee, and the others once shared this very house. Del is in the process of fixing up the place, installing new windows, carpeting, etc. Their son now
is asking 40 thousand plus the cost of repairs. Phil [Popsychala] told me that when he talked with the woman realtor who was handling the property a few months ago, and "before they found out about Bix," the price was $29,900. We also re-visited the Casino and found it the same. The outside had been painted but the stage, dance floor, etc., was the same. The owner is very
"tight lipped" and will not say what his plans are. Jim Arpy, a journalist and former charter member of BBMS, went with me. We had an exciting and enjoyable time, to say the least! By the way, Lorraine & Del Miller are very nice people!"
General view of Casino.
View of Casino from across the lake.
Original soda fountain. Rich writes: "Customers purchased soft drinks which they would "spike" with liquor since prohibition was in force. If you look at the upper-right you can see part of a wooden telephone booth. The soda fountain and the booth date back to 1926."
View of inside of casino.
Former "yellow" cottage, now blue.
I am grateful to Rich Johnson for generously providing the account and the photographs.
|Bix's Grandparents House.
R.J. (uploaded 7/1/2005)
Bix's grandparents were Carl Beiderbexke (changed his first name to Charles) and Louisa Pieper (changed to Louise Piper). Charles was born in Westphalia, Prussia in 1836. and died in Davenport in 1901. Louise was born in Hamburg, Prussia in 1840 and died in 1922 in Davenport while Bix had an engagement in Syracuse. Charles and Louise came to America in 1853, but in different ships and at different times of the year. Charles and Louise went to Davenport in 1856, but not at the same time. They met in Davenport and got married in 1860. They built their home at 532 W. 7th Street in 1880. Louise lived in the home she and Carl built until her death in 1922. The home was then convered to the Beiderbecke apartments. Currently it is a bed and breakfast estabishment owned by Pam and Dennis Laroque.
Bix did not know either of his grandgfathers, but was quite close to Louise (oma). Charles and Louise had four children: Carl Thomas, Oottilie, Bismark Herman, and Lutie. Bismark was Bix's father. Louise visited Germany in 1907. She was accompanied by her son Carl. They came back on the Grosser Kurfurst which arrived in New York on September 17, 1907. Both Louise and Carl are described as US citizens. Carl's name is given as Charles.
The photograph was taken ca 1899 and is included in the book "Davenport of to-day : [a picturesque and descriptive account of the present mercantile and industrial interests and advantages of Davenport] " published in 1910?, 26 pages. The three people seen are Charles, Louise and Lutie.
The photo was discovered by Gerri (one of Rich Johnson's researchers in Davenport) in a tiny book (26 pages) in the special collections of the Davenport Public Library. A framed copy of the photo is hanging on a wall of the Beiderbecke Inn.
Tyler School. R.J. (the image is large, be patient)
Bix enrolled in Tyler School, 1921 Grand Avenue, Davenport, right across from his home, in September 1908. Bix was five years old and went to kindergarten school through June 1909. Durin the school years 1909-1911, Bix attended first and second grade. Bix started third grade on September 4, 1911, but did not complete the year because he contracted scarlet fever. On September 2, 1912, Bix enrolled in third grade for the second time. He continued going to Tyler School and completed eighth grade in the middle of the school year, on January 25, 1918.
The photo of the eighth grade class has Bix on the far right, second row. Vera Cox, Bix's high school girl friend, is fourth from the left in the front row.
Rich noticed something very interesting about the photo. All the boys (and most of the girls) have the ribbon on their left. Bix has his ribbon on the right. A sign of Bix going his way, an individualist who does not follow conventions? Note also the disproportionate number of girls as compared to boys: 14 gilrs and only 7 boys.
Program for the Blue Lantern, Summer 1926. R.R.
In March of 1926, Jean Goldkette took an option on the Casino in Hudson Lake and renamed it The Blue Lantern. He assigned to that venue an orchestra directed by Frankie Trumbauer. The band consisted of Fuzzy Farrar (t); Bix(c); Sonny Lee (tb); Doc Ryker, Pee Wee Russell, Frank Trumbauer (reeds); Itzy Riskin, (p); Frank DiPrima (bj); Dan Gaebe (b); Dee Orr (d). According to all accounts, that was a very happy summer for Bix. The Blue Casino put out weekly programs. I have three pages from one of the programs. Front Cover. Page 8. Photo of Band.
Last Photograph of Bix? D.S.
In a Forum posting, Bill Anthony asks if there are any photographs of Bix from 1930 or 1931. The last photograph that I know of is from late August 1929. Paul Whitmena and his musicians had spent June-August in Los Angeles in connection with the film "The King of Jazz". There were problems with the script that could not be worked out and by August 28, 1929, Paul and the orchestra left Los Angeles. According to Evans and Evans, "Bix: The Leon Bix Beiderbecke Story", p. 487, this photograph of Bix and Tram was taken "en route back to New York". The accompanying image is a scan from Duncan Schiedt's magnificent book "Twelve Lives in Jazz", Delta Publishing, Parma, Italy, 1996. The same photograph is included in Hoagy Carmichael's auto biography "Sometimes I Wonder", published in 1965. The caption to the photo reads: "Bix and Frankie Trumbauer somewhere in Kansas when Paul Whiteman's band was returning from Hollywood. I was a freeloader on this trip."
I met Duncan in March 2000, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He graciously gave me permission to scan and post this photograph from p. 31 of "Twelve Lives in Jazz."
|The Jean Goldkette
Band at the Zoo. S.A. Uploaded Sep 15, 2009.
In 1926, the Jean Goldkette band went on an Eastern tour. Part of the tour included an appearance at Roseland. During their stay in New York, the musicians visited the zoo and played in front of the cage of an Alaskan brown bear.
From left to right, Bix Beiderbecke, Fred Farrar, Ray Lodwig, Bill Rank, Spiegle Willcox, Don Murray, Howdy Quicksell, Frank Trumbauer. This is October 1926.
for a Dance at Haynes Dancing School.R.J.
During the Spring of 1921 Bix played several dates with the Buckley Novelty Orchestra around Davenport. During the summer of 1921, Bix played with the bands in the excursion (out of Davenport) steamers "Majestic" (Plantation Jazz Orchestra) and "Capitol" (Ten Capitol Harmony Syncopaters). On August 5, 1921 Bix had the first gig under his own name, the "Bix Beiderbecke Five", for a dance at the Haynes Dancing School. The ad appeared in the August 5 issue of the "Davenport Democrat and Leader" paper. The building today houses "Trash Can Annie's Antique Clothing." For a current photograph of the building click here.
Rich Johnson, after seeing the mention of the dance in Sudhalter and Evans "Bix: Man and Legend", reasoned that there could be an ad in a local paper for the dance. Rich was successful in his search . "I've found it, I've found it", he exclaimed -to the surprise of the library patrons around him- when he came upon the ad looking through the microfilms in the Davenport Library.
for Danceland. R.J.
This ad appeared in the December 28, 1929 issue of The Daily Times. The ad was specificlly for a battle of the bands between the Jimmy Hicks orchestra and Tony's Iowans. However, note under the ad, the statement "DANCING SUNDAY, Don't Fail to Hear "BIX".
Union Transfer Sheet. R.J.
When a musician took up residence in a new city or own, he/she would transfer his/her membership to the new local. The date of this document is June 18, 1926 and corresponds to a transaction related to his membership involving the St. Louis and Detroit locals (withdrawal/deposit). I found it fascinating to realize, as I went through the document, that Bix was reading the questions and answering them.
This scan is from a copy of the document located in the Davenport Library. I am indebted to Rich Johnson for sending me the copy.
Wolverine Orchestra in Doyle's Academy of Music. J.V.
Bix with the Wolverine Orchestra opened at Doyle's Dancing Academy on January 14, 1924. The engagement had been arranged for them by Cincinnati's band leader Bernie Cummins. The Academy was located on the third floor of the building at the corner of Court Street and Central Avenue in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. This photo was taken in early 1924.
H. E. kindly cleaned up some blemishes on the photo. Click here to see the restored photo.
to Doyle's Academy of Dance. D.B.
Bix with the Wolverine Orchestra opened at Doyle's Dancing Academy on January 14, 1924. The engagement had been arranged for them by Cincinnati's band leader Bernie Cummins. The Academy was located on the third floor of the building at the corner of Court Street and Central Avenue in downtown Cincinnati. The Wolverines "had caused a greater stir among local musicians than on paying customers," wrote Sudhalter and Evans in "Bix: Man and Legend." Therefore, on March 31, 1924, the Wolverines notified the management of Doyle's Academy of their decision to leave the Academy and seek an engagement at the Athletic Club in Indianapolis. However, the people in charge of Doyle told the musicians that their contract was binding and that they could not leave. To ensure that the musicians would not depart, the management told them that they could not remove their instruments from the Dance Hall. The Wolverines were determined to leave. Thus, that night, Dick Voynow, who had stayed in the dance hall under the guise that he had to work on some arrangements, lowered their instruments from the third floor to the street where the remaining Wolverines were waiting to recover their instruments and load them into cars. After bringing down all the instruments, Voynow joined his colleagues and they all drove to Indianapolis where they arrived early in the morning of April 1, 1924. A photograph of the building where the Academy was located is given in page 102 of Sudhalter and Evans book.
Dave Bartholomew took a photograph of the door to the building in the late Seventies shortly before the block long building was demolished.
Cincinnati, Home of Doyle's Dancing Academy. D.B
View 1. Central Avenue face of the building. The big green door on Court street is hidden by the street sign post.
View 2. Court Street side of the doomed Phoenix Building taken from about the same angle as Francis Hannaford's 1965 shot on p.102 in "Bix-Man & Legend".
|Voyager Bix. F.W. This
published by Frederick C. Wiebel, Jr. on March 10, 1986, the day that
would have turned 83. The booklet consists of ten pages, 6 1/2" x 8 1/2
". Fred drew the images in each page to make what could be called
a montage. Fred writes on 07/30/01, "The individual drawings were
without borders and butted up to each other, taped together and to the
inside back of the cover and folded up accordion style to expand out to
about 65". I had wanted to print them on a single 65" piece of paper
that was impossible at the time. I tried to use as many Bix images as I
could squeeze in to tell the story. When I was working on the bust I
put most of the Bix photos all on one large piece of cardboard so I
look at them all at once. I liked being able to do that. Individually
Bix photos looked like different people but by seeing them all together
I was able follow the logical changes and became aware of the
in each, if that makes any sense. I decided to concentrate my efforts
the visual aspects of Bix as my contribution to 'the cause'. I can't
just how many "Voyager Bix" booklets I printed, but I'm sure it was
than 50 copies. I just have a xerox 'test pressing' copy myself. I
locate the cover design at this time but it's probably buried in my
somewhere along with the hundreds of other Bix related drawings. I used
to sell them by mail and at shows that I did. I mailed out xerox
version freebies too." To see the ten images of the drawings, click
of the following links.
Mont 1. Mont 2. Mont 3. Mont 4. Mont 5. Mont 6. Mont 7. Mont 8. Mont 9. Mont 10.
|A Beiderbecke Reverie. F.W. Fred writes on 8/10/01. "I had spent many hours at Oakdale [the cemetery where Bix is buried, ed.] and in the heat of the summer I could feel the images of Bix's life rising out of the ground like evaporating dew and hear cornet strains in the rustling of the leaves in the trees. I tried to recapture that feeling in the sketch. I didn't want to make any corrections or use colors as I thought that would break the spell by making it too solid. It was done in an acrylic wash on a 9" X 12" canvas and it is dated April 4, 1986. I was going to use it for the cover of a Bix calendar with significant dates that I put together from the chronology in Bix, Man & Legend. I contacted some 'Jazz' calendar publishers but they didn't feel that there would be enough interest to make it commercially viable."|
the Camel Pleasure Hour. S.B.
In September of 1929, after recording "Waiting at the End of the Road", his last record with the Paul Whiteman orchestra, Bix collapsed. His health was very poor. Paul Whiteman and Kurt Dieterle put Bix on a train to Davenport where he remained for several months of rest and treatment. Bix returned to New York in April 1930. The jazz scene was not very encouraging. Bix was reluctant to join the Paul Whiteman again. Let's recall that it was the brutal Whiteman tour that had started in May 1929 and the idle summer in Hollywood that contributed to the rapid deterioration of Bix's health. Few jobs were to be found, but he managed. Bix joined Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey and played on college campuses. He had a recording date with his old pal Hoagy Carmichael. Things were beginning to look up. Sudhalter and Evans, in their magnificent book "Bix, Mand and Legend" (Arlington House, 1974) provide a detailed account of the genesis of the Camel radio program: "One non-playing guest that night was John Wiggin, a Bix fan since his undergraduate days at Stanford University. He had just been named by NBC to produce their new Camel Pleasure Hour radio series. N. W. Ayer & Son, the advertising agengy handling the account, nominated Nat Shilkret to form the orchestra. Not illogically, Shilkret's choice for arranging and general musical organization was Bill Challis. Together, the two men set out about recruiting what was, in effect, a large Whiteman-style orchestra." Several of the members of the orchestra were either old buddies of Bix's or musicians he knew well: Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Min Leinbrook, Lennie Hayton, Carl Kress, Carlie Margulis, Red Mayer. The premiere of the Camel Pleasure Hour took place on Wednesday, June 4, 1930 over WJZ from New York City, one of the "blue" stations of the NBC network. Bix played on the Camel Pleasure Hour every Wednesday until October 8, 1930, when he blacked out in the middle of the broadcast and returned to Davenport. Bix was replaced by Bob Ephros.
in Skydeck of Sears Tower. W.S.
The Skydeck in the Sears Tower in Chicago is 1,353 feet (412 meters) above the ground. One of the murals on the skydeck has photos of several jazz musicians whose careers started in Chicago. Among the musicians in the mural, we find Bix Beiderbecke. As noted by Will Severns, the name assigned to Bix is "Leonard Bismark Beiderbecke"!!! In August 2002, I wrote to the officials at the Sears Tower pointing out the error and asking that it be corrected. As of today (September 7), no answer was received
|Record Label Signed by Bix, Tram and Pee Wee.
Signed label of OKeh record 40822, "Ostrich Walk," recorded by Frank Trumbauer and His Orchestra with Bix on May 9, 1927.
Mike writes on Feb 25, 2005. "I am not maintaining with certainty that these autographs are authentic. I believe they are, but I have not had them authenticated. If it is a forgery, it was done a long time ago. I bought the record about 20 years ago from a long-time collector who had bought it from Robert Altshuler back in the 1970s. The signatures were flaked off then, as you see them in the photo, so obviously it had been done many years before the 1970s, and on the surface they stand a good chance of being authentic. Also, if it's a forgery, the decision to include Pee Wee Russell is a bit odd, since he doesn't play on that record. My belief is that someone took a copy of the record to a later session to have it signed, and just happened to get Pee Wee without realizing that he isn't on those sides (no discographies back then!). There is also a Trumbauer signature on the flip side that's in better shape.
Altshuler was a Columbia Records executive who was a dealer in high-profile 78s on the side. He donated or sold the
remains of his stock to the Smithsonian a few years before he died."
This is what I am able to decipher from the writings on the label.
Best of everything
Best of Luck
Pee Wee Russell
in Musician's Union Local 67 Ledgers. E.B.
Bix obtained a musician's union card on October 1, 1923. The card was issued by the Davenport American Federation of Musicans, Local # 67. This is a copy of the Bix page in the union's ledgers.
For Appearance of Bee Palmer in Davenport. R.J.
This ad appeared in the February 25, 1921 issue of The Daily Times. Bee Palmer, the Shimmy Queen, appeared from Februay 27 to March 2, 1921 in the Columbia Theatre in Davenport as part of the Orpheum circuit. .Her jazz band consisted, according to Santo Pecora's recollections, of Emmett Hardy, cornet; Santo Pecora (trombone); Leon Roppolo, clarinet; John Frisco, drums; and Al Siegel. piano. According to Esten Spurrier, he and Bix played "hooky" and attended all of the performances. On March 3, Bee Palmer and Al Siegel were married, secretly, in the masonic temple by justice of the peace W.W. Scott.
Bix's mother was Agatha "Aggie" Jane Hilton. Her parents were Beriah Hilton and Caroline Hill. Caroline Hill was the daughter of Adam Hill. Caroline had two brothers, David and John, and a sister, Mary. Adam lived in the house at 615 E 15th Street, Davenport, Iowa with his sons an daugher Mary. When Beriah left his family, Caroline and Aggie went to live with Adam Hill. David moved to Colorado, and Caroline died in 1879, when Agatha was nine years old. Two years later Adam died, and 4 years later, John died. That left Agatha alone with her Aunt Mary. Agatha married Bismark Beiderbecke on June 7, 1893. They did not have their own house at that time, and they moved with Aunt Mary. Burnie and Mary Louise (Bix's brother and sister) were born there in 1895 and 1898, respectively. . In 1900, Aggie and Bismark built the house at 1934 Grand and moved in. Three years later, Bix was born in what is known today as "Bix's house."
The genealogical information comes from "Bix: The Leon Bix Beiderbecke Story" by Philip and Linda Evans, and from current research by Rich Johnson.
Davenport Blues Record.
B. (uploaded Sep
The March 5, 1925 issue of the Davenport Democrat and Leader carried an ad for the Bix Beiderbecke and His Rhythm Jugglers recording of "Davenport Blues." This was recorded on January 26, 1925 at the Gennett Studios in Richmond, Indiana. The Jugglers were Bix, (cornet), Don Murray (clarinet), Tommy Dorsey (trombone), Paul Mertz (piano), Tommy Gargano (drums). This is the only Bix composition for a jazz band. All his other compositions were for piano.
of Bee Palmer. A.H.
This is a photo sent to me by the late Frank Manera. I do not know the source or year. Very lovely photo.
Berton With Drum Set. E.B.
Advertisement from the Melody Maker, late 1920s.
Music for "I Want To Shimmie." A.H.
This song by Shelton Brooks and Grant Clarke was introduced by Bee Palmer in the 1918 Ziegfield Follies in New York City.. There is a good picture of Bee on the front page.
Music of "What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry? A.H.
A fox-trot by Walter Donaldson and Abe Lyman, published by Leo Feist, this was a great success for Bee Palmer in 1926.
Crosby and Eddie Lang # 1. S.B.
Bing joined the Paul Whiteman orchestra on December 6, 1926. It was not until October 27, 1927 that Bix joined the Whiteman organization. Bix and Bing must have become buddies very quickly. On October 29, 1927, after their performance with the orchestra at the Ambassador Theatre in St. Louis, Bix and Bing double-dated Ruth and Estelle Shaffner. Bing's association with Paul Whiteman ended on May 6, 1930. As Bing started performing and recording as a solo artist, he hired the great Eddie Lang as his accompanist. This is a publicity photograph from the early 1930's.
|Photographs of the
Photo 1. A view of the entrance to "The Whistle Stop."
Photo 2. The train from South Bend at the station, only a Flag stop.
Photo 3. A view of the entrance at night.
Photo 4. A view of the back end from the North edge of Hudson Lake
Photo 5. The restored cabin where Bix and cohorts stayed in the summer of 1926.
Crosby and Eddie Lang # 2. S.C.
Another publicity photo of Bing and Eddie. This was scanned by Sergio from p. 31 of the December 1932 issue of "Cinegraf" a magazine published in Argentina by Editorial Atlantida.
Wolverine Orchestra in the Gennett Studios. H.E.
This is the famous photograph taken on February 18, 1924 during the first recording session of the Wolverine Orchestra at the Gennett Recording Studios in Richmond, Indiana. From left to right: Min Leibrook, Jimmy Hartwell, George Johnson, Bob Gillette, Vic Moore, Dick Voynow, Bix Beiderbecke and Al Gandee.
Wolverine Orchestra Outside the Gennett Studios, 1. H.E.
This image and the next one were taken outside the Gennett studio after the recording session of May 6th, 1924. The photogrpahs belonged to George Johnson who send them, together with an article he wrote called "Wolverine Days" in 1936 to the English jazz magazine "Swing Music". The originals were never send back to Johnson and are since lost.
Standing in car, left to right: Leibrook, Hartwell, Moore, Johnson. Standing in front: Gillette, Bix, Voynow.
The scans are by Hans Eekhoff from a copy of the magazine that belongs to Ate van Delden. Copies of the photographs are found in p. 148 of "Bix" The Leon Bix beiderbecke Story" by Philip Evans and Linda Evans.
Wolverine Orchestra Outside the Gennett Studios, 2. H.E.
For information about the origin of the photograph, see previous image.
Left to right, unknown, Leibrook, Hartwell, Johnson, Moore, Gillette, Voynow, Bix.
Addendum, 09/10/01. Dave Bartholomew transmits the following information in an e-mail message, "I've been told by a good authority (Sam Meier of Richmond, Indiana) that the "unknown" in the boxcar photo is recording supervisor Ezra
Wickemeyer. He has a hat and holds his hands in his pockets. Sam Meier says Ezra Wickemeyer liked to struck a pose when being photographed. He has seen other pictures of him." Mr. Wickmeyer was the recording supervisor for Hitch's Happy Harmonists recording session of May 19, 1925. Hoagy Carmicheal replaced Hitch at the piano and two great tunes by Hoagy were recorded, namely, "Boneyard Shuffle" and "Washboard Blues." Hoagy recorded "Washboard Blues" again on November 18, 1927, this time with Bix and the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. That was the first recording of Bix with Whiteman.
I am grateful to Dave for supplying the identity of the "unknown" man in the photograph.
Ciricillo Sitting at His Piano. J.G.
At the end of April 1930, Bix took residence in room 605 of the 44th Street Hotel. His neighbor in room 606 was trumpet player and Columbia University music student Pasquale "Pat" Ciricillo. Pat had purchased a Wurlitzer upright piano some months earlier. He secured a job in a summer resort for three months, beginning in June 1930 and allowed Bix to borrow the piano for that period. Pat returned to Manhattan in the Fall of 1930, in time for his classes in Columbia University, and the piano went back to room 606, but Bix would drop in Pat's room to use the piano during September of 1930 and again beginning in February 1931, when he retuned from Davenport. According to Pat Ciricillo, Bix composed "Flashes" and "In the Dark" on Pat's piano.
The piano is now on exhibit at The Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection in New Orleans.
I am grateful to Joe Giordano for the gift of a copy of this photograph taken by Joe Giordano.
Blues Sheet Music. A. H.
On January 26, 1924, Bix Beiderbecke and His Rhythm Jugglers, Don Murray (clarinet), Tommy Dorsey (trombone), Tommy Gargano (drums) and Paul Mertz (piano), recorded the immortal "Davenport Blues" in the Gennett Records Studios in Richmond, Indiana. Hoagy Carmichael, who was present in the session as he had driven Bix from Indianapolis, provides the following account in his autobiography "Sometimes I Wonder": Bix started doodling on his horn. He seemed to find a strain that suited him. By that time everybody took a hand in composing the melody and the true friendship of musicians began: with the music. "We're ready?" Bix said. Everyone nodded. "Oh sure." As far as I could see they didn't have any arrangement worked out. Or tune either. Yet when the technician came in and gave them the high sign, they nodded. "Spin it, Sam." "Any time you are ready." Away they went, down into the lowest darkness of mood and music. Dorsey said in the break: "Call it Davenport Blues in honor of Bix's home town." "Thanks, fellas."
Davenport Blues was copyrighted in 1927 and again in 1937 by the Robbins Music Corporation. The sheet music, an arrangement for piano, was edited by Bill Challis.
Bach Corporation File Cards for Stradivarius Cornets Purchased by Bix
On February 17, 1927, Bix purchased at Hans Bach music store on West 48th Street a Bach Stradivarius cornet, serial number 0616, bell mandril # 101, made of French brass. Bix also orderefd another Stradivarius cornet, serial number 0620, bell mandril # 106, made of French brass and gold-plated. The cornet was sent to Bix after he had returned to Detroit. The # 620 cornet is the one currently located in the Putnam museum. For information about this cornet click here.
Roy Hempley kindly sent me scans of the two file cards. To see the images click 616 and 620.
The images are shown with the permission of The Selmer Company. Their generosity is herein acknowledged.
I also want to thank Enrico Borsetti for giving me a link to the Selmer Company site. That resulted in a very fruitful correspondence with Roy.
Bach # 620 Cornet. E.B.
This is the cornet currently in the Putnam Museum, Davenport, IA. Bix ordered this cornet on February 17, 1927. For information about this cornet click here.
This item with Bix's signature below the title "Dennington Builders, Inc. appeared on ebay in 2001. I grabbed the image and saved it. If the owner of the item objects, I will quickly remove this image from the gallery. The origin of this item is unknown.
File Card for Jimmy McPartland's Stradivarius Cornet. AH.
According to Evans and Evans, "Bix: The Leon Bix Beiderbecke Story," Bix helped Jimmy McPartland buy a Bach Stradivarius cornet. In a telephone interview of 2/1/54, Jimmy McPartland stated, "We played a jam session in the Three Deuces and Bix showed me his new Bach cornet, the best horn he'd ever owned. I fell in love with it, and right after the jam session, he took me over to the Dixie Music Company. Bix put down $100 for a Bach [serial number 929]. and told me, "You can scrape up the other $50." Jimmy did and picked up the cornet on December 14th. "
To see the image of the file card, click here.
I am grateful to Roy Hempley for sending me the scan and to the Selmer Company for permission to show it.
S. S. Capitol. F.W.
During the summer of 1921, just before he left for the Lake Forest Academy, Bix played cornet with the bands of two steamboats. On June 21 he joined the Plantation Jazz Orchestra on the S. S. Majestic. Day excursions on June 21, 25, 28 and 30 originated in Davenport, and Bix was on the boat on those days. On July 6, Bix joined Doc Wrixon's "Ten Capitol Harmony Syncopaters [sic]" on the S. S. Capitol. According to Sudhalter and Evans, "Bix: Man and Legend,", "the old stern-wheeler worked the river from Hannibal, Missouri, deep in Huck Finn country, all the way up to Winona, Minnesota, east of Rochester.. Most of the trade was in 24-hour charter jobs." When the Capitol docked in Davenport on July 15, the musicians union officials had Bix removed from the band because he did not have a union card.
|Davenport, Part 1. F.W.
Davenport, Iowa was Bix's birth place. Davenport is located on the Mississippi river and boats were an integral part of life. Through the courtesy of Fred, I offer three images: the Davenport ferry, the skyline of Davenport and the key to the city.
Davenport, Iowa was Bix's birth place. That is where Bix went to school, church, and walked to the banks of the Mississippi River. Here are some views of places where we could meet Bix if we had a time machine.
First Presbyterian Church. View 1. View 2.
Tyler School. This is the elementary school that Bix atttended. The school is located across the street form Bix's home on Grand Avenue. The cancellation date on the postcard is October 7, 1913. At this precise time, Bix was enrolled in fourth grade.
Davenport High School. View 1. View 2. View 3.
Blackhawk Hotel. (1917) Bix played in this hotel on December 23, 1929 with the Trave O'Hearn Dance Orchestra.
Mississippi Hotel. Enrico Borsetti and Rich Johnson tell me that Agatha, Bix's mother, moved into the Mississippi Hotel in downtown Davenport shortly after Bismark's death in 1940 where she remained until her death on September 5, 1952.
Davenport Ferry. (1915)
Second Street, Davenport.
Third and Brady Streets, Davenport.
Kirkwood Boulevard, Davenport. A part of the First Presbyterian Church can be seen on the left.
Davenport Outing Club. (1906) This is where Marie Louise, Bix's sister, got married to Theodore Shoemaker on November 8, 1924.
Bird's Eye View of Davenport. (1913)
Bird's Eye View of Davenport. (1907)
Second and Harrison Street. (1907)
of Davenport. L.M.P.
Looking East on Main Street from Second Street.
Second Street Looking West.
Corner of Second and Brady Streets.
Third and Brady Streets.
High School. 1909
City Hall. 1909
Public Library. 1923
I am grateful to LyndaMeyer Paxton for graciously giving me permission to post her postcards.
OKeh Records. R.R.
According to Tim Gracyk and R. J. Wakeman (see http://www.garlic.com/~tgracyk/tmw.htm ), "The phonograph industry's main trade journal from 1905 to around 1930 was Talking Machine World (TMW). It eventually covered radio products as carefully as talking machines and in 1929 was renamed Talking Machine World And Radio-Music Merchant. The 1929 Crash seems to have put an end to the publication, or at least I have seen nothing later than the December 1929 issue." The TMW featured articles and lots of fascinating advertisements. There were ads for anything related to phonogrpahs, including ads for recently released records. The following, taken from various issues of the Talking Machine World, are of interest to the Bixography.
1. Ad for OKeh Records: "Riverboat Shuffle" and "Ostrich Walk" by Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra. June 1927.
2. Ad for OKeh Records: Sophie Tucker, Frankie Trumbauer and Boyd Senter. October 1927.
3. Ad for OKeh Records: Sophie Tucker, Frankie Trumbauer, Sigmund Krumgold, Seger Ellis. December 1927.
4. Ad for OKeh Records: Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra, Joe Venuti's Blue Four, McKenzie and Condon's Chicagoans, Bix Beiderbecke and His Gang, Boyd Senter. December 1928.
Music of Goldkette "You Are Just A Vision", Copyright 1925.S.B.
Music by Jean Goldkette, Ray Ludwig, Don Murray and Charles Horvath, words by Howdy Quicksell. This song was never recorded by the Jean Goldkette orchestra.
|Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra, 1924? 1925? S.B.|
Goldkette and His Orchestra, 1924, Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, MI. R.B.
From left to right: Spiegle Willcox , trombone; Bill Rank, trombone; Steve Brown, tuba; Ray Lodwig, trumpet; Fuzzy Farrar, trumpet; Russ Morgan, director; Chauncey Morehouse, drums; Howdy Quicksell, bnjo; Doc Ryker, alto, baritone, clarinet; Lou Longo, piano; Jimmy Dorsey, clarinet, alto; Don Murray, clarinet, tenor, baritone.
Goldkette and His Orchestra, late 1924 or early 1925, Graystone
Detroit, MI. R.B.
From left to right: Russ Morgan, director; Steve Brown, bass, tuba; Bill Rank, trombone; Spiegle Willcox, trombone; Howard Quicksell, banjo; Fuzzy Farrar, trumpet; Chauncey Morehouse, drums; Lou Longo, piano; Doc Ryker, alto, baritone, clarinet; Don Murray, clarinet, tenor, baritone; Ray Lodwig, trumpet; Jimmy Dorsey, clarinet, alto.
Goldkette and His Orchestra, 1926, Southboro, MA. H.E.
On September 12, 1926 the musicians of the Jean Goldkette orchestra left Chicago by train for their eastern tour. The tour started in New England with headquarters in the Hillcrest Inn, Southboro, Massachusetts. The orchestra travelled by bus to every engagement. The photo shows the band members sitting on top of the bus they used. They are from left to right: Bill Challis, Spiegle Willcox, Irving Riskin, Bix Beiderbecke, Don Murray, Howdy Quicksell, Doc Ryker, Chauncey Morehouse, Fred Farrar, Ray Lodwig, Bill Rank. Steve Brown is sitting on the hood, holding a gun.
In his book "Waiting for Dizzy" (Oxford Univesity Press, New York, 1990), Gene Lees writes about this photo. "Spiegle Willcox has a photo of the band on a wall in his home. The men are seated on the roof of a mini-bus on the side of which a banner proclaims: Jean Goldkette Orchestra New England tour J. A. Lyons Mgr. Wherever the band played during that New England tour, the place was packed with musicians, such was the band's reputation - and Beiderbecke's."
Addendum by Hans Eekhoff. What Steve Brown is holding is actually a cigarette lighter shaped as a gun; Spiegle had one too (present from Brown who always was his roommate); he's holding it in the picture taken the same day where the band is holding the banner across the road.
of the Goldkette Sax Section, ca 1926. H.E.
Don Murray and Jimmy Dorsey fooling around. Enrico Borsetti tells me (e-mail message 01/07/01) that the photot was made for advertising Conn instruments. The photograph is inscluded in a book with many orchestras advertising Conn instruments.
of Junior Prom with an Appearance by the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, 1927.S.B.
On January 24, 1927, the Jean Goldkette orchestra opened at the Roseland Ballroom for their second engagement and a repeat of their phenomenal earlier success. Early in February, after completing their engagement, they returned to Detroit and the Graystone Ballroom where they remianed for several months. On April 13, 1927 the band was on the road again with stops in Dayton, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Terre Haute, Indiana; Bloomington, Indiana; and State College, Pennsylvania (the home of The Pennsylvania State University) on their way East. The engagement in State College was on April 29, 1927 in connection with Penn State's Junior Prom. The announcement shows that the Jan Garber band was the second band for that particular engagement.
I would like to add a personal note because Penn State is very close to my heart. My first position as a professor of chemistry was at Penn State; my older son started going to school in State College, and my younger son was born there. Hooray for the Nittany Lions!
for Appearance of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra at Roseland. A.H.
The Jean Goldkette made a tour of the Eastern United States -Massachusetts and New York- in the Fall of 1926. The band opened on October 6, 1926. Beginning on October 12, the Jean Goldkette and Fletcher Henderson bands alternated. The ad in the image is from the October 10, 1926 issue of the New York Times. The ad announces the October 13 appearance of the two bands and describes the show as "The Battle of Music."
Reunion in the Early 1940's. H.E.
Back row, left to right : unknown (Lou Longo?), Chauncey Morehouse, Doc Ryker. Front row, left to right : Fuzzy Farrar, Jimmy Dorsey, Jean Goldkette and Spiegle Willcox. All played and recorded with Bix. H.E.
Inn, Southboro, MA. D.L.
In September 1926, the members of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra left Detroit for their eastern tour. They arrived at he Hillcrest Inn, Southboro, MA on September 21, 1926, where they set up headquarters for the New England tour. David writes, " A photograph of the band in front of the inn has been published in many books, including Bix, Man and Legend by Richard Sudhalter (a Boston native) and Phil Evans. This building still exists as an apartment located at 12 East Main Street.
At their headquarters, the band's newly hired young arranger, Bill Challis, met with the band and presented them with some of their most innovative and "hot" arrangements. Challis recalls how he and Frank Trumbauer, Bix's comrade in arms on C-Melody saxophone, took long walks in the evening along the water near Hillcrest, plotting the band's new sound, in the book Waiting For Dizzy by Gene Lees, under the chapter "Bix and Bill". Additionally, a recent novel about Bix, 1929 by Frederick Turner, contains a brief, fictional account of the tour, including a scene at the Hillcrest Inn."
The photo shows the building in 2003.
Keller Sisters and Lynch, 1926. R.S.
This photograph comes from the sheet music of I'm Forever Dreaming of You." The Keller Sisters and Lynch recorded two sides with Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra when Bix was a member of the orchestra. "Sunday" was recorded on October 15, 1926 and "Proud of A Baby Like You" on January 28, 1927. I thank Randy for providing the scan.
| WJR Radio Guide,
1928 or 1929. S.H.
From Wikipedia. <>"WJR began as WCX on May 4, 1922, owned by the Detroit Free Press newspaper, operating at 580 kHz. It shared this frequency with WWJ-AM, another station owned by the Detroit News newspaper. In 1925, WCX was bought by the Jewett Radio & Phonograph Company in Pontiac, Michigan, and the station became known as WCX/WJR. Also by 1925, WWJ was at 850 kHz, and both stations were broadcasting at 5000 watts of power. On November 11, 1928 it moved to 750 AM as a result of the FRC's General Order 40.
On December 16, 1928, the station moved from the newspaper's offices to the Fisher Building and began its callsign, "WJR Detroit, from the Golden Tower of the Fisher Building," which soon became famous across the country (and is still used to this day). Goodwill Stations Inc., formed by George A. Richards (who also owned the Detroit Lions), acquired WJR in 1929, and it became known as "The Goodwill Station" (along with WGAR in Cleveland and KMPC in Los Angeles). WCX ceased to exist as all the assets are acquired by WJR. In 1931, the station raised its power to 10,000 watts; four years later, it would broadcast at 50,000 watts."
The Jean Goldkette band, with Bix, broadcast from the Graystone Ballroom every Thursday evening form 10 to 11 p.m. on Dec 2, 9, and 16, 1926. Beginning on Dec 23 , 1926 and continuing on Dec 30, 1926, Jan 6, 13, and 20, 1927 from 9 to 10 p.m. After a trip East, the band resumed its broadcasts form the Graystone Ballroom on Feb 12, 17, 24, 1927 and every week until April 7, 1927.
This radio guide dates from 1928 or 1929. It provides some infomation about the Goldkette orchestra, which at this time no longer included Bix.
of Adrian Rollini.F.H.
This photograph is probably from about 1927. Adrian Rollini's phenomenal bass saxophone sound is heard in many of the recordings by the California Ramblers and in all of the 1927 recordings of Bix Beiderbecke and His Gang.
of Adrian Rollini in 1927. N.D.
This is a photo of a section of the California Ramblers: Adrian Rollini (center), Sylvester Ahola (right) and Tommy Fellini (left) taken on top of the Banford Theatre in Newalk, New Jersey in February 1927. Note that Ahola is holding a camera. He took film of the New Yorkers in the fall of 1927, but never captured Bix on film. Nick notes that Ahola is 6 feet tall. Rollini was described by his brother Arthur as being 5'5 or 5'6. However, Ahola and Rollini appear to be approximately of the same height.
Rollini With Bass Saxophone, late 1920s. E.B.
Adverisement form the Melody Maker, late 1920s.
of Irving Kaufman From Vitaphone Short Film. R.B.
This is a photograph of Irving (left), Jack Kaufman (right) and Eve Sinclair (middle) taken from the Vitaphone short, #560 "The Kaufman Brothers, with Irving and Jack, assisted by Eve Sinclair." They sang "High, High Up In The Hills", "Russian Lullaby" (Irving solos), and "Deedle, Deedle Dum". This was a 35 mm film made in 1927. The film exists at the Library of Congress, but the sound is missing.
Irving Kaufman recorded four tunes with Bix under the Irving Kaufman name..
September 29, 1927. Broadway Bellhops. "There Ain't No Land Like Dixieland to Me." "There's A Cradle in Caroline."
September 30, 1927. Frank Trumbauer and His Orchestra. "Just An Hour of Love." "I'm Wondering Who."
Kaufman recorded two other tunes with Bix under the name Noel Taylor, one of Kaufman's numerous pseudonyms.
April 3, 1928. Frank Trumbauer and His Orchestra. ""Our Bungalow of Dreams." "Lila."
For an informative article about Irving Kaufman, go to http://www.garlic.com/~tgracyk/kaufman.htm
I thank Ryan Barna for permission to post the photo and for providing the information about the film.
Lugosi and Paul Whiteman, Hollywood, 1929. S.B.
This photograph was taken at Universal studio during the filming of "The King of Jazz". At that time, Bela Lugosi was filming "Dracula". Both films were released in 1930.
In June 1929, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra went to Los Angeles to film "The King of Jazz". Except for the regular broadcast for Old Gold over station KMTR and occasional engagements, the musicians had not much to do except hang around, which they did for about two months. By the end of August 1930, Paul Whiteman, who could not agree on a script with the officials in Universal, decided to take the orchestra back East. This turn of events is most unfortunate because what could have been an extended appearance by Bix in a film (Bix can be seen playing his cornet for a few seconds in a Fox Movietone Newsreel of May 12, 1928), was not to be.
It seems pretty clear that the summer of 1929 contributed enormously to the deterioration of Bix's health. On June 2, 1929 Don Murray died in Los Angeles from a dreadful accident (fracture of the skull while under the influence of alcohol). The band arrived in Los Angeles on June 6 and, surely, soon after, Bix must have learned of the accident. Bix and Don were close friends since 1922 (note that in many photographs of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, Bix and Don are next to each other) and the news of Don's death must have affected Bix deeply. The two months of relative inactivity did not help either. With not much to do and living in a relatively inaccessible location (Bix and Boyce Cullen had rented a house in Laurel Canyon), Bix must have done a lot of drinking. Thus, the decline in his health must have accelerated considerably. This is not idle speculation: there is ample evidence that upon his return to New York Bix's health was seriously compromised. On September 13, 1929, during his last recording session with Paul Whiteman, Bix could complete only the first record cut on that day - "Waiting at the End of the Road" - and collapsed immediately after that. On September 15 he left New York for Davenport and spent about a month at home. On October 14, Bix entered the Keeley Institute in Dwight, Illinois.
It was at about this time that Paul Whiteman returned to Hollywood to film "The King Of Jazz". But Bix was not to accompany him.
of Paul Whiteman, 1926. N.D.
This photograph was taken in 1926. Don Rayno's biography of Paul Whiteman has a photo of Whiteman with violin, sitting down, evidently taken on the same day. The dedcation in the corner is to Sammy Lewis, trombone player with the Whiteman band from November 1920 to August 1923.
for the Appearance of The Collegians at the Crystal Palace. E.B.
The Big Bands Data Base [http://nfo.net/.WWW/may.htm] provides the following information about the Collegians. " Newell "Spiegle" Willcox's career began just after World War I, when he started playing in Syracuse, NY. In 1922, he was playing with "The Big Four" in Ithaca, NY. (actually an Octet). Paul Whiteman discovered the band and renamed them "The Collegians". Spiegle joined the Whiteman band and had his first recording with Whiteman. ("That Red-Head Gal" -New York, March 23, 1923, Victor 19049.) Spiegle stayed with the Whiteman organization until early 1925, when he left Whiteman and returned to Cortland, NY, re-joining his coal family's firm briefly. In the summer of 1925, he was a member of a local band playing in a dance hall in Auburn's (NY) Owasco Lake area. He became friendly with a member of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, trumpet player Fred "Fuzzy" Farrar, who was then vacationing in the area. Farrar mentioned that Tommy Dorsey was quitting the Goldkette band and a replacement was needed. In October 1925, Spiegle joined the Jean Goldkette Victor Recording Orchestra. In May 1926, Bix Beiderbecke and Frank Trumbauer joined Goldkette's band. In 1927, Goldkette disbanded his Victor Recording band, and Spiegle again returned to his family's coal business, this time remaining there for several decades."
Enrico Borsetti writes, "Seated: STUB WASHBURN-alto sax; BOB CAUSER-drums and leader; JIMMY LYNCH-piano.
Standing, from left: CHARLIE DEAN-banjo; NEWELL “Spiegle” WILLCOX-trombone; RED EWALD-violin; ROY JOHNSTON-trumpet; FREDDIE BALLINGER-tenor sax, piano, trombone.
We all know Spiegle Willcox career, Bob Causer leading swing bands through later 30’s, Roy Johnston with Ray Miller/Gene Fosdick & His Hoosiers/California Ramblers, but what became of the others?
of Paul Whiteman Orchestra's Engagement in the Ambassador Theatre
in St. Louis, 1927. S.B.
St. Louis, Missouri, located at the intersection of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, downstream from Davenport, Iowa, turned out to be a very important city in Bix's life. After his phenomenal success with the Wolverine Orchestra, Bix's career floundered. His first experience with Jean Goldkette was short and ill-fated. From December 1924 to September 1925, Bix starts college and drops out, spends some time in New York sitting with the California Ramblers, joins briefly the Charley Straight, Nat Natoli and Island Lake bands. Sometime in June 1925, Trumbauer gets in touch with Bix for a possible engagement at the Arcadia Ballroom in St. Louis. Things work out nicely and Bix arrives in St. Louis in August 1925 and starts rehearsing with the Frank Trumbauer's orchestra for a September 8 opening. From August 1925 to May 1926, with the exception of a brief visit to Davenport and an appearance of the band in Carbondale, Illinois, Tram's hometown, Bix spends all his time in St. Louis playing steadily with the Trumbauer orchestra in the Arcadia Ballroom. This is the longest period of time that Bix spends in one place since December of 1923. It is in St. Louis that Bix meets Ruth Shaffner. The steady rehearsals and performances, and his close relationship with Ruth very likely result in Bix leading a relatively ordered life. This in turn contributes to a marked improvement in Bix's cornet technique and ability to read music. For a year and a half, Bix is silent as far as recordings are concerned. Bix's only recording session in 1925 takes place on January 26 - the Jugglers session. Bix's first recording session in 1926 takes place on October 12 with the newly reconstituted Jean Goldkette Victor recording orchestra. What a difference 16 months make! Bix's tone is clearer, sharper, stronger.
Bix leaves St. Louis on May 7, 1926 and does not return until October 29, 1927. This is two days after Bix and Tram join the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, after their short-lived association with Adrian Rollini's New Yorkers.
The image associated with this text is an ad in a St. Louis newspaper (St. Louis Dispatch?) for Paul Whiteman's one-week engagement at the Ambassador Hotel. The "potato head" caricature is being used in the ad and "Paul' Rhythm Boys" are the only musicians specifically mentioned.
A Mist Sheet Music. F.H.
This is the original issue of the sheet music. Note the heading "Paul Whiteman Presents" on top. Subsequent issues, such as the one in the Bixography home page, did not include that heading. For additional information, connect to http://ms.cc.sunysb.edu/~alhaim/recordingsinamist.htm#SheetMusic
Bix Beiderbecke wrote four piano compositions. Flashes was copyrighted on April 18, 1931.
Sheet Music. R.R.
I believe that this is the only sheet music with a photo of Bix. This was issued in 1924 in various forms, some without a photograph insert, others with various photo insets. The design is by Perret. The heading above the photgraph reads "Featured by Dick Voynow and the Wolverines."
for Goldkette Concert of May 23. E.B.
A copy of this ad was given by Spiegle Willcox to Enrico Borsetti. When asked if this concert was presented in 1926 or 1927, Richard Sudhalter correctly pointed out, " Has to be 1927. May 23, 1926, fell on a Sunday -- the day after Bix and Tram opened at Hudson Lake. On May 23, 1927, the Goldkette Orchestra did a morning record date for Victor ("In My Merry Oldsmobile")in Camden, NJ, then drove to Hershey, Pennsylvania (not too far away), where they played that concert. Spiegle doubtless had the poster because it was his last daywith the band." Enrico Borsetti writes, "for the casual Bix fan looking at the Goldkette poster for the first first time, I would like to send this info on personnel pictured:
On top-Quicksell, Riskin, Sheasby, Lodwig, Ryker
Middle-Morehouse, Bix, Brown, Rank, Spiegle, Murray
On the left hand of silhouette-Farrar
On the right hand of silhouette-Trumbauer
for Parlophone Records by Frank Trumbauer and by Miff Mole. F.T.
Fredrik writes, "This scan was made from the book "The world of Jazz in Printed Ephemera and Collectibles" by Jim Godbolt (London, 1990). Originally the ad was published in the May, 1928 issue of Melody Maker. Note that the music - as has been noticed recently in the forum - is nowhere described as "jazz" but as "modern dance music" or just "modern music." Note also that Bix Beiderbecke is not mentioned in the ad in spite of the fact that he is highly prominent in the two Tram recordings. In contrast, Adrian Rollini is mentioned by name in the ad for Miff Mole's records.
for Parlophone Records by Frank Trumbauer and by Sophie Tucker. F.T.
An adverstisement for Parlophone "New Records of Modern Dance Music" in the "Melody Maker and British Metronome" issue of June 1928. Frank Trumbauer is described as the "King of All Saxophone Players and the greatest figure in Modern Musi," Note that Bix is mentioned along Lang and Schutt -who in fact was not a member of thevand; the pianist was Irving Riskin.. Other ads are for Joe Venuti's Blue Four, the Goofus Five, Boyd Senter, and Sophie Tucker.
from 1927 Melody Maker. N.D.
1. Ad for Trumbology and For No Reason At All in C. Note that Arthur Schut is given as the pianist in For No Reason At All in C, wehn in fact, Bix is at the piano.
2. Ad for Way Down Yonder in New Orleans and I'm Coming Virginia. Note that Bix's last name is misspelled as Beiderbeck and that he is described as the "King of trumpet players." Once again, Arthur Schutt is incorrectly credited as the pianist when, in fact, it is Irving Riskin.There is also an ad vor Mif Mole's Little Molers' recording of Davenport Blues, but the composer of the piece is not mentioned (of course, it is Bix).
3. Ad for Ostrich Walk and Riverboat Shuffle. Bix's last name is misspelled as Bidelbeck and he is described as he world's greatest Trumpet player.
for Columbia Records and Paul Whiteman's Concert In Carnegie Hall,
6, 1928. S.B.
In the Fall of 1928 Paul Whiteman and his orchestra made an extended concert tour. The concert started with a performances at Carnegie Hall on October 7 and ended on December 9 in Boston. In between those dates, concerts were presented in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Canada (Toronto). Bix suffered a breakdownon November 30, 1928 in Cleveland and did not complete the tour ith the rest of the orchestra. Bix's whereabouts are unknown until February 3, 1929. There is speculation that during this period, Bix recorded Cradle of Love with Ray Miller and his orchestra.
The concert in Carnegie Hall was one of the highlights of Bix's career: he performed his composition "In A Mist". For a detailed account of the concert go to http://ms.cc.sunysb.edu/~alhaim/recordingsinamist.htm#Bix'sPublicperformance
Page Ad for Engagement of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra at Castle Farm,
The Jean Goldkette Orchestra closed at Roseland on September 18, 1927 and was dissolved. Bix and several of the Goldkette musicians joined the newly forme band organized by Adrian Rollini at the New Yorker Club. The band was, unfortunately, very short-lived. By October 27, 1927 Bix and Tram joined the Paul Whiteman Orchestra at the Indiana Theater in Indianapolis. Two weeks earlier, the orchesta was in Cincinnati for an appearance at Castle Farm, October 16-October 21, 1927. The image is a full-page ad in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune.
I thank Dave Bartholomew for kindly sending me a scan of the ad.
for Whiteman's Recording of Felix the Cat. A.H.
This ad appeared in the The Talking Machine World in 1928.
for Opening of the New Yorkers. A.H.
When the Jean Goldkette folded in the Fall of 1927, Bix and Tram and several other Goldkette musicians joined Adrian Rollini in a new band called "The New Yorkers." The band opened at the New Yorker, formerly the Paul Whiteman's, and before that, the Cinderella Ballroom, on September 22, 1927. The ad in the image is from the September 20, 1927 issue of the New York Times. Note that the New Yorkers are given last billing.
In the "Around New York" column by Abel in the Variety issue of September 21, 1927, the following item was included, "Cafe Openings. The former Paul Whiteman (now the New yorker) opens Sept. 22.
In the "Nite Club Season Starts" column of the September 28, 1927 issue of Variety, the following item was included, "The New Yorker (formerly paul Whiteman's) hopped off Thursday with Frank Fay, Deno and Rochelle and an all-star dance band as the features.
|1600 Broadway. R.R. and A.H.
Bix played twice in the ballroom located at 1600 Brodaway in New York City. The first time was in the Fall of 1924 with the Wolverine Orchestra. The ballroom was named the Cinderella Dance Hall or Cinderella Ballroom at that time. The second time was with Adrian Rollini's New Yorker orchestra in the Fall of 1927.
The building was constructed in 1902 and housed the Studebaker showroom. As of this writing 9Nov 20, 2004) the building is about to be demolished.
Image 1. The building in the 1900s.
Image 2. The building on November 2004.
of the Buidings of the Gennett Recording Company. F.H.
The Starr Piano Company, the first piano company west of the Alleghany Mountains, was founded in 1872 by James Starr. Henry Gennett joined the company in 1893. Starr entered the recording business in 1915. The records made beetween 1915 and 1918 were issued under the green and white "Starr" label. The name of the record label was changed from "Starr" to "Gennett" in 1918. The records were made using the lateral cut process which was used also by the "Victor Recording Company". A fascinating account of the legal proceedings between "Gennett", supported by "OKeh", "Vocalion" and "Compos", and "Victor", supported by "Columbia", is given in "Jelly Roll, Bix, and Hoagy. Gennett Studios and the Birth of Recorded Jazz" by Rick Kennedy, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1994. Fred Wiggins, the manager of the Starr Music Store in Chicago, is probaly the single most important individual in building the reputation of Gennett in the field of jazz. Among the jazz names that recorded for Gennett in the early days, we have King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Jelly Roll Morton, The Wolverines, The Happy Harmonists, The Bucktown Five, Bix and His Rhythm Jugglers, Hoagy Carmichael, Ladd's Black Aces (really, the Original Memphis Five), Bix and the Sioux City Six, Louis Armstrong and the Red Onion Jazz Babies.
Four images are available:Gennett View,Gennett Vertical , Gennett Street and Gennett Sign . The images are scans of the photographs taken in 1974 and 1975 by Frank Hagenbuch.
of the Starr Piano Factory. D. B.
All jazz fans, including Bixophiles, are aware of the crucial importance of the Gennett Recording Company. The first recordings (Fidgety Feet and Lazy Daddy) of the Wolverine Orchestra, with Bix, were made in the studios of the company in Richmond, Indiana, on February 18, 1924. Other jazz giants who made recordings in the Genett's studios in Richmond are The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, King Oliver with his Creole Jazz Band (featuring Louis Armstrong), Jelly Roll Morton, and Hoagy Carmichael. In addition to Rick Kennedy's book cited in the previous entry, I would recommend the article in http://www.visitrichmond.org/history.cfm . Because of its importance in the recording of early jazz, the Gennett Recording Company has been referred to as "The Cradle of Recorded Jazz". The Gennett Recording Company was part of the Starr Piano Company. A non-profit organiztion, The Starr-Gennett Foundation, is "dedicated to promoting the rich musical heritage of the Gennett Record Company and its parent Starr Piano Company in Richmond, Indiana." The home page for the Foundation is found at http://www.starrgennett.org/ The Starr Piano Company began to make pianos in Richmond in 1878 and closed its operation in 1949. In its heyday, the Starr factories in Richmond spread over 35 acres and occupied 300,000 square feet.The buildings have been slowly deteriorating. In his book, Rick Kennedy writes, "By 1983, only a couple of abandoned structures remained, including a mammoth piano assembly building with a large fading Gennett Records sign painted on an outside wall." David "Bart" Bartholomew took some photographs of the old piano building (orignally built in the 19th century). Bart sent scans of overall views of what was left of the old piano factory in the winter of 1985 and in the summer of 1986 . A close-up of the sign (with Bart looking out the window) shows how faded the sign is. For a cleaner image of the sign, go to http://www.starrgennett.org/history/index.html
|Starr Valley, Richmond, Indiana. E.B.
See descriptions above. These photos are from June 2009.
Photo 3. Mark Shane, Jon-Erik Kellso, Dan Levinson.
Enrico Borsetti describes Statrr Valley as "a sacred place in jazz history!"
Music for "When". F.H.
This song written by Razaf, Schafer and Johnson was recorded by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra on March 12, 1928. The vocal was by the sweet trio consisting of Jack Fulton, Charles Gaylord and Austin Young and two of the members of the Rhythm Boys, Al Rinker and Harry Barris. Bix had two six-bar solos.
of the June 7-13, 1929 Engagement of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in San
Francisco's Pantage Theatre. S.B.
On May 24, 1929, the Paul Whiteman Orchestra boarded the Old Gold special train at Pennsylvania Station, New York with Los Angeles as its final destination to film the King of Jazz at Universal Studios. On its way to Los Angeles, the train stopped in various cities for concerts and/or radio broadcasts. It was a brutal schedule with stops at Philadelphia , PA, May 24; Pittsburgh, PA,May 25; Fort Wayne, IN, May 27; Chicago, IL, May 28; Springfield, IL, May 29; Indianapolis, IN; St. Louis, MO, May 31; Kansas City, MO, June 1; Omaha, NE and Lincoln, NE, June 2; Denver, June 3; Salt Lake City, UT, June 5; San Francisco, CA, June 7, where the orchestra stayed for about a week. The train arrived in Los Angeles on June 15. According to accounts from Ruth Schaffner (she met Bix in St. Louis on May 31) and Fritz Spurrier (he met Bix in Los Angeles on June 16), Bix was already looking "weak", "pale" and "nervous". Certainly, the brutal schedule did not help. This is the beginning of the summer that I refer to in the text that accompanies the Bela Lugosi-Paul Whiteman photograph. Bix learned of Don Murray's death and spent a relatively idle summer in relative isolation in a house in Laurel Canyon. This is the summer that resulted in the precipitous deterioration of Bix's health.
Photograph of Frank Trumbauer, 1938 (?). R.R.
I believe this photograph was taken in 1938 at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel.
|Photo of Frank
Trumbauer, mid 1930s. E.B.
|Cover of February 1930 OKeh Catalogue. R.R.|
Music of Trumbauer Solos. R.R.
The Trumbauer sheet music bears a single date: the copyright date of 1927. No credit is given for the transcription.
of Frank Trumbauer's Trunk for Musical Instruments. J.Z.
Jerry Zolten wrote on 06/19/00; "Just acquired a great piece of jazz history--a trunk that belonged to Tram. On the lid in faded white block letters are these words: Frank Trumbauer-Musical Instruments-Paul Whiteman Orch-Theater-Do Not Drop." Jerry kindly sent an image of the trunk on 07/16/00.
|Three photographs of
E.B. and J-P.L.
Joe Venuti was the greatest jazz violinist ever. His duets with Eddie Lang introduced a new way to play jazz. He was inventive, creative, delicate, rhythmic, he swung like mad. He made hundreds of recordings in the 20s and 30s under his own name as well as a side man. Bix joined the Jean Goldkette orchestra in the fall of 1924 and made two recordings, "I Didn't Know" and "Adoration." Joe Venuti was a member of the Goldkette orchestra at the time. By the end of 1924, Bix left the Goldkette orchestra and except for his "Rhythm Jugglers" session in January 1925, did not make any recordings until October 1926, when he rejoined the Goldkette orchestra. Bix's first recording in 1926 with Goldkette was "Idolizing" and had Joe Venuti on violin. As a matter of fact, except for "Slow River" and "In My Merry Oldsmobile (fox-trot) ," Venuti was in every recording of Bix with Goldkette, a total of 18 recordings, including the legendary "Clementine" where Joe has a great 8-bar solo with Eddie Lang strumming the guitar. Joe was in several of the Bix and Tram sessions, for a total of 8 recordings. For three years, Joe and Bix did not record together. Joe was with Bix in all of Carmichael's recordings of 1930 that included Bix (4), in the Irving Mills and His Hotsy Totsy Gang session (3 recordings). Finally, Joe played with Bix in the first two ("Deep Down South" and ""I Don't Mind Walkin' in the Rain") of the three recordings made by Bix and His orchestra on September 8, 1930. Unfortunately, Joe (and Eddie lang) had another engagement in the afternoon of September 30, 1930 and did not appear in Bix's swan song "I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure." Oddly enough, Joe and Bix never recorded together with Paul Whiteman. Joe Venuti (together with Eddie Lang) joined the Whiteman orchestra on May 19, 1929, just before the Paul Whiteman first trip to California to make he film "The King of Jazz." Venuti and Lang stayed with Whiteman until May 1930. The Whiteman band did not make any recordings from May 16, 1929 until September 6, 1929, when the band was back in New York after Whiteman and Universal could not agree to a mutually satisfactory script. On September 6, Whiteman with Bix and Lang -but not Venuti- recorded At Twilight (one take issued) and Waiting at the End of the Road (four takes, all rejected). The Paul Whiteman Orchestra had another recording session on September 13, 1929 (again with Bix and Lang but not Venuti) where four additional takes of Waiting at the End of the Road were waxed (one released). After the fourth take of Waitin at the End of the Road and one take of "Whe You're Counting the Stars Alone", Bix collapsed. Two days later, Bix was sent home for recuperation and never rejoined the Whiteman Orchestra. Thus, Venuti and Bix did not record together with Paul Whiteman. The final grand total of Bix-Venuti recordings, if my arithmetic is correct, comes up to 35 recordings (issued; not counting alternate takes), a very decent showing.
Photo of Joe Venuti in the the 1930s. Pose 1. Pose 2. Photo of Joe Venuti in 1973.
Photograph of Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, probably 1928. A.H.
This photo was up for auction on ebay in late 1999. I was not the highest bidder, but I grabbed the image. If the high bidder sees this image and is offended, I will remove the image. I do not know the year this photo was taken, nor do I know who Link is. However, I think it is from 1928 because it looks like other promotional photos in conjunction with the tour of Fall 1928. Jean-Paul Lion identifies the musicians as follows. From left to right, standing: Wilbur Hall, Rube Crozier, Bill Rank, Bix Beiderbecke, Charles Margulis, Harry Goldfield and George Marsh. Sitting from left to right: Izzy Friedman, unidentified.
Photograph of Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. A.H.
This photo was up for auction on ebay in late 1999. I was not the highest bidder, but I grabbed the image. If the high bidder sees this image and is offended, I will remove the image. This photo is the same, except for the dedication by Wilbur Hall, as the one in p.429 of Evans and Evans' "Bix: The Leon Bix Beiderbecke Story".
Photograph of Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, February 1929. M.S.
On February 6, 1929, the Whiteman orchestra re-openend at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The orchestra was part of the "Ziegfield Midnight Frolics." At this time, Bix was recuperating in Davenport after a bout of pneumonia. Therefore, the four trumpet players seen in the photo are Charlie Margulis, Harry Goldfield, Eddie Pinder and Andy Secrest.
Warning, this is a 400KB image. Be patient. It is worth waiting: the images are very clear.
Whiteman In Sailor Suit From the Film "King of Jazz". A.H.
On June 15, 1929, the Paul Whiteman orchestra arrived in Los Angeles to film "The King of Jazz". For three months, except for the weekly Old Gold broadcasts, the musicians hung around while Whiteman discussed with Universal the script for the film. By August 28, 1929 Whiteman decided to take his orchestra back east and wait for an acceptable script. When Paul Whiteman returned to Los Angeles to film "The King of Jazz" in Otober of 1929, Bix was convalescing at the Keeley Institute in Dwight, Illinois. Thus, the great opportunity to have a lengthy sound film of Bix was lost for ever.
of January 4, 1928 issue of Variety. A.H.
It wa customary for orchestra leaders to have new year wishes in the year end issues of Variety. The January 4, 1928 issue has Paul Whiteman's "Happy New Year" wishes in the cover. This also happens to be the 22nd Anniverary number of Variety. Mug shots of 34 musicians, including Bix, are depicted on the page.
Whiteman Souvenir Program. R.R.
The concert presented in Carnegie Hall on October 7, 1928 was the first in the Fall tour of Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. The tour included the concert on November 11, 1928 in the City Auditorium of Ponca City, Oklahoma. The image is from the souvenir program sold at the Ponca City Concert.
There is some question as to whether Bix played in the concert. According to Irving Friedman (Bix: The Bix Beiderbecke Story, by Philip R. and Linda K.Evans, p. 416), Bix missed the train from Tulsa to Ponca City. However, he sent a telegram (received by Paul Whiteman in the train) announcing that he would arrive by plane. Some members of the band went to the airfield in Ponca City and, indeed, Bix arrived on time for the concert. But apparently, Bix and the pilot had been drinking during the flight. Bix went backstage and slept through the concert.
for Paul Whiteman's Spring 1924 Concert Tour. E.B.
Following the great success of the "Experiment in Modern Music Concert" at New York's Aeolian Hall on February 24, 1924, where George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue for piano and orchestra was given its world premiere, Paul Whiteman annd His Orchestra left New York for their Spring 1924 concert tour. The concert tour started with a performance on May 12, 1924 in Aeolian Hall. The program was the same as for the original February 24 concert, except that Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" was deleted. The tour continued to Rochester New York on May 15 and from there on to Pittsburgh, Cleverland, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. The orchestra played in thirteen cities in the US as well as in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. The ad is from the May 5, 1924 issue of "Musical America."
Signed Photo of Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, probably 1928.F. H.
Frank Hagenbuch sent me an image of this photograph of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra . Frank wonders if the second musician from the left is Bix Beiderbecke. I believe that the unknown musician is the same as the guy in the middle of the previous photograph of the Paul Whiteman orchestra.
Whiteman in Hollywood with the Laemmles, Father and Son, 1929. S.C.
Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, including Bix, arrived in Los Angeles, California on June 15, 1929. The purpose of the trip to Los Angeles was to make the film "The King of Jazz" for Universal Studios. Weeks went by but no agreement about a script could be reached. July and most of August passed, but Universal could not come up with a script which was acceptable to Whiteman. On August 28 , 1928, Paul Whiteman decided to take the band back home to New York, but agreed with Universal that when a satisfactory script became available, the band would return to Hollywood. Bix's health had deteriorated during the long, hot summer in Los Angeles, and on September 13, 1929, after the successful recording of take 8 of "Waiting the End of the Road", Bix collapsed. He went home to Davenport on September 15 on a leave of absence at full salary. In October, Whiteman reached an agreement with Universal and the band left New York. When the orchestra arrived in Los Angeles, Bix was not with them: he was a patient at Keeley Institute, Dwight, Illinois. Filming of "The King of Jazz" began and was completed in March 1930, alas without Bix. The producer of the film was Carl Laemmle, Jr., the son of Carl Laemmle, who had started Universal Pictures in the 1910s.
The photograph is from p. 8 of "Cinelandia y Films", October, 1929, published in Spanish in Los Angeles, California. I am grateful to Sergio for the scan. The caption for the photograph reads, " In the struggle to reach the supremacy that every enterprise desires in this age of talkies and musicals, the Universal Company does not fall behind. They have engaged, at a fabulous salary, the king of "jazz" orchestra leaders, the famous Paul Whiteman. In the photograph, we can see Whiteman in front of a radio microphone, next to Carl Laemmle (father and
son), owners of Universal Studios."
of Paul Whiteman and Maurice Ravel. E.B.
This photo is included in Pops, Paul Whiteman, King of Jazz" by Thomas A. DeLong. The caption reads, "On a 1928 visit to the United States composer Maurice Ravel meets one of his favorite American conductors." Ravel was in Liederkranz Hall on March 12, 1928 when the Paul Whiteman Orchestra with Bix recorded "When." Following the recording, the orchestra played "Metropolis" and "Suite of Serenades" for Ravel. Roy Bargy stated that Ravel "was politely interested but not overly enthusiastic about either composition. but seemed to appreciate the musicianship of the players. Tommy Satterfield was the only one with nerve enough to ask for Ravel's utograph, which he got on a score of one of his copositions. Several of us attended one of Rave's concerts at Carnegie Hall and Bix was with us."
for Showing of "King of Jazz" Film in Davenport. R.J.
This ad appeared in the November 22, 1930 issue of "The Daily Times" in Davenport. Iowa. The film opened on Sunday, November 23, 1930 and, according to Esten Spurrier, Bix saw the film at the opening.
for Fall 1928 Concert Tour. M.S.
On October 7, 1928, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra gave a concert in Carnegie Hall. That was the beginning of the Fall 1928 Concert Tour. The orchestra presented 61 concerts in 62 days. They were in 27 states and in Canada. Bix had a breakdown on November 30, 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio. The band went on, without Bix, on the tour. The program was essentially the same in all the appearances. Mike Schultz kindly scanned every page of the souvenir program, made the scans available to me and gave me permision to upload them to the Bixography website. I am grateful to him.
To view each page of the program, click on the following links.
| Dodge Brothers Victory Six Radio Hour. SH
On Jan 4, 1928, the NBC Network broadcast a special coast to coast radio program. The program, The Dodge Victory Six Radio Hour was sponsored by Dodge Brothers, Inc. This marked the introduction of the "Victory Six Automobile." Click here to see an image of an ad for the car. The program featured Will Rogers in Hollywood, Fred and Dorothy Stone in Chicago, and the Paul Whiteman orchestra, with Bix, in New York. The band played a piece of "Rhapsody In Blue," "Among My Souvenirs ," and "Changes." According to Evans and Evans, Bix soloed in "Changes." Click here to see an ad for the program.
I thank Steve Hester for the scan of the program.
"Through his music, Bix
Brief 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|
|Bix's Fellow Musicians|
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
Chronological listing of Bix's recording sessions
Complete list of Bix's 78 rpm 10" and 12" Albums