A Book of Caricatures Bix, Rogue or Hero? Iowans To Be Proud Of Bix in "The Palimpsest" Bix and  the Down Beat Hall of Fame
The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival on Public Television. An Incident in Princeton Dances Riverwalk Bix's First Recording and the Gennett Richmond Studio

A Photograph of Bix in the New York Times
The Lincoln  C. Selleck "Bix Lives" Jazz Award A Poem for Bix A Poem About Bix's Piano Music Five Poems About Bix
Ode to Bix A Tribute to Bix in Ascona Hoagy, Bix, and Wolfgang Beethoven Bunkhaus The Hoagy and Bix Company Bix Beiderbecke Legacy Stage Show
A German Radio Play About Bix The Original Bixography Two Best Seller Victor Records The First Discography of Bix's Recordings Bix Played at Gertrude Seiffert Beiderbecke's Wedding
Bix Beiderbecke Lithograph Print The Keeley Institute Bix and the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity The Re-opening of the Blue Lantern A Fictional Story About the Last Days of Bix
Singin' the Blues on the Allen GW319-EX Theatre Organ swedish band and goldkette Vince Giordano

    Riverwalk, Live from The Landing.
        This weekly radio program, produced by Pacifica Vista Productions and Jim Cullum for Texas Public Radio, is distributed by public radio stations. The programs focus on the music and lives of American Jazz Greats. The music is provided by the seven-piece Jim Cullum Jazz Band, now in its 35th year.  As a 15-year old lad in 1955,  when he started playing the cornet, Jim Cullum was captivated by the sound of Bix's recordings and the choice of programs on Riverwalk reflects this interest. Thus, we find in the Riverwalk Jazz Master Show List ( the following items about Bix. Show #5, A Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke with guest artist Tom Pletcher. Show #20, Bix Lives! A Celebration of the Music of Bix Beiderbecke. Show #72, Bix & Hoagy: Midwestern Romantics of the Jazz Age. Show #96, Jazz Crazed: The Story of the Austin High Gang; the Early Music of Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, HoagyCarmichael and Eddie Condon. Show #110, Bix and the Wolverines: Hot Jazz in the Midwest, recorded live at Stanford University in 1998.

        According to the Library of Congress, reference numbers VXA 2923 (master copy) and VAE 0642 (viewing copy), on October 7, 1973 CBS-TV broadcast the program Camera Three entitled "The Bix Pieces". This is a ballet choreographed by the dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp to the music of Bix Beiderbecke. The program was produced and directed by Merrill Brockway and featured five dancers. Marian Hailey was the commentator. The video cassette is 28 minutes long.
        Unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain, borrow, or view a video tape of the program. I would be grateful for a copy of a video tape of the program and/or any detailed information about its contents.

    Addendum (10/8/00)  The premiere of "The Bix Pieces" took place in Paris on November 1971 at the IX International Festival of Dance.  Costumes: Kermit Love; Lighting: Jennifer Tipton; Music: Bix Beiderbecke, performed by Paul Whiteman's Orchestra; "Abide with Me" by Thelonious Monk.

    Twyla Tharp wrote an autobiography entitled "Push Comes to Shove", Bantam Books, New York, 1992. She writes the following about how she developed "The Bix Pieces". "Dancing continuously in the studio, I never stopped to mourn my father, but plunged daily back into working, where I could address his death without feeling I would break apart. Perhaps I felt that I could keep him with me in my dancing.I began to work on a piece to the music of trumpeteer Bix Beiderbecke. Coming from the same period as Jelly Roll Morton, the Beiderbecke music was as light and airy as the other was rough-edged and earthy, as sophisticated in his arrangements as the Morton was raw and close to the belt, as white as the other was black. Part One of "The Bix Pieces" was five songs - first me alone (twirling clear batons), then Sara and me swooping and swooning to Beiderbecke's arrangement of "Tain't So, Honey, Tain't So" sung by Bing Crosby, then Sara and me backing up Rose, then the three of us behind Isabel, then finally Ken joining the women to Crosby's "Because My Baby Don't Mean Maybe Now." I began to sense that the dark subtext behind the movement would never come through in the sprightly dancing, and I wrote in a narrator to account for the reservoir of emotion that prompted "The Bix Pieces." "I hated to tap dance when I was a kid," says she, and I proceeded to do just that. "But this dance is about remembering. My tap dancing lessons, my baton twirling lessons, my acrobatics, the hula-hula. My father." As the Adagio fromthe third quartet of Haydn's Opus 76 begins, she explains that much of the dancing was made to this adagio, because I did not want to be too literal in following the Bix music. You can begin to see as Ken dances in the vernacular and Rose in ballet style, "chassee is really slap ball change: Exactly and not all the same." All things are related, and as the Haydn winds down, she observes its theme was a folk melody existing long before Haydn. There is continuity and development in all things, "for while my father died this spring my son was born." And then comes Part Three, a very short revision of the dancing in "Because My Baby Don't Mean Maybe Now,"  this time reset to the John Coltrane "Abide with Me".

    I am grateful to Joe Giordano for a gift of  Twyla Tharp's biography.

    Bix, Rogue or Hero?
        In the book "Rogues and Heroes from Iowa's Amazing Past" (Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, 1972), the author, George Mills, provides brief biographies of important or notorious people born in Iowa. The book consists of 18 chapters, each chapter dedicated to one town. Chapter 18 focuses on Davenport. One of the entries in the chapter is, as expected, Colonel Davenport. Another entry is entitled "If that Boy Had Lived..."The boy is Bix and there is ashort account of his life illustrated with Bix's famous picture from 1921. The title of the entry is taken from Louis Armstrong's quotation, "If that boy had lived, he'd be the greatest".

    Iowans To Be Proud Of
        In the book "Iowa Pride" (Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, 1996), the author, Duane A. Schmidt, celebrates the accomplishments of famous Iowans. The book is divided in three parts: Iowans Who Made It Here, Iowans Who Made It Elsewhere, and Iowa Firsts. We find, in the second group, an entry entitled "Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931), Renowned Cornet Jazz Stylist". The two-page biography is preceded and followed by quotes from Louis Armstrong. "All I've ever called the dear boy was Bix... just that name alone will make one stand up." "And when he played - why, the ears did the same thing." The author provides a short phrase summarizing the achievement for each famous Iowan. In the case of Bix, this reads "Created a unique cornet jazz style".
        There are many other famous Iowans included in the book. I only cite a few, in subjects that are of special interest to me. John Vincent Atanasoff ("invented the digital computer"); Walter A. Sheaffer ("invented the first practical self-filling fountain pen"); Frank H. Spedding ("co-invented the production process for pure uranium"); James Van Allen ("discovered earth-encircling radiation belt"); Lee Deforest ("father of the wireless, commercial radio, and talking pictures"); Glenn Miller ("invented the big band sound"); John Wayne ("Academy Award-winning actor").

    Bix in "The Palimpsest".
        "The Palimpsest" was a publication of the Division of the State Historical Society of the Iowa State Historical Departement. The magazine was published from 1921 to 1995 under the Palimpsest name, but was changed to "Iowa Heritage Illustrated" in 1995. The July/August 1978 (Volume 54, Number 4) issue has a 12-page article entitled "In a Mist: The Story of Bix Beiderbecke" by Darold J. Brown. The article is a brief biographical account and contains several well-known photographs.
        The content page of the magazine explains the meaning of the Palimpsest. "In early times a palimpsest was a parchment or other material which one or more writings had been erased to give room for later records. The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest whcih holds the record of sucessive generations."

    Bix and The Down Beat Hall of Fame.
        In 1962, Bix was elected by the readers into the Down Beat Hall of Fame. A list of all the awardees, beginning in 1952 with Louis Armstrong, is available. An article about Bix as a Jazz Hall of Fame artist is available in the Down Beat Jazz Magazine web site. Also available in the Down Beat web site is an article by Gilbert Erskine from the August 1961 issue of the magazine. Erskine provides an interesting account of the activities of Bix and other members of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra at the Blue Lantern Inn at Hudson Lake in the summer of 1926.

    Two Victor "Best Seller" Records.
        The August 1927 Victor Catalogue lists in p. 5 the Twenty "Best Sellers". Record number 13 has "Hoosier Sweetheart" by Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra on one side and "What Does It Matter?" by The Victor Orchestra on the other. Record number 19 "Im Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover by Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra on one side and Roger Wolfe Kahn's "Yankee Rose" on the other. Two best sellers with Bix in them!
    I am grateful to Rob Rothberg for making available to me a copy of the pertinent page of the Victor Catalogue.

    The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival on Public Television.

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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