A Birth of Jazz

A YouTube History of Music

Swing Era 1

Big Bands

 

Tracks are listed in chronological order by year, then alphabetically.

Listings do not reflect proper order by month or day: later oft precedes earlier.

Not on this page? See history tree below.

 

Alphabetical

Charlie Barnet    Count Basie    Chu Berry    Jimmy Blanton    Will Bradley
 
Blanche Calloway    Cab Calloway    Casa Loma Orchestra    Charlie Christian    Buck Clayton    Cozy Cole    Bob Crosby
 
Putney Dandridge    Jimmy Dorsey    Tommy Dorsey
 
Roy Eldridge    Duke Ellington
 
Roy Fox
 
Nat Gonella    Benny Goodman    Glen Gray
 
Edmond Hall    Lionel Hampton    Phil Harris    Clyde Hart    Earl Hines    Woody Herman    Johnny Hodges
 
Harry James    Louis Jordan
 
Sammy Kaye    Gene Krupa
 
Jimmie Lunceford
 
Joe Marsala    Freddy Martin    Ray McKinley    Jay McShann    Glenn Miller    Lucky Millinder
 
Ray Noble    Red Norvo
 
Hot Lips Page    Remo Palmieri
 
Allan Reuss    Buddy Rich
 
Artie Shaw    Stuff Smith    Lew Stone
 
Art Tatum    Claude Thornhill
 
Chick Webb    Teddy Wilson
 
Lester Young

 

Chronological

Featured on this page loosely in order of first recording if not record release (as possible):

1923

Earl Hines

1925 Blanche Calloway    Roy Fox
1927 Jimmy Dorsey    Tommy Dorsey    Duke Ellington    Gene Krupa    Chick Webb
1928 Benny Goodman    Stuff Smith
1929 Casa Loma Orchestra    Glen Gray    Lionel Hampton    Hot Lips Page    Lew Stone
1930 Cozy Cole    Nat Gonella    Jimmie Lunceford    Freddy Martin    Ray Noble
1931 Cab Calloway    Bob Crosby    Phil Harris
   
1933 Charlie Barnet    Chu Berry    Red Norvo    Art Tatum
1934 Ray McKinley    Glenn Miller    Teddy Wilson
1935 Putney Dandridge    Roy Eldridge    Allan Reuss    Claude Thornhill
1936 Count Basie    Clyde Hart    Woody Herman    Johnny Hodges    Joe Marsala    Lester Young
1937 Buck Clayton    Sammy Kaye    Artie Shaw
1938 Louis Jordan    Buddy Rich
1939 Charlie Christian    Harry James
1940 Jimmy Blanton    Will Bradley    Jay McShann
1941 Edmond Hall    Lucky Millinder
1944 Remo Palmieri

 

  If what you're seeking isn't on this page it might be found on any of the other jazz pages. Early swing musicians such as Andy Kirk, Ben Moten, Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong, etc., are listed in Jazz 1. Other swing musicians such as Big Sid Catlett, Papa Jo Jones, Coleman Hawkins, Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, Sweets Edison, etc., will be found on other jazz pages.

 

 
 

Born in 1903 in Pennsylvania, extraordinary pianist Earl "Fatha" Hines, first recorded with 'Congaine' in 1923 with Lois Deppe. Hines had left home at age seventeen to play piano in Philadelphia at a nightclub called the Liederhaus with a band named the Symphonian Serenaders led by Lois Deppe. He was paid board, two meals a day and $15 per week. In 1925 he moved to Chicago to play at the Elite No. 2 Club and tour to Los Angeles with Carroll Dickerson's band. Upon his return he fortuitously met Louis Armstrong at the musician's union, with whom he began playing at the Sunset Cafe. He then met Jimmie Noone at the Apex, with whom he recorded 14 tracks in 1928, along with 38 sides with Louis Armstrong and fifteen name solos (CRS and Okeh labels). It was also 1928 that Hines began leading his own orchestra, at the Grand Terrace Cafe owned by Al Capone. With as many as 28 members in his band Hines began broadcasting nationally on radio from the Grand Terrace. Touring in the summers, the Grand Terrace closed in 1940, after which Hines took his band traveling year round. In 1943 the draft for World War II made it difficult for Hines to keep a band together, so he formed an all female orchestra. It was during that time in the early forties that Hines began seeding bebop, the first period of modern jazz often associated with sax man Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, both of whom passed through Hines' orchestra. Between 1948 and 1951 Hines played with Louis Armstrong's All-Stars, after which he began touring again in 1954 with the Harlem Globetrotters (an exhibition basketball team). Things slowed down for Hines in the sixties, when he opened a tobacco shop, though he did tour much internationally. But the list of prominent musicians with whom Hines played and recorded in the seventies is nigh endless. Among Hines' notable performances were solos for Duke Ellington's funeral, the White House (twice) and the Pope. It is thought Hines last recorded in 1981 in São Paulo, Brazil: 'One O'clock Jump' with Eric Schneider and the 150 Band (unfound). He died in 1983 in Oakland, California.

Earl Hines   1923

   With Lois Deppe

   Congaine

Earl Hines   1928

   I Ain't Got Nobody

Earl Hines   1929

   Glad Rag Doll

Earl Hines   1932

   Blue Drag

Earl Hines   1934

   Angry

Earl Hines   1934

   Rock and Rye

Earl Hines   1934

   That's a Plenty

Earl Hines   1938

   Vocals: Ida James

   Please Be Kind

Earl Hines   1939

   Rosetta

Earl Hines   1939

   XYZ

Earl Hines   1942

   Stormy Monday Blues

Earl Hines   1963

   Squeeze Me

Earl Hines   1964

   Louise

Earl Hines   1965

   Duet with Teddy Wilson

   All Of Me

Earl Hines   1965

   Blues In Thirds

Earl Hines   1965

   Lover Come Back to Me

Earl Hines   1965

   Memories of You

Earl Hines   1976

   Boogie Woogie on St. Louis Blues/Deed I Do

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Earl Hines

Earl Hines

Birth of Swing Jazz: Blanche Calloway

Blanche Calloway

Born in 1902 in Rochester, New York, Blanche Calloway, sister of Cab Calloway, below, made her professional debut in Baltimore in 1921 with Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle's musical 'Shuffle Along'. After touring for a few years she made her first recording in 1925, below, with Louis Armstrong. This was about the time she put together her orchestra, the Joy Boys, as well. Calloway could well be placed in Swing Jazz Song (as well as her brother, Cab, five years younger than she) but that she belongs on this page as a bandleader. And a remarkable one at that, not only musically but in consideration of what she was up against: first the Depression, having to disband the Joy Boys in 1938 and declare bankruptcy. Then a patriarchal and segregationist America: it's told she was jailed and fined $7.50 in 1956 for using the women's bathroom at a gas station in Yazoo, Mississippi. One member of her band, taking a pistol whipping, was arrested with her. While in jail another musician in her ensemble stole the band's funds, forcing Calloway to sell her yellow Cadillac for money and putting the tour to an end. The forties had been a lean time for Calloway, she moving to Philadelphia. In the fifties she headed for Washington D.C. to run the Crystal Caverns nightclub, then moved to Miami Beach where she spent the next couple decades as a disc jockey for WMBM radio. It's said Calloway was the first black woman to vote in Florida in 1958. It would seem she had good reasons as well to be an active member of the NAACP, the Congress of Racial Equality and the National Urban League. Calloway died in Baltimore in 1978.

Blanche Calloway   1925

   Trumpet: Louis Armstrong

   Lazy Woman's Blues

Blanche Calloway   1964

   Misery

Blanche Calloway   1964

   I'm Gettin' Myself Ready For You

Blanche Calloway   1964

   I Got What It Takes

Blanche Calloway   1964

   It's Right Here For You

Blanche Calloway   1964

   It Looks Like Susie

Blanche Calloway   1964

   Last Dollar

Blanche Calloway   1964

   Make Me Know It

Blanche Calloway   1964

   Catch On

Blanche Calloway   1964

   I Need Lovin'

Blanche Calloway   1964

   What's a Poor Girl Gonna Do

Blanche Calloway   1964

   I Gotta Swing

Blanche Calloway   1964

   Line-A-Jive

 

 
  Born in 1901 in Denver, Roy Fox was raised in Hollywood in a Salvation Army family together with his sister. He first performed in public at age thirteen, playing cornet in a newsboy band with the 'Los Angeles Examiner'. He next worked as a studio musician, playing bugle, until joining the Abe Lyman Orchestra at age sixteen. In 1920 he formed his own band, with which he first recorded in 1925 (nothing at YouTube earlier than 1929). He first recorded in London in 1930, for the BBC, after which he lived and toured largely in Europe (though later lived in Australia for a time). In 1952, somewhat retiring from performing music, he opened a booking agency. Fox died in London in 1982.

Roy Fox   1929

   Painting the Clouds With Sunshine

Roy Fox   1929

   Tip Toe Through The Tulips With Me

Roy Fox   1931

   Reaching For the Moon

Roy Fox   1931

   Sweet and Hot

Roy Fox   1932

   I Got Rhythm

Roy Fox   1932

   Jig Time

Roy Fox   1932

   Put That Sun Back In The Sky

Roy Fox   1933

   Nobody's Sweetheart

Roy Fox   1933

   Whispering

Roy Fox   1934

   Dinner at Eight

Roy Fox   1934

   Midnight, the Stars and You

Roy Fox   1934

   What a Difference a Day Made

Roy Fox   1934

   You Oughta Be In Pictures

Roy Fox   1935

   1935 Medley

Roy Fox   1936

   Vocal: Denny Dennis

   Let's Face The Music And Dance

Roy Fox   1936

   Miracles Sometimes Happen

Roy Fox   1937

   Harbor Lights

Roy Fox   1937

   Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Roy Fox

Roy Fox

Birth of Swing Jazz: Jimmy Dorsey

Jimmy Dorsey

Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey were brothers who didn't always get along, but played together off and on over the years. Jimmy (largely a clarinetist) and Tommy (mostly trombone) began their careers playing in the same band, recording 'Coquette' in 1927 (unfound). They  later split apart and developed each their own orchestras. Jimmy made his first recording without Tommy, 'You Let Me Down', in 1935. Tommy likewise began recording apart from Jimmy in 1935. Jimmy worked with vocalists Helen O'Connell and Kitty Kallen; Tommy employed Frank Sinatra and and Connee Boswell. They got together again in 1953 when Jimmy joined Tommy's orchestra, of which he became leader upon Tommy's death in November 1956. The Fabulous Dorsey Orchestra disbanded upon Jimmy's death of throat cancer in June the following year. It's thought the band last performed in March of 1957 in Joplin, Missouri.

Jimmy Dorsey   1935

   You Let Me Down

Jimmy Dorsey   1938

   Arkansas Traveler

Tommy Dorsey   1938

   Boogie Woogie

Tommy Dorsey   1938

   Song of India

Tommy Dorsey   1938

   You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby

Jimmy Dorsey   1939

   The Nearness of You

Tommy Dorsey   1939

   On the Sunny Side of the Street

Tommy Dorsey   1939

   Opus One

Tommy Dorsey   1944

   Vocal: Bonnie Lou Williams

   I Should Care

Tommy Dorsey   1944

   On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Tommy Dorsey   1949

   Dry Bones

Jimmy & Tommy Dorsey   1954

   You're My Everything

Jimmy Dorsey   1957

   Sophisticated Swing

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Tommy Dorsey

Tommy Dorsey

Birth of Swing Jazz: Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Born in 1899 in Washington D.C., pianist and big band leader Duke Ellington is another early example of a major swing musician thought good enough to entertain white America, but not to eat in its dining rooms or sleep in its hotels. The Duke began his recording career as a band leader in 1927. He also took up residency at the Cotton Club that year in December. Ellington appeared in his first film, 'Black and Tan', in 1929. Among his major credits is hiring pianist Billy Strayhorn in 1939 (whom he had met the year before) to arrange, compose and otherwise collaborate until Strayhorn's death of cancer in 1967. Strayhorn's first composition for Ellington was 'Something to Live For' in 1939 (unfound). A few of the tracks below were composed by Strayhorn, including 'Take the 'A' Train' (first recorded in 1939), or in collaboration with Ellington. A few of the more important musicians to pass through Ellington's orchestra were bassist Jimmy Blanton, sax men Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster, Cootie Williams, Ray Nance and pianist Mary Lou Williams (as an arranger). A few of the vocalists he employed were Herb Jeffries, Al Hibbler and Ivie Anderson. In the sixties Ellington cut vinyl with Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. Ellington himself considered his most important works to be the three Sacred Concerts he composed in 1965, 1968 and 1973. Upon a remarkably full career Ellington is thought to have given his final concert in March 1974 at Northern Illinois University, the year he died that May of lung cancer and pneumonia. His last words were reportedly, "Music is how I live, why I live and how I will be remembered." His son, Mercer, assumed leadership of Ellington's band until his own death in 1996.

Duke Ellington   1927

   East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

Duke Ellington   1927

   What Can A Poor Fellow Do?

Duke Ellington   1928  

   Black and Tan Fantasie

Duke Ellington   1928

   The Black Beauty

Duke Ellington   1928

   I Must Have That Man

Duke Ellington   1928

   Jubilee Stomp

Duke Ellington   1928

   The Mooche

Duke Ellington   1929

   The Duke Steps Out

Duke Ellington   1930

   Double Check Stomp

Duke Ellington   1930

   Mood Indigo

Duke Ellington   1930

   Old Man Blues

Duke Ellington   1930

   Ring Dem Bells

Duke Ellington   1930

   Shout 'Em Aunt Tillie

Duke Ellington   1931

   Keep a Song in your Soul

Duke Ellington   1932

   Composed 1931

   It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing

Duke Ellington   1940

   Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Duke Ellington   1941

   Composition: Billy Strayhorn

   Take the A Train

Duke Ellington   1943

   It Don't Mean a Thing

Duke Ellington   1947

   Vocal: Al Hibbler

   Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Duke Ellington   1953

   Satin Doll

Duke Ellington   1957

   All Of Me

Duke Ellington   1957

   Live at Ravinia Festival

   Such Sweet Thunder

Duke Ellington   1957

   All Of Me

Duke Ellington   1965

   Isfahan

Duke Ellington   1965

   Concert

   Sacred Concert

Duke Ellington   1970

   Bass: Joe Benjamin

   Portrait of Wellman Braud

 

 
 

Born in 1909 in Chicago, drummer Gene Krupa, famous for his work with Benny Goodman, recorded as early as 1927 with Eddie Condon and Red McKenzie. Krupa expanded the drums ensemble beyond the usual bass, cymbals and snare. After working with Condon, Krupa recorded with Thelma Terry in 1928. He joined Benny Goodman's orchestra in 1934. Krupa formed his own band in 1939, also debuting that year in Hollywood in the film, 'Some Like It Hot'. Krupa was such a skilled drummer that it was inevitable the drum solo be introduced to jazz, if not the later battles (such as the example below for 1952). Krupa died of leukemia and heart failure in Yonkers, New York, in 1964. Much more Gene Krupa under Eddie Condon in Early Jazz 3.

Gene Krupa   1927

   With the Chicagoans

   China Boy

Gene Krupa   1927

   With the Chicagoans

   I'm Nobody's Sweetheart

Gene Krupa   1928

   Starlight And Tulips

Gene Krupa   1929

   Film   With the Chicagoans

   China Boy

Gene Krupa   1930

   After You've Gone

Gene Krupa   1935

   With the Chicagoans

   Blues of Israel

Gene Krupa   1935

   With the Chicagoans

   Jazz Me Blues

Gene Krupa   1935

    With the Chicagoans

   Three Little Words

Gene Krupa   1937

   Film: 'Hollywood Hotel'   With Benny Goodman

   Sing, Sing, Sing

Gene Krupa   1939

   Film

   Brush Drum Solo

Gene Krupa   1952

   Live at Carnegie Hall   With Buddy Rich

   Drum Battle at JATP (Jazz at the Philharmonic)

Gene Krupa   1952

   Live at Carnegie Hall   With Buddy Rich

   Flying Home

Gene Krupa   1954

   Sing, Sing, Sing

Gene Krupa   1941

   Film: 'Ball of Fire'

   Actress: Barbara Stanwyck   Voice dubb: Martha Tilton

   Drum Boogie

Gene Krupa   1967

   With Benny Goodman

   Chicago

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Gene Krupa

Gene Krupa

 

Born William Henry Webb in 1905 in Baltimore, drummer Chick Webb left Maryland for New York City in 1922 (age 17), to form his own band, the Harlem Stompers, in 1926. Webb's first recording in 1927 (no title on record) wasn't issued (though a film short, recorded in 1929, was found for this history). Getting his major professional break by securing a gig at the Savoy Ballroom in 1931, Webb first officially recorded that same year. In 1935 he would discover Ella Fitzgerald, for which he is largely credited and known. The Savoy was famous for its "Battle of the Bands" in which the "King of Swing" was voted. Webb won over Benny Goodman, lost to Duke Ellington in 1937, then won over Count Basie in '38 (though not without dispute by musicians). Unfortunately Webb's great talent was cut short at the young age of 34 when spinal tuberculosis claimed his life, his last words reportedly, "I'm sorry, I've got to go." More Chick Webb under Ella Fitzgerald at Swing Jazz Song.)

Chick Webb   1929

   Film

   After Seben

Chick Webb   1931

   Blues In My Heart

Chick Webb   1934

   Vocal: Charles Litton

   If It Ain't Love

Chick Webb   1936

   Vocal: Ella Fitzgerald

   A Little Bit Later On

Chick Webb   1936

   Vocal: Ella Fitzgerald

   Under the Spell of the Blues

Chick Webb   1936

   Vocal: Ella Fitzgerald

   Vote For Mister Rhythm

Chick Webb   1937

   Vocal: Ella Fitzgerald

   I Got a Guy

Chick Webb   1937

   Midnight In a Madhouse

Chick Webb   1937

   Vocal: Ella Fitzgerald

   You Showed Me the Way

Chick Webb   1938

   Vocal: Ella Fitzgerald

   F.D.R. Jones

Chick Webb   1939

   Vocal: Ella Fitzgerald

   Coochie-Coochie-Coo

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Chick Webb

Chick Webb

Birth of Swing Jazz: Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman

A good example of swing in full bloom is bandleader and clarinetist Benny Goodman. Born in 1909 in Chicago, Goodman's first recordings were at age 16 as a session clarinetist with the Ben Pollack orchestra. His first name recordings were released in 1928. Among Goodman's major credits are the hiring of pianist Ted Wilson and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton early in their careers, especially during that psychotic period (like there's ever been an era in the history of mankind that wasn't) when it wasn't proper for black and white musicians to play in the same band. Goodman's is also the orchestra with which Charlie Christian plays in the majority of examples of Christian's guitar below. Among the vocalists Goodman employed were Helen Forrest, Peggy Lee and Anita O'Day. Though Goodman experimented with bebop in the forties it wasn't his bag, and he returned to the swing of his major arranger, Fletcher Henderson. Goodman was also a classical musician, releasing his first classical recordings in 1938 with the Budapest Quartet. He died of heart attack in 1986 in New York City. More Benny Goodman under Peggy Lee in Swing Jazz 2.

Benny Goodman   1926

   Bandleader: Ben Pollack

   Deed I Do

Benny Goodman   1928

   Clarinetitis

Benny Goodman   1928

   Jungle Blues

Benny Goodman   1928

   That's A Plenty

Benny Goodman   1928

   Whoopee Stomp

Benny Goodman   1928

   Wolverine Blues

Benny Goodman   1933

   Tappin' the Barrel

Benny Goodman   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   I Wished On the Moon

Benny Goodman   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   Miss Brown To You

Benny Goodman   1935

   Sing, Sing, Sing

Benny Goodman   1936

   Breakin' In a Pair Of Shoes

Benny Goodman   1936

   With Helen Ward

   It's Been So Long

Benny Goodman   1936

   With Billie Holiday

   Pennies from Heaven

Benny Goodman   1936

   Stompin' At the Savoy

Benny Goodman   1937

   Chloe

Benny Goodman   1937

   Vocals: Helen Ward

   These Foolish Things

Benny Goodman   1938

   With the Budapest String Quartet

    Original composition: Wolfgang Mozart

   Clarinet Quintet in A Major K. 581

Benny Goodman   1938

   Original composition: Béla Bartok

   Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Pianoforte

Benny Goodman   1941

   Vocals: Peggy Lee

   On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Benny Goodman   1941

   Vocals: Helen Forrest

   Soft As Spring

Benny Goodman   1941

   Vocals: Tommy Taylor

   'Tis Autumn

Benny Goodman   1943

   I've Found a New Baby

Benny Goodman   1943

   Sugar Foot Stomp

Benny Goodman   1945

   Rattle and Roll

Benny Goodman   1945

   Slipped Disc

Benny Goodman   1948

   Tenor Sax: Wardell Gray   Trumpet: Fats Navarro

   Stealin' Apples

Benny Goodman   1948

   Lullaby Of The Leaves

Benny Goodman   1967

   Original composition: Carl Weber

   Clarinet Concerto No.1

Benny Goodman   1967

   Original composition: Carl Weber

   Clarinet Concerto No.2

Benny Goodman   1973

   After You've Gone

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Stuff Smith

Stuff Smith

Born in 1909 in Portsmouth, Ohio, it is thought that violinist Stuff Smith first recorded in 1928. But nothing earlier than a 1930, singing for Alphonse Trent, is found at YouTube. After working with Trent, Smith went to New York City in 1935, formed a sextet and took residence at the Onyx Club. His first name recordings followed in 1936 for Vocalion. Smith is said to be the first to use electric amplification on a violin. He died in 1967.

Stuff Smith   1936

   Here Come the Man With the Jive

Stuff Smith   1936

   I'se a Muggin'

Stuff Smith   1936

   You'se a Viper

Stuff Smith   1944

   Desert Sands

Stuff Smith   1944

   Don't You Think

Stuff Smith   1944

   Look At Me

Stuff Smith   1944

   Skip It

Stuff Smith   1961

   One O'clock Jump

Stuff Smith   1965

   Bugle Call Blues

Stuff Smith   1965

   Yesterdays

 

 
 

Jean Goldkette's Orange Blossoms were formed in 1927. But Goldkette had trouble getting his musicians paid. So in 1929 the Blossoms became the Casa Loma Orchestra with sax player Glen Gray as leader, 'Love Is a Dreamer' among their first recordings that year. Glen Gray means Casa Loma Orchestra in all the samples below.

Glen Gray   1929

   Love Is a Dreamer

Glen Gray   1932

   One Little Word

Glen Gray   1933

   Blue Prelude

Glen Gray   1933

   Smoke Rings

Glen Gray   1933

   With Kenny Sargent

   Under a Blanket of Blue

Glen Gray   1942

   Talk Of The Town

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Glen Gray

Glen Gray

Birth of Swing Jazz: Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton was a no-joke drummer but he more distinguished himself with the vibraphone. He first recorded with Paul Howard and the Quality Serenaders in 1929, later played with Benny Goodman, and worked several years with various orchestras before forming his own band in 1940.

Lionel Hampton 1929

   With the Serenaders

   Gettin' Ready Blues

Lionel Hampton   1937

   On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Lionel Hampton   1939

   Early Session Hop

Lionel Hampton   1939

   With Charlie Christian and Benny Goodman

   AC-DC Current

Lionel Hampton   1939

   Hot Mallets

Lionel Hampton   1939

   It Don't Mean a Thing

Lionel Hampton   1939

   The Jumpin Jive

Lionel Hampton   1939

   Memories of You

Lionel Hampton   1940

   Guitar: Irving Ashby

   Bogo Jo

Lionel Hampton   1940

   Flying Home

Lionel Hampton   1940

   Guitar: Irving Ashby

   Fiddle-Dee-Dee

Lionel Hampton   1940

   Save It Pretty Mama

Lionel Hampton   1945

   Vibe Boogie

Lionel Hampton   1949

   Benson Boogie

Lionel Hampton   1949

   With Betty Carter

   The Hucklebuck

Lionel Hampton   1951

   Air Mail Special

Lionel Hampton   1951

   Kingfish

Lionel Hampton   1978

   Big Bad Henry

 

 
 

Born in 1908, trumpeter and vocalist Hot Lips Page (Oran Thaddeus Page), began his musical career as a teenager performing at circuses and minstrel shows. Not long before he would be backing blues singers such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and Ida Cox (each in Blues 2). He likely first recorded in that capacity, but such recordings remain uncertain or unfound. Nor are recordings found upon his joining Walter Page's Blue Devils (Jazz 1) in 1926. Page did, however, record with Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra in 1929. Those earlier recordings with sax player Bennie Moten will be found in Early Jazz 1.

Hot Lips Page   1938

   I'm Gonna Lock My Heart

Hot Lips Page   1940

   Gone With the Gin

Hot Lips Page   1941

   St. James Infirmary Blues

Hot Lips Page   1944

   Fish For Supper

Hot Lips Page   1944

   Rockin' at Ryans

Hot Lips Page   1944

   You Need Coachin'

Hot Lips Page   1949

   Baby It's Cold Outside

Hot Lips Page   1952

   Last Call For Alcohol

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Hot Lips Page

Hot Lips Page

Birth of Swing Jazz: Lew Stone

Lew Stone

Born in 1898 in London, Lew Stone began arranging in 1927 for the Savoy Orpheans, Ray Starita and Bert Ambrose. Among his first recordings in 1929 is 'Breakaway', below, as Lewis Stone and His Orchestra. In 1931 Stone assumed leadership of the Roy Fox Orchestra at the Monseigneur Restaurant in Piccadilly while Fox was convalescing from illness in Switzerland. When Fox returned seven months later his band was the most popular in London. When Fox's contract expired in 1932, Stone became leader of the band as radio broadcasts from the Monseigneur made his fame. Stone later led various bands, working largely in ballrooms and restaurants while broadcasting. He was also musical director of a number of musicals. Stone died in 1969 in London.

Lew Stone   1929

   Breakaway

Lew Stone   1932

   Vocal: Al Bowlly

   My Woman

Lew Stone   1933

   How Could We be Wrong

Lew Stone   1933

   Keep Young and Beautiful

Lew Stone   1934

   As Long As I Live

Lew Stone   1934

   The Continental

Lew Stone   1934

   Fare Thee Well

Lew Stone   1934

   Vocal: Al Bowlly

   I've Had My Moments

Lew Stone   1934

   Milenburg Joys

Lew Stone   1934

   That's a Plenty

Lew Stone   1935

   Anything Goes

Lew Stone   1935

   Vocal: Sam Browne

   Cheek to Cheek

Lew Stone   1935

   Vocal: Tiny Winters

   The Girl With the Dreamy Eyes

Lew Stone   1938

   You Couldn't Be Cuter

Lew Stone   1939

   1939 Medley

Lew Stone   1941

   Wednesday Night Hop

 

 
  Drummer Cozy Cole began his professional career in 1928 by joining the Wilbur Sweatman band. In 1930 he joined Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers, with whom he recorded for the first time that same year. Cole's first experiences as a band leader arrived in 1944.

Cozy Cole   1930

   With Jelly Roll Morton

   Load of Coal

Cozy Cole   1936

   With Billie Holiday

   These Foolish Things

Cozy Cole   1936

   With Stuff Smith

   Here Comes The Man With The Jive

Cozy Cole   1939

   With Cab Calloway

   Crescendo In Drums

Cozy Cole   1940

   With Cab Calloway

   Paradiddle

Cozy Cole   1944

   Blue Moon

Cozy Cole   1944

   Stompin' At the Savoy

Cozy Cole   1944

   Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

Cozy Cole   1945

   Willow Weep For Me

Cozy Cole   1957

   Live   With Gene Krupa

   Duet

Cozy Cole   1958

   Live   Saxophone: Coleman Hawkins Trumpet: Roy Eldridge

   The Great Jam Session

Cozy Cole   1958

   Topsy

Cozy Cole   1974

   Eva

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Cozy Cole

Cozy Cole

Birth of Swing Jazz: Nat Gonella

Nat Gonella

Born in 1908 in London, bandleader and vocalist Nat Gonella's first professional engagement was playing trumpet with a pit orchestra, the Busby Boys Band, in 1924. He quit that band in 1928 to work for the Louisville Band, then joined Billy Cotton's orchestra in '29, with whom he issued his first recordings the following year. In 1933 Gonella published 'Modern Style Trumpet Playing'. In 1935 he formed his own orchestra, the Georgians. Gonella interrupted his career in 1941 to join the Army, becoming a member of Stars in Battledress, a British Armed Forces entertainment organization during World War II. After the war Gonella put the Georgians back together. He continued to perform as late as 1997, dying in August of 1998.

Nat Gonella   1930

   Bessie Couldn't Help It

Nat Gonella   1931

   Tell Me Are You From Georgia

Nat Gonella   1932

   Crazy Song

Nat Gonella   1933

   Film

   It Ain't No Fault of Mine

Nat Gonella   1933

   Let Him Live

Nat Gonella   1934

   Georgia On My Mind

Nat Gonella   1935

   Black Coffee

Nat Gonella   1935

   Sensation

Nat Gonella   1935

   Stardust

Nat Gonella   1936

   Bye Bye Blues

Nat Gonella   1936

   You Rascal You

Nat Gonella   1988

   Live performance

   Nagasaki

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Jimmie Lunceford

Jimmie Lunceford

Bandleader Jimmie Lunceford, alto sax, was an athletic instructor at Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee, when he put together an orchestra first called the Chickasaw Syncopators in 1927. His first recordings in 1930 were with that same basic orchestra.

Jimmie Lunceford   1930

   Sweet Rhythm

Jimmie Lunceford   1934

   Breakfast Ball

Jimmie Lunceford   1934

   Jazznocracy

Jimmie Lunceford   1934

   Leaving Me

Jimmie Lunceford   1934

   Star Dust

Jimmie Lunceford   1934

   Rhythm Is Our Business

Jimmie Lunceford   1934

   White Heat

Jimmie Lunceford   1936

   On the Beach at Bali-Bali

Jimmie Lunceford   1937

   Annie Laurie

Jimmie Lunceford   1937

   Count Me Out

Jimmie Lunceford   1939

   Baby Won't You Please Come Home

Jimmie Lunceford   1939

   Blue Blazes

Jimmie Lunceford   1939

   I Want The Waiter

Jimmie Lunceford   1939

   Sassin' the Boss

Jimmie Lunceford   1939

   Shoemakers Holiday

Jimmie Lunceford   1939

   You're Just A Dream

Jimmie Lunceford   1940

   With the Dandridge Sisters

   I Ain't Gonna Study War No More

Jimmie Lunceford   1941

   Blues In the Night

Jimmie Lunceford   1941

   Hi Spook

Jimmie Lunceford   1946

   Jay Gee

Jimmie Lunceford   1946

   Sit Back And Ree-Lax

 

 
  Bandleader and tenor saxophonist Freddy Martin led his first band in high school. He first recorded in 1930 with Jack Albin's Hotel Pennsylvania Music. (There are a few tracks of Hotel Pennsylvania Music offered at You Tube. But it isn't certain that Martin played on those so they aren't included below.) Martin next recorded in 1932 for Columbia with his own band, among his earliest releases found below.

Freddy Martin   1933

   Tu Sais-Tango

Freddy Martin   1934

   April In Paris

Freddy Martin   1934

   Spin A Little Web Of Dreams

Freddy Martin   1935

   Love Dropped In For Tea

Freddy Martin   1935

   A Two-Cent Stamp

Freddy Martin   1940

   Mama's Gone, Goodbye

Freddy Martin   1941

   Tonight We Love

Freddy Martin   1942

   Rose O'Day

Freddy Martin   1945

   Symphony

Freddy Martin   1946

   Managua, Nicaragua

Freddy Martin   1946

   To Each His Own

Freddy Martin   1948

   The Dickey Bird Song

Freddy Martin   1949

   With Merv Griffin

   I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

Freddy Martin   1951

   With Merv Griffin   The Freddy Martin Show

   I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts/Deep In the Heart of Texas

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Freddy Martin

Freddy Martin

  Born in 1903 in Brighton, England, British bandleader Ray Noble studied at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1929 he was made leader of the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra, a studio band for HMV Records, no issues known to precede 1930. Noble moved to New York City in 1934, whence he recruited Glenn Miller to both play trombone and help find members for his new orchestra. Noble began appearing in films in 1935 ('Top Hat'). He died in London of cancer in 1978. Vocalist Al Bowlly appears on nearly all tracks below unless otherwise noted.

Ray Noble   1930

   Vocal: Harry Shalson

   Happy Days Are Here Again

Ray Noble   1930

   Harmony Heaven

Ray Noble   1930

   Vocal: Pat O'Malley

   In the Moonlight

Ray Noble   1930

   King of Jazz Medley

Ray Noble   1930

   Kleine Maat (Little Pal)

Ray Noble   1930

   Die Eensaam Weg (The Lonesome Road)

Ray Noble   1930

   The Prisoner's Song

Ray Noble   1930

   Song of the West Medley

Ray Noble   1931

   Goodnight Sweetheart

Ray Noble   1931

   Vocal: George Metaxa

   Goodnight Sweetheart

Ray Noble   1931

   There's Something In Your Eyes

Ray Noble   1931

   Time On My Hands

Ray Noble   1932

   Love Is the Sweetest Thing

Ray Noble   1932

   Pagan Moon

Ray Noble   1933

   Three Wishes

Ray Noble   1933

   What A Perfect Combination/Good Night Sweetheart

Ray Noble   1934

   I Love You Truly

Ray Noble   1934

   It's All Forgotten Now

Ray Noble   1934

   Midnight, the Stars and You

Ray Noble   1934

   The Very Thought Of You

Ray Noble   1935

   Top Hat

Ray Noble   1936

   The Touch Of Your Lips

Ray Noble   1946

   Vocal: Buddy Clark

   Linda

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Ray Noble

Ray Noble

 

Extraordinary performer Cab Calloway was one of a few orchestra leaders who was also a vocalist. (So was his sister, Blanche Calloway, above.) Early associated with the Savoy and the Cotton Club, Calloway made his first recording in 1931 with 'Minnie the Moocher', after which he and his orchestra would delight the public in the thirties and forties via Hollywood and lively entertainment as the indisputable Master of hi-de-ho and jive.

Cab Calloway   1931

   Minnie the Moocher

Cab Calloway   1931

   The Nightmare

Cab Calloway   1931

   St. James Infirmary

Cab Calloway   1932

   I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues

Cab Calloway   1932

   Margie

Cab Calloway   1932

   The Scat Song

Cab Calloway   1933

   Reefer Man

Cab Calloway   1939

   Jumpin' Jive

Cab Calloway   1939

   The Ghost of Smokey Joe

Cab Calloway   1941

   Geechy Joe

Cab Calloway   1943

   Film: 'Stormy Weather'

   Geechy Joe

Cab Calloway   1943

   Film: 'Stormy Weather'

   Jumpin' Jive

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Cab Calloway

Cab Calloway

  Bandleader and vocalist Bob Crosby, younger brother of Bing Crosby, began his singing career as one of the Delta Rhythm Boys in 1931. He also began working with the Anson Weeks Orchestra in 1931. Crosby's first recordings were likely in 1931 but are unfound. In 1935 he put together his own band, the Bobcats, with previous members of the Ben Pollack Orchestra.

Bob Crosby   1933

   With the Anson Weeks Orchetra

   You've Got Everything

Bob Crosby   1934

   Waitin' at the Gate for Katy

Bob Crosby   1936

   With Connee Boswell

   Swing Me A Lullaby

Bob Crosby   1937

   South Rampart Street Parade

Bob Crosby   1938

   Honky Tonk Train

Bob Crosby   1939

   Summertime

Bob Crosby   1939

   The World Is Waiting For the Sunrise

Bob Crosby   1942

   That Dada Strain

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Bob Crosby

Bob Crosby

  Bandleader, vocalist and actor Phil Harris began his career as a drummer in a circus band, his parents both circus performers. In the latter twenties he and Carol Lofner formed an orchestra in San Francisco in which he performed as both a drummer and singer. First recording with Lofner in 1931, upon the dissolution of their partnership in 1932 Harris put together his own orchestra with which he released his first records as a bandleader in 1933. In 1941 Harris married actress and singer Alice Faye, having previously been married to Marcia Ralstone.

Phil Harris   1931

   Carol Lofner Orchestra

   The River

Phil Harris   1931

   Carol Lofner Orchestra

   I'm Sorry Dear

Phil Harris   1933

   What Have We Got To Lose?

Phil Harris   1933

   Vocal: Leah Ray

   It's Gonna Be You

Phil Harris   1935

   Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Phil Harris   1935

   Riddle Me This

Phil Harris   1947

   The Preacher and the Bear

Phil Harris   1947

   Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)

Phil Harris   1947

   That's What I Like About The South

Phil Harris   1948

   Minnie and the Mermaid

Phil Harris   1950

   Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy

Phil Harris   1950

   The Thing

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Phil Harris

Phil Harris

Birth of Swing Jazz: Charlie Barnet

Charlie Barnet

 

Bandleader and saxophonist Charlie Barnet began his recording career in 1933 with Melotone Records, the year he shaped his own orchestra. The earliest recording found is from 1934.

Charlie Barnet   1934

   Vocal: Helen Heath

   Infatuation

Charlie Barnet   1936

   I'm an Old Cowhand

Charlie Barnet   1939

   Redskin Rhumba

Charlie Barnet   1940

   Where Was I

Charlie Barnet   1943

   The Moose

Charlie Barnet   1943

   Strollin'

Charlie Barnet   1947

   Charleston Alley

Charlie Barnet   1947

   Little John Ordinary

Charlie Barnet   1947

   Pompton Turnpike

Charlie Barnet   1947

   Rockin' in Rhythm

Charlie Barnet   1947

   Southern Fried

Charlie Barnet   1948

   With Doc Severinsen   Vocal: Bunny Briggs

   East Side, West Side

Charlie Barnet   1962

   Jazz Skyliner

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Chu Berry

Chu Berry

Tenor saxophonist Chu Berry got his first break from Sammy Stewart in 1929. He first recorded with sax player Benny Carter and pianist Teddy Wilson in 1933 (below). Berry would later play with big names from Lionel Hampton to Teddy Hill to Cab Calloway.

Chu Berry   1933

   With Benny Carter and Teddy Wilson

   Blue Interlude

Chu Berry   1933

    With Benny Carter and Teddy Wilson

   Krazy Kapers

Chu Berry   1933

    With Benny Carter and Teddy Wilson

   Once Upon a Time

Chu Berry   1939

   With Lionel Hampton

   Shufflin' At the Hollywood

 

 
 

Vibraphonist Red Norvo's first recordings under his own name in 1933 are unfound ('Knockin' on Wood' and 'Hole In the Wall'). He can also be found under Mildred Bailey in Jazz 3, with whom he enjoyed a close professional relationship for some years.

Red Norvo   1935

   Blues In E Flat

Red Norvo   1937

   Remember

Red Norvo   1939

   With Mildred Bailey

   Three Little Fishies

Red Norvo   1945

   With Mildred Bailey

   Downhearted Blues

Red Norvo   1957

   Poeme

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Red Norvo

Red Norvo

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Art Tatum

Art Tatum

Pianist Art Tatum, nigh completely blind, made his first recording in 1933 with 'Tea For Two'. He played a lot of classical music as well and was highly regarded by Rachmaninoff. Due much to virtuosos like Fats Waller,  Earl Hines and Art Tatum the piano bar (lounge music) became a favorite American late-night haunt.

Art Tatum   1933

   Sophisticated Lady

Art Tatum   1933

   Vocal: Adelaide Hall

   Strange As It Seems

Art Tatum   1933

   Tea For Two

Art Tatum   1933

   Tiger Rag

Art Tatum   1943

   With the Leonard Feather All Stars

   Esquire Blues

Art Tatum   1943

   With the Leonard Feather All Stars

   Esquire Bounce

Art Tatum   1943

   Bass: Slam Stewart   Guitar: Tiny Grimes

   Variations

Art Tatum   1944

   Bass: Slam Stewart   Guitar: Tiny Grimes

   I Got Rhythm

Art Tatum   1944

   Bass: Slam Stewart   Guitar: Tiny Grimes

   I Know That You Know

Art Tatum   1944

   With the Leonard Feather All Stars

   My Ideal

Art Tatum   1947

   With the Dorseys

   Art's Blues

Art Tatum   1948

   Tenderly

Art Tatum   1956

   My Ideal

 

 
 

Drummer Ray McKinley is believed to have met Glenn Miller (below) in Dallas in 1929 before either of them had made much progress in their musical careers. Together they joined the Dorsey Brothers in 1934. There is no doubt some McKinley drumming in entries for Glenn Miller below. In 1939 McKinley and trombonist Will Bradley formed their own orchestra in Bradley's name, after which McKinley put together his own band in 1942.

Ray McKinley   1942

   Big Boy

Ray McKinley   1942

   Hard Hearted Woman

Ray McKinley   1946

   Piano: Lou Stein

   Hoodle-Addle

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Ray McKinley

Ray McKinley

 

Trombonist Glenn Miller first recorded with the Dorseys in 1934, then formed his own band some three years later. Unfortunately, his career was as brief as successful. Unlike Elvis Presley whose career much later was interrupted by the draft, Miller joined the army for patriotic causes in 1942, was listed missing in action in 1944, and America lost a tremendously talented swing band musician. (More Glenn Miller under Marion Hutton in Swing Jazz 2.)

Glenn Miller   1934

   With the Dorseys

   Annie's Cousin Fannie

Glenn Miller   1935

   With the Dorseys

   Dese Dem Dose

Glenn Miller   1939

   In the Mood

Glenn Miller   1939

   Little Brown Jug

Glenn Miller   1939

   Moonlight Serenade

Glenn Miller   1939

   Sunrise Serenade

Glenn Miller   1940

   Tuxedo Junction

Glenn Miller   1941

   Chattanooga Choo Choo

Glenn Miller   1942

   A String Of Pearls

Glenn Miller   1946

   Blue Skies

Glenn Miller   1946

   With Lillian Lane

   Passe

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller

Birth of Swing Jazz: Teddy Wilson

Teddy Wilson

Pianist Teddy Wilson started his professional career in 1933 playing alongside Roy Eldridge for Speed Webb. That same year he joined the Chocolate Dandies. Though he recorded earlier solos his first record contract came in 1935, backing Billie Holiday with his own orchestra. Holiday and Wilson enjoyed a close musical relationship such that to say the one is to say the other. It is Holiday who sings in many of the samples of Wilson's band below. Holiday will also be found in Jazz 3.

Teddy Wilson   1934

   Piano solo

   Rosetta

Teddy Wilson   1935

   With Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa

   Body and Soul

Teddy Wilson   1937

   With Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa

   Where or When

Teddy Wilson   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   Eeny Meeny Miney Mo

Teddy Wilson   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   If You Were Mine

Teddy Wilson   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   I'm Painting the Town to Red

Teddy Wilson   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   Life Begins When You're In Love

Teddy Wilson   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   Spreadin' Rhythm Around

Teddy Wilson   1935

    With Billie Holiday

   These 'N' That 'N' Those

Teddy Wilson   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   What a Little Moonlight Can Do

Teddy Wilson   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   You Let Me Down

Teddy Wilson   1936

   With Billie Holiday

   Guess Who

Teddy Wilson   1937

   With Billie Holiday

   Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man

Teddy Wilson   1937

   With Boots Castle

   The Hour Of Parting

Teddy Wilson   1937

   With Billie Holiday

   There's a Lull In My Life

Teddy Wilson   1938

   With Billie Holiday

   You're So Desirable

Teddy Wilson   1939

   With Billie Holiday

   Sugar

Teddy Wilson   1939

   Tiger Rag

Teddy Wilson   1941

   Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Teddy Wilson   1944

   Rose Room

Teddy Wilson   1956

  Duet with Lester Young

   All Of Me

Teddy Wilson   1956

   Sophisticated Lady

Teddy Wilson   1985

   Live performance

   But Not For Me

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Putney Dandridge

Putney Dandridge

Pianist and vocalist Putney Dandridge began his professional career in 1918, spending a decade or so touring and doing shows before forming his own band in Ohio in the early thirties. He first released his own recordings in 1935. Dandridge is a good example of early swing.

Putney Dandridge   1935

   Double Trouble

Putney Dandridge   1935

   Shine

Putney Dandridge   1936

   It's The Gypsy In Me

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Roy Eldridge

Roy Eldridge

Roy Eldridge (Little Jazz) recorded his first trumpet solos with Teddy Hill in 1935 (unfound). He put together his first band, an octet, the next year.

Roy Eldridge   1935

   With Billie Holiday

   Miss Brown to You

Roy Eldridge   1936

   With Fletcher Henderson

   Blue Lou

Roy Eldridge   1936

   With Fletcher Henderson

   Christopher Columbus

Roy Eldridge   1937

   Wabash Stomp

Roy Eldridge   1941

   After You've Gone

Roy Eldridge   1942

   Drums: Gene Krupa   Vocal: Anita O'Day

   Let Me Off Uptown

Roy Eldridge   1942

   Drums: Gene Krupa   Vocal: Anita O'Day

   Thanks For the Boogie Ride

Roy Eldridge   1945

   Little Jazz

Roy Eldridge   1945

   Fish Market

Roy Eldridge   1945

   The Gasser

Roy Eldridge   1945

   Rockin' Chair

Roy Eldridge   1949

   Drums: Gene Krupa   Vocal: Dolores Hawkins

   Watch Out!

Roy Eldridge   1954

   Trumpet: Dizzy Gillespie

   Limehouse Blues

Roy Eldridge   1957

   Guitar: Herb Ellis   Piano: Oscar Peterson

   Vocal: Ella Fitzgerald

   It Don't Mean a Thing

Roy Eldridge   1961

   Sunday

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Allan Reuss

Allan Reuss

Allan Reuss began studying guitar under George Van Eps in 1933 and would soon replace Van Eps in the Glenn Miller orchestra. His first solos were recorded with Miller in 1935 ('If I Could Be With You' and 'Rosetta'), the same year he recorded with Lionel Hampton. In 1939 Reuss joined Jack Teagarden's band, Jimmy Dorsey's in 1941 and Harry James' in 1942. Though largely a rhythm guitarist, Reuss was often employed as more than only a beat accompanist, but as the rhythmic drive to which bands attuned themselves.

Allan Reuss   1935

   With Benny Goodman

   If I Could Be With You

Allan Reuss   1936

   With Billie Holiday

   Pennies from Heaven

Allan Reuss   1938

   With Lionel Hampton

   Ring Dem Bells

Allan Reuss   1939

   With Jack Teagarden

   Pickin' For Patsy

Allan Reuss   1945

   With Corky Corcoran (tenor sax)

    Alto sax: Willie Smith   Trumpet: Emmett Berry

   Minor Blues

Allan Reuss   1968

   Zorba

 

 
 

Bandleader, composer and pianist Claude Thornhill was 16 when he and Artie Shaw began their careers together in Cleveland with Austin Wiley. Six years later, in 1931, they went to New York City together. It was 1935 when Thornhill joined Glenn Miller who was making his first recordings in his own name. Thornhill then formed his own orchestra in the latter thirties.

Claude Thornhill   1937

   Harbor Lights

Claude Thornhill   1941

   Snowfall

Claude Thornhill   1941

   Where Or When

Claude Thornhill   1942

   Buster's Last Stand

Claude Thornhill   1947

   Buster's Last Stand

Claude Thornhill   1947

   Recorded 1946   With Fran Wallen

   A Sunday Kind Of Love

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Claude Thornhill

Claude Thornhill

 

Pianist and swing band leader Count Basie began his musical career in Harlem. He first recorded in 1936 with 'Shoe Shine Boy'. Basie is also featured with most of the samples of tenor saxophonist Lester Young below.

Count Basie   1936

   Shoe Shine Boy

Count Basie   1936

   Lady Be Good

Count Basie   1937

   Boogie Woogie

Count Basie   1937

   Honeysuckle Rose

Count Basie   1937

   One O'clock Jump

Count Basie   1937

   Pennies From Heaven

Count Basie   1938

   I Sent For You Yesterday and Here You Come Today

Count Basie   1939

   With James Rushing

   You Can Depend On Me

Count Basie   1948

   Spasmodic

Count Basie   1950

   Featuring Clark Terry

   Little White Lies

Count Basie   1957

   April In Paris

Count Basie   1960

   Cute

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Count Basie

Count Basie

  Pianist Clyde Hart began his professional career in 1930 with Gene Coy, also playing with Jap Allen. The next year (1931) he joined  Blanche Calloway's orchestra, thus may well have had his first recording experiences as one of her Joy Boys. Hart does, though, definitely appear on recordings in 1936 with both Billie Holiday (Jazz 3) and trumpeter Henry Red Allen (Jazz 1).

Clyde Hart   1936

   Trumpet: Henry Red Allen   Vocal: Putney Dandridge

   A High Hat A Piccolo & A Cane

Clyde Hart   1936

   Trumpet: Henry Red Allen   Vocal: Putney Dandridge

   The Skeleton In The Closet

Clyde Hart   1936

   Trumpet: Henry Red Allen

   When My Dreamboat Comes Home

Clyde Hart   1939

   With Lionel Hampton

   Twelfth Street Rag

Clyde Hart   1939

   With Lionel Hampton

   Wizzin' The Wizz

Clyde Hart   1945

   Saxophone: Charlie Parker   Trumpet: Dizzy Gillespie

   All the Things You Are

Clyde Hart   1945

   Saxophone: Charlie Parker   Trumpet: Dizzy Gillespie

   Sorta Kinda

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Woody Herman

Woody Herman

Clarinetist and sax player Woody Herman first recorded as a band leader in 1936 with 'Wintertime Blues' (unfound). With his "First Herd" he largely produced blues orchestrations. In 1947 he formed his "Second Herd" with musicians such as saxophonists Al Cohn and Zoot Sims (early modern sax in Jazz 4).

Woody Herman   1939

   Blue Flame

Woody Herman   1939

   Golden Wedding

Woody Herman   1939

   Woodchopper's Ball

Woody Herman   1943

   Down Under

Woody Herman   1945

   Bijou

Woody Herman   1945

   First Herd

   Laura

Woody Herman   1947

   Second Herd

   Four Brothers

Woody Herman   1949

   Recorded 1946-47   Composition: Ralph Burns

   Summer Sequence

Woody Herman   1963

   After You've Gone

Woody Herman   1964

   Live

   Sister Sadie

 

 
 

Johnny Hodges, clarinet and sax, is largely associated with Duke Ellington. He released his first album as a band leader, 'Passion Flower', in 1946.

Johnny Hodges   1936

   With Billie Holiday

   It's Like Reaching For the Moon

Johnny Hodges   1938

   Jeep's Blues

Johnny Hodges   1946

   Passion Flower

Johnny Hodges   1965

   Take the 'A' Train

Johnny Hodges   1969

   Don't Get Around Much Anymore

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Johnny Hodges

Johnny Hodges

 

Clarinetist Joe Marsala left Chicago for New York City in 1936 where he and his band played at the Hickory House for a decade. 1936 is also the first recording found for him.

Joe Marsala   1936

   With Putney Dandridge

   A Star Fell Out of Heaven

Joe Marsala   1936

   With Putney Dandridge

   If We Never Meet Again

Joe Marsala   1936

   With Henry Red Allen

   The Skeleton In The Closet

Joe Marsala   1941

   Bull's Eye

Joe Marsala   1944

   With Linda Keene

   Unlucky Woman

Joe Marsala   1945

   Gotta Be This Or That

Joe Marsala   1945

   My Melancholy Baby

Joe Marsala   1948

   Someone to Watch Over Me

Joe Marsala   1952

   Sweet Mama, Papa's Getting Mad

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Joe Marsala

Joe Marsala

 

Lester Young began his career in 1933 in Kansas City, playing clarinet, sax and trumpet with various bands. Before joining Fletcher Henderson's orchestra Young played with pianist Count Basie, first recording with the same in 1936. Most of the earlier examples below are with Basie.

Lester Young   1936

   With Count Basie

   Lady Be Good

Lester Young   1936

   With Count Basie

   President Swing the Blues

Lester Young   1938

   With Count Basie

   Allez Oop

Lester Young   1938

   With the Kansas City Six

   Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

Lester Young   1939

   With Glenn Hardman

   Exactly Like You

Lester Young   1939

   Lester Leaps In

Lester Young   1939

   With Count Basie   Vocalist: James Rushing

   You Can Depend On Me

Lester Young   1940

   Blues for Greasy

Lester Young   1940

   Guitar: Charlie Christian   Piano: Count Basie

   Wholly Cats

Lester Young   1948

   Drums: Roy Haynes

   Just You, Just Me

Lester Young   1948

   Drums: Roy Haynes   Piano: Junior Mance

   Mean to Me

Lester Young   1948

   Drums: Roy Haynes

   Sweet Georgia Brown

Lester Young   1949

   Drums: Roy Haynes   Piano: Junior Mance

   Be Bop Boogie

Lester Young   1949

   Drums: Roy Haynes   Piano: Junior Mance

   Blues n' Bells

Lester Young   1949

   Drums: Roy Haynes   Piano: Junior Mance

   Crazy Over J-Z

Lester Young   1949

   I Cover the Waterfront

Lester Young   1951

   Ghost of a Chance

Lester Young   1956

   Piano: Teddy Wilson

   All of Me

Lester Young   1957

   Waldorf Blues

Lester Young   1958

   Mean to Me

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Lester Young

Lester Young

Birth of Swing Jazz: Buck Clayton

Buck Clayton

Arranger and trumpeter Buck Clayton formed his first band in 1929 upon graduating from high school. Five years later he took off for Shanghai and played jazz with Chinese musicians. Upon his return he first recorded with Billie Holiday and the Teddy Wilson Orchestra in 1937 ('Why Was I Born'). His first recorded solo was the same year with Count Basie ('Swingin’ at the Daisy Chain').

Buck Clayton   1937

   With Billie Holiday

   Why Was I Born

Buck Clayton   1937

   Swingin’ at the Daisy Chain

Buck Clayton   1942

   St. Louis Blues

Buck Clayton   1955

   With Coleman Hawkins

   Rock-A-Bye Basie

Buck Clayton   1958

   Live performance

   All Of Me

Buck Clayton   1961

   Live performance

   Outer Drive

 

 
 

Sammy Kaye got his first real start in 1938 with his own orchestra, billing at the Commodore Hotel, where Tommy Dorsey had been playing. Also a vocalist, Kaye would become known for "sweet" swing.

Sammy Kaye   1937

   Swing and Sway

Sammy Kaye   1938

   Love Walked In

Sammy Kaye   1941

   Daddy

Sammy Kaye   1951

   Goodnight Sweetheart

Sammy Kaye   1951

   I Love You Because

Sammy Kaye   1963

   The Old Lamplighter

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Sammy Kaye

Sammy Kaye

 

Clarinetist Artie Shaw, also a writer, liked to mix classical into his jazz. One of the more unique of the big band leaders, Shaw's first known recording, 'Interlude in B Flat', was in 1937. But it was the popularity of 'Begin the Bequine' in 1938 that launched his career. His rendition of 'Moonglow' below is eight years after it was first recorded in 1933 by jazz violinist Joe Venuti (Jazz 1).

Artie Shaw   1937

   Interlude in B Flat

Artie Shaw   1938

   Begin the Bequine

Artie Shaw   1940

   Concerto For Clarinet

Artie Shaw   1941

   Moonglow

Artie Shaw   1942

   Dancing In the Dark

Artie Shaw   1945

   Album

   Artie Shaw and His Orchestra Play Gershwin

Artie Shaw   1953

   Besame Mucho

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Artie Shaw

Artie Shaw

Birth of Modern Jazz: Les Brown

Les Brown

Although Les Brown played saxophone he is better known as an arranger and bandleader, as well as his work with Doris Day (Jazz 8) and later Bob Hope (USO tours). Brown formed his first orchestra at age fourteen (1926) and first recorded in 1938 (unfound).

Les Brown Band of Renown   1940

   Vocals: Doris Day

   Let's Be Buddies

Les Brown Band of Renown   1940

   Vocals: Doris Day

   Three At a Table For Two

Les Brown Band of Renown   1963

   Vocals: Brenda Lee

   Lover, Come Back to Me

Les Brown Band of Renown   1983

   Vocals: Henry Butch Stone

   Mack the Knife

Les Brown Band of Renown   1983

   Sing, Sing, Sing

Les Brown Band of Renown   1983

   Vocals: Jo Ann Greer

   S'Wonderful

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Louis Jordan

Louis Jordan

 

 

Bandleader, saxophonist and vocalist Louis Jordan got his big break when Chick Webb invited him to join his gig at the Savoy Ballroom in 1936. Which was great until Jordan developed the notion that Ella Fitzgerald might leave Webb's orchestra to help him form his own band. Webb fired him for the attempt, after which Jordan put his own band together anyway, 'Honey In the Bee Ball' among his first recordings as a bandleader in 1938. From thereon Jordan never missed a beat, enjoying a stellar career that rivaled the likes of Cab Calloway and Count Basie, largely with his band, the Tympany Five, until his death by heart attack in 1975. Not only an important jazz musician, Jordan was a natural to rock & roll later in his career. (For samples of that see A Birth of Rock & Roll 1.)

Louis Jordan   1938

   Honey In the Bee Ball

Louis Jordan   1939

   Keep a Knocking But You Can't Come In

Louis Jordan   1944

   Deacon Jones

Louis Jordan   1944

   Is You Or Is You Ain't My Baby

Louis Jordan   1946

   Caldonia

Louis Jordan   1946

   Don't Worry 'Bout That Mule

Louis Jordan   1946

   Let the Good Times Roll

Louis Jordan   1947

   Open the Door, Richard!

Louis Jordan   1947

   Film: 'Reet, Petite and Gone'   Dancing: Mabel Lee

   Wham, Sam!

Louis Jordan   1949

   Beans and Cornbread

Louis Jordan   1951

   How Blue Can You Get?

Louis Jordan   1966

   Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Buddy Rich

Buddy Rich

Buddy Rich was another remarkable drummer who got his start in swing with Joe Marsala in 1937. He first recorded with the Vic Schoen Orchestra in 1938. (For Vic Schoen see the Andrew Sisters in Jazz 3.)

Buddy Rich   1942

   With Eleanor Powell

   Ship Ahoy

Buddy Rich   1955

   With Sweets Edison

   Yellow Rose of Brooklyn

Buddy Rich   1965

   Television broadcast with Jerry Lewis

   Drum Solo

Buddy Rich   1965

   Film

   One O'Clock Jump

Buddy Rich   1970

   Film

   Drum Solo

Buddy Rich   1972

   Dancing Men

Buddy Rich   1973

   Norwegian Wood

Buddy Rich   1978

   The Tonight Show   With Ed Shaughnessy

   Drum Duet

Buddy Rich   1982

   Bugle Call Rag

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Charlie Christian

Charlie Christian

Guitarist Charlie Christian nigh started at the top, joining Benny Goodman in 1939, with whom he first recorded the same year. The majority of the examples of Christian below are with Goodman. Playing with all the big names from Clayton to Henderson to Basie to Hampton, there is some debate as to whether Christian was the first to play or record electric guitar, some believing it was George Barnes (Jazz 7) or T-Bone Walker (Blues 1).

Charlie Christian   1939

   Flying Home

Charlie Christian   1939

   Trumpet:  Buck Clayton

   I Never Knew

Charlie Christian   1939

   Piano:  Fletcher Henderson

   Rose Room

Charlie Christian   1939

   Roast Turkey Stomp

Charlie Christian   1939

   Shivers

Charlie Christian   1940

   With Lionel Hampton

   Poor Butterfly

Charlie Christian   1940

   With Lionel Hampton and Count Basie

   Till Tom Special

Charlie Christian   1945

   Echoes of Harlem

 

 
 

Trumpeter Harry James played with Ben Pollack and Benny Goodman before forming his own band and releasing 'You Made Me Love You' in 1939. His was the first band of stature to employ Frank Sinatra (Jazz 8).

Harry James   1939

   You made Me Love You

Harry James   1939

   Ciribiribin

Harry James  1942

   I Had the Craziest Dream

Harry James   1942

   With Helen Forrest

   I've Heard That Song Before

Harry James   1945

   With Helen Forrest

   It's Been a Long, Long Time

Harry James   1952

   With Rosemary Clooney

   You'll Never Know

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Harry James

Harry James

Birth of Swing Jazz: Jimmy Blanton

Jimmy Blanton

 

Phenomenal double bassist Jimmy Blanton joined the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra upon graduating from college, with whom he likely made his first recordings. Briefly afterward he began working with Duke Ellington. Unfortunately Blanton's career ended only two years later, age 23, upon commitment to a sanatorium for tuberculosis.

Jimmy Blanton   1940

   Piano: Duke Ellington

   Pitter Panther Patter

Jimmy Blanton   1940

   Piano: Duke Ellington

   Sophisticated Lady

 

 
 

Trombonist Will Bradley formed his own orchestra with drummer Ray McKinley in 1939.

Will Bradley   1940

   Flyin' Home

Will Bradley   1940

   Rock-A-Bye The Boogie

Will Bradley   1940

   Scramble Two

Will Bradley   1941

   Chicken Gumboog(ie)

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Will Bradley

Will Bradley

 

 

Bandleader and pianist Jay McShann left Oklahoma for the Kansas City music scene in 1936, forming his own orchestra that same year. His would later be the band that backed Kansas City rocker Priscilla Bowman (Rock 4). More Jay McShann in Blues 4.

Jay McShann   1940

   Saxophone: Charlie Parker

   Lady Be Good

Jay McShann   1941

   Dexter Blues

Jay McShann   1941

   Saxophone: Charlie Parker

   Swingmatism

Jay McShann   1943

   Jump the Blues

Jay McShann   1945

   Moten Swing

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Jay McShann

Jay McShann

Birth of Swing Jazz: Edmond Hall

Edmond Hall

Clarinet player Edmond Hall had been a farmhand until beginning his professional career in New Orleans in 1920. It took a score of years for his major break to occur, upon joining Teddy Wilson's orchestra in 1941, the same year he may have first recorded. 'Blue Interval', below, is an excellent example of early "smooth" jazz.

Edmond Hall   1941

   Piano: Ken Kersey   Trumpet: Henry Red Allen

   Indiana

Edmond Hall   1941

   With Ida Cox

   Last Mile Blues

Edmond Hall   1941

   Piano: Ken Kersey   Trumpet: Henry Red Allen

   Ole Man River

Edmond Hall   1941

   Guitar: Charlie Christian

   Profoundly Blue

Edmond Hall   1944

   Piano: Teddy Wilson   Vibes: Red Norvo

   Blue Interval

Edmond Hall   1944

   Piano: Teddy Wilson

   Night and Day

Edmond Hall   1944

   When Or Where

Edmond Hall   1949

   Flyin' High

Edmond Hall   1955

   Dardanella

Edmond Hall   1958

   Trumpet: Louis Armstrong

   Muskrat Ramble

 

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Lucky Millinder

Lucky Millinder

Bandleader Lucky Millinder played no instrument but is an important bridge from swing to rock and roll. He began his career as a bandleader in 1932 but didn't record until 1941.

Lucky Millinder  1941

   Vocals: Rosetta Tharpe

   Trouble In Mind

Lucky Millinder  1941

   Vocals: Trevor Bacon

   Big Fat Mama

Lucky Millinder  1941

   Mason Flyer

Lucky Millinder  1942

   Are You Ready

Lucky Millinder  1943

    Vocals: Trevor Bacon

   Savoy

Lucky Millinder  1950

   Vocals: Myra Johnson

   Silent George

 

 
  Remo Palmieri had originally intended to become an artist, supporting his studies by playing guitar. It was 1942 when he decided to make music his career, forming a trio with guitarist Nat Jaffe and bassist Leo Guarnieri. None of his first four recordings with that trio in 1944 are found: 'Blues In Nat's Flat', 'These Foolish Things', 'A Hundred Years From Today' and 'If I Had You'. While with the Nat Jaffe Trio Palmieri worked briefly with sax player Coleman Hawkins (Jazz 4) in 1943, then with vibraphonist Red Norvo in 1944. Though Palmieri recorded as late as 1985 he is most remembered as a swing musician, due largely to a career as an uncredited accompanist. Indeed, he worked for CBS for 27 years with the Arthur Godfrey Show.

Remo Palmieri   1944

   Vibes: Red Norvo

   Seven Come Eleven

Remo Palmieri   1944

   Clarinet: Barney Bigard

   Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams

Remo Palmieri   1945

   Trumpet: Dizzy Gillespie

   All the Things You Are

Remo Palmieri   1945

   Vocal: Sarah Vaughan

   Time After Time

 

Birth of Swing Jazz: Remo Palmieri

Remo Palmieri

 

With Remo Palmieri we pause this history. We will be adding more material as such occurs.

 

 

Blues

Early Blues 1: Guitar

Early Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 1: Guitar

Modern Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Classical

Medieval - Renaissance

Baroque - Galante - Classical

Romantic

Modern

Country

Bluegrass

Folk

Country Western

Jazz

Early Jazz 1: Ragtime - Bands - Horn

Early Jazz 2: Ragtime - Song - Hollywood

Early Jazz 3: Ragtime - Other Instrumentation

Swing Era 1: Big Bands

Swing Era 2: Song

Modern 1: Saxophone

Modern 2: Trumpet - Other Horn

Modern 3: Piano

Modern 4: Guitar - Other String

Modern 5: Song

Modern 6: Percussion - Other Orchestration

Rock & Roll

Early - Boogie Woogie - R&B - Soul

Other Musical Genres

Doo Wop

The Big Bang - Fifties American Rock

UK Beat

British Invasion

Total War - Sixties American Rock

Musician Indexes

The Blues

Bluegrass - Folk

Country Western

Jazz Early - Swing Jazz

Jazz Modern - Horn

Jazz Modern - Piano - String

Jazz Modern - Percussion - Song - Other

Boogie Woogie - Doo Wop - R&B - Rock & Roll - Soul

UK Beat - British Invasion

Sixties American Rock

 

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