Billie Holiday and Jack Parnell & His Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall - February 1954 004
Pages 4 and the rear inside cover of a programme for a performance by Billie Holiday and Jack Parnell, at the Royal Albert Hall, February 14th, 1954. Page 4 profiles the career of young drummer Jack Parnell. Parnell's accompanist Carl Drinkard, and compère Michael Black are profiled on the rear inside cover.
|Catalogue Reference Number||NJA/PRO/36|
|Title or Caption|
|Event Date||February 14th 1954|
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29-year-old Jack Parnell is recognised as Europeâs greatest drummer, and for eight years his thousands of fans have voted him into that exalted position. This year he again topped the New Musical Express drummersâ popularity poll and was voted second to his old boss, Ted Heath, in the Bie Band section.
Jack is a member of the famous Parnell theatrical family. His uncle, Val Parnell, is the impresario who runs the London Palladium and is responsible for bringing many of the big American stars to London.
Jack threw up medical studies to become a drummer; his first job being with a concert party at an East coast resort. When war broke out he joined the RAF, where he met guitarist Vic Lewis. Together, they formed the Vic Lewis-Jack Parnell Jazzmen. This group was in the traditional style and became popular via jazz club appearances and Parlophone records.
On demobilisation, Jack joined the then newly-formed Ted Heath band, remaining with it until he left to form his own orchestra early in 1952. His first job with this orchestra was in the pit of the Prince of Wales theatre, where he accompanied the âFancy Freeâ show, starring Tommy Trinder.
When the show closed he reformed as a dance band and took the country by storm in a tour of one-nighters. Within eight weeks he was voted second in a popularity poll. The band was chosen by Lena HornÂ« to accompany her on
her British and Scandinavian tours. Her manager has just written to Jack to say that she would like to have the band with her on her next visit. The Parnell band will also be touring with Johnnie Ray in the Spring.
Recently augmented, the band as it is will soon tour the country in a show called âJazz Wagon.â It opens at Chiswick Empire on February 22nd. Their latest Parlophone record successes are âDevilâs Eyesâ and âSkin Deep.â
Billieâs accompanist is Carl Drinkard, horn in Atlantic City in 1927 and whose entire professional career has been with Billie Holiday, whom lie joined shortly after leaving school, four years ago. Billie was appearing in cabaret at Washington during the early part of 1950 and when visiting a small club with some friends, she was astonished by the brilliance of this young pianist appearing at the club, and when the opportunity arose, Billie contacted him immediately to join her as accompanist, and he has remained ever since.
Comedian Michael Black, who
comperes to-night's show, will be no stranger to Royal Albert Hall audiences, for Michael has made no less than nine appearances at this world-farnoiu venue during the past fourteen months.
Among the presentations that he has introduced here are 1\ME Teddy Wilson Concert and the two Sarah Vaughan Concerts (all held in 1953V and the Big Shou of 1952 starring Cab Calloway, Mary Lou Williams, the Deep River Boys, etc.
Michael has been connected with the theatre for thirteen years, and he is an established TV and broadcasting artist.
âThe Stan Kenton Storyâ
32 Pages, beautifully illustrated, including personally written forew'ord by Kenton; potted biographies of his sideman, their autographs; exclusive action photographs and full list of Kenton recordings. Obtainable from Programme sellers at to-nightâs Concert (2/6d.) or write to
NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS 5 DENMARK STREET, LONDON
enclosing 2/9d. (inclusive of postage) and you will receive copy by return.
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