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Discography October 1942 0002

Discography October 1942 0002

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smoke-filled room, the red light winked on and Sherman, the National Broadcasting System pre-Ragtime Band/" Muggsy held his cornet in the

■d their musical creativeness, there was the radio audienc<

once again

that broadcast had done something, the ave to wait for the hight spots.. It was a

relative to the study òf Jazz

I welcome this brilliant little îeview

knowledge ;e possibly

Pas;e Two

When next Muggsy got called away, it was to run through his radio programme, which was due on the air with the station announcer. T

Pretty soon the nostalgic strains of the old "Lonesome Road”, floated across the the announcer stepped up to the mike. “From the College Inn of Chicago's Hotel Sherman, sents the Dixieland Rhythms of Muggsy Spanier, king of the plunger mute, and his Ragtime Band.'"' air. beat a soundless 'one. .two,’ and the band went into "Riverboat Shuffle."

But something had happened to the band. The presence of the microphone seemed to have damped

The music was there, but there was a difference. They were no longer just playing for themselves. Now

to consider. ^ .


I for one, was glad when Muggsy picked up the old .plunger mute to blow his heart out down the

Later the band played again. It was good too, both exhiliarating and moving; but spontaneity had gone. You can't turn jazz on like a faucet; it comes and goes, and you have t< -onderful evening, but it was that blues that made it memorable.


“MUGGIN LIGHT”—Eric Preston, .... being miscellaneous facts

In these days of paper shortage, unnecessary verbosity is a crime; but suffice it to say th which will, both as regards circulation and knowledge dispensed through the medium of its pagespgo faf...

THE RHYTHM CLUB MOVEMENT has always been a strong one;, and all over the world, excepting the continent, enthusiasts still get together to pool their variously constructive and trite thoughts. • . - > -V

One of the most interesting clubs is that formed in Cairo last May by Reg. Smith,, a corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals. Owing to fluctuations in the military situation, the club closed, but is to be re-opened. The Cairo Rhythm Club opened at the Regent Restaurant, there; and the first meeting included resident pianist and drummer, Johnny Highsmith, renowned in French and American Jazz circles, and Bob Heitoum, respectively, along with the best musicians in town, and singers Dinah Lee and Yuki. At. meetings, as many as 216 enthusiasts—Canadian, French, South African, etc.—filled the premises.

Reg Smith manages to find many fine Collectors’ records in Cairo, amongst which are: King Oliver’s "Too Late"/“What Do You

Want Me To Do”; "Fallen Arches” by the Redheads; "East St. Louis Toddle-©”/“Jubilee Stomp”, by the Washingtonians; Duke's.

"Mood Indigo"/King Oliver's "St. James Infirmary”; and many others..

GIBRALTAR RADIO, for whom I have the honour to work, now feature the Rock Radio Rhythm Club (see next issue for wavelength and transmission times).

THOSE INTERESTED IN REX HARRIS’ "STORY OF JAZZ’'-Tanfi there are but few who do not tune in, seeking

or faults—, will be pleased to hear that an extension has been granted for this broadcast feature, until October 21. Quite

there will be further broadcasts even after the scheduled closing date.

COLLECTORS' CATALOGUE. ... I am indeed pleased to be able to mention this, and Jackson Hale are the joint brains of this scheme to disjjel the ‘black market' in recor

drew the unsuspecting enthusiasts attention to the scandalously high record prices of late. Collectors banded together. Their aims are: To eliminate the present profiteering in a guide to the approximate value of individual discs; and to black-list any dealers ested—to the catalogue, along with a bnef ‘wants list. The address is. Ken Bro: you'll be backing a great cause.

Happy Hunting.
Page Three

A DECADE OF JAZZ by Max Jones.

No. 1. Backwater Blues—

Nobody knows you when you’re down and out. by Bessie Smith on Parlo. R.2481

Less than a year after Sieur de Bienville founded Nouvelle-Orleans, the Mississippi overflowed its banks and flooded the city. Although drainage canals and dykes were constructed, the river con tinued to break its banks and ravage the countryside, and even the intricate system of levees failed to prevent flooding.

As late as 1927 saw New Orleans suffering from a flood which had destroyed an inestimable amount of property in the lower Mississippi Valley, but the worst in living memory is that of 1882, when 85,000 people were rendered homeless. Ma Rainey sang of this MAX JONES, by the courtesy of "Challenge” iu 'Backwater Blues" . . .

, “It rained fo’ days and de skies was dark as night. *

Trouble taken place in de lowlands at night.“

She did not record the song,, unfortunately, but it has become traditional and been used by Bessie Smith—one of the greatest American Negro folk-artists—with slightly altered lyrics:

+ ' . . “When it rains five days and de sky tarns dark as night,

There's trouble takin’ place in the lowlands at night."

* ’ And later :

“When it thunders and lightens and de wind begin to blow,

There’s thousands of people ain’t got no place to go.

, Backwater Blues done caused me to pack my things and go,

’Cause my house fell down an’ I cain’t live there no mo’!’’

This is authentic folk-blues, accompanied only by piano, and for those who are inclined to consider Bessies raucous, I quote jazz-critic “Mike“-of .the . “Melody*Maker," who explains that her voice is “controlled, rich, .and always in tune, with a vibrant sincerity that, can only be appreciated after careful assimilation.“ Jimmy Johnson's accompaniment is as beautiful as anything he has waxed. This side was recorded in February, 1927.

The reverse is a later session—June, 1929, and the song is of the depression. period. Since Bessie is known to have made, and squandered, at least one fortune (her generosity was almost unbounded) it is suspected that the lyrics may be biographical. She is backed up here by Clarence Williams (piano), Ed Ellen (trumpet), and Cyrus St. Clair (tuba).


“Nobody -knows you,, when you’re down and out.

In my pocket not one penny, and my friends—I haven’t any.

But if I ever git on my feet agin,

Then I’ll meet my long lost friends,

It’s mighty strange without a doubt Nobody knows you when you’re down and out,

I mean when you’re down and out.”