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Friday, April 29, 2011

Just some interesting pics for the end of the evening..........

An OTR special: 1944 Esquire All-American Jazz concert at The Metropolitan Opera

In three parts, here is The concert from 1-18-1944

Featuring a line-up of the Esquire Magazine poll winners, in the first jazz concert at the Met, this includes: Louis Armstrong (tp, vo), Roy Eldridge (tp), Jack Teagarden (tb, vo), Barney Bigard (cl), Coleman Hawkins (ts), Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson (p), Red Norvo, Lionel Hampton (vb); Al Casey (g); Oscar Pettiford (b); Sid Cattlet (dm), Billie Holiday, Mildred Bailey(vo), and more...

Good stuff....enjoy.
Pt 1
Pt 2
Pt 3
1. Esquire Blues - Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford...
2. Mop Mop - Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford...
3. Do Nothing 'Till You Hear From Me - Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford...
4. Billie's Blues - Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford...
5. I Can't Give You Anything But Love - Louis Armstrong/Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey...
6. I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues - Louis Armstrong/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey...
7. Sweet Lorraine - Art Tatum/Oscar Pettiford/Sidney Catlett
8. I Got Rhythm - Louis Armstrong/Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Red Norvo/Art Tatum...
9. Blues - Louis Armstrong/Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey...
10. Esquire Bounce - Louis Armstrong/Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Lionel Hampton...
11. Rockin' Chair - Jack Teagarden/Red Norvo/Teddy Wilson/Mildred Bailey
12. Basin Street Blues - Louis Armstrong/Jack Teagarden/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Oscar Pettiford/Sidney Catlett
13. I'll Get By - Roy Eldridge/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Oscar Pettiford/Sidney Catlett/ Billie Holiday
14. Rachel's Dream - Benny Goodman/Jess Stacy/Sid Weiss/Morey Field
 15. Tea For Two - Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Lionel Hampton/Art Tatum/Al Casey...
16. Back O' Town Blues - Louis Armstrong/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford...
17. Muskrat Ramble - Louis Armstrong/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford...
18. Buck Jumpin' - Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford...
19. Stompin' At The Savoy - Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Lionel Hampton/Art Tatum/Al Casey...
20. For Bass Faces Only - Roy Eldridge/Coleman Hawkins/Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford/Sidney Catlett
21. My Ideal - Coleman Hawkins/ Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford/Sidney Catlett
22. Rose Room - Barney Bigard/Art Tatum/Al Casey/Oscar Pettiford/Sidney Catlett
23. I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling In Love - Teddy Wilson
24. More Than You Know - Roy Eldridge/Barney Bigard/Coleman Hawkins/Teddy Wilson/Oscar Pettiford/Sidney Catlett...
25. Squeeze Me - Roy Eldridge/Jack Teagarden/Barney Bigard/Teddy Wilson/Oscar Pettiford/Sidney Catlett/Mildred Bailey
26. Honeysuckle Rose - Roy Eldridge/Barney Bigard/Red Norvo/Teddy Wilson/Al Casey/Sidney Catlett/Mildred Bailey

27. Flying On A V.Disc (Parts 1 & 2)
28. Drum Duet
29. Jammin' the vibes
30. National Anthem

OTR Country Hoedown 1956 Patsy Cline and Faron Young-2 shows

Patsy and Faron with Ferlin Husky and Jerry Reed

Here are two nice OTR transcriptions for a Friday afternoon...........episode #40 and #45 of The U.S. Navy Recruiting Service "Country Hoedown", both from 1956....nice ones...enjoy! :)



Chick Bulock Part 5.............

Here's Part 5.........

(The one I love) just can't be bothered with me-1930
No one loves me like that Dallas man-
Now we're on our second honeymoon-1933 Bob Causer and His Cornellians
Oh, how I hate to get up in the morning-
Old playmate-1931 Lou Gold and His Orchestra
Old street sweeper-1934 Clarence Williams and His Orchestra
On accounta I love you-1934
On the beach with you-1931 Dick Cherwin and His Orchestra
One of us was wrong-1931
Out in the cold again-1934
Out on a limb-
Pagan moon-1931 Ted Black and His Orchestra
Rose of Romany-1930 Roy Smeck's Trio
Sam and Delilah- Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra
Say the word-1931 Luis Russell And His orch.
Shine on harvest moon-1931 Roy Smeck's Trio
Should I?-1930
Sleepy head-1934 Freddy Martin & His Orch
Smoke gets in your eyes-1933
So beats my heart for you-1930
Somebody loves me-
Somewhere in old Wyoming-1930 Roy Smeck's Trio
Spic and Spanish-
The night the lady said no-
The river and me-1931 Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra

Jo Stafford Part 1.........and a Jonathan and Darlene Edwards list...

Jo Stafford

Jo Elizabeth Stafford (November 12, 1917 – July 16, 2008) was an American singer of traditional pop music and jazz standards whose career ran from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. Stafford was greatly admired for the purity of her voice and was considered one of the most versatile vocalists of the era. She was also viewed as a pioneer of modern musical parody, having won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album in 1961 (with husband Paul Weston) for their album Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris. She was also the first woman to have a No 1 on the UK Singles Chart. Stafford's work in radio, television and music is recognized by three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Stafford was born in Coalinga, California in 1917 to Grover Cleveland Stafford and Anna York Stafford, a second cousin of World War I hero Sergeant Alvin York; both parents enjoyed singing and sharing music with their family. Her father had hopes of being a success in the California oil fields when he moved his family from Gainesboro, Tennessee; what he found instead was a succession of various jobs. When he worked for a private girls' school, Grover was allowed to bring the school's phonograph home on Christmas. Stafford remembered hearing "Whispering Hope" on it as a small child. Her mother was an accomplished banjo player, playing and singing many of the folk songs which would become an influence on her daughter's later career.
Stafford's first public singing appearance came in Long Beach, where the family lived when she was 12. She sang "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms", a Stafford family sentimental favorite.  Her second was far more dramatic. A student at Long Beach Polytechnic High School with the lead in the school musical, she was on stage rehearsing when a 1933 earthquake hit, destroying the school.  Originally, she wanted to become an opera singer and studied voice as a child. However, because of the Great Depression, she abandoned that idea and joined her sisters Christine and Pauline in a popular vocal group, "The Stafford Sisters", which performed on Los Angeles radio station KHJ. The sisters got their start on KNX as part of The Singing Crockett Family of Kentucky program when Jo was 18.

The sisters managed to find work in the film industry as backup vocalists. Jo went straight from her high school graduation into working on film soundtracks. The Stafford Sisters made their first recording with Louis Prima in 1936. In 1937 she worked behind the scenes with Fred Astaire on the soundtrack of A Damsel in Distress and created the arrangement and, with her sisters, the backing vocals for "Nice Work If You Can Get It". She claimed that her arrangement had to be adapted as Astaire had difficulty with some of the syncopation, in her words: "The man with the syncopated shoes couldn't do the syncopated notes".

By 1938, they were involved in the Twentieth Century Fox production of Alexander's Ragtime Band. The studio brought in many vocal groups to work on the film, among them were The Four Esquires, The Rhythm Kings and The King Sisters. With plenty of time between takes, the various groups sang and socialized while waiting to be called to the set. It soon worked out that The Four Esquires and The Rhythm Kings became a new vocal group, The Pied Pipers, which Stafford joined. This group consisted of eight members besides Stafford: John Huddleston (who was Stafford's husband from 1941 until their divorce in 1943), Hal Hooper, Chuck Lowry, Bud Hervey, George Tait, Woody Newbury, and Dick Whittinghill. As the Pied Pipers, they worked on local radio and movie soundtracks. When Alyce and Yvonne King had a party for their boyfriends' visit to Los Angeles, the Pied Pipers were invited, speedily eating all of the party's food. The King Sisters' boyfriends were Tommy Dorsey's arrangers Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston, who became interested in the group after meeting them there.

After Weston persuaded Dorsey to audition the group in 1938, the nine drove cross-country to New York together for the chance. Dorsey liked them enough to sign them for ten weeks, but after the second broadcast the sponsor heard them and disliked them, firing the group. They stayed in New York for several months, but landed only a single job that paid them just $3.60 each, though they did record four sides for RCA Victor Records.

The Pied Pipers returned to Los Angeles. Soon after getting home, Stafford received a phone call from Dorsey, saying he could use the group, but four members of it only. Half of the group, including their only female vocalist, arrived in Chicago in 1939; this led to success, especially for Stafford, who was also featured in solo performances. The group also backed Frank Sinatra in some of his early recordings.

In 1942, the group had an argument with Dorsey and left. By this time, it was successful enough in its own right; The Pied Pipers appeared on the radio shows of Sinatra, Bob Crosby and Johnny Mercer. It became one of the first groups signed to Johnny Mercer's new label, Capitol Records. Paul Weston was Capitol's music director; he had left Tommy Dorsey's band to work with Dinah Shore shortly after Dorsey re-hired the smaller version of the Pied Pipers.

In 1944, Stafford left the Pied Pipers to go solo. Her tenure with the USO, in which she gave countless performances for soldiers stationed overseas, led to her acquiring the nickname "G.I. Jo."   On returning from the Pacific theater, a veteran told Stafford that the Japanese would play her records on loudspeakers in an attempt to make the US troops homesick enough to surrender; she personally replied to all letters she received from servicemen.

Beginning in late 1945, she hosted the Tuesday and Thursday broadcasts of an NBC musical variety radio program — The Chesterfield Supper Club.  Stafford moved from New York to California by 1947, but continued to host Chesterfield Supper Club from Hollywood. She also had her own radio show which went on the air later on Tuesday nights when she joined the "Supper Club". In 1948, she cut her "Supper Club" appearances to once a week (Tuesdays), with Peggy Lee becoming the host of the Thursday broadcasts. During her time with Chesterfield Supper Club, she remembered and revisited some of the folk music she had heard and enjoyed as a child. Paul Weston, who was the conductor of her "Supper Club" broadcasts, suggested using some of them on the program. With the rediscovery of the folk tunes came an interest in folklore; Stafford established a prize which was awarded to the best collection of American folklore submitted by a college student. The awards were handled by the American Folklore Society.

In 1948 Stafford and Gordon MacRae had a million-seller with their version of "Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart" and in 1949 repeated their success with "My Happiness". Stafford also recorded the "Whispering Hope" of her childhood memories with MacRae in the same year. Stafford began hosting a weekly Radio Luxembourg radio program in 1950, recording the voice portions of the shows in Hollywood. She contributed her disk jockey talents without pay.  At the time, she was also hosting Club 15 for CBS radio, sharing those duties with Bob Crosby much as was done with Perry Como on Chesterfield Supper Club.  By 1951, Stafford was also doing weekly radio work for Voice of America. Collier's magazine published an article about the program in its April 21, 1951 issue entitled: Jo Stafford: Her Songs Upset Joe Stalin; this earned Stafford the wrath of the Communist newspaper, the Daily Worker. The newspaper published a column critical of Stafford and VOA.

In 1950, she left Capitol for Columbia Records, later returning to Capitol with Weston in 1961. While at Columbia she was the first recording artist to sell 25 million records for that company. Also now at Columbia was Paul Weston, who moved to the label from Capitol. Weston and Stafford were married in a Roman Catholic ceremony on February 26, 1952. Stafford converted to Catholicism prior to the marriage. Stafford and Weston left for Europe for their combination honeymoon-business trip; Stafford had an engagement at the London Palladium.  They went on to have two children, Tim and Amy.

In the 1950s, she had a string of popular hits with Frankie Laine, six of which charted; their duet of Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'" making the top ten in 1951. It was also at this time that Stafford scored her best known hits with huge records like "Jambalaya," "Shrimp Boats," "Make Love to Me," and "You Belong to Me". The last song was Stafford's all-time biggest hit, topping the charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom (the first song by a female singer to top the UK chart).

Stafford hosted the 15-minute The Jo Stafford Show on CBS-TV from 1954 to 1955 with Weston as her conductor and music arranger. While doing her CBS television show, Stafford was named to the 1955 list of Best Dressed Women by the New York Fashion Academy.  She appeared as a guest on NBC's Club Oasis and on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, as did many of the popular singers of the late 1950s. In the early 1960s, she hosted a series of television specials called The Jo Stafford Show, centered around music. The shows were produced in England and featured guests, both British and American, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé and Rosemary Clooney.

In 1960, Stafford related there were good and bad points to working closely with her husband. She said that Weston's knowing her so well made it easy for him to arrange music for her, but that it also made it difficult at times, as Weston knew her abilities and would either write or arrange music that was elaborate because he was aware she was capable of performing the song ably. She also said she did not believe she could perform in Broadway musicals as she believed her voice was not powerful enough for stage work.

During her second stint at Capitol, Stafford also recorded for Frank Sinatra's Reprise label. These albums were released between 1961 and 1964, and were mostly retrospective in nature. Stafford left the label when Sinatra sold it to Warner Brothers. In late 1965, both Stafford and Weston left Capitol again, this time for Dot Records.

Stafford briefly performed comedy under the name "Cinderella G. Stump" with Red Ingle and the Natural Seven. She recorded a mock hillbilly version of Temptation, which she pronounced "Tim-tayshun."  That was not planned - she met Red Ingle at a recording studio and he told her that his female vocalist had been unable to make the session. She asked if she could help and although Ingle told her it wasn't her sort of thing, she stood in and in a completely impromptu performance, was brilliantly funny, a remarkable example of how a true singer could adapt to any theme and style. It was not generally known for some years that it was her voice on the record.  Because she had done it in fun on the spur of the moment and accepted standard scale pay, Stafford waived all royalties from the record.  Stafford, along with Ingle and Weston, made a personal appearance tour in 1949, turning herself into Cinderella G. Stump to perform the song. Stafford and Ingle performed the song on network television in 1960 for an NBC special on swing music. Further success in the comedy genre came about again accidentally.

Throughout the 1950s, Stafford and Paul Weston would entertain guests at parties by putting on a skit in which they assumed the identities Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, a bad lounge act. Stafford, as Darlene, would sing off-key in a high pitched voice; Weston, as Jonathan, played an untuned piano off key and with bizarre rhythms. It was Paul who innocently began the act at a Columbia Records sales convention, "filling time" with his impression of a dreadful lounge pianist. His audience was very appreciative and continued to ask for more even after the convention was over.

Finding that she had time left over following a 1957 recording session, Stafford, as a gag, recorded a track as Darlene Edwards. Those who heard bootlegs of the recording responded positively, and later that year, Stafford and Weston recorded an entire album of songs as Jonathan and Darlene, entitled Jo Stafford and Paul Weston Present: The Original Piano Artistry of Jonathan Edwards, Vocals by Darlene Edwards. As a publicity stunt, Stafford and Weston claimed that the Edwardses were a New Jersey lounge act that they had discovered, and denied any personal connection. The ruse triggered a national sensation as the public tried to identify the brazenly off-key singer and the piano player of dubious ability. (Some guessed Margaret and Harry Truman, Time magazine noted.) Much time would pass before people realized (and Stafford and Weston admitted) that they were in fact the Edwardses. The album was followed up with a "pop standards" album, on which the pair intentionally butchered popular music. The album was a commercial and critical success; it proved to be the first commercially successful musical parody album, laying the groundwork for the careers of later "full time" musical parodists such as "Weird Al" Yankovic. In 1958, the Westons brought the pair to the television screen for a Jack Benny Shower of Stars.

They continued recording Jonathan and Darlene albums, with their 1960 album, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris winning that year's Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album (they "tied" with Bob Newhart, as the Grammys decided, in a rare move, to issue two comedy awards that year. Newhart was given an award for "Spoken Word Comedy.") It was the only major award that Stafford ever won.

The couple continued to release the albums for several years, and in 1979 released a final single, a cover of The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" backed with "I Am Woman."  The same year also saw a brief resurgence in the popularity of Jonathan and Darlene albums when their cover of "Carioca" was featured as the opening and closing theme to The Kentucky Fried Movie. Their "sing-along" album was blamed by Mitch Miller for putting an end to his sing-along television show and record albums.

Saying she no longer found it "fun", Stafford went into semi-retirement in the mid 1960s, retiring completely from the music business in 1975. Except for the 1979 Jonathan and Darlene Edwards version of "Stayin' Alive" and a recording of her favorite "Whispering Hope" with her daughter Amy, also a singer, Stafford did not perform again until 1990, at a ceremony honoring Frank Sinatra. The Westons then devoted more of their time to a charity that aids those with developmental disabilities; the couple had been active in the organization for many years. Concord Records attempted to get Stafford to change her mind and come out of retirement, but she remained adamant.

Stafford won a breach-of-contract lawsuit against her former record label in the early 1990s, which won her the rights to all of her old recordings, including the Jonathan and Darlene recordings. Following the lawsuit, Stafford, along with son Tim, reactivated the Corinthian Records label, which began life as a religious label, that the devout Paul Weston had started. With Paul Weston's help, she compiled a pair of Best of Jonathan and Darlene albums, which were released in 1993.

In 1996, Paul Weston died of natural causes. Stafford continued to operate Corinthian Records. In 2006, she donated her library and her husband's to the University of Arizona. Stafford was inducted into the Big Band Academy of America's "Golden Bandstand" in April 2007.

Jo Stafford died in Century City, California of congestive heart failure on July 16, 2008, at the age of 90. She was interred with her husband Paul Weston at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.

Ok....Jo Stafford has  popped up on quite a few lists that I have posted in the last year, especially her work with the Pied Pipers. She has also been on lists of OTR shows, and in some compilations.  Here is a list today of some of her solo work, a few duets, and lastly, a separate list of some of her work as Darlene Edwards with Paul Weston (Jonathan Edwards).....Enjoy!

Here's Part 1..........

All night long 
Allentown jail
April and you
As I love you
Baby won't you please come home
Back where I belong
Better luck next time
Bewitched (b'cast) w/ Dick Haymes
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo w/ Gordon MacRae
Blue moon
Blues in the night 2 w/ Johnny Mercer/Pied Pipers
Blues in the night w/ The Starlighters
Broadway babies (b'cast)
But never like this (b'cast)
Day my day
Diamonds are a girl's best friend
Every night when the sun goes down w/ The Starlighters
Floatin' down to cotton town w/ Frankie Laine
Fools rush in
Goin' like wildfire
Good nite w/ Vic Damone and The Mellomen
Goodnight Irene
Hambone w/ Frankie Laine
Haunted heart
Here I'll stay
The best things in life are free
The gentleman is a dope 2
The gentleman is a dope

And now, just for fun....a little "taste" (**cough...Hack...uggghhhhh**) of Jonathan and Darlene Edwards ;)
Alabamy bound
April in Paris
Autumn in New York
Be my little baby bumble bee
Cocktails for two
Dizzy fingers
Don't get around much anymore
Honeysuckle Rose
I am woman
I love Paris
Stayin' alive
Take the A train
The last time I saw Paris
You're blase

 Jo and Paul

Monday, April 25, 2011

Away for a bit, appologies...hope to be posting more of a large backlog of lists and requests soon...

I'm suffering from some chronic lower back problems that are keeping me medicated and prone on the bed for a lot of the day. I have a lot of requests and lists that are on the back burner, and I'm hoping to get them uploaded soon. I do apologize to all who have made requests, lately....I will try to get to all of those asap. Please, continue to request! I love trying to track things down for folks. Thanks, much, really. You enjoying what I put up here really makes doing this a isn't always easy to find the stuff, especially when I don't have it nearby....but just knowing that you guys are reading, downloading, and mostly digging the same old stuff that I like is just a wonderful thing. :)

One good thing: not being able to sit up long and compile the BIG lists works out great for all of you OTR/old radio show are easy to dig out quick and upload. So remember to request them! I just might have what you're craving! :)

A couple of nice soundies of Ms. Peggy w/ Dave Barbour...........

Claude Hopkins Part 1...........

Claude Hopkins

Claude Hopkins was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1903. Historians differ in respect of the actual date of his birth. His parents were on the faculty of Howard University. A highly talented stride piano player and arranger, he left home at the age of only 21 as a sideman with the Wilbur Sweatman Orchestra but stayed less than a year. In 1925, he left for Europe as the musical director of The Revue Negre which starred Josephine Baker with Sidney Bechet in the band.

He returned to the USA in 1927 where, based in Washington, he toured the TOBA circuit with The Ginger Snaps Revue before heading once again for NYC where he took over the band of Charlie Skeets. At this time (1932–36), he led a fairly successful Harlem band employing many jazz musicians who were later to become famous in their own right such as Edmond Hall, Jabbo Smith and Vic Dickenson (although it's worth noting that his records were arranged to feature his piano more than his band). This was his most successful period with long residencies at the Savoy and Roseland ballrooms and at the Cotton Club. In 1937 he took his band on the road with a great deal of success.

He broke up the band in 1940 and used his arranging talents working for several non-jazz band leaders and for CBS. In 1948/9 he led a "novelty" band briefly but took a jazz band into The Cafe Society in 1950. From 1951 up until his death, he remained in NYC working mostly as a sideman with other Dixieland bands playing at festivals and various New York clubs and recording. Often under-rated in later years, he was one of jazz's most important band leaders and has yet to be given full recognition for his achievements. He died on 19 February 1984, a disillusioned and dispirited man.

As popular as Hopkins' band was, it never achieved the high level of musical brilliance that Ellington, Henderson, Hines, Basie, Webb or Lunceford achieved. Besides Hopkins' piano being featured within the band, the high-pitched vocals of Orlando Roberson brought the band a good part of its popularity.

Often overlooked by historians, Claude Hopkins was a major contributor to the development of early jazz and swing music. He was an incredibly gentle yet powerful stride pianist who could perform both ballads and hot numbers with equal virtuosity. Hopkins also wrote and arranged many compositions of his own and in collaboration with other artists like J.C. Johnson and Bud Freeman.

Hopkins grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and learned to play piano at age seven. He studied music and medicine at Howard University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree, and later attended the Washington Conservatory. He worked with several bands while in college and formed his own group in 1924 for an engagement in Atlantic City, after which he spent a brief period with Wilbur Sweatman before forming another group of his own.

In September of 1925 Hopkins traveled to Europe, where he became Josephine Baker's musical director, touring Europe with her revue. He then led his own band in Italy and Spain in 1926 before returning to the states in the spring of that year. He worked with several groups of his own until taking over Charlie Skeete's orchestra in 1930. Hopkins band was a regular performer at the Savoy Ballroom in 1930, the Roseland Ballroom from 1931 to 1935, and the Cotton Club in 1935 and 1936.

Hopkins recorded often during the early and mid-1930s but was silent from 1937 to late 1939, when he led the band on extensive tours. He entered the studio again in early 1940 for the AMMOR label. Vocalists for the band were Orlando Roberson, who was known for hitting the high notes, and trumpeter Ovie Alston. Standout musicians included clarinetist Ed Hall, trumpeter Jabbo Smith, saxophonist Bobby Sands, trombonists Vic Dickenson and Fernando Arbello. In the late 1930s Hopkins occasionally fronted the band, allowing other pianists to take his instrument.

In 1941 Hopkins reorganized the orchestra before disbanding it in late 1942. He led his own small groups for the next two years and also worked at the Eastern Aircraft factory in New Jersey. In 1944 Hopkins formed a new orchestra which lasted, in one form or another, until 1947. It did not record. He continued working with smaller groups throughout the 1940s and 1950s, appearing with Red Allen and Herman Autrey in the late 1950s and Sol Yaged in 1960. He led his own group again from 1960 to 1966 and played with Wild Bill Davidson's Jazz Giants in the late 1960s and Roy Eldridge in 1970. Hopkins mostly worked as a soloist in the latter part of his life, performing and recording up through the 1970s. Claude Hopkins passed away in 1984.

Here's a few tunes :)

Ain't misbehavin'
California here I come 
Canadian capers
Careless love
Chasing all the blues away
Church Street sobbin' blues
Crazy fingers
Do you ever think of me
Don't let your love go wrong
Harlem rhythm dance
He's a son of the South
Home cookin' mama
Honeysuckle Rose
Hopkin's scream
How much do you mean to me 
How'm I doin'
I let a tear fall in the river
I'd believe in you
In the shade of the old apple tree
Ja-da (ja-da ja-da jing-jing-jing)
June night
Junk Man's serenade
just you, just me
King Porter Stomp
Look who's here
Love in bloom
Low gravy

Blue Lu Barker

Blue Lu Barker/Blu Lu Barker

November 13, 1913 - May 7, 1998

Singer Blue Lu Barker was born, raised, and buried in New Orleans; her funeral even turned into a popular video broadcast spotlighting the town's jazz funeral traditions. Like many early Louisiana performing artists, claims to her paralyzing influence over the entire country's jazz and blues scenes tend to be made with great regularity. Thus the tale of Blue Lu Barker is one in which jazz critics on one side of the fence comment on her limited vocal range, while others come up with quotes such as this one, attributed to legendary jazz vocalist Billie Holiday: "Blue Lu Barker was my biggest influence." In both the '30s and '40s she was one of the more popular blues performers, often appearing alongside artists such as Cab Calloway and Jelly Roll Morton. Sometimes it was her husband, musician Danny Barker, who opened the doors to musical groups such as Sidney Bechet's, but no bandleader ever tossed her offstage when she clambered up for a vocal, especially once she started cutting hit records. Barker's most famous recordings were done in 1938. "Don't You Feel My Leg" was a well-crafted song that seemed to encourage promiscuity and restraint simultaneously, always a good thing for the music business. The song got a second round of popularity in the '80s courtesy of Maria Muldaur. The early Barker material features her husband on banjo and guitar and the couple would continue performing together until his death. Her career continued after that, all the way up to a last recording taped live in 1998 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. That's unless the video of her funeral is counted, as her presence is majestic enough to almost be considered a performance. Players who are still alive and jamming at this event include the majestic Big Al Carson on tuba.

Barker was born Louisa Dupont Barker and her father ran a grocery store and pool hall, cashing in big time during prohibition with a stock of bootleg liquor. At 13, she left school and married Barker. In 1930 the couple moved to New York, hooking up a variety of performing situations including the contact with Morton. At the 1938 Vocalion session during which she cut her first vocals, the producer checked her out and came up with the Blue Lu Barker stage name. The couple were contracted to Decca in the '30s and the Apollo label the following decade, joining a roster at the latter label that included rhythm & blues and jazz greats such as Wynonie Harris, Dinah Washington, and Luis Russell. One of the couple's Apollo sessions even featured a jam with the mighty Charlie Parker. Blue Lu Barker was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame in 1997, one year before she died. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi 

Here's a few recordings:

A little bird told me
At the animal fair
Blue deep sea blues
Bow legged daddy
Don't you make me high (Don't you feel my leg)
Down in the dumps
Georgia grind
Handy Andy
He caught the B & O
He's so good
Here's a little girl from Jacksonville
I don't dig you Jack
I got ways like the devil
Jitterbug blues
Leave my man alone
Loan me your husband
Love that man
Lu's blues
Marked woman
Midnight blues
Never brag about your man
New Orleans blues
Nix on those lush heads
Now you're down in the alley
Round and round the valley
Scat skunk
That made him mad 2
That made him mad
Trombone man blues
What did you do to me
When the wagon comes
You ain't had no blues
You've been holding out too long
You're going to leave this old home, Jim

Blu Lu and Danny Barker

Louisa Dupont (Barker) was born in New Orleans in November of 1913. As a young girl she was heavily influenced by the singing styles she heard from the family wind-uip gramophone, an early record player. She heard the blues on record by such greats as Ma Rainey, mamie Smith, and of course Bessie Smith. Young Louisa would sing along to these landmark performances on record, dreaming of the day she could emulate her girlhood heroes. Her father ran a pool hall and it has been said, a thriving business in bootleg liquor during the time of Prohibition. She was part of a local entertainment group called The Merrymakers for a while, and then at a very young age Louisa ran off with a New Orleans musician named Danny Barker, and from about nineteen thirty until her passing nearly seventy years later, they would remain together in music as in life.

Danny Barker became a well known and respected musician in the New Orleans area. Through his talent on banjo and guitar, Danny and Louisa came in contact with many of the top name jazz and blues players of the time. By the early nineteen thirties they had moved to New York City and after a time Louisa had the opportunity to record under her name. It was under a change in names that she began to put her vocals on record. At one of her first sessions for Decca, she was given the name she would become famous as - Blu Lu Barker. In the late thirties she recorded a number of songs for Decca that made her famous. "Don't You make Me High" (also known as "Don't You Feel My Leg") with "New Orleans Blues" on # 7506, "Never Brag About Your Man" with "Midnight Blues" on # 7683, "Jitterbug Blues" with "Down In The Dumps" on # 7713, and "I Don't Dig You Jack" with "Lu's Blues" on # 7770. Danny Baker wrote many of the songs and led the backing band known as The Fly Cats. They were Red Allen on trumpet, Buster Bailey on clarinet, Sammy Price on piano, Wellman Brauch on bass, Paul Barbarin (Danny Barker's uncle) on drums, and Barker himself on guitar.

After a few years of inactivity in the recording studio, Blu Lu recorded a few sides for the Apollo label with the Danny Barker Sextette. The songs were "That Made Him Mad" and a remake of "Don't You Feel My Leg" on Apollo # 376, "There Was A Little" on # 382, and "Buy Me Some Juice" and "You Gotta Show It To Me Baby" on # 399. Barker began to get more of an R & B feel in her style as she played a number of club dates in the New York City area. In late 1948 her version of "A Little Birdie Told Me" (with "What Did You Do To Me?" on the flip) on Capitol # 15308 was a good national seller doing better than Paula Watson's original, and not too far behind Evelyn Knight's big number one seller. Later in 1949 "Leave My man Alone" and "Here's A Little Girl From Jacksonville" on # 15347. In February of 1950, Capitol released "Bow Legged Daddy" and "Love That Man" on # 807. In May of the year "At The Animal Ball" and "Round And Round The Valley" was issued by Capitol on # 977. From about 1952 Blu Lu barker was inactive on the music scene. By the mid nineteen sixties the Barkers moved back to New Orleans and resumed making music together in club dates and recorded for some local jazz and blues oriented record labels. The Barkers also appeared at New Orleans music events such as the Jazz And Heritage Festivals. Danny barker worked at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, formed a traditional marching brass band, and wrote of the musical history of the city. 

Blu Lu Barker still was singing into the 1990s. She received induction into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame in 1997, one year before she passed away (four years after Danny Barker passed). Although a peripheral figure in the history of American Rhythm & Blues history, Blu Lu (and by his contribution, Danny Barker) contributed so much to the entire scene that they deserve their place with all the other pioneers in the music of their time.

CDs featuring the music of Blu Lu Barker include "1938-1939" for Classics with 21 tracks from the Decca years. The follow up from Classics - "1946-1949" feature the Apollo and Capitol sides. The one cd that captures the Barkers in a live performance is "Live At The Jazz & Heritage Festival" from Orleans in 1998 of a 1989 performance with 10 tracks by Blu Lu in front of a fine combo led by Danny Barker.