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Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby roweenie » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:00 am

116 years young today.

https://youtu.be/W5ZD2wWEGlY
heyyeyaaeyaaaeyaeyaa
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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby bloke » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:21 am

Thanks for posting this. :D
I really like Bix, and I really like “Big Boy”.
My mother grew up in Davenport: she would only be 103 today, but was aware of him...His and her parents' homes were only two miles apart.
I have tended to wonder if my grandfather worked for Bix's father, as he DID work for a coal company (as a remnant of his job was on display in his home...a thermometer/barometer which bore his former employer's name, which was given way as promotional gifts to big customers). My grandfather lost that job in the Great Depression, and had to take a job with the city - asking people to get caught up on their property taxes :( . (Being such a kind and soft-spoken man, those in arrears could not have been contacted by a more sympathetic person.) I suppose - by the time the Great Depression had begun to take it's full toll - Bix had already passed on.
A band that I worked with in the 80s recorded that song at Ardent Studios; We played the verse on the front end, but that side of the l.p. (remember l.p.'s?) was getting to be too long, so that was edited out...It was a choice of edited out the verse, or editing out the last "up" chorus.
It seems as though many jazz musicians don’t play this song, though a few older Memphis ones do.



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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby roweenie » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:11 am

That's a really cool story - and a nice recording, Joe!

It's interesting to realize that Bix's parents, even though they undoubtedly loved their son (they frequently implored him to come home, and Bix returned at least once to "dry out") they really didn't quite understand who he was, or what he did. They were quintessential specimens of the late 19th century bourgeoisie staid middle-class, while Bix was something entirely new, different and unique.

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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby bloke » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:01 am

What a cool historic picture!

My own grandfather's last car (until his last days) was a c. 1950 Dodge, which looked nice, but was totally worn out mechanically, in most every way (engine, transmission, clutch, brakes, etc.) He was a very bad driver, and it frightened us when he would drive. Come to think of it, it was only about 22 or 23 years old when he last drove it (prior to the last few years of his life, when he and my grandmother had to move to Memphis to live with us), but cars didn't last as long during that era, and required much more regular maintenance (something which he never offered that car). I tend to wonder whether he ever owned more than two cars (or, perhaps, only the one...??) during his entire life. My grandparents' house featured the same wrap-around porch feature (for sleeping, during the horrible hot/humid summers) as the Biederbecke house - as well as beautiful stained wood trim and columns within, but (though - with the attic and basement which were finished by subsequent owners - features a remarkable number of square feet) was exceedingly more modest than the Biederbecke house.

my grandparents' house:
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the Biederbecke house:
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Bob,
Sincere congratulations in being involved in the Bix exposé at the museum in New Jersey !
I guess (??) as you're concentrating on "early Bix", you may be playing more tuba and less bass saxophone (??)

fwiw...This is my favorite-favorite-FAVORITE Bix recording, and - often, when working, etc. - finds it way into my head:

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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby roweenie » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:57 am

We will be playing tunes recorded by the Wolverine Orchestra - so no bass sax, only tuba.... :cry:

I'm really looking forward to the concert - not only because I absolutely love the music (as you do), but the cornetist and leader, Mike Davis, is the genuine article, and a real pleasure to perform with.

All I need now is a Holton sousaphone....... :tuba:

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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby Bowerybum » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:05 pm

Really interesting thread and photos. Thank you both for sharing.
"When the legend becomes fact, print
the legend."
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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby bloke » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:43 pm

' not to be argumentative or authoritative...

I'm only meekly/apologetically asking this:

Are you certain that sousaphone is not a Buescher?
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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby roweenie » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:47 pm

Yes, you are right, my bad :oops:
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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby hrender » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:37 am

hal.
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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby macbil » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:24 am

For many years my mother came to my house on Sunday for lunch . She lived on her own for her last 12 years . She had been a really good pianist for most of her life winning local competitions and latterly taught piano , theory and counterpoint . Mother was classically trained so I grew up listening to Chopin ,Beethoven ,Bach coming from the front room where the piano was , but always her secret love was Jazz so in amongst the Greats I heard as a kid were the other Greats-- Brubeck ,Tatum et al., but above all, Billy Mayerl.
When we all got together as an extended family on Sunday and sat down to an extensive Sunday lunch ,we played Cd's and ate and chattered and listened .The Cds which hit the spot every time were 2 Cds of Bix. The elegance with which He and his band played was positively Mozartian even when he tanked it. There's never been anyone who played like him. In our family ,it was always Bix rather than Louis. My mother was particularly taken by a recording of "Somebody stole my Gal" and through the warm glow of good red wine made me promise that when the time came , at her funeral she would be carried out to that recording.
She got her wish 2 years ago much to the amusement of the congregation.
Bix's recordings still bring back happy memories of good Sunday lunches with my Mother and family. Life moves on and not one tear etc. etc.
Happy Days.
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Re: Happy Birthday, Bix

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:28 am

Thanks so very much for your post, macbil.

<sidebar>
misc. factoid: Yamaha upper mouthpipes will fit those oddly-configured 1920's Buescher sousaphones...both at the insertion point, and regarding the odd bend-angle.
</sidebar>

There is a legend (unverified...perhaps a feel-good made-up story, who knows...??) that Armstrong and Bix met once in Chicago and enjoyed a late night "jam".
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