AUDIO TAPES ABOUT BIX
A Radio Program From Miami University
In May 1971, James Robert Grover submitted "A Creative Aural
Thesis" to the Department of Speech of Miami University,
Ohio, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
of Arts. The title of the thesis is "A Series of Nineteen
Original Tape-Recorded Radio Programs on the Life and Music of Leon Bix
Beiderbecke." The programs were produced by Jim Grover at
University Radio, which operates the public broadcasting radio station
WMUB. The production of Bix was financed, in part, by a
from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting under the umbrella of
Sounds of Radio competition. William
Utter, manager of WMUB and Professor of Communications at the time, had
written the grant proposal and was successful in securing the necessary
funds. Jim's academic adviser was Stephen C. Hathaway, at the time,
of Miami University Telecommunications Service.
Description of Each Twenty
Minute Broadcast (copied verbatim from the pamphlet
to advertise the series.)
was no ordinary scholarly document on an esoteric subject, nor was it a
written document. Basically, what James Grover produced was a series of
audio tapes. It is noteworthy that the use of an audio format, at the
represented a highly creative approach in academic scholarship. The
go through Bix's life by a combination of narration, interviews with
and friends who knew Bix personally, commentaries by knowledgeable
and Bix's own recordings. I quote from the abstract of the thesis, "The
tape-recorded series of programs presents an aural history of this
American Jazz innovator." "The interview material provides an insight
the creative and human aspects of Bix Beiderbecke." "Although numerous
authors, while tracing the evolution of jazz, have attempted to
Bix, none have used the intimate medium of radio to illustrate the
Beiderbecke career. The nineteen tape-recorded programs of the series
an in-depth study of the life and music of the legendary Bix." This
is a low-key description of a magnificent document. The people who are
interviewed clearly loved Bix and provide informative, insightful, and,
sometimes, humorous comments. The analyses of Bix's recordings are
perceptive, and instructive. The narration is concise and well-woven.
is important to point out that the tapes were produced before
the Sudhalter-Evans biography and the Berman video documentary were
two excellent sources of detailed information. But I must point out
that Phil Evans (the author of biographies about Bix, Tram and Red
with his encyclopedic knowledge and documentation about Bix, John
(legendary jazz records collector who in the 1940's bought the
of the Paramount record company) with his knowledge and collection of
Bix recordings, and Joseph Campbell (a local Bix aficionado who also
a superb collection of mint recordings) acted as advisors for the
Other important people helping with the project were Bill Utter who
as executive producer and also was an excellent narrator for the
Frank Powers (clarinet player and, at the time, president of the
Ohio Classic Jazz Society) who analyzed the recordings; and Mary K.
who wrote some of the script and the narration connecting the
There is no way to do justice to this fantastic work by reading a
One has to listen to the tapes using the "intimate medium of radio" as
Jim Grover put it so well. But, "as a second best", I provide a
description of each broadcast, taken from the pamphlet published to
The programs are now available. Go to http://bixography.com/bix/BIX.html
- 1. BIX. Early Days in
interest in music as a child; early jazz exposure. The Original
Jazz Band and the first meeting with Louis Armstrong and possibly
Hardy. Bix's involvement in music in his high school days.
of Bix's brother Charles Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Hoagy
Eddie Condon, and Gene Krupa.
- 2. BIX in Chicago
as a student at Lake Forest Academy. Chicago excursions introduced the
King Oliver Creole Jazz Band and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Bix
- 3. BIX and the Start
of 1923: Eddie Condon tells of his first impressions of the "kid with
cap". Dud Mecum explains how the Wolverines got to the Stockton Club.
first recordings: "Fidgety Feet" and "Jazz Me Blues".
- 4. BIX and the Growth
recordings: "Oh Baby,"; Hoagy Carmichael reminisces about the Spring of
1924 and his composition "Riverboat Shuffle." "I Need Some Pettin',"
Rag," and "Tia Juana."
- 5. The Last of BIX and
and the Beginning of the BIX/Trumbauer Team-"Big Boy," the last
with the Wolverines. McPartland takes over - it was the end of an era.
The first recording of Bix and Trumbauer, "I'm Glad," with the Sioux
- 6. Jean Goldkette
and His Rhythm Jugglers-Bix loved the classics, as discussed by
Mertz. Victor rejected a Bix solo. "Davenport Blues" was his first
The call to St. Louis.
- 7. BIX in St. Louis
Detroit: Goldkette-The Arcadia Ball Room and a young lady named
The Goldkette recordings of "Sunday," "I'm Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now,"
and "My Pretty Girl." Bill Rank recalls Don Murray and Jimmy Dorsey a
"clowns" in the band.
- 8. BIX and Trumbauer-1927-"Clarinet
Marmalade," "Singin' the Blues'" the Bill Challis arrangement of
Walk," and Hoagy Carmichael on "Riverboat Shuffle."
- 9. BIX and Trumbauer-1927,
the Last of the Goldkette Orchestra-"I'm Coming Virginia," "Way
Yonder in New Orleans," "For No Reason at All in C," "Three Blind
and "Clementine." Hoagy Carmichael compares Bix's choruses to the
of lace. Paul Mertz on memories of Bix.
- 10. BIX and the New
and his Gang-Frankie Trumbauer remembers the collapse of
Orchestra. Hoagy recalls Bix's "pyrotechnics." Recordings include
Ain't No Land Like Dixieland," "Royal Garden Blues," "Jazz Me Blues,"
Pimples." Bill Rank recalls his favorite recording with Bix - "At the
- 11. The Whiteman Period-
I-"Sorry" and "Since My Gal Turned Me Down" recorded by Bix and His
Gang. Frank Trumbauer's recording of "A Good Man is Hard to Find."
one of Bix's first recordings with Paul Whiteman. Comments by Bing
- 12. The Whiteman Period-
II-"Lonely Melody," "There'll Come a Time" (Trumbauer),
Mud" (Trumbauer), "Dardanella," and the classic Whiteman recording
Monday On." Also memories of Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and Gene
- 13. The
III-More from Bing Crosby and Bill Challis. The Whiteman recordings
of "Sugar," "You Took Advantage of Me," and "Tain't So Honey, Tain't
Bix's Gang recording of "Somebody Stole My Gal."
- 14. The Whiteman Period-
IV-Louis Armstrong, Bill Challis, and Bill Rank on association with
Bix. Recordings include "That's My Weakness Now," "Ol' Man River," "Wa
Da Da," "Sweet Sue," and "Love Affairs."
- 15. The Whiteman Period-
V-Bill Rank ... Bix missed a train on a tour in 1928. Bill Challis
... Bix became ill and left the band. Paul Whiteman ... Bix was a
Trumbauer recordings: "Love Nest," "Baby Won't You Please Come Home,"
"I Like That." China Boy" by the Whiteman Orchestra.
- 16. BIX: 1929-1930-Hoagy
remembers his recording date with Bix that produced "Barnacle Bill" and
"Rockin' Chair." Bix Beiderbecke and His Orchestra: "I'll Be A Friend
Pleasure," and "Deep Down South." Pee Wee Russell on Bix.
- 17. BIX: 1930-1931-"Georgia
on My Mind." Bix's recording of his own composition "In A Mist" as
by Frank Trumbauer. Bill Rank and Bill Challis ... the business of
music. Jimmy and Marian McPartland love Bix's music.
- 18. BIX: The Composer-"In
Mist," "Candlelights," "Flashes," "In the Dark," and "Davenport Blues."
Discussion by Bill Challis and Ralph Sutton.
- 19. BIX: The Final
Armstrong, Charles Beiderbecke, Bill Challis, Eddie Condon, Preston
Jimmy McPartland, Dr. Elwood Senderling.
Bix's Friends Featured in
Preston Jackson Bill Rank
Pee Wee Russell
Jimmy Mc Partland Frank Trumbauer
Consultants for the Series: Joseph
Campbell, Philip Evans, John Steiner
Commentary was recorded by: Frank
Continuity was written by: Mary
Audio Engineer: Michael
Produced and Directed by: Jim
Narrator: Bill Utter
In my opinion, the nineteen tapes that make up BIX represent a
treasure which must be preserved. I checked the Library of Congress
and, as far as I can ascertain, no copy of the tapes exists in their
I hope to investigate this question in detail in the near future with
purpose of having the Library of Congress designated as depository of
fantastic piece of American history and tribute to Bix. Suggestions are
of trivia: the Wolverines' first campus dance job took place on January
25, 1924. They played at the junior prom at Miami University. Almost
years later, Jim Grover, as a beginning graduate student at Miami
begun his formidable project simply entitled "BIX".
Addendum, 9/30/02. The
are now available. Go to http://bixography.com/bix/BIX.html
of People Who Knew Bix
Michigan State University Voice Library possesses a number of sound
reels of interviews of individuals who knew Bix Beiderbecke personally.
In the interviews, the various individuals talk about their personal
of Bix and relate their experiences and/ or some anecdote of interest.
The descriptions which follow are copied from the entries in the World
Catalogue database, accessible from university libraries and perhaps
- Author: Russel B. Nye.
August 5, 1972.
Description: R. B. Nye
his interviews with pianist/arranger Bill Challis, trombonist Bill
Rank and drummer Chauncey Morehouse, all of whom worked
Bix Beiderbecke, and talking about the jazz band scene particularly in
the 1920's with insights into Beiderbecke, Hackett, Armstrong, Whiteman
Addendum, October 5, 2003. A
of the tape is available in two parts. Part
Winton [Esten?]Spurrier. Broadcast on
NET, July 1976.
Description: Winton Spurrier, a
high school friend of Bix Beiderbecke, describes Bix's youth, family,
breakdowns, habits, last days.
Addendum, October 5, 2003. A
of the audio portion is available at the end of Part
2 of the Nye tape.
- Author: Wingy
Davenport, Iowa, July 1972. Description: Wingy Manone
about meeting Bix Beiderbecke in 1924, and talks about his own career.
Lesley's Close-up on Bix Beiderbecke
- Author: Bing Crosby. Broadcast
on NPR, November 15, 1977.
Description: Tribute to Bing
on National Public Radio, in which Crosby sings and reminisces, talks
Whiteman, Beiderbecke, Hope, Jolson, and Phil Harris. With Ed Walker.
Hoagy Carmichael. Recorded by John
on November 24, 1969, at Carmichael's apartment in Hollywood,
for use in the BIX series for PBS broadcast.
Description: Hoagy Carmichael,
interviewee; John Steiner, interviewer; Philip Evans, comments. Hoagy
about Bix Beiderbecke and early jazz.
Addendum, 9/30/02. In 1976,
Steiner deposited another copy of the interview in the Archives of
Music of Indiana University under the default option. Under this
the tapes are available only to visitors to the archives. In
I called John Steiner and informed him of the situation. His reply,
is ridiculous; I deposited the tape to make it availble to interested
everywhere!" John called the Archives and had them modify the option. I
received a copy of the tape over two years ago. I finally got around to
upload it to the Bixography. Please note that there are some breaks and
blank sections in the tape that I received.To access the file, go to
Terry, a Bixophile living in New Zealand, sent me a tape of a 1961 BBC
program entitled "Peter Lesley's Close-up on Bix Beiderbecke." The Bix
segment was broadcast as part of the "Jazz Records Request " program
Steve Race as the presenter. Terry tells me that in his programs, Steve
Race "used to have invited guests talking about and playing records of
jazz personalities." Evidently, Peter Lesley was one of the guests and
he presented a special about Bix. Steve Race is an 80-year old English
pianist, composer and broadcaster, and is still active. Peter
is/was a record producer. Terry recollects that the program was
in August of 1961, perhaps to coincide with the 30th anniversary of
death. Terry adds, "I feel that the chance should be given to pass this
on rather than let it moulder away in my collection." Finally, Terry
that the quote from Otis Ferguson (the author of the magazine article
Man With A Horn") at the end of the program illustrates beautifully
"Bix is alive."
The program is now available on demand. Click http://bixography.com/bixbbc1961.ram
I am grateful to Terry Porritt for his
in sharing this unique document, which may well be the only one in
with Bixophiles around the world.
Interview of Jimmy McPartland (uploaded
Feb 23, 2004)
Richard "Dixie Dick" Kammeier had
a traditional jazz program -Dixieland Brunch- on Tampa's community
station, WMNF. On February 3, 1982, Dick interviewed Jimmy McPartland.
A few months ago, Dick sent my a tape of the program. I uploaded two
from the program.
1. Jimmy tells about Bix buying
him (Jimmy) a cornet.
2. Jimmy tells about his
of "In A Mist" for his "Shades of Bix Album." The recording follows the
To listen to he interview, go
and click on the link.
I am grateful to Dick for his gift of the tape
of the program.
Interview of Norman Payne (uploaded March 16, 2004)
Norman Payne was a British trumpet player who was
influenced, in his early career, by Bix Beiderbecke. Born in 1910, he
playing professionally in 1926. In 1928, he was a member of Fred
band at the Savoy Hotel. There he met the bass saxophone player Adrian
Rollini and his two buddies, Bobby Davis and Chelsea Quealey. In the
1920s Norman Payne made recordings with Fred Elizalde, the New Mayfair
Orchestra (Ray Noble), the Rhythm Maniacs, Spike Hughes, etc. British
researcher Nick Dellow interviewed Norman Payne around 1985. Nick
made portions of his interview available. Various segments of the
can be heard by clicking on the following links. The files are in mp3
you will need an mp3 player (winamp, music match, etc) to listen to the
Payne on Bix. 788KB
Payne on Bill Challis. 466KB
Payne on Chelsea Quealey. 1074 KB
Payne on Fred Elizalde. 692 KB
Payne on Adrian Rollini and Bix. 1082 KB.
To hear a couple of selections by Norman Payne, go
scroll down and click on the link to WBIX # 29.
I am indebted to Nick Dellow for his gift of the mp3 files and for
permission to upload them here.
Interview of Bill Rank and Gene Prendergast. (uploaded
March 25, 2004)
The first Bix Beiderbecke
Festival took place in 1972. Several of the musicians who had played
Bix were guests of honor at this event. Two of them, Bill Rank and Gene
Prendergast, were interviewed by an unknown person.
The original tape with the
was an open reel tape in its box with the notation "Davenport, Iowa."
Prendregast Brubaker, Gene's daughter, found the reel in a box in her
house and kindly sent it to me. Until I listened to it, we had no idea
of its contents. At the end of the tape there is a short piano number
the Bix style. Marie tells me that the pianist is not Gene Prendergast.
To listen top the interview
15 minutes) click on the link http://bixography.com/tapedavenport.html
will need realplayer to listen to his file.
I am grateful to Marie Prendergast Brubaker
kindly sending me the tape and for her permission to upload it to the
of Irving Brodsky.
Phil Schaap interviewed Irving
Brodsky in the 24-hour Bix birthday broadcast over WKCR on March 10,
Irving Brodsky, long-time pianist with the California Ramblers,
several sides with Bix in 1930: Rocking Chair, Barnacle Bill the
Deep Down South, I Don't Mind Walking in the Rain and I'll Be A Friend
With Pleasure. http://bixography.com/brodsky1992.html
Interview of Sylvester Ahola.
May 24, 2004)
Brian Rust, the legendary British
discographer, writer and collector, interviewed Sylvester Ahola in his
radio program of May 24, 1981, over Capitol Radio, London, UK. To
click on the links:
I am grateful to Nick Dellow for kindly
me a copy of the interview and for his permission to upload it.
Beiderbecke: Never The Same Twice. (uploaded
December 4, 2004)
Bix Beiderbecke was born on March 10, 1903. In March 2003, there
were, throughout the world, several tributes to Bix - concerts, radio
broadcasts, birthday celebrations.
On March 9, 2003, at 9:00 pm, WFIU, the radio station of Indiana
University, broadcast a one-hour program about Bix properly entitled
"Bix Beiderbecke: Never the Same Way Twice." As described in the WFIU website,
the program was "a portrait of an American Jazz Pioneer in sound and
story." The program was produced
and narrated by David Brent Johnson and had three guests who provided
commentary: Richard M. Sudhalter, jazz writer, musician,
historian; Pat Harbison, Indiana University School of Music
faculty member and
trumpeter; and Michael McGerr, cultural historian and Indiana
Associate Dean. To listen to the program click on the link
I am grateful to David Brent Johnson for
me a copy of the program and for his permission to upload it.
Interview Of Richard Sudhalter. (uploaded Oct 1,
Richard Sudhalter was interviewed in London in the mid 70s. He
talked about Bix and the New Paul Whiteman Orchestra.
I am grateful to Malcolm Walton for
me a copy of the program and for his permission to upload it.
Interview Of Joe Rushton. (uploaded Dec 4, 2010)
Bass saxophonist Joe Rushton was interviewed in the mid 1950s in his
home in Silverlake, CA by recording engineer Ewing Nunn.
What follows is a brief biography of Joe Rushton (from Grove
Rushton, Joe [Joseph Augustine, Jr.]
(b Evanston, IL, 1 Nov 1907; d San Francisco, 2 March
1964). American bass saxophonist. He took up bass saxophone in
1928, having previously played drums, clarinet, and other saxophones.
In Chicago he led his own band until 1932 and performed with other
bandleaders for the rest of the 1930s. During the early 1940s he worked
with Jimmy McPartland and Bud Freeman and went to California as a
member of Benny Goodman’s group (November 1942 – September 1943), with
which he performed on the soundtrack to the film The Gang’s All
Here (1943). Rushton settled in California, where he worked with
the pianist and bandleader Horace Heidt (February 1944 – spring 1945)
and made recordings both as a leader (1945, 1947) and as a sideman; his
playing is well represented by Carolina in the Morning (1945,
Jump 4), recorded by Floyd O’Brien’s State Street Seven. From 1947 to
spring 1963 he collaborated with Red Nichols, recording, touring
Europe, appearing in five Snader telescriptions (1950), and playing in
the film The Five Pennies (1958). Rushton also recorded
during this period with Louis Armstrong (1947) and alongside Matty
Matlock and Eddie Miller, among others, in the Rampart Street Paraders
Return to the top Return
to home page Return
to Detailed Table of Contents
BRIEF TABLE OF CONTENTS
of Some Recordings: Is It Bix or Not ?
Compilations of Bix's Recordings
Recordings Related to Bix