Eddie Leonard’s Biography: Nary a Word About Eddie Munson

Eddie Leonard’s Biography: Nary a Word About Eddie Munson

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 14th, 2009, 5:18 pm #1

 <em>What a Life, Im Telling You</em>, by Eddie Leonard, The Actor, Published by Eddie Leonard, 200 West 70th Street, New York City, Copyright 1934 by Eddie Leonard, Printed by Minden Press, Inc, NY. Evidently, a self-published book.<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">There are several mentions of the tune Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider, many of them minor. I copied citations with useful information regarding the authorship of the tune. Eddie Munson is not mentioned anywhere in the book.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">From the section where Leonard lists the tunes he composed.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://bixbeiderbecke.com/Ida/"></a>
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">I wonder what authorship is given in the two copyright documents.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Here is what Leonard writes regarding the circumstances surrounding his first performance of the tune.
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<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://bixbeiderbecke/com/Ida/Genesis2.jpg"></a>
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">A quote from a newspaper (included in the autobiography) regarding Leonards procedure for composing tunes.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
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<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Unfortunately, Leonards autobiography throws no light about Eddie Munson.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">I found another composition by Eddie Munson, from
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">http://www.gettextbooks.ca/search/?isbn=B0000D0962
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Go Take A Walk and Dont Come Back, lyrics by Fred Clark, music by Eddie H. Munson. Publisher M. Witmak and Sons, 1903.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Thats all I was able to dig out.
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<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Albert
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Last edited by ahaim on November 14th, 2009, 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 15th, 2009, 5:26 pm #2


Wonderful version! Goes through a whole bunch of changes in tempo. Recorded on Feb 13, 1937 with Teddy Wilson on piano, Gene Krupa on drums and Lionel Hampton on vibraphone. The connections of Benny and Gene to Bix are obvious. That of Teddy Wilson is not. See

http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/me ... 227470895/

http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/me ... 224524828/

Also, from "The World of Duke Ellington" by Stanley Dance, Ted Wilson is quoted, "I'd started arranging when I was in high school. I took a music major in theory while I was in college, and I did an awful lot of arranging when I was with he Speed Web band. My brother Gus, who was fourteen months older, was doing a lot for Webb, too, and so was Vic Dickenson. We used to have Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke solos orchestrated for five brass in the band. Bix's ideas were wonderful for five-way harmony."

http://www.jazz-on-line.com/a/rama/VIC04559-2.ram

From the film "Hollywood Hotel" shown recently on TCM.

<img alt="[linked image]" src="http://www.lionelhampton.nl/12512.jpg">

Enjoy.

Albert
Last edited by ahaim on November 15th, 2009, 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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hal smith
hal smith

November 15th, 2009, 6:26 pm #3

maybe they are the same person, maybe munson was a short lived stage name.
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Russell Davies
Russell Davies

November 15th, 2009, 10:26 pm #4

...I tried to tackle the Eddie Munson business in my weekly BBC radio show about songwriters and their work. It was an unfinished piece of research, but for the record it went:
"But talking of writers, what happened to the composer Eddie Munson? It's fairly well documented that he co-wrote "Ida", with lyric by Eddie Leonard, but by 1920, on the first vintage sheet music I found, his name had disappeared: "Words and Music by Eddie Leonard", it said. Eddie Leonard was still a vaudeville star at the time. But 12 years later, on an edition of the sheet music where pictures of both Eddie Leonard (in blackface) and Benny Goodman (in Benny Goodmanface) appear, the name of Munson as composer has been restored. What happened? Did Leonard try to pull a fast one and get found out? Or did he buy the composer credit from Munson for a fixed sum and a fixed length of time? At the moment, I've no way of knowing. At any rate, one thing that the song's famous for in showbiz legend rather than fact, is that Eddie Leonard was singing it in a theatre one night, and inviting the audience to join in, when a loud and commanding voice from the gallery soared out above and beyond all the hesitant audience voices, more or less took over the performance, and finally earned an ovation of its own. Of course, the voice belonged to the young Al Jolson."
R.D.
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Ken Bristow
Ken Bristow

November 15th, 2009, 11:10 pm #5

I believe this was one of Jolson's party pieces. To suddenly stand up in the audience and take over the singing. When his vocal style was going out of fashion, and his career was on the wane, he was in the audience when his young wife Ruby Keeler was on stage doing her song and dance routine. Unbeknown to her, Al was in the audience. And halfway through her number up he stood to lead the audience through the rest of the song. Apparently an angry Miss Keeler was far from pleased. By the way, Bix was rumoured to have once dated Ruby. In later years when the question arose, she was very reticent to discuss the subject. Any truth in the story?
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Chris Barry
Chris Barry

November 16th, 2009, 2:32 am #6

 <em>What a Life, Im Telling You</em>, by Eddie Leonard, The Actor, Published by Eddie Leonard, 200 West 70th Street, New York City, Copyright 1934 by Eddie Leonard, Printed by Minden Press, Inc, NY. Evidently, a self-published book.<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">There are several mentions of the tune Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider, many of them minor. I copied citations with useful information regarding the authorship of the tune. Eddie Munson is not mentioned anywhere in the book.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">From the section where Leonard lists the tunes he composed.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://bixbeiderbecke.com/Ida/"></a>
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">I wonder what authorship is given in the two copyright documents.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Here is what Leonard writes regarding the circumstances surrounding his first performance of the tune.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://bixbeiderbecke/com/Ida/Genesis2.jpg"></a>
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">A quote from a newspaper (included in the autobiography) regarding Leonards procedure for composing tunes.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Unfortunately, Leonards autobiography throws no light about Eddie Munson.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">I found another composition by Eddie Munson, from
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">http://www.gettextbooks.ca/search/?isbn=B0000D0962
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Go Take A Walk and Dont Come Back, lyrics by Fred Clark, music by Eddie H. Munson. Publisher M. Witmak and Sons, 1903.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Thats all I was able to dig out.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Albert
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<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
Thanks very much for posting these pages, and the link, Albert! Looks like a fascinating first hand account of show biz life. I saw one of those ads for Ida in the New York Clipper of 1903 that Eddie Leonard wrote about. No mention of Eddie Munson!

Here are some copyright entries (there are surely others) related to Ida:

CATALOG OF COPYRIGHT ENTRIES

Musical compositions, No. 12, 1916, pg. 1123:
IDA, SWEET AS APPLE CIDER; fox-trot by Eddie Munson, played by Pete Wendling, of U.S. (Rythmodik record music rolls C15382) [17104
© Aug. 20, 1916; 2 c. Nov. 17, 1916; E 392648; American piano co., New York. Copyright is claimed on interpretation.]

Renewals, No. 1 1931, pg. 137:
Ida sweet as applecider; words by E. Leonard, music by Eddie Munson.
© Eddie Leonard, New York, as author.
R12016, Dec. 20, 1930. 131

Renewals, No. 9, 1943, pg. 1131
Ida sweet as apple cider; fox trot, Eddie Munson; pf.
© Edward B. Marks music corp., New York.
R 119425, June 28, 1943. 80

Note that Eddie Leonard claimed authorship in 1930, but by 1943, two years after Leonard's death, Eddie Munson's name returns, but the copyright is in the name of the publisher. Was Eddie alive? Dead?

If indeed Eddie H. Munson was a real name, that middle initial may help distinguish him from other Eddie Munsons, for researchers.

Assuming the first name is Edward (as opposed to Edwin, Edgar, Theodore, etc.), there was an Edward Henry Munson, born 27 Feb. 1879 in NY, died 27 March 1930 in NY (Manhattan cert. 8014). He had no children. On the minus side: Music was not his trade; he was a postal clerk, and a time keeper for boxing matches at Madison Square Garden. Any scenario where he would receive composer credit (music as a hobby, payoff for gambling debt, etc.) would be pure speculation, without evidence.

There was an Edward Harding Munson, born 29 July 1871 in Wilmington, North Carolina, died in Wilmington 14 Oct. 1946. His death certificate lists his occpuation as retired musician. There is reference to him as First Presbyterian Church Organist here:

http://cdm15169.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm4 ... OX=1&REC=9

Edward Harding Munson's only child, Louise, is mentioned in the link above. On the minus side: This Edward seems to have spent his whole life in North Carolina.

That's all I had time for. Surely there are other promising Eddie H. Munsons out there!
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Ken Bristow
Ken Bristow

November 17th, 2009, 8:11 pm #7

I believe this was one of Jolson's party pieces. To suddenly stand up in the audience and take over the singing. When his vocal style was going out of fashion, and his career was on the wane, he was in the audience when his young wife Ruby Keeler was on stage doing her song and dance routine. Unbeknown to her, Al was in the audience. And halfway through her number up he stood to lead the audience through the rest of the song. Apparently an angry Miss Keeler was far from pleased. By the way, Bix was rumoured to have once dated Ruby. In later years when the question arose, she was very reticent to discuss the subject. Any truth in the story?
This story comes from Dick Turner's reminiscences via Man & Legend, from the Autumn of 1927, when he knew Bix in New York. "We'd become good buddies by then", said Turner, "even double dated now and then. On one blind date, Bix got Ruby Keeler. He saw quite a bit of her after that, I think". Later, when Bix was out of the Whiteman band and talking to his boyhood friend, Larry Andrews of the good times a few years earlier, he mentioned he'd dated Ruby Keeler, but lost out to Al Jolson. That's information from two separate sources. It's said in later life Ruby was unwilling to answer any questions about her association with Bix or anyone else.
This all seems rather far fetched and doesn't appear in either the Bix biographies of Evans & Evans or J.P.Lions, so can it be safe to assume it's another good example from over the decades of one of those many Beiderbecke myths from someone's over-fertile mind? Or not?
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Nick Dellow
Nick Dellow

November 18th, 2009, 9:48 am #8


Actually, according to Vera Cox in the Storyville article (see Bix in Storyville Magazine below) Bix told her himself that he had dated Ruby Keeler.



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Jamaica
Jamaica

November 19th, 2009, 4:52 am #9

The article was written by "Art Napoleon", a.k.a. Richard Sudhalter, who says, in that same article, that Vera and her husband, Ferd, had a baby girl, rather than a boy, John, their only child.

Maybe Bix did date Ruby Keeler, it's not that far-fetched, she was just a chorus girl at that time, but this article contains known inaccuracies, so anything in it, could be taken with a grain of salt.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 19th, 2009, 2:23 pm #10


I don't see a reference to the sex of the baby in Vera Cox's account. Only a name, Lee. That could be a boy or a girl. In "Man and Legend" Vera is quoted  about Bix's visit, "It was Bix. I was visiting my parents then with my baby son. We were living out in Pella, Iowa, and had come to spend the holidays with them. Bix-well, he was the same old Bix. Came to call on me to see the baby.' "

You are correct in stating that Vera had a son named John. I interviewed him in Davenport years ago.

Did Vera and Ferd have more than one child?

Albert
Last edited by ahaim on November 19th, 2009, 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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