Okeh Recording Studios in NYC - as it looks today

Okeh Recording Studios in NYC - as it looks today

John Leifert
John Leifert

August 25th, 2009, 8:46 pm #1

The building which housed the old 40th Street and 8th Avenue Okeh recording studios (the same building that Perry Bradford wrote about in his memoir) is - amazingly - still in existence today. I thought it might be interesting to show Forumites what the location looks like in 2009 (it's an Irish pub called O'Lunney's). When you're there, ponder a moment: past these portals strode Bix, Tram, Eddie Lang, Louis Armstrong, Joe Venuti, Clarence Williams, and so many more.....and offer up a silent toast.

http://www.gothamlostandfound.com/

Scroll down to the March 13, 2009 entry and you'll see the picture of the location.

John L
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Lisa Ryan
Lisa Ryan

August 26th, 2009, 5:14 am #2

That's very cool info! O'Lunney's was one of the places I used to hang out at
when I was a carriage driver in the 1970's (the stable I worked
out of was on West 38th St.) ... little did I realize what hallowed ground I was
drinking in! I'm confused about the address, though - it's not on 40th, but the 45th
street location of the Okeh Studios (145 W. 45th - right?)

Speaking of bars, does the building that Plunkett's was in on West 53rd Street
still exist?
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Emrah Erken
Emrah Erken

August 26th, 2009, 5:27 am #3

The building which housed the old 40th Street and 8th Avenue Okeh recording studios (the same building that Perry Bradford wrote about in his memoir) is - amazingly - still in existence today. I thought it might be interesting to show Forumites what the location looks like in 2009 (it's an Irish pub called O'Lunney's). When you're there, ponder a moment: past these portals strode Bix, Tram, Eddie Lang, Louis Armstrong, Joe Venuti, Clarence Williams, and so many more.....and offer up a silent toast.

http://www.gothamlostandfound.com/

Scroll down to the March 13, 2009 entry and you'll see the picture of the location.

John L
http://www.vjm.biz/new_page_4.htm

Perhaps Brad Kay can tell us more...

Emrah
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Laura Demilio
Laura Demilio

August 26th, 2009, 4:47 pm #4

That's such an interesting article! In listening, one really can discern a difference in ambient sound according to how a room was set up in a recording studio -- I always thought the area sounded expansive for the Trumbauer "Blue River" and adds a spaciousness to the sound of Bix's horn, both in the introduction [I love this version of Blue River so much more than the Jean Goldkette one, not least because Bix is so prominently featured and his cornet just blazes forth wonderfully) and indeed the article says Aug 1927 a larger room was used. Other recordings do sound more cramped or intimate because of an obviously smaller area. Fascinating.



Laura

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Linda
Linda

August 26th, 2009, 9:14 pm #5

Thanks to Jamaica for posting on her youtube page this version of Blue River by the Andy Schumm Bix and His Gang group at the Bix tribute in Racine, Wisconsin March 13, 2009:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czWXMS7kbgM

This version is very good too. The spirit of Bix and His Gang really lives on in this Andy Schumm group and Bix fans everywhere owe Jamaica thanks for making these videos available on her youtube page. I enjoy listening to and watching them again and again. 5 stars for all these great videos.
Thanks.
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Lisa Ryan
Lisa Ryan

August 27th, 2009, 1:34 am #6

My thanks to Jamaica too for posting these wonderful videos!
I love this "Blue River" ... and it brings back such fond
memories of Racine.
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Jamaica
Jamaica

August 27th, 2009, 5:30 am #7

Thanks Linda, and Lisa, for expressing your enjoyment of the videos. I'm so glad people really get something out of them. I thank Andy, Dave, Josh, Paul, John, and Leah for putting up with me running under-foot of them so much, with the camera, and for working so hard to take us back into time for a little while.

Interestingly enough, I've had hits on the jazz videos from places as unlikely as Pakistan, Israel, India, Ecuador, Colombia, Romania, Russia..... And lately there's been a first, hits from states like Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi (they looove Dave Bock), Wyoming, South Dakota. There's also a surprising amount of hits from the age group of 18 - 24.
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Linda
Linda

August 27th, 2009, 5:35 pm #8

It was nice to read there were some hits from South Dakota. South Dakota has a special Bix connection for my husband. His great uncle was from there and lived on a small farm. Tim's great uncle as a young teenager in 1924 learned of Bix when his friend's older brother came home for the summer from attending college at Indiana University and he had heard Bix and the Wolverines. He told all the young people in town including Tim's great uncle about a horn he had never heard anything like in his life. That is when Tim's great uncle first heard of Bix. Tim's great uncle bought 78's by Bix and His Gang and Whiteman 78's. So Bix's 78's even reached small towns in South Dakota in the 1920's. Tim's great uncle also heard Bix in person with the Whiteman band in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on November 20, 1928. plus he listened to the Old Gold broadcasts every Tuesday night in 1929. Just before he died Tim's great uncle gave him his 78 of Jazz Me Blues. Tim's great uncle still had his old Victrola and 78's from when he was a teenager in the 1920's.




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Lisa Ryan
Lisa Ryan

August 27th, 2009, 6:20 pm #9

Thanks for sharing that, Linda!
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Jamaica
Jamaica

August 28th, 2009, 1:37 am #10

It was nice to read there were some hits from South Dakota. South Dakota has a special Bix connection for my husband. His great uncle was from there and lived on a small farm. Tim's great uncle as a young teenager in 1924 learned of Bix when his friend's older brother came home for the summer from attending college at Indiana University and he had heard Bix and the Wolverines. He told all the young people in town including Tim's great uncle about a horn he had never heard anything like in his life. That is when Tim's great uncle first heard of Bix. Tim's great uncle bought 78's by Bix and His Gang and Whiteman 78's. So Bix's 78's even reached small towns in South Dakota in the 1920's. Tim's great uncle also heard Bix in person with the Whiteman band in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on November 20, 1928. plus he listened to the Old Gold broadcasts every Tuesday night in 1929. Just before he died Tim's great uncle gave him his 78 of Jazz Me Blues. Tim's great uncle still had his old Victrola and 78's from when he was a teenager in the 1920's.



That's so neat about Tim's great uncle! And how fortunate to have actually seen Bix play! Would be funny if the South Dakota viewer was a descendent of the fellow who first introduced Tim's great uncle to Bix's music.
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