Sylvester Ahola Interview Conducted by Nick Dellow. Part 1.

Sylvester Ahola Interview Conducted by Nick Dellow. Part 1.

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

May 15th, 2012, 5:39 pm #1


Hooley talks about his activity at CBS ( radio studios in New York after he came back from England. Nick apologizes "about the rather poor quality, but the cassette tape is nearly 30 years old." The woman's voice is that of Saima Ahola, Hooley's longtime wife.

bixbeiderbecke.com/HooleyAboutCBS.mp3

Fascinating material, Nick. Thank you very much on my behalf as well as that of all Forumites around the world.

Albert
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David Sager
David Sager

May 15th, 2012, 8:07 pm #2

Wow! This is great stuff. I had heard, actually read some of this in a written interview w Ahola in an old Shellac Stack auction (Paul Burgess), and it is great to hear him talking about this period and of course my uncle.

I heard lots of stories about Nat when I was a kid, my grandmother and her other surviving brother used to tell stories about his clowning and his fantastic musicianship. It was until I was in my mid 30s that I finally heard some recordings of Nat that really testified to both attributes.

Thanks, Nick!

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

May 16th, 2012, 8:18 pm #3

Hooley talks about his activity at CBS ( radio studios in New York after he came back from England. Nick apologizes "about the rather poor quality, but the cassette tape is nearly 30 years old." The woman's voice is that of Saima Ahola, Hooley's longtime wife.

bixbeiderbecke.com/HooleyAboutCBS.mp3

Fascinating material, Nick. Thank you very much on my behalf as well as that of all Forumites around the world.

Albert
Hooley talks about the New Yorkers and about Bix. More fascinating stuff from Nick. 

<embed src="http://bixbeiderbecke.com/HooleyAboutBix.mp3" autostart="true" width="144" height="72" style="background-color:inherit">

Nick writes, <em>Apologies again for the quality. The strange clicking noise you hear was caused by Hooley! He sat in a metal-framed rocking chair and every time he moved in the chair the springs would produce this loud noise. I did ask him if he could try to stop the noise but of course you can't expect someone to keep very still in a rocking chair when they are chatting away, so I gave up in the end! After all, the original reason for taping Hooley was so that I could conveniently transcribe what he was saying later, in which case such extraneous noises were not an important issue.
I cut the interview where I did because the sound degrades beyond that point. In any case, Hooley doesn't talk a lot more about Bix or the New Yorkers Club. I asked him if Bix always varied his solos and he said that he did but that Trumbauer didn't.</em>

Thank you very much, Nick. You are very generous.

Albert
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R.J. Laaksonen
R.J. Laaksonen

May 16th, 2012, 9:47 pm #4

In the seventies I raised an eyebrow reading, in Bix: Man & Legend, that Sylvester Ahola was called "Hooley by friends, perhaps after the Finnish word 'huuli', which meant the embouchure." I still don't believe it, never heard it used as a term for embouchure, never read it in print, nor found it in any dictionary. Also not likely that Finnish-Americans would have invented it; they simply would have mangled "embouchure" to fit Finnish pronunciation, as that is the way they adapted all new English words they needed to use. Huuli (meaning 'lip') is pronounced very much like "hooley," but it seems obvious that Hooley is just mispronouncing (accidentally or as a joke) Ahola as "a-hoola" or something, which resembles such English and Irish names as Hooley and Gilhooley (in Finnish all the vowels in Ahola are short, with the stress on first syllable only). Dick Hill, in The Gloucester Gabriel, repeats the embouchure story even though he tells that both Ahola's father and older brother were also called Hooley.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 16th, 2012, 10:35 pm #5


.... thank you for the informative posting. For the benefit of Forum readers, here are the pertinent sections in the books you cited.

Sudhalter and Evans: <em>"... the New Englander, dubbed 'Hooley' by friends, perhaps after the Finnish word </em>huuli<em>, which meant the embouchure."</em>

Dick Hill: <em>"The nickname 'Hooley' if of Irish origin. It was given initially to Sylvester's father by the Irish laborers in the area of High Street (known locally as 'Dublin Street'), who couldn't, or wouldn't, proonounce the name Ahola. The nickname was passed from father to both sons, although in Sylvester's case it was more appropriate, as in Finnish 'Huuli' means lip or embouchure." </em>

Albert

PS Hooley, the <em>Fabulous Finn</em>,  comes in second in my list of favorite horn players, with Bix first, of course!
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Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

May 17th, 2012, 2:08 pm #6

It's entirely believable that Hooley may have encouraged the nickname, or at least found it agreeable, just because it <em>also</em> means "Lip" in Finnish. A trumpeter with a good embouchure wouldn't mind being called "The Lip" or "Lip" at all (cf. Hot Lips Page and others.)
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asstipb8xjj0
asstipb8xjj0

July 28th, 2016, 9:25 am #7

Hooley talks about his activity at CBS ( radio studios in New York after he came back from England. Nick apologizes "about the rather poor quality, but the cassette tape is nearly 30 years old." The woman's voice is that of Saima Ahola, Hooley's longtime wife.

bixbeiderbecke.com/HooleyAboutCBS.mp3

Fascinating material, Nick. Thank you very much on my behalf as well as that of all Forumites around the world.

Albert
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