On Don Murray's 114th birthday, I'm wondering...

On Don Murray's 114th birthday, I'm wondering...

Joined: March 18th, 2018, 7:37 am

June 7th, 2018, 5:44 am #1

Does anyone have a source for Ted Lewis allegedly saying that Murray was the best clarinetist who ever played with his band?  "Ted Lewis said that Murray was the greatest clarinetist he ever had in his band—high praise indeed since Jimmy Dorsey and Benny Goodman had also been in Lewis's band [and Frank Teschemacher as well--DT]."  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Murray_(clarinetist)  The Wikipedia article does not give a source, and neither do the other sites I have seen which mention this alleged remark.  I do not at all doubt that Lewis had a (deservedly) high opinion of Murray, but again I would like to know specifically where he said Murray was his best clarinetist.
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 4:43 pm

June 7th, 2018, 4:18 pm #2

I know this quote as well. I think it came from one of the Bix bios. I think I've read 2 or 3; I'm only sure I've read the
J P Lion since that's the most recent, except for that nonsense one "Finding Bix..." which is mostly an essay.  The other I read (some years back) were either the Sudhalter or Evans - or did they combine on one book?  I've also read both of Hoagy's autobiographies (rambling timewise) but feel that is a less likely source.
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 4:43 pm

June 8th, 2018, 2:58 pm #3

I just thought of another possible source: The Mezz Mezzrow autobiography whose name I can't recall.  He wrote about Bix a lot, mostly with admiration but with also a criticism for his being too European, meaning restrained, disciplined and conscious of structure, in contrast to Black musicians of the time.
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Joined: March 18th, 2018, 7:37 am

June 9th, 2018, 4:23 pm #4

fidinoir wrote: I just thought of another possible source: The Mezz Mezzrow autobiography whose name I can't recall.  He wrote about Bix a lot, mostly with admiration but with also a criticism for his being too European, meaning restrained, disciplined and conscious of structure, in contrast to Black musicians of the time.
That would be Really the Blues (written with Bernard Wolfe) but looking at books.google.com I don't see any references in it to Don Murray and only one (very offhand one) to Ted Lewis. https://books.google.com/books?id=sGA9DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA52
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