Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra in Iowa in the summer of 1939.

Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra in Iowa in the summer of 1939.

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

August 22nd, 2017, 12:11 am #1

We know that Bill Donahoe and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz band went to Davenport in 1971 to pay homage to Bix and visit his grave.

But which was the first pilgrimage of a group of jazz musicians to visit Bix's grave? Paul Whiteman and the musicians in his orchestra.
From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Jul 26, 1939.


In late August 1939, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra was in Des Moines, Iowa and played for concerts and dances at the Iowas State Fair.

From the West Bend Journal, August 3, 1939.


Following their appearance in the Iowa State Fair, Whiteman's musicians went to Davenport to pay respect to Bix. On Sep 1, 1939, Whiteman placed a wreath on the grave and Charlie Teagarden played taps.

I don't have photos from 1939. I have these presumably from 1940 (could they be from 1939?).
From left to right: Goldie, Gerge Wettling, Pingitore, Miff Mole, Charlie Teagarden.





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

August 23rd, 2017, 3:08 pm #2

"Paul Whiteman at Bix Beiderbecke's grave, Summer of 1940"

Whiteman's orchestra had an engagement in the Orpheum Theatre, Davenport in May 1940.

https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnew ... .image.jpg

Albert
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Mark Gabrish Conlan
Mark Gabrish Conlan

August 23rd, 2017, 4:02 pm #3

It was my understanding that Charlie Teagarden left the Whiteman band at the end of 1938, when his brother Jack did, to join Jack's newly formed big band. Therefore the likely date of this photo is 1938.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 23rd, 2017, 6:40 pm #4

Newspaper accounts place Whiteman's orchestra in Davenport in 1939 and 1940. Whiteman was not in Davenport in 1938.

Rayno tells us that Charlie Teagarden left Whiteman in 1940.

Albert
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David Tenner
David Tenner

August 26th, 2017, 5:13 pm #5

It was my understanding that Charlie Teagarden left the Whiteman band at the end of 1938, when his brother Jack did, to join Jack's newly formed big band. Therefore the likely date of this photo is 1938.
Jack Teagarden left Whiteman when his contract expired at the end of 1938 to form his own band. However, his brother Charlie did not immediately join him, but stayed with Whiteman until the latter broke up his band at the end of May, 1940. Rayno writes (p. 548 of his second volume of *Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music*): "22 May 1940 (Wed) As they did in September 1939, Whiteman and his band visit Bix Beiderbecke's grave in Oakdale Cemetary in Davenport and lay a wreath on it." Actually, technically speaking, Charlie stayed on a little while after the band broke up; he joined Whiteman and three other Whiteman musicians (Harry "Goldie" Goldfield, Al Galidoro, Mike Pingitore) in Los Angeles in June 1940 for the filming of *Strike Up the Band.*

Charlie's presence is clearly audible in a number of 1939-40 Whiteman recordings:

(1) He has a 16 bar solo on the Bouncing Brass's April 6, 1939 recording of Irving Berlin's "Heat Wave": http://picosong.com/wsJ3j/

(2) From the same session, Charlie solos (as does Miff Mole) on another Irving Berlin tune, "Home Again Blues": http://picosong.com/wsJnw/

(3) As I noted at http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1498329712 Charlie plays the trumpet solo in the 1939 re-recording of Gershwin's *Concerto in F.*

(4) May 15, 1939: Charlie takes another 16 bar solo--this time on "The June Bug's Dance." http://picosong.com/wsJyU/

(5) November 1, 1939, with the Modernaires on the Chesterfield Program, "Ragtime Cowboy Joe": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMOkg6n3oS0

(6) February 21, 1940, again with the Modernaires, "Rain": http://picosong.com/wsJqx/

Jack Teagarden's departure certainly hurt Whiteman's more jazz-oriented performances in 1939-40, but not only did Charlie remain on trumpet, but Whiteman did have two fine jazz trombonists to replace Jack: Miff Mole (whom Whiteman had wanted in the band back in the 1920's...) and Moe Zudekoff (later to be known as the bandleader Buddy Morrow). So the band--or units from it--could play creditable jazz on occasion.
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