1948

Wardell Gray Chronology

 

 

 

Created by Leif Bo Petersen

 

Last updated: January 3, 2014

 

Date

 

Event

References/Further Details

February/March

International All Stars

Stan Hasselgard (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Dodo Marmarosa (p); Al Hendrickson (el-g); prob. Harry Babasin (b); Frank Bode (Uffe Baadh) (dr); Frances Wayne (voc).

McCormack General Hospital, Pasadena, CA.

Gene Norman, George Dvorak (mc).

Recordings exist.

 

R. E. Lotz and U. Neuert, The AFRS “Jubilee” Transcription Programs (1985), no. 278: Dates February 9 or c. March 1948.

See discography for details.

March

Benny Carter and His Orchestra.

Big band including Benny Carter (as, arr, dir); poss. Lew Obergh (tp); Al Grey, Henry Coker (tb); Wardell Gray (ts); poss. Cyril Haynes (p); poss. Jack Marshall (g); poss. Dallas Bartley (b); poss. Henry Tucker (d).

McCormack General Hospital, Pasadena, CA.

John Beal (mc).

Recordings exist.

 

R. E. Lotz and U. Neuert, The AFRS “Jubilee” Transcription Programs (1985), no. 284: Dates March 3, 30 or c. May 1948.

See discography for details.

 

March mid

Benny Goodman Sextet

Goodman plans to take sextet and big band into White Plains, NY, in the summer.

 

“BG to Lease Spot for W-E Full Orchestra Dates,” Billboard, March 20, 1948, 35.

March 26

Just Jazz Concert

Including Benny Goodman (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Johnny White (vib); Mel Powell (p); Charlie Drayton (b): Billy Drayton (d); Joe Alexander (voc).

Russ Auditorium, San Diego, CA.

 

“Out of the Horn’s Mouth,” Variety (Daily), March 25, 1948, 8: Concerts Friday and Saturday.

March 27

Just Jazz Concert

Including Benny Goodman (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Johnny White (vib); Mel Powell (p); Charlie Drayton (b): Billy Drayton (d); Joe Tony Harper (voc).

Civic Auditorium Pasadena, CA.

 

“Out of the Horn’s Mouth,” Variety (Daily), March 25, 1948, 8: Concerts Friday and Saturday.

“2 Bashes Bag 7G for Gene Norman,” Variety, March 29, 1948, 9.

April

Wardell Gray Quartet

Wardell Gray (ts); Al Haig (p); Clyde Lombardi (b); Tiny Kahn (d).

Unidentified studio, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for Sittin’ In With.

 

See discography for details.

May

J. C. Heard and His Orchestra

Joe Newman (tp); Bennie Green (tb); Wardell Gray (ts); Tate Houston (bar); Al Haig (p); Al McKibbon (b); J.C. Heard (d).

Unidentified studio, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for Apollo.

 

See discography for details.

May early

Benny Goodman Septet

NYC.

Goodman starts rehearsing a septet including Wardell Gray and Stan Hasselgard.

 

D. Russell Connor, Benny Goodman – Listen to His Legacy  (1988), 191.

May 10

Including Muriel Jayne (voc)

Carnegie Hall, New York, NY.

The planned concert is cancelled because of lacking ticket sale.

 

“BG’s Carnegie Date Cancelled,” Billboard, May 15, 1948, 4.

May 24

Benny Goodman, Stan Hasselgard (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkin (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page (voc).

Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA.

May 24–June 6.

CBS and NBC had broadcasts during the entire engagement.

Recordings exist.

 

“Click Roster,” Billboard, March 13, 1948, 17.

“BG’s Carnegie Date Cancelled,” Billboard, May 15, 1948, 4.

See discography for details.

June

Wardell Gray

Royal Roost, New York, NY.

June–August.

Wardell Gray is reported sitting in here.

 

Claus Dahlgren: Mitt i Be-bopnästet,” Orkester Journalen, August 1948, 11.

June 18

Benny Goodman Septet

Red Rodney (tp); Benny Goodman, Stan Hasselgard (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Bill Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkin (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page, Jackie Searle (voc).

Local Band

Unidentified personnel.

Westchester Community Center, White Plains, NY.

June 18–19.

Ted Husing, Fred Robbins (mc).

 

Ad in Dobbs Ferry Register, Friday, June 18, 1948, 5: Opening tonight.

 “Ben Goodman Dance Series at Center,” Dobbs Ferry Register, Friday, June 25, 1948, 7: Series of weekend concerts opened June 18.

“Bop-Styled BG Septet Stars All But Goodman,” Down Beat, July 14, 1948, 6: Review on opening night.

G. Hoefer, “Benny and the Boppers,” Down Beat, July 26, 1966, 22: The engagement covered 3 weekends.

 

Summer?

Broadcast from unknown station.

Recordings exist.

 

See discography for details.

June 25

Benny Goodman, Stan Hasselgard (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Mary Lou Williams, Bill Bauer (el-g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Jackie Searle; Dolly Houston (voc). Teddy Wilson appears as a guest. Red Rodney (tp) and Babs Gonzales are also reported appearing in this or the following dances.

Also on the bill: Ronny Rommel’s band.

Westchester Community Center, White Plains, NY.

June 25–26.

Fred Robbins (mc).

June 26:

WNEW broadcasts on Saturdays 8–8:30 p.m. start on June 26: Glen Adams (mc).

Recordings exist.

 

Ad in Dobbs Ferry Register, Friday, June 25, 1948, 5.

“Ronny With Goodman,” Bridgeport Telegram, June 25, 65.

”Music–As Written,” Billboard, June 19, 1948, 21: An amateur contest is held in Connecticut in order to find a vocalist for the June 25–26 performance.

”Music–As Written,” Billboard, July 3, 1948, 36: Broadcasts are starting June 26.

See discography for details.

 

July 3

Benny Goodman, Stan Hasselgard (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Mary Lou Williams, Teddy Wilson (p); Bill Bauer (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Jackie Searle; Dolly Houston (voc).

Westchester Community Center, White Plains, NY.

July 3–4.

July 3:

WNEW broadcast 8–8:30 p.m. Glen Adams (mc).

Recordings exist.

 

See discography for details.

 

July 10

Westchester Community Center, White Plains, NY.

July 10–11.

July 10:

WNEW broadcast 8–8:30 p.m.

 

“On the Radio Today,” New York Times, July 10, 1948: lists “8:00 –WNEW—Benny Goodman Show.”

See discography for details.

 

July 16

Freddie Slack and His Band

Probably including: Red Rodney (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Paul Lopez (tp); Jimmy Knepper (tb); Hank Horn (as & bs); Freddie (p & dir); Darryl Homer (g); Paul Moresy (b); Maynard Sloate (d), a. o.

June Richmond

Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis Quartet

Apollo Theater, New York, NY.

July 16–22.

 

Ad in New York Age, July 17, 1948, 6.

Maynard Sloate interviewed by Tate Swindell, June 2013: Slack hired Rodney and Gray especially for the Apollo engagement. Gray also participated in a Slack riverboat engagement in the Washington, DC. area in this period.

August mid?

Tadd Dameron And His Orchestra

Fats Navarro (tp); Allen Eager, Wardell Gray (ts); Tadd Dameron (p); Curly Russell (b); Kenny Clarke (d).

Royal Roost, New York, NY.

Gray joins the Dameron Orchestra here.

 

Ad in New York Amsterdam News, September 28, 1948, 25.

August mid?

Tadd Dameron And His Orchestra

Allen Eager, Wardell Gray (ts); Tadd Dameron (p); Curly Russell (b); Kenny Clarke (d).

Royal Roost, New York, NY.

WMCA broadcast.

Recordings exist.

These recordings are sometimes dated September 1948, and believed to be from the period where Wardell Gray appeared with Basie at the Roost, but the Dameron band was not on the bill during the Basie tenancy at the Roost

See discography for details.

 

August 20

Benny Goodman Sextet

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Wardell Gray (ts); Mary Lou Williams (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Jackie Searle (voc).

WOR Guild Theatre Playhouse, New York, NY.

Recording session for V-disc.

 

See discography for details.

 

September 9

Benny Goodman Septet

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Fats Navarro (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Mundell Lowe (el-g); Gene DiNovi (p); Clyde Lombardi (b); Mel Zelnick (d).

Capitol Studios, New York, NY.

Benefit recording for Capitol.

 

See discography for details.

September 9

Count Basie Orchestra

Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham, Harry Edison, Emmett Berry (tp); Bill Johnson, George Matthews, Ted Donnelly, Dickie Wells (tb);

Bernie Peacock (as); Earl Warren (as, voc); Wardell Gray, Paul Gonsalves (ts); Jack Washington (bar); Count Basie (p, dir); Green (g); Singleton “Cookie” Palmer (b); Shadow Wilson (d); Jimmy Rushing (voc).

Dinah Washington

(voc) acc. by Beryl Booker and the Count Basie orchestra.

(Closes on September 16).

(Opening on September 23).

Anita O’Day

(voc) acc. by Lou Stein and the Count Basie orchestra.

Miles Davis Quintet and Nonet

Royal Roost, New York, NY.

September 9–29.

Wardell Gray joins Basie for the Royal Roost gig. He is not in the band in its next engagement at 3 Rivers Inn, Syracuse, NY, opening October 4.

September 11, 18, and 25:

WMCA broadcasts. Symphony Sid (mc).

Recordings exist.

September 14, 21, and 28:

Mutual Network (MBS) broadcasts on September 14, 21, and 28.

Recordings exist.

The material used in the AFRS Just Jazz and Jubilee series probably comes from these broadcasts. The same is probably the case for other surviving Basie-Wardell Gray, and Anita O’Day material.

 

“Basie Bashes Boost Broadway Business,” Baltimore Afro-American, August 31, 1948, second news section, 2.

Ad in Syracuse Post Standard, September 30, 1948, 13. Ad in Syracuse Post Standard, October 8, 1948, 15.

Radio programs in Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 14, 1948, 20; October 21, 1948, 19; October 28, 1948, 20: WOR broadcast 11:30–12:00: Count Basie Orchestra.

See discography for details.

 

September 13

Tadd Dameron And His Orchestra

Fats Navarro (tp); Allen Eager, Wardell Gray (ts); Tadd Dameron (p, arr); Curley Russell (b); Kenny Clarke (d); Chino Pozo (bgo); Kenny Hagood (voc).

WOR Studios, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for Blue Note.

 

See discography for details.

 

September 17

Salute to WMGM

Benny Goodman Sextet

Benny Goodman (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Gene DiNovi (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Mel Zelnick (d).

Also appearing in this program: Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, and others.

WMGM broadcast: 8 p.m.: Salute to WMGM – Salute by Recording Artists.” Ted Husing (mc).

Recordings exist.

 

See discography for details.

 

September 26

Jam session

Tadd Dameron, Fats Navarro, Allen Eager, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, and others.

Royal Roost, New York, NY.

 

Handbill.

October 24

Jam session

Tadd Dameron, Fats Navarro, Howard McGhee, Allen Eager, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, and others.

Royal Roost, New York, NY.

 

Handbill.

October late

Jam session

Elate Ballroom, Philadelphia, PA.

Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray were engaged, but did not show up. Babs Gonzales was late.

 

“Philly Concert Season Flops,” Billboard, December 4, 1948, 18.

October late

Benny Goodman Orchestra

Wardell Gray joins Goodman for rehearsals.

“Goodman Plans Tour for New Band,” Down Beat, October 20, 1948, 1: states 2 weeks of rehearsals and start of touring early November.

 

November 4

Babs Gonzales and 3 Bips and Bop

Wardell Gray

Earl Coleman

Polish Hall, Jamaica, Long Island, NY.

Concert and Dance

 

“Babs Gonzales Appears in Jamaica Friday,” New York Age, November 6, 1948, 5.

November 12

Buddy Stewart Quintet

Eddie Bert (tb); Wardell Gray (ts); Buddy Greco (p); Gene Ramey (b); Charlie Perry (d); Buddy Stewart (voc).

Unidentified studio, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for Sittin’ In With.

 

See discography for details.

 

November late

Al Haig Quintet

Wardell Gray (ts); Al Haig (p); Jimmy Raney (el-g); Tommy Potter (b); Charlie Perry (d); Terry Swope (voc).

Unidentified studio, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for Seeco.

 

See discography for details.

 

November late

Benny Goodman Orchestra

Probably: Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart (Al Goldberg), Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as); Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Larry Molinelli (bar); Buddy Greco (p, voc); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Terry Swope (voc); The Clarinaders: 5 pieces including Buddy Greco and Terry Swope (voc).

Engagements in Middle Atlantic States and New England.

“MCA Inks B. G.; Ends Guessing,” Billboard, October 2, 1948, 22.

D. Russell Connor, Benny Goodman – Listen to His Legacy  (1988), 193.

 

November late

Erie, PA.

“Erie 1-Nighters Total loss to All,” Billboard, January 15, 1949, 22.

 

November 26

Arena, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

Including Terry Swope and Buddy Greco Trio; The Famous Benny Goodman Sextet; The Clarinaders.

 

Ad in Niagara Falls Gazette, November 26, 1948, 32.

November 30

Benny Goodman Orchestra

17-pieces orchestra: Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart (Al Goldberg), Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as); Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Larry Molinelli (bar); Buddy Greco (p, voc); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Terry Swope (voc); The Clarinaders: 5 pieces including Buddy Greco and Terry Swope (voc); Chico O’Farrill (arr).

Hotel Syracuse, Syracuse, NY.

November 30–December 4

NBC broadcast. Recordings exist.

 

“B. G. Unveils Exciting New Band, Wows Hotel Syracuse,” Billboard, December 11, 1948, 17.

M. Levin. “Notes between Notes,” Down Beat, January 14, 1949, 23: Review.

See discography for details.

 

December

Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet Ballroom. Providence, RI.

D. Salemann, Wardell Gray 1921-1955 Discography (1986), 22.

 

December 10

Orchestra and Show.

State Theater, Hartford, CT.

December 10–12.

Rehearsing a new show concept centered on the story of the Goodman band.

 

“Variety Bills,” Variety, December 8, 1948, 47.

“BG Preparing New Type Band Theater Show,” Billboard, December 18, 1948, 20.

December 15

Orchestra and Show: 23 persons including The Clarinaders (5 vocals including Buddy Greco and Terry Swope); Sextet (Goodman, Gray & Rhythm); Peiro Brothers (jugglers); Buddy Lester (comic).

Paramount Theater, Manhattan, New York, NY.

December 15, 1948–January 11, 1949.

The press reported that Goodman suffered from severe illness at the end of the Paramount gig. Gene Krupa was called in to lead the band the last days.

“B. G. Unveils Exciting New Band, Wows Hotel Syracuse,” Billboard, December 1, 1948, 17: opening December 15.

“Vaudeville Reviews: Paramount, New York,” Billboard, December 25, 1948, 42: Review on December 15.

Ad in New York Times, January 11, 1949, 35: Has new show opening January 12.

“Orkesters Say Theaters Stifle Innovations; Goodman’s Gripe,” Billboard, February 12, 1949, 18.

“Fever Hits Goodman; Doctor Orders Rest,” Billboard, January 29, 1949, 36.

D. Russell Connor, Benny Goodman – Listen to His Legacy  (1988), 194.

 

December mid

1949 March of Dimes

Benny Goodman Orchestra

Columbia Studios, Liederkrantz Hall, New York, NY

Recording of electrical transcription (ET) for benefit broadcasting.

Recordings exist.

See discography for details.