1950

Wardell Gray Chronology

 

 

 

Created by Leif Bo Petersen

Last updated: February 9, 2020.

 

Date

 

Event

References/Further Details

1950?

Various Artists

Release of Modern Records MOD. 2003

A Collection of Popular Recordings

10” 33 rpm. album

Includes a reissue of Wardell Gray & Vido Musso: Modern Music 20-611: Sweet Georgia Bop. Recorded December 27, 1947.

 

https://www.bsnpubs.com/modern/modern/modern.html

January

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Release of National 9086 and 9096.

10” 78 rpm. records.

Wardell Gray only appears on Solitude What’s New.

 

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

 

Recorded April 21, 1947.

National 9086-A

Solitude

Unidentified recording date

National 9086-B

I Do — Do You

Recorded April 21, 1947.

National 9096-A

What’s New

Unidentified recording date

National 9096-B

There Are Such Things

 

“Advance Record Releases,” Billboard, January 14, 1950, 38,

 

 

January 4

Benny Carter and His Orchestra

Karl George, Ernie Royal (tp); George Washington, Britt Woodman (tb); Benny Carter (as, dir); Willie Smith, Marshall Royal, “Bumps” Myers, Wardell Gray (reeds); Gerald Wiggins (p); Ulysses Livingston (g); Charles Drayton (b); unidentified (d); Benjamin Sherman “Scat Man” Crothers, Delores Parker (voc).

Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.

January 4, 1950, 1:00–5:14 p.m.

Recording for the Universal-International short “Nat ‘King’ Cole and his Trio.”

Gray is replaced on the screen.

 

Universal: Studio logs.

http://wardellgray.org/contractsp4.html

For details see: http://www.wardellgray.org/discography.html

 

January 13

Billie Holiday

Jay Burkhardt Jay-Bird Orchestra

18 pieces. Including Miles Davis, Wardell Gray, and Joe Williams.

Stump and Stumpy (comedy)

Wong Sisters (dancers)

Tops and Wilda (dancers)

Al Benson (mc)

Regal, Chicago, IL.

January 13–19.

Burkhardt’s orchestra is in for Charlie Ventura’s, because of Ventura’s illness.

Wardell Gray joined the Burkhardt orchestra here. He came in from California, but did not make it until the last night.

 

Ad in Chicago Tribune, January 13, 1940, sec 2, 11.

“Chicago Band Briefs,” Down Beat, January 27, 1950, 4.

“Capsule Comments: Jay Burkhardt: Regal, Chicago,” Down Beat, February 24, 1950, 11: Review. Orchestra of 18 pieces.

January 14

Just Jazz Concert

Billy Eckstine

Art Tatum

Jeane Taylor

Bobby Tucker

Just Jazz All Stars

Shorty Rogers (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Teddy Edwards, Wardell Gray? (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Jackie Mills (d).

Tommy Pederson and His Orchestra

Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA.

 

“Billy Eckstine in Concert Saturday,” Valley Times, January 12, 1950, 17.

“Eckstine Minting $$$s in the Coast,” New York Age, February 11, 1950, 33.

January 15

Just Jazz Concert

Billy Eckstine

Art Tatum

Jeane Taylor

Bobby Tucker

Just Jazz All Stars

Russ Auditorium, San Diego, CA.

8:00 p.m.

Gene Norman (prod).

 

Ad in San Diego Union, January 11, A-7: Jeane Taylor, Bobby Tucker, and Wardell Gray are not mentioned in this ad.

“Eckstine Minting $$$s in the Coast,” New York Age, February 11, 1950, 33: This article mentions Jeane Taylor, Bobby Tucker, and Wardell Gray as participating in both concerts.

January 20

Li’l Green

Wardell Gray and His recording Orchestra,

Miles Davis

Club Valley, Detroit, MI.

January 20–22.

 

“Miles, Wardell Unite,” Down Beat, February 10, 1950, 9.

Ad in Detroit Tribune, January 21, 7: Wardell Gray January 20–22: Three Nights only.

January late

Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

Release of Capitol Cap 828

10” 78 rpm. record.

Capitol F 828

45 7” rpm. single record.

Wardell Gray only appears on Little Girl Don’t Cry.

 

Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

Recorded September 18, 1949.

Cap 828 A

Little Girl, Don’t Cry

Recorded October 27, 1949.

Cap 828 B

Spin a Record

 

“Advance Record Releases: Popular,” Billboard, January 21, 1950, 38.

February

Wardell Gray

Released February 1950

New Jazz 817

10” 78 rpm. record.

 

Recorded November 11, 1949,

NJ 817 A

Wardell Gray

Easy Living

NJ 817 B

Al Haig Quartet with Wardell Gray

Twisted

 

“Record Reviews: Hot Jazz,” Billboard, February 4, 1950, 101.

February

Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

Released February 1950.

Capitol Cap 860

10” 78 rpm. record.

Wardell Gray only appears on It Isn’t Fair.

 

Recorded March 24, 1949.

Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

Cap 860 A

It Isn’t Fair

Recorded October 27, 1949.

Cap 860 B

You’re Always There

 

“Advance Record Releases: Popular” Billboard, February 18, 1950, 33.

February/March

Wardell Gray Orchestra

Little John and His Merry Men and

Candy Johnson and His Peppermint Sticks

Club Valley, Detroit, MI.

Bop Battles.

 

Michigan Chronicle acc. to L. Bjorn and J. Gallart, Before Motown (2001), 125.

February/March

Tony Rhodes Jump Band

Wardell Gray was an occasional member.

Michigan Chronicle acc. to L. Bjorn and J. Gallart, Before Motown (2001), 125.

 

April 24

Blue Bird Inn House Band

Wardell Gray, Frank Foster (ts); Phil Hill (p); James “Beans” Richardson (b); Art Mardigan (d); Jack Tiant or Cuban Pete (bgo).

Blue Bird Inn, Detroit. MI.

Private recordings exist.

 

For details see: http://www.wardellgray.org/discography.html

 

April 25

Wardell Gray Quintet

Wardell Gray (ts); Phil Hill (p); James “Beans” Richardson (b); Art Mardigan (d).

United Sound Studios, Detroit, MI.

Commercial recordings for Prestige.

 

For details see: http://www.wardellgray.org/discography.html

 

May

Wardell Gray

Release of New Jazz 828

10” 78 rpm. record.

 

Recorded November 11, 1949,

 

Wardell Gray

NJ 828 A

Sweet Lorraine

NJ 828 B

Al Haig Quartet with Wardell Gray

Southside

 

“Popular Recordings,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 10, 1950, 6D: Sweet Lorraine mentioned.

May

Monday Jam sessions

Including Wardell Gray.

Bowl-O-Drome Tropical Show Bar, Detroit, MI.

“After Dark,” Detroit Free Press, May 9, 1950, 15: “Wardell Gray conducts ‘Fantasies in Jazz’ Monday evenings…”

 “After Dark,” Detroit Free Press, May 19, 1950, 13: “Wardell Gray conducts ‘Fantasies in Jazz’ Monday evenings…”

 

June

Wardell gray

Release of Prestige 707 and 711.

10” 78 rpm. records.

Reissues of New Jazz 817and 828 with new label name.

 

Recorded November 11 1949.

 

Wardell Gray

Prestige 707 A

Easy Living

Prestige 707 B

Twisted

Prestige 711 A

South Side

Prestige 711 B

Sweet Lorraine

 

Ad in Billboard, June 3, 1950, 34.

July

Benny Goodman and His Sextet

Released July 1950.

Capitol 57-621

10” 78 rpm. record.

 

Recorded April 14, 1949.

 

Benny Goodman and His Sextet

57-621 A

Bedlam

57-621 B

In the land of Oo-Bla-Dee

 

“Record Reviews: Popular,” Billboard, July 2, 1950, 37: friendly review.

July 17

Celebrity Party

Milomo, Los Angeles, CA.

Wardell Gray is guest of honor.

 

“Socializing With…” California Eagle, July 21, 1950, 22.

July 21

Count Basie Septet

Clark Terry (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts): Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Nellie Lutcher

New Orleans Swing Club, San Francisco, CA.

July 21–August 3.

 

“Now Hear This,” San Francisco Chronicle, July 23, 1940, 13: Basie at New Orleans Swing Club. Nellie Lutcher joins him Tuesday Night.

C. Sheridan, Count Basie –A Bio-Discography (1986), appendix 2, 1125–26: July 21–August 3. Wardell Gray joins Basie here.

 

August 4

Count Basie and His Sextette

Damita Jo (voc).

Oasis Club, Los Angeles, CA.

August 4–17.

 

“Oasis Buys Basie,” Variety (Daily), July 26, 1950, 5: opening August 4 for two weeks.

Ad in Variety (Daily), August 4, 1950, 5: opening tonight.

“Nitery Reviews: Oasis,” Variety (daily), August 7, 1950, 6.

 “House Reviews: Oasis, L.A.,” Variety, August 16, 1950, 44, 47: reviewed on August 9.

“On the Upbeat,” Variety, August 9, 1950, 46: Garner opens at Oasis on August 18.

 

August 24

Count Basie Orchestra

Damita Jones

(voc)

Sugar Ray Robinson

(p, voc)

Parish and Neely

(tap dance)

Wonderful Smith

(comedy)

Orpheum Theater, Los Angeles, CA.

August 24–30.

 

“Basie Orch Booked solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39: Basie at Million Dollar Theater opening on August 25. Changed to Orpheum Theater.

 “Orp to Relight State for Hamp and Basie,” Variety (Daily), July 21, 1950, 1: Basie opening for a week on August 23.

Ad In Los Angeles Times, August 24, 1950, part 2, 7.

Vaude Review,” Variety,  august 25, 1950, 6.

“House Reviews: Orpheum, L.A.,” Variety, August 30, 1950, 55: Reviewed on August 24: 9 pieces [sic!].

 

 

August 27

Jazz at Sunset

Art Farmer (tp); Sonny Criss, Frank Morgan (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Billy Hadnott (b); Chuck Thompson (d); Damita Jones (voc).

Bill Whisling’s Club Hawaii, Los Angeles, CA.

 

Handbill: Roy Kali radio broadcast, “Jazz On Sunset”, Bill Whisling’s Club Hawaii, 6507 Sunset Blvd., August 27, 1950, 4–9 pm.

 

August 28

Wardell Gray’s Los Angeles Stars

Clark Terry (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon (ts); Jimmy Bunn (p); Billy Hadnott (b); Chuck Thompson (d); Damita Jones (voc).

Hula Hut Club, Los Angeles, CA.

Recordings exist.

 

For details see: http://www.wardellgray.org/discography.html

 

August 29

Count Basie All Stars

Clark Terry (tp); Marshall Royal(cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); James Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d); Helen Humes (voc).

General Service Studios, Los Angeles, CA.

August 29–30, 1949.

Snader Telescriptions.

August 29, 9:30–11:45 a.m.: filming.

August 30, 7:00–8:20; 11:00–11:30 a.m.: filming.

August 30, 8:20–11:00 a.m.: recording.

 

AFM Contract; http://wardellgray.org/contractsp3.html

For details see: http://www.wardellgray.org/discography.html

 

August 31

 

Count Basie Septet

Clark Terry (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); James Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d); Billie Holiday (voc).

Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.

Short film with Sugar Chile Robinson and Billie Holiday.

August 31–September 1, 1950:

11:00 a.m.­–3:40 p.m.: recording.

September 1, 1950: 8:30 a.m.–6:29 p.m.: filming.

 

Universal: Studio logs.

For details see: http://www.wardellgray.org/discography.html

 

 

 

September?

Wardell Gray

Release of Prestige 714.

10” 78 rpm. record.

 

Recorded April 25, 1950.

Wardell Gray

Prestige 714 A

Blue Gray

Prestige 714 B

Treadin’ with Treadwell

 

The label number indicates a date before October  1950.

“It’s Happening Here,” Philadelphia Enquirer, August 30, 1951, 23: the record is mentioned here as new.

September 1

Count Basie and His All Star Sextette

Helen Humes

Auditorium, San Bernadino, CA.

September 1, 1950.

 

Ad in San Bernadino Daily Sun, August 28, 1950, 4.

September early

Count Basie Septet

One-nighter’s.

 

“Basie Orch Booked solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39: One-nighters on the way to Chicago.

Clark and Gwen Terry, Terry Clark - The Autobiography (2011),  220: Clark Terry tells that the band flied to Chicago from Seattle.

 

September 6

Count Basie Septet

Brass Rail, Chicago, IL.

September 6–30.

 

“Basie Orch Booked solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39: opening September 6 for three weeks.

Ad in Chicago Sun-Times, September 25, 1950, sec. 2, 12: last six days.

 

October

Wardell Gray

Release of Prestige 723.

10” 78 rpm. record.

 

Recorded April 25, 1950.

Wardell Gray

Prestige 723 A

A Sinner Kissed an Angel

Prestige 723 B

Grayhound

 

Ad for Baca records in Daily Northwestern, October 2, 1950, 3

October 1

Moonglo Club, Buffalo, NY.

Members of the Basie band and Oscar Peterson are guests.

 

Photo dated October 1, 1950: Unidentified, Wardell Gray, Freddie Green, Gus Johnson, Clark Terry, and Oscar Peterson.

https://faculty.hampshire.edu/aravett/forgotten_tenor/

Ad in Buffalo Courier-Express, October 1, 1950, 13 D: Oscar Peterson played with JATP in Kleinhans Hall on October 1, 1950.

 

October 2

Count Basie Septet

Glass Bar, Hazleton, PA.

October 2–8.

 

Ad in Standard-Sentinel (Hazleton, PA.), October 2, 1950, 14: Count Basie all this week.

 

October 12

Count Basie Septet

Casino Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

October 12–18.

 

“Basie Orch Booked Solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39.

“House Reviews: Casino, Toronto,” Variety, October 18, 1950, 54: reviewed on October 13: The review tells that this is Buddy DeFranco’s last engagement with Basie, but he seems to have continued until New York.

 

October 19

Count Basie Orchestra

Clark Terry  probably replaced by Thad Jones (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Hi-Hat Club, Boston, MA.

October 19–November 1.

 

“Basie Orch Booked solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39: Two weeks starting October 19.

Ad in Boston Herald, October 20, 2950, 53: Now appearing.

Thad Jones Chronology by David Demsey:: 1952: Thad Jones subbed for Clark Terry with ¨Basie for one week in 1952. http://livingjazzarchives.org/archives/thad-jones-archive/thad-jones-chronology/

Maybe this was in 1950. Clark TErry left Basie at the end of May 1951. Clark and Gwen Terry, Terry Clark - The Autobiography (2011), 228.

 

November/December

Count Basie Septet

Probably: Thad Jones (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Usually dated New York, November/December. Could insted be from Boston, October late.

Broadcast.

Recordings exist.

 

For details see: http://www.wardellgray.org/discography.html

 

November 2

Count Basie Octet

Clark Terry (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Rudy Rutherford (bars); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Columbia Studios, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for Columbia.

November 2 and 3.

 

For details see: http://www.wardellgray.org/discography.html

 

November 7

Count Basie Octet

Probably: Clark Terry (tp); Rudy Rutherford (cl, bars); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Walker Theatre, Brooklyn, New York, NY.

Matinee and night shows.

 

“Name Bands to Play,” Daily News, November 4 1950, 38.

“Marshall Royal Joins the Count,” Down Beat, March 23, 1: Rutherford replaced Buddy de Franco.

 

November 8?

Count Basie Septet

Club Harlem, Philadelphia, PA.

Probably November 8­–?

 

“It’s Happening Here,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 7, 29.

December

Billy Eckstine

Released December 1950[i].

National 9132.

10” 78 rpm. record.

Wardell Gray only appears on Serenade in Blue.

 

Recorded  April 21,  1947.

Billy Eckstine

National 9132 A

Serenade in Blue

Recorded March 1946.

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

National 9132 B

Cool Breeze

 

“Advance Record Releases," Billboard, December 16, 1950, 32.

"Record Reviews," Billboard, December 23, 1950, 31: positive review.

December 5

Count Basie Septet

Probably: Clark Terry (tp); Rudy Rutherford (cl, bars); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Brass Rail, Chicago, IL.

December 6–January 16.

 

“Chicago Band Briefs,” Down Beat, December 1, 1950, 4.C.

 “2 Jazz Favorites Return to Chicago,” Chicago Sun-Times, December 7, 1950, sec 2, 6: Starting Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

December

Count Basie Septet

Probably: Clark Terry (tp); Rudy Rutherford (cl, bars); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Vaughn Veteran’s Hospital, Chicago, IL.

 

C. Sheridan, Count Basie –A Bio-Discography (1986), Appendix 2, 1127.