Compiled by James Accardi

(Last Revised: September 16, 2021)


Wardell Gray played with nearly every major figure in jazz history, and his discography is a wonder to digest. Unfortunately, much of his recorded legacy remains unissued or out of print – which is particularly astonishing considering the quality of this body of work.

I began compiling this discography strictly for my personal use– a checklist, basically, to help me make sense of what was out there and collect as much of it as I could. So much of the information I found was contradictory and confusing – and I kept waiting for a discography to show up on line. Eventually I got tired of waiting, and contacted Professor Stuart Varden, whose outstanding website devoted to Fats Navarro guided me through building my own “Fat Girl” collection. We decided to go ahead with this project, with hopes of accumulating as much knowledge as possible.

Fortunately, both Benny Goodman and Count Basie recognized Wardell's genius, and he played a major role in the bands of both between 1948 and 1951. Two of the planet's premiere discographers, D. Russell Connor and Chris Sheridan, have covered these years in astonishing detail. Claude Schlouch's essential Wardell discography was published in the early 1980s, and Dieter Salemann published his a few years later. Jan Evensmo added an exhaustive and invaluable solography in the late 1990s, and Coover Gazdar published his “Easy Swing” discography at around that same time. There are many disagreements between these works. I have endeavored here to point out those discrepancies, and - wherever possible - to attempt to make sense of them. Further, I have tried to detail primary sources for as much of this information as possible.

In general, I have listed what I understand to be the first issue of each title as well as a few of the more recent and/or more readily available sources. The collector will find many of the titles listed long out of print. The intended 15-CD “Complete Edition” series on the Masters Of Jazz label was sadly discontinued following their release of Volume 7, but the volumes that were issued remain the single most comprehensive overview of the period they cover. A four-disc anthology issued by Proper Records in 2003 covers most of Wardell's career, but of course, it is far from comprehensive. I hope that this work will be a helpful guide to other collectors in the building of their own collections. For more detailed information (solo length, tempo, etc.) please see Evensmo's web site at www.jazzarcheology.com.

Any errors - and I am certain there are many! - are my responsibility.

Corrections and/or additions are most welcome – please e-mail me at:

James Accardi
May 2012

Key of abbreviations

(tp) trumpet
(flh) flugelhorn
(tb) trombone
(v-tb) valve trombone
(Fr-h) French horn
(as) alto saxophone
(ts) tenor saxophone
(bar) baritone saxophone
(cl) clarinet
(p) piano
(el-g) electric guitar
(g) acoustic guitar
(vib) vibraphone
(b) bass
(d) drums
(hca) harmonica
(cga) conga
(voc) (vocal)
(dir) director
(arr) arranger
(mc) emcee
(ann) announcer

Recordings that feature a vocalist are marked as such, with the vocalist's initials following the song title in the following manner:

Go Away Blues –vBR (the singer in this example is Betty Roché)

When a small group performance is listed within a set performed by a larger group it is marked in the following manner:

There's A Small Hotel -TRIO
Confess -QUARTET
Poor Butterfly –QUINTET
Rose Room –SEXTET
Flying Home –SEPTET
Perdido –OCTET

Finally, I have retained Gazdar's use of a number sign (#) next to a title when it features a Wardell Gray solo.

A Note on Sources

Wardell's activities with Benny Goodman and Count Basie dominated his recording activity throughout much of 1948 through 1951. Chris Sheridan (Basie) and D. Russell Conner (Goodman) have painstakingly researched these periods. I am indebted to these scholars for their outstanding work:

In addition, I have supplemented my own research by consulting three discographies on Wardell Gray:

And finally Jan Evensmo's peerless solography, included in “History of Jazz Tenor Saxophone – Black Artists” has been of inestimable value.

Addendum, October 2012:
Malcolm Walker's “Wardell Gray Discography” (compiled by Malcolm Walker and Don Tarrant) was unknown to me before this web site's opening in May. This comprehensive discography details sessions which were previously unknown to me and adds new information regarding alternative takes and live recordings. Information from the Sixth Draft is at present being incorporated into this discography. Much gratitude also goes to Ray Whitehouse of Biographical (Jazz) Research Service, 33 Harbour Lane, Milnrow, Rochdale OL16 4EL, England. Mark Cantor of Celluloid Improvisations has cleared up a number of lingering questions regarding Wardell's motion picture activities.

Special Thanks To:

David Bailey, Pete Bainbridge, Christian Bonnet, Robert Bregman, Glen Bringslid, Don Byrne, Mark Cantor, Richard Carter, Noal Cohen, Darryle Crawford, Gérard Dugelay, Jan Evensmo, Tom Fleming, Michael Fitzgerald, Michel Fontanes, Don Frese, Jim Gallert, Sandy Gant, James Harrod, Johan Helø, David Jessup, Mark Ladenson, Jan Lohmann, Peter Losin, Jeff McMillan, Herman van der Meij, Alun Morgan, John Morgan, Wasaburo Miura, Leif Bo Petersen, Joe Peterson, Stephen Platt, Bob Porter, Lewis Porter, Ken Poston, Abraham Ravett, Theo Rehak, Bryan S. Reid, Howard Rye, Norman Saks, Dieter Salemann, Iván Santiago-Mercado, Phil Schaap, Claude Schlouch, Loren Schoenberg, Han Schulte, Chris Sheridan, Peter Taylor, Neil Tesser, Malcolm Walker, Art Zimmerman, and Geoffrey Wheeler.


Age 23

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie, Al Killian, Freddie Webster, Maurice “Shorty” McConnell (tp); Claude Jones, Howard Scott, James “Trummy” Young (tb); Albert “Budd” Johnson, Jimmy Powell (as); Wardell Gray, Thomas Crump (ts); Rudy Rutherford (bar); Clyde Hart (p); Connie Wainwright (g); Oscar Pettiford (b); Rossiere “Shadow” Wilson (d); William Clarence “Billy” Eckstine (voc).

Recording session for De Luxe Records, New York, NY, April 13, 1944

107I Got A Date With Rhythm -vBE78 rpm: De Luxe 1003-A
108I Stay In The Mood For You -vBE78 rpm: De Luxe 2000-B
109Good Jelly Blues -vBE78 rpm: De Luxe 2000-A


Wardell's Gray's first studio date - he does not solo on these recordings. The original 78 rpm issues are attributed to “Billy Eckstein with DeLuxe All Star Band”.

The Billboard, May 6, 1944 (p. 11):

Bill Eckstein Waxes Blues For DeLuxe Records
NEW YORK, April 29---Billy Eckstein, currently at the Onyx Club, cut two vocal blues for DeLuxe this week, Good Jelly Blues and I Stay in the Mood for You. Disk is skedded for release in 10 days. (...) A second waxing session with Eckstein and the ork is set up for next week.
It appears this second session did not take place. Notice the identical personnel on I Got A Date With Rhythm – which appears to have first been issued in October of 1945, when it was backed by “I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray” by The Four Blues (MX# 148).

All titles are on CD: Savoy Jazz SVY-17125 and CD: Classics 914. D-107 is listed as “I Got A Date With The Rhythm Man” on Classics 914.

Probable personnel: Arthur Walker, John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis), William “Bill” Douglas (tp); Augustus “Gus” Chappel, Walter “Woogie” Harris, Druie Bess (tb); Clifton “Cliff” Smalls (tb, p, arr); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g); Earl Hines (p, dir); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d); Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Roché (voc); Ernest “Bubbles” Whitman (mc); Jim Lyons (ann).

Recording session for AFRS, NBC Studios, Hollywood, CA, October 23 or 30, 1944

8413-1I Know That You Know #Jubilee No. 105
8413-1Go Away Blues -vBRJubilee No. 105
8413-1Scoops Carry's Merry #Jubilee No. 105
8414-1The Father's Idea (Fatha's Idea) #Jubilee No. 105
8437-1Keep On Jumpin' #Jubilee No. 106
8437-1Boogie Woogie On St. Louis BluesJubilee No. 106
8437-1Singin' Down The Road -vTTCJubilee No. 106
8437-1Rockin' The BluesJubilee No. 106


Wardell's earliest known solos appear here. Armed Forces Radio Service transcriptions feature prominently in this discography, but is not always clear when or where the performances presented on the discs took place. The Hines recordings heard on these particular transcriptions probably come from one recording session, held on October 23 or 30, 1944. Also featured are performances by Garry Moore, Slim Gaillard, and the Loumell Morgan Trio, as well as a comedy skit performed by Ben Carter & Mantan Moreland. The show's opening/closing theme (One O'Clock Jump) is not by the Hines band. Note that recordings from Jubilee No. 268 are often bundled with these titles on reissues. CD: MJCD 148, for example, opens with a tune announced as “Fatha's Idea” - this is actually a 1946 rendition of Scoops Carry's Merry from AFRS Jubilee No. 268.

I Know That You Know features a 28 bar solo that must be Wardell. This title was not included in the Masters Of Jazz series. Gazdar lists “Hit That Jive, Jack!” but this is a vocal number featuring June Richmond that does not appear to involve the Hines band. Go Away Blues is a vocal feature for Betty Roché who is supported by obligatto played by Wardell and/or Kermit Scott.

The personnel for the Hines band during Wardell's stay is also unclear. What is listed in this discography reflects this author's best understanding at present. There are discrepancies between all the discographies I've consulted - hopefully more precise information will appear. Although frequently listed, Bennie Green appears to have been drafted by the time of these recordings and does not rejoin the band until the summer of 1946 at the earliest. A trombonist named “Happy” Pappy Smith is usually included among the personnel but as I have not found any contemporary mention he is not listed here. Note that Clifton “Cliff” Smalls often played piano when Hines sang or conducted - Smalls is listed generally as on (tb, p, arr).

Daily Variety, Tuesday, October 31, 1944 (p. 8):

“( . . . ) Earl Hines and orchestra, Ben Carter, Mantan Moreland, June Richmond and Ernie Whitman did a “Jubilee” show for overseas last night.”

Probable personnel: Arthur Walker, John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis), William “Bill” Douglas (tp); Augustus “Gus” Chappel, Walter “Woogie” Harris, Druie Bess (tb); Clifton “Cliff” Smalls (tb, p, arr); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g); Earl Hines (p, dir); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d).

Radio broadcast, Apollo Theatre, New York, NY, January 10, 1945

Tales Of The Vienna Woods # 12-inch LP: Everybodys EV-3003


Masters of Jazz did not include this recording in its Wardell Gray series, despite a 16 bar solo which I believe to have been played by Gray. Both Dieter Salemann & Jan Evensmo agree it is Wardell, while Schlouch did not mention this recording. On the Everybodys LP Dan Morgenstern calls this “Tales Of The Vienna Woods (or, Sing Sing Sing along with Johann Strauss)” and the notes credit “Original Source Material: Randolph Fuller collection”.

Arthur Walker (tp, voc); John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis), William “Bill” Douglas (tp); Augustus “Gus” Chappel, Clifton “Cliff” Smalls, Walter “Woogie” Harris, Druie Bess (tb); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g,arr); Earl Hines (p, dir); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d); The Mello-Tones (Reuben Saunders, Arthur Rainwater [aka Artie Waters], Harold McEwen, Gene Billbrew) (voc).

Recording session for RCA-Victor Records, New York, NY, January 12, 1945

D5VB-34-1Scoops Carry's Merry #12-inch LP: Bluebird AXM2 5508
D5VB-35-1Satchel Mouth Baby -vTMTCD: Mosaic MD7-254
D5VB-36-1Furlough Blues -vAW12-inch LP: Bluebird AXM2 5508
D5VB-37-1 (?)Love Is Lostunissued


MJCD 148 says “Prob. The same, but according to some sources: Druie Bess, Walter Harris, Gus Chappel (tb) for Smith, Green & Smalls; Hall (g) doubles on tb.” The personnel listed above are in accordance with the 2013 release of Mosaic's “Classic Earl Hines Sessions 1928-1945”. The notes say, “Some discographies list Rene Hall as doubling on trombone. The original RCA Victor file card lists the personnel and instrumentation as shown above.” Norman Saks has provided a copy of a “contract for the personal services of musicians, made this 28th day of December, 1944” – the contract lists these same musicians (although The Mello-Tones are not mentioned). Love Is Lost is not included on the Mosaic set – possibly this recording is lost.

Billie Holiday (voc), Howard McGhee (tp); poss. one (tb); Willie Smith (as); Illinois Jacquet, poss. Charlie Ventura, unknown (ts); prob. Milt Raskin (p); prob. Dave Barbour (el-g); Charles Mingus (b); Dave Coleman (d).

Concert, Philharmonic Auditorium, CA, February 12, 1945

Body And Soul -vBH10-inch LP: Clef MGC 169
Strange Fruit -vBH10-inch LP: Clef MGC 169


There are no tenor solos on these titles. Gray is usually listed among the personnel; he likely is not present. Phil Schaap names Gray as possibly one of the tenors in the liner notes to CD: Verve 517 659-2 titled The Complete Billie Holiday on Verve 1945-1959. According to Stanley Dance (“The World of Earl Hines”, 1977, p. 302) the Hines band was in New York February 6 and in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 13. Note that the WKCR Billie Holiday Festival Handbook states this concert took place at the Shrine Auditorium.

Age 24

Possible personnel: Arthur Walker, John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis), William “Bill” Douglas (tp); Augustus “Gus” Chappel, Walter “Woogie” Harris, Druie Bess (tb); Clifton “Cliff” Smalls (tb, p, arr); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g); Earl Hines (p, dir); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d).

Private recording, El Grotto Supper Club, Pershing Hotel, Chicago, IL, March 29, 1945

OK For Babyunissued
(unknown title)unissued
Cottage For Sale (incomplete)unissued


Evensmo lists these titles (p. 134); I have not heard them.

Arthur Walker, John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis), William “Bill” Douglas (tp); Augustus “Gus” Chappel, Walter “Woogie” Harris, Druie Bess (tb); Clifton “Cliff” Smalls (tb, p, arr); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g); Earl Hines (p, dir); Bill Thompson (vib); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d); Essex Scott (“Lord Essex”) (voc).

Recording session for ARA Records, Chicago, IL, prob. May 1945

1061-BINonchalant Man -vES #78 rpm: ARA RM 127A
1062(unknown title)unissued
1063-AAt The El Grotto #78 rpm: ARA RM 127B
1064Spooks Ball78 rpm: Jazz Selection 611


This session is often said to have taken place in Los Angeles, in September of 1945.

Down Beat, May 15, 1945 (page 2):

Sign Tatum And Hines On ARA
Los Angeles---American Recording Artists, new platter firm formed here last year by Boris Morros and rapidly becoming an important factor in the industry, has signed two of the foremost jazz pianists, Art Tatum and Earl Hines, under exclusive contracts. Pacts were negotiated by the Wm. Morris Agency.

Tatum was scheduled to do his first sides latter part of May with both solo and trio waxings. Morros himself went to Chicago to supervise the first sessions by Hines and his band.

ARA has its own pressing plant in operation here and will set up plants in two eastern cities as soon as material is available. Distribution has been handled directly from the home plant but Morros was expected to announce line up of distribution agencies in major cities upon his return.

Arthur Walker, John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis), William “Bill” Douglas (tp); Augustus “Gus” Chappel, Clifton “Cliff” Smalls, Walter “Woogie” Harris, Druie Bess (tb); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g); Earl Hines (p, dir); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d); Joe -? (mc).

Radio broadcast, Apollo Theatre, New York, NY, prob. June 27, 1945

Spoken introductionCD: MJCD 148
Blue Skies #12-inch LP: Philology W36; CD: MJCD 148


The date of January 10, 1945 is usually given. On MJCD 148 Hines states “we're gonna play just one number”, and the emcee says it is once again a pleasure to bring Hines to the microphone. This sounds to me like he's referring to Hines' previous New York appearances - Hines' “glad to be back in New York City” seems to confirm this. Everybodys EV-3003 dates Tales Of The Vienna Woods January 10, 1945, and the liner notes do appear to be reliable, so it appears to me that this recording comes from another date. Hines states “we got some fine talent back there as far as the amateurs is concerned, and some of it's really great.” This likely is from a Wednesday Amateur Night broadcast. Hines was probably at the Apollo only one more time while Wardell was in the band. (“Apollo TH, New York, week of 22 June. APO notes”; Stanley Dance, “The World Of Earl Hines”, page 302).

Schlouch lists “Bennie Green, Dick Harris, Clifton Small, Pappy Smith(tb)”. Schlouch and Salemann both listed this recording prior to the track's first issue (Salemann called it “Blue Keys”).

Unknown (tp); Paul Quinichette (ts); unknown (p); prob. Gene Phillips (el-g); Oscar Pettiford (b); unknown (d); Wynonie Harris (voc).

Recording session for Apollo Records, Los Angeles, CA, poss. September-November, 1945

S 1135I Got A Lyin' Woman (master take)78 rpm: Apollo 387; CD: Classics 885, Delmark 683, Properbox 20
S 1135I Got A Lyin' WomanCD: Delmark 683, Properbox 20
S 1136Rebecca's Blues78 rpm: Apollo 387; Classics 885, Delmark 683, Properbox 20
S 1137Everybody's Boogie (master take)78 rpm: Apollo 378; Classics 885, Delmark 683, Properbox 20
S 1137Everybody's BoogieCD: Delmark 683, Properbox 20
S 1138Time To Change Your Town78 rpm: Apollo 387; Classics 885, Delmark 683, Properbox 20


The Delmark CD says “Details unknown; Oscar Pettiford, bass; probably Wardell Gray, tenor sax & Gene Philips, guitar.” The same players are listed on 12-inch LP: Route 66 KIX-30 entitled “Wynonie Harris – Playful Baby”. This is certainly not Wardell Gray on this session. Hans-Joachim Schmidt, in his Oscar Pettiford discography, says the tenor player is Jack McVea, as does David Gasten in his Wynonie Harris Discography. Jan Evensmo assures me that this is actually Paul Quinichette on this session.

The Billboard, December 7, 1946 (pages 31 & 113) listed Apollo 378 in its “Advance Record Releases” section, and Apollo 387 was listed in The Billboard's “Advance Record Releases” section in May 10, 1947 (page 122). Most sources say these titles were cut in September of 1945, at which time Wardell was in Chicago with the Hines band. Note that the Delmark CD incorrectly titles S 1138-1 as “Time To Change Your Tune” and S 1137 as “Everybody Boogie”.

Age 25

Arthur Walker, John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis), William “Bill” Douglas (tp); Augustus “Gus” Chappel, Walter “Woogie” Harris, Druie Bess (tb); Clifton “Cliff” Smalls (tb, p, arr); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g); Earl Hines (p, dir); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d); Delores Parker, Essex Scott (“Lord Essex”) (voc).

Recording session for ARA Records, unknown studio, Chicago, IL, mid-February, 1946

1179-3Rosetta -vES78 rpm: ARA 149-B
1180-2Now That You're Mine -vDP #78 rpm: ARA 156-B
1181Straight Life #12-inch LP: Vogue CMDINT 9733; CD: MJCD 148; Properbox 55
1181-1Straight Life (master take) #78 rpm: ARA 156-A; CD: Classics 1041
1182-3BMargie -vES-DP-AW78 rpm: ARA 149-A


These sides are sometimes reported as having been cut in Hollywood in May 1946.

Variety (Daily Edition), “Out Of The Horn's Mouth”, February 15, 1946 (page 8): “Lou Bring, ARA's musical director, flies to Chicago Saturday to supervise Earl Hines' discing 4 sides.”

MJCD 148 contains only the alternate take of Straight Life, Classics 1041 has the master take (I have compared to a 78 rpm pressing of ARA 156). Salemann (p. 5) says: “(N)ote: some sources give Vernon "Geechie" Smith (tp) for Bill Douglas, Mack Lewis and Druie Bess (tb) for Benny Green and Pappy Smith. Vernon "Geechie" Smith was the husband of Delores Parker.”

Arthur Walker (tp, voc); John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis), William “Bill” Douglas (tp); Augustus “Gus” Chappel, Walter “Woogie” Harris, Druie Bess (tb); Clifton “Cliff” Smalls (tb, p, arr); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g); Earl Hines (p, dir); Bill Thompson (vib); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d); Delores Parker, Essex Scott (“Lord Essex”) (voc); George Dvorak, Ernie “Bubbles” Whitman (mc).

AFRS Jubilee, NBC studios, Hollywood, CA, poss. May 6, 1946

7284-1Stomping At The Savoy -vibBTAFRS Jubilee No. 194
7285-1Easy Street -vTTCAFRS Jubilee No. 194
7285-1Kiss Me, Hello -vTTCAFRS Jubilee No. 194
7285-1Rosetta -vESAFRS Jubilee No. 194
7354-1Straight Life #AFRS Jubilee No. 195
7354-1Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin' -vDPAFRS Jubilee No. 195
7354-1Why Was I Born? -vAWAFRS Jubilee No. 195
7355-1Symphony -vLEAFRS Jubilee No. 195
7355-1The Honeydripper -band vocalAFRS Jubilee No. 195
7355-1One O'Clock JumpAFRS Jubilee No. 195


Straight Life (the only title with a Wardell solo) is on MJCD 148. Note the addition of Bill Thompson on vibraphone. Also appearing on Jubilee No. 194 & No. 195 are Tommy Todd with Art Shapiro, and The Les Paul Trio featuring Peggy Lee. The opening/closing themes (One O'Clock Jump) are likely not performed by the Hines band. All titles are on CD: The Jubilee Shows, Vol. 9: Nos. 194 & 195.

Rainer E. Lotz (1985; second edition, Carl A. Hallstrom, 2005):
“According to CLEF MAGAZINE (# 1, June 4, 1946) the soloists are: Vernon Smith, Gene Thomas, Kermit Scott and Bill Thompson.”

The reference is actually from Clef Volume 1, Number 4, June 1946 (page 5), and it is a review of the Hines band at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. No date is given, but Stanley Dance (p. 302) has “Opens Orpheum TH, Los Angeles, 23 Apr. BBD 23 Mar.” and “Review show at Orpheum TH, week of 23 Apr.; features Hines, Smalls, pianos; Scoops Carry, alto sax; Chick Booth, drums, Lord Essex Scott, Delores Parker, vocals, BBD 4 May”. The personnel listed above are in accordance with the Clef review. Dance (page 285) prints extracts “from the publicity manual”, which was probably prepared a short time after Wardell's departure. The manual tells us Smith “joined the band to lead the trumpets in June 1946 after his discharge from the armed forces.” Arthur Walker, Palmer “Fats” Davis and Willie Cook are listed in the manual as well, so it is likely the trumpet section remained stable from June 1946 until at least the remainder of Wardell's stay with the band.

In the trombone section we have (according to the manual) Cliff Smalls, Walter Harris, Joe McLewis and Bennie Green at the end of Wardell's stay, and the Clef review names “Mack Lewis, Clifton Small, Walter Harris, Druie Bess, trombones”. It looks to me as if Joe McLewis replaced Gus Chappel, and Druie Bess was replaced by Bennie Green a short while later.

The California Eagle, May 9, 1946 (page 14):

'Jubilee' Again Scores Heavily
The program “Jubilee” from NBC, which is emceed by the personable Ernest Whitman, scored another tremendous hit last Monday when Mr. Whitman rounded up Earl “Fatha” Hines and orchestra, which scored heavily, Peggy Lee, blonde singer, the Les Paul Trio, Rickey Jordan, and the Town Criers for duty on the Armed Service program.

Hines was good with arrangements on “Rosetta” and “Symphony,” both vocalized by Lord Essex, and “Why Was I Born,” sung by a great new discovery Art Walker, who also plays a fine trumpet. The program lasted a full hour.

Arthur Walker (tp, voc); Vernon Smith, John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis) (tp); Walter “Woogie” Harris, Bennie Green, Joe McLewis (Mack Lewis) (tb); Clifton “Cliff” Smalls (tb, p, arr); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g); Earl Hines (p, dir, voc); Bill Thompson (vib); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d); Delores Parker (voc).

Recording session for ARA Records, Los Angeles, CA, early July 1946

1220I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jelly Roll -vAW, DPAFRS Jubilee No. 268; 78 rpm: Jazz Selection 611, Sterling 3005
1221Oh My Aching Back -vAW, DP, EH78 rpm: Jazz Selection 614
1221Let's Get Started #78 rpm: Jazz Selection 617


The ARA label did not issue this session. See also the entry for Jubilee No. 268.

Let's Get Started is the same tune as Gene Ramey's Say Forward, I'll March, which was cut by Jay McShann and His Orchestra for Decca on December 1, 1943. The McShann release is credited to Marie Ramey-Jay McShann-Skippa Hall and remained unissued until its appearance on the 10-inch Lp DL 5503 titled “Kansas City Memories”. On August 6, 1947 it was recorded by Lionel Hampton as Hamp's Got A Duke and issued on 78 rpm Decca 24248 A (where it was credited to Curley Hamner-Gladys Hampton-Richard Garrette). Incidentally, the opening track on AFRS Jubilee No. 71, performed by McShann's band, is usually listed as “Say Forward, I'll March”. But it is actually "Bottle It", another version of which opens Jubilee No. 72.

Vernon Smith, Arthur Walker, John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis) (tp); Walter “Woogie” Harris, Bennie Green, Joe McLewis (Mack Lewis) (tb); Clifton “Cliff” Smalls (tb, p, arr); George “Scoops” Carry (as, cl); Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); René Hall (el-g); Earl Hines (p, dir); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d).

Recording session for ARA Records, Hollywood, CA, July 1946

1250Throwin' The SwitchAFRS Jubilee No. 268; 78 rpm: Jazz Selection 618
1251Trick-A-Track (Trickatrack) (master take)78 rpm: Jazz Selection 614
1252Bambi (Bamby) (Wambi) #78 rpm: Jazz Selection 618
1253Blue Keys #AFRS Jubilee No. 268; 78 rpm Jazz Selection 617


As was the case with the previous session, these recordings were never issued by ARA. Usually it is claimed that all titles remained unissued until they appeared on the Jazz Selection label in the 1950s. Close examination of Jubilee No. 268 reveals that two of these titles (Throwin' The Switch and Blue Keys) were incorporated into that transcription.

The print version of “The Jazz Discography” by Tom Lord (Volume 9, page H636) lists “Trick a track (alt take)” as on Sterling 3005 and this information has appeared in other Wardell discographies (as well as the Bruyninckx Discography). While 78rpm Sterling 3005 B does say “Trick A Track” (and “1251”) on the label this record actually plays the master take of Spooks Ball.

The information in the run-out groove area of Sterling 3005 is as follows:
I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None O’ This Jelly Roll: STR 3006-A (stamped, scratched out), SR-1220 (etched, scratched out), 3005 A (stamped)
Trick A Track: 3004-A (stamped, scratched out), SR-1251 (etched, scratched out), 3005 B (stamped)

Probable personnel for Scoops Carry's Merry:
Vernon Smith, Arthur Walker, John “Willie” Cook, “Fats Palmer” (Palmer Davis) (tp); Walter “Woogie” Harris, Bennie Green, Joe McLewis (Mack Lewis), Clifton “Cliff” Smalls (tb); George “Scoops” Carry, Lloyd Smith (as); Kermit Scott, Wardell Gray (ts); John Williams (bar); Earl Hines (p, dir); Eugene “Gene” Thomas (b); David “Chick” Booth (d).

16-inch ET: AFRS Jubilee No. 268 (assembled program, various dates)

D-20697Scoops Carry's Merry #AFRS Jubilee No. 268
1250Throwin' The SwitchAFRS Jubilee No. 268, 78 rpm: Jazz Selection 618
1253Blue Keys #AFRS Jubilee No. 268, 78 rpm: Jazz Selection 617
B-10674Boogie Woogie On The St. Louis Blues (incomplete)AFRS Jubilee No. 268, 78 rpm: Bluebird B-10674


This AFRS program presents an assembled “battle of the bands” between Harry James and His Orchestra and the Hines band (along with two numbers by Page Cavanaugh Trio). Two of the Hines titles (Blue Keys and Throwin' The Switch) are ARA recordings from July 1946, presented here with overdubbed applause. Scoops Carry's Merry is announced as “Fatha's Idea” and is sometimes said to have been recorded in 1944 but this is unlikely. It is this compiler's guess that this is a fourth title from the ARA recording session in Los Angeles, cut in early July 1946, but this is merely speculation. Boogie Woogie On The St. Louis Blues is Bluebird B-10674.

Note that there is a performance of Limehouse Blues on Golden Era LP-15059 and its equivalent, CD: Laserlight 15766. The Bruyninckx Discography says “It may be possible that the above title is not by the Earl Hines Orchestra.”

Ernest "Ernie" Royal (tp); Jerome Richardson (as); Eddie Taylor (ts); Earl Boatley (g); Ernie Lewis (p); Vernon Alley (b); Earl Watkins (d).

Recording session for Pacific Records, Los Angeles, CA, prob. late Spring 1946

MS-126Vernon's Alley Blues78 rpm: Pacific 610
MS-127Hit That Jive Jack78 rpm: Pacific 610; CD: Blaze 101


Wardell Gray is not present on these recordings. I list them here because they appear in earlier discographies.

Schlouch and Salemann list: Ernie Royal (tp); poss. Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Joe Mesheux (p); Ernie Lewis (g); Vernon Alley (b); poss. Roy Porter (d). This session also appears in Gazdar's list “Wardell Gray NOT present, contrary to previous information, on the under-mentioned.”

An ad appears for Pacific 610 in the June 29, 1946 of The Billboard. The matrix numbers and personnel are as they appear on my copy of this record. CD: Blaze 101 is entitled “Jiving On Central Ave. Postwar R&B In Los Angeles Volume 1”.

Ernie Royal (tp); Quedelle “Que” Martyn, Hunter Gray, Curtis Lowe (ts); Stanley Morgan (g); Leomine “Leona” Gray (p, voc); Vernon Alley (b); Earl Watkins (d).

Recording session for Trilon Record Mfg. Co., prob. Hollywood or San Francisco, CA, prob. late Spring 1946

T-1037-2Bound To Lose78 rpm: Trilon 120-A
T-1038-2Boogie Woogie Daddy78 rpm: Trilon 121-A
T-1039-2Jam78 rpm: Trilon 120-B
T-1040-2I Ain't Got Nothin' For You To Do78 rpm: Trilon 121-B


Another instance where reports of Gray's presence are incorrect. Tom Lord's “The jazz discography Volume 8” (1994, page 6540) lists “Hunter Gray (ts) [rn Wardell Gray]”. Also listed in Schlouch, Salemann, Gazdar, and Masters Of Jazz (see also the comments section for the following session).

Supposedly “Hunter Gray” is Wardell using a pseudonym, but Hunter Gray was a tenor/alto saxophonist active in California during this period. “Leona Gray” seems to have been another name for Hunter's wife, Leomine Gray, who was the pianist/vocalist in the Hunter Gray Trio:

The Billboard Oct 26, 1946 (page 43) has “Hunter Gray held over for another four weeks at Zanzibar, Sacramento.”

From “Last Word Café Is Ideal for Parties”, The California Eagle, Thursday, May 23, 1946 (page 15): “If you date your party for the evening, Hunter Gray and his accomplished combo will give you the music that pleases your desire, both sweet, swing and boogie.”

The Billboard, August 31, 1946 (page 38): “Hunter Gray Trio, featuring Leomine Gray, held over for another six weeks at Last Word, L. A.”

The San Bernardino County Sun, June 29, 1947 (page 4): “Third Street Presents the Sensational HUNTER GRAY TRIO Featuring LEOMINE GRAY Direct from Billie Bergs”

From Gertrude Gipson's column in The California Eagle, Thursday, July 8, 1948 (page 14):

THE MOST TALENTED fingers in the kingdom of swing are those of Leomine Gray, who is featured with the Hunter Gray trio. The outfit recently concluded a terrific week at the Million Dollar theatre with the famed Ravens and Johnny Otis band. Miss Gray does everything to a piano but make it stand up and whistle "Nature Boy." Her style of playing is refreshing, and she's as talented as she is lovely! Don’t take our word for it, you've got eyes. SO HAVE I ! ! !

Leomine Gray Brightest Star On Musical Horizon
Each week the Million Dollar theatre keeps topping its previous session with a sock flesh package, but the lineup of the Ravens, Johnny Otis’ band and the Hunter Gray trio, which closed the other Tuesday will be a tough one to beat. And that Hunter Gray trio with Leomine Gray on piano. Wow!

The Hunter Gray trio, who recently completed a sock four weeks engagement at the New Orleans club, San Francisco, is made up of Tony Gunn, drums, Hunter, Sax and Lemoine [sic] Gray, pianist and vocals. Of all the dolls who have zoomed across the musical horizon in a blaze of glory during the lear [sic] 1948, Miss Gray is without a doubt the most refreshing.

Somewhat on a Hazel Scott kick, Miss Gray plays more piano with her left hand than La Scott does with both of hers. For personality, she'll make Dorothy Donegan take a back set, which is saying a lot as I consider Miss Donegan to have personality plus. This Gray gal, who authored the Sherman Williams hit, ‘Hello,” is a tall, very attractive brownskin lass who needs only to be discovered by a talent scout to get the one big break her playing raes. [sic] Her slick salesmanship and youhftul [sic] personality is a solid click wherever the Hunter Gray trio plays.

Gray himself (who is very lucky to be married to one so charming and talented as Leomine) is a top saxist having formerly played with some of the country's leading dance orchestras. He formed his trio a few months ago and with Gunn beating them skins Mrs. Gray's little boy Hunter can just sit back and relax and wait as they're bound to be "discovered." They play too much music not to be. As for Leomine, well . . . remember that name as you'll be hearing plenty about her one of these not-too-distant days. I don't know which I would rather do, listen to her play the piano or kiss her. Musically, that's a compliment!


Gazdar did not have access to these recordings. He names the band the “Vernon Alley Band featuring Leona Gray”, and incorrectly names the Trilon 121 sides “Boogiewoogie Daddy” and “I Ain't Got Nothin' For You”. He dates this session “Aug. 1946”, but Trilon 121 is listed in the “Advance Record Data” section of the June 29, 1946 issue of The Billboard.

Salemann specifies “ts-solo: WG” for Jam and supplies an asterisk for the two titles on Trilon 121 (indicating “it is not known if W. Gray plays a solo”).

Evensmo: “WG has been reported to be present under the pseudonym of “Hunter Gray” on the LEONA GRAY ACCOMPANIED BY QUEDELLYS MARTYN AND HIS ORCHESTRA session in San Francisco, ca. 1946, four titles for Trilon. However, from Dieter Salemann comes the info that there really exists a tenorsax player named Hunter Gray! The few traces of tenorsax on Trilon 120 do not indicate WG either.”

Ernest “Ernie” Royal (tp); Jerome Richardson (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Bob Skinner (p); Vernon Alley (b); Dick Saltzman (d); Brad Curtis (arr).

Recording session for Trilon, San Francisco, CA, prob. August 1946

L01-1-X1T Zone #78 rpm: Trilon 127-B, CD: MJCD 148
L03-3For You #78 rpm: Trilon 127-A, CD: MJCD 148, Acrobat ACTRCD 9011
L04-2Out Of Nowhere #78 rpm: Trilon 126-B, CD: MJCD 148
L05-3-X1Benzadreams78 rpm: Trilon 126-A


Wardell does not solo on Benzadreams, which has never been reissued.

Claude Carrière, from the liner notes to MJCD 148:
“In July 1946 Wardell left Hines and decided to settle in California. In August he took part in two San Francisco sessions led by bass player Vernon Alley, known for his earlier work with Lionel Hampton and Count Basie and, later, a U.S. Navy band. The first session spotlights vocalist Leona Gray and contains no tenor solo. However, Wardell can be heard on three of the four numbers from the second session. On For You his all too brief solo ends with a crisply played, well-placed sixteenth-note phrase, which is probably the earliest influence of bop on his playing.”

Ernie Royal (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Ivory Joe Hunter (p, voc); Chuck Walker (d); others unidentified.

Recording session for Pacific Records, San Francisco, CA, poss. September 1946

PR-150We're Gonna Boogie -vIJH #78 rpm: Pacific 621; 12-inch Lp: Route 66 KIX-15; CD: Classics 5015, MJCD 161, ST CD1
PR-151Why Did You Lie? -vIJH78 rpm: Pacific 622; CD: Classics 5015


We're Gonna Boogie is usually listed as from 1947 - although Salemann does say "1946 (?)". Claude Van Raefelgem has pointed out that both Pacific 621 and 622 are listed in the "Advance Record Releases" section of The Billboard, September 28, 1946 (page 34).

I do not know which other tracks, if any, were recorded at this session. The remaining titles issued on Pacific 621 and 622 are as follows:

MS-105I'm Sorry -vIJH78 rpm: Pacific 622; CD: Classics 5015
MS-133Heavy Hearted Blues -vIJH78 rpm: Pacific 621; CD: Classics 5015

My guess is these are not from the same session. According to the labels on the original records, We're Gonna Boogie and Why Did You Lie are by “Ivory Joe Hunter and his Big Band” and have consecutive matrix numbers. Heavy Hearted Blues and I'm Sorry are by “Ivory Joe Hunter and His Combo” (again according to the Pacific labels) and the matrix numbers are out of sequence.

I remain unconvinced that Why Did You Lie and We're Gonna Boogie both come from the same session. Regardless, I do not hear Wardell Gray on any side other than We're Gonna Boogie.

Wardell Gray (ts); Michael “Dodo” Marmarosa (p); George “Red” Callender (b); Harold “Doc” West (d).

Recording session at Sunset Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA, November 23, 1946

162Dell's Bells (take 1) (false start)unissued
162Dell's Bells (take 2) (false start)unissued
162-1Dell's Bells (take 3) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Black Lion BLP 60106; CD: BLCD 760106
162Dell's Bells (take 4) (false start)unissued
162Dell's Bells (take 5) (false start)unissued
162-2Dell's Bells (take 6) (incomplete take)12-inch LP: Black Lion BLP 60106; CD: BLCD 760106
162Dell's Bells (take 7) (breakdown)unissued
162-3Dell's Bells (take 8) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Black Lion BLP 60106; CD: BLCD 760106
163One For Prez (take 1) (false start)unissued
163One For Prez (take 2) (breakdown)unissued
163One For Prez (Marmarosa warm-up)unissued
163-1One For Prez (take 3) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Black Lion BLP 60106; CD: BLCD 760106
163One For Prez (take 4) (false start)unissued
163-2One For Prez (take 5) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Black Lion BLP 60106; CD: BLCD 760106
162Dell's Bells (take 9) (incomplete take) #unissued
162-4Dell's Bells (take 10) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Fontana FJL-907
162-5Dell's Bells (take 11) (master take) #78 rpm: J.S. 797
163One For Prez (Marmarosa warm-up)unissued
163-3One For Prez (take 6) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Black Lion BLP 60106; CD: BLCD 760106
163One For Prez (take 7) (breakdown)unissued
163-4One For Prez (take 8) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Fontana FJL-907
163One For Prez (take 9) (breakdown)unissued
163-5One For Prez (take 7) (master take) #78 rpm: J.S. 803
164The Man I Love (take 1) (false start)unissued
164-1The Man I Love (take 2) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Fontana FJL-907
164-2The Man I Love (take 3) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Black Lion BLP 60106; CD: BLCD 760106
164-3The Man I Love (take 4) (master take) #78 rpm: J.S. 803
165-1Easy Swing (take 1) (complete take) #12-inch LP: Fontana FJL-907
165-2Easy Swing (take 2) (master take) #78 rpm: J.S. 797

Same as above, except Chuck Thompson (d) replaces West:

166-1The Great Lie - Part I (master take) #78 rpm: J.S. 805
166-2The Great Lie - Part II (master take) #78 rpm: J.S. 805


Recordings from this session remained unissued for many years. All complete takes (and one incomplete take of Dell's Bells) were eventually issued by Black Lion, on LP and CD: 60106.

Schlouch wrote: “The Great Lie was originally issued in France but was later bootlegged on a two-part 78rpm entitled 'The Great Lee'.” CD: Classics 1264 presented the two-part version from Jazz Selection 805 (as The Great Lee).

Alun Morgan, excerpted from the liner notes to 12-inch Lp: Fontana FJL-907:

Not the least surprising aspect of their issue is the discovery of the original recording sheets which show that the titles were made on November 23, 1946 (a fact confirmed by the original master acetates which also carry this same date). Until the issue of this present LP it was believed that the session took place during the summer of 1950 when Gray was a member of the Count Basie Sextet. This new information is important in that (a) it proves that Wardell was already a mature soloist with a readily-identifiable style of his own at the age of 25 and (b) the tune Easy swing, which is virtually the same as Charlie Parker's Steeplechase, was recorded by Gray nearly two years before Parker's version of the tune.

Parker’s Steeplechase was recorded for Savoy in New York on September 24, 1948.

Alun Morgan, excerpted from the liner notes to the Black Lion CD:

The complete session is contained here, false starts, snippets of studio conversation, previously unissued takes. It is the most revealing document for admirers of this singular saxophonist, master of his instrument and a man who appreciated the grace and elegance of Lester Young as much as he understood and used the rhythmic options and harmonic extensions of the boppers. There is nothing to be gained by giving a blow-by-blow account of the music for its clarity and timelessness are self-evident. It may be worth providing a few sign-posts; Dell's Bells is, harmonically, What Is This Thing Called Love and you can appreciate the difficulties the quartet had in daringly trying to get into the theme statement on the early run-through without the help of Doc West's hi-hat rhythm. One For Prez uses the chords of How High The Moon and the loping Easy Swing is, in fact, a tune which Charlie Parker recorded almost exactly two years later under the title Steeplechase, claiming the composer credit himself. The three takes of Man I Love are masterpieces of re-composition for none of George Gershwin's melody remains as Gray produces some of the most memorable ballad tenor you will ever hear. With the four tunes satisfactorily recorded the session was over. Or was it? It seems likely that Doc West had to leave and it is possible that Chuck Thompson, a friend of both Wardell and Hampton Hawes (who may well have been in attendance at the date as a spectator, for he was close to Wardell), took over at the drums for the spontaneous The Great Lie, based on the Fine And Dandy chord sequence.

The “false starts, snippets of studio conversation” referred to by Morgan were not included on the CD or LP - they remain unissued. The take/matrix numbers assigned by Black Lion do not correspond to what is heard on my copy, which appears to present nearly the complete session. The take numbers listed above correspond to what is heard on the tape. Unfortunately, there are no outtakes of The Great Lie, nor is there studio chatter to help explain Chuck Thompson's replacing West for that title only. The take numbers I have assigned above assume the first take heard to be take 1.

Mark Gardner, excerpted from “The Complete Dial Sessions”:

A glance through the Dial discography shows that Dial used a decimal numbering system starting at D1000, with the third digit changing for the next nine sessions before the series rolled on to D1100 and so on. A check through the session numbers reveals that there is no allocation for the D1061 option. The omission between the two Charlie Parker dates that were allocated the D1051 (February 19th.) and D1071 (February 26, 1947) series of matrix numbers has always intrigued producer Tony Williams, who has a plausible theory.

Ross Russell was friendly with Eddie Laguna, who supervised a good many jazz recording sessions in Hollywood during the 1940s, and in fact was recruited by Ross to produce the Marmarosa Trio set in December 1947. Russell greatly admired the work of tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray, and signed him to record for Dial as a leader, but recalls that he was never able to organize a Gray date. A musician always in great demand Wardell's working itinery [sic] with various bands created availability complications.

Tony Williams believes it is just possible that Russell may have asked Laguna to produce a Wardell Gray date, and that this might have been the Dell's Bells/One For Prez session supervised by Laguna on November 23, 1946. It all happened nearly 50 years ago and details can be forgotten and Ross believes had he been offered that music by Laguna he would have released it. “I love Wardell and those sides are very good” he says. Laguna, realising the date had turned out especially well, decided to release the music himself later. It certainly is peculiar that the music was never issued in the USA and initially only appeared on the European labels Jazz Selection and Vogue. The session was eventually acquired in its entirety from Laguna by Alan Bates in the 1960s. “Further evidence that the session may have been made for Dial in mind is that the rhythm section of Marmarosa, Callender and West, is that used by Dial for the Parker All Stars session held on February 26. 1947. If indeed the Gray session was actually recorded on February 23, rather than November 23, it would have slotted perfectly into the missing D1061 slot!

The clincher, as far as Tony Williams is concerned, is the matrix number pattern allotted to the Gray material. These run 162, 163, 164 etc. All that is missing is the zero after the 1. It is a pretty convincing thesis, when all the evidence is examined, especially since there is no other explanation for the missing Dial mystery session.

I disagree with Gardner’s hypothesis (as Bob Porter has told me “it’s too early for Dial and Wardell”). There is some evidence this session may have been originally recorded for Keynote Records:

The Billboard, July 20, 1946 (page 21):

Keynote’s New Exec Set-Up; Ebbins May Head H’Wood Office

HOLLYWOOD, July 13. —Keynote Records, indie diskery which started in the East long before current record entry fad set in, is concentrating on West Coast output following a recent $300,000 issue of stock and a new board of directors set-up which includes Norman Corwin, Paul Robeson, Wee J. Cobb and John Hammond Jr. Eric Bernay continues as prexy of firm.

Outfit is taking over one of Capitol’s offices at Sunset and Vine, and following recent acquisition of their own pressing facilities here, are adding a milling and plating plant to their Hollywood operation.

Record Research reprinted the following in issue 146/147 (May/June 1977):


The Billboard 1946-’47 Encyclopedia of Music

Keynote Records . . . . . . Adv. 380 Rec 285, 290, 312

A lot of indie disk labels have two feet planted squarely in the air, but Eric Bernay’s Keynote firm isn’t one of them. In over six years of catering to progressive disk collectors —Keynote has been as fearless about its politically tenured tallow as it has been scrupulous about its standards for jazz in the modern idiom — firm has rung up sound profits. Up to now Bernay contracted for his pressings on the outside, but a brand-new company-owned plant in Compton, Calif., augurs a bigger and brighter future for the Keynoters. New factory, which is completely equipped with plating, biscuiting and pressing facilities, will soon have its counterpart on the East Coast, according to announced plans. Keynote does its national distributing direct thru offices in New York, Chi and Hollywood. Aside from prexy Bernay, execs include R.Weinstein, secretary-treasurer; Will Yolen, national promotion manager; Harry Lim, recording supervisor, and Ed Laguna, assistant to the prexy. Offices located at 1469 North Vine, Hollywood and 522 Fifth Avenue, New York.

Variety, Wednesday, December 4, 1946 (Vol. 164, No. 13) (page 53):

Dodo Marmaroso, Red Callender and Wardell Gray waxed Keynote’s first sides to be made here since the plattery’s West Coast ho's opened . . .

The Billboard, September 13, 1947 (page 21):

Keynote Gets U. S. Rights to Czech Platters
NEW YORK, Sept. 6.—Keynote Recording. Inc., until recently specializing in the select hot jazz disk field, will make a strong bid for the classical record markets in announcing the acquisition of a complete catalog of symphonic recording under Czech government control. The arrangement, made with the government of Czechoslovakia, was confirmed in a cable from Prague to John Hammond, president of the Keynote Corporation, and makes available a complete collection of outstanding European recordings and music, previously impossible to obtain. . . . Keynote, as part of its side of the deal, will furnish the European diskery with some of its masters. Deal was negotiated for Hammond by Hughes Panassie, eminent French music critic and diskery exec for Pathe Marconi waxworks. Meanwhile, Keynote started shipping its first disks under the new Hammond reign. Firm sent out its waxing of Dumbarton Oaks Concerto and five hot jazz packages including disks by Lennie Tristano, George Barnes, Dave Lambert and Buddy Stewart, Willie Smith and an all-star tenor saxmen's album.

The Billboard, February 28, 1948 (page 22):

Absorption of Keynote Nears
NEW YORK, Feb. 21. — Mercury Records probably will complete absorption of the Keynote diskery within the next few weeks, it has been learned. Official approval of terms of a stock-exchange agreement between Mercury and Keynote stockholders must wait on a formal meeting of Keynote holders to be held within 10 days. It is virtually certain, however, that they will be okayed since the majority of stockholders, led by Keynote Prexy John Hammond, who is also a veepee in Mercury, reportedly set up the initial plan.

If formal approval is rendered Mercury will take over the entire Keynote pop, jazz and folk catalog. Already handling Keynote’s classical line (as well as the Keynote-acquired Czech longhair catalog), Mercury will be adding to its pot of masters items cut by Dinah Washington, Lennie Tristano, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Chubby Jackson, Bill Harris, Roy Eldridge and others. These will be issued by Mercury under a Mercury-Keynote label.

The Billboard, March 20, 1948 (page 16):

Bernay Returns To Platter Biz
NEW YORK, March 13. —Eric Bernay, former head of Keynote Records, who sold most of his interests in that firm to John Hammond almost a year ago, has quietly returned to disk biz activity.

Prior to inactivation of Keynote (absorbed last week by Mercury Records), Bernay bought into Eddie Laguna’s Sunset Record firm, which turned out mainly hot jazz and race records. Bernay and Laguna now are reactivating the Sunset catalog and will supplement that with new jazz wax. The latter consists mostly of the Gene Norman-Laguna bashes which were tabbed Just Jazz, a Coast counterpart to Jazz at the Philharmonic. The initial Just Jazz release, a 12-inch disk, will be available shortly. Distribution has been set for New York, Boston and Chicago so far.

Bernay will also put out some disks on his own label, Theme Records. Most of these disking will be culled from Keynote masters which were not handed over to Mercury and are mainly folk wax.

Howard McGhee (tp); Jack Teagarden (tb); Woody Herman (cl, mc); Ted Nash, Wardell Gray, Herbie Steward (Herbie Stewart) (ts); Tommy Todd (p); Charlie Drayton (b); Jackie Mills (d); Gene Norman (mc).

KFWB Radio broadcast, “Dancing On A Dime” concert, Joseph Le Conte Junior High School, Hollywood, CA, January 30, 1947

?The Medium Blues (Another Blues) #AFRS Jubilee 228; 12-inch LP: Jazum 56; CD: MJCD 161


For many years it was believed this recording originated from a “Just Jazz” concert, held either at Shrine Auditorium or Civic Auditorium on January 10, 1947. The correct date and venue were established by Joe Showler: the event was a benefit concert for the March Of Dimes held at the Joseph Le Conte Junior High School playground. Several titles from this event were used for AFRS Jubilee 228, 229, and 291. These recordings were combined with additional material, also featuring Woody Herman (possibly this material was recorded January 10, 1947). Gazdar and Masters of Jazz have Gray soloing on “The Medium Blues” only; Salemann wrote “2nd ts-solo:WG” for “Cotton Tail”. The brief solo on “Cotton Tail”, which can be heard on Jubilee 228 and Jazum 56, does not sound like Wardell to me.

The California Eagle, Thursday, January 30, 1947 (page 18):


Juke Box Faves in Big Show
Promising to be the greatest outdoor show and dance ever presented in the Southland, KFWB's “Dancing On a Dime” Is Set for Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to Midnight at Le Conte Junior High playground, Van Ness and Fernwood, for the March of Dimes. Scores of stars of screen, radio and recordings will appear on the five and a half hour program, which will be emceed by such top-flight disc jockeys as Bill Anson, Martin Block, Frank Bull, Stuart Hamblen, Lou Marcelle, Maurice Hart, Gene Norman and Peter Potter. The public is invited to attend, and admission will be free. The ninety-foot stage will be divided into two sections, so there will be continuous entertainment and music without interruption. The dance floor will simulate a gigantic dime.

Definitely set to appear on the program are such stars as Dinah Shore, George Montgomery, Judy Canova, Harry James, Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, Helen Forrest, Dick Haymes, Betty Hutton, Andy Russell, Betty Rhodes, Phil Harris, Joe Stafford, Spike Jones and the City Slickers, Margaret Whitling, Hoagy Carmichael, John Mercer, the Pied Pipers, Freddy Martin, Charlie Spivak, Art Kassel, Dick Stabile, Al Donahue, Pinky Tomlin, Hadda Brook, Matt Dennis, Clark Dennis, Paul Weston, Louann Hogan, Page Cavanaugh Trio, Mel Torme, Slim Gaillard, Frank Duvol, Louis Jordan, Dave Barbour, Jack ("Open the Door, Richard") McVea, Betty Hall Jones, Gene Phillips, Joe Liggins and his Honey Drippers, Earl Spencer and his Band, Herb Jeffries, Ricky Jordan, Hal Derwun, Johnny White Quartet, Emma Lou Welch, Buddy Baker, Woody Herman, Spade Cooley and his Band, Ken Curtis, Connie Haines, Franke Laine, Tommy Talbert and his Band, Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, the Basin Street Boys, the Star Lighters, Tex Tyler, the Merry Macs and Peter Meremblum and 100-piece Junior Symphony.

Among interesting sidelights, Stuart Hamblen will present his famous race horse, EL LOBO. A special theme song was written for the occasion by Harry Mears and Belmont Parker called “Dancing On a Dime” and recorded by Herb Jeffries and Johnny Moore and the Three Blazers.

TORRANCE HERALD, January 23, 1947 (page 2-B):

Big Outdoor Show In LA. Part Of March Of Dimes

As part of the nation-wide March of dimes campaign, radio station KFWB will present “Dancing On a Dime,” a mammoth outdoor show and street dance with free admission, at Le Conte Junior High playground, Van Ness and Fernwood one block south of Sunset Blvd., from 6:30 p.m. to midnight on January 30. With a 90-foot stage and dance floor simulating a gigantic dime, the continuous parade of entertainment world big names will be emceed by leading disc jockeys and radio personalities including Bill Anson, Frank Bull, Stuart Hamblen, Maurice Hart, Lou Macrcelle, Gene Norman and Peter Potter, and will feature top notch band and film, radio and recording artists.

Howard McGhee (tp); Charlie Parker (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Michael “Dodo” Marmarosa (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); George “Red” Callender (b); Don Lamond (d).

Recording session for Dial, C. P. MacGregor Studio, Hollywood, CA, February 26, 1947

D 1071-ARelaxin' At Camarillo #78 rpm: Dial 1030
D 1071-CRelaxin' At Camarillo (master take) #78 rpm: Dial 1012
D 1071-DRelaxin' At Camarillo #12-inch LP: Dial LP 901
D 1071-ERelaxin' At Camarillo #10-inch LP: Dial LP 202
D 1072-ACheers #10-inch LP: Dial LP 202
D 1072-BCheers #12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ-103
D 1072-CCheers #12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ-103
D 1072-DCheers (master take) #78 rpm: Dial 1013-A
D 1073-ACarvin' The Bird #78 rpm: Dial 1013-B, 12-inch Lp: Dial LP901
D 1073-BCarvin' The Bird (master take) #78 rpm: Dial 1013-B, 12-inch Lp: Dial LP1
D 1074-AStupendous (master take) #78 rpm: Dial 1022-A
D 1074-bStupendous #10-inch LP: Dial LP 202


These are Charlie Parker's final recordings for Dial before his return to the East Coast. Some pressings of Dial 1013 have the -A take of Carvin' The Bird, other pressings have take -B.

Mark Gardner, liner notes to Dial Collectors' Jazz Vol. 5:
“This was one of those rare dates on which every musician plays his assigned role to perfection and it is no wonder that, given the quality of the personnel, the performances are so richly rewarding. This was the only studio meeting between Bird and Gray whose relaxed resourcefulness almost matches the beauty of the leader's solos. Gray was arguably the most accomplished tenor player of the bop era. He had arrived at a unique and utterly personal synthesis based on the styles of Parker and Lester Young – fluent, and endlessly resourceful.”

Age 26

Billy Eckstine (tb, voc, dir); Ray Linn (tp); Gerald “Jerry” Valentine (tb); William “Sonny” Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Warren Bracken (p); unknown (g); John Willie “Shifty” Henry (b); Ken “Tim” Kennedy (d).

Recording session for National, Los Angeles, CA, April 21, 1947

NSC 257All Of Me -vBE78 rpm: National 9041
NSC 258Where Are You? -vBE12-inch LP: Regent MG 6054
NSC 259Prelude To A Kiss -vBE 12-inch LP: Regent MG 6053
NSC 260She's Got Blues For Sale –vBE (master take) #78 rpm: National 9041
NSC 260She's Got Blues For Sale –vBE #CD: SVY-17125
NSC 261What's New? -vBE78 rpm: National 9096
NSC 262Serenade In Blue -vBE78 rpm: National 9132
NSC 263-BIn My Solitude –vBE78 rpm: National 9086
NSC 264Sophisticated Lady -vBE78 rpm: National 9049


Wardell solos only on (She's Got The) Blues For Sale. Usually this is listed as “(She's Got The) Blues For Sale”, but “She's Got Blues For Sale” is printed on the original 78. The alternative take first appeared on SVY-17125. The personnel listed here is from the liner notes to that release.

Schlouch's listing differs. “There Are Such Things” is listed (N258) – no number for Prelude To A Kiss. Also an alternate for Prelude To A Kiss is listed (as on “CBS/Sony(Jap)Sopl-54-SY”).

Salemann lists the Eckstine recordings for National (NSC 404-NSC 411) as by “Billy Eckstine (voc), accompanied by probably Al Killian group.” Classics 1142 says “BILLY ECKSTINE: vocal overdubbed on studio band.”

Al Killian (tp); Billy Eckstine (v-tb, voc); Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); prob. Hampton Hawes (p); poss. Shep Shepard (b); poss. Chuck Thompson (d).

“The Billy Berg Show”, radio broadcast from Billy Berg’s Supper Club, Hollywood, CA, April 23, 1947

The Creep (theme) + (announcement) (Billy Berg)unissued
What’s New –voc Billy Eckstineunissued
Serenade In Blue –voc Billy Eckstineunissued
Good Lookin’ Fella –voc Mabel Scottunissued
Out Of Nowhere #unissued
Just You, Just Me #unissued
Prisoner Of Love –voc Billy Eckstineunissued
Emanon #unissued


Billy Berg: “And it’s the Billy Berg show. See what I mean? Sounds like we got a big house. From Billy Berg’s, 1356 North Vine Street, it’s the music of Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra, with Mabel Scott singer and Gene Phillips’ trio. And now at this time let me introduce in person the star of our show: Billy Eckstine!”

The complete broadcast has been preserved. One title is performed by the Gene Phillips Trio (following What’s New). Besides Killian and Eckstine the personnel are not named but certainly Wardell and Criss are heard soloing at here.

Wardell Gray (ts); Errol Garner (p); Jackie Mills (d).

Rehearsal, poss. Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA, April 29, 1947

Blue Lou #12-inch LP: FJL 907


It is not clear to me that this recording comes from the same location/date as the following concert but it seems likely.

Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA, April 29, 1947

Howard McGhee (tp); William “Sonny” Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Dodo Marmarosa (p); George “Red” Callender or Charles Drayton (b); Jackie Mills (d); Gene Norman (mc); Jack Little (ann).

D-19969-1Be Bop #AFRS Jubilee 261; 12-inch LP: GNP Crescendo K18P 6259/61
Groovin' High #12-inch LP: GNP Crescendo K18P 6259/61
Hot House #12-inch LP: GNP Crescendo K18P

Wardell Gray (ts); Errol Garner (p); Irving Ashby (el-g); George “Red” Callender (b); Jackie Mills (d).

Blue Lou #12-inch LP: GNP Crescendo K18P 6259/61, FJL 907

Howard McGhee (tp); Victor “Vic” Dickenson (tb); Benny Carter (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Errol Garner (p); Irving Ashby (el-g); George “Red” Callender or Charles Drayton (b); Jackie Mills (d).

D-19971One O'Clock Jump #AFRS Jubilee 262; 12-inch LP: GNP Crescendo K18P 6259/61


There is much more to this concert - only the titles featuring Wardell are listed above. Gene Norman is heard introducing “Groovin' High” on Jubilee 261 but the title played is "Be Bop." Lotz states “Pre-recording date: June 23, 1947” for Jubilee 261's “Groovin' High” ("Be Bop"). GNP Crescendo K18P 6259/61 is a three-record set titled “Gene Norman Presents Just Jazz Concerts (1947~49)”. All titles are on CD: MJCD 171, Giants Of Jazz CD 53317 and many other releases.

The Billboard, April 12, 1947 (page 34):

Disk Jockey Gene Norman (KFWB) will stage the first in a planned series of Gene Norman Presents Just Jazz concerts April 29, at Pasadena Civic Aud. Names already set for the bill include Benny Goodman, Benny Carter and Red Norvo. Norman will emsee [sic] the two-and-a-half hour session.

Ross Firestone, “Swing, Swing, Swing” (Chapter titled “Benny's Bop”, pages 342-343):

On April 29, 1947, Benny had made one of his increasingly rare public appearances playing at a Just Jazz concert in Pasadena with a small group featuring Red Norvo and Jimmy Rowles. The other headliners included Benny Carter, Peggy Lee, Charlie Barnet, Erroll Garner and a bop band led by Howard McGhee with the young saxophonist Wardell Gray. The concert had gone well, filling every one of the almost three thousand seats in the large municipal auditorium, and Benny was in excellent form, “a treat for those who had decided on the basis of his work on the air that he had run out of everything except shakes and trills,” as one review reported. But the real star of the evening was the relatively obscure Wardell Gray, who had been working in Billy Eckstine's backup band at Billy Berg's nightclub in Los Angeles and was just beginning to gain a reputation among the more aware jazz fans.

The twenty-six-year old tenor man was an unusually accomplished and versatile musician. Influenced by both Benny's old favorite Lester Young and Charlie Parker, with whom he had recorded a few months earlier, he combined Lester's characteristic sound and phrasing with Parker's advanced conception, bridging the gap between the old jazz and the new with long-lined, loose-limbed solos notable for their warmth, lucidity and unfaltering sense of swing. Over the course of the evening he proved equally adept playing high-powered pressure cooker bebop with Howard McGhee and more relaxed swing-oriented jazz with Erroll Garner. The recording of “Blue Lou” made with Garner at the concert contains what is widely regarded as one of his finest solos and was awarded the French Grand Prix du Disque the following year. Benny was also impressed with Wardell's playing. “If he's bop, that's great,” he enthused. “He's wonderful.” When Benny took part in another Just Jazz concert that December, he invited Wardell to join him onstage for several numbers, laying the groundwork for an experiment that was to free him from his heavy dependence on the past.

From “Flights of the Vout Bug: A Guide to the Recorded Music of Michael "DoDo" Marmarosa” by Dieter Salemann and Fabian Grob:
Gene Norman remembers the bassist with the Howard McGhee All Stars . . . to have been Red Callender, who indeed is listed for some (or all) of their titles in the standard discographies and on many of the LP- or CD-reissues. Nevertheless Norman himself, when concluding AFRS Jubilee Program No. 261 with his sign off, mentions Charlie Drayton as bassist on BE-BOP. On the same occasion he wrongly announces this title as GROOVIN' HIGH. As Gene Norman seems to be no reliable source, it remains uncertain who actually played bass on these titles. Elaine Cohen in her discography to Red Callender's autobiography Unfinished Dream does not include these titles.

Melba Liston (tb); Dexter Gordon (ts); Charles Fox (p); George “Red” Callender (b); Chuck Thompson (d).

Recording session for Dial, C. P. MacGregor Studio, Hollywood, CA, June 5, 1947

D 1082-CLullaby In Rhythm78 rpm: Dial 1038-A


Wardell is not on this session, but the above title appears as “Gray's Thing” on Design LP DLP183 (Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Wardell Gray) credited to “Dexter Gordon & Wardell Gray”.

Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (ts); Jimmy Bunn (p); George “Red” Callender (b); Chuck Thompson (d).

Recording session for Dial, C. P. MacGregor Studio, Hollywood, CA, June 12, 1947

D 1083-CThe Chase (false start)10-inch LP: Dial 211
D 1083-DThe Chase, part one #78 rpm: Dial 1017-A
D 1084-DThe Chase, part two #78 rpm: Dial 1017-B

The remainder of this session is by the Dexter Gordon Quartet – the same personnel as above minus Wardell.

D 1085-BChromatic Aberration78 rpm: Dial 1054-A
D 1085-CIridescence (Chromatic Aberration) (master take)12-inch LP: SPJ 133
D 1086-AIt's The Talk Of The Town, I (On The Town)12-inch LP: SPJ 130
D 1086-BIt's The Talk Of The Town, II (Talk Of The Town)78 rpm: Dial 1038-B
D 1087-ABikini (Blues Bikini) (All Men Are Cremated Equal)78 rpm: Dial 1054-B


Blues Bikini appears as “GG Tenor” on Design LP DLP183, credited to “Dexter Gordon & Wardell Gray”. Besides this title and Lullaby In Rhythm from June 5, 1947, three more recordings on this record appear to be credited to Wardell (“J.C.'s Theme”, High And Low” and “Motley's Jazz”), judging by the LP's front cover. The label attributes them to Frank Motley. Wardell Gray does not appear anywhere on this album – although he is listed in the title and a photograph of him appears on the front cover.

Mark Gardner, liner notes to Dial Collectors' Jazz Vol. 7:
"The Chase was the main purpose of Dexter's second session – the idea being to duplicate the jam session jousts between the two saxophonists. To allow them more time and space almost seven minutes were allocated and the performance was issued on both sides of a 78 rpm record. This disc outsold everything in the Dial catalogue – even the Charlie Parker sides. The tenors were backed up by a trio from the Bird-in-the-Basket, Jimmy Bunn, Red Callender and Chuck Thompson. The first two takes have been lost, and as is the case with the third they were probably false starts, but the D take is complete and gives some idea of the excitement and power this pair was able to generate."

The entire session is on CD: Stash STB-2513 and MJCD 156


Lewis Oles (tp); Teddy Edwards (ts, arr); Wardell Gray (ts); 3 unknown (reeds); unknown (p); unknown (b); unknown (d).

Recording session for Dick Bock, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1947 (?)

Before Dawn #78rpm 16-inch disc (unissued?)


I have not heard this recording, which may be lost. Malcolm Walker, in his Wardell Gray Discography (page 40), wrote “Cadence, April 1994, page 13 includes the news that Wardell Gray and Teddy Edwards were in the Lewis Oles Big Band which was Dick Bock's first recording session. No other details.” This session is listed in Bob Weir's Teddy Edwards discography (page 21) with the date “c. early 1958”. Weir's source is also the April 1994 issue of Cadence (“Teddy Edwards Interview Taken & Transcribed by Bob Rusch”).

Possibly the trumpeter named by Edwards is the same Louis Oles who played for Buddy Rich's band (see “Mister, I Am the Band! Buddy Rich - His Life and Travels” by Doug Meriwether and Clarence C. Hintze).

Fred Jung: When jazz historians refer to West Coast jazz, they are making mention of white musicians like Chet Baker, Russ Freeman, Dave Brubeck, Shelly Manne, Art Pepper, and Gerry Mulligan.

Teddy Edwards: Well, let me explain something to you, Fred, on why that came about. You see, Dick Bock at Pacific Jazz, Wardell Gray and I made his first record for him for free. He brought a trumpet player up to Salinas, California. He was a hippie type guy, who could play little on the trumpet, but somehow, Dick Bock wanted to record him. I did a five saxophone arrangement for one of my songs called, “Before Dawn,” that he recorded and that was his first venture into recording. Later on, when he decided to start Pacific Jazz label, I was working at the Lighthouse.

Cadence, Vol. 20, No. 4, April 1994 (page 13):

CAD: Perception is that the West Coast Jazz scene more than most has been polarized racially.

T.E.: When the West Coast Jazz thing cranked up Dick Bock [Pacific Jazz Records] came down and checked everybody out and he hired all the other guys and not me. I couldn't quite understand it 'cause I was the star, the one drawing the people. And I had been on the very first record he had ever made and did it for him for free, with Wardell Gray. He brought a trumpet player named Lewis Oles from Salina, California, who was nothing as a trumpet player hardly. I wrote an arrangement on one of my compositions, “Before Dawn” for five saxophones and one trumpet. Lewis Oles was the leader and he was the worst musician in the band.
     See, the recording companies out of the East recorded mostly Black musicians, with exceptions of guys like Zoot Sims, Stan Getz and a few others. The music was hard and swinging out of the East and was light and delicate out of the West Coast thing. The Jazz out of the East was heavy and Black and out of the West light and White, that's the way it sounded. We had plenty of hard hitters there but we didn't get recorded. Sonny Criss, Hampton Hawes, Wardell, all of us, but we were ignored for mostly a racial thing. It was very racially motivated.

Han Schulte interviewed Teddy Edwards on October 3rd, 1980. Teddy again talks about this record - I have transcribed the relevant exchange:

Han Schulte: I was checking about the record you made in 1947...

Teddy Edwards: Uh-huh.

HS: And uh - you spelled the name to Peter last night, on the telephone, “Louie Oles...”, you know..

TE: Oh, right!

HS: And he was the leader,

TE: Uh, Louis... Louis... Louis Oles. Right! And it was War- it was Pacific Jazz's first record, produced by - it was Dick Bocks who own - Dick Bock who owned Pacific Jazz records - that was his first record production. And we made up in a little studio up in Wes-- in the same one I had made the earlier things I made with Benny Bailey, at the same location.

HS: He was the producer?

TE: Dick Bock was the producer.

HS: But Louie Oles was playing trumpet.

TE: He was the trumpet player. He - Dick Bock brought us from some little town up north, in about the middle of California to make this record, and we made the record with him. And, ahhh - I'm gonna see if his ex-wife has still got that copied rec - 'cause he had that record and I might be able to get you, get a tape on it.

HS: Yeah?

TE: Because she did have the record, his -- Dorothy, his second wife, she had that record.

HS: Well, because - I checked all the, all the Pacific lists, you know…

TE: It's not on there.

HS: But, -- no?

TE: I don't think it's on there.

HS: Never issued?

TE: It was issued, but not after they started making album, it was on a, it was on a, it was on a big disc but it wasn't like a thirty-three and a third disc... This was around 1947.

HS: They made some albums, you know, they call it Jazz West Coast Volume One, Volume Two...

TE: No, not on that. Not on that, not on that.

HS: No? Never made out, never, uh - issued?

TE: It was never on an album. It was issued! But never on an album.

HS: So, it's 78, uh...

TE: Right. It was on a big disc, but it was 78. First made on a big disc.

HS: How many - how many minutes, you know, on the--

TE: Oh, I imagine, um ... that every song was runnin' about three minutes durin' that time, but the- I tell you I wrote this song, it was called "Before Dawn".

HS: Yeah, you told me - “Before Dawn”.

TE: Ah, yeah. For five saxophones and a trumpet. And we both play solos on the record.

HS: Five saxophones, one trumpet?

TE: Mm-hmm, and three rhythm.

HS: And three rhythm?

TE: Mm-hmm.

Peter Huijts: Very short solos on those records...

TE: Yeah, yeah... but we both play solos on this record. I'm gonna see if I can, I'll call her - finally get in touch with her and see if she's got that record in her collection.

HS: It was for Pacific.

TE: Mm-hmm. That was his first recording.

HS: For Louie.

TE: For - no, for Dick Bock, the producer. The owner of World Pacific Records. Pacific Jazz.

HS: Was made in Los Angeles?

TE: Mm-hmm. Made in the same studio where I made, um, “Bird Legs”, and “Steady With Teddy” and all those things with Benny Bailey - Benny Bailey's first record date. It was in that same studio. His - Benny made his first record with me, you know?

Elks Auditorium (Elks Ballroom), Los Angeles, CA, July 6, 1947


Howard McGhee (tp); Trummy Young (tb); Sonny Criss (as); Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); Harry Babasin (b); Roy Porter (d).

Bop 15Bopera (Disorder At The Border) - Part 1: Trummy Young78 rpm: Bop! 107
Bop 16Bopera (Disorder At The Border) - Part 2: Wardell Gray #78 rpm: Bop! 107
Bop 17Bopera (Disorder At The Border) - Part 3: Howard McGhee78 rpm: Bop! 108
Bop 18Bopera (Disorder At The Border) - Part 4: Sonny Criss78 rpm: Bop! 108
Bop 19Bopera (Disorder At The Border) - Part 5: Dexter Gordon78 rpm: Bop! 109
Bop 20Bopera (Disorder At The Border) - Part 6: Barney Kessel78 rpm: Bop! 109
Bop 21Bopera (Disorder At The Border) - Part 7: Barney Kessel78 rpm: Bop! 110


"Wild” Bill Moore, Gene Montgomery (ts); Russ Freeman (p); Shifty Henry (b); Leroy Gray (d).

Bop 26What Is This Thing Called Love?10-inch LP: MG 9027 (edited); 12-inch LP: SJL2242 (complete)


Al Killian (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Russ Freeman (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); George “Red” Callender (b); Ken “Tim” Kennedy (d); Earl Coleman (voc).

Body And Soul (incomplete)CD: Savoy SVY17441


Al Killian (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Russ Freeman (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); George “Red” Callender or Harry Babasin (b); Ken “Tim” Kennedy (d).

Bop 30Back Breaker (Rifftide) - Part 1: Wardell Gray #10-inch LP: Savoy MG9031
Bop 31Back Breaker (Rifftide) - Part 2: Wardell Gray #10-inch LP: Savoy MG9031
Bop 32Back Breaker (Rifftide) - Part 3: Barney Kessel10-inch LP: Savoy MG9031
Bop 33Back Breaker (Rifftide) - Part 4: Sonny Criss10-inch LP: Savoy MG9031
Bop 34Back Breaker (Rifftide) - Part 5: Wardell Gray #10-inch LP: Savoy MG9031
Bop 35Back Breaker (Rifftide) - Part 6: Russ Freeman10-inch LP: Savoy MG9031


Howard McGhee (tp); Trummy Young (tb); Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); George “Red” Callender (b); Roy Porter (d).

Tune-up/AnnouncementCD: Savoy SVY17441
Bop 36Bopland (Byas-A-Drink) - Part 1: Trummy Young78 rpm: Savoy 962
Bop 37Bopland (Byas-A-Drink) - Part 2: Dexter Gordon78 rpm: Savoy 962
Bop 38Bopland (Byas-A-Drink) - Part 3: McGhee-Gray #78 rpm: Savoy 963
Bop 39Bopland (Byas-A-Drink) - Part 4: Wardell Gray #78 rpm: Savoy 963
Bop 40Bopland (Byas-A-Drink) - Part 5: Kessel-Hawes78 rpm: Savoy 964
Bop 41Bopland (Byas-A-Drink) - Part 6: Young-McGhee78 rpm: Savoy 964


Howard McGhee (tp); Trummy Young (tb); Sonny Criss (as); Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); George "Red" Callender (b); Roy Porter (d).

Bop 54Bop After Hours (After Hours Bop) - Part 1: Trummy Young78 rpm: Bop! 115
Bop 55Bop After Hours (After Hours Bop) - Part 2: Barney Kessel78 rpm: Bop! 115
Bop 56Bop After Hours (After Hours Bop) - Part 3: Hampton Hawes78 rpm: Bop! 117
Bop After Hours (After Hours Bop) - Part 4: Red CallenderCD: Savoy SVY17441
Bop 57Bop After Hours (After Hours Bop) - Part 5: Dexter Gordon78 rpm: Bop! 116
Bop 58Bop After Hours (After Hours Bop) - Part 6: Gordon-McGhee78 rpm: Bop! 116
Bop 59Bop After Hours (After Hours Bop) - Part 7: Sonny Criss78 rpm: Bop! 117


Howard McGhee (tp); Trummy Young (tb); Sonny Criss (as); Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); prob. Red Callender (b); prob. Roy Porter (d).

Bop 3The Hunt (Rocks 'N Shoals) - Part 1: Howard McGhee78 rpm: Bop! 104
Bop 4The Hunt (Rocks 'N Shoals) - Part 2: Sonny Criss78 rpm: Bop! 104
Bop 5The Hunt (Rocks 'N Shoals) - Part 3: Trummy Young78 rpm: Bop! 105
Bop 6The Hunt (Rocks 'N Shoals) - Part 4: Barney Kessel78 rpm: Bop! 105
Bop 7The Hunt (Rocks 'N Shoals) - Part 5: Gordon, Gray #78 rpm: Bop! 101 A
Bop 8The Hunt (Rocks 'N Shoals) - Part 6: Gordon, Gray #78 rpm: Bop! 101 B
Bop 9The Hunt (Rocks 'N Shoals) - Part 7: Gordon, Gray #78 rpm: Bop! 102 A
Bop 10The Hunt (Rocks 'N Shoals) - Part 8: Gordon, Gray #78 rpm: Bop! 102 B


"Wild” Bill Moore, Gene Montgomery (ts); Russ Freeman (p); prob. Shifty Henry (b); prob. Leroy Gray (d).

Bop 22Perdido - Part 1: Bill Moore78 rpm: Bop! 103
Perdido - Part 2: Bill MooreCD: Savoy SVY17441
Perdido - Part 3: Russ FreemanCD: Savoy SVY17441
Bop 25Perdido - Part 4: Bill Moore78 rpm: Bop! 103
Merry Go Round Blues (incomplete)CD: Savoy SVY17441
Blowin' For Bass (incomplete)CD: Savoy SVY17441


Al Killian (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Harry Babasin (b); Ken “Tim” Kennedy (d).

Bop 50Blow, Blow, Blow (The Creep) - Part 1: Gray, Killian #12-inch LP: Regent MG 6049
Bop 51Blow, Blow, Blow (The Creep) - Part 1: Killian, Gray #12-inch LP: Regent MG 6049
Bop 52Blow, Blow, Blow (The Creep) - Part 3: Criss, Babasin12-inch LP: Regent MG 6049
Bop 53Blow, Blow, Blow (The Creep) - Part 4: Gray, Criss #12-inch LP: Regent MG 6049


Howard McGhee (tp); Trummy Young (tb); Sonny Criss (as); Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (ts), Teddy Edwards; Hampton Hawes (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); Red Callender (b); Roy Porter (d).

Bop 42Jeronimo (Cherokee) (Cherrycoke) - Part 1: Trummy Young78 rpm: Bop! 111 (edited)
Bop 43Jeronimo (Cherokee) (Cherrycoke) - Part 2: Barney Kessel78 rpm: Bop! 111
Bop 44Jeronimo (Cherokee) (Cherrycoke) - Part 3: Kessel-Criss78 rpm: Bop! 112
Bop 45Jeronimo (Cherokee) (Cherrycoke) - Part 4: Sonny Criss78 rpm: Bop! 112 (edited)
Bop 46Jeronimo (Cherokee) (Cherrycoke) - Part 5: Dexter Gordon78 rpm: Bop! 113
Bop 47Jeronimo (Cherokee) (Cherrycoke) - Part 6: Dexter Gordon78 rpm: Bop! 113
Bop 48Jeronimo (Cherokee) (Cherrycoke) - Part 7: Dexter Gordon78 rpm: Bop! 114
Bop 49Jeronimo (Cherokee) (Cherrycoke) - Part 8: Gordon, Gray, Edwards #78 rpm: Bop! 114


Rifftide (Oh, Lady Be Good!) (theme)CD: Savoy SVY17441
Rifftide (Oh, Lady Be Good!) (theme)CD: Savoy SVY17441


The 2004 CD: Savoy SVY17441 is the definitive issue of this material. From the liner notes:

“With the release of this compact disc set, we now have the good fortune to hear the complete recording of the concert-dance as it happened at the Elks Auditorium on that historic July evening.” ~ Maxine Gordon

“All announcements during the concert by producer 'Emcee' Ralph Bass. Personnel listed are as derived from the actual announcements or from 'The Savoy Label, A Discography, compiled by Michel Ruppli with assistance from Bob Porter.' All transfers of this concert are from the original 16" transcription acetates . . . We are also pleased that we have been able to clarify several discographical/personnel errors that have persisted for nearly 60 years.” ~ Dan Marx

Drummer Ken Kennedy is often referred to as Tim Kennedy. Lawrence “Larance” Marable: “The drummers who really took some time with me, besides Roy (Porter), were Chuck Thompson and Ken “Tim” Kennedy. Thompson was from LA, while Kennedy was a drummer from Detroit who'd moved here.” (There and Back, Roy Porter and David Keller, p. 154.) All titles are on the 3 CD set: Savoy SVY-17441 - the personnel listed above is taken from that release.

The two brief performances of Rifftide (theme) first issued on Savoy SVY17441 appear as “Unknown Theme take 1” and “Unknown Theme take 2” in that release's liner notes. The tune was also recorded by a McGhee group in February 1948 as “Merry Lee”, issued on 12-inch Lp Savoy MG-12026 entitled “Howard McGhee and Milt Jackson”.

From Dave Bailey comes the information that, although uncredited, the final soloist is Teddy Edwards. Edwards is heard after Gray's solo on Jeronimo - Edwards confirmed this in a letter to Bailey, stating he arrived late to the concert.

During Han Schulte's interview with Teddy Edwards (October 3rd, 1980), Teddy mentions his appearance on Cherokee (“Jeronimo”) and talks about the situation while listening to the recording. I have transcribed portions of Teddy's comments:

“In fact on that record, the one that – the one that, 'Jeronimo' – I had been over to a friends of mine's house, and we had been practicin' and I came in just time to play the solo… The last chorus was me, although my name is not on the record, but I played the last – right! I played the last chorus on that solo [. . .] I noticed when they reissued it they didn't have my name on it, 'cause they probably didn't know. 'Cause I just got in on the tail end of the set, I showed up at the very end of the thing, you know [. . .] I was rushin' to get to the bandstand . . . But I wasn't supposed to be on the gig, I had been over to a friend of mine's house practicin', another saxophone player we been over there practicin' in the book, you know. Prez Harris. And I said – and he lived right around the corner from there… We were supposed to get there in time to play, you know, and we got involved in these books, you know…”

Al Killian (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Charles Fox (p); John Willie “Shifty” Henry or Ernie Shepard (b); Ken “Tim” Kennedy (d).

AFRS Jubilee, poss. Hollywood, CA, prob. Summer 1947

D-3-ABlue Lou #AFRS Jubilee 242; AFRS Jubilee 243
D-5-AThe Creep (aka Blow, Blow, Blow) #AFRS Jubilee 243
H-11-242-2Out Of Nowhere #AFRS Jubilee 242
H-11-242-1Sonny's Bop (aka Semi-Quiet) #AFRS Jubilee 242
D-5-ABlue 'N' Boogie (incomplete) #AFRS Jubilee 243
H-11-242-2One O'Clock Jump (theme) (incomplete) #AFRS Jubilee 242; AFRS Jubilee 243


These titles are often dated October 17, 1947 and are said to have been recorded in Portland, OR (Schlouch, Gazdar). Lotz & Neuert have “c. August 1947 ,?Hollywood” and “DATE OF BROADCAST : 10 October 1947” for Jubilee No. 242. If the October 10 date is correct the recording date of October 17 is obviously incorrect. Salemann has “ca. May, 1947, Pasadena, Cal., McCormack General Hospital”.

These recordings seem to have been conflated with those listed in the following session, causing much confusion. The description given in Mark Gardner's Xanadu 200 Lp liners indicate these are the Portland recordings.

From “Jumptown: The Golden Years of Portland Jazz, 1942-1957” by Robert Dietsche (page 91):

Among the first recordings Criss made were some acetates with the Al Killian sextet done at the Savoy in Portland on October 17, 1947. They first came out on an LP titled Sonny Criss Immortal [sic] on Xanadu, an independent record company owned by the indispensable Don Schlitten. It was Schlitten himself who rescued these precious tapes from Sonny Criss's own clothes closet, where they were buried under empty gin bottles. They are the only commercial recordings of anything ever done on Williams Avenue. Unfortunately, they have been spliced, abridged, and completely doctored. Still and all, you can get a pretty good idea of the effect that the Al Killian sextet had on the crowd that rainy night at the Savoy, as well as the blazing artistry of Criss.

The closing One O'Clock Jump is duplicated on AFRS Jubilee 242 and 243. Jubilee 242 has Kay Kyser/Gene Norman voiceovers, and 243's presentation ends before Wardell's solo. All titles except One O'Clock Jump are on 12-inch LPs: Jazz Showcase 5005 and Xanadu 200, and CD: MJCD 191. Jazz Showcase 5005 presents Blue Lou twice – it is the same performance. Schlouch lists seven titles instead of five: he also lists Blue Lou twice, and lists “Semi-Quiet” and “Sonny's Bop” as two separate recordings.

Mark Gardner, liner notes to 12-inch LP: Xanadu 200:

By 1947, singing star, valve-trombonist and defender of bop Billy Eckstine had reluctantly disbanded his superb large orchestra. Recently, he remembered what happened after the band broke up: “I went out to California, and I organized a small band just to do some dates out there. I had Al Killian on trumpet, Wardell Gray and Sonny Criss, Chuck Thompson on drums, Shep Shepard on bass, and Hampton Hawes on piano. Just six, seven pieces. We used that up and down the Coast. It was organized not to stay together. It was just to fill out some dates I had out there.”

The leader of this unit was trumpeter Killian, a high note man who had made novelty discs and mainstream records under his own name. According to Criss: “Killian was interested in the modern sounds even though he was not capable of playing in that vein. He thought he would get the best people who weren't currently tied up. I wasn't doing anything and Wardell was out of a job too so he called us both to join him and back Eckstine at Billy Berg's. After that we went on the road with Killian. We played in Portland, Seattle and San Francisco. We spent about six months in Portland and made some acetates while we were there.”

The Portland performances, like most of the music on this album, came from the personal collection of Sonny Criss and are issued here for the first time. Evidently, by the time the sextet assembled in Portland, some personnel changes had taken place. Hawes had been replaced by St. Louis pianist Charles Fox, Shepard had yielded to Shifty Henry, and Tim Kennedy replaced Chuck Thompson.

Claude Carrière (adapted from the French by Tony Baldwin), liner notes to MJCD 191:
Under Killian's leadership, the same three horn men got together three months later for five rather mysterious sides. We know that they were made in Portland, Oregon, the first major city north if the Californian border. The tunes all fill the usual 78 length of around three minutes, though one of them, Blue 'N' Boogie, ends suddenly in mid-solo. At the start of some of the sides there is applause but not at the end. Some sources credit Shifty Henry as the bassplayer [sic] but to our ears this is Ernie Shepard (cf. the solo on Blue 'N' Boogie) who was to shine so brightly wih [sic] Duke Ellington fifteen years later. As for the pianist, this might be Charles Fox, who re-emerged with Clark Terry in the 1970's [sic].

Al Killian (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Charles Fox (p); Ernie “Shep” Shepard (b); Ken “Tim” Kennedy (d).

Private recordings, poss. Savoy Club, Portland, OR, October 8 or 17, 1947

Lover, Come Back To Me (Bean And The Boys) (Part 1) #unissued
Lover, Come Back To Me (Bean And The Boys) (Part 2)unissued
Blue 'N' Boogie (Part 1) #unissued
Blue 'N' Boogie (Part 2)unissued
Blow, Blow, Blow (aka The Creep) (Part 1) #unissued
Blow, Blow, Blow (aka The Creep) (Part 2)unissued
unknown title (Part 1) #unissued
unknown title (Part 2)unissued


Each of these titles is split over two 78 rpm discs, with a gap in the music at the points the recording discs were changed. Unfortunately, these titles were not included in the Masters Of Jazz series (Gazdar: “Material unissued commercially possibly because of poor sound quality”). The date and location listed above appears in Salemann and Schlouch. Schlouch does not mention Blue 'N' Boogie. These are lengthy performances with excellent solos by all – sadly the source discs were in terrible condition many years ago. The tune marked “unknown title” has a written theme and runs over 8 minutes.

From “Jumptown: The Golden Years of Portland Jazz, 1942-1957” by Robert Dietsche (page 84):

The single most important event at the Savoy in 1947 was the coming of Sonny Criss and Wardell Gray. They were in Portland for five months, according to Criss, but within weeks of their arrival it seemed that every saxophonist in the Northwest was coming under their domination. Legends in the making in your own backyard, on their way to the Hall of Fame. They came to the city in place of Billy Eckstine who had booked a tour of West Coast jazz cities but at the last minute was called away. So Eckstine put together a sextet featuring Criss and Gray and then picked Al Killian, the high- note trumpet champion, as leader. Killian was the leader, but Gray was the star.
Fletcher Smith is sometimes listed as the pianist (probably referring to the titles used by AFRS). Fortunately, Tim Kennedy established the correct personnel in an interview published in “Jumptown” (pages 86-87):
Gray's old shoe brush is the only memento drummer Tim Kennedy has of those days with the Al Killian sextet in Portland. Kennedy, in a phone interview from Harlem, talked about his days in Portland.

“I ended up with the shoe brush because Wardell and Sonny and me and the bass player Shep Shepherd all lived together in a private home. Kitty's, I think it was. It was close to where we were playing. Killian had his girlfriend in Portland and Charley Fox, our piano player, had some other place to stay. We were filling up dates for Billy Eckstine, and Portland was our last stop. We stayed there quite a while because everyone loved the band so much.

“We knew about the segregation in Portland, but to us Williams Avenue was Portland. One day for something different we went to the Coon Chicken Inn (now the Prime Rib) and laughed out loud at the sign outside and at the front door which was in the form of Little Black Sambo's wide-open mouth. But you know what? They had the best chicken in town. Really. All we did all day and mostly all night was play jazz, mostly at the Savoy, right down from where we were staying. We were heavy, man. Nobody ever asked to sit in, that's for sure. 'Cause they would have felt the heat. Killian was older than the rest of us. My uncle played with him in the Basie Band. Sonny Criss wasn't even twenty but fast as hell. Charley Fox could play in any style, bop or anything, and Shep Shepherd was the rock on bass, but Wardell was way ahead of all of us. Of course, that was many years ago, but was probably the best time in my life. We had the best of everything: best music, best food, best women; all the people on the Avenue coming to see us. Yeah, it was definitely the best time of my life. When it died, Portland died for us.”

Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, December 27, 1947


Ernie Royal (tp); Wardell Gray, Vido Musso (ts); Arnold Ross (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); Harry Babasin (b); Don Lamond (d).

D-20841Sweet Georgia Brown (California Conquest) #AFRS Jubilee 271, AFRS JJ No. 16; 12-inch LP: Queen-Disc 39
D-20841C Jam Blues #AFRS Jubilee 271; 12-inch LP: Queen-Disc 39
D-20841Just You, Just Me (Just Bop) #AFRS Jubilee 271, 12-inch LP: Queen-Disc 39


Ernie Royal (tp); Benny Goodman (cl); Wardell Gray, Vido Musso (ts); Red Norvo (vib); Mel Powell (p); George “Red” Callender (b); Lee Young (d).

D-30904I Never Knew (to fade) #AFRS JJ No. 16, 12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ-145


All titles are on CD: MJCD 198. The All Stars recordings were first issued on Modern Music 78 rpm records.

Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Dodo Marmarosa (p); Al Hendrickson (el-g); prob. Harry Babasin (b); Frank Bode (Uffe Baadh) (d); Frances Wayne (voc); Gene Norman (mc); George Dvorak (ann).

AFRS Jubilee Radio Show, McCornack General Hospital, Pasadena, CA, prob. February 9, 1948

D-21732Introduction & theme: One O'Clock JumpCD: DRCD-409
D-21732C Jam Blues #12-inch LP: SPJ-134; DRLP-29; SJ25-9016; CD: DRCD-409; MJCD 198; Properbox 55
D-21732I Never Loved Anyone -vFWCD: DRCD-409; MJCD 198
D-21732What Is This Thing Called Love? (incomplete)12-inch LP: DRLP-29; CD: DRCD-409
-How High the Moon (“Jam Session At Jubilee”) #12-inch LP: SPJ-134; DRLP-29; SJ25-9016; CD: DRCD-409; MJCD 198; Properbox 55
D-21733Who's Sorry Now? -vFWCD: DRCD-409
D-21733Signoff & theme: One O'Clock Jump (incomplete)CD: DRCD-409


Sometimes reported as recorded at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, February 8 or 9, 1948. I Never Loved Anyone is titled “Anytime” on MJCD 198 and “I Never Loved Anyone” in Evensmo. 78 rpm: Excelsior EX-28X by Frances Wayne was mentioned in The Billboard, January 31, 1948 (p. 31) and was first reissued in 2002 on CD: MJCD 195 where it is listed as having been recorded on July 3, 1947.

The timing indications on the LP jacket of Spotlite SPJ134 say: C Jam Blues (6:10) and How High the Moon (3:46). These timings are incorrect - the jacket and the disc label have reversed the titles for these tracks. The venue is also said to have been McCormick General Hospital, Pasadena, CA. All titles listed above are on DRCD-409. Wardell does not solo on the Frances Wayne features but his obbligato is prominent throughout.

From “Flights of the Vout Bug: A Guide to the Recorded Music of Michael "DoDo" Marmarosa” by Dieter Salemann and Fabian Grob:

The above performance was not a “Just Jazz” concert as claimed by some sources due to the presence of Gene Norman as master of ceremonies.

Lotz and Neuert (AFRS “Jubilee” discography) suggest March 1948 as possible recording date. The program was broadcast for the first time on June 18, 1948.

All musicians of the above personnel are named by Norman on the show, except for the bass player. Other participators on “Jubilee” program No. 278 were the Bill Doggett Trio and Pete Dailey and his Chicagoans.

The announcement by Woody Herman to C-JAM BLUES on Swing House SWH-10 release does not derive from the above “Jubilee” Show, but from AFRS Jubilee program No. 229 and has obviously been dubbed in by the editor.

The announcement of Gene Norman to WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE on Dragon DRLP issue points at the placing of this title before HOW HIGH THE MOON in the original “Jubilee” concert show. The title was dropped by the sound engineers for the release of AFRS Jubilee program No. 278.

Age 27

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); John Beal (mc).

AFRS Jubilee No. 284, McCornack Hospital, Pasadena, CA, poss. March 30, 1948

D-23019Introduction & theme (One O'Clock Jump)AFRS Jubilee 284
D-23019Introduction (Rhapsody In Jazz)AFRS Jubilee 284
D-23019Rhapsody In Blue, part 1AFRS Jubilee 284
D-23019Rhapsody In Blue, part 2 into Basin Street BluesAFRS Jubilee 284
D-23019CongarooAFRS Jubilee 284; CD: JH-1005
D-23020Original Jelly Roll BluesAFRS Jubilee 284; CD: JH-1005
D-23020Bop Bounce # AFRS Jubilee 284; CD: JH-1005; MJCD 198
D-23020One O'Clock Jump (incomplete) #AFRS Jubilee 284; CD: JH-1005; MJCD 198


The tenor on these titles had long been attributed to Dexter Gordon, Bumps Myers and/or Hubert Maxwell but it is obviously Wardell. The CD: Benny Carter & His Orchestra - Live Broadcasts 1939/1948 (Jazz Hour JH-1005) presents a much longer (though still incomplete) recording of One O'Clock Jump – note that the AFRS voiceover is not on the Jazz Hour copy of One O'Clock Jump.

Evensmo: Appearing on CD, full four choruses of "... Jump" are presented, however, attributed to Dexter Gordon, which is terribly wrong. WG's presence is fully confirmed.

Gazdar (page 9): “No mention is made of WG; however, on listening to the CD it is clear that the tenor IS WG and NOT Gordon. Benny Carter, in an interview, has confirmed this.”

Jimmy Raney (el-g); Al Haig (p); Clyde Lombardi or Don Russo (b); Buddy Stewart (voc).

Recording session for Sittin' In With Records, New York, NY, poss. April 1948

C-106If Love Is Trouble –vBS78 rpm: SIW 515
C-107Hee Haw –vBS78 rpm: SIW 515
C-108Laughin' Boy –vBS78 rpm: SIW 512


Again, not Wardell Gray - in fact there is no saxophonist on this date! The usually listed incorrect personnel: Wardell Gray (ts); Al Haig (p); Gene Ramey (b); Charles Perry (d); Buddy Stewart (voc). The three issued titles are on 12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ140.

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

Recording session for Sittin' In With Records, New York, NY, April 1948

C-126-1Light Gray (Dumpy) #78 rpm: SIW 533; Jade 703; Jax 5003
C-127-1Stoned (Bedlam) (master take) (aka Finsterness) #78 rpm: SIW 506; Jax 5003
C-127-2Stoned (Bedlam) (aka Baldy) #78 rpm: Jax 5008
C-128-1Matter And Mind (aka Nothing) #78 rpm: SIW 506; Jax 5008
C-129-1The Toup #78 rpm: SIW 533, Jade 703


Jax 5003 uses the titles "Dumpy" and "Finsterness." Jax 5008 uses the titles "Nothing" and "Baldy." Jade 703 says “Light Grey.” "The Toup" is sometimes titled “The Toupe."

All titles are on CD: MJCD 198 and Cool & Blue C&B – CD 116. The master takes are on CD: Classics 1264, CABU 532, and The Jazz Factory JFCD22810.

Max Harrison wrote (Spotlite SPJ139 liner notes): “It is worth noting also that although the first take of STONED has been on microgroove before it hitherto always has appeared with Haig's introduction edited out.”

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

Recording session for Apollo, New York, NY, May 1948

R-1317Ollopa #78 rpm: Apollo 783
R-1318This Is It #78 rpm: Apollo 783
R-1319Sugar Hips #78 rpm: Apollo 790
R-1320Coastin' With J.C. #78 rpm: Apollo 790


All titles are on CD: MJCD 198, Cool & Blue C&B – CD 116 and Classics 1264. Ollopa is “Apollo” spelled backwards.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page (voc); John Deagun (ann).

KYW Radio Broadcast, NBC Radio Network, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, May 24, 1948

Stompin' At The Savoy (theme)CD: MJCD 198
Limehouse Blues #CD: MJCD 198
Body And Soul -TRIOunissued
On The Sunny Side Of The Street - vPP #CD: MJCD 198
Cookin' One Up #CD: MJCD 198; Phont NCD 8802; DRCD-183; 12-inch LP: DRLP-16
Poor Butterfly -QUINTETunissued
After You've Goneunissued
Good-Bye (theme)unissued


Trio: Goodman, Wilson, Zelnick
Quartet: Goodman, Wilson, Fishkind, Zelnick
Quintet: Goodman, Wilson, Bauer, Fishkind, Zelnick

This is the first of many broadcasts from the Benny Goodman Septet's two week stay at Frank Palumbo's Click restaurant in Philadelphia. During Stompin' At The Savoy John Deagun announces Teddy Wilson as “Teddy Williams.” Cookin' One Up is often mistitled “Cookin' On Up”. Benny can be heard on an unissued announcement “...first we'd like to play a tune, this is an original written by Mel Powell, called 'Cookin' One Up'.”

Limehouse Blues is incomplete on MJCD 198. Masters Of Jazz's source was a tape supplied by Coover Gazdar. The original source is an acetate recorded by Virgil Thomas. The bars missing from Thomas' recording do exist; they are on an unissued tape recorded by Harry Foster. Foster's tape also contains the ending of Cookin' One Up and various announcements not recorded by Thomas.

Ross Firestone, “Swing, Swing, Swing: The Life & Times of Benny Goodman” (pages 344-345):

On May 24 the septet began a two-week engagement at the Click nightclub in Philadelphia. Bootleg recordings of broadcasts from the club reveal that this was easily the most interesting band Benny had led in years. The unusual front line of tenor saxophone and two clarinets gave the group a distinctive, wonderfully reedy sound. The arrangements featured long-lined, tightly voiced ensemble passages startlingly like the sort of thing the very advanced pianist Lennie Tristano was now doing with the saxophonists Lee Konitz and Warne March [sic].
Although much of the material from the Click engagement remains unissued, most of the recordings featuring solos by Wardell have been made available. CD: DRCD-183 presents the bulk of them. A June 1, 1948 performance of Mary's Idea was issued only on 12-inch LP: Swedisc SWD 25-9016, and three tracks from May 24 appear exclusively on CD: MJCD 198. Three titles from Click with solos by Gray have never been issued; these are On The Sunny Side Of The Street (May 28), Mary's Idea (May 29 - evening), and You Go To My Head (June 5, evening).

Wardell appeared as a member of the Goodman sextet for two Gene Norman concerts (March 26 and 27) before heading to New York. A Carnegie “Pop” Concert was scheduled for Monday, May 10, 1948 at 8:30 PM but this was canceled. Information from Carnegie Hall shows Fred Robbins was to host this concert which was billed as “the first appearance in New York in two years of Benny Goodman and His Sextette”. Goodman, Hasselgard, Gray, and Wilson were listed as performers in addition to Joe Bushkin, p; Jonah Jones, tp; and Morey Feld, d.

The Billboard, April 17, 1948 (page 30):

First sideman drafted for Benny Goodman’s return to activity at the Click nitery, Philadelphia, May 24, is ace pianist Teddy Wilson, who worked with Goodman in B.G.’s early big band and chamber combo days.

From “Billy... Rowe’s Note Book”, The Pittsburgh Courier, Saturday, May 8, 1948:

Benny Goodman will have Teddy Wilson and a new tenor saxman with him when he presents his sextet at Carnegie Hall Monday. Wardell Gray by name, the latest beige discovery of the Goodman, is supposed to be the greatest since Coleman Hawkins came on the scene. He's under contract to Benny and gets that loot, work or play . . .

New York Times, May 8, 1948 (page 12):

The appearance of Benny Goodman’s sextet, scheduled for the Carnegie Pops Series on Monday, has been indefinitely postponed due to transportation difficulties, it was announced yesterday.

The Billboard, May 15, 1948 (page 4):

BG’s Carnegie Date Canceled
NEW YORK, May 8. — Benny Goodman’s Carnegie pops concert, skedded for Monday (10) has been canceled and will be staged at Carnegie at some later date. The reasons for the cancellation, just four days prior to the concert, are Benny’s inability to assemble a satisfactory sextet for the session plus poor advance tic sales.

The Carnegie date was to have been Benny’s first Eastern appearance since the announcement of his plans to return to the band biz. The clarinet tootler’s next skedded date is a two-week run at the Click in Philly, prior to launching week-end dance dates at the White Plains County Center (which the orkster has leased for the summer) with a full crew.

On May 22, two days prior to the Click opening, Goodman appeared as a guest on a “White Plains Parade Of Progress” program broadcast over WFAS. No recordings are known to exist. Probably this was an interview/chat show with Benny plugging the Click engagement.

On May 25 Goodman appeared at a “Swing Jamboree” at the Helen Fleisher Vocational School in Philadelphia. He was presented with a birthday cake and an “Annual Fellowship Citation” for “outstanding democratic practices”. I have not seen reports of Wardell appearing with Goodman but according to The Philadelphia Inquirer (May 29) both Benny and Teddy Wilson performed. The Inquirer reported some of Benny's remarks: “It is difficult to be born without the right kind of skin, however acts in our lives can do do things to make people forget the color of our skins . . . I have Negroes in my band because it is practical. If he plays the way I like it, his color is no handicap. Music is relatively free from prejudice, although all of us have some sort of prejudice, we're no Saints, and there are a lot of good people on your side in America.”

D. Russ Connor's tremendous works on Benny Goodman form the basis for this discography's coverage of Wardell's time with Goodman. Rather than paraphrase Mr. Connor, I've chosen to transcribe a number of his comments from “Listen To His Legacy” and “Wrappin' It Up” and incorporate them into this discography.

Connor (Legacy), page 191:

Benny broadcast frequently from the Click and home recordists were kept busy. One Philadelphian had a tape recorder, a new device not in general use among amateurs until some five years later. His paper-backed tapes held up fairly well---to the authors knowledge, they are the first tapes of Goodman broadcasts ever made by a non-professional---but provided indifferent sound quality. Another had professional-type recording gear, and his acetates afford excellent audio fidelity. Unfortunately, mis-dating on the tapes led to erroneous assignment of this material in the author's earlier work on Goodman. The broadcasts are now correct as listed below. "Note, too, that excerpts from the Click broadcasts are on Dragon (Sweden) and Swedisc (Japan) LP's---there's a switch. An attempt is made to match the LP tracks with appropriate performances, but there is no guarantee that these assignments are correct. Swedisc is dubbed from Dragon, which in turn was dubbed from tapes, possibly generations removed, supplied by the author to a collector before the broadcasts were realigned. Realignment changed the dates of some performances, and this information was not available to the bootleggers. Thus data herein may differ from LP liner notes. Here, then, an extensive array of Benny Goodman and Ake “Stan” Hasselgard, thanks to the efforts of enthusiasts Harry Foster (tape) and Virgil Thomas (disc). They knew what to record, even if they forgot when they recorded it(.)

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page (voc); Harry Fleetwood (ann).

WCAU Radio broadcast, CBS Radio Network, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, May 27, 1948

Stompin' At The Savoy (incomplete - ending only)unissued
Swedish Pastry #12-inch LP: DRLP-16; SWD 25-9008; CD: Phont NCD 8802; MJCD 198
All The Things You Are12-inch LP: DRLP-16; SWD 25-9008; CD: Phont NCD 8802
You Turned The Tables On Me -vPPunissued
Where Or When -TRIOunissued
The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise –QUARTETunissued
The Man I Love -vPPunissued
Mary's Idea (Just An Idea) #12-inch LP: DRLP-16, SWD 25-9008; CD: MJCD 198
Don't Blame Me -vPPunissued
Good-Bye (theme)unissued


All The Things You Are is a clarinet feature for Goodman and Hasselgård. The following announcement is heard over the closing theme: “You've been listening to the music of Benny Goodman and his Orchestra with vocals by Patti Page. Coming to you from the radio bandstand of Frank Palumbo's world-famous Click, America's musical showplace. This program originated through the facilities of WCAU, in Philadelphia. Harry Fleetwood speaking - this is CBS, the Columbia broadcasting system.”

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page (voc).

CBS Radio broadcast, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, May 28, 1948

Swedish Pastry #12-inch LP: DRLP-16; SWD 25-9008; CD: DRCD 183
There's A Small Hotel -TRIOunissued
On The Sunny Side Of The Street -vPP #unissued
Body And Soul -TRIOunissued
The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise –QUARTETunissued
It Had To Be You -vPPunissued
After You've Gone #12-inch LP: SWD 25-9008, CD: DRCD-183
Good-Bye (theme) (incomplete)unissued


The introduction to Swedish Pastry is missing on DRCD-183 – it is the same arrangement as on the 27th. On The Sunny Side Of The Street is played at a more upbeat tempo than the version on the 24th – quite similar to the March 19, 1947 version cut by Hasselgård (Evergreen 663). Benny's clarinet introduction to After You've Gone is missing on DRCD-183.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page (voc).

CBS broadcast, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, May 29, 1948 (matinee performance)

Bye Bye Pretty Baby #12-inch LP: DRLP-16, SWD 25-9008; CD: DRCD-183
I'm In The Mood For Love -vPPunissued
Mary's Idea (Just An Idea) #12-inch LP: DRLP-16, SWD 25-9008; CD: DRCD-183
Just One Of Those Thingsunissued
Mel's Idea #12-inch LP: DRLP-16, SWD 25-9008; CD: Phont NCD 8802, DRCD-183


May 29th was a Saturday, and the Septet played matinees on Saturdays (thus two shows on the same day). On DRLP-16, the announcements to Bye Bye Pretty Baby are longer than on the CD reissues. Connor says Just One Of Those Things is a Quintet performance, but both Wardell and Billy Bauer can be heard in the closing ensemble.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page (voc).

NBC broadcast, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, May 29, 1948 (evening performance)

Bye Bye Pretty Baby #CD: DRCD-183
He's Funny That Way -vPPunissued
Mary's Idea (Just An Idea) #unissued
I'm In The Mood For Love -vPPunissued
Just One Of Those Thingsunissued
Mel's Idea #12-inch LP: DRLP-16, SWD 25-9008; CD: DRCD-183


Wardell opens his solo on the unissued “Mary's Idea” with the same phrase he plays on all available versions.

As with the matinee performance of Just One Of Those Things, Connor labels this a Quintet performance. Wardell can be heard in the closing ensemble.

John Deagan's introduction:
“More music now by Benny Goodman and that new Sextet, which is coming to you from Frank Palumbo's world-famous Click located in Philadelphia, through the facilities of NBC, from coast to coast, and that more music is, 'Just One Of Those Things'.”

After Just One Of Those Things, Deagun says:
“'Just One Of Those Things', by that wonderful new Benny Goodman Sextet. And now here's something you're gonna like – you know with this new Benny Goodman Sextet every man in the Sextet is known worldwide for his musical ability. And now they're gonna demonstrate it, as only the Benny Goodman Sextet can with 'Mel's Idea'.”

The majority of that announcement is on Dragon DRLP-16 but not on DRCD-183.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page (voc).

CBS broadcast, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, June 1, 1948

Mary's Idea (Just An Idea) #12-inch LP: Swedisc SWD 25-9016
If I Had You -vPP -TRIOunissued
Indiana #12-inch LP: Philology W36; CD: DRCD-183
Poor Butterfly -QUARTETunissued
Don't Blame Me -vPPunissued
Bye Bye Blues #12-inch LP: Swedisc SWD 25-9008, DRLP-16; CD: DRCD-183


Mary's Idea appears only on 12-inch LP: Swedisc SWD 25-9016. Philology presents more of Teddy Wilson's piano introduction on Indiana than is heard on Dragon but is still missing a few seconds of his playing.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page (voc); Harry Fleetwood (ann).

CBS broadcast, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, June 3, 1948

D-28487Limehouse Blues #AFRS ONS 1722; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023; CD: DRCD-183
D-28487The Man I Love -vPPAFRS ONS 1722; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023
D-28487Indiana #AFRS ONS 1722; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023; CD: DRCD-183
D-28487Confess -vPPAFRS ONS 1722; 12-inch LP: Joyce 1082
D-28488Bye Bye Blues #AFRS ONS 1722; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023; CD: DRCD-183
D-28488Little White Lies –vPPAFRS ONS 1722; 12-inch LP: Joyce 1082
D-28488Mel's Idea #AFRS ONS 1722; Dan VC-5023; CD: DRCD-183
D-28488Body And Soul -TRIOAFRS ONS 1722
There's A Small Hotel -QUARTETunissued


In addition to Virgil Thomas' acetate recordings, this broadcast was transcribed by AFRS. In place of "There's A Small Hotel" the ET repeats the first tune (Limehouse Blues). According to Connor/Hicks' “BG – On the Record” (third printing, December 1970, pages 447-448), this was done “to eliminate the closing announcement that intruded upon the final tune actually broadcast.”

Connor (Legacy, p. 192) claims the ET opens with an incomplete version of "Limehouse Blues", but the acetate version is on Dragon and presents no new music, although there is an AFRS announcer's voiceover over much of the introduction. The entire ET is on Joyce LP-1082 and CD: Sounds Of Yesteryear DSOY791.

Note that Harry Fleetwood announces that Benny will be co-featured vocally on “Confess”, but this does not occur. At the conclusion of the tune he says “that was 'Confess' with Patti Page, without Benny Goodman.”

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page, Pearl Bailey (voc); George Thomas (ann).

CBS broadcast, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, June 5, 1948 (matinee performance)

Indiana #12-inch LP: DRLP-29; CD: DRCD-183
Confess -QUARTET -vPPunissued
Tired -vPBunissued
There's A Small Hotel -TRIOunissued
You Turned The Tables On Me -vPPunissued
Good-Bye (theme)unissued


Connor/Hicks' “BG – On the Record” (page 448):
“The next listed broadcast offers Pearl Bailey singing with the BG Septet. Pearl was in Philadelphia on a personal appearance tour, stopped in the “Click” for the matinee; the management induced her to do her version of “Tired” for the broadcast.”

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Patti Page (voc).

NBC broadcast, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, June 5, 1948 (evening performance)

Swedish Pastry #12-inch LP: DRLP-29; CD: DRCD-183
You Go To My Head -vPP #unissued
Lullaby In Rhythm #12-inch LP: DRLP-29; CD: DRCD-183
If I Had You -TRIO -vPPunissued
Confess -QUARTET -vPP, BGunissued


You Go To My Head has Wardell obbligato behind Page's vocal at medium tempo. After a modulation and tempo change, Wardell has a 12 bar solo into two bars at the original tempo and key signature. Gazdar does not mention a Wardell solo on this track, which survives on one of Virgil's acetates. Swedish Pastry is also from acetate, the remaining three titles are from Foster's tapes.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d); John Deagan (ann).

NBC broadcast, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, May/June, 1948

Limehouse Blues (incomplete - ending only) - to signoffunissued


This item is incomplete and no solos are preserved.

“For the past twenty-five minutes ladies and gentlemen you have been listening to the King of Swing, music by Benny Goodman and his new Sextet, coming to you from Frank Palumbo's world-famous Click located in Philadelphia. This program came to you through KYW, the Westinghouse station, in Philadelphia. John Deagan speaking, this is NBC, the national broadcasting company.” (acetate ends.)

From the notes for Connor's tape transfers:
“NOTE: No identification on Virgil's acetates as to which broadcast this pertains.”

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Arnold Fishkind (b); Mel Zelnick (d).

CBS broadcast, Click Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, May/June, 1948

Limehouse Blues (incomplete - ending only) – to initial note of closing themeunissued


Another incomplete acetate – this time preserving over a minute of Goodman's solo. From the notes for Connor's tape transfers:
“NOTE: No identification on Virgil's acetates as to which broadcast this pertains.”

The Septet closed after two weeks at The Click. According to Ross Firestone, “(t)he Septet did very poor business, and halfway through the engagement the owner of the club tried to renegotiate Benny's contract, claiming that the receipts simply didn't justify the forty-five hundred dollars a week he was being paid.” (Swing, Swing, Swing”, pages 344-345).

Note that Connor/Hicks' “BG – On the Record” (page 448) incorrectly states that the Septet stayed on for a third week at The Click. This was corrected by Connor in his notes for his transfers to tape, now held at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers in Newark, NJ: “A minor error in “BG-OTR” is the statement that the CLICK engagement was for three weeks; it was for two.”

Variety, Wednesday, June 9, 1948 (page 45):

Palumbo Disappointed In Goodman Biz, Asks Rebate on Philly Date
Philadelphia, June 8.

Frank Palumbo, operator of the Click nitery here, is wrangling with Benny Goodman for a rebate of the coin paid the leader for a week at the spot, which ended Saturday (5). Goodman, it's said, drew $4,500 for his sextet and business didn't warrant that kind of coin.

Meanwhile, Palumbo's Ciro's a few blocks from the Click, has been doing biz with Louis Armstrong, who opened June 1 for two weeks. Armstrong has taken over some of the air time the Click used. He gets two shots nightly on local outlets.

Hasselgård wrote (June 8, 1948) his account to the jazz magazine OJ:

The job with Goodman in Philadelphia was nice, despite many exhausting broadcasts that you'll never get paid for. When BG is inspired, he can really play and that happened often. I had to hide, filled with sudden complexes, behind my music stand. Teddy Wilson is excellent as usual but Wardell Gray takes the prize –absolutely the finest tenor player in the States. The bass player Arnold Fishkind was sacked the first night (and you're lucky as long you can stay aboard) and was replaced by Clyde Lombardi. We'll start in White Plains on the 18th and I think Benny has a radio show planned.
Shortly before his death in 2001 Billy Bauer was interviewed by Jim Carlton. The interview was published in “Conversations with Great Jazz and Studio Guitarists” and on page 95 Bauer explains why Fishkin was fired:
JC: Did you ever get “The Ray?”

BB: One time in Philadelphia, after he came out of retirement, he’d hired Wardell Gray and another guy from Sweden who tried to play just like him. There was Teddy Wilson on piano, Arnold Fishkin on bass, Mel Davis [sic] and me. There were two clarinets and the rhythm section. And we had to go in early to get a balance. It was at the Click in Philadelphia, the first thing he’d done after his retirement. This was a big opening. Now Arnold Fishkin lived out here with me and he said, that because we were only going to be there a week or two, that we could go in his car. He said, “I’ll pick you up.” Well, he was an hour late getting to my house. We were supposed to get there at two o’clock in the afternoon but then he had a flat tire on the way. We almost missed the whole thing. We walked in, and Benny said to Arnold, “You've got your two week’s notice.” He didn't say anything to me. And he kept his word too. We came to New York after that and he got another bass player.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); poss. Red Rodney (Robert Chudnick) or Ronny Rommel (tp); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Mary Lou Williams (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Jackie Searle, Dolly Houston (voc); Glen Adams (mc).

WNEW Radio broadcast, “The Benny Goodman Show", Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY, June 26, 1948

Stompin' At The Savoy (theme)CD: Audio Park APCD-6067
Mary's Idea (Just An Idea) #CD: Audio Park APCD-6067; 12-inch LP: Från Staterna, Dan VC-5003
S'posin' -vJSCD: Audio Park APCD-6067
There's A Small Hotel -QUARTETCD: Audio Park APCD-6067
Benny's Bop (Limehouse Blues) (announced as “Mel's Idea”) #CD: Audio Park APCD-6067
You Turned The Tables On Me -vDHCD: Audio Park APCD-6067
Swedish Pastry #CD: Audio Park APCD-6067, DRCD 332; 12-inch LP: Från Staterna, Dan VC-5003, DRLP-29
Indiana (Donna Lee) #CD: Audio Park APCD-6067; 12-inch LP: Från Staterna, Dan VC-5003
Good-Bye (theme)CD: Audio Park APCD-6067


Glen Adams: “Ah, yes – WNEW brings you direct from the Westchester County Center in White Plains, the music of Benny Goodman and his orchestra. It's the first in a new summer series that's gonna be headin' your way via 1130 on your dial, every Saturday night at this time.”

Connor (Legacy, page 192-193):

On June 26 Benny and a revamped Septet inaugurated a summer series programmed by radio station WNEW, New York. Its half-hour broadcasts on Saturday evenings originated in the Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York. Benny's two broadcasts were announced as, “The Benny Goodman Show.” For the first time, Benny has a female instrumentalist as a regular member of his orchestra, pianist/composer/arranger Mary Lou Williams. Mary Lou is no problem----but trumpeter Red Rodney is. Contemporary press reports had Red (Robert Chudnick) playing with Benny in White Plains, but his horn is certainly not prominent in the first broadcast, and there's not a hint of it in the second. Repeated listening to “Indiana” from the June 26 air check, using an equalizer with various settings, suggests there's a trumpet in that rendition. On that basis---and because of the press reports---he is included in the June 26 personnel. Bootleg LP's [sic] also add to the confusion. One, especially, confounds collectors. Its format suggests that its origin is Sweden; it is not, it was manufactured in the United States. Further, this LP----TRIBUTE FROM SWEDEN (TRIB) UNNUMBERED---retitles “Mary's Idea” to “Stompin Slow,” “Swedish Pastry” to “Swedish Sweets” and “Blue Views” to “Blues For Sweden.” Apparently, all of this subterfuge was an attempt to avoid penalty for the unauthorized use of this material. And note also that DR 29 lists Indiana as “Donna Lee.”
June 26 is the broadcast date. This air check was almost certainly pre-recorded. Besides the lack of audience noise, Benny makes it clear that the WNEW broadcasts aired at 8:00 PM, and this air check (and the one from the following Saturday) are one half-hour each. Adams plugs the concerts in part by promoting, “cool comfortable and dancing from nine to one every Friday and Saturday night to the music of two great bands.” Ted Husing was the emcee at the concerts, while Glen Adams is the announcer heard on the broadcasts.

The banter between Goodman and Adams does appear to have occurred in real time along with the band's performances. During the closing Good-Bye (theme), Adams says “and now – here's my friend Benny, if he can leave that liquorice stick just a, just a second or so…” Benny, who had been holding a B-flat, stops playing and takes a quick breath before saying “thank you Glen, and from the gang and myself thanks a lot for dropping in, see you next Friday at the center, and we'll be back on WNEW at eight PM next Saturday night. Good night.”

Also pointing to this show having been pre-recorded is the fact that Glen Adams announces “Mel's Idea”, but a performance of Benny's Bop is heard in its place. This announcement is not the same as the one that precedes the performance of Mel's Idea heard on the July 3 broadcast.

Wardell is the only soloist on this recording (64 bars). Connor lists “Mel's Idea”, based on this incorrect announcement, and says it was issued on Dan VC-5003. The version of Mel's Idea heard on Dan VC-5003 is actually from July 3rd (also appearing on Dragon DRLP 29). Dan VC-5003 contains items from both the June 26 and July 3 broadcasts, but they are all listed on the jacket as from June 26. Most of the Wardell discographies I've seen repeat the errors, although Dieter Salemann lists “LIMEHOUSE BLUES (Wrong titled as 'MEL'S IDEA')”, and Malcolm Walker lists “MEL'S IDEA (LIMEHOUSE BLUES)”. Both discographies mistakenly claim this title is on Dan VC-5003.

12" LP: Från Staterna wrongly titles two tracks from this date: Mary's Idea (as “Stompin Slow”) and Swedish Pastry (as “Swedish Sweets”). Although purporting to originate from Sweden, this album was issued by the New York-based Boris Rose. Note that this Lp's title is Swedish for “From The States”.

Från Staterna has no number on the cover. Connor refers to this record as “TRIB” or “TRIB UNNUMBERED”. I have seen two different pressings: the yellow disc label (white album cover) has CG-A & CG-B in the deadwax, and the grey label (light blue album cover) has CG 41 A & CG 41 B in the deadwax. The light blue cover has the Bill Esposito (a.k.a. “E. S. Spoe”) liner notes on the back, the white cover is blank on the back.

Hasselgård solos on Swedish Pastry only. DRLP-29 presents a portion of Glen Adams' introduction of Swedish Pastry, which is not heard on Från Staterna.

The Billboard (June 19, 1948), page 21:

Benny Goodman, in conjunction with The Bridgeport (Conn.) Sunday Herald, running a Connecticut-wide contest to find a gal vocalist for an engagement with the clary king's group at Westchester County Center June 25-26. Benny, Ted Husing and Leonard Feather will act as judges.
Before winner Dolly Houston performs You Turned The Tables On Me, Benny says “Dolly was topped from the, uh… eleven hundred and fifty-four entries in the state of Connecticut, and she's gonna be singing with us all this summer.” Note that Russ Connor consistently spells her name “Huston” – it seems this is a mistake. Her publicity photo, credits on record labels, etc. – all say Dolly Houston. David Jessup and Warren Hicks have confirmed this.

Connor lists Red Rodney as the trumpeter heard playing the Donna Lee head in the ensemble on Indiana, and this listing has been followed by other discographers.

Gazdar (Easy Swing, page 10):

(BG) also brought in Red Rodney (tpt) for the White Plains date; however, Rodney seems to be absent from all the Bcsts. available to us; there is no discernable trumpet sound in the ensembles and its [sic] unlikely that he's be given no solo work. Perhaps the press was in error in reporting the event or may be [sic] it was a move that was intended but never took place.
Bridgeport Telegram, June 25, 1948 (page 65):
Benny Goodman, who sat in with Ronny Rommel's band at Glorietta Manor last Sunday, was so well impressed with the band that he completed arrangements yesterday for Ronny's band to work with his own aggregation at Westchester County Center in White Plains tonight and tomorrow night. Ronny and Benny's bands will open the evening's activities playing together as a unit. Then they'll split up and alternate on the bandstand for the rest of the evening, to provide for continuous dancing. Zoey Zalla's Casa Ritz band has been booked into Glorietta Manor as Ronny's replacement.

Possibly Ronny Rommel is the trumpeter heard on (at least) Indiana. Leonard Feather saw the band on June 18 (opening night) and wrote "Red Rodney had only joined the group at the last minute, and there were no trumpet parts in the arrangements" and "he has already decided to quit the group". Rodney joined an All Star group which opened at the Royal Roost on June 30, 1948. Perhaps Rodney was present for the recording of Indiana broadcast on June 26, or perhaps it was Rommel, or perhaps the tracks with trumpet were recorded earlier than the track with Dolly Houston. Many questions remain unanswered.

Dobbs Ferry Register, Friday, June 25, 1948 (page 7):

“King O'Swing” Will Be At County Center With All-Star Summer Program

Benny Goodman, renowned clarinetist, directing his world famous dance orchestra, plus a galaxy of radio, recording and screen stars, officially rolled out the “welcome mat” to Westchester dance fans at the County Center, White Plains, N.Y., on June 18th. This inaugurated a big series of dance parties scheduled for Friday and Saturday Evenings thru-out the Summer. In negotiating with Mr. Goodman, Westchester County Recreation Commission authorities feel they are “filling a long desired Summer program for Westchester's dance-minded young people and with the finest existing talent.” One of the deciding factors in securing this very outstanding program is largely due to the fact that Benny Goodman is actually a County resident, and having been in California for a considerable time completing “A Song Is Born” new Samuel Goldwyn picture, plus radio and recording engagements, is anxious to return to his Westchester home.

Ted Husing, famed radio announcer and “disc jockey”, will appear nightly as Master-of-Ceremonies, introducing Mr. Goodman's visiting guest stars. The orchestra will feature many well known personalities including Teddy Wilson, Wardell Gray and Stan Hasselgard.

Goodman, who has brought out such singing stars as Peggy Lee, Helen Forrest and Martha Tilton, is seeking another talented young women [sic] to sing with his band. This is a bonafide desire and the successful girl will actually appear with the orchestra at the County Center. From there on it is up to her. Judging will be on voice, appearance and ability, and will be done by Mr. Goodman, Ted Husing and Dick Linke of Capitol Records.

According to authorities, all dances will be conducted at popular prices and within easy budget means. To clubs and organizations desiring to stage group dance parties at a nominal cost, the management is offering reduced rates, and when available, a private headquarters for persona attending such functions. There is no additional charge for this latter convenience. Anyone interested may contact Mr. Goodman's Westchester Representative, Paul C. Morris, at the County Center. Phone WHite Plains 9-8901.

Note that Mary Lou Williams has replaced Teddy Wilson on piano, and Clyde Lombardi has replaced Arnold Fishkind on bass. As reported by Hasselgård, Fishkind (or, Fishkin) was fired and given two-weeks notice on opening night of the Click engagement. As to when Mary Lou took over for Wilson, note that Teddy Wilson is advertised as appearing with the Goodman group (above), instead of Mary Lou Williams. Wilson's name also appears on advertisements in Dobbs Ferry Register (June 4, 11, and 18). Mary Lou is listed in place of Teddy in an ad published June 25 in the same newspaper. That same ad also lists Wilson: “FRIDAY NIGHT ALL THE CATS JOIN IN WITH Fred “WOV” ROBBINS in person Also TEDDY WILSON”.

From “Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams” by Linda Dahl (page 198):

“The first two nights Benny used bass, drums, piano and clarinet,” Mary wrote about the new band's initial performances in early June. “We had quite a ball and sounded very good. After this we played weekends with the Sextet.”

Down Beat, Chicago, July 14, 1948 (page 6):

Bop-Styled BG Septet Stars All But Goodman
New York—Benny Goodman has gone on a bop kick. He demonstrated this before a crowd of 1,500 well-satisfied fans when he opened his weekend dancing policy at the nearby Westchester County Center in White Plains with a septet and two vocalists. While Benny shone individually on old standards that brought him fame better than a decade ago and still rates requests from his fans for the most part, his group bopped its way through the evening. The book was split between the familiar style of the King of Swing and the new rage of the goatee-beret-horn rimmed glasses set. The group doesn't come on in a manner that will scare any swing addicts, bop being predominately displayed in fine, if somewhat subdued, taste. Benny does a job of selling the new product to his old public. He, himself, rides along with his young cohorts on ensemble choruses but gives most of the solo spotlight on new tunes to his protege, Stan Hasselgard. Stan's the tall, good-looking, blonde Swedish clarinetist whom Benny brought east with him. The kid does great and Benny's faith in him is well founded.

Gray Excites
Sensation of the group, and the real target of most applause opening night, was Wardell Gray, a bop tenor youngster who comes from Detroit via Hollywood. He admits, somewhat sadly, that nothing much happened to him and his career in those communities. It happened in White Plains, though, and, sharing the Goodman spotlight, he can count on some pretty fair recognition from here on in. Teddy Wilson shone in his own right, playing both swing and bop as well as anyone in that hall could want it. Teddy, however, was scheduled for only the opening weekend, after which the stool was to be occupied by Mary Lou Williams for the remainder of the summer run in Westchester.

All Dance Tempi
Red Rodney, little redheaded contender for the lightweight championship in the bop trumpet race, took charge of the one-man brass section. Billy Bauer on guitar, Mel Zelnick on drums and Clyde Lombardi on bass gave the unit a solid background. Incidentally, all numbers played were for dancing, no broken rhythm marring the evening for those who came to two-step, shag, Lindy or what have you. There are those who are of the belief that it's impossible to dance to bop. They probably brought this mix-up upon themselves by confusing Kenton's progressive jazz with bop as practiced by dance bands such as those of Benny, Woody and Gene.

Patti Sings
Patti Page handled the femme vocal chores as an added starter, sans billing. Patti, a recording star in her own right with Mercury, worked with Benny's small group during its fortnight at the Click in Philadelphia, and filled in at White Plains until she left last week for some solo dates in the midwest. Prior to the opening, Benny's managers and publicists arranged a contest to find a new vocalist, with winning honors going to Dolly Houston, a Bridgeport, Conn., gal who has been working around her own neighborhood with the local band of Ronnie Rommel. She showed opening night, but as a spectator, not a performer, and was slated to make her Goodman debut the following week.

So Does Searle
Jackie Searle shared the vocal spot with Patti, and scored heavily. If this Chicagoan doesn't make his mark in pop circles before the end of the year we miss our guess —or Goodman cuts short his season—or the recording ban is to blame. A tow-head with some Boyd Raeburn experience, he gives out with a pleasant baritone voice that is finding its way around the tricks of modern jazz singing. All in all, Benny has a fine little outfit.

Localites Alternate
A local band playing run-of-the-mill dance music alternates with the septet. It makes no pretense at cutting the small group, sticking to stocks or something akin to stocks for those who still want to dance while Benny rests. And, of course, there were plenty of terpsichoreans who much preferred to gather and gape in front of the band stand while Benny was on. The enterprise is Benny's own, he having rented the huge hall through his manager, Mark Hanna. Fred Robbins works with him on the project and does an emcee turn around midnight, during which period he introduces whatever guests have made the trip with him and then conducts a contest whereby several couples are awarded Goodman albums. The County Center isn't the easiest place in the world to fill, especially in hot weather. If Benny continues as he did opening night, it'll be a feather indeed, in his bonnet—or beret. —jeg

THE MELODY MAKER AND RHYTHM, July 3, 1948 (page 5):

An On-the-Spot Review by Our U.S. Correspondent LEONARD FEATHER

     The new Benny Goodman Octet made its New York debut the other night. Actually, it was not in New York City, but at White Plains, N.Y., about an hour’s drive from the city, where Benny is promoting a series of Friday and Saturday night dances throughout the summer.
     On the first Friday evening I went up to hear the group, which I had heard only at a couple of rehearsals.
     The hall, a vast place called Westchester County Centre, has a capacity of about 5,000, so although Benny had attracted more than 1,500 people, it did not seem crowded, and the acoustics were so bad that it was impossible to get a fair idea of how the music should have sounded.
     For the first weekend the personnel comprised Benny and Stan Hasselgard (clarinets); Red Rodney (trumpet); Wardell Gray (tenor); Teddy Wilson (p); Billy Bauer (guitar); Clyde Lombardi (bass); and Mel Zelnick (drums). The arrangements have been contributed by Mary Lou Williams, Shorty Rogers and several others.


     Red Rodney had only joined the group at the last minute, and there were no trumpet parts in the arrangements. Red was the most uncompromising rebopper in the group. Only twenty-one, he has been playing the name bands since he was fourteen—Jerry Wald, Gene Krupa, Claude Thornhill, Georgie Auld—and was featured to advantage with a group of his own in the Keynote album of rebop.
     However, with Benny he was given few chances to play for any length of time, and he has already decided to quit the group and rejoin the Esquire All Stars (Chubby Jackson, Bill Harris, Georgie Auld, Lou Levy, Shelly Manne), who open next week at the Royal Roost.
     Stan Hasselgard didn’t get too much to do in the time I heard the group, but he has justified the faith Benny has shown in him, and it seems certain that within a year or two Benny will back him in a band of his own.
     As for “B. G.” himself, he’s still playing a lot of clarinet—he doesn’t play bop, but his execution and finesse lend a certain excitement to everything he plays. Moreover, Benny seemed to be in very good spirits, and was obviously enjoying working with this much more modern group, in spite of the many strong statements against rebop which he made only a few months ago. Benny now admits publicly, and in radio interviews, that there are a lot of things happening in jazz, and that he finds them interesting.
     However, one thing Benny clearly cannot stand is the rebop conception of how a rhythm section should play. One day at rehearsal when drummer Mel Zelnick put in a couple of in-between bass drum beats and other effects, Benny turned to May Lou pleadingly and said, “Does he have to do that?” However, Billy Bauer gets to play some good rhythm guitar in the modern style. Not a great soloist, he fills his role in the group adequately.
     Teddy Wilson sounded fine on some of the slow tunes, but his rhythm work and his solos on the faster tempos seemed much too mechanical and uninspired. He is being replaced at the keyboard by Mary Lou Williams, who has had a considerable influence on Goodman’s thinking lately, though he still breaks her heart every once in a while by removing from her arrangements what she thinks are the prettiest and most unusual chords.
     The octet is augmented by the presence of two competent singers, Patti Page and Jack Searle. The former is a Mercury Records star in her own right, and is only with the group for a couple of weeks.
     To sum up, the new Goodman group is the best small unit Benny has had together since the great days of Charlie Christian, Cootie Williams, and Georgie Auld; but it still can, and will, be better.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Åke “Stan” Hasselgård (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Mary Lou Williams (p); Billy Bauer (el-g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Mel Zelnick (d); Jackie Searle, Dolly Houston (voc); Glen Adams (mc).

WNEW Radio broadcast, “The Benny Goodman Show", Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY, July 3, 1948

Stompin' At The Savoy (theme)CD: Audio Park APCD-6067
Bye Bye Blues #CD: Audio Park APCD-6067; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5003, Från Staterna
Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams -vJSCD: Audio Park APCD-6067
Blue Views #CD: Audio Park APCD-6067; 12-inch LP: Från Staterna
It's The Talk Of The Town -vDH #CD: Audio Park APCD-6067
Mel's Idea #CD: Audio Park APCD-6067, DRCD 332; 12-inch LP: DRLP-29, Dan VC-5003
Don't Blame Me -vJSCD: Audio Park APCD-6067
After You've GoneCD: Audio Park APCD-6067
Good-Bye (theme)CD: Audio Park APCD-6067


Blue Views is wrongly titled “Blues For Sweden” on Från Staterna. Hasselgård solos on Mel's Idea only. Wardell plays obligatto and an 8 bar solo on the unissued It's The Talk Of The Town.

I do not know if there was a third broadcast – if not, it was not cancelled in time to avoid the following: “ON THE RADIO TODAY” (The New York Times, Saturday, July 10, 1948) lists “8:00 –WNEW—Benny Goodman Show”. The following week we see “8:00 --WNEW –DANCE MUSIC”.

Lars Westin, liner notes to LP: Dragon DRLP 29:

Aside from two tracks recorded for V Disc on November 18, 1948 with his own quintet (and included on Dragon DRLP 25), these are the last recordings by Stan Hasselgard. There were great plans for his building a band of his own, with support from B.G., when he was killed in a car crash on November 23, 1948, aged only 26.

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

V-Disc, WOR Guild Theatre Playhouse, New York, NY, August 20, 1948

SEXTET (Goodman, Gray, Williams, Bauer, Lombardi, Zelnick):

Mary's Idea (Just An Idea) (take 1) #12-inch LP/CD: Hep 36
Mary's Idea (Just An Idea) (take 2) (breakdown)12-inch LP/CD: Hep 36
Mary's Idea (Just An Idea) (take 3) #12-inch LP/CD: Hep 36
Bye Bye Blues (take 1) #12-inch LP: SB 144; 12-inch LP/CD: Hep 36
Bye Bye Blues (take 2) #12-inch LP/CD: Hep 36
Benny's Bop (Limehouse Blues) #unissued
Benny's Bop (Limehouse Blues) #unissued
J-640-USS-1070Benny's Bop (Limehouse Blues) (master take) #V-Disc 880; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5003; 12-inch LP/CD: Hep 36
Blue Views #12-inch LP/CD: Hep 36

SEPTET (Goodman, Gray, Williams, Bauer, Lombardi, Zelnick, Searle):

I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby -vJS #12-inch LP, CD: Hep 36; 12-inch LP: SB 144

QUARTET (Goodman, Williams, Lombardi, Zelnick):

There's A Small Hotel (take 1) (breakdown)12-inch LP, CD: Hep 36; 12-inch LP: IAJRC 51
There's A Small Hotel (take 2)12-inch LP, CD: Hep 36; 12-inch LP: SB 144
J661-1091There's A Small Hotel (take 3) (master take)V-Disc 890-B/J 661, 12-inch LP, CD: Hep 36


Benny's Bop (Limehouse Blues) is also on Från Staterna, where it is titled “Wardell's Riff”. Bye Bye Blues (take 2) and Mary's Idea (take 1) appear on ProperBox 55 wrongly identified as from the Westchester County Center.

Prior to the 1987 release of the LP: Hep 36 there was much confusion surrounding the recordings from this date. LP: SB144: Sunbeam SB144 (titled “Benny Goodman On V-Disc, Vol.3 1939-48") contains I Can't Give You Anything But Love and Bye Bye Blues. These were initially misattributed to “(p)ossibly “The Benny Goodman Show". WNEW Radio, July 1948, White Plains, N.Y.” (Connor, Legacy p 193).

Connor, “Listen To His Legacy", page 193:

Nor is the author able to pinpoint the recording date or dates of the next two V-discs. One source has it that 'Benny's Bop' (in reality, 'Limehouse Blues') was cut earlier, likely in July while Benny was in and around New York, and after Hasselgard had departed.

Connor (above) is referring to Benny's Bop (V-Disc 880) and There's A Small Hotel (V-Disc 890).

Connor, “Listen To His Legacy", page 319 (ADDENDA):

Speculation in the text that two tracks on SB LP 144 may be from a V-Disc studio session, rather than from a broadcast of July 1948, is now substantiated as fact: A 16" acetate marked “V-Disc Session” has been discovered that includes one of the LP cuts, an alternate take of the other, and a hitherto undocumented recording of a third tune. Undated, the disc does not offer a positive link to the session(s) that produced V-Disc 880 A, 'Benny's Bop,' and V-Disc 890 B, 'There's A Small Hotel.' Its clarity, however, permits certain identification of the personnel. The text entry headed, “Possibly, 'The Benny Goodman Show, July 1948',” should be deleted, and the following Substituted: BENNY GOODMAN SEXTET prob. July 1948, New York (See text, July 3, 1948, for personnel.) . . . 'Just An Idea' may also have been recorded at this, or a contemporary, session. If so, a transcription of it has eluded search.

Finally - Connor, “Wrappin' It Up”, page 70:

(Bill Savory's) notes supply the exact date of these small-group recordings, 20 August 1948 . . . All of the takes displayed under several headings in Legacy's text and Addenda are from this session.

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

Recording session for Capitol, New York, NY, September 9, 1948

2974-3Stealin' Apples #78 rpm: CAP CC-106


Long reported as having been recorded in Hollywood, this side is now known to have been cut in New York.

Linda Dahl, Morning Glory - A Biography Of Mary Lou Williams (page 201):

(The) young pianist, Gene DiNovi, recalled 'receiving a last-minute phone call from Hasselgard offering me the job. He told me that Mary Lou and Benny had just had a big fight, so I ran in from Brooklyn to make the date.

The Billboard, September 25, 1948 (page 16):

NEW YORK, Sept. 18.---Benny Goodman recorded here last week. The tune was Stealing Apples, and playing alongside Benny on the date were be-bop stars Wardell Gray and Fats Navarro. But the clarinet boss will not be hauled up before Petrillo on a ban violation charge; the date had full benediction of the American Federation of Musicians. The recording is one of a series Capitol is making with all proceeds going to the Damon Runyon cancer fund. There's a promotional gimmick, too. The tunes being waxed are from the Danny Kaye flick, A Song Is Born, in which Goodman appears.


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

Poss. Royal Roost, New York, NY, poss. August/September, 1948

Now's The Time #12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ-108
Rifftide (Oh, Lady Be Good!) #12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ-108
Just You, Just Me #12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ-108


The notes to Spotlite claims these recordings are from the Royal Roost, “c. August-September 1948”. The date is uncertain, and there are no announcements on the Spotlite LP to help pinpoint it. The late Boris Rose was a New York-based collector and bootlegger, who published a great number of recordings “direct from the Royal Roost”. Rose never issued these particular recordings, nor were they referenced in any of his extensive lists of holdings. According to the liner notes, “...Spotlite went to the trouble of borrowing the original acetates from source in an effort to get the best sound possible ...” – if this is true it seems highly unlikely the source was Rose.

A guide to the complete recordings of Dameron at the Roost appears on the back cover to the Boris Rose Lps ULT-TADD TDFN XX1500 AIR CHECK SERIES (“Tadd Dameron – Royal Roost Nights Added attraction Anita O'Day”) and TaÏcrip! TDFN-10230 (“Fats' Gang! Fats Navarro Anita O'Day Tadd Dameron”). Both records list these tunes as from “ca. 8-9/48 (5tet w. Eager, Gray)”.

Mark Gardner (liner notes to Spotlite 108):

These are by a Tadd Dameron Quintet and were probably recorded in September 1948 when Tadd's combo were into a long residency at the Royal Roost. These five musicians - Wardell Gray, Allen Eager, Tadd , Curley Russell and Kenny Clarke – recorded for Blue Note on September 13 when they were augmented by Fats Navarro and bongo player Chano Pozo. Why wasn't Fats on this particular club session? Well, Dameron has recounted the story of how Fats would often be asking for more money and if he didn't get it would go off with some other group for a week or two. This might have been one of those times.

Note that it was Chino Pozo, not Chano Pozo, on congas for the Blue Note date, and that it was Wardell who augmented the Dameron group, not Navarro.

William “Count” Basie (p, dir); Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham, Harry Edison, Emmett Berry (tp); Bill Johnson, George Matthews, Ted Donnelly, Dickie Wells (tb); Bernard “Bernie”/“Burnie” Peacock (as); Earle Warren (as, voc); Wardell Gray, Paul Gonsalves (ts); Ronald “Jack” Washington (bar); Freddie Green (g); Singleton “Cookie” Palmer (b); Rossiere “Shadow” Wilson (d); Dinah Washington, Jimmy Rushing (voc); “Symphony” Sid Torin (mc).

WMCA radio broadcast, Royal Roost, New York, NY, September 11, 1948

X-1 #12-inch LP: Session Disc 106
Futile Frustration12-inch LP: Session Disc 106
Am I Asking Too Much? -vDW12-inch LP: Session Disc 106; CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
Evil Gal Blues -vDW12-inch LP: Session Disc 106; CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
Good Bait #12-inch LP: Session Disc 106, Ozone 6
Moon Nocturne -vEW (incomplete)12-inch LP: Session Disc 106
Paradise Squat12-inch LP: Session Disc 106; CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
I Want To Cry -vDW12-inch LP: Session Disc 106
Blue Skies -vJR12-inch LP: Session Disc 106
The King #12-inch LP: Session Disc 106, Ozone 6


Beryl Booker (p) replaces Basie on titles sung by Dinah Washington.

This is the earliest of the recordings of Wardell with Count Basie's revamped Orchestra.

Chris Sheridan (Count Basie: A Bio-Discography, page 297):

The addition of Wardell Gray brought in one of the two or three most articulate tenor players in the band's history. He came in from Benny Goodman's sextet and would be an important part of the various Basie groups of the ensuing three or four years. He was also an important part of the contemporary “new music” scene and, two days after this session, took part in a classic Blue Note bop session with Theodore 'Fats' Navarro."

The majority of the 1948 recordings with Basie come from the collection of Boris Rose. There is some debate as to how Rose acquired them. In the liner notes to CD: Capitol CDP 94550, in reference to the recordings of Miles Davis' Nonet and Quartet at the Roost, Phil Schaap wrote:

The original source material is on acetate disc. It resides in the incredible music archives of Boris Rose. Although Mr. Rose is known to have recorded live music off the air and to have hired others to do so, I don't believe the Roost recordings to be genuine airchecks---an actual recording of the airwaves. I think they were recorded on location. The good audio quality of the music from these late 1940s AM radio broadcasts could cause such a suspicion, but I came to my conclusion because of other components of the broadcasts. If these are truly airchecks, then why does Bob Garrity in the studio sound so dull in comparison to Symphony Sid on the bandstand, or the musicians and their performance? I believe that the initial recording was made by the technicians at The Royal Roost. They are recording Sid and the music at the spot, while the studio portion was fed into their mix on a phone line or, perhaps, from a radio. Somehow Boris Rose obtained copies from these professional location recordings, or perhaps he got the originals. They became the cornerstone of his amazing collection, a collection that would be greatly expanded over time with real airchecks, often from Birdland.

Much of the Basie Roost material remains unissued. Without complete tapes, it remains uncertain which recordings correspond to which dates, and most discographies disagree with each other. The basis for my analysis is copies of Boris Rose's logs, which appear to be an inventory of Rose's holdings. Rose himself issued many of these recordings on his bootleg LPs. His attempts to disguise the nature of these broadcasts included excising the announcements. Over the years many of Rose's Royal Roost recordings featuring on-stage banter by “Symphony” Sid Torin have surfaced - sometimes Rose himself issued these. Unfortunately Boris' three 12-inch LPs which cover the Basie material have had nearly all traces of the announcements removed.

The 12-inch LP: Session 106 presents this date in the order in which it appears in Rose's list. There are no opening/closing themes available, and none of Sid's banter was included. In 1997 a CD titled Count Basie & His Orchestra - At The Royal Roost 1948 was issued by the Drive Archive label (DE2-41096) - this release was our first chance to hear Sid's banter on any of the Basie Roost recordings. He is heard at length during the Dinah Washington features from this date. Unfortunately, this CD is plagued by serious speed/pitch problems variations, and the majority of titles are incorrectly dated.

Paradise Squat is listed as “Paradise” on Session 106 as well as in Rose's list. Boris' incorrect title attributions frequently originate from an inaccurate announcement - and on DE2-41096, we hear Sid's introduction as “And now an original thing by The Count: here's -- Paradise.”

Chris Sheridan states (page 296): “Basie's opening, like the Tuba Band's, was broadcast by WMGM.” Sheridan is of course referring to the Miles Davis Nonet, which opened September 4th. Sheridan has all the Roost broadcasts as having been broadcast by WMGM, but this is an error.

As far as this date having been opening night for Basie, surviving announcements indicate Basie's opening was to be September 9th. As far as I am aware there were no broadcasts out of The Roost on Thursdays, so this does not seem to be correct either. On the August 28 broadcast, Sid says “And I'd like to remind you that here at the Metropolitan's Bopera House, the Royal Roost, starting, uh - September the 9th we're bringin' the great Count Basie and his organization along with the outstanding and wonderful Dinah Washington. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Dinah Washington making her first appearance since the blessed event, along with the great Count Basie. And I understand there's a understand there's a big party going on at Count Basie's home, out in St. Aldwyns [sic]. I know everybody, from around here, all the managers and everybody all went down to dig the great Count Basie. Remember the date, September the 9th, here at Metropolitan's Bopera House, the Royal Roost."

On the broadcast of September 4th, while introducing the Tadd Dameron group, Sid says “And don't forget September the 7th, the great Dinah Washington comes in here, and on the 9th, the outstanding Count Basie. It'll be Count Basie and his sensational new organization. It'll be Dinah Washington, and the outstanding Miles Davis and his new sound in progressive jazz.” Before Charlie Parker's set Sid states “And don't forget, here at the Royal Roost, we're bringing to you starting, the - um, 7th, the great Dinah Washington, and on the 9th, the great Count Basie and his wonderful organization, it'll be Count Basie, Dinah Washington, and the great Miles Davis organization.” Sheridan (page 297): “Freddie Green is inaudible on these titles but there are no reports that he was absent at this stage."

Gazdar (page 14) also lists unissued versions of Little Dog, Robbins' Nest, Far Cry and a second Blue Skies as from this date. This is not supported by Rose's documentation.

An unissued announcement by Symphony Sid shows Wardell was a star of this band:

“…(H)ere at Metroplolitan's Bopera House the Royal Roost, we bring you the gonest in modern music featuring the great Count Basie, his brand new orchestra with Wardell Gray on tenor. Right now ladies and gentleman let's give the great Count Basie a hand as he does a brand new and original thing – 'X-1'!”

Another unissued Sid announcement reveals Lester Young was in the audience for this broadcast:

“And you know it's like old times when you see guys around like Bud Tate, and, uh, Jimmy Rushing, and Lester Young, sittin' aroung and diggin' the broadcast, that's really for kicks. And so we bring for you in the new groove, in the modern groove, we bring you an original thing done by Walter Fuller, arranged for – Tadd Dameron, I'm sorry, arranged by… Tadd Dameron, and, here it is, one you'll all enjoy: 'Good Bait'.”

Note also the existence of CD: Arpeggio ARJ 002 titled The Count Basie Organization - Live At The Royal Roost. This disc is a clone of the Drive Archive DE2-41096 release.

Theodore “Fats” Navarro (tp); Allen Eager, Wardell Gray (ts); Tadley Ewing Peake “Tadd” Dameron (p, arr); Dillon “Curley” Russell (b); Kenny Clarke (d); Francisco “Chino” Pozo (bgo); Kenny “Poncho” Hagood (voc).

Recording session for Blue Note, WOR Studios, New York, NY, September 13, 1948

BN332-0Jahbero #12-inch LP: BN BLP1532
BN332-1Jahbero (master take) #78 rpm: BN 559
BN333-0Lady Bird (master take) #78 rpm: BN 559
BN331-1Lady Bird #12-inch LP: BN BLP1532
BN334-0Symphonette #12-inch LP: BN BLP1532
BN334-1Symphonette (master take) #12-inch LP: BN 1564
BN335-1I Think I'll Go Away -vKH12-inch LP: BNJ 61008


Previously believed to have been recorded at Apex Studios. Chino Pozo is on Jahbero only, Gray is out on I Think I'll Go Away.

William “Count” Basie (p, dir); Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham, Harry Edison, Emmett Berry (tp); Bill Johnson, George Matthews, Ted Donnelly, Dickie Wells (tb); Bernard “Bernie”/“Burnie” Peacock (as); Earle Warren (as, voc); Wardell Gray (ts); Paul Gonsalves (ts, poss. el-g); Ronald “Jack” Washington (bar); Freddie Green (g); Singleton Palmer (b); Rossiere “Shadow” Wilson (d); Dinah Washington, Jimmy Rushing (voc); unidentified (mc).

MBS Radio broadcast, Royal Roost, New York, NY, September 14, 1948

Spasmodic #16-inch ET: AFRS JJ 21; 12-inch LP: Ozone 6, Spotlite SPJ-134
Robbins' Nest16-inch ET: AFRS JJ 21; CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
Blue Skies -vJR16-inch ET: AFRS JJ 22; CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
X-1 #16-inch ET: AFRS JJ 22, 12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ-134
Moon Nocturne -vEW16-inch ET: AFRS JJ 21
Far Cry16-inch ET: AFRS JJ 21; 12-inch LP: Ozone 6
I Want To Cry -vDW16-inch ET: AFRS JJ 21
The King #16-inch ET: AFRS JJ 21; 12-inch LP: SPJ-134; CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
Good Bait #12-inch LP: SPJ-134


Beryl Brooker (p) replaces Basie on titles sung by Dinah Washington.

The circumstances surrounding this recording are unclear. Broadcasts from the Royal Roost were a regular weekend event (“and don't forget, every Friday night, Saturday morning we take our WMCA microphones right down here to the Metropolitan Bopera House, the Royal Roost, 1580 Broadway between 47th and 48th Street”). However, the entry for this set in Boris' log is for September 14, which was a Tuesday evening. In addition, the Drive Archive CD preserves some of the announcements, and it is certainly not Symphony Sid we hear. Finally, most of the titles were included on AFRS 16-inch ETs (Just Jazz No. 21 and No. 22). The Brooklyn Eagle for September 14, 1948 lists, at 11:30 PM: “WOR—Basie Orch.” According to Leif Bo Petersen, “WOR had established a line to the Roost in the spring of 1948 in order to broadcast Wyatt & Taylor and also the Lunceford Orchestra.”

This recording of "The King" appears on both the Just Jazz ET and the Drive Archive disc, and helps to pinpoint the origin of some of the other titles. Regarding Spasmodic, the overdubbed applause appears only on AFRS JJ 21, while Rose's Ozone 6 issue has what must be the genuine applause. The mc's “Spasmodic” announcement is extant on Rose's issue as well as AFRS JJ 21 (longer on Ozone). It is clear that these announcements originate from the Roost.

I've placed the Drive Archive performance of “Robbins' Nest” here because there is only one other performance listed by Rose (September 25, 1948) - that version is NOT the same. The performance of "Blue Skies" that appears on the Drive Archive CD is not the same as the performance from September 11, and Rose only lists those two instances. Rose only lists two versions of I Want To Cry, and the performance heard on AFRS JJ 21 is not the same as the performance from September 11.

Note that "Moon Nocturne", as listed in Rose, is incomplete - that is, it is divided into sections. Rose's list for this date appears to indicate that his original copy of this transcription is on two 15-minute sides, and that the change of disc took place during "Moon Nocturne." There are three listings of Moon Nocturne in Rose (September 11, 14 and 25). If the "Moon Nocturne" presented on Just Jazz 21 derives from this date, as indicated by Sheridan, it follows that Rose's recording and the Just Jazz recording are not from the same physical source.

There are three distinct performances of X-1 title available. The performance from the 11th is easy to confirm - it shows up on 12-inch LP: Session 106. The remaining versions are on 12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ-134 and CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096. It seems clear that the version heard on the Spotlite LP is from this date - its source is the 16-inch ET: AFRS Just Jazz No. 22. Sheridan (page 298) places this version here, stating, “X-1 has an unidentified electric guitar audible in the ensemble. It could be Paul Gonsalves or an anonymous sitter-in.” Notice that Rose does not list 'X-1' here. Sheridan lists 'X-1' between Blue Skies and Moon Nocturne. Instead of X-1, Rose lists Little Dog. Most likely X-1 was performed here and was announced as “Little Dog". E. Raben backs this up by stating X-1 is “Incorrectly announced as “Little Dog". This leaves the third version, which is on Drive Archive - I have placed that among the titles from September 18 in order to correspond with Rose's list.

From the liner notes to SPJ134 (Brian Davis, March 1976):

X-1 is in a more relaxed vein and also holding a problem for the discographically minded. In identifying the electric guitar player heard in the see-saw-sax passages during the opening bars. Could it be that Paul Gonsalves who once played guitar tried enhancing the voicing on this number by returning to his first instrument? Freddie Green claims he never played anything but acoustic guitar and earlier recordings heard of this tune before Wardell joined the band do not have the electric guitar present despite the fact that Gonsalves was in the band.

The opening bars of Robbins' Nest were excised from AFRS JJ 21 in order to eliminate the conclusion of the emcee's introduction. The complete performance is available on the Drive Archive CD. The same holds true for "The King." The opening bars of Far Cry are missing on AFRS JJ 21 and Ozone 6, and the tune fades just as Gonsalves' solo begins.

I've placed here the performance of Good Bait which appears on the Spotlite LP “Wardell Gray And Friends” (Spotlite SPJ-134). This title is not listed in Rose for that date, nor in Sheridan. The Spotlite LP groups this title with The King, Spasmodic, and X-1, as “(u)nknown location, possibly New York City – early/mid September 1948.” Rose lists only two performances of Good Bait and these are accounted for - the performance on Session 106/Ozone 6 is certainly from the 11th, and the Drive Archive version seems to me to be from September 25, 1948 (first set). The Spotlite record seems to be composed entirely of material culled from AFRS transcriptions. I have not had access to a copy of Just Jazz No. 22, but it seems likely that this title was sourced from that ET. Gazdar dates this track September 14.

A point of interest here is the precision with which Rose's recordings from the 14th can be synched with those found on Just Jazz. This seems to point to a common source; on the other hand, it remains a curiosity that Rose did not list this additional Good Bait (if it indeed is from the 14th). Note too that Rose's copy of Moon Nocturne from the 14th is described as incomplete, while Just Jazz 21 presents a complete performance. Many questions remain.

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

WMGM radio broadcast, “Record Industry Salute”, New York, NY, Friday, September 17, 1948

Stealin' Apples #12-inch LP: Spotlite SPJ-145 (incomplete)

Same as above, except Count Basie (p) replaces DiNovi.

WMGM Jump (Bedlam) (Stoned) #12-inch LP: Dan VC-5003, Spotlite SPJ-145


Stealin' Apples fades in abruptly on the Spotlite LP. One of the tape copies of this show in my collection appears to be the same as that available to the producers of that album – the source is damaged and there are groove jumps during the announcements and the theme.

These titles appear in Boris Rose's earliest list of Royal Roost recordings, under the headings “9/17/48 - SARAH VAUGHN [sic] – BENNY GOODMAN, WARDELL GRAY, BASIE” and “WMGM Bdcst. #132 D”. A later Rose list – which does not detail this particular WMGM air check, lists eight titles by Sarah Vaughan from September 18 with It's Magic and Riding High as the first tunes.

These titles usually appear in discographies as originating from “THE TED HUSING SHOW”. I believe this to be inaccurate.

The New York Times' PROGRAMS ON THE AIR for FRIDAY, SEPT. 17, 1948 does list a “Ted Husing Bandstand” program on WMGM, from 10:00-11:00 A.M., but it is clear from the unissued conversations between Husing, Goodman and Basie that this was an evening broadcast. (Goodman asks Husing, “what time does this program go off the air?”, and Husing replies “oh, at nine o'clock.”) The New York Times has, at 8:00 PM: “WMGM--Record Industry Salute”.

During the banter, Husing asks Goodman, “Say, don't you think an occasion like this, Benny, calls for a real, broken down jam session?” In addition, Basie says, “Well, Ted, in honor of this occasion we'd like to play something called the 'WMG Jump' [sic].” This 'occasion' must refer to the broadcasts over WMGM to celebrate the official change from call letters WHN.

Radio Daily, Vol. 44, No. 48, Wednesday, September 8, 1948 (page 1, page 6):

Debut Of WHN Studios, Switch To WMGM Set
WHN's new call letters, WMGM, and new studios at 711 Fifth Ave. will be officially inaugurated Sept. 15 with a special all-star show featuring a pickup of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer personalities from Hollywood. Both the station and the movie firm are owned by Loew's Inc. Call letters were changed to bring about a closer identification with MGM.

Radio Daily, VOL. 44, NO. 52, Tuesday, September 14, 1948 (Pages 1, 3):

Special Programs For WMGM Opening
Special programs commemorating the switch of WHN to WMGM have been set for broadcast from the station's new studios at 711 Fifth Avenue tomorrow night, Herbert Pettey, director of WMGM, announced yesterday. The programs which will originate at the MGM studios in Hollywood and from the New York studios will get under way at 8 p.m., and will continue until 11 p.m.

Eight to 9:00 p.m. portion originating in New York studios will be documentary cavalcade of station's history emceed by Ted Husing with specialties by Norman Brokenshire, Ward Wilson, Arthur Q. Bryan, Morton Downey, Mary Jane Walsh, Vic Damone, Joel Herron's orchestra, Ray Bloch's chorus and speeches by J Mayor William O'Dwyer and other dignitaries. Nine to ten p.m. portion conceived by Louis K. Sidney will originate at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer California studios and will present George Murphy as emcee; Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Esther Williams, Ben Gage, Red Skelton, Jane Powell, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Mario Lanza, Andre Previn, Richard Beavers; George Stoll conducting MGM recording orchestra and MGM choral group. Ten to eleven p.m. portion will be interviews with celebrities at new Fifth avenue studios and special night club industry salute to WMGM.

The New York Times, Wednesday, September 15, 1948:

Station WHN, second oldest in the city, formally changes its call letters to WMGM in a special three-hour program this evening, starting at 8 o'clock. The headquarters of the outlet also will be moved today from Loew's State Theatre Building on Broadway to 711 Fifth Avenue.

Advertisement, Brooklyn Eagle, Friday, September 17, 1948 (page 27):

A glamour parade . . . 3 exciting hours of all-star entertainment as WHN becomes WMGM!
Salute by: Recording Artists 8 P.M.”

Listed in this ad are “Ted Husing—MC, Benny Goodman & his Sextet, Sarah Vaughan, and Count Basie”, among many others.

Assembled from advertisements and radio logs, the following is the schedule for the five evenings, beginning Wednesday and continuing each weeknight until and including the following Tuesday:

Wednesday, September 15, 1948:
8:00 P.M.Ted Husing (mc) from NY (station history, etc.)
9:00 P.M.From California (Gene Kelly, Sinatra, etc.)
10:15 P.M.Salute by... Nightclub Industry

Thursday, September 16, 1948:
8:00 P.M.Salute by... Famous Songwriters Of ASCAP!
9:00 P.M.Salute by... Warner Bros. Hollywood Studios
10:00 P.M.Glamour Lobby
10:15 P.M.Salute by... Entertainment Industry Publications
        Representatives of: Variety, Billboard, Broadcasting Magazine, Radio Daily, and Surprise Guests

Friday, September 17, 1948:
8:00 P.M.Salute by... Recording Artists ( ← the so-called "TED HUSING SHOW" )
9:00 P.M.Salute by... Name Bands
10:00 P.M.Glamour Lobby
10:15 P.M.Salute by...The Sports World

Monday, September 20, 1948:
8:00 P.M.Salute by... Theatre Authorities
9:00 P.M.Salute by... U.S. Air Force
10:00 P.M.Glamour Lobby
10:15 P.M.Salute by...Sports Celebrities

Tuesday, September 21, 1948:
8:00 P.M.Salute by Leow's Theatres -- Act 1
9:00 P.M.Salute by Warner Bros. Hollywood Studios
10:00 P.M.Glamour Lobby
10:15 P.M.Salute by Lowe's [sic] Theatres -- Act 2

VARIETY, Wednesday, September 22, 1948 (page 24):
Marathon Dedication for WMGM Bow Shows There's Magic in Last 3 Letters

“That marathon dedicatory program which hit WMGM's [N.Y.] 5Okw kilocycles last Wednesday (15) night, was still going last night (Tues.). It celebrated the Loew's indie's switch in call letters from WHN and move over into plush Fifth Ave. headquarters, adding up to a case of how-spectacular-can-you-get? For it unquestionably is the most star-studded sequence of programming ever to hit the air, and is unlikely ever to be duplicated, particularly by a non-network radio station.

“As of last night no less than 150 show business personalities, sports, civic and assorted other biggies had graced the new-named indie's ether with kudos, chatter, song numbers, nitery acts, instrumental selections, reminiscences, ad infinitum. A total of 11 choirs and vocal groups, and 14 orchestras and bands had done turns. Giving WMGM's brass and everybody involved a lot of credit for the monumental task of rounding up such an array of names, for a series of night-after-night “salutes” pretty evenly produced. There isn't any doubt, at the same time, but that the magical last three letters of the station's new name had much to do with its ability to unfold such a dizzying whirl of headline talent.”

In the October 11, 1948 (Part 1) issue of Broadcasting • Telecasting magazine (pages 52 & 53) is an ad from WMGM:

“VARIETY called it “the most star-studded sequence of programming ever to hit the air”,..Six solid nights of magnificent entertainment as all segments of the entertainment industry, from New York to Hollywood, joined in “SALUTE TO WMGM” as M-G-M's own station dedicated its million-dollar new Fifth Avenue studios. We will never forget those wonderful evenings (Sept. 15-22) when so many great personalities graced our studios and our airwaves. So, to all these individuals and organizations, for lending their talents and their tributes in a perfectly swell send-off, we take this means to say, "THANKS A MILLION!"”
Although Mundell Lowe was the guitarist on the studio version of Stealin' Apples, Billy Bauer is back with Goodman for this show (Benny names all the personnel). Among many others, the following names appear in the ad: COUNT BASIE, WILLIAM BAUER, EUGENE DINOVI, BENNY GOODMAN & HIS SEXTET, WARDELL GRAY, TED HUSING, CLYDE LOMBARDI, SARAH VAUGHAN, MEL ZELNICK, and BEE KALMUS. When Husing asks “Say, Benny what do you think about this bebop business?” Benny replies, “Okay, let's not start a debate now. We're liable to run into Bee Kalmus' show!”

Also in my collection is what appears to be the introduction to this program. After the “Paging Mr. Husing” theme, Husing says:

“Good evening ladies and gentleman, this is Ted Husing speaking. For the next hour, ladies and gentleman, here at WMGM's new million dollar studio, you'll hear a galaxy of the nation's top recording stars, as they pay their musical tribute to our new letters, our new look, and our new station. And, uh - not to forget the new location. They'll all be here on the bandstand and just for the record this 'Bandstand' is not recorded nor transcribed. All those great stars will be here with us in person.”

Wardell's then-status as a permanent member of Basie's band remains unclear. When Husing asks “who was on the record with you?”, Benny replies “well, practically the same group I have here tonight. On tenor saxophone we have a boy I brought with me from California who's now with Count Basie's orchestra, Wardell Gray.”

William “Count” Basie (p, dir); Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham, Harry Edison, Emmett Berry (tp); Bill Johnson, George Matthews, Ted Donnelly, Dickie Wells (tb); Bernard “Bernie”/“Burnie” Peacock (as); Earle Warren (as, voc); Wardell Gray, Paul Gonsalves (ts); Ronald “Jack” Washington (bar); Freddie Green (g); Singleton “Cookie” Palmer (b); Rossiere “Shadow” Wilson (d); Jimmy Rushing (voc).

WMCA radio broadcast, Royal Roost, New York, NY, September 18, 1948

One O'Clock Jump (theme)unissued
The Peacock12-inch LP: Alto AL702
Swedish Pastry # 12-inch LP: Alto AL702
Maybe You'll Be There -vEWunissued
X-1 #CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
Jimmy's Blues -vJRunissued
San Joseunissued
The King #unissued
One O'Clock Jump (theme)unissued


Sheridan (page 299) says that The Peacock is “(w)rongly introduced as “Little Dog.” This is not correct. On my copy of this broadcast, Sid says "And to start things jumpin', here's a Count Basie thing that I know you'll really enjoy, Mister Peacock's tune, The Peacock." Note that Far Cry is wrongly introduced as “Little Dog” during the 1:00 AM set on the 25th (see notes for the following session).

No performances of Maybe You'll Be There have been issued. Two versions of San Jose have been available - the version from September 25 (issued on Alto AL-702) and a different performance on AFRS Jubilee No. 310 (mistitled “Hey Pretty Baby”). This date's performance of The King has been unavailable but almost certainly is a feature for Wardell - one of Rose's later lists says “The King (Gray)”. I have placed the version of X-1 presented on Drive Archive DE2-41096 here - see the notes for September 14 for an explanation. It does seem odd that only one number from this date would be on the Drive Archive release, but the other instances of X-1 listed in Rose are accounted for.

The New York Age, Friday, September 24, 1948 (page 11):

Count Basie, the “Jump King of Swing,” who has smashed every existing attendance record in his current engagement at the Royal Roost nitery on Broadway, also smashed rumors to the effect that he was coming up with a completely new band.

Contrary to unfounded reports that had been making the rounds of the music trade for several weeks, the Count came into the Roost with but five new faces in his outfit, two of whom, Earl [sic] Warren and Shadow Wilson, were merely returnees to the Basie fold.

Jimmy Rushing, whose blues-shouting has been a fixture with the band for more than 12 years, remains at the vocal corps, with singing saxophone star Earl [sic] Warren handling the ballad vocals.

Newcomers to the Basie band are Wardell Gray, exciting tenor-man, high note trumpeter Jimmy Nottingham, and Cookie Palmer on the string bass. Gray was most recently with the Benny Goodman Sextet, while Nottingham is an alumnus of the Lionel Hampton and Charlie Barnet crews. Gray replaces the veteran Buddy Tate and will divide the hot tenor sax with Paul Gonzales [sic], Nottingham takes over the first trumpet chair of Ed Lewis, Palmer supplants Gene Wright in the Basie rhythm section on string bass.

The Basie band's complete personnel is as follows: Clark Terry, Emmett Berry, Jimmy Nottingham and “Sweets” Edison, Trumpets; Dickie Wells, George Matthews, Bill Johnson and Ted Donnelly, trombones; Paul Gonzales and Wardell Gray, tenor saxes; Earl [sic] Warren and Burnie Peacock, alto saxes; Jack Washington, baritone sax; Shadow Wilson, drums; Freddie Green, guitar; Cookie Palmer, bass.

William “Count” Basie (p, dir); Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham, Harry Edison, Emmett Berry (tp); Bill Johnson, George Matthews, Ted Donnelly, Dickie Wells (tb); Bernard “Bernie”/“Burnie” Peacock (as); Earle Warren (as, voc); Wardell Gray, Paul Gonsalves (ts); Ronald “Jack” Washington (bar); Freddie Green (g); Singleton “Cookie” Palmer (b); Rossiere “Shadow” Wilson (d); Anita O'Day, Jimmy Rushing (voc); unidentified (mc).

WMCA radio broadcast, Royal Roost, New York, NY, September 25, 1948 (first set)

Good Bait #CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
The Peacockunissued
Moon Nocturne -vEWunissued
Ain't It The Truth?unissued
Lazy Lady Blues -vJRunissued
Malagueña -vAO'D12-inch LP: Alto AL702, CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
How High The MoonCD: Drive Archive DE2-41096
Little Dog (announced as “Far Cry") #CD: Drive Archive DE2-41096


Lou Stein (p) replaces Basie on titles sung by Anita O'Day.

Sheridan (pages 299-301):
"(This) session comprises two broadcasts from the same date, at one o'clock in the morning and again two hours later. The music remains a careful mixture of old blues favourites and new, strongly bop-flavoured material."

Boris Rose's earliest list shows three sets from 9/25/48, two by “COUNT BASIE – ANITA O'DAY” and one by “MILES DAVIS – KONITZ - LEWIS". The Davis Quartet performance is listed between the two Basie/O'Day sets. The Rose list has a start time of 1:00 AM for the first Basie show. Rose issued only one track from this set - Malagueña (on Alto AL702). Drive Archive DE2-41096 presents three additional performances from this earlier broadcast, although the notes do not mention they were previously unissued. The Malagueña heard on DE2-41096 is the same performance as the first of two versions of this tune on Alto AL-702 (although the speed and pitch are very slow on Drive Archive). On the CD, we hear an announcer thank Anita then introduce How High The Moon. The same announcer introduces Little Dog as “Far Cry". Note that this is not Symphony Sid, and not the same man as heard on the September 14 broadcast.

The second title (listed above as “The Peacock") is listed by Rose as “Little Dog (Peacock)". Sheridan lists Little Dog. Sheridan's entry for this date corresponds to Rose's (Far Cry is listed instead of Little Dog) and it is not clear that he heard these recordings at the time of publication. In the notes for the previous session Sheridan (page 299) says that “The Peacock” is “(w)rongly introduced as Little Dog.” It seems more likely the announcer's mistake occurred during this set.

Sheridan lists the titles in the same order as Rose - but it's clear that Rose's listing of Far Cry is based on the incorrect announcement. (Note that in the Miles set Rose lists “The Broadway Theme” instead of 52nd Street Theme - this is the incorrect title announced by Sid.)

Rose lists two performances of Good Bait - one from September 11 and the other from this set. The version of Good Bait on the Drive Archive disc is not the same as the one performed on September 11. There is a third unique performance available - the one on Spotlite SPJ-134. Since the Drive Archive disc appears to be sourced entirely from Boris' recordings I have placed the version of Good Bait heard on Drive Archive here.

William “Count” Basie (p, dir); Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham, Harry Edison, Emmett Berry (tp); Bill Johnson, George Matthews, Ted Donnelly, Dickie Wells (tb); Bernard “Bernie”/“Burnie” Peacock (as); Earle Warren (as, voc); Wardell Gray, Paul Gonsalves (ts); Ronald “Jack” Washington (bar); Freddie Green (g); Singleton “Cookie” Palmer (b); Rossiere “Shadow” Wilson (d); Anita O'Day, Jimmy Rushing (voc).

WMCA radio broadcast, Royal Roost, New York, NY, September 25, 1948 (second set)

Spasmodic #12-inch LP: Alto AL702
Robbins' Nest12-inch LP: Alto AL702, 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5024
How High The Moon -vAO'D12-inch LP: Alto AL702
Malagueña -vAO'D12-inch LP: Alto AL702
High Tide - vCT (scat) #12-inch LP: Alto AL702
San Jose12-inch LP: Alto AL702
Hi Ho Trailus Boot Whip -vAO'D12-inch LP: Alto AL702; CD: Moon MCD047-2
That's That -vAO'D12-inch LP: Alto AL702; CD: Moon MCD047-2
The King #12-inch LP: Alto AL702


Lou Stein (p) replaces Basie on titles sung by Anita O'Day.

Note that Alto AL702 contains two versions of High Tide - the other is V-Disc 483-B from May 14, 1945. The “High Tide” that does come from this date contains a gap during Wardell's solo. Rose's list indicates that his recording is in two sections, (3½ minutes) and (1½ minutes). The scat vocal is probably by Clark Terry.

Count Basie (p, dir); Emmett Berry, Harry Edison, Jimmy Nottingham, Clark Terry (tp); Ted Donnelly, Bill Johnson, George Matthews, Dicky Wells (tb); Bernie Peacock (as); Earle Warren (as, voc); Paul Gonsalves, Wardell Gray (ts); Ronald “Jack” Washington (bar); Freddie Green (g); Singleton “Cookie” Palmer (b); Rossiere “Shadow” Wilson (d); Anita O'Day, Jimmy Rushing (voc).

Radio broadcast, Mutual Radio Network, Royal Roost, New York, NY, poss. September 28, 1948

D-333231It Serves Me Right #AFRS Jubilee 310; 12-inch LP: SPJ-134
D-333231Malagueña -vAO'DAFRS Jubilee 310
D-333231Moon Nocturne -vEWAFRS Jubilee 310
D-333231Little Dog #AFRS Jubilee 310; 12-inch LP: SPJ-134
D-333232How High The Moon -vAO'DAFRS Jubilee 310
D-333232Sent For You Yesterday -vJRAFRS Jubilee 310
D-333232San Jose (announced as “Hey, Pretty Baby”)AFRS Jubilee 310


Lou Stein (p) replaces Basie on titles sung by Anita O'Day.

Bud Whidom announces “Hey Pretty Baby” but the tune played is certainly another version of San Jose. These recordings appeared on 16-inch ET: Jubilee 310, then again on Jubilee No. 329. Lotz & Neuert have “14 January 1949” as the date of broadcast of the ET, and “c.November 1948, ?Hollywood” as recording information. Lotz & Neuert list “Medley: Beyond The Purple Hills”, seemingly comprising Moon Nocturne and Little Dog. My copy of Jubilee 310 is incomplete, but Little Dog has applause on the beginning and end and does not appear to be a part of any medley. Also appearing on this Jubilee program are performances by Dick Cantino (Lotz & Neuert: “accordion solo, unaccompanied, or with unidentified orchestra”). Finally, Lotz & Neuert say “NOTE: The tune announced as "It Serves Me Right" is the same composition as "I Got Rhythm", sometimes credited to Wardell Gray as "Easy Swing".”

Sheridan, page 301:

The band closed at the Roost on October 9, when Shadow Wilson left to join Woody Herman. Attempts to get Gus Johnson back failed, so George 'Butch' Ballard stepped in. The band stayed in New York for several weeks, playing the Strand Theatre again and the Roxy before going on the road. At some stage during this period, they recorded a further AFRS “Jubilee” show.

From “Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography Of Count Basie” by Count Basie & Albert Murray (page 281):

“We did all right in the Royal Roost, and we stayed until early October. Then, when we headed out to Detroit by way of the Three Rivers Inn up in Syracuse, Shadow Wilson put in his notice, and we brought Butch Ballard from Philadelphia in on drums. We spent a week at the Paradise Theatre in Detroit, and then, after a big sellout gig in the IMA Auditorium in Flint, Michigan, we spent the rest of that fall barnstorming down south before coming back north and into Frank Palumbo's Click Club in Philadelphia in the middle of December.”

I believe these recordings originated from the Royal Roost, from another Tuesday evening Mutual radio broadcast. Sheridan and Basie's accounts have the Basie band closing at the Roost in October but this is incorrect. Basie actually closed at the Roost during the last week of September. An advertisement in the New York Amsterdam News (August 28, 1948, page 25) shows that Dizzy Gillespie's big band was booked to open September 30th.

New York Age, September 28, 1948, page (17?), advertisement:


Sheridan has Shadow Wilson leaving the Basie band to join Woody Herman when the Roost engagement concluded; he indicates the drummer for these recordings is Butch Ballard. Don Lamond was on the Herman band until March of 1949 (a broadcast recording from Chicago, March 4, 1949 exists with a Lamond drum solo). The Basie band opened at the Cotton Club in Los Angeles on February 24, 1949, and an advertisement reproduced in Ken Vail's “Count Basie - Swingin' the Blues, 1936-1950” (page 107) lists Shadow Wilson's name. According to Butch Ballard (interviewed by Victor L. Schermer): “They [the Basie band] were in California, and then Shadow got an offer to be in the Woody Herman band, which paid a lot more money than Basie. So he recommended me to take his place. So Basie called me up, sent me a ticket, and flew me to California. That was around 1947-48. I was scared to death.” The drumming on these recordings sounds to me like the work of Shadow Wilson.

The two Anita O'Day tunes may come from another date and/or location, but this does not seem likely to me. The set list is very close to the others from the Roost during the closing weeks of September 1948. O'Day was accompanied by the Basie orchestra (with Lou Stein on piano) for her numbers but does not appear to have been a member of the Basie group. She remained at the Roost after Basie's departure and is heard on recordings from October 9, backed by Tadd Dameron and his rhythm section. According to O'Day (“High Times, Hard Times” by Anita O'Day, George Eells, page 164): “During the end of 1948 I was gigging around joints in Chicago.” O'Day opened at the Roost on the September 23rd:

BROOKLYN EAGLE, TUES., SEPT 21, 1948 (page 5):
Anita O'Day, into Royal Roost on Thursday. Count Basie jump band remains.

While introducing the Miles Davis Nonet on September 18th, Sid says:
“I'd like to remind you that starting, uh… Fri--, Thursday, next Thursday, we're bringing for the first time to New York the great Anita O'Day. Anita O'Day, ladies and gentlemen, will be here, and I know that you will have a lot of fun.”

Finally, Wardell Gray does not appear to have remained with Basie after the Royal Roost engagement. Ken Vail (page 106) has the Basie band closing at the Roost on September 29, and then playing a week at the Three Rivers Inn (in Three Rivers, N.Y - just outside of Syracuse). Wardell's name is conspicuously absent from an advertisement for the “Special Sunday Concert” at the Three Rivers Inn (“Count Basie and his internationally famous Orchestra Featuring James Rushing, Earle Warren, Paul Gonsalves”). After this engagement the band went on to open at the Paradise Theatre in Detroit, MI on October 22.

So the window in which these recordings could have taken place seems to me to be between September 23rd and September 29th. As was the case with recordings broadcast over Mutual on Tuesday, September 14, these recordings were transcribed by the AFRS. WOR broadcasted Basie on Tuesday, September 28:

BROOKLYN EAGLE, TUES., SEPT. 28, 1948 (page 20):
11:30 PM: WOR—Basie Orch.

Incidentally, WOR would broadcast Dizzy Gillespie's Orchestra on October 5 – another Tuesday evening. These Gillespie recordings were used by AFRS on 16-inch ET: Jubilee No. 313. Boris Rose issued recordings from this date, on 12-inch LP Alto 703 entitled “Melodic Revolution”:

BROOKLYN EAGLE, TUES., OCT. 5, 1948 (page 19):
11:30 PM: WOR—Gillespie Orch.

Eddie Bert (tb); Wardell Gray (ts); Buddy Greco (p); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Buddy Stewart (voc).

Recording session for Sittin’ In With Records, New York, NY, November 12, 1948

C-161Shawn -vBS (scat) #78 rpm: SIW 512; 12-inch LP: SPJ-139


The date and personnel listed above are as they appear on Lp: Spotlite SPJ-139. This information may have been provided by Eddie Bert (who kept detailed diaries of his musical activities). Some sources have listed Gene Ramey instead of Lombardi and Charlie Perry instead of Igoe. Al Haig (p) is sometimes listed.

Some discographies list an additional title (“Greatly”) as having been recorded at this session. Schlouch writes (page 18): “Some source wonders if "Greatly" is not in fact "The Great Lie" from the November 23, 1946 session.”

There is no author credit on the first issue of Shawn (the 78 rpm record Sittin’ In With 512) but it clearly is the same tune and arrangement as Going For The Okey Doak, recorded by a Gene Ammons sextet for Mercury on December 1, 1947.

Going For The Okey Doak appears on page 345 of the “Unpublished Music” section of the Catalog Of Copyright Entries (“A. K. Salim © Robert Music Corp. 3Aug48 EU137619”). The Ammons recording was first issued in 1976 on the EmArcy Lp EMS-2-400 (“Jug” Sessions), credited to A. K. Salim.

Shawn appears on the following CDs: Cool & Blue C&B – CD 116, The Jazz Factory JFCD22810, Classics 1264, Audio-Park APCD-6106 and Properbox 55.

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

Recording session for Seeco, New York, NY, poss. November 1948

SR 1381Five Star -vTS (scat) #78 rpm: Seeco 10-002
SR 1382Sugar Hill Bop -vTS (scat) #78 rpm: Seeco 10-002
SR 1383In A Pinch #78 rpm: Seeco 10-003
SR 1384It's The Talk Of The Town #78 rpm: Seeco 10-003


Schlouch and Evensmo date this session April 1949 (Evensmo adds “Date also given as late 1948"). Salemann (p. 21) says "late 1948, New York City" and places this session after the Buddy Stewart session for Sittin' In With. April 1949 cannot be correct as a review appeared in The Billboard (March 12, 1949, p. 131) for “Seeco 10-002”:

In A Pinch:
“Gray blows up his usual first-rate tenor, with Haig chirping in with his usual—and underrated—88-ing. A worthwhile addition to your bop collection.”
It's the Talk of the Town:
“Gray shows he can blow a lyrical ballad getoff with the best of them. Tone and ideas of the best.”

All titles are on CD: Swingtime ST CD1, Cool & Blue C&B – CD 116, The Jazz Factory JFCD22810 and Properbox 55.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart (Al Goldberg), Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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, The Clarinaders (voc).

WSYR Radio Broadcast, NBC Radio Network, Persian Terrace, Hotel Syracuse, Syracuse, NY, December 1, 1948

Clarinet A La Kingunissued
You Turned The Tables On Me -vTS & TCunissued


No solos by Gray. Connor lists Greco as on piano & vocal(s), and Terry Swope on vocals. You Turned The Tables On Me (the only vocal item) is listed in Legacy as sung by The Clarinaders; I believe Swope is singing as well.

Down Beat, October 20, 1948 (page 1):

BG Plans Tour For New Band
New York—Very much the business executive, Benny Goodman, playing the role of his own personal manager for the first time in his career, has been engaged busily behind a huge desk and in a battery of phone buttons reorganizing his large band. As vague as ever in giving out definite information, Benny was noncommittal on practically everything except the fact that it will be a big outfit and will begin touring under the MCA banner early in November.

Gray Tenor Set
Wardell Gray is set for a tenor chair but, at press time, that was the only definite placement. Benny was shopping for new vocalists and thumbing through long lists of sidemen's names, both new kids and established players, and was getting set for a two-week rehearsal period which should be getting under way as this issue hits the streets.

Seeks Girl Singer
Benny had expressed an interest in getting an established girl singer with band experience and reputation, someone of the Fran Warren caliber, but was understood to be open to all comers later, just as long as the girl is a good rhythm singer. Early-plans call for the band to play a few dates around the New York area, hit Manhattan, then head west. Most of the starting dates probably will be one-niters.

While details remain vague as to the precise dates over which Goodman assembled his new orchestra, the Sextet's personnel appears to have been set by mid-October. On October 24, 1948, Benny's new quintet, without Wardell, appeared on Ed Sullivan's Toast Of The Town television program. The group performed at least two numbers, Indiana and On A Slow Boat To China. The former is the same arrangement as will be heard at Hotel Syracuse and The Hollywood Palladium, minus Wardell's parts. Goodman and Greco are the only musicians named on the surviving recording; Beecher, Lombardi, and Igoe are named by Russ Connor as present. The mixed-race barrier likely explains Gray's absence.

In “Legacy” (p. 194) Connor wrote “(u)nfortunately, the exact date of this telecast is not known”. The October 24 dating is based on the following:

Television Daily, Thursday, October 21, 1948:

Emerson, Philco To Compete For Top And. [sic] Ratings
This Sunday "Toast" will be loaded with big-name talent headed by the Benny Goodman quintet, the Ink Spots and Myron Cohen.
BROOKLYN EAGLE, SUN., OCT. 24, 1948 (page 28):
WCBS-TV, Channel 2
9:00 WCBS--Toast of the Town.
Ed Sullivan, M. C.
The California Eagle, Thursday, October 28, 1948 (page 17):
Benny Goodman Crew On Television Show
Benny Goodman and his instrumental quintet and the ever-favorite Inkspots, singing quartet, head the talent roster on Ed Sullivan's star-spangled "Toast of the Town" over the CBS Television Network, Sunday, Oct. 24 (CBS-TV, 9:00-10:00 P.M., EST.) Myron Cohen, Jewish dialect comedian, makes a return appearance on "Toast of the Town," filling an engagement that was postponed from Oct. 3. His place at that time was taken by impersonator Dean Murphy.

Interestingly, Connor's earlier work on Goodman was more accurate as far as the date:
Connor/Hicks' “BG – On the Record” (page 454):

All efforts to determine the exact date of the next air check have failed. This is unfortunate, for it marks Benny's first television appearance that was recorded privately... at least, it is the first to come to the attention of the authors. The date is thought to have been some time in October(.)

Variety, Wednesday, October 20, 1948 (page 37):

Benny Goodman is in no hurry to organize his new band. He has not yet completed selecting musicians for the new combo and won't go into rehearsal for another week or so. Meanwhile, Music Corp. of America has not set the band on any dates since it doesn't know what form of work will be required— one-nighters or hotels—to start.

If Goodman fills his band with too many untried musicians, the combo will be launched on one-nighters. If it shapes up well in rehearsal a location job may start it off.

The California Eagle, Thursday, October 28, 1948 (page 17):

Wardell Gray (the guy everybody says looks like me) will rejoin Benny Goodman's band this week. He's a miniture [sic] Coleman Hawkins! . . .

Connor (Legacy, page 193-194):

The band broke in with a series of engagements in the Middle Atlantic states and New England in November, even got to Canada ---- the Arena, Niagara Falls, Ontario on November 26. Then it had a full week in the Persian Terrace Room of the Hotel Syracuse, Syracuse, New York, from whence come our next series of air checks(.)
Advertisements ran in The Niagra Falls Gazette, November 22, 23 and 26, for the one-nighter at The Arena in Canada on November 26. Listed in these ads are Sextet, Terry Swope, The Clarinadors [sic], and The Buddy Grecho Trio [sic].

Benny also hosted a radio program over WNEW on Sunday evenings:

The Billboard, November 20, 1948 (Vol. 60. No. 47) (page 2):

BG Longhair – And on Air
NEW YORK, Nov. 13.—While the hipsters are speculating as to how be-op-ish Benny Goodman's new orchestra is going to be, Daddy Clarinet himself has taken on a new longhair activity. He's going to have his own classical record program over WNEW on Sunday evenings.
Between disk chores, Goodman warms up his band at the Syracuse Hotel for five days beginning November 30 on a guarantee against percentage basis, then after a short one-nighter tour he goes into the Paramount Theatre here in December.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Ernest Little (ann).

WSYR Radio Broadcast, NBC Radio Network, Persian Terrace, Hotel Syracuse, Syracuse, NY, December 2, 1948

Clarinet A La Kingunissued
Don't Worry 'Bout Me -vBGrunissued
Indiana - SEXTET #12-inch LP: SWT-111
You Turned The Tables On Me -vTS & TCunissued
Chico's Bop #12-inch LP: SWT-111
They Didn't Believe Me -vTSunissued
Undercurrent Blues # - to signoffunissued


Unissued Benny announcement:
“Yes I'd like to say something about this; I'd like to tell about the boys. There's, uh - Sonny Igoe at the drums, Frank Beecher at the guitar, Clyde Lam---Lombardi at the bass, uh, Wardell… Gray at the tenor saxophone and Buddy Greco at the piano. And now we play, “Down Home In Indiana'.”

This unissued version of Undercurrent Blues has a 24 bar solo by Gray, who continues to play as if to take another chorus. The following announcement is heard after Greco's piano break:

“So ladies and gentlemen it's goodbye from the Persian Terrace of Hotel Syracuse where you've been listening to the new music of Benny Goodman and his new orchestra. Ernest Little speaking, this is NBC, the National Broadcasting Company.”

The Billboard, December 11, 1948 (page 17):

B.G. Unveils Exciting New Band, Wows Hotel Syracuse
SYRACUSE, Dec. 4.—Benny Goodman this week unveiled an exciting new band at the Syracuse Hotel, where he's been doing a five-day stand prior to going into the New York Paramount December 15 with the Bob Hope pic, Paleface. The organization is Goodman's first major one in about two years (since the 400 Club) and as such it merited the attention of publishers and diskery and agency execs, a bevy of whom were flown to the hotel yesterday for a gander at the king and his aggregation.
     It was an impressive occasion. Goodman, since opening here Tuesday (30) has been doing sensational business-—the management reporting that it has been able to take care of only a fraction of the crowds trying to get into the room, which has a capacity of 450. Friday night not only was the location jammed, but the floor was packed with entranced hoofers in a manner reminiscent of the lush days of the business.
     The maestro's band is superb, its most impressive quality being its versatility in the different categories of musical style. It was correctly observed, for instance, that B.G. is too good a musician to become old-fashioned. In line with this thought, the band regaled the crowd with a good sprinkling of numbers of a decidedly boppish turn; yet the arrangements were intriguingly danceable. After a few sets, Goodman's intent was clear. He's treating modern music in such a manner as to make it appealing and understandable; And he's fusing modern music and the more lasting elements of the older swing styles into excellent jazz. The result might be called a distillation which is extremely danceable and possesses drive, flexibility and distinction.
     The 17-piece ork contains a vocal group of five voices—a new departure for Goodman. Buddy Greco and Terry Swope are with the vocal group, but also do warm, haunting solo warbling. The sextet, however, really fascinates the devotees. Included with Goodman are Sunny [sic] Igoe, strictly a smash performer and with top showmanship to boot; the tasteful style of Wardell Gray on tenor sax; Buddy Greco's skilled pianistics, and Clyde Lombardi and Frank Beecher on bass and guitar, respectively. The sextet's renditions are sinuous and exciting.
     Major kudos go to arranger Chico O'Farrell [sic], whose work in Undercurrent and other pieces is outstanding. O'Farrell [sic] also arranges for Noro Morales—-which indicates there's no limit to his talent range.
     Not yet mentioned are Mike [sic] Goldberg and Andy Cicalese, alto; Eddy [sic] Wasserman, tenor; Larry Molinelli, baritone sax; Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert and George Monti [sic], trombone; Nick Travis, Howard Reich, Doug Mentone [sic] and Alvin Goldberg, trumpet, and lastly and of first importance, Goodman himself, whose tone and musicianship are at peak.
~ Paul Ackerman.
The mention of “Alvin Goldberg” (above) is not an error – Al Stewart was also known as Al Goldberg.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr).

WSYR Radio Broadcast, NBC Radio Network, Persian Terrace, Hotel Syracuse, Syracuse, NY, December 5, 1948

Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams -vTS12-inch LP: SWT-111
Don't Be That Wayunissued
Guilty –vBGr, TCunissued
Bedlam - SEXTET #12-inch LP: SWT-111
Rebecca -vBGr12-inch LP: SWT-111
I'll See You In My Dreams –vTS, TC #unissued
Air Mail Special #12-inch LP: SWT-111
Good-Bye (theme) - to signoffunissued


Unissued Benny announcement:
“Alright, now the Sextet, with, ah – Sonny Igoe at the drums, Frank Beecher at the guitar, and, uh, Buddy Greco at the piano, Wardell Gray at the (oh it's a little too far now – movin' the microphone all this time)… Wardell Gray at the, uh, saxophone, and Clyde Lombardi at the bass in a little number we cooked up called 'Bedlam'.”

Bedlam is the same riff/tune as Stoned, which Wardell had recorded for Sittin' In With Records in April of 1948. Note that this is also the same tune announced as “WMGM Jump” on the “Record Industry Salute” broadcast (September 17, 1948). The tune is credited to “R. Elen” on Sittin' In With 506, and “R. Etem” on Vogue V.2020.

Rebecca has quite a bit of Wardell's obbligato, but no solo.

The following announcement is spoken over the Good-Bye theme:
“From the Persian Terrace of Hotel Syracuse in Syracuse, New York, it's been music by the new Benny Goodman Orchestra. Featured vocally Terry Swope, The Clarinaders, and Buddy Greco. Through WSYR in Syracuse this is NBC, the National Broadcasting Company.”

BG – On The Record (page 456) lists three recordings as from December 6: Chico's Bop, Don't Worry 'Bout Me, and Indiana. These do not appear in “Legacy”, but the explanation is absent. Connor's tape transfer notes explain: “The listing on p 456 “BG-OTR,” under date of 6 December, is deleted. Tunes are identical with those in 2 December broadcast, except that they are artificially sped up.”

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as); Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Larry Molinelli (bar); Buddy Greco (p, voc); Dick Katz (p); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Terry Swope, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Art Ford (ann).

1949 March Of Dimes, Columbia Recording Studios, New York, NY, mid-December 1948

Let's Dance (theme)16-inch ET: YTNY 10328-1
A String Of Pearls #16-inch ET: YTNY 10328-1; CD: Hep CD 36, Laserlight 15 762
I'll See You In My Dreams –vTC #16-inch ET: YTNY 10328-1; CD: Hep CD 36, Laserlight 15 762
I'll See You In My Dreams (alternative take) #unissued
Undercurrent Blues #YTNY 10328-1; CD: Hep CD 36; 12-inch LP: SB144, Dan VC-5003
Don't Worry 'Bout Me -vBGr 16-inch ET: YTNY 10328-1
Good-Bye (theme)16-inch ET: YTNY 10328-1


Connor (Legacy, page 194):
The band's next major engagement was in Manhattan's Paramount Theater, where it opened December 15. While there Benny recorded a 15-minute program in Columbia's studios for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which each year conducted a 'March Of Dimes' fund raising campaign. The program was distributed to radio stations via a 16" transcription, asking that they give it air time as an aid in soliciting donations.

Most of the banter between Benny & Art Ford is unavailable other than on the ET. Benny responds to Ford's “where you been, Benny?” with “well, Art, uh - I had the boys under wraps, except for a couple 'a theater dates, uh – and it's great to be back. Especially for the March of Dimes.” Benny calls for donations in a statement that lasts approx. 1 minute 15 seconds (“I want a cure found for Infantile Paralysis before the crippler attacks MY children - don't you?”). The closing Good-Bye (theme) is abbreviated, as Benny stops the proceedings around twenty seconds in: “Oh, just a moment, just a moment, Art --- uh, don't forget, folks: join the March of Dimes, huh?”

The alternative take of I’ll See You In My Dreams is from an acetate which was owned by pianist Dick Katz (who fills in for Greco on Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me). One side has the master, the other the alternate.

Variety, Wednesday, December 8, 1948 (page 24):

Guy Lombardo, Gregory Peck, Al Jolson and Benny Goodman have transcribed special 15-minute appeal programs on behalf of March of Dimes for airing between Jan. 14 and 30.

Note that Undercurrent Blues was issued by AFRS as V-Disc 903-A/J 686. The version on VC-5003 opens with a canned intro by Benny: “Hello men, this is V-Discer Goodman comin' your way. Here's a couple of things I hope you'll like.”

Count Basie (p, dir); Emmett Berry, Harry Edison, Jimmy Nottingham, Clark Terry (tp); Ted Donnelly, Bill Johnson, George Matthews, Dicky Wells (tb); Bernie Peacock, Earle Warren (as); Paul Gonsalves, poss. William Parker (ts); Ronald “Jack” Washington (bar); Freddie Green (g); Eugene Wright (b); Buddy Rich (d); Jimmy Rushing (voc); Eddie Condon (mc).

WPIX Television broadcast, Eddie Condon Floor Show, New York, NY, December 27, 1948

The Kingunissued


The New York Times' “PROGRAMS ON THE AIR” for Monday, December 27, 1948 lists (WPIX---Channel 11): “8:00—Eddie Condon Floor Show: Sarah Vaughan, Buddy Rich and Others”. Wardell was no longer a member of Basie's band at the time of this recording, but this was not reflected in Sheridan's Basie Bio-Discography. This has caused some confusion. The playing heard on The King is obviously not Gray – Evensmo suggests William Parker. With the exception of Wardell Gray, the personnel above are as listed in Sheridan. Buddy Rich is the guest drummer on The King - Sheridan names George “Butch” Ballard as the drummer for the other titles. The broadcast also featured guests Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Teddy Hale and the Jimmy Jones Orchestra. Those performances (and others by the Basie group) are not listed here.

Sheridan (p. 302):

In December, the Basie band had its first contact with the fledgeling broadcasting medium of television, appearing on WPIX-TV's “Eddie Condon Floor Show” programme. By now, Singleton Palmer had departed, to be replaced by Eugene Wright, the bassist who was to make a considerable reputation several years hence as a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Gazdar (p. 18):

This Bcst. by Basie is either wrongly dated and should be Sept. 1948, or WG was “on loan” to the Count by BG, who were good friends, - just for the one night. The Basie personnel is similar to 10/48. Buddy Rich (drms) is also a guest along with tap - dancer Teddy Hale ( . . . ) This entire session is unissued.

Evensmo (p. 148):

Personnel given as Nov. 1948, except Eugene Wright (b) replaces Palmer.
“Eddie Condon Floor Show” broadcast with guests. However, the tenorsax solo on “The King” is not Wardell Gray, as given in Sheridan, nor PG, but probably William Parker.”

Benny Goodman (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Buddy Greco (p); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Jack Lacey (ann).

WINS Radio broadcast, Crosley Radio Network, “Bop Goes to the Stork Club”, Stork Club, New York, NY, January 7, 1949

Bedlam (fragment)unissued
How High The Moon/Ornithology (incomplete)unissued


Connor (Legacy, page 194):
"While at the Paramount, Benny and his Sextet “doubled” into the Stork Club, the first----and only----time he is known to have performed in that renowned Manhattan night club. At least one partial rendition is extant from his appearance there(.)"

Connor does not list the Bedlam fragment, which is a portion of the theme only. On How High The Moon, Wardell plays phrases behind Goodman during the opening theme. Benny takes a long solo, Wardell returns to play in the ensemble, then Benny and Wardell play the “Ornithology” riff. The following announcement begins during the close of Benny's solo:

“This has been a half-hour of peeking in at 'Bop Goes to the Stork Club', a party at the Blessed Event Room in the famous Stork Club in Manhattan. With your musical host Benny Goodman and his great new sextet from his great new band at The Paramount, with a new show and a new idea in musical presentation. Also great and also new were the comments of Emily Coleman with Newsweek and our music expert, Leonard Wood, and - uh, Freddy Robbins, Hal Webman, and all of the fellas on the program tonight. Our thanks goes through the hat, Dick Link of Capitol Records for helping out, and our hard-working production and engineering staff for staying. This is Jack Lacey thanking all the participants on tonight's show. This is the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation.”

Connor (Legacy, page 194):

Two other cuts by the Sextet, likely from this time period, may ( . . . ) have originated in the Stork Club. But they are on acetates that bear no information, and so are listed generally(.)

These cuts are also listed in Gazdar (page 17) and Schlouch (page 20). Neither is actually from the Stork Club: Indiana is a duplicate of the December 2, 1948 performance from Hotel Syracuse, and Limehouse Blues is a copy of Benny's Bop (V-Disc 880).

Connor has this as from Crosley Radio Network, mid-December 1948. I have dated this January 7, 1949 on the strength of the following information:

Kingsport News, January 5, 1949 (Page 3):

The trade will be overjoyed to know that on Jan 7th S. Billingsley presents Benny Goodman in Bop Comes to the Stork Club.

Radio Daily, Thursday, January 6, 1949 (page 2):

WINS Visits Stork Benny Goodman and his sextet, plus five singers, will be heard in a special broadcast from the Stork Club, Friday, Jan. 7, over WINS from 11-11:30 p.m. Jack Lacey will emcee the broadcast which is titled 'Bop Goes to the Stork Club.'

The Brooklyn Eagle, Friday, January 7, 1949:

11:00—'Bop Goes to the Stork Club' Benny Goodman Sextet. Jack Lacy, M.C., WINS.

The New York Times, Friday, January 7, 1949:

“PROGRAMS ON THE AIR”-“WINS-Benny Goodman Sextet” at 10:45 PM, followed by “Recorded Music” at 11:15 PM.

“PoPsie” N.Y. - American Popular Music Through The Camera Lens Of Willliam “PoPsie” Randolph by Michael Randolph (page 33):

Benny and his band played one last show at the Stork Club on January 8, 1949 before calling it quits for WINS radio. They decided to don berets to emulate the look of Dizzy Gillespie, who was a major player in the world of bebop at the time.

“Swing Changes: Big-Band Jazz in New Deal America” by David W. Stowe (pages 202-203):

Bop, although the subject of much discussion and controversy, has not as yet scratched the surface publicity-wise,” stated a confidential proposal for a “Bop at the Stork Club” party to be sponsored in January 1949 by Benny Goodman and Capitol Records. “The primary reason is that Bop has not been considered quite respectable. Therefore, the projected party rests, in the main, upon making Bop respectable and amusing, while keeping its musical flavor and controversial approach.” The fete was to be staged in the club's Blessed Event Room, a location that would simultaneously bestow “stature” on bop's birth and enable “the Stork” to “cash in” on its “undoubted publicity value.” Approximately 150 guests would be invited, mainly from the press: editors and writers for trade publications, newspaper columnists, members of the “intelligentsia,” “ 'think' editors” from magazines like Harper's and Atlantic, as well as disk jockeys and music agency personnel. Although guest artists, including bop singers, jazz musicians, and vocalists would be invited, the proposal stipulated: “None of the really extreme boppers [are] to be present.” Guests were to receive “Bop hats, Bop glasses, Bop ties”; “Bopanapes” would be served along with a new drink, “Benny's Bop.” Prizes would go to guests coming up with the best definitions of bop (pencils and paper to be provided by the club). The bill for this bop bash was to be footed equally by Goodman and Capitol, each paying approximately $600.” (ref: Memo, Hal Davis to Goodman, “Bop Goes to the Stork,” Goodman Papers, Yale Music Library)

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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, The Clarinaders (voc); Charles Batter (ann).

NBC Radio Network, Truman Inaugural Ball, National Guard Armory, Washington D.C., January 20, 1949

Let's Dance (theme)unissued
Jersey Bounce #unissued
Don't Worry 'Bout Me -vBGrunissued
Buckle Down, Winsocki -vBGrunissued
Rose Room -SEXTET #unissued


Wardell's two solos on Jersey Bounce are marred by Mary Margaret McBride reporting on Mrs. Truman's attire. Fortunately, Wardell's 32-bar solo on Rose Room is well recorded and has no talking over it.

The ET opens during a Guy Lombardo performance of Frankie And Johnny, with Charles Batter's narration:

“It's January 20th, 1949. Inauguration night in Washington, D.C. All day long the capital city of the United States has been celebrating following the climactic ceremonies, shortly after noon today, that saw Harry S. Truman sworn into his first full term as President of the United States. Ceremonies that also saw Alben Barkley take the oath of office as Vice-President. Tonight NBC continues its coverage of the Inaugural events, from the National Guard Armory, in Washington, where one of the most brilliant of the season's social events, the Inaugural Ball, is in full swing. As you can well imagine, dignitaries of almost every foreign government, as well as those of the United States - and they of course include the President, and his family, and the Vice-President – are here. It's a gala occasion, with five thousand, three hundred people present. That's all that the D.C. regulations will allow. Now they throng the vast National Guard Armory floor, and it is a vast floor, and the Orchestra of Guy Lombardo, at the moment, is playing as we take the air. Music tonight is supplied, incidentally, by Guy Lombardo and his Orchestra, by Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra, and by the Orchestra of Benny Goodman.”

The New York Age, Saturday, January 15, 1949 (page 3) (excerpt):

For the first time in history Negroes will play a conspicuous part in the ceremonies which surround a Presidential inaugural. When Mr. Truman is sworn in for his first elected term as President, Jan. 20, not only are Negro Democrats expected to be included in all activities—including the Inaugural Ball—but for the first time, in addition to individual artists, a Negro band is to play at an Inaugural dance.”. . . “Dorothy Maynor, the noted concert singer, is scheduled to be one of the artists appearing at the Inaugural ceremonies and the Lionel Hampton band has been singled out to be the first all-Negro organization so honored. Another Negro artist will perform when Wardell Gray, saxophonist with the Benny Goodman band, appears with the latter at the Inaugural Ball.

The Billboard, January 22, 1949 (page 21) (excerpt):

Showbiz All Out For Inaugural
The inaugural ball Thursday night will draw 5,300 guests, including the President and his family, Vice-President Alben Barkley and assorted legislators, officials and diplomats, as well as John Q. Public. Playing for the dancing in the National Armory will be the Benny Goodman ork. for swing, Guy Lombardo for sweet and Xavier Cugat for Latin. The ballroom of the armory will have some 32,000 square feet of floor space. A semi-circular arrangement of 116 opera boxes will face the stage on which the bands play. The stage itself is a revolving affair, so that soon as one band has finished its stint, it will be whisked out of sight to be replaced by the next at 20-minute intervals.

Connor (Legacy, p. 194):

A severe case of bronchitis caused Benny to miss the last few days of the Paramount engagement in early 1949, and Gene Krupa fronted the band in his absence (if memory serves, Gene had just finished a lengthy stand at Frank Dailey's Meadowbrook). Not fully recovered, and against medical advice, Benny insisted on leading the band when it was chosen----along with the orchestras of Guy Lombardo's, Xavier Cugat, and some Washington-local groups----to play the Inaugural Ball in Washington's National Guard Armory on January 20. NBC broadcast the proceedings, but unfortunately Benny's portion of the program is buried beneath chit-chat between President Truman's sister Mary (Jane), and television personality Mary Margaret McBride. Only Benny's final selection, “Rose Room,” is completely free of their overriding chatter.

The Niagara Falls Gazette, Friday, January 21, 1949 (page 6):

Illness Forces Goodman To Leave Inaugural Ball
WASHINGTON, Jan, 21 (U.P.)-- Band Leader Benny Goodman, who has been suffering from a bronchial ailrnent, was forced to leave the bandstand last night at the Inaugural ball when he became suddenly ill. His physician had advised him against leading his orchestra at the ball, but Goodman insisted on being present. The physician, who was at the dance, took Goodman to his hotel room. Lionel Hampton conducted the Goodman orchestra during the rest of the evening.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr).

Recording session for Capitol Records, Hollywood, CA, February 10, 1949

3958-7Undercurrent Blues78 rpm: Cap 15409

Same as above, except Arnold Ross (p) replaces Greco.

3959-6Ma Belle Marguerite -vBGr, TC78 rpm: Cap 15409


No solos by Gray on this session. The label of Cap 15409 (Ma Belle Marguerite - From “Bless The Bride” A Light Opera) says “Vocal by Buddy Greco And The Singers”. The Singers and The Clarinaders are the same group.

Age 28

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Richard “Dick” Gordon (mc).

CBS Radio Broadcast, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, March 4, 1949

Let's Dance (theme)unissued
A String Of Pearls #unissued
My Darling, My Darling -vBGrunissued
Am I Blue? -vTCunissued
Flying Home -SEPTET #12-inch LP: Philology W36
Buckle Down, Winsocki -vBGrunissued
Ma Belle Marguerite -vBGr, TCunissued
Undercurrent Bluesunissued
Good-bye (theme) -to signoffunissued


Septet: Goodman, Mettome, Gray, Greco, Beecher, Lombardi, Igoe

The following announcement by Dick Gordon is heard over the Let's Dance theme:

“From Hollywood, Columbia presents 'The King of Swing' Benny Goodman, and his Orchestra. Good good evening from high atop the bandstand of the Hollywood Palladium, dining/dancing and entertainment center of the West, on Sunset Boulevard, just across Columbia Square in Hollywood, California. CBS sends your way 'The King of Swing' Benny Goodman, and his Orchestra.”

With the exception of Flying Home these recordings remain unissued. Wardell has a 12-bar solo on A String Of Pearls, although Gazdar does not mention this. There is no tenor solo on this version of Undercurrent Blues.

By now, trumpeter Doug Mettome has assumed a front-line role in the small group. Connor refers to this group as a Septet for the remainder of the entries in “Legacy”. This may not be entirely accurate, though – leaving aside semantics. While Benny refers to this seven-man group as a sextet before this date's performance of Flying Home, the personnel are not in doubt thanks to his introduction of every member. Their aural contributions are obvious as well. Things become less clear soon enough, though – Frank Beecher is conspicuously absent from Goodman's introductions on all other announcements that have been available to me. Unfortunately, there are no solos by Beecher preserved, and the sound quality of the majority of these recordings prevents easy identification of his contributions. Perhaps Benny reverted to a Sextet for live dates shortly after adding Mettome to the small group, or maybe he switched between a sextet and a septet. I have carried over Connor's “SEPTET” label, but I am skeptical of Beecher's presence on many of these renditions.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Richard “Dick” Gordon (mc).

CBS Radio Broadcast, Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA, March 6, 1949

Let's Dance (theme)unissued
Bugle Call Rag #12-inch LP: SWT-111
Once In Love With Amy -vBGrunissued
Star Dust #12-inch LP: SWT-111
Don't Worry 'Bout Me -vBGrunissued
Indiana -SEPTET #unissued
Undercurrent Blues unissued


Connor does not list Let's Dance (theme) in his arrays for this date. This theme/program open appears listed among the unidentified airchecks listed at the end of the Hollywood Palladium engagement - see Connor-Hicks' “BG: On The Record” (page 462), and “Legacy” (page 196). Bugle Call Rag and Once In Love With Amy from those airchecks are also from this date. Those copies have announcements by Dick Gordon introducing both titles. Bugle Call Rag appears on SWT-111 but without Gordon's introduction: “The opener tonight: instrumental side at The Palladium – old and familiar 'Bugle Call Rag'.”

Benny announces the Sextet:
“...much Richard, now the sextet with Wardell Gray at the saxophone, Buddy Greco at the piano, Doug Mettome at the trumpet, Sonny Igoe at the drums, and uh Clyde Lombardi at the bass and a little bit of “Down Home In Indiana.” [sic]

Connor's notes for Indiana say “(middle break)”. I have examined two copies of this performance. Both are incomplete (several bars are missing from Greco's piano solo). One copy cuts out just as Greco's solo begins and resumes 18 bars later. On the other copy the break begins at bar 31 of the solo. I don't know if the original source still exists for these independent transfers, but between the two copies the entire performance has survived.

Star Dust is a feature for Gray, and Bugle Call Rag has a tenor chase sequence between Gray and Eddie Wasserman. Although Connor does not mention their absence, neither Terry Swope nor The Clarinaders appear on these recordings.

There is no Wardell solo on Undercurrent Blues. The announcer begins the following at around 1:50 into this performance:

“Sorry to break in like this, ladies and gentlemen, but time to tell you it's been the music of 'The King Of Swing', playing from the Hollywood Palladium, dining and dancing and entertainment center of the west, on Sunset Boulevard, just across from Columbia Square, in Hollywood, California. You know it's hard, sometimes, to think of Arthur Godfrey really hard for anything. Yet every Monday night he's here on most of these same CBS stations, making it easy and plugging fair and square, for each of the four fine young artists on his talent scouts program. Nice fella, this Godfrey, pleasant fella. The top star in both daytime and nighttime radio, always working for the guy 'n gal on the way up. So hear Godfrey's Talent Scouts show, on CBS tomorrow night. Dick Gordon speaking, this is CBS - the Columbia Broadcasting System.”

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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); Louis “Sabu” Martinez (bgo); Terry Swope, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Richard “Dick” Gordon (mc); unidentified (ann).

AFRS One Night Stand No. 1901, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, March 8, 1949

D-40375Let's Dance (theme)AFRS ONS 1901, AFRS 1911
D-40375Chico's Bop #AFRS ONS 1901; 12-inch LP: SWT-100
D-40375It Takes A Woman To Take A Man -vTS #AFRS ONS 1901; 12-inch LP: SWT-100
D-40375It Isn't Fair –vBGrAFRS ONS 1901
D-40375TreesAFRS ONS 1901; AFRS ONS 1911, 12-inch LP: SWT-100
D-40376After You've Gone -SEPTET #AFRS ONS 1901; 12-inch LP: SWT-100, Dan VC-5003
D-40376Am I Blue? -vTCAFRS ONS 1901
D-40376Undercurrent Blues #AFRS ONS 1901, AFRS 1911; 12-inch LP: SWT-100
D-40376Chico's Bop (repeat, partial)AFRS ONS 1901


The first of several AFRS rebroadcasts of CBS airchecks of the Goodman orchestra from the Hollywood Palladium. The dates listed for each of these AFRS ETs are as listed in Connor, but there is uncertainty as to the actual performance dates. Many of the titles were reused on subsequent ETs - obviously, both dates cannot be correct.

Dan VC-5003 presents a poor transfer of After You've Gone. I have examined two clean pressings; the damage is in the same spots. There are groove-jumps during Benny's solo at around the 1-minute mark, and there are jumps during Mettome's solo as well. Swing Treasury 100 also contains a copy of this recording. The skips are absent from SWT-100, but – like the rest of that LP, the fidelity is quite poor. In addition, Benny's clarinet introduction is absent from Dan VC-5003. The source disc is the same, though – this is obvious when comparing the surface noise on both records.

Connor lists a Good-bye (theme) in Legacy, following Undercurrent Blues. Actually, the ET preserves only the first note of the theme - instead, an incomplete repeat performance of Chico's Bop is substituted. This track has an AFRS voiceover and is edited to present Gray's solo twice.

Connor lists Louis Martinez among the personnel beginning with the March 4 broadcast (“Legacy”, page 195). I have listened carefully to the broadcasts from March 4 and 6 and I hear no trace of Martinez until this transcription.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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); Louis “Sabu” Martinez (bgo); Terry Swope, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); ; Richard “Dick” Gordon (mc); unidentified (ann).

AFRS One Night Stand No. 1911, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, March 11, 1949

D-41115Let's Dance (theme)AFRS ONS 1911 (from AFRS ONS 1901)
D-41115I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm #AFRS ONS 1911
D-41115Someone Like You -vBGrAFRS ONS 1911
D-41115I'll See You In My Dreams -vTC #AFRS ONS 1911; CD: PMF 90.510-2
D-41115Intermezzo #AFRS ONS 1911, AFRS ONS 1931, AFRS ONS 1957, 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023
D-41116Sweet Georgia Brown -SEPTET #AFRS ONS 1911; 12-inch LP: SWT-100, 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5003
D-41116It Takes A Woman To Take A Man -vTS #AFRS ONS 1911
D-41116Undercurrent Blues #AFRS ONS 1911 (from AFRS ONS 1901), 12-inch LP: SWT-100
D-41116TreesAFRS ONS 1911 (from AFRS ONS 1901), 12-inch LP: SWT-100


Another CBS radio broadcast used by AFRS. This same performance of Intermezzo appears on AFRS ONS 1931 and AFRS ONS 1957 – this ET presents the complete version whereas the others are faded early. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm features a 16 bar Wardell solo which remains unissued other than on the original ET. The solo is very similar to the one heard on AFRS ONS No. 1946. This performance of It Takes A Woman To Take A Man also remains unissued other than on the original ET.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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); Louis “Sabu” Martinez (bgo); Terry Swope, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Richard “Dick” Gordon (mc); unidentified (ann).

AFRS One Night Stand No. 1931, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, March 15, 1949

RL-12295Don't Be That WayAFRS ONS 1931; 12-inch LP: SWT-111
RL-12296Do, Do, Do -vBGrAFRS ONS 1931
RL-12296ShiskabopAFRS ONS 1931; 12-inch LP: SWT-111
RL-12296Am I Blue? -vTCAFRS ONS 1931
RL-12296Bedlam -SEPTET #AFRS ONS 1931
RL-12296Lover Man -vTSAFRS ONS 1931
RL-12296Undercurrent Blues #AFRS ONS 1931; 12-inch LP: SWT-111
RL-12296Intermezzo (incomplete)AFRS ONS 1931 (from AFRS 1911)


Bedlam features a 60 bar solo by Gray and remains unissued other than on the original ET.

Doug Mettome (tp); Benny Goodman (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Buddy Greco (p); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d).

CBS radio broadcast, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, March 19, 1949

After You've Gone –SEPTET # (incomplete)unissued


This version of After You've Gone fades out at the 80th bar of Mettome's solo, which most likely is complete. Benny and Wardell's solos both are intact. Benny: “. . . Doug Mettome at the trumpet, Buddy Greco at the piano, Clyde Lombardi at the bass, Sonny Igoe at the drums, and I think it's 'After – After You've Gone', huh?'

Gazdar includes this title in his entry for March 15, 1949, stating “Some sources place this from session of 19 March 1949” (no session is listed in Gazdar for the 19th.)

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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); Louis “Sabu” Martinez (bgo); Terry Swope, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Richard “Dick” Gordon (mc); unidentified (ann).

AFRS “One Night Stand” No. 1946, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, March 22, 1949

D-43747Let's Dance (theme)AFRS ONS 1946; CD: SOY791
D-43747I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm #AFRS ONS 1946; 12-inch LP: SWT-111; CD: SOY791
D-43747It Isn't Fair –vBGr, TCAFRS ONS 1946; CD: SOY791
D-43747Undercurrent BluesAFRS ONS 1946; CD: SOY791
D-43748So In Love -vTSAFRS ONS 1946; CD: SOY791
D-43748Blue Lou – SEPTET #AFRS ONS 1946; 12-inch LP: SWT-100; CD: SOY791
D-43748Don't Worry 'Bout Me -vBGrAFRS ONS 1946; 12-inch LP: SWT-111; CD: SOY791
D-43748El GrecoAFRS ONS 1946; CD: SOY791
D-43748Let's Dance (theme) (incomplete)AFRS ONS 1946; CD: SOY791


Let's Dance is the complete original Columbia recording (WCO 26202-A) – an abbreviated reprise of this concludes the program. The closing announcement takes place during El Greco.

Beecher is again not named by Benny, who calls the group a sextet:
“Thank you very much Richard and now we'd like to play, uh - the Sextet plays, uh with uh Wardell Gray at the saxophone, and, uh Buddy Greco at the piano and Doug Mettome at the tro- ah, at the trumpet, and Sonny Igoe at the drums and Clyde Lombardi at the bass and yours truly would like to play a little bit of 'Blue Lou' - you make the introduction, Buddy?”

Beecher is barely audible but can be heard comping four-to-the-bar, particularly during Greco's piano solo. Perhaps Beecher is on all these small group recordings but I just cannot hear him!

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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); Louis “Sabu” Martinez (bgo); The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr).

Recording session for Capitol Records, Hollywood, CA, March 24, 1949

4114-3Shishkabop78 rpm: Cap 57-568

Same as above, except Bud Herman (p) replaces Greco.

4115-2Having A Wonderful Wish -vBGr #78 rpm: Cap 57-568
4116-4That Wonderful Girl Of Mine -vBGr78 rpm: Cap 57-576
4117-2It Isn't Fair –vBGr, TC78 rpm: Cap 860


Connor makes no mention of Terry Swope's absence, but she does not seem to be on this session – unless she is singing with The Clarinaders, which seems unlikely.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Doug Mettome (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Buddy Greco (p); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d).

CBS Radio broadcast, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, March 26, 1949

Bedlam –SEPTET (incomplete) #unissued


There is no announcement preserved on my copy, but it does sound as though Beecher is playing 4-to-the-bar chords on this one. The recording fades out 11 bars into Greco's piano solo. After the gap, we hear the final bar of Greco, then Lombardi & Igoe's solos to the end of the tune.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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); Louis “Sabu” Martinez (bgo); Terry Swope, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Richard “Dick” Gordon (mc); unidentified (ann).

AFRS One Night Stand No. 1957, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, March 29, 1949

D-44443Undercurrent Blues #AFRS ONS 1957; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023
D-44443So In Love -vTSAFRS ONS 1957; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023; CD: PMF 90.510-2
D-44443ShishkabopAFRS ONS 1957; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023; CD: PMF 90.510-2
D-44443Fresh Fish –TCAFRS ONS 1957; CD: PMF 90.510-2
D-44444There's A Small Hotel –QUARTETAFRS ONS 1957; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023
D-44444Someone Like You –vBGrAFRS ONS 1957
D-44444ClarinadeAFRS ONS 1957, AFRS ONS 1974; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023, AFRS ONS 1974
D-44444If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight) -vBGr #AFRS ONS 1957; 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5023
D-44444Intermezzo (incomplete)AFRS ONS 1911, 1957; 12-inch Lp: Dan VC-5023


Contrary to the listing in Bruyninckx, Fresh Fish and Someone Like You do not appear on DAN VC-5023. The error appeared in Connor's work but was corrected by him in “Wrappin' It Up” (page 72).

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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); Louis “Sabu” Martinez (bgo); Terry Swope, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Richard “Dick” Gordon (mc); unidentified (ann).

AFRS One Night Stand No. 1974, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, March 30, 1949

D-45160Let's Dance (theme)AFRS ONS 1974, AFRS ONS 1994; 12-inch LP: Jazum 57
D-45160Undercurrent Blues #AFRS ONS 1974; 12-inch LP Jazum 57, First Heard FHR-1
D-45160Do, Do, Do -vBGrAFRS ONS 1974; 12-inch LP Jazum 57
D-45160TreesAFRS ONS 1974; 12-inch LP Jazum 57, SWT-111
D-45160There's A Small Hotel -QUARTETAFRS ONS 1974; 12-inch LP Jazum 57
D-45161Jersey Bounce #AFRS ONS 1974, 12-inch LP: Jazum 57, SWT-100
D-45161El GrecoAFRS ONS 1974, AFRS ONS 1994; 12-inch LP: Jazum 57, FHR-1
D-45161Lover Man -vTSAFRS ONS 1974; 12-inch LP: Jazum 57; CD: PMF 90.510-2
D-45161King Porter Stomp #AFRS ONS 1974; 12-inch LP: Jazum 57
D-45161Clarinade (incomplete)AFRS ONS 1974, AFRS ONS 1994; 12-inch LP: Jazum 57


Quartet: Goodman, Greco, Lombardi, Igoe.

King Porter Stomp is also on: 12-inch LP: Dan VC-5003, Golden Era 55001, Swing Treasury 100; CD: Hep CD36 and Laserlight CD15762. Trees, Jersey Bounce, El Greco, Lover Man & King Porter Stomp are on Hep 36. Gazdar lists If I Could Be With You and Intermezzo.

The date listed in “Legacy” is “? March 25, 1949”. From page 196:
“For several reasons, the date indicated by AFRS for the next-listed ET seems wrong. Its release number, “No. 1974,” is out of sequence, for the succeeding ET is, “No. 1957.” Similarly, its matrices are higher than those of the following transcription. Finally, if its date is correct, then its contents involve reverse dubbing; that is, performances on later ET's are brought forward, a process that seems highly unlikely. Unfortunately, the author has no companion acetates that might date the bulk of this broadcast correctly. Therefore, AFRS's dating is listed, but is questioned.”

Connor, “Wrappin' It Up”, page 72:
"There is some evidence to support a 30 March broadcast date for this AFRS One Night Stand ET.”

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Irving Goodman (tp); Bill Byers, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as); Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Larry Molinelli (bar); Buddy Greco (p, voc); Bud Herrman (p); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Terry Swope, The Clarinaders (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr).

Recording session for Capitol Records, Hollywood, March 31, 1949

4126-4Fresh Fish -TC12-inch LP: ECJ-40001, ECJ-50074
4127-4The Huckle-Buck –vTS, TC #78 rpm: Capitol 57-576; ET: AFRS G.I. Jive 2297; 12-inch LP: ECJ-50074
4128-3Trees12-inch LP: ECJ-40001, ECJ-50074

Same as above, except Bud Herman (p) replaces Greco.

4129-1Don't Worry 'Bout Me -vBGr12-inch LP: ECJ-40001


Only The Huckle-Buck was issued on 78 rpm – the other titles here were published on Capitol LPs in Japan. Schlouch writes “ELJ-40001” but ECJ-50074 (Boppin' Benny) is correct.

Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Bill Byers, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); 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, The Singers (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr); Richard “Dick” Gordon (mc); unidentified (ann).

AFRS One Night Stand No. 1994, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, prob. April 1, 1949

D-46630Let's Dance (theme)AFRS ONS 1994, AFRS ONS 1974; 12-inch LP: Jazum 57
D-46630Chico's Bop #AFRS ONS 1994; 12-inch LP: Big Band Archives 2204
D-46630That Wonderful Girl Of Mine -vBGrAFRS ONS 1994
D-46630Sweet Georgia Brown -SEPTET #AFRS ONS 1994; 12-inch LP: Philology W36
D-46630If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight) -vBGr #AFRS ONS 1994
D-46630El GrecoAFRS ONS 1994, AFRS ONS 1974; 12-inch LP: Jazum 57
D-46631Undercurrent Blues #AFRS ONS 1994
D-46631It Takes A Woman To Take A Man -vTS #AFRS ONS 1994
D-46631TreesAFRS ONS 1994
D-46631ClarinadeAFRS ONS 1994
D-46631Good-Bye (theme)AFRS ONS 1994


Connor's notes say March 31, Legacy says April 1. Undercurrent Blues, If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight), and It Takes A Woman To Take A Man all feature solos by Wardell and remain unissued other than on the original ET. Chico's Bop was issued only on 12-inch Lp: Big Band Archives 2204. Dick Gordon's announcement is not included on the Lp:

“The opener tonight is one of those new bebop things with The King of Swing… listen to the haunting beat of “Chico's Bop.”



Connor-Hicks' “BG: On The Record” (page 462) lists seven titles dated “March 1949”, all supposedly from the Hollywood Palladium engagement. These are: Let's Dance (theme), Bugle Call Rag, Just An Idea (Sextet, partial), Once In Love With Amy (Greco, vocal – incomplete), Six Flats Unfurnished, Swedish Pastry (Sextet, partial), and Undercurrent Blues. These same titles are listed in Connor's tape transfer notes. These titles are either duplicates of titles listed elsewhere, or do not come from the Palladium engagement. Connor (“Legacy”, page 196): “Before we take leave of Benny at the Palladium, we must dispose of a few air checks extant via acetate, none of them dated, all reputedly from this engagement.”

Bugle Call Rag and Once In Love With Amy are duplicates of recordings heard on the air check from March 6, 1948. Both of these titles have spoken introductions by Dick Gordon that are absent from circulating copies of the March 6 broadcast. The Let's Dance (theme) also comes from March 6. Connor's tape transfer notes accurately suggest that Bugle Call Rag and Once In Love With Amy “duplicate corresponding titles in 6 March broadcast”, and by the time of “Legacy” these two had been removed from the group. Gazdar lists these two numbers, as from “The Palladium, Hollywood, Early-Apr 1949” (page 22).

The incomplete renditions of Swedish Pastry and Mary's Idea (Just An Idea) by the Sextet remain in the group, in Legacy – with the comment “(s)urely those Sextet performances are from an earlier period-...?” These are both duplicates of performances from The Click, May 27, 1948.

Connor's notes mention Undercurrent Blues “(…), I believe, duplicates title in 1949 March of Dimes ET and V-Disc 903-A, p 456 'BGOTR.'.” This is correct.

Finally, Six Flats Unfurnished is identical to the performance from the Surf Beach Club, September 3, 1949, broadcast coast to coast over WNBC.

Doug Mettome (tp); Benny Goodman (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Buddy Greco (p); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Dick Gordon (mc).

CBS Radio broadcast, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, April 2, 1949

Blue Lou # (incomplete)unissued


There are no announcements on my copy - the recording fades in shortly after what must be the start of the performance. The recording fades out after nine bars of Mettome's solo, but 40 bars are preserved on the second part. The routine is the same as the Blue Lou from the ET dated March 22, 1949 – and Wardell's 64-bar solo is outstanding.

There is some confusion as to the length of the band's engagement at the Hollywood Palladium. From Connor's tape transfer notes:
“Source that supplied this air check insists both date and location are correct; other information says Benny left the Palladium at the end of March.”

The Billboard, April 2, 1949 (page 50):
“Gene Krupa follows Benny Goodman into the Hollywood Palladium Tuesday (5).”

prob. Art Farmer (tp); Art Pepper (as); Teddy Edwards, prob. Bob Cooper (ts); prob. Hampton Hawes (p); prob. John Simmons (b); prob. Chuck Thompson (d).

Gene Norman’s “Just Jazz” Concert, Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, April 2, 1949

Donna Lee12-inch LP: Modern LMP-1208


This recording of Donna Lee, which is titled “Scratch” on Modern LMP-1208 (“Jazz Surprise!”, reissued as Crown CLP 5008), has been a source of confusion for many years. Wardell does not play on this track, contrary to repeated claims. Other players reported to be on this performance are Howard McGhee, Sonny Criss, Dexter Gordon, Dodo Marmarosa, Red Callender, and Jackie Mills.

This title is usually dated as from April 27, 1947 (see, for example, Todd Selbert’s Art Pepper Discography, on page 508 of “Straight Life”). This early date cannot be correct as the initial recording of Donna Lee (by the Charlie Parker All-Stars) took place in New York on May 8, 1947. Two recordings on the Lp (“C-Jam Blues” and “Perdido”) were recorded at the April 29, 1947 “Just Jazz” concert (which has often been incorrectly dated April 27).

The alto solo is almost certainly played by Art Pepper and the tenor solo is almost certainly played by Teddy Edwards. In 1949 there were at least two Gene Norman “Just Jazz” concerts in which Teddy Edwards participated. The first of these was held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on April 2, 1949 and the second was held in the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena on May 9, 1949. Due to the presence of Art Pepper I feel confident this performance is from the April 2 concert, at which Pepper is known to have performed.

Performances from the April 2 concert were issued on Lp: Spotlite SPJ145 (“Jazz Off The Air Vol. 2”), taken from AFRS “Just Jazz” No. 53. I believe the incomplete Donna Lee as presented on the Jazz Surprise!” Lp was taken from an as-yet unidentified “Just Jazz” ET. My guess is there was a voiceover announcement which interfered with the beginning and ending of the track as presented on the ET. Note that there is an edit just after the conclusion of the theme; we hear what may be the opening phrase of an excised tenor solo played by Bob Cooper.

Besides the group billed as the “Stan Kenton All-Stars”, the April 2 concert featured Sarah Vaughan as well as Art Tatum, along with appearances by Erroll Garner and Dave Lambert. Selections from the Tatum set were issued on “Piano Starts Here”. The Shrine instituted a ban on further jazz concerts following acts of vandalism which took place during the January 12 Gillespie concert; the April 2 show was the first jazz concert held after the ban was lifted.

Note as well that the track immediately preceding “Scratch” on Modern LMP-1208 is a performance of “Cherokee” (featuring Teddy Edwards, Erroll Garner, and Dave Lambert) which was certainly recorded at the April 2, 1949 Shrine concert.

An additional title, “Bop”, is sometimes listed with “Scratch” – I do not know what this refers to.

James Harrod, Names & Numbers, No. 51 (October 2009):

This incomplete take of Donna Lee was also issued on the Italian label, Jazz Live, BLJ 8022, where Howard McGhee, Teddy Edwards and Sonny Criss are listed as possible musicians playing. Art Pepper authorities assert that it is Pepper playing alto on this track.

From “Flights of the Vout Bug: A Guide to the Recorded Music of Michael "DoDo" Marmarosa” by Dieter Salemann and Fabian Grob, in the entry for the April 29, 1947 “Just Jazz” concert:

Some sources also claim a recorded live performance of DONNA LEE to be from this concert and by the same group as on GROOVIN' HIGH etc. The horn line-up for DONNA LEE, however, includes tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards, who is mentioned nowhere in contemporary reviews or comments on the above concert. The title most certainly was recorded at the “Just Jazz” concert of mid- (11?) April 1949 with Art Farmer and Art Pepper sharing the horn frontline with Edwards, and Hampton Hawes doing the comping on piano. As all issued versions of this title are incomplete and seem to break off immediately before the piano solo, no final statement to the pianist's identity can be made.


Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Sigmund “Ziggy” Schatz (tp); Bill Byers, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as); Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Bob Dawes (bar); Buddy Greco (p, voc); Bud Herrman (p); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Terry Swope (voc); Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill, Mel Powell (arr).

Recording session for Capitol Records, Hollywood, CA, April 12, 1949

4195-2Bop Hop #CD: Capitol 32086
4196-2TreesCD: Capitol 32086
4197Lover Man -vTSunissued
4198-3DreazagCD: Capitol 32086
4199Star Dustunissued


Connor, “Wrappin' It Up”, page 72:
“Star Dust may never be released; the “Recording Record” for this date notes that it is “N.G.,” and its master may well have been destroyed.” And on page 73: “Star Dust is likely Fletcher Henderson's 24 January 1946 update of his 1936 chart.” Recall that Star Dust was performed at Hotel Syracuse, December 6, 1948, in an arrangement that seems to be by Chico O'Farrill. I have not heard the unissued titles.

Eddie Bert, interviewed by Abraham Ravett:
“… (W)hen we went to the west coast, Benny told us we were going to be there for six months. So a lot of guys subletted their apartments and brought their families out to California. I brought my family out. And we did six weeks at the Palladium and he says Oh, I'm going to Lake Mead, I'm going fishing for two weeks there'll be no salary and then when I come back I'm going, we're going up the west coast and back down and then to the east coast. So everybody said but what happened to the six months and what happened to the salary I mean. So he gave us a couple of record days about three or four record dates in those two weeks to make up for the lost salary. But three guys quit right away. In other words he didn't keep his word so when we got back east, Clyde and I quit to stay with our families.”


Doug Mettome (tp); Benny Goodman (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Buddy Greco (p, voc); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d).

Recording session for Capitol Records, Hollywood, CA, April 14, 1949

4203-5Bedlam #78 rpm: Cap 57-621; 12-inch LP: Mosaic MQ6-148; CD: Capitol 32086
4204-3There's A Small Hotel -QUARTET12-inch LP: Mosaic MQ6-148
4205-3(In The Land Of) Oo-Bla-Dee -vBGr #78 rpm: Cap 57-621; 12-inch LP: Mosaic MQ6-148; CD: Capitol 32086
4206-2Blue Lou #12-inch LP: Mosaic MQ6-148; CD: Capitol 32086


The labels to Cap 57-621 – are credited to “BENNY GOODMAN And His Sextet”, as is Blue Lou on Cap 57-60009. There's A Small Hotel (from the Broadway Musical “On Your Toes”) is credited to “THE BENNY GOODMAN QUARTET” on Cap 57-60009.

The Billboard, September 24, 1949 (page 34) reviews Blue Lou:
“One of Benny's best Capitol efforts in this modern interpretation of an old fave spotting Wardell Gray on tenor, Doug Mettome's fine trumpet, Buddy Greco on piano and Benny. 82—85—82—78”


Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Howard Reich, Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, Nick Travis (tp); Bill Byers, Eddie Bert, George Monte (tb); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as); Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Larry Molinelli (bar); Buddy Greco (p); Arnold Ross (p); Francis Beecher (g); Clyde Lombardi (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Joe Harper (mc).

WJAS Radio broadcast, CBS Radio Network, Hershey Park Ballroom, Hershey, PA, June 18, 1949

Undercurrent Blues #unissued
Bedlam -SEPTET (incomplete) #12-inch LP: Philology W36
Chico's Bop (to signoff) (incomplete) #unissued


Septet: Goodman, Mettome, Gray, Greco, Beecher, Lombardi, Igoe.

Lebanon Daily News, June 16, 1949 (page 17):

Benny Goodman Revue Coming To Hershey:
The Benny Goodman Revue which is coming to the Hershey Park Ballroom on Saturday June 18th is a musical presentation that is new, exciting, and different. There will be dancing to a new trend in music, plus a full hour's musical comedy review with a cast of 25, which gives wonderful entertainment. In addition to Goodman, the show will feature the piano and song-stylist, Buddy Greco, the king's jesters, Herkie Styles, America's newest comedy sensation, interpretations in dance by Nicks and Taylor, stars of the Kathryn Dunbar Troupe, Terri [sic] Swope, Wardell Gray, Sonny Igou [sic], Doug Mettome, The Singers and the famous Benny Goodman Sextette. Whether you like your music sweet, hot, dreamy, or just plain “Bop,” whatever your dancing taste you won't go wrong by going to Hershey to hear Benny Goodman.
Wardell plays wonderful solos on all three surviving tracks: 24 bars on Undercurrent Blues, 48 bars on Bedlam, and 16 bars on Chico's Bop. Chico's Bop opens with Benny calling the tune (twice), followed by Joe Harper saying “and Mr. Goodman yells from the podium: it's Chico's Bop.” Arthur plugs the “Earn Your Vacation” quiz show beginning about halfway through; Wardell's solo is unaffected, as are all but the final few bars of the trumpeter's.

Closing announcement by Joe Harper:

“Right now it's time we say it's been music by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra coming to you from the Hershey Park Ballroom in the chocolate town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, and through the facilities of WHP in Harrisburg. It seems sometimes as though a schoolteacher's life is filled with nothing but questions and answers. But what teacher would object, when some extra questions and the correct answers mean a life's dream come true. Every Sunday evening a number of schoolteachers come to CBS, and try to supply the answers to four questions. Their rewards: dream vacations in the fascinating glamorous ports and countries of the world. For a half hour of entertainment that will bring YOU rewards in good humor and thrills, at hearing American schoolteachers getting a chance to realize their big dreams, hear 'Earn Your Vacation' these Sunday nights on most of these same CBS stations. This is Joe Harper speaking and this is CBS, the Columbia broadcasting system.”


Al Stewart, Doug Mettome, John Wilson, Howard Reich (tp); Billy Byers, George Monte, poss. Mario Daone (tb); Benny Goodman (cl); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as); Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Bob Dawes (bar); Buddy Greco (p); Francis Beecher (g); Bob Carter (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Marcy Lutes (voc); Arturo “Chico” O'Farrill (arr).

Recording session for Capitol Records, New York, NY, July 5, 1949

4255-3Fiesta Time #CD: Capitol 32086
4256-4Don't Worry 'Bout Me -prob. vBGrunissued
4257-2Brother Bill -prob. vBGr, chorusunissued
4258-2Goodnight My Love -poss. voc Marcy Lutesunissued


This was the final Goodman recording session before Benny’s trip to Europe. In the liner notes to CD: Capitol 32086, Loren Schoenberg states: “"Fiesta Time," also heard here for the first time, is a lovely, up-tempo romp by O'Farrill. The saxophone solo is definitely not by Gray, so it is probably the work of the band's other tenor man, Eddie Wasserman.” Gazdar says (page 23): “The liner notes of the CD claim the tenor solo is by Eddie Wasserman. It is the compiler's view that aurally it sounds like WG, especially the phrasing!” In 2013 Loren told me he now believes it is Wardell soloing on this track.

Connor, “Wrappin' It Up”, page 74:

There is some evidence that neither Eddie Bert nor Clyde Lombardi was present, and no replacements for them are noted.

Excerpts from The Billboard”, June 4, 1949 (page 21):

Goodman Set For Palladium, London, in July

NEW YORK, May 28. —Benny Goodman this week was set for a two-week date at the Palladium Theater in London beginning July 18. [ . . . ] B. G. will take six persons from his band with him. These will include pianist-singer Buddy Greco, comic Herky Styles, dance team Nicks and Taylor, a girl singer and possibly tenor saxist Wardell Gray. Gray still is questionable and his use depends on whether the British Musicians Union (BMU) will let him be classified as an act for the show, as it has for Goodman. [ . . . ] From the Palladium, Goodman may make a one-week tour of the British provinces and then he will go to the Continent, where he will be joined by either the full ork or the remainder of his sextet for a tour thru Scandinavia and the Lowland Countries.

From “The Billboard”, June 11, 1949 (page 19):

Goodman Adds Foreign Dates

NEW YORK, June 4. --- Benny Goodman's European tour (The Billboard, June 4) has been expanded to include four to six additional weeks of new bookings on the Continent. The clarinetist – maestro, already scheduled to appear in England, Scandinavia and the Lowland countries, now intends to hit France and Switzerland as well, but probably will avoid dates in any part of Germany.

The plan, as it now stands, is for Goodman's entire crew to fly or sail (to) the Continent to join BG after he completes his London Palladium engagement. Regulations of the British Musicians Union (BMU) prevent the band from performing in that country. The tour will carry BG thru mid-September.

Leonard Feather’s U.S. News Notes, Melody Maker, July 16, 1949:

Last-minute Goodman sides

Benny Goodman cut four sides for Capitol in New York before he left for London. One of them, a Chico O’Farrill original called “Fiesta Time,” featured Wardell Gray, Benny’s great tenor man, and Doug Mettomie [sic], the fine young bop trumpeter from Salt Lake City. The others were vocal members [sic] featuring Buddy Greco, only member of the band to accompany Benny to England.

At the last moment Benny hired a girl singer in the charming person of Marcy Lutes, former Ray McKinley vocalist who was featured as a solo set in recent months at such spots as the Clique Club and the Village Vanguard. Marcy replaces Terry Swope, who had been with the band since its formation nine months ago. Bob Carter, the Hawaiian bass player who was popular along Fifty Second Street a couple of years ago with Charlie Ventura and other groups, has joined Benny in place of Clyde Lombardi.

The whole band is taking about a month off before leaving to join Benny for a tour of the Continent, probably including Scandinavia.

From “The Billboard”, July 30, 1949 (page 16):

NEW YORK, July 23.---It is believed that a snag has developed in Benny Goodman's plans to tour Europe with his ork. The tour, skedded to start early in August, may be cancelled because of increasing difficulty in taking money out of foreign countries. The Goodman band, which stayed behind here pending the leader's call from England, was due to depart late next week.

Brooklyn Eagle, August 4, 1949 (page 4):

Benny Goodman, a smash hit at the London Palladium, has abandoned offers to tour 37 other countries. The reason: He cannot bring his pay back State-side with him, due to monetary restrictions. He is coming home this month . . .


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

Private recording, Blue Bird Inn, Detroit, MI, July 20, 1949

Lester Leaps In (n/c) #unissued
What Is This Thing Called Love #unissued
Dizzy Atmosphere (theme)unissued


These recordings were to be included on an Uptown Records CD (“Detroit Jazz Before Motown, 1945-53”). Uptown's founder Bob Sunenblick passed away early in 2018 and the fate of this project is currently unknown to me.

I’m grateful to Jim Gallert for help with the circumstances of this session. According to Gallert, Wardell had family in Detroit, including his bassist brother, Harry Gray. During Goodman’s European tour Wardell spent time in Detroit and played with Hill’s band at the Blue Bird Inn.

These recordings were made by Porter Crutcher on a Presto portable disc recorder. The beginning of Lester Leaps In is missing. The recording begins with Wardell in mid-solo and lasts for just over a minute prior to a Phil Hill piano solo. Gray returns at 2:37 and is heard soloing and playing the theme before the recording concludes at 3:44. What Is This Thing Called Love also begins in-progress but presumably not much is missing as the group is heard mid-theme. This recording lasts 7:01 and Wardell solos from 0:36 until 4:30. Following Hill’s solo Gray is heard again from 6:22 until the conclusion at which point the group goes straight into the Dizzy Atmosphere theme. Someone says “thank you ladies and gentlemen…” before the recording ends.


Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Al Stewart, Doug Mettome, John Wilson, Ziggy Schatz (tp); George Monte, Bill Byers, Mario Daone (tb); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as); Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Larry Molinelli or Joe Casalaro (bar); Buddy Greco (p, voc); Francis Beecher (g); Bob Carter (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Emily Long, The Clarinaders (voc); Charles Geant (ann).

WTAR Radio Broadcast, NBC Radio Network, Surf Beach Club, Virginia Beach, VA, August 27, 1949

Let's Dance (theme/intro)unissued
The Huckle-Buck -vBGr, TC #12-inch LP: Strumthorpe Mews 193749, Dan VC-5003
Don't Worry 'Bout Me -vBGr, TC12-inch LP: Strumthorpe Mews 193749
Clarinet A La King12-inch LP: Strumthorpe Mews 193749
Some Enchanted Evening -vEL12-inch LP: Strumthorpe Mews 193749
A String Of Pearls # 12-inch LP: Strumthorpe Mews 193749, Dan VC-5003
There's A Small Hotel –QUARTET12-inch LP: Strumthorpe Mews 193749
Blue Lou -SEPTET #12-inch LP: Strumthorpe Mews 193749, Dan VC-5003
Fiesta Time #12-inch LP: Strumthorpe Mews 193749
Good-Bye (theme) -to signoffunissued


Quartet: Goodman, Gray, Carter, Igoe
Septet: Goodman, Mettome, Gray, Greco, Beecher, Carter, Igoe

Benny introduces Bob Carter as “Jack Carter”. Bruyninckx says “Don't Worry 'Bout Me” from this date is on DAN VC-5003 instead of “The Huckle-Buck” - this is incorrect (probably a typo).

Connor, in Legacy, says “(Above on LP, MIR 154, ST 193749.)” ST 193749 (Strumthorpe Mews) does not contain the themes. Bruyninckx repeats the error. Schlouch (page 28) specifies that “Mirror 154” does not contain the themes (although he does indicate they are on the Strumthorpe Mews LP). Connor's tape transfer notes say “… all selections from this broadcast, except both themes, are on Lp's MIRROR MR 154, and STRUMTHORPE MEWS ST 193749, in addition to the DAN release.” His notes also say, “(a) correspondent says the full identification of the Surf Beach Club was AGARDIC, Virginia Beach, Va.”

David Jessup (Benny Goodman - A Supplemental Discography), page 240:
“. . . (T)he themes are omitted, liners to the contrary, but Goodman's announcements for "There's A Small Hotel" and "Blue Lou" are included.”

During the spoken introduction to “There's A Small Hotel”, Benny says “we'd like to play one of our new Capitol recordings”. The word 'Capitol' is edited out on Strumthorpe Mews 193749.

Buddy Greco seems to be singing along with The Clarinaders on The Huckle-Buck. The announcer says: “We open our program with the latest dance sensation and we dare you to try it. Buddy Greco takes the vocal spotlight to explain, the rules of 'The Huckle-Buck'!” Immediately following the performance, the announcer says: “Well, wonder of wonders, Buddy Greco turned out to be four people.”

Once again, although Connor indicates a septet performance for Blue Lou, Benny describes a sextet. Following the Quartet's There's A Small Hotel Benny says “all right, now the Sextet with the addition of Wardell Gray at the saxophone, and - and, Doug Mettome at the trumpet - and a little bit of: Blue Lou!”

The following announcement is heard over the closing Good-Bye theme:

“NBC and WTAR have sent to you coast to coast music by the King of Swing, Benny Goodman and his Orchestra. From the starlit dancing deck of the exotic Surf Beach Club, on the shores of the Atlantic at Virginia Beach, Virginia. Your announcer has been Charles Geant. This is NBC, the National Broadcasting Company.”


Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Al Stewart, Doug Mettome, John Wilson, Ziggy Schatz (tp); George Monte, Bill Byers, Mario Daone (tb); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as); Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Larry Molinelli or Joe Casalaro (bar); Buddy Greco (p, voc); Francis Beecher (g); Bob Carter (b); Sonny Igoe (d); The Clarinaders (voc); Charles Geant (ann).

WTAR Radio Broadcast, NBC Radio Network, Surf Beach Club, Virginia Beach, VA, September 3, 1949

Let's Dance (theme/intro)unissued
Six Flats Unfurnished #unissued
I Didn't Know What Time It Was -vBGrunissued
Blue Lou –SEPTET #12-inch LP: Philology W36
There's A Small Hotel -QUARTETunissued
Lover Come Back To Me -vBGrunissued
Clarinet A La King 12-inch LP: Rarities RA22
Good-Bye12-inch LP: Rarities RA22
Undercurrent Blues (incomplete)unissued


The following announcement is heard over the opening Let's Dance theme:

“NBC and WTAR present, coast to coast, the music of Benny Goodman, the King of Swing, and his Orchestra. Playing on the starlit dancing deck of the exotic Surf Beach Club, next to the rolling curve of the Atlantic Ocean, at Virginia Beach, Virginia.”

The first tune broadcast, Six Flats Unfurnished, remains unissued – Wardell plays an 8 bar solo. This is the same performance as the one listed in Connor-Hicks' “BG: On The Record” (page 462), also in “Legacy” (page 197), supposedly from the Hollywood Palladium engagement (dated “March 1949”).

Good-Bye is a complete rendition. The following announcement is heard over the closing Undercurrent Blues:

“NBC and WTAR have sent to you coast to coast music by the King of Swing, Benny Goodman and his Orchestra. From the starlit dancing deck of the exotic Surf Beach Club, on the shores of the Atlantic at Virginia Beach, Virginia. Your announcer has been Charles Geant. Is there a wolf howling at your door? Well, stall him off until tomorrow, when 'Hollywood Calling' offers you a chance to win twenty seven thousand, five hundred dollars in the giant jackpot (filled with?) fortune. It's the new super quiz show, with Hollywood stars, and a giant jackpot. 'Hollywood Calling', tomorrow at NBC, the National Broadcasting Company.”


Benny Goodman (cl, dir); Doug Mettome, Al Stewart, John Wilson, Sigmund (Ziggy) Schatz (tp); George Monte, Bill Byers, Mario Daone (tb); Mitch Goldberg, Angelo Cicalese (as) Wardell Gray, Eddie Wasserman (ts); Larry Molinelli, Joe Casalaro (bar); Buddy Greco (p, voc); Francis Beecher (g); Bob Carter (b); Sonny Igoe (d); Dolly Houston, The Heathertones (voc).

Recording session for Capitol Records, New York, NY, September 18, 1949

4288-6Egg Head #78 rpm: Cap 57-758
4289-3Little Girl, Don't Cry -vBGr78 rpm: Cap 828; 45 rpm: Cap F828
4290-4Why Don't We Do This More Often? -vDH #78 rpm: Cap 57-758
4291-3Spin A Record -vBGr, THunissued


Usually dated October 15, 1949. The September date (see below) makes more sense as Wardell had left the Goodman band in September. The version of Spin A Record on 78 rpm: Cap 828 is not from this date, it's from a later session (October 27, 1949).

Connor, “Wrappin' It Up”, page 74:

Contrary to all prior advice and intelligence, the “Recording Records” revise Legacy's 15 October 1949 date to 18 September 1949 for Capitol session No. 1292. To this juncture revised dating has been accepted, but one wonders. . . .

Buddy Greco is quoted in Firestone's “Swing Swing Swing” (page 354):

“As the only black guy in the band Wardell had to put up with a lot of racism. There were times when he couldn't check into the hotel or eat in the restaurants. And then, when we worked down in Virginia, some Ku Klux Klanners burst into the little apartment Doug Mettome and I shared with him and threatened to lynch him. Being Italian, I get very, very dark, and the only reason they left me alone was when I was getting dressed, they saw that my backside was white. We had a lot of problems with racial situations, and Wardell finally had enough.”


Wardell Gray (ts); Al Haig (p); Tommy Potter (b); Roy Haynes (d).

Recording session for Prestige, New York, NY, November 11, 1949

JRC-46-ATwisted12-inch LP: MLP1983 (not on CD: OJCCD-050-2)
JRC-46-BTwisted12-inch LP: MLP1983 (on CD: OJCCD-050-2 as JRC46A)
JRC-46-CTwisted12-inch LP: MLP1982
JRC-46-DTwisted (master take)78 rpm: New Jazz 817, Prestige 707
JRC-46-ETwisted12-inch LP: MLP1982
JRC-47-ASouthside12-inch LP: MLP1983
JRC-47-BSouthside12-inch LP: MLP1982
JRC-47-CSouthside12-inch LP: MLP1983
JRC-47-DSouthside12-inch LP: MLP1983
JRC-47-ESouthside (master take)78 rpm: New Jazz 828, Prestige 711
JRC-47-FSouthside12-inch LP: MLP1982
JRC-47-GSouthside12-inch LP: MLP1982
JRC-48-AEasy Living12-inch LP: MLP1982
JRC-48-BEasy Living (master take)78 rpm: New Jazz 817, Prestige 707
JRC-49-ASweet Lorraine78 rpm: New Jazz 828, Prestige 711


Wardell solos on all titles. CD: OJCCD-050-2 (“Wardell Gray Memorial Volume 1”) is missing take A of "Twisted" – according to the liner notes Take B is missing. Take A is on 12-inch LP: Misterioso MLP1983.


Benny Carter (as, dir); Karl George, Ernie Royal, poss. Shorty Rogers, poss. Buddy Childers (tp); George Washington, Britt Woodman, poss. Herbie Harper or Dick Kenny (tb); Willie Smith, Marshall Royal, “Bumps” Myers, Wardell Gray, reeds; poss. Bob Dawes (bar); Gerald Wiggins (p); Ulysses Livingston (g); Charles Drayton (b); poss. Jackie Mills (d); Benjamin Sherman “Scat Man” Crothers, Delores Parker (voc).

Nat “King” Cole (p, voc); Irving Ashby (g); Joe Comfort (b); Jack Costonzo (bgo).

Film soundtrack, Universal Studios, Los Angeles, CA, January 4, 1950

7054 SM-434Harlequin Bounce (The Bop Bounce)
-?- Ooh Kickaroonie
7054 VM-439The Whale Song -voc, “Scat Man” Crothers
-?- What I Want That Ain't It –vDP
-?- (unknown title) -tap, Bunny Briggs
-?- Route 66
-?- All Aboard


Wardell is on the soundtrack to the Universal-International short entitled “King Cole And His Trio”, directed by Will Cowan. He does not solo on any of the recordings heard in the film.

Gazdar (p. 34):

A similar short featuring Nat Cole, is said to be supported by Benny Carter's orchestra – mainly studio musicians. Wardell is mentioned in the personnel but not having seen the movie the Compiler is unable to say whether Wardell soloed or not or was, indeed, visible at all.

From Mark Cantor comes the information that the soundtrack was recorded on January 4, 1950, with Wardell on tenor. When the visual sequences were filmed on January 18, 1950, black sideline musicians appeared in place of the white musicians heard on the soundtrack. Gray was not present for the sideline photography - he likely was en route to Chicago to join Jay Burkhardt's band at the Regal in Chicago.

The personnel listed above include only the musicians on the soundtrack. A copy of the Universal contract lists only the black musicians; David Meeker filled in the remaining names. The sideline musicians are:

Benny Carter (as, dir); Karl George, Clarence Thomas, Ernie Royal (tp); Marshall Royal (cl); Willie Smith (as); Hubert “Bumps” Myers, Charles Waller (ts); Gerald Wiggins (p); Ulysses Livingston (el-g); Charles Drayton (b); Henry Tucker Green (d).

Recording: January 4, 1950 (1:00 P.M. - 5:14 P.M., Benny Carter big band); (2:00 P.M. - 6:40 P.M. Nat Cole Trio)
Sideline: January 18, 1950 (7:30 A.M. - 4:40 P.M., Benny Carter big band); (8:00 A.M. - 12:15 P.M., Nat Cole Trio)

The matrix numbers listed above are heard on a 78 rpm production lacquer which present one take each of Harlequin Bounce and The Whale Song (these are the same takes heard in the film). Forty-three seconds of music were removed from Harlequin Bounce as presented in the finished short (the complete performance is heard on the lacquer). The music missing from the film includes a piano solo but no solo by Wardell Gray.

The final tune is usually titled “Congaroo”, but it is clearly All Aboard, which would be recorded by the King Cole Trio (with Costanzo) in New York on March 9, 1950 (ET B-467). Incidentally, Mark Cantor relates that Jack Costonzo has said this was a piece that the combo played called “Go Bongos.”

Age 29


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

Blue Bird Inn, Detroit, MI, April 24, 1950

Rifftide (Lady Be Good) # (n/c)unissued
Add Frank Foster (ts):

Twisted # (n/c)unissued


The personnel above is as it appears on the acetate. Cuban Pete is listed but Jim Gallert says “the percussionist on these tracks is more than likely Jack Tiant, a friend of Art Mardigan.” All but the final few bars of Twisted’s opening theme are missing; in this rendition Gray begins his solo with the same phrase with which he opened his solo on the November 11, 1949 master take. The total time of a copy of this performance is 4:04 but the disc is damaged and there is audio missing during the restatement of the theme. Foster is heard only during the opening theme of Rifftide, harmonizing with Gray. Wardell solos from 0:51 until 3:25 of this recording which lasts 4:34 and fades during a bongo solo.

I’m grateful to Jim Gallert for help with this session.


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

Recording session for Prestige, United Sound Studios, Detroit, MI, April 25, 1950

JRC-79-AA Sinner Kissed An Angel #78 rpm: Prestige 723
JRC-80-ABlue Gray #12-inch LP: MLP1983
JRC-80-BBlue Gray (master take) #78 rpm: Prestige 714
JRC-80-CBlue Gray #12-inch LP: MLP1983
JRC-81-AGrayhound #12-inch LP: MLP1983
JRC-81-BGrayhound (master take) #78 rpm: Prestige 723
JRC-81-CGrayhound (incomplete take) #12-inch LP: MLP1983
JRC-82-ATreadin' With Treadwell #12-inch LP: MLP1983
JRC-82-BTreadin' With Treadwell #12-inch LP: MLP1983
JRC-82-CTreadin' With Treadwell (master take) #78 rpm: Prestige 714


All titles are on CD: OJCCD-050-2 and 12-inch LP: Misterioso MLP1983. The introduction to A Sinner Kissed An Angel is edited on MLP1983.

The bass player is listed as “John Richardson” in all published Wardell discographies, going back to Don Byrne's (published in Discographical Forum in 1968). Jim Gallert confirms the bassist is actually James “Beans” Richardson (brother of bassist Rodney Richardson). At this time Wardell was again gigging in Detroit. According to Gallert, “in all likelihood he was working at the Blue Bird Inn when this session took place.”


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

Concert, Hula Hut Club, Los Angeles, CA, August 27, 1950

I Can't Give You Anything But Love -vDJ12-inch LP: Xanadu 200; CD: Classics 1463

Same as above, except Damita Jo (voc) out.

1231Jazz On Sunset (Move) - (Pt. 1) #78 rpm: Prestige 778; CD: OJCCD-051-2, Classics 1463
1231Jazz On Sunset (Move) - (Pt. 2)78 rpm: Prestige 778; CD: OJCCD-051-2, Classics 1463
1232Jazz On Sunset (Move) - (Pt. 3)78 rpm: Prestige 779; CD: OJCCD-051-2, Classics 1463
1232Jazz On Sunset (Move) - (Pt. 4)78 rpm: Prestige 779; CD: OJCCD-051-2, Classics 1463

Same as above, except Gordon (ts) out.

1233Kiddo (Scrapple From The Apple) (Pt. 1) #78 rpm: Prestige 759; CD: OJCCD-051-2, Classics 1463
1233Kiddo (Scrapple From The Apple) (Pt. 2)78 rpm: Prestige 759; CD: OJCCD-051-2, Classics 1463
1234Kiddo (Scrapple From The Apple) (Pt. 3) #78 rpm: Prestige 760; CD: OJCCD-051-2, Classics 1463
1234Kiddo (Scrapple From The Apple) (Pt. 4)78 rpm: Prestige 760; CD: OJCCD-051-2, Classics 1463


From the liner notes to OJCCD-051-2:
“Dexter Gordon had just returned to California and Wardell had recently arrived in Los Angeles with Count Basie. This session at the Hula Hut on Sunset Boulevard marked the first time they had played together in over two years.”

This concert is usually dated August 27, 1950, but Sheridan seems to indicate the correct date is the 28th:

Sheridan (page 315):
“The combo opened at Los Angeles' Million Dollar Theatre on August 27 and, the next day, Clark Terry and Wardell Gray confirmed the well-being of the Basieite penchant for jamming by joining a session with Dexter Gordon at the Hula Hat [sic] Club, some of the material being preserved on Prestige LPs.”

A fourth title (“Pyson Trot”) was listed in “Wardell Gray discography Part 3 by Don Byrne”, published in Malcolm Walker's Discographical Forum No. 7, July 1968 (page 5). A correction to this listing was published in Discographical Forum No. 16 (January 1970): “Don Schlitten notes that Pyson trot is in fact Move from the August 27 1950 session.”

Despite Schlitten's correction, “Pyson Trot” has since been listed in some discographies, sometimes as “Pusin' Trot”. A tape of I Can't Give You Anything But Love preserves an announcement following that performance:

“Sweetheart of the Armed Forces Miss Damita Jo. Now we have a time, oh a short time more, as we listen to the tenor stylings of Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray on a thing they cuffed [sic] up called ‘Pyson Trot’...”

This is followed immediately by the piano introduction to “Move” (excised on most reissues). Incidentally, the unidentified emcee may be saying “Paison Trot” or “Python Trot”.

Thanks to Claude Schlouch, Norman Saks, and Malcolm Walker for help with this session.


Clark Terry (tp); Boniface “Buddy” DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d); Helen Humes (voc).

Soundtrack recordings for Snader Telescriptions, General Service Studios, Los Angeles, CA, August 29 and 30, 1950

1101One O'Clock Jump #12-inch LP: CA 3024, NW 5024
1102I Cried For You -vHH #12-inch LP: CA 3024, NW 5024
1103Basie Boogie #12-inch LP: CA 3024, NW 5024
1104Basie's Conversation #12-inch LP: CA 3024, NW 5024
1105If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight) -vHH CD: sagajazz 53


All titles are on sagajazz 53. "Bass Conversation" and "One O'Clock Jump" were used in the 1955 film “Rhythm & Blues Review.”

Precise details have been provided by Mark Cantor:

“The Basie Snader Telescriptions .... in fact, all of the Snaders .... were produced on the West Coast, in this case, at General Service Studios, a rental lot. The films are a mixture of live performance, with a bit of sideline to pre-recorded sound thrown in for good measure. According to the union contract, August 29, 1950 was purely a sideline affair, with work done between 9:30 and 11:45 A.M. There was both recording and sideline work done the next day, August 30, with recording accomplished between 8:20 and 1:00 A.M., and sideline photography taking place between 7:00 and 8:20, as well as 11:00 to 11:30. The recording was directed by Phil Moore, with the personnel the same as for the Universal short, with DeFranco on both soundtrack and screen.”


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

Film soundtrack, Universal Studios, Los Angeles, CA, August 31, 1950

Phalanges #CD: sagajazz 53
God Bless The Child -vBH12-inch LP: GOJ LP-1001
Now, Baby Or Never -vBH12-inch LP: GOJ LP-1001
After School Boogie -vSCRCD: Rev-Ola bandstand CR Band 23
Numbers Boogie -vSCRCD: Rev-Ola bandstand CR Band 23
One O'Clock Jump #CD: sagajazz 53


From Will Cowan's film titled “Sugar Chile” Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and His Sextet released in 1951. Numbers Boogie and After School Boogie are piano/vocal performances by Frank “Sugar Chile” Robinson. Marshall Royal is seen in the film but it is DeFranco who is heard on the soundtrack. "Phalanges" is titled “Felanges” on CD: sagajazz 53.

This short has been precisely dated thanks to information provided by Mark Cantor:

“The short was recorded at Universal Studios, Los Angeles, between 11:00 A.M. and 3:40 PM on August 31, 1950. The sideline session was a somewhat lengthy affair, 8:30 A.M. to 6:29 P.M. on September 1, again at Universal Studios. Same personnel as per the recording session save that, to avoid integration on screen, Marshall Royal sidelines on clarinet.”

Down Beat, March 23, 1951 (page 1):

Marshall Royal Joins The Count
New York --- Marshall Royal, clarinetist, elder brother of trumpeter Ernie Royal, has taken over the former Buddy DeFranco chair in Count Basie's band. Rudy Rutherford acted as temporary replacement until Royal came in. Coincidentally, Marshall occupied the same chair when the Basie band cut a movie short in Hollywood last summer; however, he was seen but not heard. DeFranco cut the soundtrack but was Crow Jimmed out of participating in the film visually.


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

Recording session for Columbia Records, New York, NY, November 2, 1950

co44594-1Song Of The Islands #12-inch LP: CBS 54168; CD: Properbox 19
co44595-1These Foolish Things12-inch LP: CL 997
co44596-2I'm Confessin' #12-inch LP: CL 997
co44597-1One O'Clock Jump #12-inch LP: CL 997; CD: Properbox 19


Sheridan (page 316): “At the beginning of November, the combo recorded over two days for Columbia and, in recent years, Serge Chaloff has usually been given as the baritone player. In fact, he had left Basie some months previously and, though he might well have played with the combo during its October engagement in Boston, he did not travel to New York and the baritone saxophonist heard on the records is former Basieite Elman 'Rudy' Rutherford.”


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

Recording session for Columbia Records, New York, NY, November 3, 1950

co44606-1I Ain't Got Nobody12-inch LP: Columbia CL 997
co44607-1Little White Lies (master take) #7-inch EP: Epic EG 7029
co44607-2Little White Lies #12-inch LP: CBS 66102; CD: Neatwork RP 2066
co44608-1I'll Remember April #10-inch LP: Epic LG-1021
co44609-1Tootie (Tootsie) #12-inch LP: Columbia CL 901


All titles are on 12-inch LP: CBS 66102.


Unidentified, poss. Art Farmer (tp); Marshall Royal (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); poss. Jimmy Lewis (b); poss. Gus Johnson (d).

Unidentified radio broadcast, unknown location, poss. New York, NY, poss. November/December 1950

The Squirrel (incomplete) #CD: sagajazz 53
Indiana (Donna Lee) #CD: sagajazz 53
C Jam Blues #CD: sagajazz 53
Robbins' Nest #CD: sagajazz 53


Gazdar (p. 27): "Unk. personnel except WG, Marshall Royal (clt); It has been suggested that the (tp) could be Thad Jones sitting in for Clark Terry, just for this show".

These recordings were set to appear in the Masters Of Jazz “Complete Edition” devoted to Wardell Gray. They were provided by Coover Gazdar and eventually were issued on CD: sagajazz 53 entitled “Count Basie Septet & Octet On Film & Live”.

The four tunes played back at the wrong speed/pitch on Gazdar's tape transfers and Sagajazz corrected three of these. The Squirrel was on a separate tape and was not corrected. This track, which ends during Gray's solo, was issued as “3:15 A.M. Blues” and is listed as such in Gazdar's discography.

I asked Chris Sheridan if he had any information about the source of these recordings, he did not. Malcolm Walker has suggested Art Farmer may be the trumpeter on this session.


ET: “Here's To Veterans” No. 225 (assembled program), usually dated January 14, 1951

co36704-1Mutton Leg78 rpm: CO 37093 (recorded July 31, 1946)
co43262-1Bluebeard Blues78 rpm: CO 38888 (recorded May 16, 1950)
co35733-1The King78 rpm: CO 37070 (recorded February 4, 1946)


There is no Wardell Gray involvement here although this transcription has appeared in many discographies with the January 14, 1951 date. I believe the above information to be accurate.

Pete Moon's Serge Chaloff Discography (Part 10, published in Discographical Forum #48, Mid-Summer 1984, page 9) lists the above three titles (as an “AFRS Transcription No. 225” from “New York City - January 14, 1951”) with the same personnel as on the November 3, 1950 session. Schlouch (page 31) also lists this session (as “New York,c. January 1951”). John Kuehn and Arne Astrup's “Buddy DeFranco - A Biographical Portrait and Discography” has it as “Unknown location, January 1951” and “Armed Forces Radio Services No.225” (page 150).

Salemann (page 35):
“Pete Moon, in his Serge Challoff disco in “Discographical Forum” No. 48, gives another Octet session for AFRS Transcription on January 14, 1951. As the group was in Chicago, this seems unbelievable.”

In the “Count Basie, 1942-1978 Manuscript of Basie section revised edition of Jepsen by Michel Rupli assoc. edited by Bob Porter” there is a handwritten note that reads “If this is a “Here's To Veterans” ET, it is CB's voice announcing the Columbia commercial tracks already listed above”.

J. David Goldin's "RadioGOLDINdex" lists:
Here's To Veterans. Program #225. Veterans Administration syndication. "Count Basie". The first tune is, "Muttonleg." Count Basie and His Orchestra. 14:37. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete.

I have not heard this ET; I do not know if the tune listed as Bluebeard Blues is actually that track or if it is The Golden Bullet. Or - if indeed Bluebeard Blues is performed - if it is announced as “The Golden Bullet”. (See the comments for the April 28, 1951 Birdland broadcast for an explanation.)

Age 30


Lammar Wright, Al Porcino, Clark Terry, Bob Mitchell (tp); Mitchell 'Booty” Wood, Leon Comegys, Matthew Gee (tb); Marshall Royal, Reuben Phillips (as) Wardell Gray, Lucky Thompson (ts); Charlie Fowlkes (bar); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Recording session for Columbia Records, New York, NY, April 10, 1951

co45656-1Howzit7-inch EP: Epic EG 7029
co45657-1Nails #7-inch EP: Epic EG 7029
co45658-1Little Pony #78 rpm: CO 39406
co45659-1Beaver Junction78 rpm: CO 39406


Sheridan (page 318):
“(...) Basie had begun to think about re-forming a big-band and duly opened at the Apollo near the end of March with a 16-piece orchestra built round the combo.”...“They closed at the Apollo on April 5 and disbanded, but, five days later, Basie brought as many of them as possible back together for his final Columbia recording session prior to going out on the road with the combo.”

The Billboard, April 7, 1951 (page 36):
“Count Basie, currently finishing out the week at the Apollo Theater, Chicago, with a big band, will take the crew out for a couple of one-nighters directly after the theater. He then will return to his sextet formula for a couple of weeks at Chi's Birdland nitery, with opening set for April 27. Basie follows that with a one-weeker at the 400 Casino, Albany, N. Y., opening May 14...“

Private recordings, Christy's Restaurant, Framingham, MA, prob. mid-April 1951


These jam sessions likely were recorded sometime around or during Basie's engagement at the Hi-Hat in Boston, MA, which began April 15. A projected release of a series of Lps on the ZiM label was cancelled; the information on these recordings comes from a sheet detailing eight reels of tape from Christy's, along with the catalog numbers for their proposed releases. With the exception of two tracks with Charlie Parker (see the following entry), all titles remain unissued.

12-inch Lps: ZM-1010 and ZM-1011 survive in part through copies of what may be test pressings. Also surviving are copies of the back cover to ZM-1011. The two titles that purport to contain Wardell Gray among the personnel (Indiana, listed as “Donna Lee”, and Oh! Lady Be Good) have no tenor solos, although both tracks are incomplete and begin while trumpet solos are in progress.

I have used the information from the ZiM information sheet as a basis for this entry, excluding the music on the reels that clearly do not include participation by Wardell. Also not included here are the three tracks from April 12; although Wardell is on them, the dates are known so they appear in the following entry. There are a few inconsistencies between the recordings I've heard, the information on the ZiM sheet, and the text on the Lp jacket to ZM-1011. For example, Eddie Curran announces “Tommy Potter on this” during Potter's bass solo on I'll Remember April; the ZiM sheet names Jimmy Woode as the bassist.

The following information is adapted from the ZiM sheet; I have excluded titles on which Wardell is obviously not present:

JAM SESSIONS AT CHRISTY'S — c. Winter-Spring 1950

The performances on this series of recordings come from several dates. Except for three titles, the exact dates are unknown. For reasons of time, and also for musical considerations, it was not always possible to group the performances in an order re¬sembling that in which they were apparently recorded. The following discographical chart indicates the order of tunes on each of the original reels of tape. It should be kept in mind that it is impossible to determine which side of each reel was recorded first. Also, there is no certainty that each reel represents only one recording date. The order in which the reels are listed is arbitrary.

§ Indicates titles which are not released because they are either of poor technical quality, or because they are short fragments of music.

Reel #4
Howard McGhee, Dick Wetmore (tp); Bill Harris (tb); Wardell Gray (ts); Nat Pierce (p); Eli Whitney Cronin (b); Joe MacDonald (d).

Rifftide (omit Harris)ZM-1015 (unreleased)
Donna Lee (McGhee, Gray + rhythm)ZM-1015 (unreleased)
Taps MillerZM-1016 (unreleased)
Oh, Lady Be GoodZM-1011 (unreleased)
Rose Room (partial) (0:05)§
Title not noted (Gray + rhythm) (4:10)§

Serge Chaloff (bar) replaces Harris:

I Got RhythmZM-1014 (unreleased)

Reel #6
Howard McGhee, Dick Wetmore (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Nat Pierce (p); Jimmy Woode (b); unknown (d).

Donna LeeZM-1011 (unreleased)
Crazy Rhythm (11:05) - poor quality sound§

Reel #7
Howard McGhee, unknown (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Nat Pierce (p); unknown (b); poss. Jesse Powell (d).

Donna LeeZM-1016 (unreleased)
All The Things You AreZM-1016 (unreleased)
Oh, Lady Be GoodZM-1016 (unreleased)

Clark Terry (tp) added:

Out Of NowhereZM-1016 (unreleased)

Charlie Parker (as); Wardell Gray, Bill Wellington (ts); Nat Pierce (p); Jack Lawlor (b); Joe MacDonald (d).

Private recording, Christy's Restaurant, Framingham, MA, April 12, 1951

I Found A New Baby (#?)unissued (12-inch LP: ZM-1009, unreleased)
Scrapple From The Apple #12-inch LP: PLP-404
Lullaby In Rhythm (incomplete) #12-inch LP: PLP-404
Happy Bird Blues -Parker solo only12-inch LP: PLP-404


Scrapple From The Apple is misspelled “Scrapple From The Appel” and Lullaby in Rhythm is incorrectly listed as “I May Be Wrong” on PLP-404. On Lullaby In Rhythm Wellington is heard during the themes only – he takes no solos. I have not heard the unissued I Found A New Baby and I do not know if Wellington (or Wardell) have solos.

Peter Losin notes “(a) fourth title, "I Remember April", is usually included with these tunes, but it is clearly from another (later) session.” That later session is December 8-14, 1952, Hi-Hat Club, Boston MA.

These titles also appear in the ZiM records list, Reel #5 (see previous session), where they are the only items definitively dated. Happy Bird Blues is not listed – my suspicion is that this track comes from a different date and/or location. In addition, there are some personnel differences when compared to the standard discographical listings: Tommy Potter is named as the bassist, and - on drums – “Clarke”, with the note “Probably Jim Clarke, better known as a tenor saxophonist.” The usual personnel is listed in the header above. Tommy Potter is indeed heard on other tracks from these sessions; he was then playing with Oscar Pettiford at the Hi-Hat, and is heard on these tapes jamming with Pettiford, McGhee, et al.

Boston Traveler, April 18, 1951 (page 7):

Count Basie Band Plays at Hi-Hat

One of the great names in jazz history is Count Basie —and the Count is appearing at the Hi-Hat all this week. The Count and his seven-piece band checked in at the Hi-Hat last Sunday and those of you lucky enough to be at the Hi-Hat not only heard the Count, but also Oscar Pettiford's group.
While Pettiford was at the Hi-Hat last week the spotlight was really on the bass. Pettiford at both bass and cello is tops, and with his group was Tommy Potter of the old Billy Eckstine band who also plays a fine bass. More recently Potter has been at New York's Birdland and accompanied Billy Eckstine during his personal appearances tour.

Clark Terry (tp); Marshall Royal (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d); Joe Ripley (mc).

WNEW broadcast, Stars On Parade 589, New York, NY, April 20, 1951

One O'Clock Jump (theme)16-inch ET: SoP 589; 12-inch LP: GoJ LP-1002, SWH-29
Move #16-inch ET: SoP 589; 12-inch LP: GoJ LP-1002, SWH-29
Basie Boogie16-inch ET: SoP 589; 12-inch LP: GoJ LP-1002, SWH-29
Women's Army Recruitment Commercial16-inch ET: SoP 589
Bluebeard Blues #16-inch ET: SoP 589; 12-inch LP: GoJ LP-1002, SWH-29
One O'Clock Jump (theme)/Program Closing16-inch ET: SoP 589; 12-inch LP: GoJ LP-1002


Bluebeard Blues is incorrectly announced as “The Golden Bullet”. Gazdar incorrectly lists the theme as “Jumpin at the wood side (theme)”. One O'Clock Jump fades at around 0:20 on sagajazz 53.

Clark Terry, Buck Clayton (tp); Marshall Royal (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d); “Symphony” Sid Torin (mc).

“The Birdland Show”, WJZ radio broadcast, Birdland, New York, NY, April 28, 1951

Jumpin' With Symphony Sid (theme)unissued
Jumpin' At The Woodside #12-inch LP: Ozone 6
How High The Moon (Ornithology) #12-inch LP: Ozone 6
Oh, Lady Be Good!12-inch LP: Ozone 6
Bluebeard Blues #12-inch LP: Ozone 6
One O'Clock Jump #12-inch LP: Ozone 6
Jumpin' With Symphony Sid (theme)unissued


The only title to have been issued in its entirety is Jumpin' At The Woodside. All the others have long musical introductions which were excised from Ozone 6, in order to remove Symphony Sid's announcements. All other issues of these performances are derivatives of Ozone 6.

During the opening Jumpin' With Symphony Sid, Sid says:

“A big welcome, for his first time here at Birdland, Count Basie! The All Stars. Featuring Wardell Gray on tenor, Marshall Royal, on clarinet; Freddie Green, on guitar; Clark Terry, on trumpet. And of course, that's the group - a lot of great things that I know you'll enjoy.”

Before How High The Moon, Sid calls Buck Clayton to the bandstand:

“Talking about, uh, some of the great gentlemen that were in Count Basie's band, let's give him a great big hand: there's Buck Clayton standing at the bar. Did you see Buck? Hey, Buck - you wanna blow one? (unintelligible) I see you got your horn... You like to come up and blow one? Sure. Big hand for Buck Clayton, ladies and gentlemen. A wonderful guy, who's working with, another wonderful guy at another club, The Embers, on the east side. Basie, what are we doin' now? 'How High The Moon' there? Alright, c'mon blow one Buck, let's make this one. 'How High The Moon', c'mon, great big hand, Buck Clayton, all the guys.”

Bluebeard Blues is titled “The Golden Bullet” on Ozone 6 and in the Boris Rose “Birdland Book”. This titling reflects the tune again having been announced as “The Golden Bullet” (as it also was on the Stars On Parade ET). The Golden Bullet is a different tune, recorded by a Basie octet for Columbia on May 16, 1950 (minus Wardell). Bluebeard Blues was also recorded on that date. Both tunes were issued on 78 rpm CO 38888 in the summer of 1950 (it was reviewed in The Billboard's August 5, 1950 issue, p. 104). The Billboard's review mentions The Golden Bullet's “opening alternating solos of DeFranco, Serge Chaloff, Charlie Rouse and Clark Terry” - and this is what is heard on the May 16, 1950 recording of The Golden Bullet.

I can not explain the reason for the apparent switch in titles. The Golden Bullet is credited in Sheridan to "Milton Ebbins-William 'Count' Basie" and Bluebeard Blues is credited to Neal Hefti, as on CO 38888. (The 78 rpm issue says “Bluebeard Blues”, Sheridan says “Bluebeard's Blues”.) There exists a performance of Bluebeard Blues by Harry James and His Orchestra on CD: Hep 24 ("Big John Special '49"); Bruyninckx lists this as from "Hollywood, c. winter 1949". The tune performed by James is definitely the same composition issued on CO 38888 as Bluebeard Blues.

Before this Birdland performance of Bluebeard Blues, Sid asks Basie, “What are we gonna do now, Dad?” Basie's reply is inaudible, but Sid responds, “'The Golden Bullet'? Is that Milt Ebbins' tune? Mendell's tune, ladies and gentlemen...”

Cydner “Paul” Campbell, Clark Terry, Lammar Wright (tp); Bennie Green, Jimmy Wilkins, Mitchell “Booty” Wood (tb); Marshall Royal (cl, as); Ernie Wilkins (as); Wardell Gray, Lucky Thompson (ts); Charlie Fowlkes (bar); Count Basie (p, celeste); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d); Thelma Carpenter (voc); Martin Block (ann).

WNEW “Make Believe Ballroom” broadcast, prob. Strand Theatre, New York, NY, May 6, 1951

One O'Clock Jump (theme)unissued
Every Tub #12-inch LP: Sabie 5302
Perdido -SEPTET #unissued
Beaver Junction unissued
Who Cares? -vTCunissued
Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me -vTCunissued
Ain't It The Truth? #unissued
(Nails #)(7-inch EP: Epic EG 7029)
Bluebeard Blues -SEPTET #unissued
Cheek To Cheek #12-inch LP: Alto AL710


Salemann (page 37) suggests the Strand Theatre as a possibility for the venue. Martin Block's opening announcement (over the One O'Clock Jump theme) seems to me to be ambiguous as to whether Block is plugging the band's current engagement at the Strand Theater or is actually broadcasting from the Strand:

Block: Ladies and gentlemen welcome once again to your Make Believe Ballroom, our Sunday night swing concert and now we've moved from stage two, to stage three the biggest stage at the ballroom and it's loaded! Loaded, ladies and gentlemen, with musicians. Led by Count Basie, we have the entire orchestra and Miss Thelma Carpenter here with us from the Strand Theatre on Broadway; yes we want to thank the Strand right now for making this possible tonight, and Count Basie we want to thank you for being with us, you and all the boys. But how about uh, kickin' it off here with, uh - say, you remember that old record you made, uh, “Every Tub”?

Basie: Sure do.

Block: You wouldn't by any chance have an arrangement of it?

Basie: well, just ask me for the downbeat.

Block: Alright, you give us a downbeat and we'll hear “Every Tub” by Count Basie and the band in person from the Ballroom.

The New York Times (“On The Radio This Week”, Sunday, May 6, 1951) shows in its afternoon listing: “5:30-WNEW-Make-Believe Ballroom”, and the next WNEW program listed is at 7:45 PM. Considering Block's "third stage" reference, I believe the Basie segment was likely late in the broadcast, and probably was recorded at the Strand.

These recordings appear in Boris Rose's lists, where Rose lists “Spreadin The Blues” in place of Bluebeard Blues. Block's announcement of this tune is incomplete on my copy (Block says, "take it boys, take it”); perhaps once again Bluebeard Blues was once again incorrectly announced.

Nails is actually the April 10, 1951 studio recording, with the studio audience applauding at the end.

Gazdar does not list Cheek To Cheek (the only selection on which Basie plays celeste). This title appears twice in Rose's list, the first time among the Duke Ellington titles ("5/5/51") issued on Rose's Alto AL710. The second appearance is with the Basie titles above ("5/6/51"), as “Cheek to Cheek (Duke-5/5)".

The personnel above is as it appears in Sheridan, with the exception of the second tenor. Sheridan lists Paul Quinichette, but Quinichette's own account has him joining while Basie “was doing the Kate Smith show” (see the following session).

The Billboard, May 12, 1951 (page 45, excerpt):

New York Swing Revival
Basie, who has been working with a sextet for over a year, returned to the same type of 13-piece organization which wrote jazz history in the late 30's. The band is on display at the Strand Theater here. Unlike Ellington and Goodman, Basie's crew is stripped of vet Basieites. But the spark still lies in the rhythmic drive of the band and on the tenor sax wings, today in the persons of Wardell Gray and Lucky Thompson. Basie's band is due to take a fling at a few experimental one-nighters to judge its current potential. If the reaction is positive he will keep the band together. If not, he'll be back working nitery locations with the sextet.

Cydner “Paul” Campbell, Clark Terry, Lammar Wright (tp); Bennie Green, Jimmy Wilkins, Mitchell “Booty” Wood (tb); Marshall Royal (cl, as); Ernie Wilkins (as); Wardell Gray, Paul Quinichette (or Lucky Thompson) (ts); Charlie Fowlkes (bar); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

WNBT Television Broadcast, NBC Television Network (Channel 4), The Kate Smith Hour, New York, NY, May 24, 1951

Every Tub #unissued


Sheridan has “CBS "Kate Smith Show" Tv programme, NYC, May 1951”, and lists Howzit and Every Tub. Schlouch has this session as “probably New York,c. 1950-51” and lists “Howzit” and "Little Pony" He also states “(s)ome sources indicates Basie's Boogie instead Howzit. My tape is actually playing Howzit.” Gazdar says “Kate Smith TV Show. NYC, early-Apr 1951” and lists “Howzit” and “Every tub”. Salemann has “April (?) 1951, New York City, Kate Smith TV Show”.

Smith's CBS show - “The Kate Smith Show” – did not premiere until 1960. “The Kate Smith Hour” was on NBC Daytime, afternoons (Mon-Fri) and ran from September 25, 1950 until June 18, 1954.

Brooklyn Eagle, Thursday, May 24, 1951 (page 35):

4:00 WNBT (4) --Kate Smith Hour, Harrison and Fisher, Count Basie Orchestra, Richard Himber and the Karpis Trio, guests.
Gazdar (p. 28) lists:
Clark Terry, Al Porcino, Bob Mitchel, Lammar Wright (tp); Leon Comegys, Booty Wood, Mathew Gee (tb); Reuben Philips, Marshall Royal (as); Wardell Gray, Lucky Thompson (ts); Charlie Fowlkes (bar); Count Basie (p) Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).
It is unclear if Paul Quinichette replaced Lucky Thompson before this date or soon afterwards. Quinichette is quoted in Stanley Dance's “The World of Count Basie” (page 303):
“Basie sent Wardell Gray to get me. He was mad with Lucky Thompson, and Lester had told him, 'Paul will play my chair, not Lucky Thompson.' Wardell was a good saxophone player, but a junkie. Wardell disliked me, because like Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, and Al Cohn, he didn't really know Lester. Lester paid them no attention, but he and I were together, and he showed me how to do this and that. I think the others resented this and may even have been jealous of my good luck, especially when people started calling me the 'Vice-Prez.' Basie was doing the Kate Smith show then and everything was fine.”
Sheridan (page 323):
The combo closed at the Capitol Lounge on October 2, being replaced there by Dizzy Gillespie's band. The previous month, Wardell Gray was reported as set to join Benny Carter's new sextet when it opened at the Tiffany Club in Los Angeles, and it is not known who replaced him in Basie's combo.

Benny Harris (tp); Charlie Parker (as); unknown (ts); Walter Bishop, Jr. (p); Tommy Potter or Teddy Kotick (b); Roy Haynes (d); unknown (voc).

Veterans Administration Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, June 1951

Cool Blues12-inch LP: Philology 214 W 29; CD: Philology W19/29-2
Out Of Nowhere12-inch LP: Philology 214 W 29; CD: Philology W19/29-2
This Is Always -unknown (voc)12-inch LP: Philology 214 W 29; CD: Philology W19/29-2
Now's The Time12-inch LP: Philology 214 W 29; CD: Philology W19/29-2
Scrapple From The Apple12-inch LP: Philology 214 W 29; CD: Philology W19/29-2


Recordings made by Chan Parker, which for the most part preserve Parker's solos only. CD: Philology W 19-29-2 lists the personnel as “C.P., as;, rest unknown ; probably: R.Rodney, tp: W. Gray, ts; W. Bishop, p: T. Kotick, b; R. Haynes, dr;unknown (vcl)”. Robert Bregman has assured me that Wardell is not on this session. Bregman also says the personnel include Benny Harris (not Red Rodney) (tp); either Potter or Kotick (b); and that the unknown vocalist is not Sarah Vaughan as has been suggested.

Chan's tape list has a "Thriving On A Riff" which did not appear on 12-inch LP: Philology W 29 (Bird's Eyes last unissued, vol. 6) ("VETERAN'S HOSPITAL, PHILADELPHIA plus...") (also on CD: Volume 5/6). Cool Blues appears in her list as “Blue and Boogie/Cool Blues 5 min”.

John Anderson (tp); Jimmy Cheatham, John “Streamline” Ewing (tb); Buddy Collette (as); Joe Swanson, Wardell Gray (ts); Jewell Grant (bar); Gerald Wiggins (p); Irving Ashby (el-g); David Bryant (b); Bill Douglass (d); prob. Frede Richardson (voc); Paul Villepigue (arr).

Recording session for Recorded In Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, prob. September/October 1951

JD-0175O' Blues #78 rpm: RIH 221-AA; CD: MJCD 148
JD-0176Thrust #78 rpm: RIH 173-A; CD: Rhino R2 75872, MJCD 148
JD-0178East Of The Sun #78 rpm: RIH 173-B; CD: Rhino R2 75872, MJCD 148
JD-0180Forgive Me -v?FR78 rpm: RIH 221-A


These recordings may be from more than one session. They have usually been dated much earlier -most often 1946. Gazdar noted this session “has a recording resonance and indeed the arrangements smack of a date later than 1946. Some sources indicate early - 1950 and this could be so.” The three sides with tenor solos are included on MJCD 148 - they appear in that volume's discography as from Autumn 1946. However, Claude Carrière wrote in that same release's notes “Before starting to make records in his own right, Wardell's last date as a sideman was in a band put together by Joe Swanson. This rare, fascinating session seems to have been made around 1950, judging by the ensemble sound and Wardell's firmer tone and greater authority, as evinced in his superb, long solo on Thrust."

The liner notes to Rhino's “Central Avenue Sounds” provided much more detail (page 84-85):

During the post-World War II period many jazz musicians enrolled at the Westlake College Of Music in Los Angeles and studied harmony and orchestration with teachers such as Paul Villepigue, who had acquired a reputation writing for jazz artists like Lucky Thompson. Some of these “students” were organized into a rehearsal band by saxophonist Joe Swanson, which was then filled out with other stellar members of the Central Avenue jazz scene. Financially supported by a lady friend of Swanson's, the band practiced once or twice a week for six months but never played a gig. They did, however, cut a number of sides for one of John Dolphin's labels, including “Thrust,” which shows the modernist side of Villepigue's writing and features solos by Buddy Collette, Wardell Gray, and Gerald Wiggins. “East Of The Sun” features solos by Gray, Ashby, Collette, and Wiggins.

East Of The Sun and Thrust are included on “Central Avenue Sounds” as by “Joe Swanson Orchestra featuring Wardell Gray”. The liner notes state “Recorded 1952” and “Recorded In Hollywood single #173” for both items. Personnel listed above are from this release. The “never played a gig” statement above is incorrect, however - “Joe Swanson's Supersonic Sound of Tomorrow” debuted at a dance at the Shrine Auditorium Ballroom/Dance Hall on October 26, 1951.

The label to RIH 221-A does not mention a vocalist. Frede Richardson was the vocalist at the Shrine concert, according to an article in the Los Angeles Sentinel (October 25, 1951). This article was reprinted in James A. Harrod's “Joe Swanson Sessions For Recorded In Hollywood” (Names & Numbers, Volume 46, July 2008, pages 7-11).

unknown (tp); unknown (as); Wardell Gray, Ben Webster (ts); unknown (bar); Wynton Kelly (p); unknown (b); Jimmy Cobb (d); Dinah Washington (voc).

Recording session for Mercury, Los Angeles, CA, January 18, 1952

4731-9AWheel Of Fortune -vDWMercury 18PJ 10055/57
4731-9BWheel Of Fortune (master take) -vDW78 rpm, 45 rpm: Mercury 8267
4732Tell Me Why -vDW #78 rpm, 45 rpm: Mercury 8267
4733Trouble In Mind -vDWMercury 5804
4734When The Sun Goes Down -vDW #Mercury MG 20622


Schlouch dates this session as “late December 1951/early January 1952", Gazdar says 16 January 1952. The January 18 date is from the liner notes to The Complete Dinah Washington on Mercury Vol.2.

Art Farmer (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Harper Cosby (b); Lawrance “Larance” Marable (d); Robert Collier (cga).

Recording session for Prestige: Los Angeles, CA, January 21, 1952

312April Skies #78 rpm: PR 840
313Bright Boy #78 rpm: PR 840
314Jackie #78 rpm: PR 853
315Farmer's Market #78 rpm: PR 770
316Sweet and Lovely #78 rpm: PR 853
317Lover Man #78 rpm: PR 770


All titles are on CD: OJCCD-051-2. From the liner notes:
“Wardell had a group in Los Angeles for a month or so which Jack Andrews recorded for Prestige. This date gave Art Farmer his first chance and served as a springboard for him. His 'Farmer's Market' and Hampton Hawes' 'Jackie' were both later vocalesed by Annie Ross with Wardell's solos intact.”

Buddy Collette, interviewed by Steven L. Isoardi, October 19, 1989:

“I know my first record, too, that I had probably done at the time on my own was with Dolphin's . . . Yeah, Dolphin's of Hollywood label. The two pieces were— "It's April," and the other tune was called "Collette." It was a 78 [RPM] two-sided thing. "It's April" I mentioned was recorded later by Wardell Gray and Art Farmer, and they called it— It was based on "I Remember April." They called it "April Skies" and did it on Prestige [Records]. But anyway, that was the first record that I had done under my own name, and I did it on Dolphin's. But again, there was no money. But again, at that point, I was probably thirty years old or so. A first album out was pretty exciting. At least we got to get it played on the radio. At the time there were jazz stations that played it, and that meant that I'd sort of arrived, in a way. I've got my own album out. No money in the pocket from it, but people began to hear about me. And I used— I think Jimmy Bunn was the piano player on that, Harper Cosby bass player, and probably Chuck Thompson on drums. And I have the tape now, so it's still pretty good. It holds up well.”
Harper Cosby is sometimes listed as “Harper Crosby”, possibly as a result of the error on the label of the first issue of Farmer's Market (Prestige 770).

"Just Jazz” Concert, Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA, February 2, 1952

HELEN HUMES unidentified (tp); unknown (as); poss. Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (ts); unidentified (p); unidentified (g); unidentified (b); unidentified (d); Helen Humes (voc).

82473They Raided The Joint78 rpm: Decca 28113; 12-inch LP: Whiskey, Women And... KM 701
82474Loud Talkin' Woman78 rpm: Decca 28113; 12-inch LP: Whiskey, Women And... KM 701
82475Mean Way Of Lovin'78 rpm: Decca 28802; 12-inch LP: Whiskey, Women And... KM-707
82476I Cried For You78 rpm: Decca 28802; 12-inch LP: Whiskey, Women And... KM-707


Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (ts); Bobby Tucker (p); Don Bagley (b); Chico Hamilton (d).

The Chase #10-inch LP: Decca DL 7025; CD: Classics 1295

Same as above, except Conte Candoli (tp) added.

The Steeplechase #10-inch LP: Decca DL 7025; CD: Classics 1295


Conte Candoli (tp); Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (ts); Les Thompson (hca); Bobby Tucker (p); Don Bagley (b); Chico Hamilton (d).

Take The "A" Train10" LP RCA Victor LPM 3102
Star Dust10" LP RCA Victor LPM 3102
Robbins' Nest10" LP RCA Victor LPM 3102


It has been suggested that Wardell and Dexter are the tenors on these recordings with Helen Humes (no solos). No tenor solos either on the Les Thompson items, all of which are on CD: PJC 222013.

Age 31

Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon (ts); Russ Freeman (p); Clarence Jones (b); Lawrence “Larance” Marable (d).

Concert, Clef Club, Hollywood, CA, early March 1952

The Savoy Stomp (Stompin' At The Savoy) (incomplete) #CD: Jazzbank Archives MTCJ 1036


The Jazzbank Archives release is at present the only issue of this recording, where it is dated February 1953.

Ted Gioia, West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz in California, 1945-1960 (page 53): "At the close of 1952, Gordon was arrested for heroin possession, and he spent most of the next two years at Chino, the so-called prison without bars."

Malcolm Walker's “Wardell Gray Discography, Sixth Draft” (page 35) says “Early March, 1952”, also in Gazdar (page 31) with the same date. All but the final few bars of Wardell's main solo is missing from the Jazzbank Archives release, as is any introductory theme. After complete Dexter and Freeman solos, we have one last recorded chase between Wardell and Dexter.

Chet Baker (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray, Dave Pell (ts); Jerry Mandell (p); Harry Babasin (cello); Bobby Whitlock (b); Lawrence “Larance” Marable (d).

Private recording, “The Trade Winds", Inglewood, CA, March 24, 1952

Out Of Nowhere #12-inch LP: Jam Session No. 103; CD: Moon MCD076-2

Wardell is not on these titles from the same date:

Bob Enevoldson (v-tb); Milt Bernhart (tb); Jack Montrose (ts); Marty Paich (p); unknown (b); Larry Bunker (d).

Strike Up The Band12-inch LP: Jam Session No. 103
Pennies From Heaven12-inch LP: Jam Session No. 103

Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Marty Paich (p); Harry Babasin (cello); Bobby Whitlock (b); Lawrence “Larance” Marable (d).

Private recording, “The Trade Winds”, Inglewood, CA, April 21, 1952

Jumpin' With Symphony Sid #unissued


I have not heard this recording; this is listed in Malcolm Walker's “Wardell Gray Discography (Sixth Draft)”, page 35.

Clark Terry (tp); Juan Tizol (v-tb); John Graas (Fr-h); Willie Smith (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Harry Carney (bar); Billy Strayhorn (p); Wendell Marshall (b); Louis Bellson (d).

Recording session for Capitol Records, Radio Recorders Annex, Los Angeles, CA, May 23, 1952

9939The Jeep is Jumpin' #10-inch LP: H-348; CD: Properbox 55
9940Passion Flower10-inch LP: H-348
9941Johnny Come Lately #10-inch LP: H-348; CD: Properbox 55
9942Sticks10-inch LP: H-348
9943Punkin' #10-inch LP: H-348; CD: Properbox 55
9944Eyes # 10-inch LP: H-348
9945Rainbow10-inch LP: H-348
9946Shadows10-inch LP: H-348


All titles are on CD: Mosaic MD12-170 and Ocium OCM 0036.

Mosaic's release (“Classic Capitol Jazz Sessions”) has the date as May 23, 1952. Ken Vail dates this session 29 February 1952 (“Duke's Diary: The Life Of Duke Ellington 1950-1974”, p. 32). W. E. Timner lists it as from “Feb 1952” (“Ellingtonia - The Recorded Music of Duke Ellington and His Sidemen”, Fifth Edition, 2007, p. 544).

Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon (ts); Gerald Wiggins (p, celeste, org); George “Red” Callender (b); Chuck Thompson (d); Gladys Bentley (voc).

Recording session for Swing Time, Hollywood, CA, June 9, 1952

4120-2The Rubaiyat #12-inch LP: FJL 907; CD: BLCD760223
4120-4The Rubaiyat (master take) #78 rpm: ST 321, 12-inch LP: FJL 907; CD: BLCD760223
4122-1My Kinda Love78 rpm: ST 323, 12-inch LP: FJL 907; CD: BLCD760223
4123-1Jingle Jangle Jump -vGB #78 rpm: ST 321, 12-inch LP: FJL 907; CD: BLCD760223
4124-1Citizen's Bop #78 rpm: ST 323, 12-inch LP: FJL 907; CD: BLCD760223


All titles (except for 4120-2) are on CD: Properbox 55 and Classics 1295.

Wiggins plays organ on My Kinda Love, organ and celeste on Jingle Jangle Jump. Regarding the correct spelling of 4120, Sjogren and Evensmo call this title Th' Rubayait, Schlouch writes The Rubaiyat, and Salemann has The Rubayiat. I have not seen an original 78 pressing of ST 321 and I cannot confirm which of these - if any - is the correct spelling. Probably the title is a reference to the Rubaiyat Room at the Hotel Watkins (2022 W. Adams). Two additional titles are usually listed as from this session: The Man With The Horn (4119-1) and I Hear You Knockin' (4121-1).

Thorbjorn Sjogren writes (Long Tall Dexter: The Discography of Dexter Gordon, page 38):
NOTE: LP issues of this session contain two more tracks: “I hear you Knockin'“ and “Man with a horn", maintaining Dexter Gordon playing baritone sax on those. This is definitely not correct. These two tunes are played by a different (and at the time of writing) unknown band.

Gazdar (page 31):
There is a baritone player on “Man With A Horn” and “I Hear You Knockin'“: it was assumed that perhaps it was Gordon, doubling on the big horn. When asked Dexter could not recall any occasion when he recorded on the baritone sax. The baritone is possibly Maurice Simon from a completely different session.

4119-1The Man With The Horn12-inch LP: Fontana 907; CD: BLCD760223
4121-2I Hear You Knockin' 12-inch LP: Fontana 907; CD: BLCD760223

Art Farmer (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Howard Roberts (g); Joe Mondragon (b); Shelly Manne (d).

Live recording, The Haig, Los Angeles, CA, September 9, 1952

The Squirrel #12-inch LP: Xanadu 146; CD: FSR-CD 157, JFCD-22806
Taking A Chance On Love #12-inch LP: Xanadu 146; CD: FSR-CD 157, JFCD-22806
Jackie #12-inch LP: Xanadu 146; CD: FSR-CD 157, JFCD-22806
Donna Lee #12-inch LP: Jam Session Record No. 101, Xanadu 146; CD: FSR-CD 157, JFCD-22806
Pennies From Heaven #12-inch LP: Xanadu 146; CD: FSR-CD 157, JFCD-22806
Get Happy #12-inch LP: Xanadu 146; CD: FSR-CD 157, JFCD-22806
Bernie's Tune #12-inch LP: Xanadu 146; CD: FSR-CD 157, JFCD-22806

Same, except Howard Roberts (el-g) added.

Keen And Peachy (Fine And Dandy) #12-inch LP: Jam Session Record No. 101; CD: FSR-CD 157, JFCD-22806

Same, except Amos Trice (p) replaces Hawes.

Ladybird #12-inch LP: Jam Session Record No. 101; CD: FSR-CD 157
Out Of Nowhere #12-inch LP: Jam Session Record No. 101

Milton “Shorty” Rogers, Chet Baker (tp); Bob Enevoldsen (v-tb); Art Pepper (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Gerry Mulligan (bar); Les Thompson (hca); Hampton Hawes (p); Joe Mondragon (b); Lawrence “Larance” Marable (d); June Christy (voc).

Rendezvous Ballroom, Balboa Beach, CA, September 27, 1952

AvalonCD: LAJI 006
I'm In The Mood For LoveCD: LAJI 006
Ide's Side #CD: LAJI 006
Jeepers Creepers -vJCCD: LAJI 006
He's Funny That Way –vJCCD: LAJI 006
I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me –vJCCD: LAJI 006
Perdido #CD: LAJI 006
SummertimeCD: LAJI 006
Sometimes I'm Happy #CD: LAJI 006
Popo (theme)CD: LAJI 006
UndecidedCD: LAJI 007
Love Is Just Around The CornerCD: LAJI 007
The Nearness Of YouCD: LAJI 007
Taking A Chance On LoveCD: LAJI 007
September Song #CD: LAJI 007
I Can't Get Started #CD: LAJI 007
Over The RainbowCD: LAJI 007
I May Be Wrong #CD: LAJI 007
Didi #CD: LAJI 002, LAJI 007
Short Snort #CD: LAJI 002, LAJI 007
Popo #CD: LAJI 007


This concert was issued over 2 CDs as limited, members-only releases by the Los Angeles Jazz Institute.

Ken Poston wrote in the liner notes to LAJI 006:
“The recording was made by Shorty Rogers himself. His wife Margie had just bought him a new Ampex reel to reel recorder and he tried it out on this engagement. He sat the recorder right on the stage pretty close to the piano. You'll hear the piano is louder than everyone else and that's why. There are two 2-sided 5” reels annotated on the back by Shorty. An interesting side note that will keep discographers up nights is that Bob Enevoldsen recorded the concert too. He has a wire recorder that he used to take to certain gigs and he had it going that night at the Rendezvous. The Los Angeles Jazz Institute recently acquired the Enevoldsen archives and luckily the wire spool survived. Once we have a chance to hear it we may get more of an idea of what may be missing from the Rogers reel if anything. It sounds like Shorty started Tape 1 at the end of a set featuring Les Thompson which is why the first two pieces on his tape feature Les. I'm fairly sure this wasn't the start of the concert.”

Gerry Mulligan Discography - Recordings, Concerts and Whereabouts by Gérard Dugelay & Kenneth Hallqvist says September 28, 1952.

Shorty Rogers, Chet Baker (tp); Art Pepper (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Gerry Mulligan (bar); Hampton Hawes (p); Joe Mondragon (b); Lawrance “Larance” Marable (d).

5-4 Ballroom, Los Angeles, CA, October 10, 1952

I May Be WrongCD: Interplay ABCJ-532
Ide’s Side # (as “Mulligan's Mule”)CD: Interplay ABCJ-532
PopoCD: Interplay ABCJ-532
Short Snort # (as “Shorty Talks”)CD: Interplay ABCJ-532
Roundhouse # (as “Wardell Walks”)CD: Interplay ABCJ-532
I Can’t Get StartedCD: Interplay ABCJ-532
Bweebida Bobbida #CD: LAJI CD-15
Westwood WalkCD: LAJI 009
Have You Met Miss Jones? (n/c)CD: XQAM-1620
Perdido #unissued
Now’s The Time # (n/c)unissued
Godchild # (n/c)unissued
Billie’s Bounce #unissued


This material was recorded by Bob Andrews. There is a prominent buzz/hum present throughout much of Now’s The Time; this defect mars the majority of Wardell’s solo. The sound quality is quite poor on Interplay ABCJ-532 (Chet Baker and Art Pepper “October Session 1952”) and three tracks were assigned the wrong titles (the correct titles are indicated above). Have You Met Miss Jones is on XQAM-1620 (“Everything Happens To Me: Art Pepper Live In 1957”) with an inaccurate personnel listing and said to be from “Live at Antone’s, Long Beach, CA (February 18, 1957)”. Lighthouse Record Co./LAJI CD-15 is a Los Angeles Jazz Institute members-only release titled “Swing House: Gerry Mulligan On The West Coast”.

Shorty Rogers, Chet Baker (tp); Art Pepper (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Gerry Mulligan (bar); Bob Enevoldsen (v-tb); Hampton Hawes (p); Joe Mondragon (b); Lawrence “Larance” Marable (d).

unidentified location, prob. Balboa-Newport Beach, CA, Autumn 1952

Popo (n/c) unissued
Short Snort (n/c) #unissued
Apropos (n/c) #unissued
(unidentified title) (n/c)unissued
Ontet (Godchild) unissued
(unidentified title) (n/c)unissued


This recording is listed in Gazdar (page 32) as from “Balboa Beach (Unk club) [LA Area], Autumn 1952”. He has Short Snort as “Unk. Title”; this recording is nearly 8 minutes & 30 seconds and begins with Wardell's solo underway. This material is listed above as “unissued” but it has circulated on line. My understanding is it initially appeared at dimeadozen.org, and that the source was a tape copy from Coover Gazdar’s collection.

The personnel are announced prior to “Apropos”:
“I’d like to introduce, uh – Shorty Rogers and His Giants, starting with Gerry Mulligan on –and —please don’t applaud after (unintelligible) because they wanna get to play this next tune… Gerry Mulligan on baritone, Art Pepper, Wardell Gray, Shorty Rogers, Chet Baker, Bob Enevoldsen… On piano Hampton Hawes, on bass – Joe Mondragon... and on drums Lawrence Marable. Right now they’d like to... to do a tune, that the, is in the (unintelligible) ‘Modern Sounds’ album that Shorty has just, uh, released (unintelligible) … it’s called ‘Apropos’.”

Smokey Hogg (voc); J.D. Weir (ts); Willard McDaniel (p); Harold Grant (g); Ralph “Chuck” Hamilton (b); Jesse Sailes (d).

Recording session for Federal, Los Angeles, CA, October 23, 1952

F-292-2Keep A-Walkin'7" 45: Federal 12109; 12-inch LP: Krazy Kat KK7421
F-293-1Your Little Wagon7" 45: Federal 12117
F-294-1Penny Pinching Mama7" 45: Federal 12117; 12-inch LP: Krazy Kat KK7421
F-295-1Do It No More7" 45: Federal 12109; 12-inch LP: Krazy Kat KK7421


It has been suggested that Wardell is here, as “J.D. Weir". I have heard three of these sides and the playing sounds unlike anything I've heard from Gray. This is probably J.D. Weir (aka Jimmy Delaney).

Age 32

Frank Morgan (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Teddy Charles (vib); Sonny Clark (p); Dick Nivison (b); Lawrence “Larance” Marable (d).

Recording session for Prestige Records, Los Angeles, CA, February 20, 1953

467The Man I Love #7" 45: prEP 1307
468Lavonne #7" 45: prEP 1307
469So Long Broadway #7" 45: prEP 1307; 78 rpm: Pr 889
470Paul's Cause #7" 45: prEP 1307


All titles are on 12-inch LP: Prestige LP PRLP 7008.

Harry “Sweets” Edison, Maynard Ferguson, Conrad Gozzo, Ray Linn (tp); Hoyt Bohannon, Herb Harper, Tommy Pederson (tb); Benny Carter, Willie Smith (as) Wardell Gray, Hubert “Bumps” Myers (ts); Bob Lawson (bar); Jimmy Rowles (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); John Simmons (b); Louie Bellson (d).

Recording session for Clef/Norgran, Los Angeles, CA, July 1953

1250-3Caxton Hall Swing #78 rpm: Clef 89083
1251-1For Europeans Only #78 rpm: Norgran 108
1252-4Phalanges78 rpm: Clef 89083
1253-3Skin Deep10-inch LP: Norgran MGN-14


Schlouch has “Claxton Hall Swing” – this is the title as printed on the back cover to the Verve Lp MG V-8137. The label on the vinyl says “Caxton Hall Swing”. Both Malcolm Walker and Dave Gelly have pointed out that Louie Bellson and Pearl Bailey were married at Caxton Hall in November of 1952.

Note that Jan Evensmo, Sjef Hoefsmit & Bruyninckx say September 1953, Gazdar & Schlouch say July 1953. All titles are on CD: Ocium OCM0036 and Verve 314 559 825-2.

Bob Porter wrote (liner notes to The Complete Norman Granz Jam Sessions):
“Wardell Gray had played on Louie Bellson's first Norgran session in July (as had Edison, Carter, Smith and Simmons) and was both a big-band veteran and a mainstay of the California jam session scene.”

Harry Edison (tp); Boniface “Buddy” DeFranco (cl); Bennett “Benny” Carter, Willie Smith (as); Stan Getz, Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); John Simmons (b); Bernard “Buddy” Rich (d).

Recording session for Clef, Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA, August 18, 1953

1259-6Apple Jam #10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4003-A
1260-2Oh, Lady Be Good! #10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4004-A

Same, except Arnold Ross (p) replaces Count Basie. Add Basie (org).

1261-2Blues For The Count #10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4004-B

Harry Edison (tp); Boniface “Buddy” DeFranco (cl); Bennett “Benny” Carter, Willie Smith (as); Stan Getz, Wardell Gray (ts); Arnold Ross (p); John Simmons (b); Buddy Rich (d).

1262-4Ballad Medley:
Indian Summer (Willie Smith)10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4003-B
Willow Weep For Me (Stan Getz)10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4003-B
If I Had You (Harry Edison)10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4003-B
Ghost Of A Chance (Wardell Gray) #10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4003-B
Love Walked In (Arnold Ross)10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4003-B
Sophisticated Lady (John Simmons)10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4003-B
Nancy (Buddy DeFranco)10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4003-B
I Hadn't Anyone 'Till You (Benny Carter)10-inch LP: Clef MGC-4003-B


Gazdar has 1259.3 for Apple Jam. Sheridan dated this session as “53-0813a” (August 13, 1953), and does not list Freddie Green as among the personnel. Schlouch has this session dated August 3, 1953 and has 1264-4 for Ballad Medley. All titles are on B0003252-02, a 5 CD Verve/Universal set entitled “The Complete Norman Granz Jam Sessions” – I have used the August 18, 1953 date given in the liner notes to this release.

Wardell Gray (ts); Little Willie Littlefield (p, voc); Jesse Irvin (g); Mario Delagarde (b); Bill Douglas (d).

Recording session for Federal, Los Angeles, October 30, 1953

F379-1O-o-o-oh (Please Don't Go) –vLWL78 rpm: Federal 12163
F380-1Falling Tears–vLWL78 rpm: Federal 12174
F381-1Goofy Dust Blues –vLWL #78 rpm: Federal 12174; CD: Swingtime ST-CD1
F382-1Don't Take My Heart Little Girl–vLWL78 rpm: Federal 12163


Gray solos on Goofy Dust Blues only. Obligatto on Falling Tears and Don't Take My Heart Little Girl. Out on O-o-o-oh (Please Don't Go). The entire session is on 12-inch LP: K.C. 101 and CD: Ace 503. K.C. 101 features true take numbers announced before two of the tracks: “Master number 379, take 1” before O-o-o-oh (Please Don't Go) and “master number 382, take three” before Don't Take My Heart Little Girl.

Orchestra including: Harry “Sweets” Edison (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Billy Eckstine (voc); Nelson Riddle (arr); Lou Bring (con).

Recording session for M-G-M Records, Radio Recorders studio, Los Angeles, CA, December 23, 1953

53S3135-10I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart –vBE #78 rpm: M-G-M 12400; CD: JASM 483
53S3136-2Solitude -vBE78 rpm: M-G-M 925; CD: JASM 483
53S3137-3Prelude To A Kiss –vBE #78 rpm: M-G-M 809; CD: JASM 483
53S3138-4Mood Indigo –vBE #EP 45 rpm: M-G-M X1111


Jasmine CD: JASM 483 is a 2-CD set entitled “Billy Eckstine - All of My Life”. This session is listed in “The MGM Labels A Discography Volume 1 1946-1960”, compiled by Michael Ruppli and Ed Novitsky (page 347). Complete personnel not known.

Frank Beach, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Vito “Mickey” Mangano, Rubin “Zeke” Zarchy (tp); Milt Bernhart, Jimmy Priddy, Paul Tanner (tb); John Cave (Fr-h); Willie Smith (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Julie Kinsler, Harry Klee, Joe Koch (woodwinds); Victor Bay, Harry Bluestone, Henry Hill, Nathan Ross, Misha Russell, Marshall Sosson (v); Paul Robyn, David Sterkin (viola); Elizabeth Greenspan (cello); Melvin Weschler (p); Bob Bain (g); Joe Comfort (b); Frank Carlson (d); Billy Eckstine, The Pied Pipers (voc); Nelson Riddle (arr); Lou Bring (con).

Recording session for M-G-M Records, Radio Recorders studio, Los Angeles, CA, December 29, 1953

53S3147Don't Get Around Much Anymore -vBE, TPP78 rpm: M-G-M 11694; CD: JASM 483
53S3148Do Nothin' 'Till You Hear From Me -vBE, TPP78 rpm: M-G-M 11845; EP 45rpm: M-G-M X1111
53S3149-9I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good -vBE, TPP #EP 45rpm: M-G-M X1111
53S3150-6Sophisticated Lady -vBE #EP 45rpm: M-G-M X1111


Sophisticated Lady has a brief cadenza by Gray near the close of the tune. The above recording information is as reported in “The MGM Labels A Discography Volume 1 1946-1960”, compiled by Michael Ruppli and Ed Novitsky (page 348).

17 pieces including poss. John Anderson, Louis Grey, Allen Smith (tp); Bob Collins, poss. Isaac Bell, Atlee Chapman, John “Streamline” Ewing, or Britt Woodman (tb); prob. Sonny Criss, poss. Jerry Dodgion (as); Teddy Edwards, poss. Frank Haynes (ts); Jerome Richardson (flute); poss. Bill Green (bar); poss. Cedric Haywood (p); poss. Addison Farmer (b); poss. Gus Gustafson (d); Gerald Wilson (arr, cond); Bill Renault (Bill Jones) (voc); Pat Henry (mc).

Probable rhythm section backing Wardell Gray, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz for their feature segments:
Larry Rockwell (b); Bob Alcivar (p); Bill Kotick (d).

Concert, San Francisco Veterans' Memorial, San Francisco, CA, Monday, February 8, 1954

Hollywood FreewayCD: JFCD-22880
The Sea BreezeCD: JFCD-22880
Nice Work If You Can Get It -Wardell Gray (ts) #CD: JFCD-22880
Indiana -Wardell Gray (ts) #CD: JFCD-22880
Love For Saleunissued
Since We Said Goodbye -vBRunissued
It Had To Be You -Zoot Sims (ts) (incomplete)CD: JFCD-22880
(unidentified) -Zoot Sims (ts) (incomplete, ending only)CD: JFCD-22880
(“Jazz Ballet”) (includes “Algerian Fantasy”)unissued
Out Of Nowhere -Stan Getz (ts)CD: JFCD-22880
(unidentified) (incomplete, intro only)unissued
Hollywood Freeway -Gray, Getz & Sims (ts) #CD: JFCD-22880


This stereo recording appears to be the first set of a Gene Norman “Just Jazz” concert. Gray, Sims, and Getz each have solo spots backed by a rhythm section which may be composed of members of the Wilson band. Only Wardell's two feature numbers are preserved in full.

The February 8 date is written on a low generation tape copy of the Gerald Wilson portion of the concert. This tape begins with emcee Patrick “Pat” Henry addressing the audience while the bassist, pianist, trumpeter, and Jerome Richardson on flute noodle behind him. There is a delay in raising the stage curtain; the tape preserves two minutes and thirty-nine seconds of this prior to Hollywood Freeway:

“May as well start it this way I guess... As you well know we have George Shearing's Quintet, Zoot Sims and Stan Getz, Wardell Gray... Plus something we're quite proud of locally, it's the premiere appearance in this area. I'd like you to meet the band right now, if you may. It's a very impressive band, seventeen pieces strong. Alright... go ahead with the curtain. Curtain please, you may as well. Well while we're here and have a couple of moments spare time, we'll add the fact that when you came in you were given cards. And these cards are to be filled out when you have some time between this time and intermission. And to be placed in the receptacle out in front. We're giving away three albums, during the second portion of the program. Record albums so if you are the lucky person with the lucky card you win that plus the fact that you get a chance to select coming attractions by jotting your preference down on the cards. So now if we may have the curtain please... We hope...” [much delay, with piano and bass noodling] ... “We had a couple of...” [audience laughter and applause] ... “Now?” [audience laughter] ... “No, no... Why don't we just let the band play, huh? Curtain up please. Please?! Curtain up, please. Curtain up.” [audience applause] “Here's the band - Gerald Wilson.”

This tape does not contain the George Shearing Quintet set which, according to one of Henry's announcements, was to follow a fifteen-minute intermission. An abbreviated cassette copy of this material circulated among collectors and is the likely source used for the Jazz Factory CD (JFCD-22880, titled “Gerald Wilson - Big Band Modern”) - this CD is the first issue of any material from this concert.

Following Love For Sale, Gerald Wilson addresses the audience:

“Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. We would like to continue this time introducin' our vocalist, Bill Renault. He sings another original composition that I call “Since We Said Goodbye”.

Renault (Bill Jones) almost certainly is the uncredited vocalist on the studio recording of this song (Federal F-1149, issued on 12-inch LP Audio Lab 1538). In the Teddy Edwards Interview published in Cadence Vol. 20 No. 4 (April 1994) (page 11) Edwards lists the personnel of Howard McGhee's band at the Finale Club in 1946 and mentions “a vocalist named Bill Jones, he called himself Bill Renault in those days”.

There is a break during Zoot's performance of It Had To Be You and then we hear what I believe is the conclusion of a different tune. Following Zoot's feature Pat Henry again addresses the audience:

“We'd like to remind you once again about the uh, cards handed to you as you entered the door, we'd like to have you fill those out if you will please, and you'll find a receptacle out in the outer lobby. And [unintelligible] outside during intermission please put those in the receptacle and we'll draw some cards out after intermission and give away three record albums. And also we'd like to have you state your preference as to artists you'd like to see in the future, in these concerts. Next we have a number that's, we believe, perhaps the most interesting, speaking musically, so far, by the big band, [unintelligible]. Gerald Wilson once again. Gerald?”
Although the title of the 11½ minute piece which follows is not mentioned, from 6:18 until the conclusion of the track the band plays what was issued on a 7-inch 45rpm record Federal 12208 as “Algerian Fantasy (Part 1)” and “Algerian Fantasy (Part 2)”. That record's label reads, in part:

“Algerian Fantasy” is an excerpt from a jazz ballet composed by Gerald Wilson in 1946. This recording is part IV of the original ballet which is the climax of the dance.

After the applause subsides, Henry names the “Jazz Ballet” soloists:

“In the order of their appearance, Bob Collins, trombone, over here - Bob Collins... [applause] Bill Richardson, Richardson playing flute, Jerome... [applause] And Teddy Edwards. [applause] Now that you've seen the band and heard the band, we'd like to remind you that the band will be appearing in concert every Sunday afternoon starting next uh, next Sunday, it'll be the fourteenth. At Slim Jenkin's, [unintelligible]. The address is Seventh and Wood streets. Seventh and Wood. It'll begin at four o'clock in the afternoon and the band will play in concert two times, at five, and six, every Sunday afternoon so if you have a bit of spare time on Sunday please drop by. Slim Jenkin's [unintelligible], for the big band concert starting next Sunday. Now: the young man who has, for the past five years won the top spot for Metronome and Down Beat's magazine awards, Stan Getz.”

During the applause following Out Of Nowhere the pianist begins playing another song, the bassist joins in, then the tape is cut. I believe Getz performed at least one additional number and this likely is the beginning of another of those. The next bit of audio on my tape is the reprise of Hollywood Freeway, there is no announcement of Sims, Gray, and the Wilson band returning to the stage.

Apparently Getz was a late addition to this tour, which he did not finish - he was arrested in Seattle on February 12.

The California Eagle, Thursday, January 28, 1954, page 9:

Rounding out the bill as added attraction will be a group of "Just Jazz" all-stars, featuring Zoot Sims and Wardell Gray, two of jazzdom's top artists, in a battle of saxes.

The Billboard, January 30, 1954 (page 26):

Norman Sets Shearing for 1-Niter Tour HOLLYWOOD, Jan 23. --Jazz concert promoter Gene Norman has set the George Shearing Quintet in a series of eight one-nighter dates on the West Coast. Tour kicks off February 5 in Los Angeles, and takes in San Diego, Riverside and San Francisco; Eugene and Portland Ore.; Seattle, and Vancouver, B. C.
Appearaing [sic] on the bill with the Shearing five are Zoot Sims and Wardell Gray. Norman is currently lining up a package featuring the Earl Bostic orchestra, dates for which have not been set as yet.

Pat Henry, who would found the San Francisco radio station KJAZ in 1959, is not named on the Jazz Factory CD. That release incorrectly dates the concert as from 1950.

The personnel is uncertain. Bruyninckx lists the following personnel for the “Big Band Modern” LP (Los Angeles, early 1954):
John Anderson, Louis Grey, Allen Smith, Clark Terry (tp); Isaac Bell, Atlee Chapman, John “Streamline” Ewing, Britt Woodman (tb); Jerry Dodgion (as); Teddy Edwards, Paul Gonzalves, Frank Haynes (ts); Bill Green (bar); Cedric Haywood (p); Addison Farmer (b); Gus Gustafson (d); Gerald Wilson (arr, con).

The following excerpt of an interview by Paul de Barros with drummer Bill Kotick is to appear in his forthcoming book “After Jackson Street: Seattle Jazz in the Modern Era”:

(Impresario and band leader) Norm Bobrow happened to know a jazz promoter in L.A. named Gene Norman who had booked a tour with Stan Getz, Wardell Gray and Zoot Sims. Norm offered his rhythm section for the tour. Larry Rockwell was a damn good bass player, and I could keep good time, but (pianist) Bob Alcivar wasn’t a jazz improviser. At the first concert, the guys turned to Bob and said, “I Got Rhythm” and Bob said, “I don’t know it.” So it was a struggle.

Age 33

Wardell Gray (ts); Gene Esposito (p); Victor Sproles (b) Bert Dahlander (d).

Audience recording, Bee Hive Lounge, Chicago, IL, July 7, 1954

Farmer's Market # (8:57)unissued
Bernie's Tune # (9:47)unissued
September In The Rain # (8:19)unissued
These Foolish Things # (8:01)unissued
Three Little Words # (6:48)unissued
Just You, Just Me (theme) (0:46)unissued


During the closing theme, Wardell says “now we'd like to take a little brief intermission” and “don't go away we'll be right back.” The available recordings might all be from the same set, but this is uncertain. Gray begins the closing theme with the same opening phrase he played on the then-unissued studio recording of The Great Lie.

Besides lengthy performances of numbers otherwise unavailable as played by Wardell, this tape preserves Gray's speaking voice. To my knowledge, the only other example of this is unissued conversation with Dodo Marmarosa heard during the November 23, 1946 recording session. Before playing Bernie's Tune, he says “thank you, this tune was written for a very fine jazz trumpet artist, who died, early... very early... Some of his friends got together, decided they'd write a tune for him, because they liked him, they liked him a lot, and they said, well, we'll write this tune, they called it 'Bernie's Tune'.” Later, Gray tells the audience “we had a request for 'September In The Rain'.”

Gene Phipps (tp); Wardell Gray (ts); Tate Houston (bar); Norman Simmons (p); Victor Sproles (b); Vernell Fournier (d).

Recording session for Vee-Jay, Chicago, January 19, 1955

55-232Sweet Mouth #12-inch LP: Top Rank RLP-111, STD 1032; CD: ST-CD1, Classics 1463
55-233Oscar's Blues (Blues In The Closet) (master take) # 78, 45 rpm: VJ 135; CD: Classics 1463
55-233Oscar's Blues (Blues In The Closet) # 12-inch LP: STD 1032; CD: ST-CD1
55-234Dat's It #12-inch LP: Top Rank RLP-111, STD 1032; CD: ST-CD1, Classics 1463
55-235Hey There (master take) #78, 45 rpm: VJ 135; CD: Classics 1463
55-235Hey There #12-inch LP: STD 1032; CD: ST-CD1


Gazdar (page 34) says: “Its [sic] possible that alternate takes of this date exist.” Malcolm Walker has correctly noted that the versions of Oscar's Blues and Hey There issued on 12-inch LP: Swingtime STD 1032 (“Easy Swing”) are actually the alternative takes.

On the original 78 rpm (VJ 135), the matrix number prefixes were mistakenly printed as “54” instead of “55”.

Age 34

Poss. John Jenkins (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Norman Simmons (p); Victor Sproles (b); Bert Dahlander (d).

Private recording, Bee Hive Lounge, Chicago, IL, c. March 1955

Billie's Bounceunissued
I Can't Get Startedunissued
What Is This Thing Called Loveunissued
Keen And Peachyunissued
The Squirrelunissued
Pennies From Heavenunissued


On Billie's Bounce: prob. Ira Sullivan or E. Parker MacDougal (ts) added; on I Can't Get Started poss. Nicky Hill or Jay Peters (ts) added. I have not had access to these recordings. All titles were supposedly to be issued on CD BN 8-33329-2 titled “Wardell Gray - Beehive '55” but I have no further information.

Conte Candoli (tp); Frank Morgan (as); Wardell Gray (ts); Carl Perkins (p); Howard Roberts (g); Leroy Vinnegar (b); Lawrence “Larance” Marable (d).

Recording session for Gene Norman Presents, Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1955

The Champ #12-inch LP: GNP vol. 12
Get Happy12-inch LP: GNP vol. 12
Milt's Tune #12-inch LP: GNP vol. 12
Neil's Blues #12-inch LP: GNP vol. 12

Same, except add Candoli & Gray out.

My Old Flame12-inch LP: GNP vol. 12
The Nearness Of You12-inch LP: GNP vol. 12


Some sources place this session earlier. Schlouch has “early 1955”. Milt's Tune is the same tune as “The Theme”, which Miles Davis would record for Prestige on November 16, 1955.

Don Elliott (tp, vib); prob. Eli “Lucky” Thompson (ts); Jimmy Cleveland (tb); Anthony Ortega (as); Dinah Washington (voc); Quincy Jones (arr, cond); unidentified orchestra.

Recording session for Mercury, New York, NY, June 25, 1956

13514Relax, Max45 rpm: Mercury 70968
13515Tears To Burn 12-inch LP: Mercury 70906x45
13516-14The Kissing Way Home45 rpm: Mercury 70968
12517I Know45 rpm: Mercury 71043


Gazdar lists this session in “Easy Swing” (as from “Los Angeles, possibly early 1954"), and Tears To Burn was slated for inclusion in the Masters Of Jazz series. This session is otherwise always stated to have taken place in New York City on June 25, 1956 (after Wardell's death), and Lucky Thompson is credited as the tenor soloist on Tears To Burn instead of Wardell. Jepsen (p. 205) says: “Acc. by QUINCE JONES' ORCHESTRA: NYC, 1956".

All titles are on CD: The Complete Dinah Washington On Mercury, Vol. 5 1956-1958 Mercury 18PJ 10215/18 and were included as bonus tracks on CD: Mercury entitled The Swingin' Miss “D".

Album Key

Ace503Little Willie LittlefieldGoing Back To Kay CeeCD
AltoAL702Count Basie/Anita O'DayIntroducing a Radical New Concept12-inch LP
AltoAL710Duke EllingtonHe's Mr. Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington12-inch LP
Audio-Park RecordsAPCD-6106Various ArtistsModern Sax Stylists 1947~1953CD
Audio-Park RecordsAPCD-6067Benny GoodmanModern Benny 1948 featuring Wardell Gray & Stan HasselgardCD
Big Band Archives2204Various ArtistsThe Big Band Scene… And All That Jazz12-inch LP
Black LionBLCD760106Wardell GrayOne for PrezCD
Black LionBLCD760223Dexter Gordon/Wardell GrayCitizens Bop (or Citizen's Bop)CD
Blue NoteBN BLP1532Fats NavarroThe Fabulous Fats Navarro, vol. 212-inch LP
Blue NoteBNJ 61008Various ArtistsThe Other Side Of Blue Note 1500 Series12-inch LP
Blue NoteCDP7243 83337323Fats Navarro & Tadd DameronThe Complete Blue Note And Capitol RecordingsCD
BluebirdAXM2-5508Earl Hines And His OrchestraThe Father Jumps12-inch LP
Cabu Jazz MastersCabu532Wardell Grayune anthologie 1946/1953CD
CamayCA 3024Count Basie and Charlie BarnettBasie Greets Barnett12-inch LP
CAPCC-106Various ArtistsA Star Is Born78 rpm:
CapitolH-348The Just Jazz All StarsFeaturing Louis Bellson10" LP
Capitol32086Benny Goodman OrchestraUndercurrent BluesCD
Capitol (Japan)ECJ-40001Benny GoodmanModern Benny12-inch LP
Capitol (Japan)ECJ-50074Benny GoodmanBoppin' Benny12-inch LP
CBS66102Count BasieThe Complete Count Basie, vol. 11 to 20, 1941-195112-inch LP
Charlie Parker RecordsPLP-404Charlie ParkerThe Happy Bird12-inch LP
Classics914Billy EckstineThe Chronological Billy Eckstine - 1945-1945CD
Classics1041Earl Hines And His OrchestraThe Chronological Earl Hines - 1945-1947CD
Classics1050Mary Lou WilliamsThe Chronogical [sic] Mary Lou Williams 1945-1947CD
Classics1106Tadd DameronThe Chronogical [sic] Tadd Dameron 1947-1949CD
Classics1264Wardell GrayThe Chronological Wardell Gray 1946-1950CD
Classics1295Dexter GordonThe Chronological Dexter Gordon 1947-1952CD
Classics1418Benny GoodmanThe Chronological Benny Goodman 1947-1948CD
Classics1463Wardell GrayThe Chronological Wardell Gray 1950-1955CD
Classics5015 (B&R)Ivory Joe HunterThe Chronological Ivory Joe Hunter 1945-1947CD
ClefMGC-169Billy [sic] HolidayAt Jazz At The Philharmonic10" LP
ClefMGC-4003Norman Granz All StarsJam Session #312-inch LP
ClefMGC-4004Norman Granz All StarsJam Session #412-inch LP
ColumbiaCL 901Count Basie and his OrchestraBlues By Basie12-inch LP
ColumbiaCL 997Count Basie and his OrchestraOne O'Clock Jump12-inch LP
Cool & BlueC&B – CD 116Wardell GrayLight GrayCD
CrownCLP-5008The Modern Jazz StarsJazz Surprise12-inch LP
Delmark683Wynonie HarrisEverybody Boogie!CD
Dan RecordsVC-5003Benny GoodmanBenny's Bop12-inch LP
Dan RecordsVC-5023Benny GoodmanBenny's Bop Vol. 212-inch LP
Dan RecordsVC-5024Count Basie And His OrchestraOn V-Disc, Vol. 3 1943-4912-inch LP
DawnDLP 1126Stan Getz – Wardell Grey [sic] – Zoot Sims – Paul QuinichetteTenors Anyone?12-inch LP
DeccaDL 7025Gene Norman PresentsThe Chase And The Steeplechase10” LP
Dial211Various ArtistsMr. Saxophone . . . ?10” LP
DragonDRLP-16Stan Hasselgard & Wardell Gray with Benny Goodman Septet 1948Swedish Pastry12-inch LP
DragonDRLP-29Stan HasselgardJammin' At Jubilee12-inch LP
DragonDRCD-183Stan Hasselgard & Benny GoodmanAt Click 1948 with Wardell Gray, Teddy WilsonCD
DragonDRCD-332Stan HasselgardCottontopCD
DragonDRCD-409Stan HasselgardCalifornia SessionsCD
Drive ArchiveDE2-41096Count Basie & His OrchestraAt the Royal Roost 1948CD
EpicEG 7029Count BasieRockin' and Relaxin'7” EP
EpicLG-1021Count Basie And His OrchestraThe Old Count And The New Count10” LP
EPM MusiqueFDC-982242Count BasieThe Golden Years Vol. 5CD
EverybodysEV-3003Various ArtistsLive At The Apollo12-inch LP
First HeardFHR-1794Benny Goodman & His MusiciansSuperb Performances Never Before Available 1946-194912-inch LP
FontanaFJL 907Wardell Gray & Dexter GordonThe Master Swingers! 12-inch LP
Från Staterna(no number)Charlie Christian/Wardell GrayTribute From Sweden12-inch LP
Fresh Sounds RecordsFSR-CD 157Wardell Gray QuintetLive at The Haig 1952CD
Giants Of JazzGoJ LP-1001Billie HolidayI Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone12-inch LP
Giants Of JazzGoJ LP-1002Various ArtistsJazz Giants12-inch LP
Giants Of JazzCD 53317Wardell GrayWardell GrayCD
GNP48Conte Candoli, Wild Bill Davis, Frank Morgan and Machito's Rhythm SectionAfro-CoolCD
HepCD-36Benny Goodman with Wardell Gray And Stan HasselgardBenny's Bop 1949~49CD
InterplayABCJ-532Chet Baker and Art PepperOctober Session 1952CD
Jam SessionRecord No. 101Jazz SuperstarsRecorded at: “The Haig” - Hollywood, California, 195212-inch LP
Jam SessionRecord No. 103Jazz SuperstarsRecorded at: "Trade Winds"- Inglewood, California, 195212-inch LP
Jazum56Various ArtistsWoody Herman & Jack Teagarden12-inch LP
Jazum57Various ArtistsBenny Goodman & All Stars12-inch LP
Jazz ArchivesN° 62Count BasieFeaturing Anita O'Day & The Tadd Dameron Trio 1945/1948CD
Jazz Archives15762Benny Goodman OrchestraThe Jazz Collector EditionCD
Jazzbank ArchivesMTCJ 1036Various ArtistsSax Battle FileCD
The Jazz FactoryJFCD-22806Hampton HawesMemorialCD
The Jazz FactoryJFCD-22810Wardell GrayComplete Sunset & New Jazz MastersCD
The Jazz FactoryJFCD-22880Gerald WilsonBig Band ModernCD
Jazz Hour1005Benny Carter and His OrchestraLive Broadcasts (1939-1948)CD
Jazz Showcase5005Sonny Criss/Howard McGhee/Dodo MarmarosaCalifornia Boppin'12-inch LP
JoyceLP-1082Benny GoodmanOne Night Stand with Benny Goodman At The Click12-inch LP
JoyceLP-5012Earl HinesEarl Hines' Jubilee With Harry James12-inch LP
K.C.101Little Willie LittlefieldK.C. Loving12-inch LP
Krazy KatKK7421Smokey HoggGoin' Back Home Recorded 1948-195412-inch LP
LAJI002Various ArtistsWest Coast RaritiesCD
LAJI004Shorty RogersAn Expression From Rogers: The Rare And Unissued Shorty RogersCD
LAJI006Shorty Rogers and His GiantsLive at the Rendezvous Ballroom September 27, 1952 Volume 1CD
LAJI007Shorty Rogers and His GiantsLive at the Rendezvous Ballroom September 27, 1952 Volume 2CD
Laserlight15 762Benny Goodman OrchestraThe Jazz Collector EditionCD
Laserlight15 766Earl Hines OrchestraThe Jazz Collector EditionCD
Masters Of JazzMJCD 148Wardell GrayVolume 1: 1944-1946 Complete EditionCD
Masters Of JazzMJCD 156Dexter GordonVolume 3: Young Dex 1946-1947 Complete EditionCD
Masters Of JazzMJCD 159Wardell GrayVolume 2: 1946 Complete EditionCD
Masters Of JazzMJCD 161Wardell GrayVolume 3: 1946-1947 Complete EditionCD
Masters Of JazzMJCD 171Wardell GrayVolume 4: 1947 Complete EditionCD
Masters Of JazzMJCD 176Dexter Gordon/Wardell GrayVolume 4/Volume 5: 1947 Complete EditionCD
Masters Of JazzMJCD 191Wardell GrayVolume 6: 1947 Complete EditionCD
Masters Of JazzMJCD 198Wardell GrayVolume 7: 1947-1948: Complete EditionCD
MercuryMG 20928Dinah Washington Quincy Jones and his OrchestraQueen & Quincy12-inch LP
MisteriosoMLP1981Wardell Gray/Fats NavarroThe Thin Man Meets Fat Boy Vol. 112-inch LP
MisteriosoMLP1982Wardell Gray/Fats NavarroThe Thin Man Meets Fat Boy Vol. 212-inch LP
MisteriosoMLP1983Wardell Gray/Leo ParkerThe Thin Man Meets Mad Lad12-inch LP
ModernLMP-1208The Modern Jazz StarsJazz Surprise12-inch LP
MoonMCD047-2Anita O'DayMeets The Big BandsCD
MoonMCD076-2Wardell GrayHow High The MoonCD
MosaicMD4-148Benny GoodmanThe Complete Capitol Small Group Recordings 1944-1955CD
NeatworkRP 2066Count Basie OrchestraVolume 6: 1944-1952: The Alternative Takes In Chronological OrderCD
New WorldNW 5024Count Basie/Charlie BarnettBasie Greets Barnett12-inch LP
NorgranMG N-1046-ALouis Bellson and his OrchestraSkin Deep12-inch LP
OciumOCM0002Count BasieThe Octet Sounds: The Complete Octet Studio RecordingsCD
OciumOCM0036Louie BellsonSticks on Fire!CD
OnyxORI-201Teddy Edwards/Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray/Leo ParkerThe Foremost!CD
Original Jazz ClassicsOJCCD-050-2Wardell GrayWardell Gray Memorial Volume 1CD
Original Jazz ClassicsOJCCD-051-2Wardell GrayWardell Gray Memorial Volume 2CD
Original Jazz ClassicsOJCCD-1929-2Al Haig Trio And SextetsFeaturing Stan Getz And Wardell GrayCD
Ozone6Wardell GrayFeaturing12-inch LP
P-VinePVCP 8741Various ArtistsJazz MasqueradeCD
Philology214 W 14Wardell Gray“Light Gray, vol. 1” from rare 78 rpm12-inch LP
PhilologyW 19/29Charlie ParkerBird's Eyes, Volume 5/6CD
PhilologyW 29Charlie ParkerBird's Eyes, Volume 612-inch LP
PhilologyW 36Wardell GrayWardell Gray12-inch LP
PhontasticPHONT NCD 8802Stan HasselgardThe Permanent HasselgardCD
PMF90.510-2Benny Goodman OrchestraJazz Archives (A True Collectors Item)CD
PrestigePRLP 7008Wardell GrayMemorial Volume 112-inch LP
ProperProperbox 11Fats NavarroThe Fats Navarro StoryCD
ProperProperbox 20Wynonie HarrisRockin' The BluesCD
ProperProperbox 55Wardell GrayThe Wardell Gray StoryCD
Queen-DiscQ-039Various ArtistsJust Bop12-inch LP
RCA VictorLPM 3102Les ThompsonGene Norman Presents: "Just Jazz" Featuring Les Thompson And His Harmonica10” LP
RCA (Jazz Tribune)74321264082Earl HinesN° 19: The Indispensable Vol. 3/4 (1939-1945)CD
Rare Live RecordingsRLR 88633Charlie ParkerBird At St. Nick's Complete EditionCD
RaritiesRA22Duke Ellington, Benny GoodmanRadio Remotes Featuring12-inch LP
RegentMG6049Various ArtistsJazz Concert West Coast12-inch LP
RegentMG6054Billy EckstineMy Deep Blue Dream12-inch LP
RhinoR2 75872Various ArtistsCentral Avenue SoundsCD
Sabie5302Count Basie & His OrchestraFeaturing Lester Young12-inch LP
sagajazz53Count Basie Septet & OctetOn Film & LiveCD
sagajazz68Count BasieSmall Groups Studio Sides 1950-1952CD
SavoyMG 9031Various ArtistsHollywood Jazz Session Vol. 310" LP
SavoySJL2242Various ArtistsBlack California Vol. 2 - Anthology12-inch LP
SavoySVY-17125Billy EckstineThe Legendary Big BandCD
SavoySVY-17441Dexter GordonBOPland (3 CD set)CD
Session-Disc106Count Basie & Dinah WashingtonHooray For12-inch LP
Sounds Of YesteryearSOY791Benny Goodman & His OrchestraOne Night StandsCD
SpotliteSPJ-108Various ArtistsAnthropology12-inch LP
SpotliteSPJ-130Dexter GordonThe Chase12-inch LP
SpotliteSPJ-133Dexter GordonMove!12-inch LP
SpotliteSPJ-134Wardell Gray/Stan HasselgardAnd Friends12-inch LP
SpotliteSPJ-140Al HaigMeets The Master Saxes, Volume Two12-inch LP
SpotliteSPJ-145Various ArtistsJazz Off The Air, Vol. 212-inch LP
Strumthorpe MewsRecord 193749Benjamin David GoodmanSwingin' Into Bop!12-inch LP
SunbeamSB-144Benny GoodmanBenny Goodman on V-Disc - Vol. 3-1939-4812-inch LP
SwediscSJ25-9016Stan Hasselgard & Benny GoodmanSwedish Pastry: Vol II Stan Hasselgard & Benny Goodman with Wardell Gray ...12-inch LP
Swing HouseSWH-10Dodo Marmarosa & The All Stars“A 'Live' Dodo”12-inch LP
Swing HouseSWH-29Count BasieThis And That12-inch LP
Swing TreasurySWT-100Benny GoodmanIn Hollywood12-inch LP
Swing TreasurySWT-111Benny GoodmanIn Hollywood Vol. 2 featuring Wardell Gray12-inch LP
SwingtimeST CD1Wardell GrayEasy SwingCD
SwingtimeSTD 1032Wardell GrayEasy Swing12-inch LP
Top RankRLP-111Various ArtistsJazzville Chicago Vol. 212-inch LP
Verve07314 523 893-2Various ArtistsThe Complete Jazz at Philharmonic on Verve 1944-1949CD
Verve517 659-2Various ArtistsThe Complete Billie Holiday on Verve 1945-1959CD
Verve/UniversalB0003252-02Various ArtistsThe Complete Norman Granz Jam SessionsCD
Whiskey, Women AndKM 701Helen Humes((Be-Baba-Leba)) (1944-52)12-inch LP
Whiskey, Women AndKM 707Helen HumesNew Million Dollar Secret12-inch LP
Xanadu146Wardell GrayWardell Gray Live In Hollywood12-inch LP
Xanadu200Sonny CrissThe Sonny Criss Memorial Album12-inch LP
XanaduCRCJ-5012Earl HinesSwing Into BebopCD