[Dixielandjazz] Bob Helm's clarinet

Dan Augustine ds.augustine@mail.utexas.edu
Mon, 26 Aug 2002 19:53:15 -0500

     I figure the following remark is gonna get me skewered, but the 
hell with it.
     Bob Helm is one of my favorite clarinet players, but gawd, he 
sure sounded out of tune sometimes.  A friend of mine can't even 
listen to a recording Helm plays on because of that, so it's not just 
me.  However, Turk wanted him in his band, and that's good enough for 
     That said, he certainly could play that thing.  Nobody else 
sounds like him, or has ideas like his.  The earliest Bob Helm i have 
dates from 1937, but i'm sure there's lots of earlier recordings. 
(In fact, somewhere i think i have a recording of him playing tenor 
     Unfortunately, i never heard him live, nor do i know any stories 
about him. Anybody have any stories?  Seems like someone here in DJML 
recently said that they were doing an oral history with him; hope it 
gets published.

**  Dan Augustine     Austin, Texas     ds.augustine@mail.utexas.edu  **
**     "Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days       **
**      on nothing but food and water." -- W.C. Fields (1880-1946)    **