[Dixielandjazz] Henry Ford II & OKOM

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet@earthlink.net
Sat, 22 Jun 2002 15:12:16 -0400

Charlie Hooks wrote about Henry the deuce:

"Sounds right to me.  Only met that gentleman once, in Dearborn, MI, at
formal party, all in tuxes, except Henry II in blue jeans (guess
knew he could afford a tux if he so desired)  Came weaving and gliding
up to
bandstand, catches my coat, says: "Kin you play 'Up the Lazy Liver'?  I
one..." and weaves off into the sunset.  [Whose band was it?  Al
Probably. I was a bit overserved myself.]"

"Outside I found he'd driven a Model A Ford to the party.  All by
himself: no bodyguards.  Loved it!"

Charlie & List mates:

I also met Henry Ford II once. In his summer home in Watermill Long
Island, NY, near Southampton in the summer time. circa 1959 or 60. I was
with the Southampton Dixie Racing & Clambake Society Jazz Band and we
had a Saturday Night gig at Herb McCarthy's restaurant in Southampton.
Just before we finished up at midnight, a young man in a striped blue
suit asked if we would play a private party from 12:30 AM till 2 or so.
We agreed to do it for $100 per man. (big money then)

We followed him to the Ford house. It was a party for McNamara who was
leaving Ford Motor Co., to become Secretary of Defense in JFK's cabinet.
Band had 7 people, piano, banjo, drums, tuba, clarinet, cornet, and
trombone. Party had eight people.
HF II, 1st wife Christina, McNamara & his wife and two other couples.
All formally dressed. Apparently returned from a larger party somewhere
else and were having a low key after party, party. (no servants)

Band played New Orleans revival Dixieland, HF II loved it as did the
wife and guests. Played in the living room with a large Steinway Grand,
surrounded by original paintings of Raoul Dufy, Bernard Buffet, Jackson
Pollack, Picasso et. al. Henry Ford in Red dinner jacket served the
drinks to band & guests himself and Christina had a lively discussion of
music and art with us as the evening wore on. We all left with stars in
our eyes after that gig.

Cars in their driveway were 3 Lincoln Continentals and a Bentley. The
young man in the blue suit was their personal gofer on duty during their
waking hours. They had told him to go out and get a jazz band at 11 PM
that night. We were lucky enough to have been a few miles down the road.