[Dixielandjazz] Medical Jazz

drjz drjz@bealenet.com
Wed, 18 Sep 2002 13:57:48 -0400

One of the main reasons I wrote my book, "Jazz and Death, Medical
Profiles of Jazz Greats" was, as a physician, to correct errors in the
popular, and jazz, press. According to their death certificates, Bennie
Moten and Eddie Lang did not die from blood loss during or after a
tonsil operation. Bunny Berigan's death resulted directly from his
alcoholism, Bix Beiderbecke's did not. Bessie Smith was not refused
treatment at a white hospital. Buddy Bolden probably did not have
syphilis. Scott Joplin died of syphilis. These are some of the many
retrospective diagnoses I made. There are some oddities too. Sweet Emma
Barrett, who replied to questions about her age with "None of your damn
business", continued to play piano with her right hand after a stroke
immobilized her left side - and Charlie Green didn't freeze to death on
his doorstep.
>From two of the reviews of my book-- "the book is unique and has drawn
together much new information that will serve jazz scholars and jazz
fans for years to come" (Mark Woodhouse in "The Library Journal");  "Dr.
Spencer very clearly explains numerous medical conditions and provides
death certificates and other pertinent illustrations. He also clears up
a number of mistakes/misunderstandings which have appeared in the
literature" (Shirley Klett, Amazon.com [where it is available at a 30%
discount - with no royalties!]). Cheers.
Fred (author as Frederick J. Spencer, M.D.)