[Dixielandjazz] Re: At the Jazz Band Ball

Bill Haesler bhaesler at nsw.bigpond.net.au
Wed Apr 23 10:39:44 PDT 2003

Dear Bob,
Regarding your comment: >>Do you suppose that it was Bing singing under an
assumed name?<
Like you, we 'young Turks' considered this, when the 78s first came out.
And numerous other times since.
Particular as Jimmy Atkins has never surfaced again on a jazz record. 
Likewise, Peggy Ann Ellis who sings on "Black Bottom/Original Charleston"
recorded by the same Condon mob for Decca on 9 June 1950.
Bing had a long association with Decca and was a major shareholder, holding in
excess of 50%. Or so I believe.
He was also a dear friend of the Condon family and Johnny Mercer. As photographs
from the 50s show.
So, I see no reason why he would not join in for a Condon record date, if he
felt like it. Any other contract notwithstanding.
Nor can I imagine a powerful man like Bing (certainly at that time) being
restricted in the same way as Fats and Hackett.
The Bing Crosby/Bob Scobey session was made for RCA Victor in Feb 1957 and Bing
did stuff for MCA, Verve, Capitol and MGM at this time 
But..... on the Condon "At the Jazz Band", although it 'sounds' like Bing, it
does not 'feel' like him.
Even less so on the session mate "Jazz Me Blues" and (another forgettable, early
Percy Wenrich- Joseph McCarthy song) "Sweet Cider Time, When You Were Mine" made
2 days before, with the same band. Certainly not in the same league as Wenrich
and Jack Mahoney's 1914 hit "When You Wore A Tulip". 
I have yet to buy Gary Giddins' new book on Bing. Perhaps all this gets a
mention there.
However, there is no mention in Hal Willard's fine book 'The Wildest One - The
Life of Wild Bill Davison", although the Condon/Bing record date of Jan 1946 is
Kind regards,
PS: While talking about this particular series of Condon sessions (March-Oct
1950), do not forget that they included pianist Ralph Sutton with Wild Bill and
the band on fantastic versions of "Maple Leaf Rag/Dill Pickles/Raggin' The
Scale/Grace And Beauty".

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