[Dixielandjazz] Re: At the Jazz Band Ball

Jim Denham james at jiming.demon.co.uk
Wed Apr 23 01:49:11 PDT 2003

In message <02c601c308e8$9d6ce460$32c04ed1 at net>, Robert S. Ringwald 
<ringwald at calweb.com> writes
>Bill Haesler" <bhaesler at nsw.bigpond.net.au writes:
>> A general reply regarding the 'forgettable' lyrics to "At The Jazz Band
>> They were written by Johnny Mercer about 1949-50.
>> The version Chris Tyle recalls was featured by a Bing Crosby sing-alike
>> Jimmy Atkins and recorded by Eddie Condon and His Orchestra for Decca in
>NYC on
>> 22 March 1950.
>Bob Ringwald responds:
>I had that recording.  The singer sounds so much like Bing that I would have
>bet by left you-know-what that it was he.  I was shocked to find out that it
>Do you suppose that it was Bing singing under an assumed name?
>As we all know, lots of musicians did this because they were under contract
>to recording companies.  Hackett recorded under the name of Pete Pesky.
>Benny, Shoeless Joe Jackson, etc.
>Remember the story
>of a recording company exec calling Louis in & playing a recording that he
>had made for a different company.  Louis is reported to have said,
>"It wasn't me and I'll never do it again."
>mr.wonderful at ringwald.com
>Placerville, CA
>Near Sacramento, home of the best Jazz Society in the world.
>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

Dear Bob

Like you, I found it difficult to believe (on first hearing the Condon Jazzband
Ball) that "Jimmy Atkins" wasn't, in fact, Bing Crosby. But, I guess, Bing
sing-alikes were fairly common in 1950, even though "Atkins" (assuming that he
wasn't Bing) was clearly a most convincing stand-in.

The undisputed real Bing, of course, DID sing with the Condon band for Decca on
January 16 1946, using his real name. The two Condon "Atkins" sides (Jazzband
Ball and Sweet Cider Time) in 1950 were also on Decca. A fairly simple question
arises (to which I do not have the answer, but I'm sure plenty of people on
this list do): did Bing change record labels between 1946 and 1950? If he did,
then that might account for him using a pseudonym in order to record with
Condon in 1950; if he didn't, then why the hell would he call himself Jimmy


Jim Denham

Jim Denham

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list