[Dixielandjazz] Johnny Blowers was Drummers

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Feb 24 21:12:36 PST 2003

Hi Jim and List Mates

He still has a sparkle in his eyes too, though he walks a bit slowly. I
spent the better part of an hour chatting with him about Pee Wee Russell,
and the Condon gang of those wonderful years, late 1930s and early
1940s. He
said that he was one of the first drummers to take a full chorus solo. That
in the early days before 1935 or so, drummers only took 4, or 8 bar breaks.

He and Krupa, he said, were among the first to play "the whole song" on


Jim Denham wrote:

> I'm so glad to hear that Johnny Blowers is still alive, playing and has
> been honoured at the "Pee Wee" event. He played great drums on 1940's
> sessions with Condon, Brunis, Kaminsky and Lawson (including one of the
> best 4-bar beaks I ever heard at the end of a Yank Lawson side -was it
> "That's A' Plenty"?), and later went on to play with Sinatra and the
> "Saints and Sinners".
> Let us honour him whilst he is still amongst us.
> Yours,
> Jim Denham
> <barbonestreet at earthlink.net> writes (SNIP)
> >And today, I just got back form a sideman gig with Tex Wyndham's Red
> >Lion Band at the 34th Annual Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp in New
> >Jersey. Six piece West Coast Revival Band. Cornet, Tbone, Clarinet,
> >Banjo, Piano, Bass Sax. No drums.
> >Ironically, the Musicians Award by the New Jersey Jazz Society today
> >went to drummer Johnny Blowers, almost 92 years old. He sat in with
> >another band and played a long drum solo on Caravan. He's still got it.
> >Told some great Pee Wee Russell stories about when they played together
> >in a Condon group at Nick's in NYC in the late 1930s.
> >Cheers,

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