[Dixielandjazz] Bix's Birth

John Farrell stridepiano at tesco.net
Thu Mar 6 14:06:15 PST 2003

Wonderful stuff Don - keep it coming!

John Farrell
stridepiano at tesco.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Don Ingle" <dingle at baldwin-net.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 12:07 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Bix's Birth

>    In the face of the slew of messages about Bix's death, let me suggest
> not overlook the obvious,  his birth. March 10 is the date, 1903 the year,
> Davenport, Iowa the place, and the rest is history.
>    As this date nears I again take note of the framed photo that hangs on
> wall -- my personal treasure and constant reminder of Bix's legacy and
> perhaps a bit of my own. The photo shows two young men, arms draped over
> their backs with one hand, and a baseball in the hand of one of them. A
> little game of catch in the afternoon in front of the open air bandstand
> Castle Farm resort, near Cincinnati, Ohio, July of 1927, was being enjoyed
> by the two.
>    The fellow on the viewer's left is Bix -- the one of the right a
> 20-year-old fellow named Red Ingle, mon pere. Red had gone
> on this, one of the last tours of the Victor (Graystone) Gene Goldkette
> Band, subbing for Danny polo who had become ill and couldn't make the road
> trip. (The photo is in the Evans' book as well).
>    Bill Rank told me several years before his death in the 1980's that he
> remembered that tour with dad, since he had driven with dad in his car
> to Ohio from Detroit, and recalled looking out of the window to see one of
> the car's wheels go racing along ahead before he felt the thump of the car
> grinding down. Tom Pletcher, one of the better Bixian horns and a serious
> Bix scholar, asked Rank if this was true (being rightfully a skeptic
> considering all the urban legends surrounding Bix) and Rank told him
> absolutely it was true. "I can see it now -- looking out to see the wheel
> and tire rolling on past us. We had to wait for hours until Red's cousin
> Bowling Green came out and got us repaired and on the way.
> Those kind of memories you never forget!"
>    I might add that my mother, who is still with us at 98 was a young
> at the time and knew Bix and the other players quite well, and she also
> confirms the story as she was riding in the car as well. Mom is, as far as
> it is known, if the last living band wife of the Goldkette band 1920's era
> members. A remarkable lady.
>    Anyway, lads and lassies, it is not how Bix died that is truly
> important -- it is how he lived and played that is. To hear the purity and
> vibrancy of his horn on a chorus such as that of  Goldbeater's Clementine,
> or the soft gentle felt hat muted solo on Sweet Sue with the Whiteman band
> that tells you the most about this vital force in American Jazz -- even if
> the Burns/PBS series only gave him a passing remark in its overly
> Afro-Centrist view of jazz.
>    Happy Birthday, Bix!
>    Don Ingle

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