[Dixielandjazz] Davison to John Petters
jpettjazz at btinternet.com
Sun Mar 14 23:05:30 PST 2004
> BRAVO for your Wild Bill concert on March 26th. I wish I could be there.
> I hope that your new cornet player captures the Davison fire and not all
> his notes. Bill & I listened to alot of guys that played his every note
> and he didn't appreciate that at all. He said, "Christ, this guy even
> misses the same notes that I miss". I was always after his feel, nothis
> notes. I'm sure everything will cook as it should.
We did the first gig last weekend at Pakefield. It went very well. Allen
Beechey is a young player and he is fiery. He is not a Wild Bill Clone - who
could be - but he did capture more than the flavour of Wilhelm.
I'm not sure when you worked with Bill, . I first played with him in '83,
them 86 when we did a couple of recordings, which were by no means great.
Then we met again in 87 and I brought him and Art Hodes over to play at the
Cork Festival in Eire. We recorded a CD on that trip. I would have been
happy to get a couple of good Davison tracks but he was in better shape than
he had been a couple of years earlier and we got about 8 tracks.
The following year I brought them back and we toured the theatre circuit. I
recorded most of the gigs direct to digital stereo. Some had a good balance
others didn't. The best concert - the final one at the Albert Hall in
Bolton, was spoiled by lighting buzz getting into our PZM microphones.
George Buck issued some of the material on the CD Coalition from two of the
concerts. With both those player it was a case of being in a presence that I
knew could not be experienced for many more years. As it happened, Bill died
in November 89 and he was here in May. I'm not sure whether he recorded
after his trip to England or whether I have his final recordings.
> The name WILD BILL began in a strange way. Bill had a small (I think 4
> society group. He even wore white tie and tails. They were booked ino a
> ballroom on the south side of Chicago and when they
> pulled up in front of the place the marque
> read, "WILD BILL DAVISON
> THE WHITE LOUIS ARMSTRONG"
I either read - or he told me that he used to marry Mexican women to enable
them to gain entry into the US. I don't know if is factual or not. He did
tell me that he had been a Radio Amateur in his youth - he said pre WW1 and
was fascinated when he saw my radio gear in action.
The trips in the bandwagon were great fun. Bill was quite happy to talk
about the old days. Art likewise. They did fall out when Bill missed the
first note of Hindustan and blamed Art for bringing it in too fast. Happy
Amateur Radio Station G3YPZ
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