[Dixielandjazz] WBDavison

Tom Saunders tcornet at webtv.net
Tue Mar 16 18:44:52 PST 2004

Steve Barbone,
I know a priest that knows more about every facet of baseball than
anybody I know, but that doesn't make him a living legend. I first heard
heard Davison on record when I was about 9 years old. My older brother
was a collector, so I heard all the original hot 5 & 7, Bix, McKinney
Cottonpickers, etc.,etc.,etc. One day h played one with WBD onit and my
ears perked up. He played with more fire and
drive than any I had heard to that point.
I was hooked. Bill & I didn't meet 'til 1960.
When we did we realized that our personalities were the same. We could
make each other laugh or cry in a minute.
Anne D. used to say, "you bastards are twins 30 years apart". Then
in1989 we  produced a video documentary on Bill's life. I had to learn
all about him, but I don't think that makes me a legend.

Bill told me that when he went to NYC in
1940 he did not know the "dixieland" tunes. They just played the tunes
of the day. Alot of these guys knew each other from Chicago, including
Condon. His first
steady gig in NY was at Nick's and the trombone player taught him all
the jazz tunes. I can't think of his name ( it's a getting old thing).
He played valve & slide.
The way Steve describes his band it makes me think of Condon. That's
what I do too. I know quite alot about the tuba/banjo thing as my bro
played tromb. 
& tuba and loved Turk. I also have a nephew namedTom in New Orleans who
plays tuba,str. bass, & bass sax and is great on all of them. I just
leaned toward
the NY & Chicago stuff.

Yes, Davison quit drinking 6 years before he died. We toured Europe
after he had quit and he couldn't catch any of us. After a week or so,
in frustration, he said to Anne, "I've got a band full of sneak
drinkers". Boy, was he right!

Enough for now! I hope I didn't put you to sleep.
Have a good time.
Tom Saunders

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