[Dixielandjazz] Fw: [TPIN] ARTIE SHAWS FUNERAL & big band music w/ great lead tpt's

Bob Romans cellblk7 at comcast.net
Thu Jan 13 22:51:22 PST 2005

Hi Listmates...I posted the account of Artie Shaw's funeral on the 
TPIN...there were a lot of replies thanking me...but I need to thank 
whom-ever it was that posted it on the DJML.
This one is good!
Bob Romans
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joe Slaughter" <joes1 at earthlink.net>
To: "Bob Romans" <cellblk7 at comcast.net>
Cc: <tpin at tpin.okcu.edu>
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2005 10:20 PM
Subject: Re: [TPIN] ARTIE SHAWS FUNERAL & big band music w/ great lead tpt's

> Bob, Thanks for this post.  Those guys made some great music.  I know
> Artie wasn't a tpt. player, but all  those big bands had lead tpt.
> players that were (& still are) amazing.
> When I was in jr. and sr. high school (1966-71), in the midst of the
> Beatles, Dione Warwick, Elton John, the TJB, Chicago, Emerson Lake &
> Palmer, Santana, The Fifth Dimension,  Rod Stewart,  The Carpenters,
> Neil Diamond ... being the main musical influences in my life (apart of
> course from Lawrence Welk & Myron Floren on my accordion playing) ......
> My high school band director at Auburn (Alabama) High School, invited
> some of his more motivated students to accompany him to his Saturday
> night job -- playing trumpet in The Columbus Cavaliers (a traditional
> big band) at the Officers' Club in Ft. Benning, Columbus, Ga.   They had
> a lead tpt. player who was a hairdresser during the week and could play
> the upper notes all night long - as strong at the end of the evening,
> just before they closed with "Show Me The Way To Go Home," as when they
> opened.
> My band director was totally puzzled by the guy's ability to do that,
> but we just thought that "some people have it & some don't" rather than
> asking questions about what he was doing to achieve that & how he
> practiced to get there.  In the last set, they would let us sit in ...
> we were in heaven.
> Then, our high school band did a fund-raiser selling tickets for a
> concert by the Glenn Miller Band, under Buddy DeFranco.  Again, amazing
> trumpet playing.  At one point, a couple of the trumpets came out front
> - one guy who wore his belt buckle over to the side (I don't remember
> the names) - and they really let it fly while they traded ad-libs.  We
> were totally amazed at the way those guys could play.
> Then I heard Count Baise, Duke Ellington, and Stan Kenton in 1972 at
> Auburn University. I still remember the stage being dark as the curtain
> opened, the trumpets standing, the spotlights flashing on as they kicked
> off with  "McArthur Park" ...... wow!!
> And that's one of the main reasons I took up ballroom dancing -- just so
> I always had a good excuse to go hear some great charts with big band
> music playing.  And hearing that great music kept me interested in one
> day learning to solve some of those old challenges & play the trumpet 
> again.
> Thanks again for this good info about a great big band leader.
> I really appreciate you guys who played with some of these groups
> filling us in on what it was like.
> Joe Slaughter
> Dallas, TX
> Oh yeah -- I was looking at the Claude Gordon site & noticed that he
> also started out playing accordion. In fact, he was in a movie playing
> that often persecuted instrument -- okay everybody, don't all go to his
> site immediately to see the photos, I wouldn't want to slow the internet
> down.  Try to hold yourselves back.
> Bob Romans wrote:
>> Hi Listmates...Artie Shaw was not a trumpet player, but he WAS a fellow
>> musician...I thought maybe some of you might want to read this...
>> Bob Romans
>>> Subject: Fwd: Artie Shaw Funeral
>>>      Just got back from Artie Shaw's funeral, which was held indoors in
>>> the chapel of the Pierce Brothers Mortuary in Westlake Village
>>> because of
>>> the pouring rain outside. Services were supposed to be public and
>>> held at
>>> graveside, but because of the weather, guests were limited to family,
>>> friends, press, and a few acquaintances (that's where I came in). It
>>> was a
>>> nice service, filled with funny stories, "Artie-isms," and of course,
>>> music.
>>>   The coffin was flanked by an early photo of Artie at the beginning of
>>> his career and a more recent picture of Artie in his library, looking
>>> either pensive or annoyed. Both of these pictures were included in the
>>> program. If anyone is interested in scans of these, I'll be glad to send
>>> them as an attachment to whoever wants one.
>>>      There was also the award presented by the NEA to Artie on Friday
>>> and
>>> a framed letter of congratulations from President Bush, dated
>>> November 30,
>>> 2004. There was a succession of speakers at the service, which was
>>> led by
>>> Larry Rosen, Artie's longtime secretary. As he introduced each
>>> speaker, we
>>> got an impression of a man who was not a curmudgeon, but someone who
>>> was a
>>> Renaissance Man, a true genius, and a perfectionist, expecting no more
>>> than
>>> the same from people he knew. His motto: "Good enough is not good
>>> enough"
>>> sums up his sometimes abrasive personality and mindset. Although there
>>> were
>>> many funny stories told, I couldn't commit all of them to memory, but
>>> here
>>> are a few highlights:
>>>   The man whose job it was to catalog Artie's massive collection of over
>>> 10,000 books reported inscriptions in the front of three books in the
>>> library. One was by Albert Einstein, one by Sigmund Freud, and one by
>>> another famous author, whose name escapes me now. The handwritten
>>> inscription in the front of the Einstein book read: "To Artie Shaw, with
>>> profound admiration and respect." In the Freud book, the inscription
>>> read,
>>> "To Artie Shaw, with profound admiration and respect." Not only did the
>>> third book have the exact same words, but the cataloguer noticed that
>>> the
>>> handwriting was the same on all three. He asked Artie about it and Artie
>>> replied that he had written them himself, to identify the books in case
>>> they were ever stolen. As we speak, Artie's book collection is still at
>>> his
>>> house. The shelves are reportedly completely full and stacks of books
>>> are
>>> on the floor and even piled on the stairs of his staircase.
>>>    Musician Tom Rainier chose to play two musical selections, which were
>>> played on Artie's own boom box that was brought to the chapel. One was a
>>> 1938 radio broadcast of Artie's hot big band playing a song that I
>>> believe
>>> was called "Everybody's Jumpin'." Artie wanted that played because it
>>> was
>>> five minutes long and gave the soloists a chance to spread out (Artie
>>> hated
>>> most of his studio sessions because of the restrictions in time). Artie
>>> took two choruses, another was by Georgie Auld, one by Tony Pastor and I
>>> couldn't identify the others. The other song was the result of an
>>> interesting experiment in which Rainier took selected snippets of
>>> Artie's
>>> playing, reassembled them and inserted them into a new recording of
>>> Johnny
>>> Mandel's "The Shadow of Your Smile."
>>>    The intent was to predict what Artie would sound like if he had
>>> continued to play after 1954. The result was actually pretty amazing.
>>> Buddy
>>> DeFranco finished off the piece with an Artie-esque 8-bar cadenza that
>>> brought tumultuous applause throughout the chapel. Artie himself had
>>> admired the work and approved of it. Then Dick Johnson, leader of the
>>> Artie
>>> Shaw Orchestra for the past 20 years, played a poignant a cappella
>>> performance of "I'll Be Seeing You."
>>>   Eighty-five-year-old comedian Red Buttons talked about meeting
>>> Artie for
>>> the first time. "It was during the War," he remembered, "and we were
>>> both
>>> in uniform. Artie was in his Navy uniform and I was the bellhop at the
>>> Astor hotel." Buttons recalled that Shaw's first words upon meeting him
>>> were, "What kind of a name is 'Red Buttons'? Who in their right mind
>>> would
>>> give anyone that name?" To which Buttons reported that his real name was
>>> Aaron Schwat, to which Shaw immediately responded by calling Buttons
>>> "The
>>> Sultan of Schwat."
>>>   Sid Caesar was scheduled to be there and speak but he couldn't make it
>>> because of the rain. At that point, Larry asked if anyone else had
>>> anything
>>> to say about their relationship with Artie and there were a
>>> succession of
>>> very funny stories. I told of my nerve-wracking first broadcast with him
>>> in
>>> 2000 and then my final meeting with him in 2003 to discuss Bix
>>> Beiderbecke's 100th birthday. Artie's admiration of Bix was not
>>> because of
>>> the notes Bix played or his technique, it was the sound he produced
>>> on his
>>> cornet. Artie rhapsodized about this sound and the fact that it could
>>> only
>>> have come from Bix.
>>>  Above all, Artie admired the individual and hated when people said they
>>> tried to play like Artie did. "Play like yourself," he'd say. When I
>>> asked
>>> him to comment on Eddie Condon's oft-heard description of Bix's sound,
>>> which was likening it to "a girl saying yes," Artie paused, shook his
>>> head
>>> and said, "Poor Eddie...He must have been pretty hard up." The end of
>>> the
>>> service came after the playing of Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over
>>> Me" as
>>> sung by Lee Wiley, Shaw's favorite singer. It was an unusual recording,
>>> recorded in 1939, in which Wiley was accompanied by Fats Waller on pipe
>>> organ (Liberty Music Shop L-282).
>>> Cary Ginell Sound
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