[Dixielandjazz] Country Washburne and tuba

Dan Augustine ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Mar 18 19:36:05 PST 2005

DJML and others--
     I must preface this exemplary disquisition by saying that i just 
got back from our usual Friday afternoon happy hour, so my usual 
eloquence may be somewhat blunted (those who say 'enhanced' are 
nabobs of negitivism).  However, since i'm (one hopes) talking to 
fellow musicians, this defect may not be readily noted, and in fact 
may be applauded.  Whatever.
     My friend Jim Washburn, whom i've known and quaffed many a beer 
with for over 20 years, reminded me of his lineage tonight.  He is in 
fact a nephew (or something like that) of Joe 'Country' Washburne, 
the fine tuba player with Spike Jones and other luminaries of the 
1930s and after.  He told me tonight that he actually MET Country 
Washburne on a number of occasions (in the Los Angelees area, for 
one, before Country died in 1973), and that he still possessed a 
number of Country's original hand-written manuscripts of original 
music, plus a number of his 78-recordings.
     I thought my reserve upon hearing this fabulous intelligence was 
impressive, as i only lost consciousness three times while making 
sterterous inhalations. I asked Jim if perhaps i could copy these 
manuscripts and recordings for posterity, and he agreed.
     This information was dear to me because i seem to be in the 
process of compiling information (to what end is unknown) about 
tuba-players in the 1920s through 1950s, who have not been (or so it 
seems to me) very assiduously documented.  I especially admire 
Clinton Walker (for example) as a very agile and rhythmic player, but 
the recordings he has played in seem to be very few (so far)(but i 
have downloaded several from www.redhotjazz.com).  I have a number of 
Country Washburne's songs that he plays on, but not much textual nor 
biographical information about him.  I suspect it was he who played 
tuba on the Freddy Morgan LP called "Mr. Banjo" (Verve MGV-2065), but 
no players other than Freddy Morgan on banjo are listed (although i 
believe Spike Jones was the producer).
     Anyway (the cervisial fog starting to lift), it seemed to me that 
some of those among us (Don Ingle principally) might know more about 
Country Washburne and his life, times, recordings, and whatnot, and i 
would appreciate all such information were it sent to me.
     Signing off now, i advance to the rear in search of aspirin....

**  Dan Augustine     Austin, Texas     ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu  **
**      "Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call."       **
**                       -- Richard Lewis                             **

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