[Dixielandjazz] Dixielandjazz Digest, Vol 49, Issue 2

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 1 17:57:22 PST 2007

Charles Suhor <csuhor at zebra.net> wrote (polite snip)

> Just informational, and checking...As I recall, the son of ODJB drummer
> Tony Spargo (Sbarbaro) is a DJML listee. If you're out there, I hope
> you're enjoying this strand. Tony was surely one of the great drumming
> pioneers, a fact known to many but unfairly dimmed by historians' and
> critics' rightful unhappiness with Nick LaRocca's grandiose claims
> about originating jazz and racist comments. Jack Stewart's article on
> the ODJB in the current issue of the (Tulane) Jazz Archivist has some
> fine, though in some ways odd, new perspectives on the ODJB.

That's Tony's Spargo's grandson. We've corresponded off list now and then
and he sent me some early pictures of his grandpa as well as some during his
years at Nick's in Greenwich Village with Pee Wee Erwin, Chuck Traeger,
Kenny Davern, Andy Russo, et al, as well as some with Pee Wee Russell and
others. We were hoping to find one with me but no luck.

He was researching Tony's association with ODJB and then later in NYC and I
put him in touch with a guy who took drum lessons from his grand pa in the
late 1950s. He was looking for people who knew Tony and wanted some
assurance that Tony Spargo was a good drummer, given some of the ODJB
criticism that he had run across in some publications.

As I heard it, Tony was a great jazz drummer. When he was there, the bands
at Nick's always swung and they had a lot of fun with his "famous" kazoos.

Steve Barbone

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