[Dixielandjazz] Dixielandjazz Digest, Vol 49, Issue 3

Rodgerdevore at aol.com Rodgerdevore at aol.com
Tue Jan 2 08:30:10 PST 2007


I just looked over Mssrs. Dustin and Fendricks comments re European Jazz. I 
haven't checked those bands mentioned but I will.

Your bulletin board is a great service. I at least scan the subjects just 
about every issue. Thanks.

I have a small radio program on a small college station up here (WITC 88.9 
FM; range right now about 15 miles) where The Salt City Five and Six came from. 
Very positive things are happening particularly, and you won't believe it, 
with high school kids. I get a lot of smiles and thumbs up from the college 
students. People from age 4 to 95 are tuning me in. I play great stuff.

I air all the best musicians with all the best jazz from before Bix to the 
late 1960's when all sorts of great jazz was available in NYC. I met most of the 
people playing - from straight Dixie, to Chicago, to NY Style Chicago, and 
many of the Modern Jazz era guys. Some are still around. I was there when all 
the BS started about the Beatles - lived right down the block from the 
incredible superbly-hyped crowds gathered around their hotel. 

Real good jazz hung in there for  awhile. Then in the mid 80s all the great 
jazz places got squeezed by nervous and wealthy Hong Kongers (China threats) 
and French (Mitterand threats) who came to town, bought the buildings and 
tripled the rents. Another big squeezer was some ___hole in Koch's administration 
who decided to enforce the old cabaret laws (which were really to keep Billie 
Holiday from singing in NYC). How many people know that they actually padlocked 
Mikell's, Bradley's, Lush Life, etc. It became known as trio city. Many of the 
guys left town. You might want to Google David X. Young. He was a close 
long-time friend.

Aside from hearing Wild Bill Davison in my uncle's living room when I was 5, 
I also was in all the jazz joints in NYC and Boston, Syracuse (SC5-6), 
Washington,DC (Red Norvo and Charlie Byrd sat with us during breaks at Charley's, 
because I had a smashing 6 ft tall lady friend with me. She wore 3 inch heels. 
She had just played a concert at The Library of Congress.), and in dozens of 
joints in France, Germany, England, Singapore, Australia, etc.

Anyway I think the thing probably most responsible for killing OKOM is 
Payola. Everybody knows about the payola laws passed in the early sixties. They 
didn't do much good, because the record companies simply side-stepped them and 
paid the indie promoters who then in turn paid the radio stations. If everybody 
read the book "The Hit Men" (Dannen 1990) they'd know how they've been fooled 
for the last 50 years. I don't say this stuff on the air, but I'd like to. Of 
course now that the big 6 media companies control many record companies, I 
suppose paying for playing is becoming passe. I work out at the college gym and 
what passes for music today is amazingly awful.

I've been using the word "jazz" as little as possible on the air because the 
record companie have thrown so much stuff on the wall to see what sticks, and 
called it 'jazz', that all the kids hear is some of the most boring stuff you 
can imagine. Boring!! Ask any kid if he likes jazz, and he'll say no!  But, 
play the real thing for that poor benighted kid and the response is gangbusters.

So my radio program is really a cause, to show everybody that there is great 
music out there, folks. And it's your music. Leonard Bernstein did say that 
"... the most exciting sound in music is a good Dixieland band at full tilt." I 
play everything I like from about 6 decades, and it seems that nobody doesn't 
like it.  Two German bands I play a lot are The Cologne Jazz Society (Should I 
reveal...), and the Barrelhouse Jazz Band (St. Louis Woman). They are 
terrific and everbody likes them. I am looking forward VERY much the Beau Hunks, 
Janne Erickson, and The Metropole. Thanks very much.

Hang in there. Everybody likes good jazz. There are some terrific younger 
groups playing old jazz (try "The Mighty Aphrodite"). As Jack Maheu says in 
referring I think mainly to trad ("classic"): "..there are only two kinds of jazz - 
good and bad."  It's the GD record companies who wreck it by trying to sell 
real garbage (basically, their problem is they can't take dead musicians on 
tour - at least not very well). Virtually all contempoprary "jazz" is terrible.

It's very sad about Kenny. I knew him a long time.


Roger DeVore

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