[Dixielandjazz] Whistling

Don Ingle dingle at nomadinter.net
Wed Jan 10 12:02:50 PST 2007

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis wrote:
> Just an aside - does anyone hear anyone whistling anymore?  When I was a kid 
> in the 40's a lot of people whistled.  I know I did and when I think about 
> it I can't remember the last time I heard anyone.
> I remember too how much it annoyed me when the person was whistling out of 
> tune or aimlessly.   So maybe it's a good thing after all.
> Larry
> St. Louis
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "pat ladd" <pj.ladd at btinternet.com>
> To: "Steve Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
> Cc: "jazz" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 4:59 AM
> Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] What happened to Jazz?
>> No more difficult then humming or playing Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" t>>
>> Theres a thought Steve, when was the last time you heard someone whistling
>> in the street?  I always whistle, anything, from DYKWIM to Misty to Miss
>> Jenny`s Ball but I must admit I get some strange looks.
>> This of course maybe because I have a full band playing in my head and I 
>> am
>> only whistling a part, or maybe because I don`t whistle very well.
>> What would the modern youngster whistle? There are no tunes which I can
>> discern in the stuff I hear on the radio.
>> Not sure about the timing of the demise of jazz. Perhaps it was different 
>> in
>> the States. I can never remember OKOM as being a main stream radio genre.
>> Here, by the early  Forties when I was 11 or 12 years old,  the main music
>> on the radio was `dance music` Henry Hall, Geraldo, Cyril Stapleton etc 
>> and
>> then the `real` swing bands began to take over,under the influence of the
>> American Big Bands,  The Squadronaires, Joe Loss, and so on. Again this 
>> was
>> music for dancing. Dance Halls were full every night of the week. There 
>> were
>> plenty of small groups still working and I was attending Sunday afternoon
>> concerts listening to, Vic Lewis, Harry Gould, Nat Gonella, Ray Ellington
>> Quartet.
>> Bop emerged and split the ranks and a good slice of the music became to
>> clever to whistle or dance to. There was a lot of experimentation, Kenny
>> Baker and his AfroCubists and so forth but never really big.
>> The big jazz revival came along with Acker, Lightfoot, Ball, and then it 
>> all
>> went to hell.  There was still work playing the `old` dance music but it 
>> was
>> no longer the main stuff on the radio.
>> There are still dozens of jazz (OKOM) bands  playing in the UK , more per
>> square mile than in the States I suspect, but it is mainly club gigs and
>> festivals.  Festivals are well attended but few youngsters appear.
>> Thats my take on it . Probably way off beam.  Exit stage left. 
>> Whistling.../
>> Cheers
>> Pat
>> Pat
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Egads -- how you not mention the king of whistlers - Elmo Tanner, long 
time whistler with Ted Weems, and well recorded. It was his whistling 
that helped the comeback for Weems in the "Heartaches" record from the 
30's that got a revival of Weem's career going again after WW II and 
became a #1 number record all over again. On the Weems band he did one 
novelty number, an old piano solo tune Nola, that he whistled with 
finesse -- and never out of tune.
Shame on all who forgot this talented and very nice man.
Don Ingle

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