[Dixielandjazz] Guitarist/entertainer Slim Gaillard

Norman Vickers nvickers1 at cox.net
Tue Dec 4 04:26:27 PST 2012


From: Norman Vickers, Jazz Society of Pensacola


Dear Listmates, this originally was sent to the Musicians and Jazzfans list ( which I moderate).  On instruction of our famous-father moderator, Bob Ringwald, I am also posting here.  Thanks all.



Here’s a clip of entertainer, guitarist Bulee “Slim”  Gaillard


Most, if not all on the list, are familiar with Gaillard’s song, “Cement Mixer  putti, putti.


Allow me some personal anecdotes—My older brother was Navy torpedoman on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific during latter years of WWII.  At the conclusion of the war, he was discharged on the West Coast and brought home some 78 rpm recordings, one of which was Cement Mixer.  He also picked up some of the Gaillard lingo—vout  oRoonieee etc.


Fast forward now to  mid 1970s—I had a patient referred to my medical office for a brief examination.  She was a quiet, non-descript lady of color.  When I saw that her last name was Gaillard, I began to riff about that famous name, described the guitarist who had hit songs and had coined a new jazz lingo.  I think I may have gone a little overboard with my enthusiastic talk.  When I finished, she said, quietly and matter-of-factly, “Yes, he’s my brother-in-law.”


Turns out that Slim had made up various fantasy tales—a la Baron Munchausen ( unfamiliar with this?  Look it up.  It’s worth it)—about his childhood upbringing.  ( Wikipedia entry forGaillard  still carries the one about his being stranded on the Island of Crete and making his way to Detroit)


In fact, Gaillard is a Pensacola native and, I learned later, would come back to Pensacola to visit family from time to time.


I got to meet him a few months before he died.  WE were having a January Pensacola Jazz Party  in 1991.  A relative brought an elderly man dressed in a blue double breasted suit which looked a bit too large--presumably because of lost weight--for him.  White shirt, tie and hat.  I was introduced to him, found him a seat ( there was not a discussion about admission charge—we seated the famous gentleman.)   Because my duties took me elsewhere, I didn’t have time to converse beyond the usual pleasantries.  A short time later, I read that he had died in London where  a son was living.


Thanks for listening!


From: "30's Jazz" <newsletter at 30sjazz.com>

Subject: "Cement Mixer" Slim Gaillard 



> Here's Slim, some 20 years after

> that record was made, demonstrating

> his abilities on both the piano and 

> guitar, finishing with another of his 

> compositions "Cement Mixer."


> Video:


> http://www.30sjazz.com/page/9263.html



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