[Dixielandjazz] Paul Whiteman

Norman Vickers nvickers1 at cox.net
Tue Aug 13 13:04:02 PDT 2013


From:  Norman Vickers , Jazz Society of Pensacola


Since Paul Whiteman films have been recently discussed on DJML, I  thought
I'd give a "plug" for Don Rayno's definitive two-volume work on Paul

The first volume  Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music  (1890-1930)  773
pages,  was published by Scarecrow Press.  Volume 2, 1930-1967, published in
2009, 864 pages.  


Rayno, a retired nuclear scientist, spent 30 years researching this.  In
addition to Whiteman's story, essentially told chronologically, there are
brief biographical sketches of the orchestra personnel, most of whom are
dead now, of course.  I spoke to Rayno on several occasions in reviewing his
books.  This, obviously, was a quest for him.  In his spare time he would
contact the musicians and interview them in person or by telephone.  Rayno
spent vacation times researching  at Amherst, Mass. where Whiteman donated
his archives to Williams College.


My review of the second volume is posted on the website of the Jazz Society
of Pensacola  www.jazzpensacola.com  When the home page comes up, click,
News, and then reviews.  The review of the  earlier volume is available on
special request.    I asked Rayno about his research and what he'd hoped to
find, but didn't.  He replied that the financial records  had been
destroyed.  One page had been retrieved ( I'd seen it in another book) which
showed that arranger Ferde Grofe' was highest paid.

Second highest paid was vocalist Bing Crosby.  Rayno also recounts a story
I'd heard from guitarist and Bix historian, Rich Johnson.  On the music for
trumpeter Andy Secrest is a handwritten notation,  "Wake up Bix!"  (Secrest
was the soloist when Bix was not available to perform).


Thanks for "listening."




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