Category 1920

The Talented Sheb Wooley

The Talented Sheb Wooley

Sheb Wooley

Shelby Fredrick “Sheb” Wooley (April 10, 1921 – September 16, 2003) was a character actor and singer, best known for his 1958 novelty song “The Purple People Eater.” He played Ben Miller, brother of Frank Miller, in the film High Noon; played Travis Cobb in The Outlaw Josey Wales; and also had a co-starring role as scout Pete Nolan in the television series Rawhide.

Sheb Wooley

Wooley in 1971
Background information
Birth name Shelby Fredrick Wooley
Also known as Ben Colder
Born April 10, 1921
Erick, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died September 16, 2003 (aged 82)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Country, pop music
Occupations Actor, singer
Years active 1955–1971
Labels MGM
Wooley is also credited as the voice actor who produced the Wilhelm scream sound effect.

E...

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The Life And Times Of Glenn Miller Part Five

The Life And Times Of Glenn Miller Part Five

Arranging staff and compositions

Miller had a staff of arrangers who wrote originals like “String of Pearls” (written and arranged by Jerry Gray) or took originals like “In The Mood” (writing credit given to Joe Garland and arranged by Eddie Durham) and “Tuxedo Junction” (written by bandleader Erskine Hawkins and arranged by Jerry Gray) and arranged them for the Miller band to either record or broadcast...

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The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part Three

The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part Three

Post-war and later years

The big band era appeared to have ended after the war, and Basie disbanded the group. For a while, he performed in combos, sometimes stretched to an orchestra. In 1950, he headlined the Universal-International short film “Sugar Chile” Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and His Sextet. He reformed his group as a 16-piece orchestra in 1952. Basie credits Billy Eckstine, a top male vocalist of the time, for prompting his return to Big Band. He said that Norman Granz got them into the Birdland club and promoted the new band through recordings on the Mercury, Clef, and Verve labels. The jukebox era had begun, and Basie shared the exposure along with early rock’n’roll and rhythm and blues artists...

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The Life And Times Of Glenn Miller Part Four

The Life And Times Of Glenn Miller Part Four

Disappearance

U.S. Army Air Force UC-64

Miller’s monument in Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut
Miller spent the last night before his disappearance at Milton Ernest Hall, near Bedford. On December 15, 1944, Miller was to fly from the United Kingdom to Paris, France, to make arrangements to move his entire band there in the near future. His plane, a single-engined UC-64 Norseman, USAAF serial 44-70285, departed from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, on the outskirts of Bedford and disappeared while flying over the English Channel. There were two others on board the plane: Lt. Col. Norman Baessell and pilot John Morgan.
A 2014 article in the Chicago Tribune reported that, despite many theories that had been proposed, Miller’s plane crash...

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The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part Two

The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part Two

John Hammond and first recordings


Basie and band, with vocalist Ethel Waters, from the film Stage Door Canteen (1943)
At the end of 1936, Basie and his band, now billed as “Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm,” moved from Kansas City to Chicago, where they honed their repertoire at a long engagement at the Grand Terrace Ballroom. Right from the start, Basie’s band was noted for its rhythm section. Another Basie innovation was the use of two tenor saxophone players; at the time, most bands had just one. When Young complained of Herschel Evans’ vibrato, Basie placed them on either side of the alto players, and soon had the tenor players engaged in “duels”. Many other bands later adapted the split tenor arrangement.
In that city in October 1936, th...

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The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part One

The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part One

Count Basie

William James “Count” Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By age 16, he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924, he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten’s band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten’s death in 1935.

Count Bas...

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The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part Three

The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part Three

Reaction from musical peers

Louis Armstrong thought enough of Miller to carry around his recordings, transferred to seven-inch tape reels when he went on tour. “[Armstrong] liked musicians who prized melody, and his selections ranged from Glenn Miller to Jelly Roll Morton to Tchaikovsky.” Jazz pianist George Shearing’s quintet of the 1950s and 1960s was influenced by Miller: “with Shearing’s locked hands style piano (influenced by the voicing of Miller’s saxophone section) in the middle [of the quintet’s harmonies]”. Frank Sinatra and Mel Tormé held the orchestra in high regard. Tormé credited Miller with giving him helpful advice when he first started his singing and song-writing career in the 1940s...

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The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part Two

The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part Two

Success from 1938 to 1942

1939 Baltimore Hippodrome Ballroom concert poster.
Discouraged, Miller returned to New York. He realized that he needed to develop a unique sound, and decided to make the clarinet play a melodic line with a tenor saxophone holding the same note, while three other saxophones harmonized within a single octave. George T. Simon discovered a saxophonist named Wilbur Schwartz for Glenn Miller. Miller hired Schwartz, but instead had him play lead clarinet. According to Simon, “Willie’s tone and way of playing provided a fullness and richness so distinctive that none of the later Miller imitators could ever accurately reproduce the Miller sound...

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The Year Of 1924 In Music

The Year Of 1924 In Music

Events

February 12 – An Experiment In Modern Music concert at Aeolian Hall, New York – première of Rhapsody in Blue.
February 18 – First recordings by Bix Beiderbecke.
April – Jimmy Blythe’s recording of “Chicago Stomps”, sometimes called the first complete boogie-woogie piano solo record.
June – Alexander von Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony is premiered in Prague.
October 17 – Leoš Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1, Kreutzer Sonata, is premièred in Prague
Richard Runciman Terry resigns as organist of Westminster Cathedral because of criticism of his choice of music.
Mongolia introduces a national anthem.
Summer of 1924 – Hamilton Sisters and Fordyce singing trio is formed by Pearl B. Hamilton – departing the ‘Stars of the Future’ tour.
First recor...

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The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part One

The Life And Times Of Glen Miller Part One

Glenn Miller

Miller c. 1942
Background information
Birth name
Alton Glenn Miller
Born
March 1, 1904
Clarinda, Iowa, United States
Died
December 15, 1944 (aged 40)
Plane missing over the English Channel
Genres
Swing music, big band
Occupations
Bandleader, Musician, Arranger, Composer
Instruments
Trombone
Years active
1923–1944
Associated acts
Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Modernaires, Marion Hutton
Military career
Allegiance

United States of America
Service/branch

United States Army
*

* Army Air Forces
Years of service
1942-1944
Rank

Major
Awards

Bronze Star
(Posthumously; 1945)
Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing in action December 15, 1944) was an American big band musician, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era...

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