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Catamount Community Radio - September 16, 2012

Usually, when I do my Sunday morning show, I have the whole studio to myself ... but today it was a veritable hive of activity. There was a time when that would have bothered me, but no longer. Today Kevin, the program manager, inaugurated his new NASCAR talk show, "Go, or Go Home." It airs right after my show, so I had him on for a bit to plug his show.

I jumped into the time machine and set the dial for 1922. That's the year that James Joyce's Ulysses was first published in its entirety, and TS Eliot's "Wasteland" too, for your edification.

The winter evening settles down
With smells of steaks in passageways.
Six o'clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.

The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.
With other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.

That's not from the Wasteland, but rather from one of Eliot's earlier poems, but I like it. The Wasteland has old chestnuts like the whimper and the bang business, and the april is the cruelest month bit.

So anyway, it's 1922, and the place is Chicago. I'll let Chris, of Locust St.fame tell you the story of one Husk O'Hare:

"Husk O'Hare was a promoter and a hustler as much as he was a bandleader. He grew up in Chicago's West Side (his real name was Anderson O'Hare, but as he was a chubby guy, "Husk" soon stuck), served in the Army during the war and by 1920 was working with another promoter, Sol Weisner, to try to corner the growing Chicago jazz market. At their peak, O'Hare and Weisner were booking as many as 42 different bands at once. O'Hare had a taste for self-promotion (most notably in the large flashing sign he had installed on the roof of his Monroe St. office), and soon started running his own bands--Husk O'Hare's Campus Serenaders, Husk O'Hare and His Greatest Band or, as featured here, Husk O'Hare's Super Orchestra of Chicago.

His main requirement for his players was that they be young and willing to work often and cheap. Many jazz players grew to resent O'Hare, who had a habit of being named bandleader of sessions he had only booked (The New Orleans Rhythm Kings formed out of a group of disgruntled O'Hare players (see below)) but O'Hare wasn't a fraud--he had a legitimate taste for jazz, and likely was the person who sold Gennett Records on taking on the King Oliver band and its new trumpeter, Louis Armstrong.

Chris also tells the story of the Friars Society Orchestra's recording of "Tiger Rag" from the same year:

"O'Hare wound up credited as an arranger on the Friars Society Orchestra recording of "Tiger Rag," though O'Hare apparently was nowhere near the studio at the time. Friars Orchestra would soon change its name to the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and become one of the essential jazz bands of the early '20s--its members included the Sicilian clarinet player Leon Roppolo, who would sometimes hurl his clarinet against the wall during a gig when he got in a temper."

I followed up this tune with the 3 Cohens recent version of the tune. I wonder if any listeners were doing the Charleston right across the kitchen floor to that mess!

I played Ivie Anderson, who was the featured vocalist for the Ellington orchestra for some years, do "Truckin'" Here's Rex Stewart, reminiscing (in tempo?) about Anderson:

“The magic of Ivie was in her personality. Her voice wasn’t great, but the moods she projected were fantastic. She did the serious songs in a way to make you weep. And she also did … comedy duets with [Sonny] Greer … which she carried off with all the aplomb of a grand duchess … Offstage our Miss Anderson was another person entirely, bossing the poker game, cussing out Ellington, playing practical jokes or giving some girl advice about love and life. Then sometimes she would sit very quietly, stoically battling the asthsma which took her from us.”

All this and more. Catamount Community Radio, Sunday mornings 10-12 (ET) on WWCU-FM.

1. Manu Dbango – Fleur de marigot
2. Dave Douglas - Woman at Point Zero
3. Coleman Hawkins – The Sheik of Araby
4. Nick Lowe – House for Sale
5. Bruce Springsteen – Teenth Avenue Freeze-out
6. Billie Holiday – Why Was I Born?
7. Toumani Diabati’s Symetrical Orchestra –Single
8. Husk O’Hare’s Super Orchestra of Chicago - San
9. Friars Cociety Orchestra – Tiger Rag
10. 3 Cohens – Tiger Rag
11. Paul Motian w/ Chris Potter – Be Careeful, It’s my Heart
12. Charles Brown – I’ll Get Along Somehow
13. Tony Allen – Progress
14. Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker – My Melancholy Baby
15. Cannonball Adderley – Surrey with a Fringe on Top
16. Tony Malaby w/ Paul Motian – What is this Thing Called Love
17. Aaron Neville – A Hard Nut to Crack
18. Duke Ellington – Caravan
19. DJ Smash – Remix of Dizzy Gillespie’s Caravan
20. Ivie Anderson – Truckin’
21. Larry Goldidngs – This Guy’s in Love with You
22. The Mighty Terror & his Calypsonians – TV Calypso
23. Freddy King – The Bossa Nova Watusi Twist
24. Jimmie Rodgers – In the Jailhouse Now
25. Duke Ellington – Jubilesta
26. Hortense Ellis & Johnny Clarke – This is my Story
27. Anat Cohen – You Never Told me that You Care
28. Sugar Pie DeSantos – Go Go Power
29. John Coltrane – Why Was I Born?

Charles Brown

Anat Cohen



May 2019



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