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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Bix Beiderbecke's Birthday!
Posted by Jill | 7:43 PM
There are certain mileposts that point to spring. The first one is the Super Bowl, which marks the end of the football season. The second is the day in mid-February when pitchers and catchers report to spring training. And the final milepost on the way to spring is Bix Beiderbecke's birthday.


I'm more of a fan of the Bix/Frankie Trumbauer cuts, but this rare 1928 newsreel clip of Bix with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra (Bix can be seen about 1:10 in) is worth a look. Says Harry Oakley, who posted it (and disabled embedding):

It turns out that Bix' embouchure was as unorthodox as his valve technique and that he played with puffed cheeks - something which was not known before the discovery of this footage. Although it has been claimed that Bix misses notes and/or plays some notes without puffed cheeks, it is now clear that in fact he is written into the score for only a few notes of the passage and that he deliberately skips notes. Every note he does play is with puffed cheeks.

More about Bix here.


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Blogger Mattttt said...
Jill, thanks for this! My hometown was right near the Quad Cities, and the Bix Festival (and accompanying 7-mile road race) were a big part of my summers there. Thanks for bringing back some good memories to help take the sting off what's been a terrible day just north of the Illinois border.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
if you weren't a liberal, my mother would love you.

mrs. jp


So you're a fan of the Beiderbecke Man, huh? I am, too! I've got every recording he ever made.

God rest his soul.

Tom Degan

Here's Bix Backing up a twenty-four-year-old Bing Crosby on November 24, 1927:

What Are You Waiting For, Mary?

Man! I love this stuff!

Tom Degan