John Cornelius Hodges was an American alto saxophonist, best known for solo work with Duke Ellington's big band. He played lead alto in the saxophone section for many years. Hodges was featured on soprano saxophone, but refused to play soprano after 1946, he is considered one of the definitive alto saxophone players of the big band era. Hodges started playing with Sidney Bechet, Luckey Roberts and Chick Webb; when Ellington wanted to expand his band in 1928, Ellington's clarinet player Barney Bigard recommended Hodges. His playing became one of the identifying voices of the Ellington orchestra. From 1951 to 1955, Hodges left the Duke to lead his own band, but returned shortly before Ellington's triumphant return to prominence – the orchestra's performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. Hodges was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to John H. Hodges and Katie Swan Hodges, both from Virginia. Soon afterwards, the family moved to Hammond Street in Boston, where he grew up with baritone saxophonist Harry Carney, saxophonists Charlie Holmes and Howard E. Johnson.
His first instruments were drums and piano. While his mother was a skilled piano player, Hodges was self-taught. Once he became good enough, he played the piano at dances in private homes for eight dollars an evening, he had taken up the soprano saxophone by his teens. It was around this time that Hodges developed the nickname "Rabbit", which some people believe arose from his ability to win 100-yard dashes and outrun truant officers. In fact, Carney called him Rabbit because of his rabbit-like nibbling on lettuce and tomato sandwiches; when Hodges was 14, he saw Sidney Bechet play in Jimmy Cooper's Black and White Revue in a Boston burlesque hall. Hodges' sister got to know Bechet, which gave him the inspiration to introduce himself and play "My Honey's Lovin Arms" for Bechet. Bechet was encouraged him to keep on playing. Hodges built a name for himself in the Boston area before moving to New York in 1924. Hodges joined Duke Ellington's orchestra in November 1928, he was one of the prominent Ellington Band members who featured in Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall concert.
Goodman described Hodges as "by far the greatest man on alto sax that I heard." Charlie Parker called him "the Lily Pons of his instrument." Ellington's practice of writing tunes for members of his orchestra resulted in the Hodges specialties, "Confab with Rab", "Jeep's Blues", "Sultry Sunset", "Hodge Podge". Other songs recorded by the Ellington Orchestra which prominently feature Hodges' smooth alto saxophone sound are "Magenta Haze", "Prelude to a Kiss", "Haupe" – notable are the "seductive" and hip-swaying "Flirtibird", featuring the "irresistibly salacious tremor" by Hodges, "The Star-Crossed Lovers" from Ellington's Such Sweet Thunder suite, "I Got It Bad", "Blood Count" and "Passion Flower", he had a pure tone and economy of melody on both the blues and ballads that won him admiration from musicians of all eras and styles, from Ben Webster and John Coltrane, who both played with him when he had his own orchestra in the 1950s, to Lawrence Welk, who featured him in an album of standards.
His individualistic playing style, which featured the use of a wide vibrato and much sliding between slurred notes, was imitated. As evidenced by the Ellington compositions named after him, he earned the nicknames Jeep and Rabbit – according to Johnny Griffin because "he looked like a rabbit, no expression on his face while he's playing all this beautiful music." In the 1940s, Hodges played a Conn 6M and on a Buescher 400 alto saxophone. By the end of his career in the late 1960s, Hodges was playing a Vito LeBlanc Rationale alto, an instrument with unusual key-mechanisms and tone-hole placement, which gave superior intonation. Fewer than 2,000 were made. Hodges' Vito saxophone was silver-plated and extensively engraved on the bell, bow and key-cups of the instrument. Hodges' last performances were at the Imperial Room in Toronto, less than a week before his May 11, 1970 death from a heart attack, suffered during a visit to the office of a dental surgeon, his last recordings are featured on the New Orleans Suite, only half-finished when he died.
He had a wife, Edith Cue, two children: John Hodges Jr. and Lorna Majata. The loss of Hodges' sound prompted Ellington, upon learning of the musician's death from a heart attack, to lament to JET magazine: "The band will never sound the same without Johnny." In Ellington's eulogy of Hodges, he said: "Never the world's most animated showman or greatest stage personality, but a tone so beautiful it sometimes brought tears to the eyes—this was Johnny Hodges. This is Johnny Hodges." 1946: Passion Flower with Willie Cook, Roy Eldridge, Quentin Jackson, Russell Procope, Ben Webster, Sam Woodyard 1951: Caravan with Taft Jordan, Harold Baker, Juan Tizol, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Oscar Pettiford, Sonny Greer 1951-52: Castle Rock 1952: In a Tender Mood 1952-54: The Blues 1951-54: More of Johnny Hodges 1951-54: Memories of Ellington released as In a Mellow Tone 1954: Used to Be Duke 1952–55: Dance Bash released as Perdido 1955: Creamy 1956: Ellingtonia'56 1956: Duke's in Bed 1957: The Big Sound 1958: Blues A-Plenty 1958: Not So Dukish 1959: Johnny Hodges and His Strings Play the Prettiest Gershwin 1959: Back to Back: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges Play the Blues with Duke E
Dinah Washington was an American singer and pianist, cited as "the most popular black female recording artist of the'50s". A jazz vocalist, she performed and recorded in a wide variety of styles including blues, R&B, traditional pop music, gave herself the title of "Queen of the Blues", she was a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Ruth Lee Jones was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Alice Jones, moved to Chicago as a child, she became involved in gospel and played piano for the choir in St. Luke's Baptist Church while still in elementary school, she sang gospel music in church and played piano, directing her church choir in her teens and being a member of the Sallie Martin Gospel Singers. She sang lead with the first female gospel singers formed by Ms. Martin, co-founder of the Gospel Singers Convention, her involvement with the gospel choir occurred after she won an amateur contest at Chicago's Regal Theater where she sang "I Can't Face the Music".
After winning a talent contest at the age of 15, she began performing in clubs. By 1941–42 she was performing in such Chicago clubs as Dave's Rhumboogie and the Downbeat Room of the Sherman Hotel, she was playing at the Three Deuces, a jazz club, when a friend took her to hear Billie Holiday at the Garrick Stage Bar. Club owner Joe Sherman was so impressed with her singing of "I Understand", backed by the Cats and the Fiddle, who were appearing in the Garrick's upstairs room, that he hired her. During her year at the Garrick – she sang upstairs while Holiday performed in the downstairs room – she acquired the name by which she became known, she credited Joe Sherman with suggesting the change from Ruth Jones, made before Lionel Hampton came to hear Dinah at the Garrick. Hampton's visit brought an offer, Washington worked as his female band vocalist after she had sung with the band for its opening at the Chicago Regal Theatre, she made her recording debut for the Keynote label that December with "Evil Gal Blues", written by Leonard Feather and backed by Hampton and musicians from his band, including Joe Morris and Milt Buckner.
Both that record and its follow-up, "Salty Papa Blues", made the Billboard "Harlem Hit Parade" in 1944. In December 1945 she made a series of twelve recordings for Apollo Records, 10 of which were issued, featuring the "Lucky Thompson All Stars."She stayed with Hampton's band until 1946, after the Keynote label folded, signed for Mercury Records as a solo singer. Her first record for Mercury, a version of Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'", was another hit, starting a long string of success. Between 1948 and 1955, she had 27 R&B top ten hits, making her one of the most popular and successful singers of the period. Both "Am I Asking Too Much" and "Baby Get Lost" reached Number 1 on the R&B chart, her version of "I Wanna Be Loved" crossed over to reach Number 22 on the US pop chart, her hit recordings included blues, novelties, pop covers, a version of Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart". At the same time as her biggest popular success, she recorded sessions with many leading jazz musicians, including Clifford Brown and Clark Terry on the album Dinah Jams, recorded with Cannonball Adderley and Ben Webster.
In 1959, she had her first top ten pop hit, with a version of "What a Diff'rence a Day Made", which made Number 4 on the US pop chart. Her band at that time included arranger Belford Hendricks, with Kenny Burrell, Joe Zawinul, Panama Francis, she followed it up with a version of Irving Gordon's "Unforgettable", two successful duets in 1960 with Brook Benton, "Baby" and "A Rockin' Good Way". Her last big hit was "September in the Rain" in 1961, she notably performed two numbers in the dirty blues genre. The songs were "Long John Blues" about her dentist, with lyrics. Told me to open wide, he said he wouldn't hurt me, but he filled my whole inside." She recorded a song called "Big Long Sliding Thing" about a trombonist. In the 1950s and early 1960s before her death, Washington performed on the Las Vegas Strip. Tony Bennett said of Washington during a recording session with Amy Winehouse: "She was a good friend of mine, you know, she was great. She used to just come in with two suitcases in Vegas without being booked.
And she'd just put the suitcases down. And she'd say "I'm here, boss", and she'd stay as long. And all the kids in all the shows on the Strip would come that night. They'd hear that she's in town and it would be packed just for her performance". According to Richard S. Ginell at AllMusic: was at once one of the most beloved and controversial singers of the mid-20th century – beloved to her fans and fellow singers, her principal sin was to cultivate a distinctive vocal style, at home in all kinds of music, be it R&B, jazz, middle of the road pop – and she would have made a fine gospel or country singer had she the time. Hers was a gritty, high-pitched voice, marked by absolute clarity of diction and clipped, bluesy phrasing... Washington was well known for singing torch songs. In 1962, Dinah hired a male backing trio called the Allegros, consisting of Jimmy Thomas on drums, Earl Edwards on sax, Jimmy Sigler on organ. Edwards was replaced on sax by John Payne. A Variety writer
Café Society was a New York City nightclub open from 1938 to 1948 at Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village, managed by Barney Josephson. Josephson created the club to showcase African American talent and to be an American version of the political cabarets he had seen in Europe earlier; as well as running the first racially integrated night club in the United States, Josephson intended the club to defy the pretensions of the rich. Josephson not only trademarked the name, which had not been trademarked by the gossip columnist for the New York Journal American M, who wrote as the first "Cholly Knickerbocker", but advertised the club as "The Wrong Place for the Right People". Josephson opened a second branch on 58th Street, between Lexington and Park Avenue, in 1940. After that, the original club was known as Café Society Downtown and the new club—designed for a different audience—as Café Society Uptown; the club prided itself on treating black and white customers unlike many venues, such as the Cotton Club, that featured black performers but barred black customers except for prominent blacks in the entertainment industry.
The club featured many of the greatest black musicians of the day, from a wide range of backgrounds presented with a political bent. Billie Holiday first sang "Strange Fruit" there. Lena Horne was persuaded to stop singing "When it's Sleepy Time Down South", Pearl Bailey was fired for being "too much of an Uncle Tom", Carol Channing was fired for an impersonation of Ethel Waters. Relying on the keen musical judgment of John Hammond, the club's "unofficial music director", Josephson helped launch the careers of Ruth Brown, Lena Horne, dancer Pearl Primus, Hazel Scott, Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons, Big Joe Turner, Sarah Vaughan, popularized gospel groups such as the Dixie Hummingbirds and the Golden Gate Quartet among white audiences. Many of these acts had first been presented at Hammond's Carnegie Hall concerts, From Spirituals to Swing, in 1938 and 1939, its defining star in the early 1940s was Josh White, who first appeared there with a gospel group, the Carolinians went on to head the bill as a solo performer for four years.
As part of the challenge to integrate America's segregated society, Josephson's club was the scene of numerous political events and fundraisers for left-wing causes, both during and after World War II. In 1947, Josephson's brother Leon Josephson was subpoenaed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which led to hostile comments from columnists Westbrook Pegler and Walter Winchell. Business dropped as a result, the club closed the following year. In Summer 1948, jazz pianist Calvin Jackson played with dancer Avon Long. On December 5, 1948, dancer Pearl Primus closed a successful return engagement before heading off for a year's research in Africa on research as a Rosenewald Fellow. Barney Josephson Leon Josephson Media related to Café Society at Wikimedia Commons
Thomas Francis Dorsey Jr. was an American jazz trombonist, composer and bandleader of the big band era. He was known as the "Sentimental Gentleman of Swing" because of his smooth-toned trombone playing, his technical skill on the trombone gave him renown among other musicians. He was the younger brother of bandleader Jimmy Dorsey. After Dorsey broke with his brother in the mid-1930s, he led an popular and successful band from the late 1930s into the 1950s, he is best remembered for standards such as "Opus One", "Song of India", "Marie", "On Treasure Island", his biggest hit single, "I'll Never Smile Again". Born in Mahanoy Plane, Thomas Francis Dorsey Jr. was the second of four children born to Thomas Francis Dorsey Sr. a bandleader, Theresa Dorsey. He and Jimmy, his older brother by less than two years, would become famous as the Dorsey Brothers; the two younger siblings were Edward, who died young. Tommy Dorsey studied the trumpet with his father but switched to trombone. At age 15, Jimmy recommended Tommy to replace Russ Morgan in The Scranton Sirens, a territory band in the 1920s.
Tommy and Jimmy worked in bands led by Tal Henry, Rudy Vallee, Vincent Lopez, Nathaniel Shilkret. In 1923, Dorsey followed Jimmy to Detroit to play in Jean Goldkette's band and returned to New York in 1925 to play with the California Ramblers. In 1927 he joined Paul Whiteman. In 1929, the Dorsey Brothers had their first hit with "Coquette" for OKeh Records. In 1934, the Dorsey Brothers band signed with Decca, having a hit with "I Believe in Miracles". Glenn Miller was a member of the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra in 1934 and 1935, composing "Annie's Cousin Fanny", "Tomorrow's Another Day", "Harlem Chapel Chimes", "Dese Dem Dose", all recorded for Decca, for the band. Acrimony between the brothers led to Tommy Dorsey's walking out to form his own band in 1935 as the orchestra was having a hit with "Every Little Moment". Dorsey's orchestra was known for its renderings of ballads at dance tempos with singers such as Jack Leonard and Frank Sinatra. Tommy Dorsey's first band was formed out of the remains of the Joe Haymes band, so began Dorsey's long-running practice of raiding other bands for talent.
If he admired a vocalist, musician or arranger, he would think nothing of taking over their contracts and careers. Dorsey had a reputation for being a perfectionist, he was known to hire and fire and sometimes rehire musicians based on his mood. The new band was popular from the moment it signed with RCA Victor with "On Treasure Island", the first of four hits in 1935. After his 1935 recording, Dorsey's manager dropped the "hot jazz" that Dorsey had mixed with his own lyrical style and instead had Dorsey play pop and vocal tunes. Dorsey would keep his Clambake Seven as a Dixieland group; the Dorsey band had a national radio presence in 1936, first from Dallas and from Los Angeles. Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra took over comedian Jack Pearl's radio show in 1937. By 1939, Dorsey was aware of criticism, he hired arranger Sy Oliver away from the Jimmie Lunceford band. Sy Oliver's arrangements include "On The Sunny Side of the Street" and "T. D.'s Boogie Woogie". In 1940, Dorsey hired singer Frank Sinatra from bandleader Harry James.
Frank Sinatra made eighty recordings from 1940 to 1942 with the Dorsey band. Two of those eighty songs are "In the Blue of Evening" and "This Love of Mine". Frank Sinatra achieved his first great success as a vocalist in the Dorsey band and claimed he learned breath control from watching Dorsey play trombone. In turn, Dorsey said his trombone style was influenced by that of Jack Teagarden. Among Dorsey's staff of arrangers was Axel Stordahl who arranged for Frank Sinatra in his Columbia and Capitol years. Another member of the Dorsey band was trombonist Nelson Riddle, who had a partnership as one of Sinatra's arrangers and conductors in the 1950s and afterwards. Another noted Dorsey arranger, who, in the 1950s, married and was professionally associated with Dorsey veteran Jo Stafford, was Paul Weston. Bill Finegan, an arranger who left Glenn Miller's civilian band, arranged for the Tommy Dorsey band from 1942 to 1950; the band featured a number of instrumentalists and arrangers in the 1930s and'40s, including trumpeters Zeke Zarchy, Bunny Berigan, Ziggy Elman, Doc Severinsen, Charlie Shavers, pianists Milt Raskin, Jess Stacy, clarinetists Buddy DeFranco, Johnny Mince, Peanuts Hucko.
Others who played with Dorsey were drummers Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Dave Tough saxophonist Tommy Reed, singers Frank Sinatra, Jack Leonard, Edythe Wright, Jo Stafford with The Pied Pipers, Dick Haymes, Connie Haines. In 1944, Dorsey hired the Sentimentalists. Dorsey performed with singer Connee Boswell He hired ex-bandleader and drummer Gene Krupa after Krupa's arrest for marijuana possession in 1943. In 1942 Artie Shaw broke up his band, Dorsey hired the Shaw string section; as George Simon in Metronome magazine noted at the time, "They're used in the foreground and background for vocal effects and for Tommy's trombone."As Dorsey became successful, he made further business decisions in the music industry. He loaned Glenn Miller money to launch Miller's successful band of 1938, but Dorsey saw the loan as an investment, entitling him to a percentage of Miller's income; when Miller balked at this, the angry Dorsey got by sponsoring a new band led by Bob Chester, hiring arrangers who deliberately copied Miller's style and sound.
Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd most 34th most populous of the 50 United States, it is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana to the south, Arkansas and Louisiana to the west. The state's western boundary is defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson, with a population of 167,000 people, is both the state's capital and largest city; the state is forested outside the Mississippi Delta area, the area between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. Before the American Civil War, most development in the state was along riverfronts, as the waterways were critical for transportation. Large gangs of slaves were used to work on cotton plantations. After the war, freedmen began to clear the bottomlands to the interior, in the process selling off timber and buying property. By the end of the 19th century, African Americans made up two-thirds of the Delta's property owners, but timber and railroad companies acquired much of the land after the financial crisis, which occurred when blacks were facing increasing racial discrimination and disfranchisement in the state.
Clearing of the land for plantations altered the Delta's ecology, increasing the severity of flooding along the Mississippi by taking out trees and bushes that had absorbed excess waters. Much land is now held by agribusinesses. A rural state with agricultural areas dominated by industrial farms, Mississippi is ranked low or last among the states in such measures as health, educational attainment, median household income; the state's catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States. Since the 1930s and the Great Migration of African Americans to the North and West, the majority of Mississippi's population has been white, although the state still has the highest percentage of black residents of any U. S. state. From the early 19th century to the 1930s, its residents were majority black, before the American Civil War that population was composed of African-American slaves. Democratic Party whites retained political power through disfranchisement and Jim Crow laws.
In the first half of the 20th century, nearly 400,000 rural blacks left the state for work and opportunities in northern and midwestern cities, with another wave of migration around World War II to West Coast cities. In the early 1960s, Mississippi was the poorest state in the nation, with 86% of its non-whites living below the poverty level. In 2010, 37% of Mississippians were African Americans, the highest percentage of African Americans in any U. S. state. Since regaining enforcement of their voting rights in the late 1960s, most African Americans have supported Democratic candidates in local and national elections. Conservative whites have shifted to the Republican Party. African Americans are a majority in many counties of the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta, an area of historic slave settlement during the plantation era; the state's name is derived from the Mississippi River. Settlers named it after the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi. Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to its namesake, major rivers in Mississippi include the Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo River, the Pascagoula River, the Tombigbee River. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake, Grenada Lake with the largest lake being Sardis Lake. Mississippi is composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, 807 feet above sea level; the lowest point is sea level at the Gulf Coast. The state's mean elevation is 300 feet above sea level. Most of Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain; the coastal plain is composed of low hills, such as the Pine Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. The Pontotoc Ridge and the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations. Yellow-brown loess soil is found in the western parts of the state; the northeast is a region of fertile black earth. The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis and Pascagoula, it is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound, sheltered by Petit Bois Island, Horn Island and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round Island, Cat Island.
The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi Delta, a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. The plain widens north of Vicksburg; the region has rich soil made up of silt, deposited by the flood waters of the Mississippi River. Areas under the management of the National Park Service include: Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site near Baldwyn Gulf Islands National Seashore Natchez National Historical Park in Natchez Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tupelo Natchez Trace Parkway Tupelo National Battlefield in Tupelo Vicksburg National Military Park and Cemetery in Vicksburg Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 20,000 but fewer than 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 10,000 but fewer than 20,000: Mississippi has a humid