8904Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Frank "Josh" Billings
- Dec 1, 2011The "train station" photograph reproduced in your excellent article on Josh
Billings was almost certainly taken on October 28th, 1928, when Paul
Whiteman and his Orchestra - including Bix Beiderbecke and Frank Trumbauer
- visited New Orleans during a long tour. Both Philip Evans in "Bix: The
Leon Bix Beiderbecke Story" and Jean Paul Lion in "Bix: The Definitive
Biography of a Jazz Legend" give the date of the photograph as October
28th, 1928, and state that it shows Bix and Trumbauer, not Bix and
Billings. In the earlier biography "Bix: Man And Legend" (by Richard
Sudhalter and Philip Evans) the photo is stated to have been taken during
the Spring of 1929, when the Whiteman Orchestra was en route to Hollywood
to make "The King Of Jazz", but other photographs taken during the same
period show Whiteman to be fatter and older-looking.
Another photograph taken a few minutes earlier (or later) than the one
reproduced in your article shows the Whiteman band's clarinettist Irving
Friedman, Bix and Whiteman himself on the same train platform.
Incidentally, Bix, Whiteman and Trumbauer are wearing identical hats, and
all except Whiteman are wearing similar grey suits. This may signify that
the apparel was bought by the Whiteman office for the band members to wear
during the tour. Whiteman is wearing a white suit.
I am sure that it is Frank Trumbauer not Josh Billings in the photo in your
article, and the evidence available suggests that this is the case. Another
clue is the fact that in the Metronome article the photo of Bix and
Trumbauer was reproduced courtesy of Frank Trumbauer.
Finally, I'd like to extend my gratitude to Albert Haim for his help in
providing important information concerning this photograph.
On 29 November 2011 22:58, gerry.paton <gerry.paton@...> wrote:
> Apologies for reviving this old thread, but I just posted a lengthy
> article about Frank Billings on my website. For those interested, here's
> the direct link (PDF format):
> Also accessible via the articles section of my site:
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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