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RE: [RedHotJazz] Re: The Myth of Bix's Strained Relationships With His Parents

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  • Ron L'Herault
    ISTR reading that after Bix died, it came to light that his family had all the records Bix sent home, in a box, still sealed and unplayed. Maybe this is the
    Message 1 of 30 , Apr 16 5:32 PM
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      ISTR reading that after Bix died, it came to light that his family had all
      the records Bix sent home, in a box, still sealed and unplayed. Maybe this
      is the source of the idea that his family didn't approve.

      Ron L

      -----Original Message-----
      From: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of pdqblues
      Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2006 3:33 PM
      To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: The Myth of Bix's Strained Relationships With His
      Parents

      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Albert Haim" <alberthaim@...> wrote:

      > It is high time that the myth of Bix's parents ostracizing their son
      > for having gone into the "low life" path of a jazz/dance band musician
      > be put to rest.
      >
      > Albert
      >


      Hi Albert,

      Thank you for the information to rectify my misconception that I had
      (through false or misleading stories I was given) about Bix and his
      family life. Clearly, from the information you present, Bix's family
      life may not have had any more stress and strife than any other
      typical American family. And as such, especially since there is no
      information to support anything other, I will avoid perpetuating the
      myth about Bix's family life.

      With that said, I can't help but wonder if the myth of Bix having a
      rejected family life was "created" as a result of his alcoholism.
      When Bix died, no doubt there were people (musicians and listeners
      alike) who held Bix in high esteem. Since alcoholism was at that time
      considered a personal problem, his fans may have simply "assumed" Bix
      became an alcoholic as a result of an abusive family upbringing.

      To a lesser extent, we (at least people here in the U.S.) still
      transpose blame and responsibility onto other factors. Although we
      now acknowledge alcoholism as a health issue, we look at the
      ever-increasing issue of obesity in children and blame McDonalds,
      video games and everything else except for the kids themselves.
      Sorry, but the obesity equation is simple: you consume more calories
      than you burn off, you get fat.

      So, I wonder if something similar was happening back when Bix dies.
      Bix died from his alcoholism, so he must have had a very bad family
      life that made him an alcoholic. The myth perpetuates because those
      who love Bix's music may find it easier to blame the alcoholism on his
      family, rather than Bix himself.

      And gain, thank you for educating someone like me who admits lacking
      in the book knowledge of Jazz that most of you who post have.

      And Happy Easter.

      Best,

      Paul







      Yahoo! Groups Links
    • skippyfan_1999
      ... had all ... Maybe this ... The unopened boxes of records is one of those stubborn myths that just won t go away. It s romantic, but not accurate, and it s
      Message 2 of 30 , Apr 17 2:11 AM
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        --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Ron L'Herault" <lherault@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > ISTR reading that after Bix died, it came to light that his family
        had all
        > the records Bix sent home, in a box, still sealed and unplayed.
        Maybe this
        > is the source of the idea that his family didn't approve.
        >
        > Ron L


        The unopened boxes of records is one of those stubborn myths that
        just won't go away. It's romantic, but not accurate, and it's no
        wonder people believe it's true for it's been repeated in
        biographies and documentaries over and over. Phil Evans, in his
        research, discovered through Bix's brother, that Bix didn't send any
        records home.

        It's possible (and this is purely speculation on my part) that Bix
        may have mailed the odd record home ahead of him to his parents'
        just before a visit, (so that he wouldn't have to travel with
        something so fragile). His parents left the package alone to be
        opened by him, not wanting to be nosy, and instead, unintentionally
        hurt his feelings by doing so.

        I wouldn't be surprised if the story has some small spark of truth
        to it, and has just been blown way out of proportion, maybe by Bix
        himself. During the time that this incident allegedly took place,
        Bix was in poor health, depressed, worn out, and most likely overly-
        sensitive and such a small thing could've sparked some exaggerated
        comments by Bix to his friend who related the story. Then again,
        his friend, who didn't seem to get along with Bix's family, may have
        exaggerated it, or a writer taking down the story exaggerated it,
        and so now you have the very dramatic: "He mailed home every record
        he cut and his parents never listened to a single one" story. Oh
        well, it's helped Bix's story endure, but it is untrue, and a
        terrible legacy for his family to have to carry.
      • Robert Greenwood
        Just to add my two-penn orth to this matter: I would add Johnny Wiggs as another Bixian cornet man, although, I suppose, since Wiggs was a New Orleans man,
        Message 3 of 30 , Apr 18 4:12 AM
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          Just to add my two-penn'orth to this matter: I would add Johnny Wiggs
          as another Bixian cornet man, although, I suppose, since Wiggs was a
          New Orleans man, there may be some question as to whether, in Wiggs, we
          are hearing Bix through the possible common influence on both players
          of Emmett Hardy.
          As to Wild Bill, I've always felt that he was a possible influence,
          among others, on the playing of Ruby Braff.
          Robert Greenwood.
        • Albert Haim
          I just ran across this and I thought it would be of interest. From Swing Shift, A Profile of Artie Shaw by Aaron Cohen, in Issue #8 of The Baffler and
          Message 4 of 30 , Apr 23 5:46 AM
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            I just ran across this and I thought it would be of interest.

            From Swing Shift, A Profile of Artie Shaw by Aaron Cohen, in Issue #8
            of The Baffler and reprinted in the Jazz Journalists Association
            website http://www.jazzhouse.org

            "In one of the gems of Shaw's later years, "Love of My Life," he shows
            how an alluring solo can be built on concentrated restraint. The
            compilation on which that song appears, The Last Recordings,
            demonstrates the influence on Shaw of such varied figures as Bela
            Bartok and onetime Shaw roommate Bix Beiderbecke."

            That was one my points in previous posts. Bix's influence/inspiration
            on several musicians was more subtle (just like his playing) than
            Armstrong's. I am not asserting that Bix's influence is as important
            as Armstrong's, that would be foolish. But in a restrained manner,
            Bix's imprint is a lot wider than it would seem at first glance.

            Albert



            --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Greenwood"
            <robertgreenwood_54uk@...> wrote:
            >
            > Just to add my two-penn'orth to this matter: I would add Johnny Wiggs
            > as another Bixian cornet man, although, I suppose, since Wiggs was a
            > New Orleans man, there may be some question as to whether, in Wiggs, we
            > are hearing Bix through the possible common influence on both players
            > of Emmett Hardy.
            > As to Wild Bill, I've always felt that he was a possible influence,
            > among others, on the playing of Ruby Braff.
            > Robert Greenwood.
            >
          • Albert Haim
            Chapter 24 of Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History, edited by Robert Walser (Oxford University, 1998) is Duke Ellington Explains Swing, an article by
            Message 5 of 30 , Apr 23 5:55 PM
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              Chapter 24 of "Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History," edited by
              Robert Walser (Oxford University, 1998) is "Duke Ellington Explains
              Swing," an article by Ellington originally published with the title
              "Music Is Tops To You And Me ... And Swing Is A Part Of It," Tops,
              1938, pp. 14-18. Ellington writes the following about Bix.

              "King Oliver, in Chicago, presented Louis Armstrong to a fascinated
              public in 1922. That amazing Negro trumpeter, who made free with any
              and every score offered him, had convinced young Bix Beiderbecke that
              his white man's trumpeting was corny. Bix adopted the Armstrong
              technique, became the greatest of white trumpeters, joined Paul
              Whiteman, and profoundly influenced all other contemporary trumpeters.
              That's all part of the history."
              Only in part, part of the history I know. Why, oh why is there so much
              misinformation written about Bix? True, Bix "profoundly influenced all
              other contemporary trumpeters" as we have discussed extensively in the
              current thread. But, "Bix adopted the Armstrong technique"? Couldn't
              Ellington hear with his own ears the enormous differences between
              Louis's and Bix's techniques? Louis the spectacular and histrionic
              techniqe; Bix the understated and subtle technique?

              Albert




              --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Albert Haim" <alberthaim@...> wrote:
              >
              > I just ran across this and I thought it would be of interest.
              >
              > From Swing Shift, A Profile of Artie Shaw by Aaron Cohen, in Issue #8
              > of The Baffler and reprinted in the Jazz Journalists Association
              > website http://www.jazzhouse.org
              >
              > "In one of the gems of Shaw's later years, "Love of My Life," he shows
              > how an alluring solo can be built on concentrated restraint. The
              > compilation on which that song appears, The Last Recordings,
              > demonstrates the influence on Shaw of such varied figures as Bela
              > Bartok and onetime Shaw roommate Bix Beiderbecke."
              >
              > That was one my points in previous posts. Bix's influence/inspiration
              > on several musicians was more subtle (just like his playing) than
              > Armstrong's. I am not asserting that Bix's influence is as important
              > as Armstrong's, that would be foolish. But in a restrained manner,
              > Bix's imprint is a lot wider than it would seem at first glance.
              >
              > Albert
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Greenwood"
              > <robertgreenwood_54uk@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Just to add my two-penn'orth to this matter: I would add Johnny Wiggs
              > > as another Bixian cornet man, although, I suppose, since Wiggs was a
              > > New Orleans man, there may be some question as to whether, in
              Wiggs, we
              > > are hearing Bix through the possible common influence on both players
              > > of Emmett Hardy.
              > > As to Wild Bill, I've always felt that he was a possible influence,
              > > among others, on the playing of Ruby Braff.
              > > Robert Greenwood.
              > >
              >
            • kknauer
              Corny my butt! (cough, cough, excuse me, but REALLY, give me a break!) ... From: Albert Haim Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: Singin the Blues, Bix, and Tram More
              Message 6 of 30 , Apr 23 8:11 PM
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                Corny my butt! (cough, cough, excuse me, but REALLY, give me a break!)
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Albert Haim
                Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: "Singin' the Blues, Bix, and Tram" More About The Bix Influence


                "King Oliver, in Chicago, presented Louis Armstrong to a fascinated
                public in 1922. That amazing Negro trumpeter, who made free with any
                and every score offered him, had convinced young Bix Beiderbecke that
                his white man's trumpeting was corny.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • David Brown
                Hello Albert I have been scouring my Ellingtonia for Bix ref. A 1969 Newsweek interview as reported in Jewell :- I used to hear Paul Whiteman records
                Message 7 of 30 , Apr 24 6:18 AM
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                  Hello Albert

                  I have been scouring my Ellingtonia for Bix ref. A 1969 'Newsweek'
                  interview as reported in Jewell :-

                  ' I used to hear Paul Whiteman records taking the snobbishness out of music
                  and opening the doors for musicians like Beiderbecke and the Dorseys, who
                  had great talent and impeccable taste. '

                  Collier observes whole tone scales in 'New Orleans Lowdown' and 'Awful Sad'
                  and muses that these came into the band through Whetsol who had picked it up
                  from Bix 'who knew some of the Ellington men and was using whole tone scales
                  himself.'

                  Several sources report Bix's presence at Ellington gigs and one has him
                  sitting in.

                  As to the 1938 article, caution. How much is Ellington ? The vocabulary,
                  content and, for Ellington, racially assertive tone strain credulity.

                  I agree, I hear no Louis at all in Bix.



                  Dave


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • kknauer
                  I thought Bix s use of the whole tone scale was something influenced by the impressionist composers he listened to. (Boy, I wish I knew more about music, I
                  Message 8 of 30 , Apr 24 3:38 PM
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                    I thought Bix's use of the whole tone scale was something influenced by the impressionist composers he listened to. (Boy, I wish I knew more about music, I can play it a little but I sure as heck can't read it.)


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: David Brown
                    Subject: RE: [RedHotJazz] Re: "Singin' the Blues, Bix, and Tram" More About The Bix Influence


                    Hello Albert

                    I have been scouring my Ellingtonia for Bix ref. A 1969 'Newsweek'
                    interview as reported in Jewell :-

                    Collier observes whole tone scales in 'New Orleans Lowdown' and 'Awful Sad'
                    and muses that these came into the band through Whetsol who had picked it up
                    from Bix 'who knew some of the Ellington men and was using whole tone scales
                    himself.'

                    Several sources report Bix's presence at Ellington gigs and one has him
                    sitting in.

                    Dave

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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