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Storyville Professors( was: Re: Sam Davis recording)

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  • Tommer
    I think it proves that prof. can come up in several contextes, and I assume that most important is to be sure the right context is used in each case. Which
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 17, 2008
      I think it proves that "prof." can come up in several contextes, and I
      assume that most important is to be sure the right context is used in
      each case. Which brings me back to the 1911 article about "prof. Sam
      Davis". I still don't see why the newspaper will consider all his
      readers to naturally know that Sam Davis got his "Prof." diploma as a
      Storyville Pianist.

      BTW, I am also in doubts Prof. Longhair was of the same Creole
      Storyville tradition. Doctor Clayton who recorded in 1930, got his
      nickname outside the Creole Storyville context. Maybe Longhair got it
      in a similar way. Anyway, the Prof. title didn't stick with no other
      New Orleans as a nickname to the rest of his life, no Professor Morton
      and no other one, so I don't see a reason why to think in the case of
      Longhair it was!
      Tommer
    • Bob Mates
      Hi, Tommer and list: The term professor was used as a measure of respect. W. C. Handy was a musician and a music teacher; thus, professor Handy. In
      Message 2 of 14 , Sep 17, 2008
        Hi, Tommer and list: The term "professor" was used as a measure
        of respect. W. C. Handy was a musician and a music teacher;
        thus, "professor Handy." In gospel music, it was used for people
        who led ensembles--Professor Harold Boggs, or Professor Alex
        Bradford. Professor Longhair was given that name because of his
        ability. Now, you mention Doctor Clayton. (His first name was
        Peter.) According to legend, he was from Africa, where he'd been
        a doctor of some sort. (I was never really sure whether he was a
        true medical doctor, or a root doctor. However, Big Bill Broonzy
        claimed that he was a real doctor, whose drinking forced him to
        be a blues singer. I guess we'll never know. I also think that
        maybe "professor" might have been used in advertising, to give
        the pianist a better image, and make the place where he was
        playing seem more high-class. Bob
      • Robert Greenwood
        Old Deacon Jones He was a preachin King They caught him round the house Tryin-a shake that thing The Mississippi Sheiks He Calls That Religion . Michael The
        Message 3 of 14 , Sep 18, 2008
          Old Deacon Jones
          He was a preachin' King
          They caught him 'round the house
          Tryin-a shake that thing

          The Mississippi Sheiks "He Calls That Religion".

          Michael
          The point I was trying to make is that the term "Professor" for a
          music teacher obviously extended beyond Storyville. I think perhaps
          that in the context of Storyville the term was possibly applied
          ironically. Also, according to Morton and to Pops Foster, pianists
          were often considered effeminate in their choice of instrument.
          Best,
          Robert G.

          --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Michael Rader <Rader.Michael@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Rob
          > Judging by the lyrics of several blues about preachers, I wouldn't
          be so sure about that.
          >
          > Best,
          >
          > Michael
          >
          > > I suspect that Professor Wallace inhabited a world far removed
          from
          > > the
          > > streets of Storyville, unless it was to save the fallen women of
          the
          > > district.
          > > Robert Greenwood.
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Anthony Barnett
          So why were not violinists, the ultimate thought-effeminate instrument in jazz, called Professor. Anthony http://www.abar.net Robert G wrote: The point I was
          Message 4 of 14 , Sep 18, 2008
            So why were not violinists, the ultimate thought-effeminate instrument in
            jazz, called Professor.
            Anthony http://www.abar.net

            Robert G wrote: The point I was trying to make is that the term "Professor"
            for a music teacher obviously extended beyond Storyville. I think perhaps
            that in the context of Storyville the term was possibly applied ironically.
            Also, according to Morton and to Pops Foster, pianists were often considered
            effeminate in their choice of instrument.



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Robert Greenwood
            ... instrument in ... No idea; I am merely reporting what is in the literature. Robert G. Glad to see that Mr Barnett, the violinologist and sometime publisher
            Message 5 of 14 , Sep 18, 2008
              --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Barnett <ab@...> wrote:
              >
              > So why were not violinists, the ultimate thought-effeminate
              instrument in
              > jazz, called Professor.
              > Anthony http://www.abar.net

              No idea; I am merely reporting what is in the literature.
              Robert G.
              Glad to see that Mr Barnett, the violinologist and sometime publisher
              of Prynne subscribes to this list.
            • Tommer
              ... W. C. Handy was a musician and a music teacher; ... Bob, Professor Longhair and Doctor Clayton got their rank in the circles of their friends, which
              Message 6 of 14 , Sep 18, 2008
                --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Bob Mates <bluesbob@...> wrote:
                >
                W. C. Handy was a musician and a music teacher;
                > thus, "professor Handy."

                Bob, Professor Longhair and Doctor Clayton got their rank in the
                circles of their friends, which means it is rather than a rank just a
                nickname.

                The case of the Gospel leaders you mentioned or teachers it is a
                position or a post that regardless of the one holds it he has
                the "rank".

                The 3rd case is that of real professor rank, regardless of what post
                he has at certain time someone is ranked with a professor by
                academias.

                W.C. Handy himself in his book referred to his teacher "professor
                Wallace". However, from what Morton wrote and the comment it seems to
                me that Morton thought Handy presented himself as academia's
                professor which seems like the 3rd case.

                It is possible that not but it seems more logical to me so far
                otherwise Morton's comment has little meaning.
                Tommer
              • Michael Rader
                In the case of Byrd/Longhair it seems to have been the owner of a place where he played in New Orleans (according to Mike Ledbitter in the sleeve notes to the
                Message 7 of 14 , Sep 19, 2008
                  In the case of Byrd/Longhair it seems to have been the owner of a
                  place where he played in New Orleans (according to Mike Ledbitter in
                  the sleeve notes to the Atlantic LP)who first applied the soubriquet
                  "Professor Longhair". The intention again seems to have been the wish
                  to add a touch of "class".

                  "With a band he called The Midriffs Byrd landed his first steady gig
                  in 1949 at one of the most prestigious New Orleans black night spots,
                  the Caledonia Inn, replacing Dave Bartholomew's Swing Band. The owner
                  of the Caledonia referred to Byrd as a "piano professor" and marrying
                  it to his hairstyle of uncustomary long hair the persona of Professor
                  Longhair was born under the renamed title of the band - Professor
                  Longhair and his Four Hairs Combo. The other three hairs were
                  Professors No Hair, Need some Hair and Ain't Got No Hair, the latter
                  being sax player "Apeman" Black who shaved his head." (from a
                  biography by Grant Morris at
                  http://www.professorlonghair.com/archive/bios/gmorris.html

                  Longhair was taught some of the traditions of NO piano by Champion
                  Jack Dupree and Tuts Washington. Although his style is sometimes
                  called "rhumba" inspired, I hear distinct touches of the "Spanish
                  tinge" which would be due to Washington.

                  Michael Rader
                  In reply to Tommer's remark:
                  >
                  > Professor Longhair and Doctor Clayton got their rank in the
                  > circles of their friends, which means it is rather than a rank just a
                  > nickname.
                  >
                • Bob Mates
                  I m not sure that Handy s rank had anything to do with academics. I have a feeling that many people, who taught music, no matter what their education, were
                  Message 8 of 14 , Sep 19, 2008
                    I'm not sure that Handy's rank had anything to do with academics.
                    I have a feeling that many people, who taught music, no matter
                    what their education, were thought of as "professor." The gospel
                    folks were given that name by their fans. Bob
                  • Tommer
                    http://www.doctorjazz.co.uk/page10bc.html Let the horse speak: whoever heard of anyone wearing the title `professor of music advocate ragtime syncopation,
                    Message 9 of 14 , Sep 20, 2008
                      http://www.doctorjazz.co.uk/page10bc.html

                      Let the horse speak:

                      "whoever heard of anyone wearing the title `professor of music'
                      advocate ragtime syncopation, blues or jazz?"

                      A title, and not just a nickname.
                      Anyway, those are Morton's words!
                      Tommer
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