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Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Boyd Atkins - re; talking to Koester and who is Big Boy Williams?

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  • yves francois
    To my friends here at RedHotJazz     I have spoken to Koester this week on a couple of different issues, one was regarding Boyd Atkins. Koester feels that
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 5, 2009
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      To my friends here at RedHotJazz    

      I have spoken to Koester this week on a couple of different issues, one was regarding Boyd Atkins. Koester feels that it was the same man from the information he had, and the career path is somewhat typical of jazz/blues musicians of that generation. If you look at the personnel of jazz and blues musicians of the 20's to 40's you will find that Oliver Alcorn (didn't he play in Celestin's band with Kelly?), Punch Miller, Lee Collins and other NOLA jazz musicians played in the Chicago blues band recording sessions - Alcorn, like Atkins in the post war electric setting that became the signature sound of Chicago blues of the 50's. His going from the south side Chicago stage  bands of the 20's (Dickerson, Black) to the territory bands of the 30's (Rice, own
      bands).   Note this: after speaking to Bob this week, i looked to all the reference books I had and found some data that may cinch this. In Who's Who's In Jazz by Chilton makes references to him playing in Minnesota in the 30's as a bandleader, playing in Peoria in 1940's (Society Swingsters) - and then doing "arranging" in the 50's and performing with the Big Boy Williams combo. There is a reference to one Big Boy Williams is a  blues singer, the standard discographical references have a session on Annie records with a sax, harp and rhythm section doing 4 numbers. This may be yet another clue to our man. I think between Koester and Chilton we can presume they to be the same man - but is the blues singer who recorded for Annie records in 1966 from Chicago or at least a midwestern city?. I will ask Bob and other Chicago blues veterans if they heard of Big Boy Williams or Annie records (both records were supposedly issued as Annie
      1967 and rec in 1966) - or does anyone here know?
      I hope this helps out - any other queries?
      Yves Francois Smierciak
    • robertgreenwood_54uk
      ... Yves: Very many thanks for this. I don t know about Oliver Alcorn playing in Celestin s band alongside Kelly (they certainly did not record together) but
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 5, 2009
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        --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, yves francois <aprestitine@...> wrote:
        >
        > To my friends here at RedHotJazz    
        >
        > I have spoken to Koester this week on a couple of different issues, one was regarding Boyd Atkins. Koester feels that it was the same man from the information he had, and the career path is somewhat typical of jazz/blues musicians of that generation. If you look at the personnel of jazz and blues musicians of the 20's to 40's you will find that Oliver Alcorn (didn't he play in Celestin's band with Kelly?), Punch Miller, Lee Collins and other NOLA jazz musicians played in the Chicago blues band recording sessions

        Yves: Very many thanks for this. I don't know about Oliver Alcorn playing in Celestin's band alongside Kelly (they certainly did not record together) but Alcorn did record in 1947 with Lee Collins & Little Brother Montgomery. About 10 years before that, Punch recorded some great sides with Big Bill Broonzy. The most obvious links between NO Jazz and the Chicago blues scene at that time comes, of course, in the recordings of the Harlem Hamfats.

        One thing I would like to ask about, though, are the excursions run by the Illinois Central railroad (& others?) to Chicago & Memphis. It's said that these trips were to enable people still living in the South to visit those of their family & friends who had moved North, and that such excursions often carried a band along both to entertain passengers and to advertise the excursions themselves. It seems that Guy Kelly first visited Chicago in such a band, and that Punch Miller as a young man first heard Bunk when he (Bunk) played a similar gig. Are there any further accounts of this practice, or any advertisements for these trips in the African-American press of the time?

        Robert G.
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