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Monday, October 1, 2012




One possible explanation for the duplication of material on these last Calliope releases would be that they had released everything that had been acquired and wished to continue with the few remaining tapes that were unreleased and stretched the LP run by duplicating sessions that had already been released.  Perhaps they felt that the previous combination of sessions would not appeal to all buyers and a new coupling would stimulate sales.

Calliope CAL 3032 once again presented the Leroy Vinnegar and Jeri Southern tracks that had been released on CAL 3007 with the tracks presented in different order.  The production script for this show can be viewed at our entry for CAL 3007.

Billie Holiday & Howard Lucraft at Jazz City

The Billie Holiday and Pete Jolly program aired on August 13, 1956.  It was the 8th show in the series and once  again the talent was  drawn from their current engagement at Jazz City in Hollywood.  Billie Holiday was accompanied by Corky Hale on piano plus Pete Jolly’s rhythm section, Bob Bertaux on bass and Bob Neel on drums.  Corky recounted how she came to be Billie’s pianist for the Jazz City gig and the Stars of Jazz appearance in an interview that was published on Marc Myers JAZZ WAX blog.  

"In 1956, when I was singing with Freddy Martin at the Coconut Grove in L.A., Jerry Gray heard me singing on our nightly radio remotes. He called and asked me to play piano and sing with his orchestra at the Dunes in Las Vegas. So I went.” 

"While we were out there, we were rehearsing and Jerry told the band that there had been a last-minute change and that a guest artist was going to be on the bill. Well, in walks Billie Holiday. As she comes in, she gave me a long look, like, "This is the piano player? You're kidding, right?" It was like an old movie. Billie was accustomed to seeing someone she knew on piano, and here was this petite, peroxide blonde.” 

"We ran through a few songs and, long-story short, she loved me. She said, 'You’re my little girl.' After the first night, Billie said to me, 'When we finish here, we’re going to do Jazz City in L.A.' And we did. We went into Jazz City for a couple of weeks. The drummer was Bob Neel, but I can't recall the bassist. Red Mitchell’s wife Doe did Billie's hair each night. They were close friends. And I remember that José Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney were in the audience for our entire run.”

Bobby Troup featured Billie Holiday’s recent autobiography written with William Duffy, and his monologue highlighted significant milestones in Billie’s career.  The script for this program is missing from the Jimmie Baker archive but the YouTube clips offer much of Bobby’s commentary.  There is some overlap between the Billie Holiday and Pete Jolly clips.
Billie Holiday & Corky Hale

 Billie Holiday, Corky Hale & Bob Neel

Pete Jolly had emerged as one of the most in demand pianists on the west coast scene. When he appeared on Stars of Jazz he was an exclusive recording artist for RCA Victor and had several albums in release.

Calliope Records Production Credits:
Executive Producers: Heyward Collins, Rick Donovan, Lee D. Weisel
Production and Coordination: Jim Pewter
Technical Assistance: Mike Jordan for Krishane Enterprises
Mastering: Jack Skinner for Keyser-Century Corporation
Art Direction and Photography: Jeffrey Weisel

AUGUST 13, 1956
The Pete Jolly Trio: Pete Jolly, piano; Bob Bertaux, bass; Robert Neel, drums. Billie Holiday, vocal, with Corky Hale, piano; Bob Bertaux, bass; Robert Neel, drums. 

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: Don Whitman
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Jack Denton, Sal Folino
Technical Director: Al Hayward
Lighting Director: Vincent Cilurzo
Video Engineer: Gene Lukowski
Art Director: Edgar Lansbury

Show #128
December 15, 1958

The Leroy Vinnegar Quartet: Teddy Edwards, tenor sax; Joe Castro, piano; Leroy Vinnegar, acoustic double bass; Billy Higgins, drums. + Bud Motsinger, piano; John Kitzmiller, acoustic double bass; Jeri Southern, vocal.

Production credits for this show:
Executive Producer: Peter Robinson
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: John Orloff
Audio: Bob Buck
Cameramen: Ernie Buttleman, Bob Haley
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: Don Seeks

The photos that greatly enhance this presentation have been provided courtesy of the Ray Avery Estate and the Howard Lucraft Collection.  The author would like to extend a most heartfelt thanks to Cynthia Sesso, Licensing Administrator of the Ray Avery Photo Archives and the Howard Lucraft Collection.  Please note that these photos remain the property of the Ray Avery Estate and the Howard Lucraft Collection and are used here with permission.  Any inquiries regarding their use, commercial or otherwise, should be directed to:  Cynthia Sesso at CTSIMAGES.

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