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Saturday, October 20, 2012





This last release in the Calliope LP series presented audio from Art Blakey’s two appearances on Stars of Jazz.  The Jazz Messengers first appearance on Stars of Jazz was on October 29, 1956 when they were in Los Angeles at Jazz City where they alternated sets with the Chet Baker Quintet.  The guest vocalist on the October 29, 1956 show was Kitty White.

The Jazz Messengers had recently signed with Columbia Records and had one LP in release, THE JAZZ MESSENGERS (Columbia CL897).  Following their appearance on Stars of Jazz they would record their second LP for Columbia, HARD BOP (Columbia CL1040) with the same personnel that appeared on the show: Bill Hardman, trumpet; Jackie McLean, alto sax; Sam Dockery, piano; Spanky De Brest, bass; Art Blakey, drums. 

Shorty after that they would record an album at Columbia that appeared on the Pacific Jazz label, RITUAL (Pacific Jazz PJM-402).  Columbia Records had approached Dick Bock at Pacific Jazz with a request to record an album with Chet Baker.  Bock agreed with the provision that it be recorded in Hollywood under his supervision and Columbia likewise took care of the details regarding the Art Blakey Jazz Messengers album.  The resulting albums, CHET BAKER & STRINGS (Columbia CL549) and RITUAL (Pacific Jazz PJM-402) sold well for both companies. The cover photo of the Columbia LP was taken by William Claxton at the Pacific Jazz recording session for the Chet Baker Ensemble album (NOT at the Chet Baker & strings session).

Bobby Troup mentions Kitty White’s vocal work on films citing her work on RETURN TO PARADISE that starred Gary Cooper (see page 8 in the script).  Kitty White sang a lullaby in THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER at the conclusion of the riverboat scene where the children escape from the menacing Robert Mitchum by taking to a row boat.  When they dock at 6:23 in the YouTube clip below Kitty White begins her lullaby.  

Kitty White recorded an album for Dick Bock’s Pacific Jazz label with backing by Corky Hale on harp. The LP was released on the subsidiary label, Pacifica, as a 10” LP.  It sold well and when Pacific Jazz adopted the 12” LP format the album was reissued with additional tracks and the backing of Bud Shank on flute.  

Her second album for the EmArcy label, KITTY WHITE - COLD FIRE (MG36068), was in stores when Kitty appeared on Stars of Jazz and it was promoted by Bobby Troup on camera.

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

The following audio track is the complete AFRTS version of the show.  A total of 106 Stars of Jazz AFRTS transcriptions were prepared for distribution to troops around the world.  AFRTS guidelines stipulated that all commercial content had to be removed from programs.  Thus Bobby Troup’s pitches for Budweiser Beer and Schweppes Quinine Water had to be excised from the original master tape recordings. The early transcriptions preserved the opening music played by the featured jazz group.  Later transcriptions substituted a Billy May recording of LEMON TWIST and a blues from the Liberty album, ESCAPADE SURVEYS THE JAZZ SCENE.  

The complete show is offered as the Jimmie Baker script is missing three pages of Bobby Troup’s commentary, and the exchanges between Bobby Troup and Art Blakey at the end of the show are priceless. As noted on the first page of script #19, the "Bop" pages were removed from this script and used for script #118, the show that featured Max Roach.  You can view these pages at the post for CAL 3013.

Stars of Jazz - October 29, 1956 ART BLAKEY - KITTY WHITE               

SHOW #19
OCTOBER 29, 1956
Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers: Bill Hardman, trumpet; Jackie McLean, alto sax; Sam Dockery, piano; Spanky De Brest, bass; Art Blakey, drums. Kitty White, vocal; Eddie Beal, piano, Teddy Benedict, bongos. 

Production credits for this show:
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: Norman Abbott
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Sal Folino, Jack Denton
Technical Director: Ted Hurley
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo

Bill Hardman, Art Blakey, Johnny Griffin, Sam Dockery, Spanky De Brest

The second appearance of The Jazz Messengers on Stars of Jazz was on July 29, 1957, and audio from that show was issued on Calliope CAL 3008 with different titles for some of the tracks.  The duplicate labels are presented below, and the full script of the show can be viewed at our post on CAL 3008.

SHOW #56
JULY 29, 1957
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Bill Hardman, trumpet; Johnny Griffin, tenor sax; Sam Dockery, piano; Spanky De Brest, bass; Art Blakey, drums. Tommy Gumina, accordion.

Production credits for this show:
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: Leo G. “Hap” Weyman
Audio: Noel Frame
Cameramen: Sal Folino, Bob Haley
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: Noble Moore

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

ENDNOTE:  The process of presenting details on the genesis of the Calliope label has involved visiting my research on the Stars of Jazz TV series.  This has led to a decision to create a blog devoted to the Stars of Jazz television series that will present in detail the background for each segment of the 130 shows that were presented by the American Broadcasting Company beginning in June of 1956 and ending in December of 1958.  Interested readers may follow that blog at:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so very much for archiving this WONDERFUL material. I am snatching a photo for my Pinterest site. There's not much out there on Spanky DeBrest !! I I will return for more goodies. I provided a link to your blog. Thanks again !!!