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Duke Ellington at Birdland, June 23, 1951

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Aberdeen

A little more than a week after his stay at Meadowbrook, we find Ellington and the orchestra playing at Birdland, the famous jazz spot in Manhattan. Their stay there was from June 21 to 30 in 1951. They had played there for one week in early May,(May 3 to 9), following Count Basie and his orchestra . The band personell had not changed, except that Norma Oldham is no longer present.

In the Goodies Room, DESS members will find a nearly complete version of the a broadcast from June 23 as far as the melodic contents go. Some of the numbers have been issued commercially before on Session Disc 107 and Stardust 202, both in 1975. The contents are as follows:

*Take The A Train*Fancy Dan#*The Hawk Talks#*Swamp Drum#*Rockin’ In Rhythm#*Happy Bithday To You*Aberdeen*Caravan*All Day Long*Ol’ Man River*Harlem Air Shaft##*Things Ain’t What They Used To Be*Take The A Train

# Session Disc 107, ## Stardust 202

(mer…)

Meadowbrook, Cedar Grove, June 1951

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Willie Smith and Harold Baker are soloing in Sophisticated Lady

To complete our series of broadcasts from the Meadowbrook in New Jersey, we can now present to the DESS members, in the Goodies Room, the final recording from this venue. For this event, discographies do not specify the exact date, only June 1951. According to the New DESOR, it was once issued on VOA POD-41/POD-42, but the exact circumstances are not known. VOA stands for Voice Of America, so this music was probably sent over its own network.

Like all previous recordings from Meadowbrook in June 1951, this one also comes from an MBS broadcast. The following numbers were played:

All Day Long*Sophisticated Lady*The Hawk Talks*Midriff*Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’*Caravan (mer…)

Meadowbrook, Cedar Grove, New Jersey, June 11, 1951

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Pompton Turnpike

VIP’s Boogie

This article covers the MBS “Coast To Coast” broadcast with Ellington and his orchestra from Meadowbrook on June 11, 1951. The full broadcast is available to DESS members in the Goodies Room.

Announcing the broadcast, the presenter says that it comes “to you from Frank Dailey’s Meadowbrook here on Route 23, the newest Pompton Turnpike in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, just a short fifteen miles from New York City”.

The Newark-Pompton Turnpike was a roadway in northern New Jersey that was originally a tolled turnpike. The roadway was first laid out in the mid-18th century and given its name in 1806. As originally designed, it connected Newark with the area north and west of the Pompton River in what is now Riverdale.

The songwriters (and bandleaders) Will Osborne and Dick Rogers wrote a song – Pompton Turnpike – in 1940. It is a strong plug for Meadowbrook. The lyrics says “Pompton Turnpike leads you / To a place not far from Broadway / Still it’s on a farm. / You dine with lights subdued / The music interlude puts you right in the mood.”

Charlie Barnet recorded the song in an instrumental version on July 19, 1940 and Louis Jordan followed suite with a vocal version on September 30.

In the broadcast, Ellington features the following songs:  Take The A Train & intro*VIP’s Boogie*Jam With Sam*Don’t Get Around Much Anymore*Sultry Serenade*Duet*Love You Madly*The Hawk Talks*The Happening*Gotta Go (mer…)

Meadowbrook, Cedar Grove, New Jersey, June 10, 1951

Frank Dailey & Duke Ellington

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The Eighth Veil

Back in Frank Dailey’s Meadowbrook Ballroom  it is now June 10 in 1951. The programme offered to our members this time is the sixth in our series and comes from an MBS broadcast. Three of the seven numbers that we present have been issued on records, but on difficult-to-get labels like VOA and Swing Treasury.

The broadcast starts with a very nice rendition of Warm Valley, by Paul Gonslaves. This tune had hitherto mainly been connected with Johnny Hodges fine alto sax playing, but in his absence it was taken over by Paul, who plays it beautifully. Next Al Hibbler faces a similar challenge singing Flamingo,  which was one of Herb Jeffries’ hits back in December 1941.  Hibbler is not doing so badly either, and the arrangement seems to be the same as the original, which was written by Billy Strayhorn. Tea For Two became a solo-piece for Willie Smith during his reletively short stay with the band, and here he shows what an outstandig alto sax player he was.

Eighth Veil, with a trumpet solo by Cat Anderson is next. Not so much ”pyro-technics” by Cat this time, he could also play very well in the lower and medium registers, which he proves here, and one feels that due to his role in the orchestra, he might have been somewhat under-rated in comparison with other trumpet players. Eight Veil, jointly credited ro Ellington and Strayhorn, has an interesting background in that it is derived from another tune called Out Of This World  by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.

Listen to Ray Nance in the next number! He plays a very  unusual trumpet solo in Blue Lou, a Chick Webb hit, composed by Edgar Sampson. The broadcast ends with Creole Love Call, which Duke himself tells us he remembers from when he was 5 yers old!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meadowbrook, Cedar Grove, New Jersey, June 9, 1951

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Sultry Serenade We continue our visits to Frank Dailey’s Meadowbrook in Cedar Grove NJ. The date is now June 9, 1951 and this time we offer a program that is slightly longer than the previous ones.

This is because we have put together two different tapes from this date into one, which have all known surviving recordings made at this occasion and in the order they were played.

The first part is not known to have been broadcasted, whereas the second part is from an MBS broadcast. Above you can listen to a fine rendition of Sultry Serenade by Britt Woodman, but to listen to the rest of these fine performances you will have to be a DESS-member and go to the Goodies Room. (mer…)

Meadowbrook, Cedar Grove, New Jersey, June 7, 1951

The Meadowbrook as it was during its dinner theater years, from 1959 to 1974.

The third surviving MBS broadcast (June 7, 1951) from Frank Dailey’s Meadowbrook is one of the goodies in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the website. Only members can download this 28 min music file, but anybody can listen to one of the included tunes by clicking on play below:

In 1931, bandleader Frank Dailey, playing a gig in the neighborhood, spotted the Royal Pavilion, which was at the time vacant. Dailey and his band members bought the property, renamed it the Meadowbrook and made this venue their own. In 1936 it had become a great success, catering for all the name bands. Some of the first national broadcasts came from the Meadowbrook.In the fifties it was converted from a dance hall to a dinner theatre and after that a banquet hall. (mer…)

Meadowbrook, Cedar Grove, New Jersey, June 6, 1951

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The second surviving MBS broadcast (June 6, 1951) from Frank Dailey’s Meadowbrook is one of the goodies in the ”Goodies of the Month” section of the website.

After the theme and introduction, we hear the second part of  THE TATTOOED BRIDE called Aberdeen with beautiful clarinet playing by Jimmy Hamilton. Indian Summer is next, this time with an alto solo (one of his best)  by Willie Smith showing why Duke wanted him in his band.

Love You Madly  is sung by Norma Oldham, Ellington’s new female singer, who has a pleasant voice but had a short stay with the orchestra.

Juan Tizol is soloing in his own composition Moonlight Fiesta, which was one of his feature numbers alsos with the Harry James orchestra. We then hear the first recorded performance of Billy Strayhorn’s All Day Long , perhaps not one of his most well-known compositions but typical of his writing and arranging.

After Al Hibbler’s rendition of I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart, it is time for Louie Bellson’s probably most well-known composition, The Hawk Talks. Bellson did not have Coleman Hawkins in mind when he wrote it. Instead it is dedicated to Harry James, his former employer.Next comes an unusual version of Take The A Train with an impressive solo in slow tempo by Paul Gonsalves. At the absence of Johnny Hodges, some of the other musicians also got the chance at playing slow ballads and similar tunes.

DESS members are welcome to ”the Goodies Month” section to listen to and download this broadcast.

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