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"Chicago Streetwise" & "The Citizen" Editorials


CHICAGO’S BENNY GOODMAN became The King Of Swing and first saw Chicago as a tot in 1909.  With clarinet lessons at 11 Benny was on stage with Benny Meroff’s orchestra. 1934 found Benny playing the music in New York’s hotels and music rooms.  His band hit the California coast in the mid 30s with the smooth swinging hot sounds of the day which the younger folks appreciated.  The New York radio broadcasts made his music the band to dance to as the Swing Era started.

MR. GOODMAN’s Chicago sound became so popular that he was the first jazz artist to do Carnegie Hall in ’38.  Later he recorded serious music by Mozart and Bartok.  The band broke tradition by becoming the first racially mixed group with Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, the great Lionel Hampton, Charlie Christian’s guitar and Cootie Williams with the sax of Georgie Auld.  BIG HIT “Why Don’t You Do Right” with a young Peggy Lee.  The followers were Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw.  Two of his hits…“Sing Sing Sing and Don’t Be That Way”.  Goodman’s way? OK!

ERROLL GARNER grew up to play Pittsburgh piano on the local station by his 10th year in 1931.  Leaving a Philly orchestra in 1944 Erroll landed in New York with Slam Stewart’s Trio.  He started his own group appeared and recorded his rhythmic style with Penthouse Serenade and Laura.  Then came MISTY in 1954 plus words and Sarah Vaughn=HUGE HIT.  His best live work was 1957’s Concert By The Sea.  He left us Misty in 1977.

STAN GETZ blew into Philly in 1927, moved to NYC and melted into Woody Herman’s and Stan Kenton’s bands in 1944.  Moving on to L.A. in  ’47 he became the leader of the new cool school of saxophone.  Copenhagen in the late ‘50s, back in ’61 and then Desafinado and the Bossa Nova was all over the radio and shelves.  Easy to listen to Getz-Gilberto, One Note Samba.  Stan Getz blew until 1991. Great Getz!

CHICAGO’S JOHNNY GRIFFIN, held in such high regard for his rapid tenor sax delivery, was known for his speed and tone.  With Lionel Hampton in 1945 at 17.  Not just jazz, but the popular music of the day gave Griffin his style and power. New York called and Johnny joined the Jazz Messengers and Thelonious Monk and later teaming up with Eddie Lockjaw Davis in tenor sax battles from NYC to Chicago.  About ’62 Griffin moved to Europe but still tours the States and blows ‘em away.  NEXT, Hampton, Hawkins, and Chicago’s Harris and Hancock.

THEE EIGHT HER Theater: From the stage, have you enjoyed The Black Ensemble’s I GOTCHA the story of singer Joe Tex?  It’s wowing audiences through March at 4520 N. Beacon.  773 769 4451.  They Got Me >> It’s our salute to Roger’s lady CHAZ EBERT, former student at Crane High School, who donated $50,000 to the 2009 class scholarship fund.  Chaz graduated in 1969 and arranged the Ebert foundation donation.  It’s good to do something good

>>Columbia College does a RAY CHARLES Tribute Concert at 7:30 Saturday March 7th at the Harold Washington Library. For info 312 369 6600

>> OSCAR’S Hugh Jackman was surprisingly good in his opening segment at the Kodak Theater.  And that BEYONCE’ didn’t miss a step in the sing dance number.  Good show.  I’ll bet the Oscar winning movie title becomes a common street phrase…    ”SLUM DOG”!

LINE DANCE LINDA really enjoyed Georgia’s Red Ball for Valentine’s day event at the Lexington House on W. 95th.  Was Kathy Hairston there?

LOST ANOTHER ONE ESTELLE BENNET one of the RONNETTES at 67.  Hits in ‘63-65 Be My Baby and Walkin’ In The Rain produced by Phil Spector.  Her life after the 2 years of fame…tragic. Rest now.

DOIN’ THE 9’s Take a quick look at 60 years of what you were listening to in: 1999 Wild Wild West-Will Smith 1989 Wind Beneath My Wings-Bette Midler 1979 Bad Girls-Donna Summer 1969 Everyday People-Sly Stone 1959  Mack The Knife-Bobby Darin 1949 Baby It’s Cold Outside/Ella Fitzgerald.  Next week DOIN’ THE 8’s.


JOHN BIRKS GILLESPIE became the “Bebop” King after learning trombone, then switching to trumpet when he was 14.  From South Carolina in 1917 to Philadelphia in 1935, “DIZZY GILLESPIE” learned music from his piano playing father and then at the Laurinburg Institute.  His interest was big band music, modern jazz and Latin rhythms.  A job in New York with Teddy Hill’s band took Dizzy to Europe.  The next stop was with Cab Calloway until 1941.

FREELANCING in New York brought Mr. Gillespie in touch with the musicians who collectively were creating bebop.  From small groups to the bands of Lucky Millinder, Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine, Dizzy was making the music that musicians were talking about.  Starting his own band only lasted for a short while and a few records.  Then in 1946 Dizzy’s BIG band affected jazz around the globe making Mr. Gillespie an important general in the army of bebop.
1956 THE STATE DEPT. took the band to Europe and Asia for well received performances including the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival. Dizzy again went to the small group working with people like James Moody.  The Jazz Giants tour of 1971 found bebop father Gillespie on the road with Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Stitt.  Famous name, famous music, from the “Diz” who influenced Ray Brown Milt Jackson John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
The fusion of jazz, Latin, African rhythms and bebop harmonies made Dizzy Gillespie the ultimate innovative guy in bebop with the marriage of Cuban and American music.  Power, multi-rhythms and harmonies were Dizzy Gillespie, until 1993.  The funny looking trumpet was silent but Bebop lives. 
HONORABLE Jazz mentions include Stan Getz’s Sax >>Erroll Garner’s piano/Misty>>Slim Gailard’s guitar and bass >>Paul Gonsalves’sax.
More? Yes! Next week the G’s part-2 with Benny Goodman.   

NEW birthday present-Give someone who works or shops downtown, a  roll of quarters.
(that’s Media to you)  See, I told you, stop the digital TV thing, and they did, almost
>>MICHELLE’S Vogue Magazine cover is beautiful!
>>Can’t Saturday Night Live find something to do other than Gov. David Paterson? Poor taste don’t taste good
>>Movieland’s Terrence Howard is from Chicago?
>>My girl Wanda Sykes wil be the entertainment at the White House Correspondents’ dinner on May 9th. My Girl!
>> Remember The Pinky Lee Show, with Molly Bee?

Tomorrow is too far away, and yesterday is at least one day too late.

DJ Steve Harvey's new book, "Act Like A Lady," started off at number one on the New York Times bestseller list in the Sunday rankings. The
SPINNERS were super as usual in Elgin on Valentines Day Nite >>Another Do-Wop show at the Chicago Theater on May 9th and JOE TEX continues at the Black Ensemble Theater 773 769 4451.  See It!

The latest line dance is called “The Hot Spot” remember that.

Failure to appreciate a good thing. Call the movers! Those moaners and groaners in Hyde Park who are so quick to say “It’s like living in a police state”…You haven’t had this much security ever…a positive!  Move now!  What lease? Are you a renter? Bye! Owner? Sell now! So when are you gettin out of Dodge?
The radio show WKKC 893fm (south of 51st St.)


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