The colored dots show the fastest links (How?)
In 1936, Helen Oakley, the wife of journalist Stanley Dance, was the A & R (artist and repertoire) manager for Irving Mills’ new Variety label. She suggested to Mills that they try some small group recordings using musicians from the Ellington Orchestra. Given the go ahead Oakley arranged for a number of sessions, including a few led by Bigard under the name Barney Bigard and His Jazzopaters. Their December 19, 1936 session introduced the jazz standard “Caravan.”
After leaving Ellington, Bigard did sound track work in California, played with Freddie Slack and Kid Ory, and then joined the Louis Armstrong All-Stars in 1947, where he found a home until 1955 when he tired of touring. In the late ‘50s he played in Cozy Cole’s big band, rejoining Armstrong in 1960 for another year. He semi-retired in 1962 but played with a Dixieland band at Disneyland. From 1970-1973 he was a featured performer at Dick Gibson’s jazz parties in Vail, Colorado.
Bigard wrote several other songs with Ellington, some performed, some not, although Oscar Brown, Jr. recorded their “Ducky Wucky.” Bigard also co-composed “Lament for Javanette” with Billy Strayhorn, performed by the Ellington band. His autobiography is entitled With Louis and the Duke: The Autobiography of a Jazz Clarinetist.
- Sandra Burlingame
At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price
With Louis and the Duke: The Autobiography of a Jazz Clarinetist
Oxford Univ Press
The Louis Armstrong Companion
(Includes a Barney Bigard interview)
Arturo de Cordova, Marjorie Lord, Irene Rich, Louis Armstrong and His Band, Billie Holiday, Woody Herman, Woody Herman and His Orchestra
DVD (Includes performances by Louis Armstrong, Billie holiday, Barney Bigard, and many others.)
James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, Charles Drake, George Tobias
The Glenn Miller Story
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