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Monday, 6 June 2016

Jimmie Lunceford born 6 June 1902


James Melvin "Jimmie" Lunceford (June 6, 1902 – July 12, 1947) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader of the swing era.
Lunceford was born in Fulton, Missouri, but attended school in Denver and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Fisk University. In 1927, while teaching high school in Memphis, Tennessee, he organized a student band, the Chickasaw Syncopators, whose name was changed to the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra when it began touring. The orchestra made its first recording in 1930. After a period of touring, the band accepted a booking at the prestigious Harlem nightclub, The Cotton Club in 1933.

The Cotton Club had already featured Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway, who won their first widespread fame from their inventive shows for the Cotton Club's all-white patrons. Lunceford's orchestra, with their tight musicianship and often outrageous humour in their music and lyrics made an ideal band for the club, and Lunceford's reputation began to steadily grow.
The orchestra waxed a few notable songs for Victor, and then started recording regularly for Decca. Their tight ensembles and colourful shows made them a major attraction throughout the remainder of the swing era. Among their many hits were "Rhythm Is Our Business," "Four or Five Times," "Swanee River," "Charmaine," "My Blue Heaven," "Organ Grinder's Swing," "Ain't She Sweet," "For Dancers Only," "'Tain't What You Do, It's the Way That Cha Do It," "Uptown Blues," and "Lunceford Special." The stars of the band included arranger Sy Oliver (on trumpet and vocals), Willie Smith, Trummy Young (who had a hit with "Margie"), and tenor saxophonist Joe Thomas.
 
 


Lunceford's stage shows often included costumes, skits, and obvious jabs at mainstream white jazz bands, such as Paul Whiteman's and Guy Lombardo's. Despite the band's comic veneer, Lunceford always maintained professionalism in the music befitting a former teacher; this professionalism paid off and during the apex of swing in the 1930s, the Orchestra was considered the equal of Duke Ellington's, Earl Hines' or Count Basie's.
As well as recording for the Decca label the band later signed with the Columbia subsidiary Vocalion in 1938. They toured Europe extensively in 1937, but had to cancel a second tour in 1939 because of the outbreak of World War II. In 1939, it was a major blow when Tommy Dorsey lured Sy Oliver away (although trumpeters Gerald Wilson and Snooky Young were important new additions). Unfortunately, Lunceford underpaid most of his sidemen, not thinking to reward them for their loyalty in the lean years. Columbia dropped Lunceford in 1940 because of flagging sales so he returned to the Decca label. The orchestra appeared in the 1941 movie Blues in the Night.
In 1942 Willie Smith was one of several key players who left for better-paying jobs elsewhere, and the orchestra gradually declined. Jimmie Lunceford was still a popular bandleader in 1947 when he suddenly collapsed and died from cardiac arrest.

Rumours have
persisted that he was poisoned by a racist restaurant owner who was very reluctant about feeding his band. After Lunceford's death, pianist/arranger Ed Wilcox and Joe Thomas tried to keep the orchestra together, but in 1949 the band permanently broke up.
 (info edited from Wikipedia & AMG)


3 comments:

boppinbob said...

For “Jimmie Lunceford - It’s The Way That You Swing It” CD1 go here:

http://www21.zippyshare.com/v/NHfbpVEY/file.html

1. JAZZNOCRACY
2. ROSE ROOM (IN SUNNY ROSELAND)
3. STRATOSPHERE
4. NANA
5. UNSOPHISTICATED SUE
6. DREAM OF YOU
7. RHYTHM IS OUR BUSINESS
8. SLEEPY TIME GAL
9. FOUR OR FIVE TIMES
10. AVALON
11. HITTIN' THE BOTTLE
12. I'M NUTS ABOUT SCREWY MUSIC
13. THE MELODY MAN
14. ORGAN GRINDER'S SWING
15. HARLEM SHOUT
16. RUNNING A TEMPERATURE
17. HE AIN'T GOT RHYTHM
18. SLUMMING ON PARK AVENUE
19. THE MERRY-GO-ROUND BROKE DOWN
20. HELL'S BELLS
21. FOR DANCERS ONLY
22. PIGEON WALK
23. ANNIE LAURIE
24. FRISCO FOG

Will post CD2 if requested.

Oldman said...

Please post CD2 too. Jimmie Lunceford was very popular when I was young and I liked him. Thanks. Oldman.

boppinbob said...

Here's CD 2

http://www17.zippyshare.com/v/y7DywvA5/file.html

Disc Two
1. MARGIE
2. SWEET SUE, JUST YOU
3. 'TAIN'T WHAT YOU DO (IT'S THE WAY THAT YOU DO IT)
4. TIME'S A-WASTIN'
5. WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED SWING?
6. EASTER PARADE
7. WELL, ALL RIGHT THEN
8. I USED TO LOVE YOU (BUT IT'S ALL OVER NOW)
9. BELGIUM STOMP
10. THINK OF ME, LITTLE DADDY
11. UPTOWN BLUES
12. LUNCEFORD SPECIAL
13. I GOT IT
14. TWENTY-FOUR ROBBERS
15. BATTLE AXE
16. CHOCOLATE
17. FLAMINGO
18. SIESTA AT THE FIESTA
19. HI SPOOK
20. IMPROMPTU
21. BLUES IN THE NIGHT (Parts 1 & 2)
22. STRICTLY INSTRUMENTAL
23. BACK DOOR STUFF (Parts 1 & 2)
24. THE HONEYDRIPPER