George Murphy “Pops” Foster was a master of slap bass. He was born in 1892 near Baton Rouge, and died on this day in 1969. Through the years, he played with all the greats: Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet and Earl Hines among them.
Here’s a recording of Muggsy Spanier’s band in 1964 — featuring Pops on bass, with a solo that begins at 3:46.
posted by Seán Collins on 8 August 2013
In September, the Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) will meet in Atlanta for their annual conference. It’s like any industry get-together: except it’s much more… public radio.
For Music Inside Out, it’s our first opportunity to get this radio program on the radars of the men and women who do a good deal of the gate-keeping at public radio stations around the country.
Long before you ever hear a radio show on your station, a staff member of a public station has heard it, and liked it, and has bugged their program director about it. And it’s that program director who makes the decision to air the program in a local market.
So, we have been debating: Which shows should we highlight for the PRPD? If we were going to press a thumb drive into the hands of a potential champion of the program, which three shows would we like them to hear? What programs should we have them audition?
Let us know what you think. Which three hours would best highlight the scope and mission of the show? Do you have a favorite or two?
And wish us well at the PRPD.
Posted by Gwen Thompkins on 4 August 2013
Dear Music Lovers: This is by no means a complete list of Armstrong’s best, most historic, or favorite moments. Here are six musical rosettes to enjoy with a slice of birthday cake.
Don’t You Think I Love You?
King Oliver & His Orchestra
Without Joe “King” Oliver … perish the thought. Louis Armstrong said he would never have left New Orleans for anyone but Oliver and thank goodness Oliver called. What makes King Oliver stand out is not just his musicianship, but the fact that he would talk to young musicians and show them what he knew about playing the cornet. In his autobiography, Armstrong says this was a rare quality among the best of the best players in New Orleans. Most established musicians kept their secrets to themselves. But Oliver, Armstrong said, would stop on the street and blow his horn to teach youngsters what they should be doing. As music lovers, we are still benefitting from Oliver’s remarkable generosity. We are also benefitting from Oliver’s remarkable foolishiness. He once turned down a gig at the Cotton Club in New York that ultimately went to a young’un call Duke Ellington.
It was my ambition to play as he did. I still think if it had not been for Joe Oliver jazz would not be what it is today. He was a creator in his own right. (Louis Armstrong)
In 1915, “The ‘Jelly Roll’ Blues” was published by one Ferd Morton, a guy just about everyone knows as Jelly Roll. It was the first time somebody published a piece of jazz music, and it went to prove that a music whose very soul is improvisation can survive notation.
You can publish and not perish, in other words.
Morton’s piano playing was born of ragtime and he often played the melody with the thumb of his right hand, allowing him to play harmonies above the melody as well as below it, with his left.
Here are two recordings of the song. The first is a solo piano recording of Morton, and probably dates to 1915.
And this second recording, featuring Morton’s band ‘The Red Hot Peppers,’ dates to 1924.
posted by Seán Collins on 6 August 2013
Dr. Michael White is Gwen’s guest this week on Music Inside Out. White is a really delightful guest who is able to put his playing into the context of both New Orleans music and also the broader social fabric of New Orleans as well.
Remember, the show airs on WWNO at seven o’clock Thursday evening now, with an encore broadcast at Noon on Saturday.
Dr. Michael White, besides being a champion of traditional jazz, is also (apparently) a fan of The Turtles. Here’s his version of their 1967 song “Happy Together.”
from Dr. Michael White’s album “Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 2”
Listen to Music Inside Out on WWNO 89.9 FM
Thursday at 7:00p
Saturday at Noon