topic posted Tue, December 25, 2007 - 9:38 AM by  Confetta

Roy E. Blackwood, Baritone vocals
b. Fentress, MI, USA, d. March 21, 1971.
Member: 'The Blackwood Brothers', a "Gospel" vocal group formed in 1934.

Henry Coker, Trombone
b. Dallas, TX, USA. d. 1979, USA.
Studied piano and harp in Wiley College (Washington, TX)

Mary Jane DeZurick, vocals
b. Royalton, MN, USA.
Member group: "DeZurik Sisters" (aka: the "Cackle Sisters") consisted of Carolyn DeZurick (Singer/Guitar, b. Dec. 24, 1919 Royalton, Minnesota), Mary Jane DeZurick (Singer, b. Feb. 1, 1917 Royalton, Minnesota), Eva DeZurick (Singer, b. Royalton, Minnesota) and Lorraine DeZurick (Singer, b. Royalton, Minnesota).
The DeZurik Sisters were the first women to become stars on both the National Barn Dance and the Grand Ole Opry, largely a result of their original yodeling style.
Born and raised on a farm in Royalton, Minnesota, Mary Jane (1917-1981) and Carolyn Dezurik (b. 1918) were part of a family of seven. Their father Joe played fiddle, their sisters sang, and their brother Jerry played accordion and guitar. Inspired by their family and the sounds of the animals and birds around them, they developed an astonishing repertoire of high, haunting yodels and yips that soon had them winning talent contests all over central Minnesota. In 1936, they signed a contract to appear regularly on Chicago radio station WLS (AM)'s National Barn Dance, and were hired in 1937 to perform on Purina Mills' Checkerboard Time radio show, where they sang as The Cackle Sisters.
In 1938, the sisters recorded six songs for Vocalion Records: "I Left Her Standing There" (Vocalion 4616-A), "Arizona Yodeler" (Vocalion 4616-B), "Sweet Hawaiian Chimes" (Vocalion 4704-A), "Guitar Blues" (Vocalion 4704-B), "Go To Sleep My Darling Baby" (Vocalion 4781-A) and "Birmingham Jail" (Vocalion 4781-B). Those six songs were the only tracks the duo would ever commit to vinyl, although some recordings exist of their appearances on Checkerboard Time.
Both sisters married musicians they had met at WLS—Carolyn accepting a proposal from Ralph "Rusty" Gill, a singer and guitar player, on September 1, 1940, and Mary Jane saying yes to Augie Klein, an accordionist, before the month was out. In 1943, Rusty and Augie were drafted into World War II and Mary Jane had taken what proved to be a short-lived retirement to look after her new family. Carolyn joined Sonja Henie's Ice Review for a year or so, afterwards returning to Minnesota for a series of appearances on radio station KSTP (AM). Mary Jane rejoined her sister in 1944, doing road dates with Purina and regular shows at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.
Rusty was discharged from Army in 1946 and returned to WLS with his old band, The Prairie Ramblers. Mary Jane retired for good the next year so Carolyn recruited their sister Lorraine, and the new DeZurik Sisters returned to WLS in Chicago as well. By 1951, after a stint at Cincinnati's WLW, Lorraine had retired and Carolyn had joined the Ramblers as their new female vocalist, filling a decade-long vacancy created by the absence of legendary trick yodeller Patsy Montana. Carolyn and Rusty moved back to Chicago, where they began appearing with the Ramblers on the daily variety show Chicago Parade, airing on WBKB-TV (now WBBM-TV and WLS-TV).
Lorraine lives in Washington state with her husband. Carolyn and Rusty still live in the Chicago area.
Years after the height of their fame, Carolyn recalled that the DeZurik Sisters achieved their sound simply because she and Mary Jane "listened to the birds and tried to sing with the birds."
External links:
Hillbilly Music: DeZurik Sisters:
National Public Radio: The Cackle Sisters, Yodelling Queens (includes three songs to listen to):
WFMU/365 Days Project - The DeZurik (Cackle) Sisters (with 32 tracks from Ralston Purina Checkerboard Time):

Warren "Baby" Dodds, Drums
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. Feb. 14, 1959, early on -in New Orleans - played with Louis Armstrong, King Oliver and Papa Celestin
Baby Dodds was one of first great drummers of Jazz and the brother of Johnny Dodds. Baby got his start playing in parades in New Orleans, occasionally with Frankie Dusen's Eagle Band. He played briefly with his brother in Kid Ory's Band, but was embarrassed when all the musicians walked off stage because of his poor playing. This incident spurred him on to become a better musician. He played in several other bands in New Orleans before joining Fate Marable's riverboat band in 1918. While working on the riverboat he played with Louis Armstrong, Johnny St. Cyr, Pops Foster, among others. He stayed in Marable's band until King Oliver asked him to join his band in San Francisco in 1921. Dodds followed Oliver to Chicago and was the drummer in King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. After the breakup of that band Dodds worked with Honore Dutrey at the Dreamland in Chicago and with several other bands in the city. From 1927 to 1929 Baby Dodds played in his brother's band at Kelly's Stables along with Freddie Keppard. He was the drummer on many of the classic Chicago Jazz recordings of Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers and Louis Armstrong's Hot Seven. Throughout the Depression, Baby played in many of the small groups led by his brother Johnny Dodds and helped run a taxi cab company in Chicago. When his brother died in 1940, he went on to play with Jimmie Noone and with Bunk Johnson. After 1949 Dodds had a series of strokes that left him partially paralyzed, but still managed to play from time to time up until his death in 1959.
From Red Hot Jazz:

Sid Feller, Leader/trumpet
b. New York, NY, USA
d. Feb.16, Beachwood, Ohio, USA

"Lulu Belle"
C&W vocals/guitar
b. Boon, NC, USA.
née: Myrtle Eleanor Cooper.
Member group: "Lulu Belle and Scotty".
For a generation from 1934, Lulu Belle and Scotty were America's leading Country husband-wife team. For 20 years, they starred on the 'National Barn Dance' show heard over Chicago's radio station WLS, and then spent a shorter period on the "Boone County Jamboree" show over WLW Cincinnati. They were also seen in several motion pictures. After retiring, Scotty earned a Master's degree at Northwestern University, then taught school, farmed, and served as a bank director. His wife Lulu Belle participated in community activities, and in the mid-1970's, served two terms in the North Carolina legislature representing Avery, Burke, and Mitchell counties (as a Democrat in a normally GOP district).
Lulu Belle and Scotty on Wikipedia:
Lulu Belle and Scotty website:
The 1934 WLS Family Album: Lulu Belle:

Ralph Marterie
b. Naples, Italy
d. 1978. Raised in Chicago, IL, USA, and a Pro by age 14.

Tony Martin
b. Oakland CA, USA.
(Still with us- 2004).
né: Alvin Morris.
As a vocalist, his fame is worldwide. In his career, he played saxophone and vocalized with the Ted Gerun and Tom Coakley bands. In 1934, he decided to lead his own band (the Alvin Morris Orchestra) and actually did play some dates in and around Chicago during the 1934 World's Fair. Meeting little success, he made three decisions; he disbanded, changed his name to Tony Martin, and headed for Hollywood to try his luck in Motion Pictures. The rest is history. Tony's life is chronicled in the 1976 book "The Two of Us". The "Two" refers to Tony and to his long time wife, and show business partner, dancer Cyd Charisse.

Fumio Nanri, trumpet
b. Saga Prefecture, Japan
d. Aug. 4, 1975.
Armstrong called him "The 'Satchmo' of Japan"
Wiki Bio:

"Jabbo" Smith
b. Pembroke, GA, USA.
d. Jan. 16, 1991.
né: Cladys Smith.
A much overlooked trumpet virtuoso, who by age 6 was sent into the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, South Carolina where he learned trumpet and trombone. By just age 10, he was touring with the Jenkins Orphanage Band. He left the Orphanage at age 16 to pursue a career in music. Circa 1925 through 1928, he made New York city his home, making his first recording there. In 1928, he was a member of James P. Johnson's Orchestra, relocating to Chicago, Illinois when Johnson disbanded. In 1929, he recorded for the Brunswick label. In the early 1930s, he made Milwaukee, Wisconsin his home base remaining there for many years, although he did intermittently return to New York city. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Smith worked a regular "day job" at a Milwaukee automobile hire company, only occasionally playing music at some local venues. In the late 1960s, Jabbo Smith made a comeback and played (into the 1980s) with bands that toured to such cities as New York, and New Orleans, and overseas in London, England and France.

Harry Warren, Composer
b. Brooklyn, N.Y.
d. Sept. 22, 1981, Los Angeles, CA.
Nee Salvatore Guaragna. Some of his hit songs are: "Rose of the Rio Grande", "Nagasaki", "You're My Everything", "I Found a Million Dollar Baby in a Five-and-Ten Cent Store", "Shuffle Off to Buffalo", "Forty-second Street", "Lullaby of Broadway" (his first Academy Award), "She's a Latin From Manhattan", "Jeepers Creepers," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "There Will Never Be Another You", "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," "On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe", lyric Johnny Mercer, "Serenade in Blue", "I Had the Craziest Dream", "Highland Fling", lyric by Ira Gershwin. and "That's Amore" (a Dean Martin hit vocal).
Warren was the first major American song composer to write primarily for film.
The Harry Warren Web Site:
Harry Warren - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Harry Warren Music:

Daniel K. Womack
b. Keeling, VA, USA.
né: Obediah Donmell Jessie.

Notable Events occurring
on this date include:

Reginald A. Fessenden, the Canadian-born radio inventor became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio. Originating from a transmitter in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, USA, the show had a female singer with Fessenden himself playing "O Holy Night" on the violin. Fessenden was the discoverer of the superheterodyne principle -- the basis for all modern radio receivers.

Bob Womack, drums
died in Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Age: 68.
Worked with both Tiny Bradshaw, and Lucky Millinder

Songs Recorded/Released
on this date include:

1955 Dungaree Doll, - Eddie Fisher vocal.
1955 Great Pretender, The, - The Platters

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