topic posted Sun, November 4, 2007 - 7:42 PM by  Confetta

1917 George Fierstone , Drums/Vocals, b. London, England, UK, d. March 13, 1984.

1919 Myron Floren, accordion, b. on a farm in between the two towns of Roslyn, SD and Webster, SD, USA.d. July 23, 2005. Rolling Hills Estates (Los Angeles County), CA, USA. (cancer). Age: 85. Born of Norwegian parents, he joined the Lawrence Welk Orchestra in 1950, and soon became the band's star performer. The accordion was also Welk's primary instrument.) While still a child, Floren took up the instrument after hearing an accordionist at a State Fair. In 1945, he married his former student Berdyne Koerner, and first played with Welk when the couple saw the band leader play at a ballroom in St. Louis. Myron was an inspiration to many musicians, including parody singer "Weird Al" Yankovic who has called Floren an inspiration in his youth. ("Weird Al" also plays the accordion).

1897 Jan Garber, Leader, b. Morristown, PA, USA. d: Oct. 5, 1977, Shreveport, LA, USA.

1914 Roy Horton, C&W vocals/guitar/bass, b. (near) Broad Top, PA, USA. d. Sept. 23, 2003. Roy was largely responsible for the creation of the Country Music Association and the Country Music Foundation. While an excellent artist in his own right, his career was greatly overshadowed by the success of his brother Vaughn Horton. (George Vaughn Horton, b. June 6, 1911, Broad Top, PA, USA) Vaughn later became an R&B-specialty producer for a number of New York companies (Continental, National, Majestic, MGM, London, and Varsity among others).

1914 Jack McVea, Tenor Sax/Leader, b. Los Angeles, CA, USA. d. Dec. 27, 2000, age 86. Father played banjo.

1901 Etta Moten, vocals
b. Weimer, Texas, USA
d. Jan. 2, 2004, Chicago, IL, USA.
(pancreatic cancer) Age: 102
Etta will always be remembered for her wonderful rendition of the song "The Carioca" which she sang in an early Hollywood 'talkie', that starred Lupe Velez and Gene Raymond, and co-starred Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (who appeared together on screen for the first time). She went on to do some vocal dubbing in other films, -not always credited. At the personal request of composer George Gershwin, Moten also played the role of 'Bess' in the 1942 revival of "Porgy and Bess" However, she told George Gershwin that she wouldn't sing the word "nigger," and Ira Gershwin subsequently wrote the word out of the libretto.

The daughter of a Methodist minister (in Texas), Moten's immediate plans for college were derailed when she married one of her high school teachers. However, when the marriage fell apart, Etta left her three young daughters with her parents, and enrolled in the University of Kansas. After graduating (at age 30) with a degree in voice and drama, she moved to New York City, and first found work singing with the 'Eva Jessye Choir' after which she starred in the Broadway show ``Zombie'', and then into films after the show had toured in Los Angeles. In Hollywood, Etta dubbed songs for actresses and sang a ballad ('My Forgotten Man' -she was not credited) in the Busby Berkeley film ``Gold Diggers of 1933.'' On January 31, 1933, Etta Moten became the first African-American stage and screen star to sing and perform at the White House (at the personal invitation of President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt). In 1934, Etta married Claude Barnett, the head of the Associated Negro Press, a wire service for black newspapers. (Claude Barnett died in 1967.)

In 1957, Etta and Claude served as U.S. representatives to the independence celebrations of Ghana and several other African countries. In 1942, she appeared as Bess in the Broadway production of ``Porgy and Bess'', touring with the show until 1945. After many appearances in symphony concerts and music festivals, a strained voice forced her to give up performing in 1952. She later became active in many civic organizations, including the National Council of Negro Women, the Chicago Lyric Opera and Chicago's Field Museum, as well as hosting a radio show for many years in Chicago. (Station: WMAQ, -NBC)

As a singer and actress, Etta played romantic, sexy figures in movies at a time when most other black actresses were relegated to roles as nannies or maids. The Pittsburgh Courier, a black newspaper, dubbed Barnett ``the first Negro woman to play a dignified role in pictures.'' Upon her demise at age 102, she was survived by Sue Ish, a daughter from her first marriage, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

1911 Roy Rogers, cowboy Actor/vocalist, b. Cincinnati, OH, USA, d. July 6, 1998, Apple Valley, CA, USA. (Cardiac Arrest). né: Leonard Franklin Slye. Roy Rogers ("The King of the Cowboys") and his wife, Dale Evans, acted and sang in a large number of 'Western' films, often with the 'Sons Of The Pioneers' band.

1917 George Dale "The Fox" Williams, leader/composer, b. New Orleans, LA, USA, d: . Williams worked as the staff arranger for such orchestras as Sonny Dunham, Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, and also contributed arrangements to the Benny Goodman, Buddy Morrow, Ralph Flanagan, Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton, Hal McIntyre, Vaughan Monroe, Jimmy Lunceford, Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown, Les and Larry Elgart, Charlie Spivak, Art Mooney, Eddy Duchin, Count Basie, Vincent Lopez, and perhaps for as many as 45 other great name bands. He did virtually all of Ray Anthony's band arrangments. This arranger created the lush string sound of all those romantic Jackie Gleason albums and helped Bobby Hacket record a distinctive "Serenade In Blue". Williams toured the world as musical director for Bobby Hackett and Tony Bennett. He wrote hits for Barbra Streisand, including "Happy Days", her first gold record.

Among other vocalists for whom he scored are Johnny Desmond, Ray Kellogg, Tommy Mercer, Jane Morgan, Anita O'Day, Frank Rosolino, Lena Horne, Dinah Washington - and many others. Among the many tunes he composed are "Whamboogie", "It Must Be Jelly" (for Miller, RCA Vic.), "Hamp's Boogie" (Lionel Hampton), "Gene's Boogie" (Gene Krupa Orch.), "Lackawanna Local", "The Fox" and "The Bunny Hop" (both for Ray Anthony Orch.), - and dozens more. Although he is not well remembered, the legacy of George "The Fox" Williams, a prolific and revered big band arranger, is preserved today on the more than 9000 recordings by famous bands.

1926 John Henry "Johnny" Windhurst, Trumpet, b. New York, NY, USA. self taught and never did learn to read music. Played with Bechet, Hall, Louis Armstrong, Condon, Wettling, and others

Notable Events
on this date include:

1942. George M. Cohan composer/actor dead at age 64.

1954. "Hot Lips" Page, trumpet, b. New York, NY, USA. Age: 46

1956. Art Tatum, piano, b. Los Angeles, CA, USA. Age: 47

1956. Robert Nighthawk, guitar, b. Helena, AR, USA. Age: 57

1960. Johnny Horton Country singer, dead - car accident- at age 33 (b. April 30, 1925)

1986. Louis Lorillard, founder: Newport Jazz Festival, b. Providence, RI, USA. Age: 67

1988. David "King" Odom, lead vocals. Member: 'King Odom Quartet'

2000. Jimmie Davis, C&W singer-songwriter, and two-term Governor of Louisiana, died in Baton Rouge, LA, USA. Age: 101.

2003. Bobby Hatfield, vocalist with "The Righteous Brothers", died in a Michigan Motel Room. Age: 63.

Songs Recorded/Released
on this date include:

1920 “If You Don't Want Me Blues” - Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds

1921 “Stingaree Blues (A Down Home Blues)”
- Esther Bigeou

1928 Watching The Clouds Roll By
(from "Animal Crackers") - (Tom Stacks vocal)
The Clicquot Club Eskimos

1929 "Plain Dirt", rec'd: McKinney's Cotton Pickers (Victor label. Among the Cotton Pickers that day were Fats Waller, Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins.

1929 “Gee, Ain't I Good To You? (Don Redman) - McKinney's Cotton Pickers

1930 “After All, You're All I'm After”, Vocal refrain by George Bias McKinney's Cotton Pickers

1942 "There Are Such Things", Dorsey, Tommy
1942 "Praise The Lord & Pass The Ammunition!", Merry Macs
1948 "My Darling, My Darling", Stafford, Jo
1955 "Love And Marriage", Sinatra, Frank

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