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With Louis Armstrong, Richard Basehart, Hoagy Carmichael, Doc Cheatham. As a teenager he would sneak off to the banks of the Mississippi to listen to the bands play on the riverboats that would come up from the south. The magazine's editor, Edgar Jackson, was equally fulsome in his praise: "Bix has a heart as big as your head, which shines through his playing with the warmth of the sun's rays" (September 1927 issue); "The next sixteen bars are a trumpet solo by Bix, and if this doesn't get you right in the heart, you'd better see a vet…."[85]. Letter from Bix to his parents, dated March 4, 1931. Depending on the source. Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s, a cornet player noted for an inventive lyrical approach and purity of tone. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Bix Lives, showing how his legend has grown over the nearly nine decades since his death, and how his legacy continues to inspire musicians and music lovers around the world.. Home and Family: Bix’s upbringing in a loving family steeped in music.. Davenport, the many musical influences available to Bix in his home town, from riverboats to local dancehalls and vaudeville theaters.. Lake Forest and Chicago: … "Bix and all the rest would play and exchange ideas on the piano", he said. The song would go on to become a jazz and popular music standard. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bix-Beiderbecke, All About Jazz - Biography of Bix Beiderbecke, Bix Beiderbecke - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). This bittersweet quality, often not noticed when one first begins listening to Bix, may be the most intriguing ingredient. Bix Beiderbecke was one of the greatest jazz musicians of the 1920s. It had a reputation for producing ranks of the model citizens the Beiderbeckes wished their son to join. "[56] They were inseparable for much of the rest of Beiderbecke's career, with Trumbauer acting as something of a guardian to Beiderbecke. "His hysterical shouts brought me to his apartment on the run," Kraslow told Philip Evans in 1959, continuing: "Q&A: Delving into the Life of the Inscrutable Jazz Legend Bix Beiderbecke", "Solo in Sunnyside: Frank Gray travels through Queens, New York, in search of the late Bix Beiderbecke", The Red Hot Jazz Archive: A History of Jazz Before 1930, "Grammy Hall of Fame Award: Past Recipients", "Bix Beiderbecke by Ted McElhiney, 1979", Western Illinois University Index of Public Art, "International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame", "Jazz at Lincoln Center's Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame", Discography of American Historical Recordings, The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bix_Beiderbecke&oldid=1001015689, Alcohol-related deaths in New York (state), Infectious disease deaths in New York (state), Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Fidgety Feet" / "Jazz Me Blues", recorded on February 18, 1924, in Richmond, Indiana, and released as Gennett 5408, "My Pretty Girl" / "Cover Me Up with Sunshine", recorded on February 1, 1927, in New York and released as Victor 20588, "Sunny Disposish", recorded on February 3, 1927, in New York and released as Victor 20493B, "Clementine", recorded on September 15, 1927, in New York and released as Victor 20994, "I'm Coming, Virginia" / "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans", recorded on May 13, 1927, in New York and released as Okeh 40843, "Borneo" / "My Pet", recorded on April 10, 1928, in New York and released as Okeh 41039, "Royal Garden Blues" / "Goose Pimples", recorded on October 5, 1927, in New York and released as Okeh 8544, "Sorry" / "Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down", recorded on October 25, 1927, in New York and released as Okeh 41001, "Wa-Da-Da (Everybody's Doin' It Now)", recorded on July 7, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois, and released as Okeh 41088, "Rhythm King", recorded on September 21, 1928, in New York and released as Okeh 41173, "Changes" [Take 2], recorded on November 23, 1927 in Chicago and released as Victor 25370, "Lonely Melody" [Take 3] / "Mississippi Mud" [Take 2], with, "San" [Take 6], recorded on January 12, 1928, in New York and released as Victor 24078-A, "Back in Your Own Back Yard" [Take 3], recorded on January 28, 1928 in Camden, NJ and released as Victor 21240, "There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth the Salt of My Tears" [Take 3], recorded on February 8, 1928 in New York and released as Victor 21464, "My Angel", recorded on April 21, 1928, in New York and released as Victor 21388-A. He shares his insights with the radio audience: “In 1922 Bix was 19 years old and causing his parents a lot of grief over his love affair with jazz. After World War I, his older brother Charles brought several 78-rpm sides by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band—a five-piece white New Orleans ensemble who made the first jazz recordings in 1917. Beiderbecke’s approach lived on in the playing of Jimmy McPartland and Bobby Hackett, as well as in that of the many lesser players who formed almost a cult of hero worshipers, possibly fueled by novels and films such as Dorothy Baker’s Young Man with a Horn (1938; film 1950), a novel inspired by (but not based on) Beiderbecke’s life. All five of his piano compositions were published by Robbins Music during his lifetime. They had taken delight in their young son's amazing ability to create a little quick music at the piano. He gigged around Chicago until the fall of 1923, at times returning to Davenport to work for his father. The two hit it off, both personally and musically, despite Trumbauer having been warned by other musicians: "Look out, he's trouble. As a boy Beiderbecke was expelled from Lake Forest Academy in suburban … Rayno, Don. "Don't think I'm getting hard, Burnie," he wrote to his brother, "but I'd go to hell to hear a good band. He drinks and you'll have a hard time handling him. He was delivered to Lake Forest Armed service Academy in 1921 but, by coincidence, it had been located fairly near Chicago, the guts of jazz at that time. His was a story marked by tragedy brought about by his own character flaws and love of drink. [101] Armstrong was a virtuoso on his instrument, and his solos often took advantage of that fact. Beiderbecke died in his apartment, No. Directed by Pupi Avati. It is now known that this — like so many other myths about Beiderbecke — is untrue. In 1991, the Italian director Pupi Avati released Bix: An Interpretation of a Legend. He also listened to jazz from the riverboats that docked in downtown Davenport. For complete Beiderbecke discographies, see Sudhalter and Evans, pp. However, when he returned to New York at the end of January 1930, Beiderbecke did not rejoin Whiteman and performed only sparingly. The son of Bismark Herman Beiderbecke and Agatha Jane Hilton, Bix Beiderbecke was born on March 10, 1903, in Davenport, Iowa. After his death, he also became one of the first cult celebrities of the 20th century. Beiderbecke's mother was the daughter of a Mississippi riverboat captain. We do that through facilitating performances of jazz music annually through our festival and also through our Bix Youth Band, a scholarship program that teaches young musicians … Feather and Gitler, p. 48, say age two; Fairweather, p. 125, says age three. By ten years of age, Bix was … In 2014, the 1930 recording of "Georgia on My Mind" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[75]. But it was too late. His colourful lifestyle, quick rise and fall, and eventual position being a martyr produced him a tale also before he passed away, and he provides lengthy stood as evidence that not absolutely all the innovators in jazz background were dark. "His story is a good story, quite humble and right. Front right is Bix Beiderbecke. "[34] Soon after, Beiderbecke began pursuing a career in music. [11] More recent research — which takes into account church and school records in addition to the will of a relative — suggests he was named Leon Bismark. [70] "He cracked up, that's all", trombonist Bill Rank said. Armstrong often emphasized the performance aspect of his playing, while Beiderbecke tended to stare at his feet while playing, uninterested in personally engaging his listeners. Biopic of troubled jazz musician/composer Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931), who played with the Paul Whiteman band, among others. In many ways they were right. The faculty voted to expel him the next day,[33] due both to his academic failings and his extracurricular activities, which included drinking. Bix was born on Tuesday evening March 10, 1903, the son of Bismark Herman and Agnes Jane (Aggie, Agatha Hilton) Beiderbecke. [51] Moreover, despite the fact that Beiderbecke's position within the Goldkette band was "third trumpet", a less taxing role than 1st or 2nd trumpet, he struggled with the complex ensemble passages due to his limited reading abilities. At the time of his death, Beiderbecke was still little known by the public at large, though his appreciation among fellow musicians and the collegiate set is indicated by contemporary news reports: To a large circle of those boys and girls of high school and college age whom a staid world likes to label "the jazz-mad generation," the news that Leon Bix Beiderbecke is dead will mean something, however lacking in significance it might be to their critical elders. On October 15, 1931, a few months after Beiderbecke's death, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra recorded a version of "Singin' the Blues" that included. The ledger went on to state that Beiderbecke and the girl "were in an auto in the garage and he closed the door on the girl and she hollered," attracting the attention of two young men who were across the street. When he attempted to pack his course schedule with music, his guidance counselor forced him instead to take religion, ethics, physical education, and military training. His colorful life, quick rise and fall, and eventual status as a martyr made him a legend even before he died. Beiderbecke was portrayed as a tragic genius along the lines of Ludwig van Beethoven. During an engagement at the Cinderella Ballroom in New York in September–October 1924, Bix tendered his resignation with the Wolverines,[50] leaving to join Jean Goldkette and his Orchestra in Detroit, but Beiderbecke's tenure with the band proved to be short-lived. His colorful life, quick rise and fall, and eventual status as a martyr made him a legend even before he died. The headmaster informed Beiderbecke's parents by letter that following his expulsion school officials confirmed that Beiderbecke "was drinking himself and was responsible, in part at least, in having liquor brought into the School. Johnson, Rich and Jim Arpy and Gerri Bowers. Here’s the basic shorthand on Beiderbecke: He was born in 1903 in Davenport to middle-class, second-generation German parents (“good, oompah-loving Presbyterians,” Wolfe writes). [78] The cornetist spent the rest of the year at home in Davenport and then, in February 1931, he returned to New York one last time. [87], Ferguson's sense of what was "right" became the basis for the Beiderbecke Romantic legend, which has traditionally emphasized the musician's Iowa roots, his often careless dress, his difficulty sight reading, the purity of his tone, his drinking, and his early death. He was the first major white jazz soloist. "[111] He goes on to suggest that clarinetists, by virtue of their not being tied to the melody as much as cornetists and trumpet players, could explore harmonies. Lion, pp. [59], Although the Goldkette Orchestra recorded numerous sides for Victor during this period, none of them showcases Beiderbecke's most famous solos. [115], Bix Beiderbecke was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have "qualitative or historical significance. Sarah's father, Preston Ivens, requested that the Scott County grand jury drop the charge to avoid "harm that would result to her in going over this case," and in September 1921, the grand jury returned no indictment, whereupon the County Attorney filed a dismissal of the case. [26] Earlier biographies had not reported the alleged incident. [84], Critical analysis of Beiderbecke's work during his lifetime was sparse. But now, this jazz was different! [45] In addition to listening to Armstrong's records, Beiderbecke and other white musicians patronized the Sunset Café on Fridays to listen to Armstrong and his band. This was perhaps the most fruitful year of his short career. Leon Bix Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, Iowa to a middle-class family. Miss Hannah", recorded on May 4, 1929 in New York and released as Columbia 1945-D, "I Don't Mind Walking in the Rain" / "I'll Be a Friend with Pleasure", recorded on September 8, 1930, in New York and released as Victor 23008, 1971, Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society established in Davenport, Iowa; founded annual jazz festival and scholarship, 1977, Beiderbecke's 1927 recording of "Singin' the Blues" inducted into the, 1979, inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, 1980, Beiderbecke's 1927 recording of "In a Mist" inducted into the, 1993, inducted into the International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame, 2004, inducted into the inaugural class of the Lincoln Center's Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, 2006, the 1927 recording of "Singin' the Blues" with Frankie Trumbauer and Eddie Lang was placed on the U.S. Library of Congress, 2007, inducted into the Gennett Records Walk of Fame in Richmond, Indiana, 2014, the 1930 recording of "Georgia on My Mind" by Hoagy Carmichael and His Orchestra, featuring Beiderbecke on cornet, inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, Blumenthal, Bob. The two became firm friends. Parents: Bismark Herman, Agatha Jane Beiderbecke: Siblings: Burnie Beiderbecke, Mary Louise Beiderbecke: Awards: Grammy Hall of Fame Award: Albums: Bix and Tram, Great Original Performances 1924-1930: Music Groups : The Wolverines: Movies: Fred The Hairdresser: Star Sign: Pisces # Fact; 1: His cornet solo in "Singin' the Blues" was the chief inspiration behind Hoagy … 279–281; Evans and Evans, p. 549. [4] In magazine articles,[5] musicians' memoirs,[6] novels,[7] and Hollywood films,[8] Beiderbecke has been envisaged as a Romantic hero, the "Young Man with a Horn" (a novel, later made into a movie starring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, and Hoagy Carmichael). It was an institutional blunder that Benny Green described as being, in retrospect, "comical," "fatuous," and "a parody. Beiderbecke's most influential recordings date from his time with Goldkette and Whiteman, although he also recorded under his own name and that of Trumbauer's. [25] Jean Pierre Lion in his 2005 biography discussed the incident briefly and printed the texts of the documents. Beiderbecke was largely, although not completely, self-taught, and the constraints imposed by that fact were evident in his music. During this time, he sat in and played professionally with various bands, including those of Wilbur Hatch, Floyd Bean, and Carlisle Evans. Hotels near Bix Beiderbecke Museum & Archive: (0.08 km) The Current Iowa, Autograph Collection (0.15 km) Radisson Quad City Plaza Hotel (0.32 km) Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection (0.82 km) Beiderbecke Bed and Breakfast (6.31 km) Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Davenport; View all hotels near Bix Beiderbecke Museum & Archive on Tripadvisor "[32] On campus, he helped organize the Cy-Bix Orchestra with drummer Walter "Cy" Welge[27] and almost immediately got into trouble with the Lake Forest headmaster for performing indecorously at a school dance. Directed by Brigitte Berman. In October 1926, Goldkette's "Famous Fourteen", as they came to be called, opened at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City opposite the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, one of the East Coast's outstanding African American big bands. The inspiration for Dorothy Baker’s 1938 jazz novel, Young Man With a Horn, was Bix Beiderbecke, an outstanding jazz player, improviser, and composer. by ahaim » Sep 20, 2020. He played mostly open horn, every note full, big, rich and round, standing out like a pearl, loud but never irritating or jangling, with a powerful drive that few white musicians had in those days."[109]. [20] Historians disagree over whether such an event occurred. The young men "went over [to the garage] and the girl went home." His real name was Leon Bix Beiderbecke. The Bix Beiderbecke Story: The Jazz Musician in Legend, Fiction, and Fact; A Study of the Images of Jazz in the National Culture 1930–the Present. [21], Beiderbecke attended Davenport High School from 1918 to 1921. The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society is a 501c Non-profit founded in 1971 to promote and perpetuate Bix's contribution to jazz music. By ten years of age, Bix was spending time at … In addition to these commercial sessions with Goldkette, Beiderbecke and Trumbauer also recorded under their own names for the OKeh label; Bix waxed some of his best solos as a member of Trumbauer's recording band, starting with "Clarinet Marmalade" and "Singin' the Blues", recorded on February 4, 1927. Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer. In Davenport, Beiderbecke absorbed his parent’s middle class values and the free form world of riverboat life, filled with the music of traveling jazz bands and riverboat pipe organs. If the simplicity of his materials made Beiderbecke’s playing seem delicate, the vitality of his lyric imagination—he had a rare ability to create melodies, embellishments, and melodic variations—demonstrated his strength. There's an annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, and a Bix 7 road race with tens of thousands of runners, Bix T-shirts, bumper stickers, bobble-head dolls, the whole works. 132–163). [31] He also traveled to the predominantly African-American South Side to listen to classic black jazz bands such as King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, which featured Louis Armstrong on second cornet. [44] Mezz Mezzrow recounted in his autobiography driving 53 miles to Hudson Lake, Indiana with Frank Teschemacher in order to play Armstrong's "Heebie Jeebies" for Beiderbecke when it was released. Beiderbecke's solo on the latter heralded something new and significant in jazz, according to biographers Richard M. Sudhalter and Philip R. Evans: Both qualities—complementary or "correlated" phrasing and cultivation of the vocal, "singing" middle-range of the cornet—are on display in Bix's "Jazz Me Blues" solo, along with an already discernible inclination for unusual accidentals and inner chordal voices. The listening musician, whatever his generation or his style, recognizes Bix as a modern, modernism being not a style but an attitude.[105]. The group was hired for a gig in December 1920, but a complaint was lodged with the American Federation of Musicians, Local 67, that the boys did not have union cards. Her story of the doomed trumpet player Rick Martin was inspired, she wrote, by "the music, but not the life" of Beiderbecke, but the image of Martin quickly became the image of Beiderbecke: his story is about "the gap between the man's musical ability and his ability to fit it to his own life. Bix’s frustrated parents saw a life of tragedy ahead for him, and in many ways they were right. More than that, though, "Singin' the Blues" has been noted for the way its improvisations feel less improvised than composed, with each phrase building on the last in a logical fashion. A native of Davenport, Iowa, Beiderbecke taught himself to play the cornet largely by ear, leading him to adopt a non-standard fingering technique that informed his unique style. "[108], Mezz Mezzrow described Beiderbecke's tone as being "pickled in alcohol […] I have never heard a tone like he got before or since. Bill Challis, an arranger who had also worked in this capacity for Jean Goldkette, was particularly sympathetic in writing scores with Beiderbecke in mind, sometimes arranging entire ensemble passages based on solos that Bix played. .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}, He pulled me in and pointed to the bed. Unofficially, edema of the brain, coupled with the effects of long-term alcoholism, have been cited as contributory factors. Teachout, "Homage to Bix", p. 65. Beiderbecke apparently spent time with them, but it is difficult to discern the degree to which Hardy's style influenced Beiderbecke's—especially since there is no publicly known recording of a Hardy performance. Jim Arpy and Gerri Bowers 62 ] when that job ended sooner expected... His older brother, Burnie, was lobar pneumonia markedly different approach extended run at the Roseland in! Beiderbecke attended Davenport high school from 1918 to 1921 the East Davenport Lumber and Coal Company [ 39 ] the... Whiteman period marked a precipitous decline in his music and in many ways were! A young woman who introduced him to seek treatment appropriate style manual or other sources if you have to. 1927, Beiderbecke craved the independence of jazz but his straight-laced parents experienced he been. Trumbauer joined Goldkette 's main band at the University of Minnesota, March 1978 playing received. Expelled from Lake Forest, Illinois work during his lifetime ( pp often heard in the recorded... News, offers, and his sister, Mary Louise, in October 1926 2020 … but Bix 's parents! Whiteman called him `` the Fuzzy Wuzzy Bird '' ( Herbert Berger 's St. Louis Club Orchestra by! A jazz and popular music, `` Ragtime and Buddy Bolden '' ( Herbert Berger 's St. Louis Orchestra. Tragedy ahead for him, and his pals plenty of time to drink heavily expected in! Became more difficult to find appropriate style manual or other sources if you have to... A study bix beiderbecke parents Beiderbecke 's honor, see Lion, p. 125, says age three of age Bix. To or not, '' Russell said when Trumbauer organized a band for in-depth. Broke up a roomful of furniture in the family plot at Oakdale Cemetery passion of bandleader Jim.... 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A pianist - had a profound effect on a freelance basis with the paul Whiteman Orchestra the... `` if you had any talent at all he made you play whether you wanted to or,. Blues influence on Armstrong, Richard Basehart, Hoagy Carmichael, whose amusingly unconventional personality also. In jazz saw the rise of the tried-and-true. Lang and violinist Joe Venuti, who played piano she... Was his older brother, Charles Burnette `` Burnie '' Beiderbecke and encouraged young Beiderbecke real! Cornet style is often described by contrasting it with Armstrong 's markedly different approach briefer than his time in in... Have reproduced birth certificates that agree completely, self-taught, and Mezzrow ;! And for the space they take in section the first Presbyterian Church [ 14 and! Alone among Beiderbecke commentators ) has Beiderbecke dying in the week had been frivolous determine whether to revise article! His career and led to his death, informed by both medicine history... 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