OLD TIME RADIO - 1 CD - 37 mp3 - Total Playtime: 16:10:25
Ever since most of Chicago’s top musicians moved to New York in the mid-to-late 1920s, New York City has been the Jazz Mecca. Nearly every major jazz style of the past seventy years has been initiated in the Big Apple.
It was Charlie Parker, familiarly known to his fans and fellow musicians as “Bird,” a contraction of Yardbird, his formal nickname, who was the dynamic creative personality and genius of the alto saxophone who served as the inspiration for Birdland.
When the original Birdland opened sixty years ago in December, 1949, Charlie Parker was the headliner and the club was located on Broadway, a block west of the 52nd Street scene, which was a hotbed of jazz in the 1930s and 40s.
Miraculously, just as the scene on 52nd Street caved in, Birdland was born and quickly came to prominence. For the next fifteen years, the club’s survival formula was built upon memorable double and triple bills, commencing at 9 p.m. and sometimes lasting ’til dawn.
In addition to Bird, many jazz legends were regulars at the club. Count Basie and his smokin’ big band made Birdland their New York headquarters, eventually recording George Shearing’s “Lullaby of Birdland” live at the club. John Coltrane’s classic Quartet regularly appeared at the club in the early 1960s, recording “Live at Birdland.” And the famous DJ, Symphony Sid Torin made a name for himself broadcasting live from the club to radio listeners up and down the eastern seaboard.
In its first five years of existence, 1,400,000 paid the $1.50 admission to make their way either right to the cabaret section or left to the intense listening bullpen to hear Birdland’s attractions and sample its atmosphere. Given the artists on the bill, that comes as no surprise. Birdland’s booking history reads like a who’s who of jazz: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Stan Getz, Lester Young, Erroll Garner, and many, many others.
Considering the excitement that Birdland generated on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that the club attracted its share of celebrities. Regulars to the nightly festivities included such household names as Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Joe Louis, Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Sugar Ray Robinson.
As Allan Morrison, the long-time editor of Ebony once put it, “Birdland was both a cultural vantage point and a barometer of trends where all the big names in jazz performed.”
But as a new popular music, Rock & Roll emerged, Birdland’s fortunes declined in the 60’s and its doors were closed on Broadway and 52nd in 1965. After many 5 am nights, the club needed to take a nap.
Birdland awoke uptown in 1986 at 2745 Broadway, on the corner 105th Street where it was well renowned for its great acoustics and unique setup. In ten years, more than 2,000 emerging artists performed at the club. On many occasions, artists who performed at the original club on 52nd street graced the stage of the second version of Birdland as well.
Still there was something missing. “After ten successful years uptown, I felt the mystique of Birdland returning to midtown – it would be the natural continuation of the legendary jazz corner of the world,” said Birdland owner John Valenti.
(Text from the Birdlandjazz.com website)
Bobby Hammack First Tune - Lullaby of Birdland
Count Basie 45-02-01 First Song - Aces And Faces
Count Basie 530101 - From Birdland
Count Basie 530106 - From Birdland
Count Basie 530108 - From Birdland
Count Basie 530113 - From Birdland
Count Basie 541216 - From Birdland 5th Anniversary
Count Basie 551106 - From Birdland
Count Basie 561230 - From Birdland
Count Basie 570210 - From Birdland
GI JIVE 1093 First Song - Jumpin At The Woodside - Count Basie
GI JIVE 602 First Song - Blue Lou - Count Basie
GI JIVE 892 First Song - G I Stomp - Count Basie
Jazz Club USA 1951-06-24 - Birdland
Jazz Club USA 1952-xx-xx - Birdland
Jubilee 43-06-07 (028) Guest - Count Basie, Jimmy Rushing - First Song - Basie Boogie
Jubilee 43-12-06 (055) Guest - Count Basie, Teddy Wilson
Jubilee 44-09-11 (097) Guest - Count Basie, Thelma Hopkins
Jubilee 44-10-02 (100) Guest - Count Basie, Rochester
Jubilee 45-07-09 (140) Guest - Count Basie, Ann Moore
Jubilee 45-09-24 (149) Guest - Dick Haymes, Count Basie
Jubilee 47-01-24 (206) Guest - Count Basie
Jubilee 47-10-24 (245) Guest - Count Basie, Ella Mae Morse
Jubilee 48-04-23 (269) Guest - Count Basie Orchestra, Jimmy Rushing
Jubilee 48-04-30 (270) Guest - Count Basie, Toni Harper
Let's Go To Town 172 Lullaby Of Birdland
One Night Stand 44-04-10 First Song - Digging For Dex (Count Basie)
One Night Stand 44-05-22 First Song - It's Sand, Man (Count Basie)
One Night Stand 45-01-29 First Song - The Red Bag Boogie
One Night Stand 46-07-26 First Song - Jazz Me Blues
Stan Kenton 530428 ep042 Birdland
Stan Kenton 530508 ep043 Birdland
Stan Kenton 531006 ep064 Birdland
Stan Kenton 531013 ep065 Birdland
Stan Kenton 531020 ep066 Birdland
Stan Kenton 531027 ep067 Birdland
Stars On Parade 51-10-xx W Count Basie Orchestra
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