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Documentary: Born to Swing


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In 1973, the BBC aired a 50-minute documentary from director John Jeremy on the alumni of the Count Basie Band of 1943. And then the documentary went out of print. Fortunately for us, the person behind Remembrance of Things at YouTube found an old VHS tape at the public library and uploaded it as a vital historical document.

The documentary includes interviews with Buck Clayton, Buddy Tate, Jo Jones, Dicky Wells and Earle Warren. You'll also hear from Gene Krupa, Joe Newman, John Hammond and others.

The blowing is great but the plight of some of these musicians in the autumn of their lives in the days before financial planning and retirement funds is heartbreaking.

Here's Born to Swing...

Bonus: Here's Count Basie in 1943, with the so-called Old Testament band:

Here's One O'Clock Jump, the band's theme, with tenor saxophone solos by Buddy Tate and Don Byas, a trombone solo by Dickie Wells, Buck Clayton on trumpet and Vernon Alley on bass...

Here's Rusty Dusty Blues, with Jimmy Rushing on the vocal...

Here's Dance of the Gremlins...

Here's Air Mail Special...

And here's G.I. Stomp...

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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