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Jack Pettis

(February 10th 1902 - August 24th 1963)

Jack Pettis was born in Emandale Indiana in February 1902 and spent his formative years in Chicago where he taught himself to play the c-melody saxophone. His professional career began in 1918 when the young reed man began playing with cornetist Paul Mares and pianist Elmer Schoebel and a member of the "New Orleans Rhythm Kings". In 1924 after appearing on recordings with the influential early jazz group in 1922 and '23, Jack moved to New York City and joined "Ben Bernie's Orchestra". There he became among the first saxophonist to be heard in a film utilizing Lee de Forest's early Phonofilm "sound-on-film" process playing an historic solo on "Sweet Georgia Brown" with the Bernie Band. Praised for his highly distinctive original style by 1926 the rising star started making records as a leader billed under his own name in addition to continuing to appear as a sideman for session with Ben Bernie and other top jazz musicians of the period.

Aside from being a great instrumentalist, Pettis was a composer whose original works included "St. Louis Shuffle", "A Bag O' Blues" and "Freshman Hop" and he also co-authored the widely played Standard "Bugle Call Rag" with Billy Meyers and Elmer Schoebel. Jack Pettis stopped appearing on records by 1930 and would only participate in one more session in his life held in 1937. The one time star had completely vanished from the New York music scene by 1940 leading to a flood of rumors as to the cause of his mysterious disappearance. Although believed to have already been deceased some twenty years earlier by many Jack Pettis actually died on August 24th 1963 in Oklahoma City.

Videos:

Ain't She Sweet (2:45)

At The Prom (2:40)

Baby (3:22)

Bugle Call Blues (2:31)

Cheatin' On Me (3:06)

Companionate Blues (3:25)

Craving (2:36)

Doin' The New Lowdown (2:50)

Fallen Arches (3:09)

Freshman Hop (2:49)

Medley (4:03)

Milenberg Joys (2:50)

Nashville Nightingale (4:11)

Panama (2:39)

Rush Inn Blues (3:16)

Sobbin' Blues (2:47)

Spanish Dream (3:02)

Sweet Georgia Brown (2:45)

Titina (2:42)

Toodles (3:58)

Up And At 'Em (2:55)

Why Couldn't It Be Poor Little Me? (3:04)

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