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Bix Beiderbecke & His
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke
(March 10th 1903 - August 6th 1931)
This recording was made in Richmond, Indiana on January 26th 1925 with Bix Beiderbecke cornet, Tommy Dorsey trombone, Don Murray clarinet, Paul Mertz piano, Howdy Quicksell banjo, and Tom Gargano drums.
*"Davenport Blues" was composed on the spot at the session by Bix Beiderbecke. It was on the B side of the first record to be released under his own name.
Born in Davenport, Iowa on March 10th 1903 Leon Bismark Beiderbecke displayed an amazing aptitude
for music at a young age.
After learning the rudiments of piano from his mother, Bix set out to learn cornet which he taught
himself mainly by ear.
His first exposure to jazz came form bands of passing riverboats and the young music scholar soon
became enamored with recordings by the "Original Dixieland Jass Band".
At age eighteen Bix's parents enrolled him in the exclusive Lake Forest Academy, a boarding school North of Chicago, which gave the young musician ample opportunity to slip away and play at the jazz clubs and speakeasies of The Windy City.
Frequent bouts of drinking binges and absence from the school eventually led to his expulsion and after
gigging around Chicago for a time Bix Beiderbecke joined "The Wolverine Orchestra" in late 1923.
In February the following year he appeared on his first recordings with the band in Richmond, Indiana
for Gennett Records.
In October of that year Bix left the group for a short lived spot in the Detroit based "Jean Goldkette Orchestra" and in January of 1925 would appear on his first sides as a leader with some members of the band.
Bix and Frank Trumbauer both formerly of the Goldkette band signed with "Paul Whiteman's Orchestra" during the Fall of 1927 and in the coming years the pressures of constant touring took their toll on the cornetist and perpetuated his alcoholism.
After multiple hospitalizations and years struggling with alcohol addiction Bix Beiderbecke died alone at his apartment in Sunnyside, Queens on Thursday August 6th 1931.
While drinking or lack thereof was defiantly a factor, his official cause of death was deemed lobar pneumonia.
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