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Basin Street Blues
Weldon Leo "Jack" Teagarden
(August 20th 1905 - January 15th 1964)
This was filmed as part of the TV special "International Hour: American Jazz" in Chicago on May 20th 1963 featuring Jack Teagarden trombone & vocals, Bobby Lewis trumpet, Henry Cuesta clarinet, Don Ewell piano, Maynard Gamble string bass, and Barrett Deems drums.
Trombone legend Jack Teagarden fronts his band during a telecast at Chicago's Civic Opera House with the performance of a Spencer Williams' Dixieland classic initially made famous on record in 1928 by his good friend Louis Armstrong.
Born in Vernon, Texas in 1905, Weldon Leo "Jack" Teagarden started off playing baritone horn at a very young age but switched to the trombone when he was seven.
He first performed publicly accompanying his mother who played the piano at a local movie theater.
Together with his brother Charlie he pursued music as a profession and by 1920 Jack was playing in San Antonio and within a few years started traveling extensively around the United States.
In 1927 he landed in New York City where he worked with a number of bands before taking a job with Ben Pollack the following year.
Jack Teagarden freed his instrument of the shackles of its traditional tailgate application establishing the trombone's role as an expressive solo instrument.
After working with the band of Wingy Manone in the early '30s Teagarden sought refuge from the crippling effects of The Great Depression for much of the decade with a steady paycheck provided through employment with the "Paul Whiteman Orchestra".
Following fleeting success leading his own big band, in 1946 Teagarden joined Louis Armstrong's "All Stars", before leaving in 1951 to lead his own followed by a stint co-leading a band with Earl Hines.
Jack Teagarden died of a heart attack alone in his room at the Prince Conti Hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans on January 15th 1964.
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