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Sweet Lorraine

Jimmie Noone's
Apex Club Orchestra


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Jimmie Noone
(April 23rd 1895 - April 19th 1944)


This recording was produced in Chicago on August 23rd 1928 featuring Jimmie Noone clarinet & leader, Joe Poston alto sax, Earl Hines piano, Bud Scott guitar & banjo, Lawson Buford tuba, and Johnny Wells drums.

*"Sweet Lorraine" was composed by Cliff Burwell, with lyrics by Mitchell Parish and published in 1928. The song was later adopted to great success by Nat King Cole, a great admirer of Earl Hines, who first learned the song from this record by Jimmie Noone.

Jimmie Noone was born in Cut Off, Louisiana on April 23rd 1895 and grew up in Hammond where he first started playing music as a guitarist.

His family moved to New Orleans in the 1910's and Noone soon put his instrument aside in favor of the clarinet, studying with master reedmen Lorenzo Tio Jr. and a young Sidney Bechet.

He began performing professionally in Storyville with Freddie Keppard in 1913 and formed the "Young Olympia Band" with Buddie Petit in 1916.

Noone went on to play with Kid Ory and Oscar Papa Celestin in Storyville until the district was permanently closed in 1917.

He returned briefly to play with Keppard as a member of his "Original Creole Orchestra" but when the band broke up he moved to Chicago the following year.

There Jimmie expanded his musical knowledge under the tutelage of symphony clarinetist Franz Schoepp and performed for the next two years at the Royal Garden Cafe alongside Paul Barbarin and King Oliver.

In 1920 he rejoined Keppard in Doc Cook's dance orchestra where he remained for six years before organizing a band of his own booked at the Apex Club on 330 E. 35th Street in Chicago.

When the Apex Club (a notorious speakeasy) was raided and shut down in 1929 Jimmie Noone played at a various other Chicago establishments traveling around the country over the next decade with a number of prolonged stays in New York.

In 1943 he relocated to Los Angeles, California to take part in the traditional New Orleans jazz revival.

Jimmie made his first radio appearance for CBS with his all-star band on March 15th 1944 as a featured performer on "The Orson Welles Almanac".

After four successful broadcasts of the show on the morning of the fifth, April 19th 1944, Orson Welles telephoned Kid Ory and informed him that Jimmie Noone had died suddenly from a heart attack in his home that morning.

Welles asked Ory to write a blues to be performed in memoriam on the radio program that evening saying;
"See if you can work one up, We'll call it 'Blues for Jimmie'".

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