St Louisan Trebor Jay Tichner, one of the foremost American performers and historians of ragtime music, suffered a stroke on Dec 1st. I’d like to acknowledge his contribution to the maintenance of our musical heritage, not to mention all that he, Al Stricker and their group The St Louis Ragtimers have done for St Louis over the past 50 years. So here’s a stellar clip of Trebor at his best (1986, Goldenrod Showboat, St Louis National Ragtime Festival) performing Scott Joplin’s Pineapple Rag:
Alicia Withers and Grizelda Skinner were frequent attendees at the National Ragtime Festival and would approve. We include Trebor in our prayers and wish him a speedy recovery.
Thanks to Tom Dunn at Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises , we have this Metro Retro photo taken on 4240 Olive Street in 1961. I’m sure it, like the video above, will bring back memories for the older Rumpians.
The Crystal Palace
This photo from the Metro Transit Blog notes that Barbara Streisand, age 18, then did a 3 week stint at the Crystal Palace. The posting adds that “Others who took the Crystal’s stage included Lenny Bruce, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Woody Allen, Phyllis Diller, the Smothers Brothers and Dick Gregory”. Pretty impressive lineup.
The Chamberlain and his entire staff extend their best wishes to the clan for a Merry Christmas. Many of them will be travelling north (!) for the holiday and will provide snow-filled images in the unlikely event that they survive.
This immensely talented young St Louisan, Stephanie Trick, will knock you out. If you don’t know of her, it’s time you did. This is a nice way to edge our way into spring, beginning with “I Ain’t Got Nobody” followed by James P Johnson’s “You’ve Gotta Be Modernistic”. Hope you enjoy it!
Nothing is quite as exhilarating as unexpectedly stumbling across true genius, especially when this genius is youthful and her talent is still evolving. In our prior Divertimento posts we have shared the fun of exploring musical phenoms such as Roy Goodman and guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. Tonight it is a young pianist, indeed a Missourian, who is our featured virtuosa. Her name is Stephanie Trick and rather than wasting time writing about her, just listen to this…
Stephanie’s idol and inspiration was Fats Waller. Can you imagine what that prodigious and prodigiously gifted pianist would have thought on hearing Stephanie render his ‘Handful of Keys‘ or ‘Viper’s Drag‘? No doubt about what he would have said: ‘This joint is Jumpin’.
Alarmed about comments like “My, you’re looking prosperous!”? You are not alone! New data have appeared about the perils of portliness – this report from American Sports Data:
“The recent IHRSA/ASD Obesity/Weight Control Report publishes â€œrealâ€ research statistics on Americaâ€™s growing obesity epidemic. These alarming statistics reveal a dangerously overweight U.S. population.
Obesity is proliferating in the United States: 3.8 million people are over 300 pounds, over 400,000 people (mostly males) carry over 400 pounds and the average adult female weighs an unprecedented 163 pounds!”
As an Exclusive Service for OurRumpus subscribers I have decided to share with you the Wisdom of Tron, the antidote – here’s a free video which may provide a last-hope alternative for those of you struggling with weight gain. I can assure you that this is a reputable and extremely well trained fitness practitioner – listen up!
CAUTION:Consult with your personal trainer before adopting any of the more rigorous routines of Tron – start slowly, but remember – change is within your reach!
Notoriously shy except when on stage, Ella Fitzgerald was born on this day Apr 25 1917 (although Wikipedia insists it was 1918!) in Newport News, Virginia. The “First Lady of Song”, Ella was a self-trained vocalist and premier interpreter of the Great American Songbook (aka GAS). Here she is doing an evocative rendition of Stormy Weather with my favorite guitarist, Joe Pass (Hanover, 1975).
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Ella’s biography is truly inspirational. After the death of her mother in the early 30’s, Ella drifted. She dropped out of school, eventually worked as a bordello lookout and mafia runner, and ended up in reform school. At 17 she appeared in a competition at the Harlem Opera House where she intended to dance. Intimidated by the dancing skills of the preceding act, at the last moment she decided instead to sing Hoagy Carmichael’s “Judy”. She stunned the audience and the rest is history….
To celebrate not only St Patrick’s Day but also the birthday of Nat King Cole (b. March 17, 1919 Montgomery Alabama), here’s a St Patrick’s Day gift to the clan, a video of Nat doing one of his favorites, “Sweet Lorraine”. Delectable…
Nathaniel Adams Coles was the first black to host a TV variety show. His baritone voice was legendary, as was his distinguished gentle demeanor. Earl “Fatha” Hines was said to be his musical inspiration. This Wikipedia entry is a fascinating read, from which I quote the following:
“It is a common misconception that Nat Cole’s singing career did not start until a drunken barroom patron demanded that he sing “Sweet Lorraine.” In fact, Nat Cole has gone on record saying that the fabricated story “sounded good, so I just let it ride.” Nat Cole frequently sang in between instrumental numbers. Noticing that people started to request more vocal numbers, he obliged. Yet, the story of the insistent customer is not without merit. There was such a customer, who requested a certain song one night, but a song that Nat did not know. Instead he sang “Sweet Lorraine.” The trio was tipped 15 cents for the performance, a nickel apiece (Nat King Cole: An Intimate Biography, Maria Cole with Louie Robinson, 1971).”
Nat, a 3 pack a day cigarette smoker, succumbed to lung cancer at age 45. What a gift he was!