Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pupi Campo - The Missing Pepi Campellio?

In a previous post I made note the mention of John's arranging  work on page 5 in "New York Doings" part of the Nov/Dec 1945 newsletter  The Score  of ASMA  (American Society of Music Arrangers) now know as ASMAC American Society of Music Composers & Arrangers.

JOHN BARTEE scored a Columbia short
for Noro Morales and is making up arrangements for Pepi Campellio's new band, while still continuing his regular arranging for Machito's Orchestra, of the London Club
For the longest time I have searched for Pepi Campellio with no luck.  The name Pupi Campo seemed to always be popping up in all my research.  I didn't put too much into going down that path even though the names were similar I had no real connection.  You google Pepi Campellio and your results will be this website and the original  SCORE article.

I had no link until I started my new game of finding album covers with some connection to John. One thing lead to another and I found this note on Pupi Campo.

"Pupi Campo was born in Havana, Cuba, on May 1st, 1920. Campo was born Jacinto Campillo, and was the second of five children: Georgina, Alejandro, Armando and Josephina. While dancing in a Havana nightclub in 1940, Campo was noticed by New York club owner, Irving Sussman. Sussman invited the young man to look him up "if he were ever in New York City." Campo and his friend Armando Guin, began selling raffle tickets for a nickel the next day, and within a month, Campo took a boat called the "Floridita" to Miami, and was in New York and knocking on Mr.Sussman's door..."

Campo born Jacinto Campillo, now that's not too much of a stretch to get to Campellio.  Researchers of census records will tell you name spelling many times is recorded how the writer hears it.  Given that Pupi is Pepi now makes this a possiblity.    Could Pepi Campellio actually be Pupi "Campillio" Campo.

Last night my search got interesting when I searched for more personal information on Pupi Campo.  Not alot written online and I didn't feel like pulling all my books out where I have seen a bit of info on him.  Online we see his listing at the Internet Movie Database where a few things were.

Pupi Campo born May 1, 1920... I am not sure if the year is correct as I have found mention of him being 81 in 2007 and that he came to the United States in 1940 at age 16.

The IMDb listing gives the name of his second wife as  Betty Clooney  who he was married to from
7 September 1955 - until her early death on 7 August 1976  .   Mmmm.... could this be Rosemary & Nick's younger sister?  You know it was. They met while working on the CBS Morning Show with Jack Parr, which Parr took over from Walter Cronkite.

IMDb gives this bit of info for Pupi Campo:
Where Are They Now
(September 2009) In Las Vegas, where he lives
(September 2009) In Virginia Beach visiting his son Carlos, who is Chief Academic Officer at Regent University

Now this is good... as I live within a fifteen minute drive of Regent University.  I did a search on Carlos.  Betty & Pupi must have been great role models for their 4 children... as on August 1, 2010, Dr. Carlos Campo became the new President of Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

So... could Pupi Campo be a link to the Music of John Bartee?   A  Man whose story of coming  alone to the United States at age 16 was shared by Dr. Carlos Campo to an audience at The Latin Chamber of Commerce’s Career Day Scholarship Program in 2007.  Dr. Campo surprised everyone after the story when  he introduced his 81 year old father who was sitting in the audience. Pupi Campo stood up and received a long and loud ovation. It was a said to be a moving moment for Carlos and his father.

Is... Pepi Campellio...  Pupi Campo... whose new band John Bartee was doing arrangements for in 1945?

From the music I have listened to and the fact that Chico O'Farrill & Tito Puente also with connections to Machito were involved musically with Pupi Campo. There does seem to be a connection to John's hand.

I guess I will have to see if I can meet Dr. Carlos Campo very soon.  Maybe, somewhere in Las Vegas there are some original arrangements from 1945 which may have the memories of an 84 - 90 year old Band Leader still attached.

An added note in regards to Betty Clooney,  in 1983 her sister & extended family started the  Betty Clooney Foundation in her honor.

NOTE:  Pupi Campo died December 12, 2011  (click link for more information)

Monday, August 23, 2010

"The Savory Collection" - Performances by Jazz Greats

Since I don't get the New York Times or watch television news...  I depend on Journalists like Doug Ramsey and his news journal on the Arts,  Rifftide.  Lots of good stuff that you aren't going to find on the evening news there. He has been following "the Savory Collection", and the copyright issues that will probably slow down the public release of  the large collection of recordings made from radio broadcast in the late 30's by audio engineer William Savory.  I  include links here to the original New York Times article on  August 16th, 2010, their follow-up article on August 17th.   The National Jazz Museum in Harlem which has acquired the collection, and with others are in the process of restoring & digitizing the music.  In the meantime they have allowed us a taste of the music we can look forward to hearing in the years ahead.  If you don't have the time to wait, or you just want to listen ASAP maybe you should look into the copyright issue & debate regarding these one of a kind recordings.  I am sure a few people out there have ways to get  things moving with the powers that be.  Whatever way it goes... likely someone is already positioning themselves for a payday.

Treat this newly found treasure as  something that was freely given up by the actual persons involved in its origins.  Years ago as it went out over the airwaves  no one alive saw its future return to the World. 

  Sure, license  the right to compile the recordings for commercial sale and distribution.  Once the National Jazz Museum deducts the cost of acquiring, restoring, re-mastering & preserving the collection.  Grant a special copyright with no end for this Special Collection. Any profits /royalties could first go to making sure any musician or composer identified on the records has a memorial marker on their grave & these places of rest are properly cared for... so that future generations might remember the individuals.  Then establish a Trust that would receive any royalties along with other private donations for future preservation of Music History.   

This was a unseen gift from History, its beneficiary should be History.  Just a thought...

UPDATE:  A CBS News Story Video

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Memories & Stories Told...

1930 the Great Migration from Southern intolerance to Chicago Jazz and the Great Depression.  

I started this post ages ago only to put it away in search of more information.  I find out now that I am only at the being of my journey into John's life & influences in Chicago.  This will be an on going post of additions & edits but I feel I might find more answers if I open the door for input from those out there in the wide world of the Internet.

Somehow back in 2003/04  I got a hit on an Internet search that referred me to Central High in Kenosha, Wisconsin. To the locals the school is know as Mary "Bradford High".  They had a registration card on file for John with his local Kenosha address, and the name & address of his father in Florida.  Other than a date in 1932, and a note saying he had left the school as sophomore there was nothing else to go on.  Here I was stuck for many years not knowing why a young man that had been living in Florida in the 1920's was now near Chicago.  But even though he was in Kenosha I did know then he was just a commuter train ride away from Chicago where the Music surely was. There was a big new theater in town and it did seem like a nice place to live & work. Cynthia Nelson, Curator of Collections/Archivist/Educator at the Kenosha History Center   has told me the town was very forward thinking in  the importance of Education & the Arts early on.  I also had heard his oldest sister Julia had attended a Music College in Chicago... but other stories put her at Julliard.  So where do you go looking?  Well I did start listening to Lou Rugani on WLIP radio in Kenosha online.  I hear Lou is the go to person for alot of the area history including the Music which he himself is involved.  Hope to have a chat with him one day,  give his show a listen, "Remembering Kenosha" during the week, and "Music of the Stars" on Sunday morning.

I just left Chicago alone and time has taken care of bringing new clues.  Last month I contacted Bradford High again as I had misplaced the copy of the student registration card they had sent me years ago.  I got lucky and JoAnn H. contacted me back with a record she had located for John.  It wasn't the one from years before,  but a transcript of his studies, and yes... he was taking Band.  It showed that he had enrolled there on October 7th, 1930 with his records being transferred from Baldwin High School in Florida. This in itself was great because no one in the family knew he went to High School in Baldwin as he had been on his own since about age 16.  Story was John stayed behind in a town where he had a job at a drug store when his father once again packed the family up to move.

From Kenosha it seems John left Bradford High on April 18th, 1932 the file noting "sophomore to Florida". It isn't clear whether he went back to Florida, but any Snowbird will tell you that one doesn't fly south to Florida in May.  Maybe you head to Chicago for the summer and maybe do something  involving the 1933 World's Fair. The new school record did show me this...  On February 15, 1933 John enrolled in Nicholas Senn High School  in Chicago. Take note of an Alumni of Senn at the link who would have graduated about 1948/49, he shares a few common associates that have been mentioned on this website.

I would say John picked one of the best high schools in the area for its music programs.  Although some of the Austin High Alumni would probably say their school put out a fine group of musicians across town. I have just mailed off the forms to Chicago Board of Education to see what they might dig up in their records and the School opens next week so you can bet I will be making contact with the head of the Music Department to see what was happening there in 1933.  I know year books existed as I have requested an online company to check the ones they have from 32 to 36, who knows what they will find and what kind of dollars they will be wanting me to pay for the stuff if they do locate it.   So to my, Chicago Alumni & readers only second in numbers to John's followers in New York.... do me a favor and check yearbooks for John in 1933 & 34.  He also might have been enrolled as a night student. as he was 20 - 21 years old.  But my own grandmother didn't graduate until age 20, and she still went to college & taught school for 40 years.

Just down the L from Senn High was the Aragon Ballroom with its easy access to the residents of Chicago, where in a six day week it wasn't uncommon for 18,000 patrons to enjoy the Bands. Right nearby was The Green Mill Jazz Club  from which it is said,  Al Capone could walk from via an underground tunnel to enter the Aragon's basement. The Uptown area had the Uptown & Rivera Theaters and just down the L on N.Broadway was the Arcadia Ballroom .

This all puts John near the music of Goodman , the Dorsey's, and all the Big Bands of the day.  But it wasn't just these Modern Day musician's influence he was near to in Chicago. His older sister Julia had probably helped draw him north as  she  attended Chicago Music College. In 1928, Rudolph Ganz returned after being the the Director of the St. Louis Orchestra to teach & become the longtime Director of the school.
John's son who I recently made contact with shared a childhood memory with me of his father playing the piano as another man stood next to it singing "Opera Music".  Could it have been that John's original goal was to be a Classical Composer & Arranger of Music?  Even thought he was very talented on Sax, Clarinet & Piano his family has always said his focus was not about being a performing musician... but about creating Music. I do believe there is a difference in the two... especially for an individual whose musical mind is always playing.

So as you can read we are just at the begin of our journey
into Chicago and all that was happening in the early thirties.

And because it seems fitting to talk about payoffs and Chicago of the 30's in the same breath.

Another childhood memory from his son was men coming in the house and counting out rolls of money for music papers. This would have been after his return from California, where it seems he was left unemployed in 1946 by  maybe some of the same men that came to see him before the end of 1948.

Why am I not amazed at this memory... seems perfectly fitting for what I have learned about the Music business of years past.  Today it is done with more class... a nice corporate check through a third party.

On a brighter note... Two cousins met in person this past week for the first time in 70 years.  John Forrest shared with my Mother that the last visit he had with his father at age 8 was going fishing with cane poles near Port Washington, New York.  I think that memory alone... would give reason for a father to think of a son in the last years of his life.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"I'll Never Sing with a Dance Band Again" - Billie Holiday

Was doing a search over at DownBeat's archives and came across an interview that Billie Holiday did back in November 1939.  It was worth a laugh,  and I can see it all happening the way she says.  Now I have records for two individuals that it seems Artie didn't show the money.  Billie says, Artie Shaw never payed her for the Bluebird recording of Any Old Time, to think the people I bought my 78 from made more money off one copy than she did.  I pulled my record out and noticed Back Bay Shuffle on the other side with credits to (Macrae - Shaw).  Funny,  John probably got a very small amount of money for the arrangement, and Artie got fame & fortune that he says he hated.   I guess John outfoxed Mr. Shaw on that deal!

                                                     Lady Day   1915-1959

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Interview with Artie Shaw - David Susskind Show / 12/23/84

There were a lot more fun things to do in 1984 then listening to Artie Shaw talk... Still are, but since I just read "Three Chords for Beauty's Sake" I thought I'd give it a view.  This was a good time period in his life to do an interview,  he's 74 years old living with a 28 year old, and he has a new band on the road. 

I did like his reasoning behind a kid wanting an autograph... because he idolized Shaw.  I believe Shaw basically felt we as individuals need to take more pride in ourselves and developing our own abilities than to worship some flavor of the month celebrity.  Isn't that somewhere in the Old Testament?  Something about False Idols...  The interview with Cannonball Adderley over at Stomp Off,  in part #2 Mr. Adderley basically says the same thing,  as humans we need to respect & take more pride in ourselves first.  Not basing our identity just on the organizations which we belong.  Artie would probably be telling a lot of kids to start by just pulling up their pants, and to read a book.

Problem is you just can't convey that message when you refer to the autograph seekers as those Idiot Fans... 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tony Martin - Singer / Actor & 1st Husband of Alice Faye

Seeking contact with Tony Martin.  John's oldest sister's daughter passed on a story that he had once dated Alice Faye.  I never put too much into this other than it might have happened,  maybe at least one date of some kind.

She married Tony Martin in 1937 divorced in 1940.  She married Phil Harris in 1941 so I believe it would have been prior to this, as Harris & Faye had a long partnership, and marriage.  John was married himself in December 1938, and not separated from his wife until at earliest mid-1940.  So, at least legally they both were in relationships after 1937.  Prior to Faye's marriage to Martin might have been the case.  An even earlier time period between 1932 -1934 when Miss Faye was a radio singer; living in New York,  prior to movies & Hollywood seems more possible.  Official Alice Faye Website

On January 8, 2009, Tony Martin, a 95 year old widower, returned to the stage at San Francisco's Hotel Nikko in the Rrazz Room to sing many of his hit songs from the motion pictures he had been in.  Mr. Martin is known to have many memories of the era, and the musicians & actors of the day.  He himself picked up a saxophone at age 10.

If anyone can reach him for me and allow him to know of my search and anything he might be able to share it would be greatly appreciated.

    Alice Faye & Phil Harris

Although Alice Faye ended up with Phil Harris.  Mr. Martin seemed to have found the Fountain of Youth in his marriage with Cyd Charisse.

Tony Martin sang the theme song in the movie Party Girl

Rhapsody in Rhumba? You Best, Hold your Hats!

Update to Mambo Man & Music DNA 

And a

French Connection to the Roots of Mambo

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Love of Susannah McCorkle

Often we start out on a journey believing we have a clear understanding of our destination.  Though as our trip unfolds we may start to realize Life has a way of  allowing opportunities to venture down paths with breathtaking beautiful scenery.  More often though...we humans are in a rush, and feel the best  route is the shortest distance from point A to B at the speed of light, many times missing possible joys & rewards.

Sometimes we get lucky, and an event slows us down so that we get a taste of  the riches around us.  The sad part is these times seem to be something we can't always plan or predict. 

Life slowed me down recently.  from a constant focus on designing & building cabinetry.  A  profession that has many times just been directed at getting the job done and trying to leave the client smiling from the results, then rushing right on to a list of wants & challenges of the next project.

One constant distraction from the world of creating & building has been the search for my great-uncle John Bartee.  So a few months back when my body made me listen.... No longer could I  continue to fix bleeding hands & fingers with duct tape, or a bad knee with a brace, and ignore all other health issues just to complete a day's work.  I had to finally realize what was going on inside me could do two things... kill me or lead me to a stroke unable to care for myself.  I could deal with death,  though it's a done deal... it's  a new beginning.  But the possibility of being unable to have the freedom to explore and live yet you are still breathing, well that just didn't seem to be like something I wanted to try out.  I stopped right that second... and allowed Life to retake control of my journey.

And it was weird the stuff that I had searched to find answers for about John's life had a chance to finally find me. Now my body had created a situation that allowed me the opportunity to sit down and pull out all the notes & research in an attempt to make something out of them.  

This blog seemed like a format that would allow me to take one subject at a time and organize what I had found, without being overwhelmed with the challenge.  I didn't know that it would also start to unveil what I had learned about myself.

I am not a Writer... At my expense,  I failed to learn sentence structure and punctuation while in school, and  I am aware that this fact alone probably drives readers away from my words. But still I try to convey the thoughts and images that reside within my heart & mind even if I am my only reader.

The search for John has opened many new doors I may have never walked through.  One new door I have arrived at is that of Chris Albertson...   His blog,  Stomp Off  opens a reader and listener to the many lives, and voices of the music world.  In my previous post I tried to express my ideas about John's music... the world in which he lived as it has started to make itself known to me.

Through Chris... I feel I have been shown the lyrical Voice of Life's Music...  Susannah McCorkle... A name that had cross my path years ago, but apparently I was too busy planning my life to truly hear her.  She not only gives Music a voice with her ability to vocalise the poetry of her lyrics, but she breaths heart felt emotions into her songs,  allowing us to be a part of them.  Watching a partial interview she did with Charlie Rose one can easily see she was her Music.  The music she felt guided her journey, allowing  the influences of others, travels, and language all to be a part of her voice.

I can understand how a person's life could have been enriched by crossing paths with her,  sharing a conversation or maybe just a glance into her eyes... she was a beautiful person in so many ways... I so thank technology for creating the means to save her feelings for us to enjoy... She truly speaks for the emotions of life in her Music.

The Love of Susannah McCorkle is truly a part of Life's journey that I think we all should allow ourselves the time to experience.

Start your experience now... feel Susannah's love of music.

My Beginner's Playlist:

        My New Celebrity is You

      Felcidade (Happiness)

      No More Blues

      One For My Baby

      Something to Live For


      Laughing At Life

      The People You 
       Never Get To Love

      Along Too Long

      I'm Pulling Through


      If I Only Had A Heart

      Better Luck Next Time

      P.S. I Love You

Susannah McCorkle - An Interview with Charlie Rose / May 1990

The Music of Life fills Everything...

Update 8/8/2010:  After posting the above I found the following                                     broadcast on NPR's  Fresh Air  with Host Terry Gross on May 25, 2001.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Music of John Bartee

To the questions of where is The Music of John Bartee ?   Why you posting about Earl Bostic?

I answer...  In so much as this site was created for documenting the life & work of John,  I am a part of it.  For me to find John,  I have had  to open myself to the world in which he traveled.  Music... its sounds, places and participants are all a part of John Bartee's Music.  For every artist is a product of the world around them,  their ideas and thoughts influenced by Life.

When one has listened to Charlie Parker and knows he was influenced by the sounds of Jimmy Dorsey it allows another perspective into the man & his music.

I have read many accounts of the history of the popular music and its not hard to see an evolution from earlier influences. Bostic had  Sidney Bechet, and Coltrane had Bostic.  Good music was a combination of talented instrumentalists & vocalists along with a composition / arrangement that shared their voice,  all being influenced by the vices & environments in which the Music was a part.  Then you had individuals like Raymond Scott whose creative abilities & ideas allowed him to see a world of music that would not be dependent on whether a man  had a true gift to play an instrument.  It wouldn't matter if the musician had the chemistry  to mesh with a group in an impromptu  jam, or whether he had just shot up heroin or smoked a joint before the performance.  Scott was a pioneer,  yet his focus was more on  the sound with his electronic inventions & recording devices.  Technology that was more forgiving then the live performance, and  masked the actual abilities of an individual.    But after 70 years, and all the innovative technologies to  shape the evolution of Music... it is clear that the heart & soul of the art still requires individuals that live the music,  even if the industry chooses not to produce it.

John's music is not about the the Paris Hilton's that go into a music studio where an electronic illusion is created of their abilities. It relies more on  the kid that picks up an instrument and practices for years without any promise of reward.  The musician that studies and listens to the music of the world because it is part of who they are.  They are the stewards of the True Music of Life,  the music that allows all  of it's audience a means to forget the problems of today and  feel good about what tomorrow will bring.

That is... the Music of John Bartee... the sounds & emotions of our world.

A note of another musician... one that takes me back to the sixties.... My folks weren't big music collectors but I at least knew the names of Al Hirt, Henry Mancini  & "Cannonball" Adderley from the few albums in the house.  What kid would forget a nickname like "Cannonball".  Chris Albertson who is a TRUE Music writer has a blog called,  Stomp Off  where he has posted a two part audio interview he did with Cannonball Adderley in 1969.  The second 30 minutes, part II is a must listen for all Americans... if not all Humans.

I leave you with the sounds of "Cannonball" Adderley, and his truly gifted fellow Musicians.  One day the electric will go out... allowing all the world to again play the great Music that never really died.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Earl Bostic - Takes you Away

Just posting Earl's Music because you can't do the sound of the saxophone justice without him.

If you know of his music, I am sure you have enjoyed it... If you don't know the name,  treat yourself and look him up.

Now play Artie Shaw's version of  Man from Mars

1 Artie Shaw - The Man From Mars
3 artie shaw - The Yam
5 artie shaw - They Say
6 artie shaw - Thou Swell
7 artie shaw - Whistle While You Work
8 artie shaw - You Got Me
9 artie shaw - You're A Sweet Little Heartache
10 Artie Shaw - You're So Indifferent - LIVE

Music linked from Internet Archive

Cab Calloway Orchestra & C. Calloway Brooks

The Music of Cab Calloway continues to live on through his first grandson, C. Calloway Brooks.

An updated web link to the “Swing that is king and Jive that’s alive” .  A special video in the top right of the page.