[JPL] Boston Jazz History

Eric Jackson eric-jackson at comcast.net
Sat Sep 2 14:54:24 EDT 2006

On Saturday 02 September 2006 12:52, Jae Sinnett wrote:

> -------------------------------------------
> Perhaps a strange request.......I know Harry Carney was born in Boston and
> the rest of the history associated with him and his relationship with Duke
> Ellington. I'm curious........when Duke died in 74 Carney was quoted as
> saying "he had nothing else to live for." He died a couple months after
> that statement. Does anyone know how he died? I can't find much on info on
> this and knew there was some question as to how he did. Also, did he
> perform with anyone else in the Boston area after he started working with
> Duke or was it just Ellington? I know he was with the Ellington
> organization longer than anyone else and recorded one or two recordings as
> a leader but I can't find any info on them. Would anyone know the titles?
> Thanks for any info.....
>   Jae Sinnett

Hi Jae,

Harry was just 17 when he joined Duke's band in 1927. It was not his first gig 
in NY. Johnny Hodges, who lived down the street from Harry in Boston, was 4 
years older than Harry and he was in NY before Harry was, working with Chick 
Webb. He helped Harry get his first NY job. With a job possibility, Harry 
asked his parents if he could stay in NY. Duke used to come and hear the band 
Harry joined  frequently at the Bamboo Inn and when the Inn burned down, 
Harry was out of a job. Duke offered him a job. I would doubt if he played 
with many Boston bands after he joined Duke. Unlike now where you can get 
from Boston to NY in an hour or so, the trip would have taken some time. My 
guess is that musicians didn't go back and forth as frequently in those days 
as they do now. And if Duke worked frequently and certainly he did work 
regularly after he opened at The Cotton Club in 1928, Carney wouldn't have 
the time to go back to Boston.

Harry Carney's Big Eight recorded 4 tunes on 3/18/46

Harry Carney's All Stars recorded 2 tunes in the fall of 1947 and and they 
recorded another 2 tunes in 1949.

Harry Carney's Big Eight recorded 8 tunes 12/14/54

Harry Carney & The Duke's Men recorded 4 tunes on 9/16/60 and they recorded 
another 4 tunes on 9/17/60

I don't know if this music is available or not. Try checking with the French 
Jazz Classics label. If you want specific song titles or other information 
about the recording sessions, I can give you that information.

Eric Jackson
8 pm - mid Mon - Thurs
WGBH Boston
89.7 FM

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