Sunday, June 9, 2013

Composer - Billie Brown (1894 - 1921)

Composer Billie Brown was thought to have been 18 years old when she died of Smallpox in December 4, 1921. In reality she was about 26 years old the fact that she was an accomplished composer and had a total of seven tunes published (two of them posthumously) was still a feat.

Published posthumously. 
Her tunes ranging from ballads to ragtime were successful at the time of their publication. Billie Brown appears to have been the adopted daughter of William and Anna (Welker) Brown. According to census data she was listed as being born in June of 1894 as Irene Anderson her father being born in Sweden. Her adoptive father William Brown was a saloon keeper.

Over the years her named changed to Willie Anderson and then to Billie Brown. With the help of her mother writing the lyrics to her compositions her music began being published in 1915 with her first known piece called Aloha Oe (Variations).

Further tunes were published including one by her mother Anna Brown, Shower of Kisses (1915) in which Billie did the arranging. Two version of one called The Star and the Rose published in 1918 & 1919, and Dangerous Blues in 1921.


In 1921 the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded Dangerous Blues along with several other performers including Eubie Blake and Mamie Smith.

After her death a few pieces were published posthumously including the popular Lonesome Mama Blues in 1922.

Lullaby Moon (1922) and What's on Your Mind (1924) were the only other tunes published under her name.

Follow this link for more information on Bille Brown's short life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Neville Dickie at the Sherborn Inn, Sherborn, Massachusetts

Neville Dickie
Famed British stride piano player Neville Dickie appeared for the 12th year in a row at the Sherborn Inn last night, joining members of Stan McDonald's Blue Horizon Jazz Band for some high caliber Classic jazz!

Dickie played solo piano several times backed by drummer Dave Bragdon as well as being joined on and off by Stan McDonald on soprano sax and Jeff Hughes on cornet.
Ross Petot
Ross Petot played piano through the intermission, where he was briefly joined by Dickie on one number. Petot played several tunes with the band as well during the second set.

Nagasaki was played by Dickie upon request and proved to be quite popular as did his Boogie-Woogie tunes which he is noted for.
Dave Bragdon
Stan McDonald
Bragdon gave Dickie a run for his money on a couple of tunes especially Nagasaki where he kept up with Dickie's increasing speed. Tunes by Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller and Willie the Lion Smith were all on display. Dickie played Smith's tune Finger Buster with alacrity and Stan McDonald and the band played Morton's Tijuana to great effect.
Jeff Hughes
One member of the audience, Freddy, who was celebrating his 70th birthday, got up to sing Somebody Stole My Gal, which he did with gusto while using a couple of different voices!

Stan and Neville swing!
The venue appeared to be quite popular to the full house who applauded and cheered throughout the performances. Neville Dickie told some jokes and kidded with longtime audience members including George A. Borgman's widow Janet. He announced to the audience that George was once asked to write 6 pages of liner notes for his CD Any Time and that George turned in 28! He claimed the booklet was so big it was hard to slide inside the case. The actual number in the booklet is 15.
Neville Dickie and Janet Borgman
Dave and Neville after the performance.
Ross Petot and Janet Borgman
Neville introduces Ross!
Janet and Stan chat after the show.
Check out Marce Enright's Posting of this event at her New England Traditional Jazz Plus.