Odds & Ends

By February 7, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Merv Griffin “auditions” Jim Hall.

In 1965, even with Johnny Carson already entrenched as the king of late night television, other networks kept trying to establish their own bedtime talk shows. One that had relative success was that of Merv Griffin. After a brief run on NBC, Griffin’s syndicated show began in May of 1965. Like all talk shows of […]

Posted in: Jazz, Odds & Ends, Videos
A conversation with my idiot twin.
By January 28, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

A conversation with my idiot twin.

Idiot Twin: “I see where Bob Seger died.” Me: “No, that was Pete Seeger who died. The folksinger.” Idiot Twin: “I didn’t know Bob Seger had a brother. A folksinger, eh? Like Marshal Dillion?” Me: “You’re thinking of Bob Dylan. Marshal Dillon was a character on TV. You know, Matt Dillon, on the old ‘Gunsmoke’ […]

By January 17, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Fiddle me this: jazz on the violin (part 1).

The video here features Stuff Smith’s extroverted violin with Kenny Drew’s trio, filmed at the Club Montmarte in Copenhagen in 1965. Hearing Smith in typically fine form here reminded us of the rarity of great jazz fiddlers. Not only have they worked the peripheries of jazz since its inception, they almost exist in spite of […]

Nashville!
By April 13, 2013 3 Comments Read More →

Nashville!

The scene inside Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop, on Broadway in downtown Nashville. At any given moment, you’ll find local musicians jamming or pitching their latest tunes on a stage at the back of the store. Dead Like Jazz has no designs on competing with Frommer’s, Lonely Planet or even Trip Advisor when it comes to […]

Charlie Parker slept here.
By March 30, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Charlie Parker slept here.

While Civil War battlefields, inns where our founding fathers slept and birthplaces of 19th century billionaires tend to be the most visited historical sites in America, there is another, less known world of obscure and arcane monuments out there. From the violent, the sad and the paranormal to the simply dull, there seem to be […]

By March 28, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Jazz humor?

Above is a video of comedian Pete Barbutti telling one of his signature jazz stories on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, from some time in the 1980’s. At least conversant on several instruments, Barbutti has functioned for years in the same role Victor Borge did for classical music. Barbutti is essentially the jazz version […]

Posted in: Jazz, Odds & Ends, Videos
The Cry of Jazz, death and the diaspora.
By March 27, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

The Cry of Jazz, death and the diaspora.

(left) Richard Dreyfuss and Jack Warden in “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” and (right) white and black jazz fans argue its history in “The Cry of Jazz”. In 1959, Mordechai Richler wrote a scathing novel that explored the coming of age and mercenary ambitions of a Jewish teenager in 1950’s Montreal. In 1974, “The Apprenticeship […]

Posted in: Jazz, Odds & Ends
Good music as bad advertising.

Good music as bad advertising.

Every time we hear Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion on National Public Radio, we get a giggle out of his longtime “sponsor”, Powdermilk Biscuits. Utilizing a Powdermilk jingle that changes a bit every week, and which often contains all manner of musical quotes, inside jokes and oddball references, Keillor’s fine on-air band and guests […]

Musical musings on a gray day.

Here are some random items, at least vaguely germane to what we write about here, all gleaned from around the web-o-net. First, we see that a giant saxophone is getting a new home in Houston. The folk-art piece was created for a now-defunct night spot, and the new property owners want the damn thing out […]

Posted in: Jazz, Odds & Ends

Three degrees of separation.

Like fans of Kevin Bacon, we’re fascinated by odd relationships, familial and otherwise. Not necessarily the truly strange ones, like the estimate that 8% of all Asians living today are descendants of Genghis Khan. Say what? Apparently, it’s so, but we’re not sure they asked everyone involved for proof. Talk about the wrath of Khan! […]


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