Night Lights Classic Jazz

It Came From Texas

A journey deep into the heart of a state's musical heritage.

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texas map

Photo: Wiki Commons

Taking a trip across the jazz map of Texas.

It’s one of the biggest states in the Union, and throughout the 20th century it was a wellspring of musical vitality, producing artists such as Ornette Coleman, Scott Joplin, Hot Lips Page, and Jimmy Giuffre. We’ll hear all of those musicians and more, including Amos Milburn, Charles Brown, Jack Teagarden, and John Carter, as we take a Lone Star State journey this week on Night Lights with “It Came From Texas.”

A future Night Lights program will be devoted solely to the vast topic of Texan tenor saxophonists. If you want to learn more about Texas blues and jazz, check out Dave Oliphant’s book Texan Jazz.

Music Heard On This Episode

Texas Chatter
Harry James — Kings of Swing (Laserlight, 1938)
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Texas Chatter
Harry James — Kings of Swing (Laserlight, 1938)

Notes: With Texan Herschel Evans on tenor sax.

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Breakfast Feud (excerpt)
Charlie Christian/Benny Goodman — Genius of the Electric Guitar (Columbia, 1941)

Notes: With Count Basie on piano.

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Maple Leaf Rag
Scott Joplin — Greatest Ragtime of the Century (Biograph)

Notes: 1916 piano roll.

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Dirty T.B. Blues
Victoria Spivey — I Can't Be Satisfied V. 2 (Yazoo)

Notes: Spivey said this blues was inspired by the scourge of tuberculosis in her home city of Houston.

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Beale Street Blues
Jack Teagarden — Comp. Okeh and Brunswick Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, and Jack Teagarden Sessions 1924-36 (Mosaic, 1930)
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Time Out
Count Basie — Comp. Decca Recordings (Decca, 1937)

Notes: Guitarist Eddie Durham's composition and arrangement.

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I Would Do Anything for You
Hot Lips Page/Buster Smith — 1938-40 (Chronological Classics, 1940)

Notes: Page on vocals, Smith on clarinet.

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Down the Road Apiece
Amos Milburn — Comp. Aladdin Recordings (Mosaic, 1946)

Notes: Also available on several single-disc Milburn compilations.

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Texas Blues
Charles Brown — Comp. Aladdin Recordings (Mosaic, 1950)
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Billy Boy
Red Garland/Miles Davis — Milestones (Columbia, 1958)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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I Been Down in Texas
Stan Kenton — Comp. Capitol Studio Recordings 1943-47 (Mosaic, 1945)

Notes: Arrangement by Gene Roland. June Christy, Gene Howard, and Kenton on vocals.

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The Train and the River
Jimmy Giuffre — Jimmy Giuffre 3 (Atlantic, 1956)

Notes: With Jim Hall on guitar and Ralph Pena on bass.

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Twilight Waltz
Cedar Walton/Kenny Dorham — Cedar! (Prestige, 1967)

Notes: Walton composition.

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Ramblin'
Ornette Coleman — Change of the Century (Atlantic, 1959)
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Sticks and Stones
John Carter/Bobby Bradford — Seeking (hat Art, 1969)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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