Bix Beiderbecke 1903 - 1931.
I am but one of many thousands of Jazz enthusiasts, to whom the legendary Jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke is still very important, in spite of the fact that he died so long ago. Most importantly, we can still enjoy his playing on the many fine records he made; even though - as is usual when recording - musicians (now as then) tend to ‘play safe’ during a take. Much of what we have on record by Bix is superlative; so we can hardly imagine what he must have sounded like at his best, playing live!
On this web-page, I have drawn together a number of pages from my old website that deal, one way or another, with Bix and some of his musical confrères.
Of course, these deal only with trivia. All the major information about Bix is, naturally, contained in the various books that have been published about him. And, of course, his recordings; all of which are currently available on CD. Details of these books and CDs are given at the foot of this page. Also, there is a major and very active website devoted to the study & appreciation of Bix, to be found at: www.bixography.com; and in addition, there is also the very excellent Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society, based in Bix’s home town, Davenport, Iowa, U.S.A. Their website is at: www.bixsociety.org.
Having said all that, here are the odd comments about Bix 78 rpm records &c., that are peculiar to this website!
The Bix Memorial Album. This link takes you to a page on which you can read, &/or download, the 12-page booklet that was provided with the RCA-Victor 7-disc set of Bix recordings issued in 1936.
Label credits on Parlophone. The label credit on the original American OKeh issues of Bix and Frank Trumbauer was often given differently on British Parlophone. Here is a list of the Parlophone credits, many of which are quiet fanciful.
Bix Beiderbecke on Parlophone. This article, hastily written in 2000, has now been updated, and the 78 labels scanned again in rather better quality. It will give you a brief outline of the British Parlophone label between about 1923 & the 1940s, based mostly on the OKeh recordings of Bix that appeared thereon.
This is a work in progress… as at September 2006, we still have to re-format & upload pages on the 78 labels of Bix records issued in the U.K. in the 1920s & 30s; a page on Don Murray’s clarinet solo on ‘Jazz Me Blues’ by Bix & His Gang, &c.
1. Books on Bix Beiderbecke. To be written in…
2. CDs of Bix Beiderbecke. For these, simply go to Amazon or any other large retailer, and search for ‘Bix Restored’. This will find for you the monumental 13 CD set on the Sunbeam label that was lovingly compiled by many distinguished specialists. (Note that many of these sides were made during Bix’s period with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, so he was present on very many tracks that do not contain any Jazz; probably the very best of Bix’s recordings would fit onto two - or possibly three - CDs. Such compilations are indeed to be found easily on the web.)