The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Album.


What is the 1936  ‘Bix Memorial Album’?


Well, this page is being put up here hastily because we just discovered that some 78 record collectors who have some, or all, of the records which comprised it, do not actually possess the accompanying booklet. In other words, the ‘liner notes’ of the album, were sometimes lost when the individual records were split up. (Something most unlikely to happen when, much later, an ‘album’ consisted not of 5, 6 or 7 78 rpm discs in a multi-pocket ‘book’, but just one (or two) discs, or CDs!)


Anyhow, I can expand this explanation later: but this web-page’s primary purpose is to make available the 12-page booklet (‘liner notes’) that originally accompanied the 1936 Victor record album devoted to the memory of the young and brilliant Jazz improviser Bix Beiderbecke. He played the cornet; that is, a slightly different (and, when you get down to it, more ‘conservative’) version of the trumpet. This was the main instrument of early Jazz, much as the guitar was – and is – the main instrument of the rock band.


Here are 12 links that will enable you to download and - if you so desire! - make your own facsimile of the booklet that accompanied the original (any now highly sought after) album of 78 rpm records, first issued in 1936.


I was jolly lucky in late February 2003, when I attended Phil Pospychala’s annual ‘Bix Birthday Bash’ in Racine WI. Almost the first item I found in the record bazaar he always has, was a fine copy of the complete album with all the 7 records in virtually mint condition, with the booklet too. The price asked was very reasonable, and better still, the discs were rather later pressings (not the ‘scroll’ Victor but the ‘round’ Victor label) and thus from a period when the Victor 78s were pressed from very smooth, lovely material. When you play such 78s today, using an elliptical stylus of say .003” or .0035”, the quality of sound is extremely good.


Bix died, aged only 28, in August 1931. A great and strikingly innovative musical improviser, he worked within the then new concept of ‘Jazz’. But, like many exceptionally creative artists in whatever artistic field before (and after), he succumbed to the insatiable and unfulfillable demands & pressures of the life he had been drawn into, and ‘burned himself out’, arguably becoming the first ‘genius and martyr ‘of Jazz to become known in his own time, even if mostly among his fellow musicians.


The original booklet is of size approximately 9.375” (23.8cm) by 6.875” (17.5cm).  I have scanned in the pages preserving the wide margins of the original. So if you take each page below, and print it out to fit into the sizes given above, you can make your own replica of this booklet, both in text and style! For those of you who use Windows, the program Microsoft Publisher makes it easy; just create a 12-page booklet of the right page size. Create a page-size picture frame on each page, then import each numbered .jpg in turn to each page. When you print out the booklet, the pages will be in the right order when folded and stapled. All you have to do is trim it to size, and Lo! You have a replica of the original album booklet.  


It was printed on good quality semi-gloss paper, what (I guess) might be 90gsm paper in modern parlance.


If you use these scans ‘as-is’, there’ll be a few shadowy margins &c. But you can always ‘clean up’ the .jpgs in your photo-processing program.


Just click on the links below, one at a time, to give you a .jpg of each page… then just save each picture somewhere convenient on your hard drive, and work on them later.


The file size is around 250 – 300 kilobytes per .jpg, so if you haven’t got a broadband connection to the Internet, it could take a little while to download all 12.


Page 1


Page 2


Page 3


Page 4


Page 5


Page 6


Page 7


Page 8


Page 9


Page 10


Page 11


Page 12


Of course, some of the critical commentary by Warren Scholl has been superseded by more recent research: but in no way should the advantages of hindsight we enjoy, be applied retrospectively to any student or critic writing over 60 years ago! Scholl did a brilliant job with these notes!




Norman Field.


Page written 22nd January 2004.

Revised September 24th 2006.