Another boost was provided in the late 1950s by the recording of From then on, it was Count Basie.". of the band. The Gonzel White show was stranded in Kansas City, Mo., a fateful location for Mr. Basie. His mother paid 25 cents per piano lesson for him when he was young. the personnel, and formed the first Count Basie Orchestra. Then I sat beside him and he taught me.". "He commented that Bill Basie was a rather ordinary name and that During the 1940's, many of the great jazz musicians of the decade passed through the band, among them Illinois Jacquet, Don Byas, Wardell Gray, Paul Quinichette, Lucky Thompson, J. J. Johnson, Paul The His group, Count Basie and his Cherry Blossoms, was an outgrowth of Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City. was a member of the Basie band in the 1940's. Even more important was the fact that the Famous Door had national and local radio wires. According to court papers, Diane is “severely retarded and only marginally communicative,” so Basie left two co-trustees he considered his close friends in charge of his estate and his daughter. It was on one of these broadcasts that Bill Basie became Count Basie. passages, directing his musicians with a glance, a lift of an eyebrow or a note hit gently but positively in passing. Mr. Basie's wife, Catherine, died in April 1983. When Basie died of pancreatic cancer in 1984 at the age of 79, he left his $1.5 million fortune in a trust to provide for Diane. He then married Catherine Morgan in July 1940 in the King County courthouse in Seattle, Washington. OBITUARY. Count Basie married twice first to Vivian Lee Winn and divorced around 1935. The key Mr. Basie's band, more than any other, was the Rhythm," "Dinah," or "Lady, Be Good." favorites, "Jumpin' at the Woodside" and Mr. Hammond spread the word about the Basie band, Dance, Stanley. The band survived Basie's death, recordings, the 1943 musicians' strike, the strain of Count Basie Center for the Arts is dedicated to making your visit safe during these unprecedented times. so rode out on stage in a motorized wheelchair. As one critic put it, they "put wheels on all four bars of the beat," creating a smooth rhythmic flow over which Mr. Basie's other instrumentalists rode as though they were on a streamlined The history of the Count Basie orchestra is generally divided into two broad periods—the Old Testament band, which lasted from 1935 to 1950, and the New Testament band, which lasted from 1952 until Basie's death in 1984. 'Dire straits': The impact of COVID-19 on the Count Basie Center for the Arts COVID-19 forced the Basie to cancel or postpone nearly 100 performances, resulting in a … With many of the other big bands of the swing on the stand. Count Basie, the jazz pianist whose spare, economic keyboard style and supple rhythmic drive made his orchestra one of the most influential groups of the Big Band era, died of cancer yesterday morning Cause of death: Cancer - Pancreatic. He flicked out tightly economical, single-finger Count Basie is considered one of the greatest bandleaders of all times. Gonsalves and Clark Terry. During the 1940s and '50s, Basie and his orchestra were one of the most popular big bands in the U.S., with hits like "One O'Clock Jump" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside." "He certainly made a notch in musical history," said Benny Goodman, 75 years old, the jazz clarinetist and bandleader. hired him. Mr. Alexander agreed to lend the club $2,500 to install an air-conditioner if it would book He became an accompanist to the blues singers Clara Smith and Maggie Jones and he worked He was a big force in music. To go on the road, Mr. Basie expanded his nine-piece band to 13 pieces. by JOHN S. WILSON. "Of course, I wanted to play real jazz. This stemmed primarily from the presence in the rhythm section, from 1937 to the present, of both Mr. Basie on piano and Freddie Green on guitar. While on one tour he became stranded In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. William Basie was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, on August 21, 1904. And that was the Basie sound. In fact, the only reason I enlarged the brass was to get a richer harmonic Page, Mr. Basie and Mr. Rushing all joined Bennie Moten's orchestra, the leading big band in the Southwest, which became even stronger with their presence. band's achievements was its fifty-year survival in a culture that Ellington's (1899–1974), the most famous African American groups' recordings were of the highest quality, but in 1951 Basie He joined Walter Page’s Blue Devils in 1928 and a year later was lured away to the Bennie Moten Orchestra. structure. At a White House reception, President Reagan said that Mr. Basie was "among the handful of musicians that helped change the path of American music in the 30's and the 40's" and that he had "revolutionized jazz.". Mr. Basie was, along with Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, one of the pre-eminent bandleaders of the Big Band era in the 1930's and 40's. Young, Hershel Evans, Buddy Tate, Buck Clayton, Harry Edison, Dickie Wells, Vic Dickenson and, primarily, Mr. Basie himself. You never got tired of that business at the end.". style—a solid rhythm backing the horn soloists, who were also next five years. expensive blunder in Basie's history," said Mr. Hammond) that included hit after hit--"Swingin' the Blues," "Jumpin' at the Woodside," "One O'Clock AKA William Allen Basie. Count Basie is considered one of the greatest bandleaders of all times. The musician most closely associated with Kansas City jazz, pianist and bandleader William Basie was born in New Jersey and came to Kansas City in the late 1920’s. In 1981, Mr. Basie was honored along with Cary Grant, Helen Hayes and other stars as a Died: 26-Apr - 1984. He and his band recorded with Even after the bop era of jazz had overwhelmed swing, Basie had success with smaller bands, … "Count.". experienced so many changes in musical fashion, especially after the Okla., a band that included--in addition to Mr. The band will continue under the guidance of Aaron Woodward, an adopted son of Mr. Basie who has worked closely with the orchestra leader during the last year. And while that’s where Basie and his band rose to national fame, the jazz great’s origins can be traced to a house located just blocks away from the historic theater that today … Red Bank, New Jersey 1928. in the death of the big-band era. When William James “Count” Basie died of cancer in 1984, he left his $1.5 million fortune in a trust to provide for his only child. with trumpeter Thad Jones directing until his own death in 1986. But I wanted that bite to be just as tasty and subtle as if it were the three brass I used to use. returned to his first love—the big band—and it thrived. non-soloing brass and reeds). mid-1960s, when jazz lost much of its audience to other forms of music. (Lockjaw) Davis, Frank Wess, Jimmy Forrest and the blues singer Joe Williams. Basie decided to form a medium-sized In 1950, when big bands were falling apart, Mr. Basie cut down to an eight-piece group but by 1952 he was leading a big band once again. the Basie band. During his last years he had difficulty walking and and Sarah Vaughan (1924–1990). Basie's band regularly worked some of the better New York: Chelsea House, 1992. After working briefly as house organist in a I thought he was kidding, shrugged my shoulders and replied, 'O.K.' “Count” Basie (1904-1984) The title of one of his band’s most famous tunes — “The Kid from Red Bank” – is an obvious tip-off, but many jazz historians assume that William J. Basie He was a fine pianist and leader of one of the greatest jazz bands in history. The broadcast was picked up one night by John Hammond, the jazz enthusiast who had discovered Billie Holiday and helped Benny Goodman start his band. skilled performers (reflecting Basie's sound management) gave the Hollywood, Florida. Remains: Buried, Pinelawn Memorial Park, Farmingdale, NY. 6° Cachets Count Basie Death 25th Anniversary The cachet line, which began in 2008, was created for several reasons including to fill the void of philatelic covers depicting African Americans and Black Heritage, to educate collectors about Black stamp subjects or topics of interest, and to express Black culture in an atypical medium. Count Basie was an extremely popular figure in the jazz world for half a ", The jazz pianist George Shearing said that Mr. Basie's greatest trademark was the three sweet, soft notes that ended many of his great swing-era compositions. Finally, Willard Alexander, a booking agent, in an effort to get the band on 52d Street, then the jazz center of New York, made a deal with the Famous Door, a shoebox of a room, 25 feet wide and about This familiar pattern was evident in the When Bennie Moten died in 1935, the band disintegrated and Mr. Basie organized a small band to play at the Reno Club in Kansas City that became the nucleus of the band with which he gained his initial band's theme song, "One O'Clock Jump," big city hotel ballrooms. From the Grand Terrace, it moved on to New York and Roseland Ballroom (playing opposite Woody Herman's new, young band) where listeners complained that it was out of tune (not a surprising reaction Despite the presence of Lester Young and Herschel Evans in the saxophone section, Buck Clayton in the trumpet section, Jo Jones on drums, with Jimmy Rushing and, briefly, Billie Holiday as vocalists, Within a year the arrangements that enabled his band to break through a year earlier, lent Mr. Basie some of his arrangements. On July 21, 1930, Basie married Vivian Lee Winn, in Kansas City, Missouri. While he recuperated his band continued to fulfill engagements, frequently with Nat Pierce taking Mr. Basie's place at the piano and sometimes with guest conductors such as the trumpeter Clark Terry, who The songs were often designed to fame. The World of Count Basie. Jump" (his theme) and many others now considered jazz classics. Count Basie Birthday and Date of Death Count Basie was born on August 21, 1904 and died on April 26, 1984. factor in popularizing it was a series of repetitions of the final few bars when, as the orchestra seemingly came to the end of the piece, Mr. Basie held up a finger and called out, "One mo' Died: April 26, 1984. Family Life. I saw Count Basie himself perform in Melbourne Australia not long before he died, perhaps by a couple of years, can you please help me with a date of this tour, thanks. Read More on This Topic jazz: Count Basie’s band and the composer-arrangers New York: Random House, 1985. The Black Music Association honored Mr. Basie in 1982 with a gala at Radio City Music Hall. Sometimes the arrangement When that band broke up in 1929, he Bennie Moten's band Darlin'"), Ernie Wilkins and Frank Foster ("Shiny Stockings") were among the most notable orchestrators. By 1937 Basie's band was, with the possible exception of Duke He was 79 years old and lived in Freeport, the Bahamas. "And that's when the whole fire started," said Mr. Alexander. Soloists were less prominent in this second edition of the Basie band although it included some of the major jazz musicians of the post-50's years, such as Thad Jones, Joe Newman, Al Grey, Eddie When the band left for Chicago it had only 12 written arrangements in its book. The Basie band played at President John F. Kennedy's inaugural ball, and in 1965 toured with Frank Sinatra. Born: August 21, 1904. a few moments before. Count Basie never stopped swinging over a 55-year recording career until his death … bands in history. The pianist in the combo gave up his seat to Mr. Basie who sat down, tinkled a few Through Mr. Waller, Mr. Basie got a job as an accompanist with a vaudeville act called Katie Crippen and Her Kids. Not loud and fast, understand, but smoothly and with a definite punch.". Well, that was the last time I was ever introduced as Bill Basie. night performances in a number of small cities and towns that were He said all you have to do is tap your foot. African American bandleader and musician. band in America. saxophonist Lester Young. Died: April 26, 1984 April 27, 1984. superior arrangements (reflecting Basie's good taste) and the "flagwavers," Then he joined a touring show headed by one Gonzel White, playing piano in a four-piece band. Mr. Basie was born in Red Bank, N.J., on Aug. 21, 1904, an only child who was christened William. the band developed its own variation of the Kansas City swing ', "The next day he invited me to sit in the pit and start working the pedals. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1980. Buying a ticket or being a guest at a Pop-Up Stage show is an agreement to comply with all social distancing and mask guidelines set forth by local and state governments. The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra with special guest Joey DeFrancesco at New Trier's 36th Annual Jazz Festival “Count” Basie, Jr. was a native of Kansas City, Missouri. His wife, Catherine, had died in on a motorized wheelchair which he sometimes drove with joyful abandon. But the obvious talents of another young Red Bank drummer, Sonny Greer, 1983. introductory notes, looked up at the drummer, nodded at the rest of the group and, when the combo took off, the musicians were playing as brilliantly and cleanly as they had been disheveled only "Lester Leaps In," were created as features for Count Basie’s brand of swing was nice and easy – like cutting butter. recipient of Washington's Kennedy Center honors for achievement in the performing arts. When the Page band broke up in 1929, Mr. His piano style, which often seemed bare and simple, was an exquisitely realized condensation of the florid "stride" style of Fats Waller and James P. Johnson with whom Mr. Basie started. By then a series of records by the Basie band had begun appearing (under a contract with Decca Records by which Mr. Basie was paid a total of $750 for 24 sides with no royalties--"probably the most I wanted those three trumpets and two trombones Count was 79 years old at the time of death. In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. traveled to by bus). Hollywood, Florida in a 14th Street dance hall. NOTE - For "Count Basie And His Orchestra" and "Count Basie Orchestra", please use Count Basie Orchestra Count Basie (born August 21, 1904, Red Bank, New Jersey, USA - died April 26, 1984, Hollywood, Florida, USA) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and … The Count Basie Orchestra is a 16 to 18 piece big band, one of the most prominent jazz performing groups of the swing era, founded by Count Basie in 1935 and recording regularly from 1936. He played piano with them, with one interruption, for the a shrewd judge of talent and character, and he was extremely patient in went to Kansas City to hear it and support it and brought it to the attention of booking agents. He led the group for almost 50 years It was during this time that he was given the nickname The Eight years after Count Basie's death, Capitol Records released this handy 20-song collection of his most notable tracks from the years 1957-1962 that he spent on Roulette Records. His Though the Orchestra filed a bankruptcy petition in 1987, listing the Internal Revenue Service as its major creditor in the amount of $330,000, it continued to … Birthday: August 21, 1904 With the exception of a brief period in the early '50s, he led a big band from 1935 until his death almost 50 years later, and the band continued to perform after he died. They were referred to as "I wanted my 13-piece band to work together just like those nine pieces," he explained. dealing with the egos of his musicians. The band flopped at a Pittsburgh hotel that had never booked a jazz band before. fast-paced tunes designed to excite the audience. Count Basie was an extremely popular figure in the jazz world for half a century. When we played pop tunes--and, naturally, we had to--I wanted those pops to kick! "April in Paris," which became the trademark of the band For a year he played piano accompaniment to silent moves and then joined Walter Page's Blue Devils in Tulsa, cushion. give my right arm to learn. He eventually relocated the Cherry Blossoms to Chicago, then to New York City. there were a couple of well-known bandleaders named Earl Hines and Duke Ellington. I sat on the floor watching his feet and using my hands to imitate him. for the next quarter of a century. Born: 21-Aug - 1904. In 1976 Basie suffered a heart attack, but he returned to the bandstand since many of Mr. Basie's musicians were blowing patched-up horns and saxophones held together by rubber bands). He was a fine pianist and leader of one of the greatest jazz I said the minute the brass got out of hand and blared and screeched instead of making every note mean something, there'd be some changes made. It continues as a 'ghost band'. The loss of key personnel (some to military service), the wartime ban on He died of cancer in Even in Harlem, it puzzled the aware audiences at the Savoy Ballroom. "Can you imagine a man who kind of romps around the piano," Mr. Shearing said, century. Count Basie. Basie was a member of Omega Psi Phifraternity. onenighters, and the bebop revolution of the mid-1940s all played a role Hollywood, Florida, on April 26, 1984. Mr. Basie, a short, stocky, taciturn but witty man who liked to wear a yachting cap offstage, presided over the band at the piano with apparent utmost casualness. He was the arbiter of the big-band swing sound and his unique style of fusing blues and jazz established swing as a predominant music style. years ago when a number of musicians, including Mr. Basie, were scheduled to perform in a variety of combinations. In doing so, we are operating in accordance with all local and state executive orders. parents, Harvey and Lillian (Childs) Basie, were both musicians. band a permanent place in jazz history. A group that included some Basie sidemen was on stage, playing in a ragged, desultory fashion, when Mr. Basie arrived. His father was a student of the mellophone, and his mother was a pianist. William J. Unostentatious as Mr. Basie appeared, his presence was a vital factor in directing his band or any group of musicians with whom he might be playing. to bite with real guts. 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