1938

Charlie Parker Chronology

 

 

 

Created by Leif Bo Petersen

Last updated: October 10, 2017.

 

Date

Event

References/Further Details

 

January 10

Charlie Parker

Charlie and Rebecca's son, Leon Francis Parker, is born.

Charlie Parker is working out of town in this period.

 

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 27–28.

March?

Buster Smith Orchestra

7 pieces: Buster Smith, Charlie Parker (as); Odell West (ts); Emil Williams (p); Charles "Crook" Goodwin (g & voc); Billy Hadnott (b): Willie McWashington (d).

The band was sometimes expanded to 12 pieces.

Lucille's Paradise, Kansas City, MO.

Early March–June 1938.

Charlie Parker joins the Smith band at Lucille’s.

 

Buster Smith in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 214-15: gives no exact dating. States that Parker was with him for two years,

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 27–28: dates spring 1938 for Parker joining the band.

April 11

Count Basie and His Orchestra

Including Jimmy Rushing (voc).

Tommy Douglas’ Aristocrats of Rhythm

Buster Smith Orchestra

Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO.

8 p.m.–2 a.m.

Homecoming Dance presented by Musicians Relief Association.

 

“Count Basie to Play Homecoming Dance April 11th,” Plaindealer (Kansas City, KS), April 8, 3: Count Basie and His orchestra including Jimmy Rushing.

Ad in Plaindealer (Kansas City, KS), April 8, 3.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 30-31: The Douglas and Buster Smith band played from 8–10, hereafter Basie took over.

 

April 18?

Jay McShann Orchestra

7 pieces: Including tp, as, ts, and bar; Jay McShann (p); Gene Ramey (b); Pete McShann replaced by Gus Johnson (d).

Clair Martin’s Plaza Tavern (Kansas City, MO).

April 18?–September mid, 1938. 

Charlie Parker was probably not in the band during this engagement.

 

Gene Ramey in Stanley Dance, The World of Count Basie (1980), 270—72: Gene Ramey joined the band at the opening of this engagement on April 18 or 28. Tells that the band had 7 pieces. After about 3 months the band switched to Club Continental. 

Jay McShann in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1975), 147:  Parker started with him at the Plaza, Kansas City, in 1938. The band was there for 3 or 4 months. Parker's participation in the band probably refers to the band's engagement at Plaza in November.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 34—35.

 

May ?

Vine Street Varieties

Buster Smith Orchestra

Lincoln Theater, Kansas City, MO.

This show was broadcast by station WHB, Saturday afternoon 3–4 p.m.

 

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 31.

 

June 11

Buster Smith Orchestra

Pla-Mor, Kansas City, MO.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star, June 11, 1938, 7: Tonight only: Buster Smith and his Colored All Stars.

 

June 12

Buster Smith Orchestra

Wildwood Lakes, Kansas City, MO.

June 12–17?, 1938.

 

“Crowds to Wildwood,” Kansas City Star, June 12 1938, 3D: Buster Smith replacing Clayton Harburg and His orchestra for a few days.

 

June late

Buster Smith Orchestra

Orville Minor (tp), Buster Smith, Charlie Parker (as); Odell West (ts); Harry Taylor (p); Bill Smith (b): Bill Nolan (d, voc).

Antler's Club, Kansas City, MO.

June ?–July early, 1938.

Buster Smith in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 214-15.

C. Haddix, Bird —The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 31.

 A. McCarthy, Big Band Jazz (1974), 148: Down Beat August 1938 gives the personnel.

 

July early

Buster Smith Orchestra

Buster Smith leaves for New York, and leaves the band to Odell West and Charlie Parker, but it quickly falls apart.

 

Buster Smith in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 214-15.

C. Haddix, Bird –The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 32.

 

September mid

Jay McShann Band

Probably including Charlie Popeye Hale (as); Jay McShann (p); Gene Ramey (b);

All Star Floor Show

Club Continental, Kansas City, MO.

September mid–November ?, 1939.

Charlie Parker may have replaced Edward Popeye Hale during this engagement.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star, September 17, 1938, 7.

Ad in Kansas City Star, October 7, 1938, 20.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 34–35: States that Parker did not join the band until October.

 

 

November early

Jay McShann Orchestra

Billy Smith (tp); Charlie Parker (as); Bob Mabane (ts, voc); William Scott (ts); Jay McShann (p); Gene Ramey (b); Jesse Price (d, voc); Selma Long (voc).

Clair Martin’s Plaza Tavern (Kansas City, MO).

November early–late.

Ad in Kansas City Star, November 4, 1938, 22: Jay McShann and his seven-piece band at the Plaza.

Ad in Kansas City Star, November 11, 1938, 23: Jay McShann and his band at the Plaza.

Ad in Kansas City Star, November 18, 1938, 28: Jay McShann and his band at the Plaza.

Articles in Kansas City Call, November 12, 1938, ?; Journal Post, November 19, 1938, ?: Give the line-up (Information from C. Haddix).

 

November

Jam sessions

Probably including: Billy Smith (tp); Charlie Parker (as); Bob Mabane (ts, voc); William Scott (ts); Jay McShann (p); Gene Ramey (b); Jesse Price (d, voc);

Kangaroo, Kansas City, MO.

Thursday afternoon jam session organized by students of University of Kansas City.

 

C. Haddix: “Bird at the Jelly Joint,” Jam, August/September 2015, 6–8, 21.

http://kcjazzambassadors.com/jam-magazine/

 

November 11

Jay McShann Orchestra

Harland Leonard's Rockets

Walter Brown

Earl Coleman

Ruby Rachelle

Gold Crown Tap Room, Kansas City, MO.

Band Battle.

 

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 35.

November

Harland Leonard's Rockets

William Smith (tp); Harlan Leonard (as & dir); Charlie Parker (as); Odell West (ts); Rozell Claxton (p), Winston Williams (b); Jesse Price (d).

Charlie Parker probably joins Harlan Leonard November late 1938.

 

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 36–37.

December mid

Vine Street Varieties

Jesse Price band

Sleepy Tomlin (tp); Charlie Parker (as); Odell West (ts); Rozell Claxton (p), Winston Williams (b); Jesse Price (d & dir).

Lincoln Theater, Kansas City, MO.

December mid.

Station WHB show.

 

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 36–37.

December mid

Vine Street Varieties

Harland Leonard's Rockets

Lincoln Theater, Kansas City, MO.

Station WHB show.

 

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 36–37.

December 25

Harland Leonard's Rockets

Dreamland Hall, Kansas City, MO.

December 25, 1938.

Christmas Dance.

 

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 36–37.