1939

Charlie Parker Chronology

 

 

 

Created by Leif Bo Petersen

Last updated: October 12, 2017.

 

Date

Event

References/Further Details

 

January late

Harland Leonard's Rockets

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

Charlie Parker is fired January late.

 

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 37: Leonard returns Parker's Union Card to the AFM Local on February 11, 1939.

 

February

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker is thrown out of his mother’s house because of his continuous quarrelling and fighting with his mother and his wife, Rebecca.

He leaves Kansas City.

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

 

March ?

Jam session

King Kolax (tp); Goon Gardner (as); John Simmons (b); Kansas Fields (d); Billy Eckstine (voc).

65 Club, Chicago, IL.

Breakfast dance.

Parker pops up here fresh from a freight train. He jams on a borrowed instrument.

Goon Gardner lends him a clarinet and provides him with some jobs, but Parker soon pawns the clarinet and continues to New York.

 

Billy Eckstine in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 84.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 39–40.

April?

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker arrives in New York and moves in with Buster Smith.

 

Buster Smith in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 215.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 40-41: states that it was at the time of opening of the World Fair.

 

Spring

Jam sessions

Monroe’s Uptown House, New York, NY.

Charlie Parker jams here April–June 1939 with Dave Riddick, Bobby Moore (tp); Kenny Kersey (p); Ebenezer Paul, Kenny Clarke (d).

Buster Smith in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 215.

M. Levin and J. S. Wilson, "No Bop Roots in Jazz," Down Beat, September 9, 1949. Here from reprint in C. Woideck (ed.), The Charlie Parker Companion (1998), 75.

Buddy Fleet in I. Gitler, Swing to Bop (1985), 68.

 

Spring

Charlie Parker

When Parker has to leave from Buster Smith’s lodgings, he moves to the Woodside hotel.

 

Jerry Lloyd in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 137.

 

Spring

Charlie Parker

Parker gets a dishwasher job at a Jimmy’s Chicken Shack, which was run by Kirk’s former saxophonist John Williams. Art Tatum played there after hours in this period.

 

M. Levin and J. S. Wilson, "No Bop Roots in Jazz," Down Beat, September 9, 1949. Here from reprint in C. Woideck (ed.), The Charlie Parker Companion (1998), 75

Little Benny Harris in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1975), 107: Meets Parker first time when Parker was dishwashing at Jimmy's Chicken Shack.

 

Spring

Biddy Fleet/Charlie Parker

Dan Wall's Chili House, New York, NY.

Buddy Fleet has a gig here and Charlie Parker comes in for jamming.

M. Levin and J. S. Wilson, "No Bop Roots in Jazz," Down Beat, September 9, 1949. Here from reprint in C. Woideck (ed.), The Charlie Parker Companion (1998), 71.

Buddy Fleet in I. Gitler, Swing to Bop (1985), 68–71.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 41-42.

 

May?

Charlie Parker

Parisian Dance Room, New York, NY.

Parker gets a job here.

 

 

Jerry Lloyd in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 138. Jerry Lloyd, who knows Parker through Benny Harris, gets him the job at Parisian Dance Room.

 

June?

Banjo Burney Robinson's Band

Incl. Charlie Parker, Buddy Fleet.

Dickie Well's, 7th Avenue, New York, NY.

 

Biddy Fleet in I. Gitler, Swing to Bop (1985), 71.

August/September

Banjo Burney Robinson's Band

Incl. Charlie Parker, Buddy Fleet.

Annapolis. MD.

Buster Smith on R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 215: Parker was in Baltimore, just before he returned to Kansas City to join Jay McShann.

M. Levin and J. S. Wilson, "No Bop Roots in Jazz," Down Beat, September 9, 1949. Here from reprint in C. Woideck (ed.), The Charlie Parker Companion (1998), 75.

 

Autumn?

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker gets the message of his father's dead and returns to Kansas City.

Addie Parker in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 158: The father was murdered by a woman in a drinking brawl, when Charlie Parker was 17. She contacts Charlie in Chicago and gets him home for the funeral.

 

November/

December

Lawrence Keys and His Orchestra

Including: James Ross (tp); Robert Simpson (tb); Charlie Parker, Franz Bruce, Vernon Walker (as); Freddie Culliver (ts); Lawrence Keys (p); Walter Brown (voc).

Charlie Parker joins this band in early winter 1939.

 

Lawrence Keys in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 129–30): Gives no dating.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 42.