1940

Charlie Parker Chronology

 

 

 

Created by Leif Bo Petersen

Last updated: October 12, 2017.

 

Date

Event

 

References/Further Details

 

January

Lawrence Keys Orchestra

Including Charlie Parker and Lawrence Keys (p.

Charlie Parker had joined this band in early winter 1939.

 

Lawrence Keys in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 129–30: Gives no dating for Parker’s stay in the band and the personnel. He also tells that Parker quit the band and joined Jay McShann.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 42: Charlie Parker joined the band in early winter 1939.

 

January 10

Jay McShann and His 20th Century Orchestra

Probably including: Buddy Anderson, Orville Minor, Harold Bruce (tp); Joe Taswell Baird (tb); Earl Jackson (as, voc); John Jackson (as); Bob Mabane, William Scott (ts); Jay McShann (p, dir); Gene Ramey (b); Gus Johnson (d). Carrie Carr (voc) joined the band in March.

Century Room, Kansas City, MO.

January 10–April 7, 1940.

The McShann band seems to have been resident here with minor breaks until April 7.

Charlie Parker was not in the band in this period.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star (MO.), January 10, 1940, 8: Tonight: Jay McShann and His 20th Century Rhythm.

"New century Room Policy," Kansas City Star, February 4, 1940, 8D:

New Policy: Two floorshows every Saturday night. Jay McShann and a guest artist.

Regular dances other night except Monday and Thursday.

Ad in Kansas City Star (MO), March 24, 1940, 2D: McShann at Century Ballroom. Big Easter Dance 7—12 p.m.

Ad in Kansas City Star, April 7, 1940, 2D: Jay McShann and His Orchestra Farewell Dance.

"Last Night of McShann," Kansas City Star (MO), April 7, 1940, 2D: McShann closes at the Century Room tonight ending 20 consecutive weeks.

 

March 24

Jay McShann and His 20th Century Orchestra

12 pieces. Probably including: Buddy Anderson, Orville Minor, Harold Bruce (tp); Joe Taswell Baird (tb); Earl Jackson (as, voc), John Jackson (as); Bob Mabane, William Scott (ts); Jay McShann (p, dir); Gene Ramey (b); Gus Johnson (d); Carrie Carr (voc);

Lawrence Keys Orchestra

15 pieces including Charlie Parker (as); Lawrence Keys (p).

Roseland Ballroom, Kansas City, MO.

10–2 a.m.

Battle of Bands.

Charlie Parker asks McShann to rejoin his band.

Ad in Kansas City Call, March 22, 1940, 8. "Crowd Attends Dance," Kansas City Call, March 29, 1940, 15; here quoted from C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 43, 169 note 9.

"Young Orchestra Leader Climbs Fast," Plaindealer (Kansas City, KS), March 29, 1940, 1: Lawrence Keys played the Roseland Ballroom last Sunday.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 43, 169 note 10: Buddy Anderson tells that Parker replaced Earl Jackson.

Jay McShann in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 147—48: Parker joins Harlan Leonard after he returns from New York. McShann mentions that Dameron wrote for Leonard at this time and wrongly dates this 1938. Parker asks McShann to rejoin his band telling that he was straight now.

The conventional version tells that Parker asked McShann to rejoin at a jam session where Parker played with Harlan Leonard. Considering that Parker left Leonard already in early 1939, this seems improbable. Haddix’ version has McShann engaging Parker after a band battle with Lawrence Keys’ band. Considering the facts this sounds more plausible.

 

April 1

Harlan Leonard's Rockets

Including Tadd Dameron (arr).

Kansas City, MO.

The band returns to Kansas City around April 1. Tadd Dameron settles here in order to work for Harlan Leonard primarily as an arranger.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star (MO), April 12, 1940, 20: Century Room: Tonight and Saturday only: Harlan Leonard.

"Two Century Room Bands," Kansas City Star (KS), April 14, 1940, 3D: Century Room: Friday and Saturday only: Harlan Leonard

P. Combs, Dameronia -The Life and Music of Tadd Dameron (2012), 13.

 

April early

Charlie Parker/Tadd Dameron

Tadd Dameron meets Charlie Parker for the first time.

Tadd Dameron in I. Gitler, Jazz Masters of the 40s (1982), 19–20: Dameron tells that Parker was cleaning up in the club where the Leonard band played. Dameron first found out that Parker was a musician when he heard him on alto at a jam session. Dameron wrongly dates this 1941.

 

April 12

Jay McShann and His 20th Century Orchestra

Probably: Buddy Anderson, Harold Bruce, Orville Minor (tp); Joe Taswell Baird (tb); John Jackson, Charlie Parker (as); Bob Mabane, William Scott (ts); Jay McShann (p); Gene Ramey (b); Gus Johnson (d); Carrie Carr, Joe Coleman (voc).

Pla-Mor Arena, Kansas City MO.

April 12–June mid, 1940.

Walk-a-thon.

Parker probably joined McShann during this engagement.

 

Kansas City Call, April 12, 1940, 7: Article: Jay McShann playing

Walk-a-thon in the ice arena at the Pla-Mor. Joe Coleman featured on vocals.  I have received this information from C. Haddix.

Ads in Ad in Kansas City Star (MO), May 14–June 9, 1940: Walk-a-thon at Pla-Mor Arena; no orchestra mentioned.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 44, 169 note 11: Haddix Interview with McShann.

 

May?

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker (as).

Unknown venue, Kansas City, KS.

Probably between May and November, 1940.

Private lacquer (acetate) recording by Clarence Davis exist.

 

http://www.plosin.com/milesahead/BirdSessions.aspx?s=400000

 

May 3

Jay McShann and His 20th Century Orchestra

Harlan Leonard's Kansas City Rockets

Missouri University, Columbia, MO.

May 3, 1940.

Band Battle.

 

A. McCarthy, Big Band Jazz (1974), 151: Source: Notice in Down Beat, May 15, 1940.

June 24

Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker

Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker meet first time and jam at the premises of he AFM Local 627 in Kansas City.

Ad in Kansas City Star, June 22, 1940, 5: Cab Calloway in Fairyland at June 23.

Buddy Anderson in Dizzy Gillespie and A. Fraser, To Be or not... to Bop (1979) 117: The meeting occurred the day after Calloway’s Fairyland gig.

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 45, 169 note 13; interview with Buddy Anderson.

 

June 26

Jay McShann Orchestra

Fairyland, Kansas City, MO.

June 26–28, 1940.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star (MO), June 26, 1940, 12: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (MO), June 27, 1940, 8: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (MO), June 28, 1940, 19: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (MO), June 29, 1940, 5: Tonight: George Olsen and His Orchestra.

 

June 30­

Jay McShann Orchestra

Fairyland, Kansas City, MO.

June 30–July 17, 1940.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star (MO), June 30, 1940, 11C: Tonight and Tuesday.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 3, 1940, 4: July 4: Jay McShann Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 5, 1940, 16: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra - Joe Coleman, Carrie Carr.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 6, 1940, 7: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra - Joe Coleman, Carrie Carr.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 7, 1940, 2D: Tonight and Tuesday: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 10, 1940, 14: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 11, 1940, 14: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 12, 1940, 10: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 13, 1940, 7: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 14, 1940, 2D: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 16, 1940, 9: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 17, 1940, 11: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra. Coming July 18: Red Nichols and His orchestra. Coming July 19: Deacon Moore and His Band.

 

July 26

Jay McShann Orchestra

Fairyland, Kansas City, MO.

July 26–31, 1940.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 26, 1940, 10: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 27, 1940, 5: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 28, 1940, 2D: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 30, 1940, 9: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), July 31, 1940, 10: Tonight: Jay McShann and His Orchestra. Starting August 1: George Tide and His Continental Playboys.

 

August early

Jay McShann Orchestra

Trocadero Ballroom, Wichita, KS.

August 9, 1940:

Buddy Anderson, Orville Minor (tp); Bob Gould (tb); Charlie Parker or John Jackson (as); Bob Mabane (ts); Jay McShann (p); Gene Ramey (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Private paper disc by Pete Armstrong & Fred Higginson exist.

 

 

http://www.plosin.com/milesahead/BirdSessions.aspx?s=400809

http://www.plosin.com/milesahead/BirdSessions.aspx?s=400809

 

August 13

Jay McShann Orchestra

Fairyland, Kansas City, MO.

August 13–16, 1940.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 13, 1940, 9: He’s Back Again: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 14, 1940, 11: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 15, 1940, 9: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 16, 1940, 19: Jay McShann and His Orchestra. August 17: Count Basie.

 

August 18

Jay McShann Orchestra

August 18–28, 1940.

Fairyland, Kansas City, MO.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 18 1940, 2D: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 20, 1940, 11: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 21 1940, 10: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 22 1940, 21: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 23 1940, 21: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 24 1940, 5: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 25 1940, 2D: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 27, 1940, 13: Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 28, 1940, 15: Jay McShann and His Orchestra. August 29: Blue Barron and His Orchestra.

 

August 30

Jay McShann Orchestra

Fairyland, Kansas City, MO.

August 30, 1940.

 

Ad in Kansas City Star (KS), August 30, 1940, 19: Tonight final appearance of Jay McShann and His Orchestra.

 

September 7

Jay McShann Orchestra

The Riviera, Des Moines. IA.

 

Ad in Des Moines Register, September 5, 1940, 16.

September 8

Jay McShann Orchestra

13 pieces: Including Gene Ramey (b) and Joe Coleman (voc)

The Riviera, Des Moines. IA.

 

Ad in Des Moines Register, September 5, 1940, 16.

“Jay McShann Back Tonight,” Des Moines Register, September 5, 1940, 16.

September ?

Jay McShann Orchestra

Lincoln Hall, Kansas City, MO.

 

Down Beat, November 1, 1940; quoted from A. McCarthy, Big band Jazz (1974), 151.

“Christmas Dance Night at Armory,” Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune (MO), December 11, 1940, 1: Mentions the present engagement.

 

October 30

Jay McShann Orchestra

13 pieces: Probably including: Buddy Anderson; Harold Bruce, Orville Minor (tp); Joe Taswell Baird (tb); John Jackson, Charlie Parker (as); Bob Mabane, William Scott (ts); Jay McShann (p); Gene Ramey (b); Gus Johnson (dr); Joe Coleman (voc).

Chillicothe, OH.

Lion’s Club Benefit Dance.

 

“Founder of Lions Club of World to Be here on October 30,” Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune (MO.), October 17, 1940, 1: Jay McShann 13-pieces all negro will play for the Dance.

 “Band Breaks Records,” Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune (MO.), October 22, 1940, 5.

November 3

Jay McShann Orchestra

Turnpike, Lincoln, NE.

 

Ad in Nebraska State Journal, November 2, 1940, 9: 13 pieces.

Jay McShann in R. Reisner: Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1962), 150:  Jay McShann relates the Yardbird-episode and Parker's Yardbird nickname to Lincoln, Nebraska, but this could also have been in March 1941.

 

November 16

Jay McShann Orchestra

Peony Terrace, Omaha, NE.

November 16–17, 1940.

 

Notice in Omaha World Herald, November 16, 1940, 5: Current band at Peony is Jay McShann.

Ad in Omaha World Herald, November 16, 1940, 5: Saturday, Sunday

Ad in Omaha World Herald, November 17, 1940, 51: Tonight.

 

November late

Jay McShann Orchestra

Trocadero Club, Wichita, Kansas

November late–December early.

 

“Christmas Dance Night at Armory,” Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune (MO), December 11, 1940, 1: Repeat engagement in November at Trocadero, Wichita.

 

November 30

During the Trocadero engagement Pete Armstrong, Fred Higginson, and Bob Gould made existing jam session recordings at station KFBI.

November 30, 1940:

Buddy Anderson, Orville Minor (tp); Bob Gould (tb); Charlie Parker (as); William J. Scott (ts); Jay McShann (p); Gene Ramey (b); Gus Johnson (d).

December 2, 1940:

Buddy Anderson, Orville Minor (tp); Bob Gould (tb), Charlie Parker (as); Bob Mabane (ts); Jay McShann (p); Gene Ramey (b); Gus Johnson (d).

 

C. Haddix, Bird -The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 47, 170 note 17: Two documents with dates, personnel, and selections from the two KFBI recording sessions are in the Higginson Collection.

http://library.umkc.edu/spec-col-collections/higginson

University of Missouri-Kansas City. Box 1, Folder 1.

http://www.plosin.com/milesahead/BirdSessions.aspx?s=401130

 

 

 

December 25

Jay McShann Orchestra

Chillicothe, OH.

Junior Sorosis Club’s Christmas Night Dance.

 

“Christmas Dance Night at Armory,” Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune (MO), December 11, 1940, 1.