Claire's Corner

When it comes to mixing up the sounds on that old jazz classic, or putting that "blue feeling" in that old ragtime tune, no one does it better than "The Big T", Jack Teagarden.   Born August 20th 1905, Jack Teagarden wasted no time getting into music and by the age of ten he had discovered his love for the trombone.  Leonard E. Guttridge wrote "Jack Teagarden was one of those rare jazz musicians who seems to have emerged into the world whole, so completely adapted to his instrument that it sometimes appeared he and the trombone had been invented at the same time and had grown up together." And indeed being largely self-taught, Jack adapted what he learned on the baritone to help him play the trombone, which began his famous unusual lyrical styling. Teagarden broke free from the traditional "tailgate" trombone performance and has been credited for brining to life a new jazz style and alternate positions that no one could mimic. Jack Teagarden's career took off with a bang when he went to San Antonio and played with famous pianist Peck Kelly, and soon was off to New York to join the Ben Pollack Band.  Jack continued working with many famous musicians in their own right, including Louis Armstrong with whom he recorded famous works like “Old Rocking Chair”, and “St. James Infirmary”.  In his long career he worked with other greats such as Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, Jimmy McPartland, Mezz Mezzrow, Glenn Miller, and Eddie Condon.

Jack Teagarden’s success as a musician is reflected in thousands of songs he recorded which are still in circulation today.  Amongst Jack’s most important recordings is “Basin Street Blues” done with Benny Goodman.   Jack worked both on the trombone and vocals, which included lyrics written by himself and Glenn Miller, that later became a standard part of the song lyrics.  Jack played Carnegie Hall, and was in seven movies.  His most famous film was “Birth of the Blues” with Bing Crosby.  Other famous works of Teagarden’s include “She’s a Great, Great Girl” (with Roger Wolfe Kahn), “Makin’ Friends and That’s a Serious Thing” (1928, with Eddie Condon), “Rocking Chair” (Louis Armstrong).  “I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues”, Jack’s signature piece, along with “A Hundred Years from Today”(all 1933), “Stars Fell on Alabama ”(1934), and “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”.   These are examples of some of his best vocal offerings. During the swing era Jack’s band played in ballrooms across the United States . At the end of his gigs he would invite audience members who brought their instruments up on stage so they could say they had played with Jack Teagarden.  By the end of his career Jack was internationally recognized as one of "the Giants of Jazz" and is attributed with many classics of Jazz and blues. This is the space is set up so that we can recognize the amazing man and musician Jack Teagarden. You are invited to share fan art, memories and comments for the family. This is Claire's corner :)

 

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