Stride piano pioneer William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith (1893-1973), a.k.a. Willie "The Lion" Smith, does a remarkable 6-song, 28 minute set on the BBC in 1965. If you're not sure what "stride" piano means, let Smith demonstrate and explain as he performs compositions ranging from Chopin to "St Louis Blues".
The anniversary of author Ian Fleming’s birth is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the impact on popular culture of his most famous creation, James Bond. That being said, I really only know about music and booze.
New Orleans jazz singer Sharon Martin performs "Take the A Train," one of Duke Ellington's signature numbers and composed by Billy Strayhorn. Sharon's version was recorded live by WWOZ last February, at the historic Basin St. Station in New Orleans.
"Queen of the Blues" and Blues Hall of Famer Koko Taylor (d. 2009) does Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" in a 1967 studio performance. In 1966, Taylor's version reached #13 on the Billboard R&B chart and #58 on the pop chart.
For your hot summer holiday viewing pleasure, here's a 33-minute set of cool jazz from Dave Brubeck, recorded live in Germany in 1966. The tracks include "Take The ‘A’ Train," "Forty Days," "I’m In A Dancing Mood," "Koto Song," and "Take Five."
More than 80,000 historical films from the British Pathé Archive are now available for free viewing on YouTube. The archive is the largest on YouTube and contains mostly news reels and movies spanning 1896 to 1976. While the collection is particularly rich in its materials from both World Wars, there are also many more lighthearted features, including footage from our own fine city.