The Life and Music of Charlie Parker
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Illinois Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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...i would like to thank a number of individuals and institutions: above all, Richard Wentworth, Willis G. Reiger, and the staff at the University of Illinois Press for their outstanding stewardship of this biography.Kudos to Teddy Dibble for introducing me to Bird’s music, for his friend-ship and his help with this manuscript. Thanks to Norman Saks and Carl Woideck, who gave so much to this biography. Arigato to Yoko Takemura ...
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A clap of thunder heralded the passing of Charlie “Bird” Parker. Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, who gave Charlie refuge and comfort dur-ing his final days in her suite at the Hotel Stanhope on Fifth Avenue, recalled, “At the moment of his going, there was a tremendous clap of thunder. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I’ve thought about it often since; how strange it was.” One musician speculated that Charlie disintegrated into “pure sound.”...
1 Kansas City Blues
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...charlie “Bird” Parker grew up in Kansas City, a community divided against itself by the Kansas-Missouri state line. Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Charlie came of age musically while hanging around the alleyways behind the nightclubs that lined Twelfth Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The two Kansas Cities were, culturally and politically, worlds apart. Kansas City, Kansas, established by the Wyandotte Indians, faced its larger counterpart ...
2 Buster’s Tune
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The Ozark Mountains cover fifty thousand square miles of southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma. Caves and cold springs riddle the hollows of the rocky hills, thickly forested by hawthorn, oak, hickory, maple, and basswood trees. Rugged individuals of Scots-Irish descent settled the isolated area during the early nineteenth century. Ex-tended families scratched out a living on remote farms, raising livestock and ...
3 Hootie Blues
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Arriving in Chicago early the next morning after his abrupt departure from home and family in Kansas City, Charlie headed straight for a jam session at the 65 Club, hoping to hustle up a few gigs and a place to stay. He worked his way through the crowd, borrowed a saxophone, stepped up to the microphone, and stopped the show with his quicksilver execution and ideas. Vocalist Billy Eckstine, saxophonist Budd Johnson, and other musi-...
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...weekend, but on Monday he was high again. The owner of the theater told Jay to get rid of him, and the next day Parker was on his way back to New York.”38Charlie hitched a ride with the Andy Kirk band, which happened to be in Charlie briefly rejoined the McShann band when it returned to New York but left in December 1942, when Earl “Fatha” Hines raided the Mc-...
5 Relaxing at Camarillo
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...on the way from New York to Los Angeles, the band stopped off in Chi-cago to switch to the Super Chief, a sleek express train that made the trip from Chicago to Los Angeles in less than forty hours. During the ten-hour layover, band members stopped by a jam session at a club on the South Side. Despite Gillespie’s best efforts to get Charlie and other band members back to the train station on time, they lingered too long at the session and missed ...
6 Dewey Square
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When Charlie and Doris returned to New York City on Easter Monday, April 7, 1947, they moved into the Dewey Square Hotel at 201 and 203 West 117th Street. One of the largest hotels in Harlem, the Dewey Square Hotel featured 250 luxurious rooms. That evening friends and fans threw a welcome home party for Charlie at Small’s Paradise. The next night Char-lie stopped by the Savoy Ballroom and sat in with the Dizzy Gillespie big ...
7 Parker’s Mood
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The year 1951 began with great promise for Charlie—professionally and personally. Billy Shaw lined up a series of engagements with the string group stretching through the spring, and Chan was pregnant with their first child. “Bird was joyous,” Chan recalled. “My having his baby assured him of my love. Before Pree was born we moved to a large apartment on Avenue B. For the first time in his life Bird had a stable family life. He played his ...
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...i drew from a wide variety of secondary and primary sources in telling Charlie Parker’s story. The pioneering research and musical analysis of numerous individuals who have previously researched and written about Charlie Parker, particularly Robert Reisner, Ross Russell, Carl Woideck, Gary Giddins, Brian Priestly, Lawrence O. Koch, Ken Vail, and Chan Parker Llew Walker, a leading Parker scholar and host of the website Bird Lives ...
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Page Count: 190
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Music in American Life