An Autobiography: Chapter 6, Rhythm and Blues and Playing Cards


| 5/31/2012 1:59:34 PM


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I was always interested in rhythm and blues music and the artists, and with the success of the “Pop Scrapbook,” I published the first of three editions of the “Rhythm and Blues Jazz Scrapbook” in 1952. I brought out editions in 1963 and 1966, and a second “Pop Scrapbook” in 1966. In 1956, I published “The All-Star Scrapbook,” which covered the fields of country, western, pop, radio and TV, etc. Periodically my scrapbooks, which originally sold for $1, come up on the internet, selling for as much as $100. Even copies of my Hoedown magazine, originally 25 cents per copy, have brought $100! All of my books had beautiful artistic covers, and the cover of the first R & B book brought many bravos.

Rhythm and Blues 

Norman Granz was a jazz music impresario ad producer, and an important figure in American Jazz, especially from 1947 to 1960. On the inside cover of my first R & B Jazz Scrapbook, I featured his picture with his impressive logo: Norman Granz; Jazz at the PHILHARMONIC. The copy read:Norman Granz JATP has always striven to get the best jazz artists, using ability and deportment as the criteria.” In 1948, Granz received the Russwurm Award from the National Negro Publishers Association for his contribution to race betterment. I received a letter, postmarked Beverly Hills, May 28, 1962, from Mr. Granz, in which he gave me the address of the largest newsstand in Los Angeles, which he said did a tremendous business with Downbeat magazine. He had given the owner a copy.

Jazz at the Philharmonic 

This milestone publication featured artists like Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Nat Cole, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, “Fats” Waller (one of my favorites), Billie Holliday, Dinah Washington, Erskine Hawkins (he wrote “Tuxedo Junction,” made famous by Glenn Miller), Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, and Duke Ellington.

Fats Waller 

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