Fats Navarro Chronology

 

 

 

 

Created by Leif Bo Petersen and Theo Rehak

Last updated: January 25, 2017.

 

Date

Event

References/Further Details

 

January 6

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Probably: Shorty McConnell, Boonie Hazel, Gail Brockman, Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie? (tp); Jerry Valentine (tb &arr); Joe Taswell Baird, Howard Scott, Chippie Outcalt (tb); John Jackson, Bill Frazier (as); Gene Ammons, Budd Johnson (ts); Leo Parker (bars); John Malachi (p & arr); Connie Wainwright (g): Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Sarah Vaughan (voc); Billy Eckstine (voc, tp, vtb, & dir).

New Albert Auditorium, Baltimore, MD.

9–2 a.m.

Dance. Goldie (prod).

 

Ad in Baltimore Afro-American, 6 Jan. 1945, 16.

January 8

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Probably: Shorty McConnell, Boonie Hazel, Gail Brockman, Fats Navarro, (tp); Jerry Valentine (tb &arr); Joe Taswell Baird, Howard Scott, Chippie Outcalt (tb); John Jackson, Bill Frazier (as); Gene Ammons, Budd Johnson (ts); Leo Parker (bars); John Malachi (p & arr); Connie Wainwright (g): Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Sarah Vaughan (voc); Billy Eckstine (voc, tp, vtb, & dir).

Armory, Danville, VA.

10 p.m.–2-a.m.

Colored Dance with white spectators in the balcony.

 

“Eckstine to Play Dance December [sic] 8,” Bee, December 30, 1944, 8: Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah are mentioned.

Dizzy Gillespie is probably a mistake. He was recording in New York on January 9 and 12.

Ad in Bee, January 2, 1945: Gillespie is not mentioned in the ad.

 

January early

 

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Savannah, GA.

 

F. Driggs & H. Levine, Black Beauty, White Heat (1996), 320: photo dated early 1945, Savannah, GA. It shows Billy Eckstine and Fats Navarro soloing on trumpet.

 

January 11

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

City Auditorium, Atlanta, GA.

8:30_12:30 a.m.

 

Ad in Atlanta Daily World, January 7, 1945, 3: featuring Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan.  Dizzy Gillespie is probably a mistake. He was recording in New York on January 9 and 12.

January 17

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

City Auditorium, Macon, GA.

7:30–11:45 p.m.

Concert and Dance.

“Billy Eckstine to Sing His Own Hit Songs Tonight at Auditorium,” Macon Telegraph, January 17, 1945, 3: Featuring Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan.  Dizzy Gillespie is probably a mistake. He was recording in New York on January 9 and 12.

 

January mid

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Camp Butner, NC.

Matinee.

 

“Eckstine Greets Vets at Butner,” Baltimore Afro-American, 27 Jan. 1945, 16.

 

 

January 17

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Probably: Shorty McConnell, Boonie Hazel, Gail Brockman, Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie(tp); Jerry Valentine (tb &arr); Joe Taswell Baird, Howard Scott, Chippie Outcalt (tb); John Jackson, Bill Frazier (as); Gene Ammons, Budd Johnson (ts); Leo Parker (bars); John Malachi (p & arr); Connie Wainwright (g): Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Sarah Vaughan (voc); Billy Eckstine (voc, tp, vtb, & dir).

City Auditorium, Macon, GA.

January 17, 1945, 7:30—11:45 p.m.

Concert and Dance.

 

“Billy Eckstine to Sing His Own Hit Songs Tonight at Auditorium,” Macon Telegraph, January 17, 1945, 3: Featuring Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan. 

Dizzy Gillespie may be a mistake. He was recording in New York on January 9 and 12, but could of course have returned to the band here.

January 17

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

January 17, 1945, 11:30–1:00 a.m.

Opening reception and dance.

 

“Cotton Club Fetes Bily Eckstine,” Macon Telegraph, January 17, 1945, 3.

January 22

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Harvest Club, Beaumont, TX.

Texas tour is opening here.

 

“Billy Eckstine and Orchestra Scores a Success in Texas,” New York Age, February 10, 1945, 11.

 

January 23

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Library Auditorium, San Antonio, TX.

“Billy Eckstine at Library Auditorium,” San Antonio Register, January 19, 1945, 6.

“Billy Eckstine and Orchestra Scores a Success in Texas,” New York Age, February 10, 1945, 11.

 

January 24

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

City Auditorium, Galveston, TX.

Ad in Galveston Daily News, 24 Jan. 1945, 2:  Dizzy Gillespie’s name is in the ad. This is probably a mistake. He was with Boyd Raeburn at the Apollo January 19–25.

“Billy Eckstine and Orchestra Scores a Success in Texas,” New York Age, February 10, 1945, 11.

 

January late

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Houston, TX.

“Billy Eckstine and Orchestra Scores a Success in Texas,” New York Age, February 10, 1945, 11.

 

January late

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Fort Worth, TX.

“Billy Eckstine and Orchestra Scores a Success in Texas,” New York Age, February 10, 1945, 11.

 

January late

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Dallas, TX.

“Billy Eckstine and Orchestra Scores a Success in Texas,” New York Age, February 10, 1945, 11.

 

January 27

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

University of Texas, Austin, TX.

“Billy Eckstine and Orchestra Scores a Success in Texas,” New York Age, February 10, 1945, 11.

 

Feb. 1

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Billie Holiday

Snooky Marsh (comedy)

Pot Pan and Skillet

Johnny 'Bud' Johnson and 4 Jivadiers

Club Plantation, Los Angeles, CA.

February 1–7, 1945.

 

Ad in California Eagle, February 1, 1945, 16.

“Billy Eckstine Coast Sensation,” Baltimore Afro-American, 24 Feb. 1945, 14.

 

February 2

Billy Eckstine’s Orchestra

Club Plantation, Los Angeles.

Gala Benefit Show for Delta, Sigma, Theta Sorority Scholarship Fund.

 

Ad in California Eagle, February 1, 1945, 14.

February 5

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Lena Horne

The All-American Quintet

Eddie Green

Charlie Cantor

Ed Gardner

Verne Smith (ann), Ernie “Bubbles” Whitman (mc)

NBC Studio, Hollywood, CA.

February 5, 1945. This is the date of dubbing, but probably also the date of recording.

AFRS Jubilee show.

The edited show, AFRS Jubilee # 119, has survived.

 

R. E. Lotz & U. Neuert (eds.), The AFRS "Jubilee" Transcription Programs -An Exploratory Discography vol. 1 (1985), no. 119.

L. B. Petersen and T. Rehak, Infatuation – The Music and Life of Theodore “Fats” Navarro (2009), 75–77: Look also here for further details.

 

February 8

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Billie Holiday

Carl and Harriet

Johnny 'Bud' Johnson and 4 Jivadiers

Club Plantation, Los Angeles, CA.

February 8–29?, 1945.

 

 

Ad in California Eagle, February 8, 1945, 14.

Ad in California Eagle, February 15, 1945, 12.

Ad in California Eagle, February 22, 1945, 13.

“Billy Eckstine to be hold Over at Club Plantation,” California Eagle, February 22, 1945, 12: I going to be held over 4 additional to his running 4 week’s engagement. Nightly broadcasts at 12 (except Wednesdays) via Station KPAS (Pasadena).

“Eckstine, Held at Skins, To Wax at $500 Per Side,” Baltimore Afro-American, Mar. 24 1945, 17: The engagement finally shortened because of the midnight curfew.

 

February 11

Billy Eckstine’s Orchestra

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Club Plantation, Los Angeles, CA.

Charity Dance. Les Baronesses (prod).

 

Ad in California Eagle, February 8, 1945, 12.

 

February 12

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Swing Wing of the Air Corps 1st Radio Unit

Wingy Manone’s Orchestra

Nicodemus

Verne Smith (ann), Ernie “Bubbles” Whitman (mc)

NBC Studio, Hollywood, CA.

February 12, 1945. This is the date of dubbing, but probably also the date of recording.

AFRS Jubilee show.

The edited show, AFRS Jubilee # 120, has survived.

 

R. E. Lotz & U. Neuert (eds.), The AFRS "Jubilee" Transcription Programs -An Exploratory Discography vol. 1 (1985), no. 120.

L. B. Petersen and T. Rehak, Infatuation – The Music and Life of Theodore “Fats” Navarro (2009), 77–79: Look here for further details.

 

February 18

Benefit Show

Coleman Hawkins, Eddie Heywood, Illinois Jacquet, Billy Kelly, Billy Eckstine, Billie Holiday, Kid Ory’s Creole Orchestra, Bob Parrish, Willie Smith, Dan Grissom, Red Callender Trio, , Slim, Bam & Wam and others.

Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA.

2:15–5 p.m.

Swing Music Contest

Benefit for Outdoor Health and Life Association sponsored by AFM local 767.

 

Ad in Californian Eagle, February 15, 1945, 12.

February 19

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Gene Krupa Trio

Swing Wing of the Air Corps 1st Radio Unit

Verne Smith (ann), Ernie “Bubbles” Whitman (mc)

NBC Studio, Hollywood, CA.

February 19, 1945. This is the date of dubbing. The Eckstine and the Swing Wing material may come from the February 12 show.

AFRS Jubilee show.

The edited show, AFRS Jubilee # 121, has survived.

 

R. E. Lotz & U. Neuert (eds.), The AFRS "Jubilee" Transcription Programs -An Exploratory Discography vol. 1 (1985), no. 121.

L. B. Petersen and T. Rehak, Infatuation – The Music and Life of Theodore “Fats” Navarro (2009), 79–81: Look also here for further details.

 

February 22

Benefit Show

Rex Ingram

Paul Robeson

Billie Holiday

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Club Plantation, Los Angeles, CA.

February 22, 1945.

Bass for Council Citizens Committee.

 

“Rex Ingram’s Hollywood Feature at the Plantation Club Tonite,” California Eagle, February 22, 1945, 13.

February 26

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Original Hosier Hot Shots

Colman Hawkins Quintet

Eddie Green

Virginia Paris

Four Tones

Verne Smith (ann), Ernie “Bubbles” Whitman (mc)

NBC Studio, Hollywood, CA.

February 26, 1945. This is the date of dubbing, but probably also the date of recording.

AFRS Jubilee show.

The edited show, AFRS Jubilee # 122, has survived.

 

R. E. Lotz & U. Neuert (eds.), The AFRS "Jubilee" Transcription Programs -An Exploratory Discography vol. 1 (1985), no. 122.

L. B. Petersen and T. Rehak, Infatuation – The Music and Life of Theodore “Fats” Navarro (2009), 81-83: Look also here for further details.

 

March 1

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Pacific Square Ballroom, Silver Slipper, San Diego, Calif.

March 1–15?, 1945.

 

 

 

“Where the Bands Are Playing,” Down Beat, 15 Mar. 1945: 14: Planned March 28-April 3.

“Billy Eckstine Closes Run Out California Way,” Chicago Defender, March 17, 1945: Billy Eckstine had a one-week stand at the Pacific Square Ballroom immediately upon the conclusion of the engagement at the Club Plantation.

“Eckstine, Held at Skins, to wax at §500 Per Side,” Baltimore Afro-American, March 24, 1945, 17: Eckstine made a jump from the west coast to open at Skin's Arcade and Blue Room last Friday. Eckstine had had a 2 weeks stand at Silver Slipper, San Diego before leaving California.

 

Mar. 16

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Sylvia La Monta (dance) (16–22)

George Williams (dance) (23–29)

Davis and Styles (dance)

Happy Jack (mc)

Skin’s Arcade and Blue Room, Baltimore, MD.

Mar. 16–29, 1945.

 

Ad in Baltimore Afro-American, March 17, 1945, 17.

 “Eckstine, Held at Skins, to wax at §500 Per Side,” Baltimore Afro-American, March 24, 1945, 17.

Ad in Baltimore Afro-American, March 24, 1945, 18.

Budd Johnson in I Gitler, Swing To Bop (1987), 131–32: Budd Johnson left the band after this engagement.

March late

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Recording contract with National Records.

 

“That Ain’t Hay, Billy,” Chicago Defender, March 31, 1945. ?: Eckstine first to sign up with the new National Records.

$ 2000 pr. session. The deal was signed last week by Eckstine's manager Billy Shaw and the William Morris Agency

 

April. 1

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Golden Gate Ballroom, New York, NY.

Easter Sunday Dance.

 

Ad in New York Amsterdam News, March 24. 1945, 5B: Featuring Sarah Vaughan and Bud Johnson,

Budd Johnson in S. Dance: The World Of Earl Hines (1977), 217: Johnson left the band when they returned east but once more replaced Dexter Gordon at the Golden Gate Ballroom because Gordon messed up. He may remember wrong. He probably replaced John Jackson on alto-sax.

 

 

April early ?

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Probably: Shorty McConnell, Marion Boonie Hazel, Raymond Orr, Fats Navarro (tp); Jerry Valentine (tb &arr); Joe Knox, Chippie Outcalt (tb); John Jackson, Sonny Stitt (as); Gene Ammons (ts); Dexter Gordon (ts), Leo Parker (bars); John Malachi (p & arr); Connie Wainwright (g): Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Sarah Vaughan (voc); Billy Eckstine (voc, tp, vtb, & dir).

Boston, MA.

April early

Raymond Orr joins the band here replacing Gail Brockman.

 

Raymond Orr Interviewed by C. Walton in, “New York and the Music revolution: Raymond Orr, trumpet.”www.jazzinchicago.org/internal/articles

Orr dates this April 1945, and gives the band members, but it may rather have been in May after the recording date, where standard discographies have Brockman participating. I have not been able to verify an Eckstine gig in Boston neither in April nor in May.

April 13

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Kitty Murray

King Johnson

Kid Williams

Paradise Theater, Detroit, Mi.

April 13—19, 1945.

 

“Eckstine to Begin One Night Tour at Paradise,” New York Age, April 7, 1945, 10.

Ad in Detroit Free Press, April 13, 1945, 16.

 

April 20

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Regal Theater, Chicago, IL.

April 20–26, 1945.

 

Ad in Chicago Defender, April 21, 1945, 20: featuring Sarah Vaughan.

 

April 27

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Trianon Ballroom, Toledo, OH.

“Eckstine to Begin One Night Tour at Paradise,” New York Age, April 7, 1945, 10: April 27.

 

April 28

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Akron, OH.

May have been moved to April 30.

“Eckstine to Begin One Night Tour at Paradise,” New York Age, April 7, 1945, 10: April 27.

 

April 29

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Cleveland, OH.

“Eckstine to Begin One Night Tour at Paradise,” New York Age, April 7, 1945, 10: April 27.

 

April 30

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Columbus, OH.

“Eckstine to Begin One Night Tour at Paradise,” New York Age, April 7, 1945, 10: April 27: has Colombus, OH.

Ad in Akron Beacon Journal, April 29, 1945, 5D: Eckstine tomorrow instead of Basie.

 

May 2

Billy Eckstine And His Orchestra

Gail Brockman, Fats Navarro, Shorty McConnell, Marion Boonie Hazel (tp); Jerry Valentine (tb & arr); Joe Taswell Baird, Howard Scott, Chippie Outcalt tb); Budd Johnson, Sonny Stitt (as); Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons (ts); Leo Parker (bars); John Malachi (p); Connie Wainwright (g); Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Billy Eckstine (voc).

Unidentified studio, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for National.

 

L. B. Petersen and T. Rehak, Infatuation – The Music and Life of Theodore “Fats” Navarro (2009), 86–87, 98 note 49: Look here for further details.

 

May 4

Billy Eckstine And His Orchestra

Howard Theatre, Washington, D.C.

May 4–10, 1945.

 

Eckstine Ork Waxes, May 2, Pittsburgh Courier, April 28, 1945, 13.

May 11

Billy Eckstine And His Orchestra

Royal Theatre, Baltimore, Md.

May 11–17, 1945.

 

Ad in Baltimore Afro-American, 12 May 1945, 16.

May 18

Billy Eckstine and his Band

Peg Leg Bates

Kitty Murray

Pete Diggs

Coleman Clark

Apollo Theater, New York, NY.

May 18–24, 1945.

Cancelled. Replaced by:

Dud Bascomb Band

Peg Leg Bates

Kitty Murray

Al Cooper

 

Ad in New York Age, May 19, 1945, 10.

Ad in New York Amsterdam News, 19 May 1945, 7B: Dub Bascomb and others.

“Billy Rowe’s Note Book,” Pittsburgh Courier, May26, 1945, 13.

“Pennsylvania Avenue,” Baltimore Afro-American, May 26, 1945, 15, “Billy Eckstine went into Apollo on Friday still showing the effect of that laryngitis that floored him in Washington and Baltimore.”

Chicago Defender, June 2, 1945, ?: article: Eckstine lost engagements in May for worth of $ 25,000 “because of throat troubles.”

May 25

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Probably: Raymond Orr, Fats Navarro, Shorty McConnell, Marion Boonie Hazel (tp); Jerry Valentine (tb & arr); Joe Taswell Baird, Howard Scott, Chippie Outcalt tb); Budd Johnson, Sonny Stitt (as); Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons (ts); Leo Parker (bars); John Malachi (p); Connie Wainwright (g); Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Billy Eckstine (voc, vtb, dir).

Chestnut Street Hall, Harrisburg, PA.

9:00–2.

Dance.

 

Ad in Harrisburg Telegraph, May 25, 1945, 23.

June-August

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Southern tour: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Florida.

 

Article in Chicago Defender, June 9, 1945, ?

"Eckstine In South," Baltimore Afro-American, June 9, 1945, 17: 2 month’s tour of the South booked by Billy Shaw.

 

June 1

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Conway and Parks

The Darktown Clowns

(Holmes and Jean)

Slim Thomas

National Theatre, Louisville, KY.

June 1–7, 1945.

Colored Second Balcony Open this engagement only.

 

“White Theatre Inks Eckstine,” Baltimore Afro-American, May 26 1945, 17.

“Eckstine, the Sepia Sinatra, to Be at National,” Courier-Journal, May 27, sec. 2, 10.

Ad in Courier-Journal, June 1, sec. 2, 4.

“Billy Eckstine should Exult Bobby-Sockers,” Courier-Journal, June 2, 10: Review.

June 9

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Armory, Charleston, WV.

 

Ad in Charleston Daily Mail, 7 June 1945, 16.

June 12

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Pla-More, Greensboro, NC.

 

Ad in Greensboro Record, June 9, 1945, 4: 16 piece orchestra.

June 21

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Marine Station Air Station, Cherry Point, NC.

The band celebrates its first anniversary here.

“Leathernecks to Hear Billy’s Year-Old Band,” Afro-American, June 2, 1945, 8.

E. Southern, “Conversation with William Clarence “Billy” Eckstine,” The Black Perspective In Music, Fall 1970, 195: Here Eckstine gives June 7, 1944, as the start of the band.

Dexter Gordon in I. Gitler, Swing to Bop  (1987). 132: The orchestra’s one year’s anniversary is celebrated in South Carolina. Wainwright, Leo Parker, John Jackson, Gene Ammons, and Robert Redcross are mentioned.

 

June 24

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Turner's Arena, Washington, DC.

“Eckstine May Follow Hawk in the Lincoln,” Chicago Defender (Nat. ed.), 23 June 1945, 17.

 

June 25

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Camp Lee, VA.

“8.000 Lee GI’s Hear Eckstine, Armstrong.” Baltimore Afro-American, 30 June 1945, 18.

 

July early

Billy Eckstine And His Orchestra

Probably: Raymond Orr, Fats Navarro, Shorty McConnell, Marion Boonie Hazel (tp); Jerry Valentine (tb & arr); Joe Taswell Baird, Howard Scott, Chippie Outcalt tb); Budd Johnson, Sonny Stitt (as); Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons (ts); Leo Parker (bars); John Malachi (p); Connie Wainwright (g); Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Ann Baker (voc); Billy Eckstine (voc, vtb, dir).

 

“Eckstine Adds New Thrush,” Billboard, 1945, July 21, 25: Anne Baker has joined Billy Eckstine’s outfit earlier this month.”

 

July 7

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Army Air Forces, Drew Field, Tampa, FL.

 

“Billy Eckstine Takes Dixie,” Pittsburgh Courier, July 7, 1945, 13.

 

July 8

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Harlem Square Club, Miami, FL.

 

“Billy Eckstine Takes Dixie,” Pittsburgh Courier, July 7, 1945, 13.

 

July 9

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Two Spot Club, Jacksonville, FL.

 

Billy Eckstine Takes Dixie,” Pittsburgh Courier, July 7, 1945, 13.

 

July 15

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Paradise Amusement Park, Nashville, TN.

 

“Billy Eckstine in the South,” Chicago Defender (Nat ed.), July 14, 1945, 14.

 

July 17

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Pine Bluff, AR.

“Billy Eckstine in the South,” Chicago Defender (Nat ed.), July 14, 1945, 14.

 

July 18

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Robinson Memorial Auditorium, Little Rock, AR.

“Billy Eckstine in the South,” Chicago Defender (Nat ed.), July 14, 1945, 14.

 

July 19

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Jackson, MS.

“Billy Eckstine in the South,” Chicago Defender (Nat ed.), July 14, 1945, 14.

 

July 20

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Monroe, LA.

“Billy Eckstine in the South,” Chicago Defender (Nat ed.), July 14, 1945, 14.

 

July 24

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Harvest Club, Beaumont, TX.

“Billy Eckstine on Tour of Texas for Week,” Baltimore Afro-American, 21 July 1945, 16.

 

July 25

 

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Library Auditorium, San Antonio, TX.

“Singing Billy Eckstine and his Band to Be Heard at Library Auditorium,” San Antonio Register, 20 July 1945, 6.

International Musician, September 1945: San Antonio: reports personnel, probably referring to July 1945: Navarro, Shorty McConnell, Hazel, Valentine, Howard Scott, Chippie Outcalt, John Jackson, Ammons, Gordon, Leo Parker, Malachi, Wainwright, Potter, Blakey, and Eckstine (information from Howard Rye).

 

July 26

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Corpus Christi, TX.

 

“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Chicago Defender (Nat. ed.), July 21, 1945, 14.

July 27

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Port Arthur, TX.

 

“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Chicago Defender (Nat. ed.), July 21  1945, 14.

July 28

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Dorie Miller, Dallas, TX.

“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Chicago Defender (Nat. ed.), July 21, 1945, 14.

 

July 29

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Fort Worth, TX.

“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Chicago Defender (Nat. ed.), July 21, 1945, 14.

 

July 30

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Rose Room, Dallas TX.

“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Chicago Defender (Nat. ed.), July 21, 1945, 14.

 

August 6

Billy Eckstine And His Orchestra

Roller-Rink, Evansville, IN.

Colored Dance.

 

“Billy Eckstine’s band to Be Here August 6," Evansville Courier and Press, July 29, 1945, 16.

Ad in Evansville Courier and Press, August 6, 1945, 9.

 

August 11

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Miramar Ballroom, Gary, IN.

“Eckstine to Apollo Next,” Chicago Defender, (Nat. ed.), August 11, 1945, 14.

 

August 12

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Savoy Ballroom, Chicago, IL.

Dance.

Ad in Chicago Defender, (Nat. ed.), August 4, 1945, 20: Featuring Sarah Vaughan. This must be a mistake.

“Eckstine to Apollo Next,” Chicago Defender, (Nat. ed.), August 11, 1945, 14.

 

August 13

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Sunset Terrace, Indianapolis, IN.

“Eckstine to Apollo Next,” Chicago Defender, (Nat. ed.), August 11, 1945, 14.

 

August 14

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Elk Ballroom, Youngstown, OH.

“Eckstine to Apollo Next,” Chicago Defender, (Nat. ed.), August 11, 1945, 14.

 

August 15

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

August 15–30, 1945.

Vacation.

 

“Billy Eckstine Jumpers Booked,” California Eagle, August 16, 1945, 14.

August 31

Hepsations of 45

Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra

Including Dizzy Gillespie (tp, arr, dir); Miles Davis, Freddie Webster, Kenny Dorham, Fats Navarro, Benny Harris (tp); Ted Kelly (tb); Leo Williams, Charlie Parker (as), Charlie Rouse (ts); Leo Parker (bar); Max Roach (dr): Walter Gil Fuller (arr).

June Eckstine

Nicholas Brothers

Patterson & Jackson

Betty St. Claire

Joe Arena & Pal

Sun Tan Chorus

McKinley Theatre, Bronx, New York, NY.

August 31-September 6, 1945.

Fats Navarro may have participated here.

 

Ad in New York Age, September 1, 1945, 10.

“Clocking the Bronx,” New York Amsterdam News, September 1, 1945, 10A: Short review: Mention of Nicholas Brothers, Dizzy Gillespie 18-piece band, Patterson & Jackson, Betty St. Claire (voc), Joe Arena & Pal, and Sun Tan Chorus.

Ted Kelly in D. Gillespie and A. Fraser, To Be or Not... to Bop (1979), 263: In the band at that time: Sarah Vaughan, Freddie Webster, Charlie Parker, Benny Harris. (This testimony is placed in connection with Dizzy’s second big band. But Kelly was in the Hepsations band, and not again in Dizzy’s band before late in 1947).

Max Roach D. Gillespie and A. Fraser, To Be or Not... to Bop (1979), 226: In the band: Freddie Webster, Kenny Dorham, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro.

Elmon Wright in D. Gillespie and A. Fraser, To Be or Not... to Bop (1979), 263: Tells that he was in the first Gillespie band but left after the tour South.

Gil Fuller in D. Gillespie and A. Fraser, To Be or Not... to Bop (1979), 256—57: Mentions Freddie Webster, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Kenny Dorham at the McKinley engagement. Fuller tells that Gillespie threw Parker out of the band for being high. (This is wrongly placed in a 1947 connection).

Jackie McLean in A.B. Spellman, Four Lives In The Bebop Business (1966), 203: Attended the band at this engagement and mentions Max Roach, Charlie Parker, Leo Parker, Fats Navarro, Kenny Dorham, J. J. Johnson, Lucky Thompson and Henry Pryor (as) as members. This lineup is not wholly trustworthy. I doubt on the presence of Johnson and Thompson.

 

September early

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

One-nighters on the East Coast.

Probably not realized.

 

“Billy Eckstine Jumpers Booked,” California Eagle, August 16, 1945, 14: One week of one-nighters before the Apollo engagement.

 

September 4

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Shorty McConnell, Fats Navarro, Marion Boonie Hazel, Raymond Orr (tp); Jerry Valentine (tb, musical dir, arr), Howard Scott, Walter Knox, Chippie Outcalt (tb); Budd Johnson, John Cobbs (as); Gene Ammons, Arthur Sammons (ts); Teddy Cypron (bars); Richard Duke Ellington (p); Connie Wainwright (g); Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Billy Eckstine (voc, dir).

National Records Studio, Broadway, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for National Records.

 

“Billy Eckstine Jumpers Booked,” California Eagle, August 16, 1945, 14: Gives recording dates August 30 and 31, but this may have been changed. Standard discographies have September 4.

"Billy Eckstine Shakes Up Band,” Afro-American, September 22, 1945, 10.

L. B. Petersen and T. Rehak, Infatuation – The Music and Life of Theodore “Fats” Navarro (2009), 87: Look here for further details.

 

September 7

Billy Eckstine and His band

Deep River Boys

Ralph Jones (tap dance)

3 Glenns

Tom Crackshot & Vivian

Apollo Theatre, NYC.

September 7–13, 1945.

 

Ad in New York Age, September 8, 1945, 10.

 

September 8

Jam session concert

Ben Webster

Dizzy Gillespie,

Don Byas

Errol Garner

Stuff Smith

Charlie Parker

Eddie Barefield

John Kirby and Band

Dexter Gordon and All Star band

Members of Ellington and Eckstine bands.

Lincoln Square Center, New York, NY.

9 p.m.—3a.m.

Saturday Night Jam Sessions and Dance.

Charlie La Sister and Jimmy Butts (prod).

Fats Navarro may have participated here.

 

By Way of Mention,” New York Age, September 1, 1945, 5: Webster, Gillespie, Stuff Smith, Don Byas, Errol Garner, Dexter Gordon, Benny Harris, Paul Bascomb, Joe Steel, Ernie Washington, and band members of Ellington and Eckstine.

Ad in New York Amsterdam News, September 8. 1945. 9B.

Jackie McLean in A.B. Spellman, Four Lives In the Bebop Business, (1966), 203–04: gives details of this jam session: Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, and other boppers are mentioned.

 

September 18

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Shorty McConnell, Fats Navarro, Marion Boonie Hazel, Raymond Orr (tp); Jerry Valentine (tb, musical dir, arr), Howard Scott, Walter Knox, Chippie Outcalt (tb); Budd Johnson, John Cobbs (as); Gene Ammons, Arthur Sammons (ts); Teddy Cypron (bars); Richard Duke Ellington (p); Connie Wainwright (g); Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Billy Eckstine (voc, dir).

Savoy Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA.

September 18, 1945.

 

"The Drama," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 6, 1945, Daily Magazine, 4.

September late

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Shorty McConnell, Fats Navarro, Marion Boonie Hazel, Raymond Orr (tp); Jerry Valentine (tb, musical dir, arr), Howard Scott, Walter Knox, Chippie Outcalt (tb); Budd Johnson, John Cobbs (as); Gene Ammons, Arthur Sammons (ts); Teddy Cypron (bars); Richard Duke Ellington (p); Connie Wainwright (g); Tommy Potter (b); Art Blakey (dr); Billy Eckstine (voc, dir).

National Records Studio, Broadway, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for National Records.

 

Notice in Billboard, October 6, 1945, 18: notice dated September 29 tells of Eckstine’s band being forced to climb the stairs to the studio for a recordings session during the New York elevator strike.

“Elevator Strike Likely to Spread; Express Snarled,” New York Times, September 26, 1945, 1: The strike was started September 25.

F. Driggs and H. Levine, Black Beauty -White Heat (1996), 320: Photo of the band on the way up the stairs to the National session.

Same p. 318: Photo from the session of Eckstine playing valve trombone.

Standard discographies give an unspecified date in October, but the correct date must be between September 25 and 29.

 

September 29

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Lincoln Square Center, NYC.

Victory Dance.

 

Ad in New York Amsterdam News, 29 Sept. 1945, 13: 16 pieces.

 

October 6

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Orange Armory, Orange, NJ.

 

“Eckstine in Orange,” Baltimore Afro-American, October 6, 1945, 16.

 

October 8

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

New Albert Hall, Baltimore, MD.

9:30–2:00 a.m.

Dance. Rooso du Proo (prod.)

 

Ad in Baltimore Afro-American 6 Oct. 1945, 19.

October 18

Billy Eckstine Orchestra

Roller Rink, Evansville, IN.

Colored Dance.

 

Ad in Evansville Courier and Press, August 6, 1945, 9.

October 19

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Club Rivera, St. Louis, MO.

October 19–November 8, 1945.

“Broadway Chatter,” New York Age, October 27, 1945,10: Billy Eckstine's band opened Friday for a three weeks engagement at Club Rivera, St. Louis, MO.

“Eckstine Flys, So Morris-Gale Shell out $7,500 & Burn,” Billboard, November 17, 1945, 13: The engagement was extended to November 8, and caused problems reaching the next engagement.

 

November 9

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Peckin' Joe Steele

Alan Drew

Crass Smith

Baron Von King

Paradise Theater, Detroit, MI.

November 9—15, 1945.

"Ad in Detroit Free Press, November 9, 1944, 25.

"Ad in Detroit Free Press, November 10, 1944, 7 (Gala Midnight Show).

“Eckstine Flys, So Morris-Gale Shell out $7,500 & Burn,” Billboard, November 17, 1945, 13: The engagement was extended to November 8.

 “Switch in Bookings Costly To Eckstine,” Chicago Defender, December 15, 1945: Through a mix up in his bookings, it cost Billy Eckstine §1500 to transport his band form St. Louis to Detroit in order to open on time at the Paradise theatre a few weeks ago.

 

November 18

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Savoy Ballroom, Chicago, IL.

Till 1.m.

Dance.

 

Ad in Chicago Defender, November 10, 1945, 25.

November 24

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Village Barn, Tulsa, OK.

 

“Eckstine Now on One-nighter Tour,” California Eagle, November 22, 1945, 15.

November 25

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Mosque, Fort Worth, TX.

 

“Eckstine Now on One-nighter Tour,” California Eagle, November 22, 1945, 15.

 

November 26

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Rose Room, Dallas, TX.

November 26–27, 1945.

 

“Eckstine Now on One-nighter Tour,” California Eagle, November 22, 1945, 15.

November 29

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Olmo’s Club, San Antonio, TX.

November 29, 1945.

 

Ad in San Antonio Light, 28 Nov. 1945, 7B.

 

December 5

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Pleasure Pier Ballroom, Port Arthur, TX.

 

Ad in Port Arthur News, 29 Nov. 1945, 6.

 

 

December early

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Billy Eckstine renews contract with National records.

“Re-Signs for Records,’’ Pittsburgh Courier, December 8, 1945, 18.

 

December 24

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Savoy Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA.

William Eckstine Sr. (prod).

 

"The Drama Desk," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Daily Magazine, 4.

December 27

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Chestnut Street Hall, Harrisburg, PA.

December 27, 1944. 9:30 p.m.

Christmas Ball.

Civic Colored Dance Club.

 

Ad in Harrisburg Telegraph, December 24, 1945, 6.

December late?

Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra

Navarro leaves Eckstine and settles in NYC. Kenny Dorham replaces him.

There may have been some overlap, so that Navarro didn't leave the band totally. He is reported in the band as late as April 1946.

Kenny Dorham in G. Feehan, “Durable Dorham,” Down Beat, September 27, 1962, 16–17: ”It [the Eckstine band] had a tremendous rhythm section: Art Blakey, Tommy Potter, and Richard Ellington on piano. It had excellent soloists, too, like Gene Ammons and Leo Parker. Those six months I was with Eckstine were a groove. Billy brought me in as trumpet soloist to replace Fats Navarro, who had replaced Diz. I was only 22, but already I was accepted on my merits. Billy was a great leader; he’d always let you go when you were having a great night.”

 

1945 late or 1946 early

Jam session

Navarro reported in jam session at Minton’s together with Bud Powell.

Raymond Orr Interviewed by C. Walton in, “New York and the Music revolution: Raymond Orr, trumpet:” “At jam sessions, playing the wrong chord might cause a fight. I was in Minton's, in New York, one night and Fats Navarro was slapped by Bud Powell because Fats played some wrong changes (piano chords). Bud was drunk.”

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