The Story of Joseph

The Story of Joseph "Fud" Livingston

by Fud Livingston


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Whereas a truly overarching examination of the triumphant and tragic career of reedman, composer, and arranger Fud Livingston would require more than 26 tracks on one CD, Jazz Oracle's meticulously researched and thoughtfully annotated salute to this overlooked character is entirely unprecedented, for nobody has bothered much about Fud over the years. More generally, this is also a fascinating and highly recommended survey of vintage hot jazz, popular dance music, and early swing. The Joseph Anthony Livingston story begins in Charleston, South Carolina where he was born on April 10, 1906. True to form, Jazz Oracle delves back to what must be among the earliest surviving examples of Fud on record, for it is doubtful that he pressed any platters with Talmadge Henry back in Greensboro in 1923. The retrospective opens with a previously unreleased test pressing made in Los Angeles during the summer of 1924 by Ben Pollack & His Californians. Two sides cut in Chicago for Victor in December 1926 document the Pollack band as it sounded when the lineup included Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Fud Livingston. Vocals are by Pollack and the band on "'Deed I Do," and Dorothy and Hannah Williams on "He's the Last Word," a harmless pop tune by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn. The Livingston saga picks up again with five consecutive examples from 1927, beginning with one sole example by the Charleston Chasers, a friendly little mob that included Red Nichols, Miff Mole, and Pee Wee Russell. "Feelin' No Pain" is the first of four sequential Livingston originals. In title and substance (so to speak) this number appears to have been somewhat of a self-portrait. Fud's "Imagination" is done up by Miff Mole & His Little Molers, his "Humpty Dumpty" features Bix Beiderbecke with Frankie Trumbauer's Orchestra, and "Sax Appeal" stems from a visit to England. On this rare Zonophone recording, Livingston is heard alongside trumpeter Frank Guarente with Bert Firman at the helm of the Devonshire Restaurant Dance Band. Next Fud is heard with three different All-Star Orchestras under the leadership of Nat Shilkret, then with fiddler Joe Venuti and guitarist Carl Kress in a quartet led by pianist Leonard "Lennie" Hayton. He reappears with the Dorsey Brothers in a zippy group billed as Joe Venuti & His New Yorkers, then alongside Glenn Miller in a Dance Orchestra fronted by trumpeter Toots Mendello. The year 1929 is represented by two lively little records cut in London at a point when Fud, trumpeter Chelsea Quealey, and the Rollini Brothers were all sitting in with Fred Elizalde & His Music. After "Singapore Sorrows" is played by a 19-piece orchestra, the unit is pared down to an octet for "Nobody's Sweetheart." The next three tracks place the artist's livelihood squarely within the context of U.S. pop culture during the '30s. Fud is heard with Paul Whiteman, Bing Crosby and, in a segment from the soundtrack of the RKO motion picture That Girl From Paris, coloratura soprano Lily Pons. This charmingly historic portrait album closes with a Victor test pressing of "I've Found a New Baby" played by pianist Bob Zurke's short-lived 14-man big band in 1939 (using an arrangement by Livingston) and a hitherto undiscovered 1932 ARC test pressing of Fud singing while accompanying himself at the piano. The rest of Livingston's career saw him working in the music publishing business and Hollywood, where he drew up arrangements for the orchestras of André Kostelanetz and Freddie Rich. His final decade was a difficult one, and a pernicious addiction to alcohol ultimately took him out ahead of schedule. Until shortly before his death on March 25, 1957, Fud Livingston could periodically be seen playing piano at the back of various bars in certain sections of New York City. The producers of this particular Jazz Oracle collection deserve highest praise for illuminating selected portions of this man's underappreciated legacy.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/22/2009
Label: Jazz Oracle
UPC: 0620588806025
catalogNumber: 8060
Rank: 97291

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fud Livingston   Primary Artist,Clarinet,Piano,Violin,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Bing Crosby   Violin
Benny Goodman   Clarinet,Flute
Eddie Lang   Guitar
Ben Pollack   Drums,Vocals
Pee Wee Russell   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Joe Venuti   Violin
Red Nichols   Trumpet
Bobby Byrne   Trombone
Carl Kress   Banjo,Guitar
Ray McKinley   Drums
Jimmy McPartland   Trumpet
Miff Mole   Trombone
Adrian Rollini   Bass Saxophone
Frankie Trumbauer   C-Melody Saxophone
Bob Zurke   Piano
Earl Baker   Cornet
Bowlly   Guitar
Bix Beiderbecke   Clarinet
Noni Bernardi   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Vic Berton   Drums
Larry Binyon   Tenor Saxophone
Toots Camarata   Trumpet
Bobby Davis   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Kurt Dieterle   Violin
Jimmy Dorsey   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Tommy Dorsey   Trombone
Harry Goodman   Bowed Bass
Lennie Hayton   Piano,Celeste
Arthur "Skeets" Herfurt   Tenor Saxophone
Roc Hillman   Guitar
George Hurley   Violin
Stan King   Drums
Don Mattison   Trombone
Glenn Miller   Trombone
Nuncio "Toots" Mondello   Trumpet
Chauncey Morehouse   Drums,Vibes
Lou Raderman   Violin
Bill Rank   Trombone
Gil Rodin   Reeds,Alto Saxophone
Arthur Rollini   Tenor Saxophone
Mischa Russell   Violin
Arthur Schutt   Piano
Frank Signorelli   Piano
Jack Stacey   Alto Saxophone
Slim Taft   String Bass
George Thow   Trumpet
Bobby Van Eps   Piano
Victor Young   Violin
Sterling Bose   Trumpet
Max Farley   Clarinet,Flute,Oboe,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
John Firman   Piano
Frank Guarente   Trumpet
Harris   Cornet
Dick McDonough   Guitar
Joe Tarto   Bowed Bass
Roy Bargy   Piano
Fuzzy Farrar   Trumpet
Chelsea Quealey   Trumpet
Jack Fulton   Trombone
Harry Goldfield   Trumpet
Ronnie Gubertini   Drums
Jack Hansen   Bowed Bass
Matty Malneck   Violin
Andy Secrest   Clarinet
Tiny Stock   String Bass
Sid Stoneburn   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Charles Strickfaden   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Joe Yukl   Trombone
Chester Hazlett   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Billy Mason   Piano
Nat Natoli   Trumpet
Ray Lodwig   Trumpet
Mike Trafficante   Bowed Bass
Leo McConville   Trumpet
Phil Cardew   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Dudley Fosdick   Mellophonium
Felix Giobbe   String Bass
Tommy Gott   Trumpet
Don Murray   Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone
Artie Foster   Trombone
Chick Reeves   Guitar
Del Staigers   Trumpet
Dorothy Williams   Violin
Benjamin Frankel   Violin
Lily Pons   Violin
Armer   Bowed Bass
Baker   Violin
Milt Rettenberg   Piano
Billy Thorpe   Guitar
Billy Bell   Bowed Bass
Norman Payne   Trumpet
Bert Firman   Violin
Wayne Allen   Piano
Mario Lorenzi   Harp
Arthur Lally   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Vincent Grande   Trombone
Nobby Knight   Trumpet
Len Lees   Violin
George Marsh   Drums
Jack Trebble   Drums
Harold Peppie   Trumpet
Jack Kaufman   Violin
Jack Simmons   Banjo
Hannah Williams   Violin
Herb Winfield   Trombone
Harold "Scrappy" Lambert   Violin
Frank Coughlan   Trombone
Billy Pritchard   Trombone
Bill Barton   Reeds
Ted Schilling   Trumpet
Mike Pingitore   Banjo
Roy Covert   Violin
Jack Hull   Banjo
Chuck Dale   Baritone Saxophone
Max Sturgis   Reeds
John Kurzenknabe   Banjo
John Gassoway   Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Dorsey's Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Arnold Brilhart   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Ross Dugat   Trombone
Barney Sorkin   Reeds
Harry Greenberg   Cornet

Technical Credits

Jolson   Composer
Paul Whiteman   Director
Frankie Trumbauer   Arranger,Director
Bob Zurke   Director
Milton Ager   Composer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Fud Livingston   Arranger,Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Nat Shilkret   Director
Jack Yellen   Composer
Brad Kay   Liner Notes
Jack King   Art Direction
Fred Elizalde   Director
Owen Murphy   Composer
Walter Hirsch   Composer
Colin Bray   Producer
John Wilby   Producer
Bert Firman   Director
Erdman   Composer
Venuti   Composer
Farrar   Composer
Jutta Thiel   Graphic Design
John Techlenburg   Cover Photo

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