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Andy Kirk

Andy Kirk was never a major musician (in fact he never really soloed), arranger or personality yet he was a successful big bandleader in the 1930s and '40s. He started playing bass sax and tuba in Denver with George Morrison's band in 1918. In 1925, he moved to Dallas where he played with Terrence Holder's Dark Clouds of Joy. In 1929 he took over leadership of the band (which was renamed Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy) and moved to Kansas City. During 1929-1930, they recorded some excellent hot performances with such players as pianist/arranger Mary Lou Williams, violinist Claude Williams, and trumpeter Edgar "Puddinghead" Battle. Surprisingly, Kirk's Orchestra was off records entirely during 1931-1935, but in 1936 (the year it relocated to New York) it immediately had a pop hit in "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" featuring the high voice of singer Pha Terrell. In future years, such fine soloists as tenor saxophonist Dick Wilson, the early electric guitarist Floyd Smith, Don Byas, Harold "Shorty" Baker, Howard McGhee, (1942-1943), Jimmy Forrest, and even Fats Navarro and (briefly) Charlie Parker would be among Kirk's sidemen. However, Mary Lou Williams was the most important musician in the band, both as a soloist and as an arranger. In 1948, Andy Kirk broke up the band (which had recorded mostly for Decca) and in later years ran a hotel and served as an official in the Musicians' Union. A lone "reunion" date in 1956 featured the classic charts but almost none of the original sidemen. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Jukebox Hits 1936-1949

1. Christopher Columbus

2. Until The Real Thing Comes Along

3. What Will I Tell My Heart

4. Dedicated To You

5. Skies Are Blue

6. I Won't Tell A Soul (I Love You)

7. Floyd's Guitar Blues

9. Now I Lay Me Down To Dream

10. Take It And Git

11. Hey Lawdy Mama (Meet Me In The Bottom)

12. I Know

13. Get Together With The Lord

17. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

18. So Soon

19. I'm Falling For You

21. Little Girl Don't Cry

x

Track List: Andy Kirk & The 12 Clouds Of Joy

1. Mess-A-Stomp

2. Corky Stomp

3. Froggy Bottom

4. Loose Ankles

5. Gettin' Off A Mess

6. Walkin' And Swingin'

7. Moten Swing

8. Lotta Sax Appeal

9. Bearcat Shuffle

10. Steppin' Pretty

11. Puddin' Head Serenade

12. Wednesday Night Hop

13. In The Groove

14. A Mellow Bit Of Rhythm

15. Twinklin'

16. Little Joe From Chicago

17. Toadie Toddle

18. Jump Jack Jump

19. Dunkin' A Doughnut

20. Mary's Idea

21. Close To Five

22. Floyd's Guitar Blues

23. Margie

24. Big Jim Blues

Comments

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Good music plaued by a group of good musicians!
Report as inappropriate
Not only is that picture wrong, but it's wrong in a really amusing way.
Report as inappropriate
Wrong Photo

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