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Babs Gonzales (Holiday)

A limited but enthusiastic singer, Babs Gonzales did what he could to popularize bop. He had brief stints with Charlie Barnet and Lionel Hampton, and then led his own group (Three Bips & a Bop) during 1946-1949. They recorded 24 numbers during 1947-1949, including the earliest version of "Oop-Pop-A-Da" and such songs as "Weird Lullaby," "A Lesson in Bopology," "Professor Bop," and "Prelude to a Nightmare"; among his sidemen on these dates were Tadd Dameron, Tony Scott, Roy Haynes, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, Julius Watkins, Sonny Rollins (making his recording debut), Art Pepper, Wynton Kelly, and even Don Redman. However, once the bop "fad" ended, Gonzales became more of a cult figure. He worked with James Moody (1951-1953), recorded with Jimmy Smith and Johnny Griffin, ran his own label (Expubidence), and wrote two autobiographies that were more colorful than accurate. ~ Scott Yanow
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