Bird and Diz: Spotlite Mystery Solved - JazzWax

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November 10, 2008


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The Hi de Ho Blog

Great inquiry for a great CD. I really like the way you share with us the way you work.

Many thanks.

Robin D. G. Kelley

This is a great story; too bad the date is still unlikely. On June 28, 1946, Dizzy's big band began a week-long stint at the Apollo. He was the headliner, opposite Thelma Carpenter. It was widely advertised in the African American press [See, “Dizzy Gillespie Band Plays Apollo,” Amsterdam News, June 29, 1946; “Dizzy, Thelma on Apollo Show,” Pittsburgh Courier, June 29, 1946, as well as ads in the New York Age]
It MIGHT be possible that the big band then rushed down to 52nd Street in time to play Clark Monroe's Spotlite at around midnight or later, but it's very unlikely. I document this in my forthcoming book, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (due out October). How I wish research could take a couple of hours over lunch!

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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