Interview: Jimmy Wilkins (Part 1) - JazzWax

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February 28, 2012


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mel house

Great band, great song. As I was reading today's JazzWax, I was listening to "Maybe You'll be There" by June Christy and I was thinking how much I love that song. Then I clicked on today's clip of the Wilkins band and there was my song again!


there's nothing better than a big band.


Some of the happiest kids I've ever seen on any picture, which is amazing, considering the uncertain future they all had ahead. Look at those smiling faces, and Mrs. Louis in the middle. A pure moment of sheer joy. -- Kudos to the photographer!

This is so touching; as is the interview with Jimmy Wilkins who still seems to be inspired by the enthusiasm of a young man; and he has the same happy smile.

Mr. Wilkins must have had a very musical guardian angel, so that he not had to share the very same fate as many of his African-American brothers during the war.

Playing music does not only help to develop your spiritual powers, it can also be very useful when it comes down to plain physical survival.


P.S. -- For more information about Black Americans in the Army, I'd strongly recommend to watch the highly interesting German documentary "Blues March - Soldier Jon Hendricks":

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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