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Happy Birthday, Eddie Durham

Jazz trombonist, guitarist, composer and arranger Eddie Durham was born on this day in 1906.

An excerpt from Wikipedia’s profile:

He was the co-composer (with Edgar Battle) of the tune “Topsy”, first recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra. He is sometimes credited as the arranger for Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood“, although this is disputed. He is also credited for recording the world’s first jazz electric guitar solo with a Gibson ES-150 guitar in 1938 on Lester Young’s Kansas City Five sessions. Other electric guitars had been recorded that year by other players, including George Barnes with Big Bill Broonzy.

Above is Dick Hyman’s version of “Topsy,” which was co-written by Edgar BattleHere is more on Durham.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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