Happy 105th Birthday, Chick Webb

The lack of Chick Webb video on YouTube is odd. There are quite a few items with photographs or album covers, but no real video.

In any case, This Day In Jazz History reports that the drummer and band leader was born in Baltimore on this day in 1909.

William Henry Webb was a very important figure in jazz as a drummer, band leader and the person who gave a young singer by the name of Ella Fitzgerald her start.

Webb, according to Wikipedia, Webb suffered from “tuberculosis of the spine,” which left him short and curved his spine unnaturally. His doctor suggested drumming as way to “loosen up” his bones.

Above is what the the poster at YouTube says is a radio broadcast from the Savoy Ballroom featuring Webb and Fitzgerald. The song is “St. Louis Blues,” which is great. But it’s too bad it’s not “Stompin'” The Savoy,” which is one of the great jazz standards.

Webb died on June 16, 1939 at only 34 years of age.

  • Thanks for acknowledging Chick Webb’s birthday! He is on Utube more than you may know. Credits are not always there, but Fan pages for Ben Selvin, Harry Reser’s, The Jazz Age often acknowledge his contribution. My Grandpa Bob Effros played trumpet on many recordings with the great Chick!

    • Carl

      Barbara, that’s great. Your Grandpa must have been a top guy, to play at that level. Thanks for the comment.