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Oral History and Research Materials: Vertna Saunders

This is the table of contents for the interview of Vertna Saunders. It is part of the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive which is located in Lovejoy Library at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

For a complete contents list of all musician interviews for the oral history project, please click on this link: Oral History and Research Materials.

If interested in reviewing these materials from the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive, please contact Therese Dickman, Fine Arts Librarian.

Tape # Side

Time

Subject

1 a

005-114

Introduction; Biographical, Family, music, school

1 a

115-167

First instrument, learning to play by ear

1 a

168-222

Awareness of famous musicians - listening to records

1 a

223-290

Brass bands, lodges, learning to read music

1 a

291-329

Influence of Whiteman and Henry Busse

1 a

330-378

Trip to Kansas City to hear Whiteman, meets
Biederbecke

1 a

379-419

School and lodge bands, parades

1 a

420-444

Meets Lamarr Wright from B. Moten Band

1 a

445-519

High school band jobs; Joins Kansas University Band

1 a

520-545

Playing with K.U. Band, integration

1 a

546-590

Goes to Chicago to play with Tiny Parham

1 a

591-626

Plays Lake boat with Francois

1 a

627-648

Meets Willie Humphrey

1 a

649-687

Other trumpet players met in Chicago

1 a

688-698

Paul Banks, K. City

1 a

699-738

Bands heard in Chicago

1 a

739-end

Kansas City

1 b

004-056

Eddie Tompkins - trumpet, Jimmy Lunceford

1 b

057-114

Clarence Love Orchestra, personnel, Milton Fletcher

1 b

115-149

Tour with Love Orchestra, - instrumentation,
arrangements

1 b

150-174

Kansas City - Vic Dickenson

1 b

175-219

St. Louis - 1931; the "Cave", trumpet style; sitting in

1 b

220-244

Kansas City - Harlan Leonard Band - Vic Dickenson

1 b

245-310

The Cave; Harold Baker; KMOX Radio Band

1 b

311-363

Eddie Johnson, Club Plantation Band, 1933-34, after Crackerjacks, musicians, and changes in

1 b

364-395

Personnel met in Kansas City

1 b

396-407

Plantation - nights, money

1 b

408-449

K. City in 1935, rehearsals, show people at Plantation

1 b

450-475

Sit-ins - Dewey Jackson, Red Allen, Rex Stewart, Jackson's style

1 b

476-514

K. City with Eddie Johnson

1 b

515-529

Joins Andy Lirk, Lester Young

1 b

530-566

Leaves Kirk, returns to St. Louis

1 b

567-599

Works with Marable & Creath on boats, meets Louie, other visiting musicians, Red Allen

1 b

600-623

New Orleans, untrained musicians, "New Orleans style"

1 b

624-653

Personnel of first band, Creath, directing, playing piano

1 b

654-714

1936, personnel changes; "Trombone Smitty"

1 b

715-742

Other personnel, 1936; Trip down river

2 a

001-079

New Orleans, musicians met there, sitting-in, working on boat

2 a

080-132

New Orleans style; funerals, street bands, religious songs

2 a

133-185

Learning new styles, improvising, chord formation and changes

2 a

186-240

Bands, tunes, musicians heard in New Orleans

2 a

241-325

Dixieland music - study of in order to play with Palmer

2 a

326-399

New Orleans, Kid Ory, after-hours, sitting-in

2 a

400-420

Food, women, races in New Orleans

2 a

421-483

Kaiter, N.O. trumpet player, other musicians

2 a

484-523

Return St. Louis, 1938; Small Marable Band, club Soho

2 a

524-589

Marable as pianist and leader

2 a

590-673

Rehearsals, trumpet section; tunes; King, Telphy reed section

2 a

674-697

Creath, playing and directing, personality, "father figure"

2 a

698-724

Tab Smith, Donny Stovall

2 a

725-733

Eddie Randle band, traveling Illinois, Missouri

2 b

005-134

Eddie Randle band, personnel, Springfield, N.Y., other cities

2 b

135-193

Randle as player, other musicians in band

2 b

194-274

Shows played for

2 b

275-328

Return to St. Louis, WWII, White bands played with

2 b

329-390

Medicine-packing job; Calls from Lunceford & Basie

2 b

391-430

U.S. Army, basic training

2 b

431-485

Trumpet exam

2 b

486-524

U.S. Army Air Force Band, Swing Band, USO

2 b

525-584

Musicians who did USO Shows, Lena Horne

2 b

585-619

Other music jobs, Discharge - 1946

2 b

620-647

Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Club Riveria

2 b

648-688

Benny Goodman, Fox Theater & Castle Ballroom, 1946 & 47

2 b

689-719

Jobbing around; Singleton Palmer band 1952, stomach ulcer

2 b

720-737

Club dates with Palmer's Band; Delmar

3 a

005-075

Delmar Blvd. Club cont'd; New Year's Eve police raid

3 a

076-127

Palmer's band; material; re-learning tunes; repertoire

3 a

128-244

Personnel of Palmer band - beginning, changes in

3 a

245-269

Saunder's opinion on best Palmer Band - reasons

3 a

270-339

Present Palmer Band & other versions

3 a

340-376

Havens' first visit to Gaslight Square

3 a

377-399

Saunders with Joe Langworthy Band

3 a

400-456

Clark Terry; Miles Davis

3 a

457-517

Clark Terry - Circular breathing

3 a

518-534

Bands traveling through St. Louis

3 a

535-550

Gigging with George Hudson

3 a

551-566

Ellington Band; Using Basie as standard for comparison

3 a

567-606

Possible changes in life and career; Influence of
parents, up-bringing, own Family

3 a

607-628

Government jobs

3 a

629-652

Influential musicians - to Saunders

3 a

653-678

Best Bands - Blue Devils

3 a

679-699

Lester Young

3 a

700-717

Charlie Parker and his teacher

3 a

718-742

Ben Webster , Dickie Wells

3 a

743-754

Piano players

3 b

002-160

Blues singers - "Big" Joe Turner - as inspiration to E. Presley

3 b

161-219

Pete Johnson, piano; Albert Ammons

3 b

220-304

Night clubs in Kansas City : corruption and politics

3 b

305-344

Discussion of other musicians

3 b

345-373

Charlie Straight - i.e. F. Henderson?

3 b

374-444

Trumpet players - Jabbo Smith; clarinet players

3 b

445-480

Ralph Sutton


E-mail comments and inquiries about the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive to Therese Dickman at tdickma@siue.edu or call 618-650-2695.