A Salute to Count Basie

Friday, February 28, 2014

During the month of February, The Jonathan Channel has been celebrating Black History Month by highlighting the life and career significant African American contributors to the American Songbook. Last but certainly not least, this week we will focus on the incomparable Count Basie.

James "Count" Basie was born on August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey. Basie learned how to play piano at home, his mother acting as teacher. By the age of 16, Basie had dropped out of school and devoted himself completely to music, performing wherever he could. In 1924, he moved to Harlem and began touring the country, soon working with Bennie Moten's band.

Count Basie and his Orchestra began to take over New York City. They stomped at the Savoy and played with the best names in jazz at Birdland. In 1957, they were the first black outfit to play at New York's Waldorf-Astoria. Their show was so popular, they had a weekly gig at the hotel for 4 months.

Episode Playlist:

Count Basie - April in Paris - Jazz Masters 2

Ella Fitzgerald - April in Paris - Ella Fitzgerald First Lady of Song: Count Basie Orchestra

Louis Armstrong - I've Got The World On A String - The Complete RCA Victor Recordings

Sarah Vaughan - Don't Look at Me that Way - Sings Broadway:Great Songs from Hit Shows

Billie Holiday - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm - Billie Holiday First Issue: The Great American Song Book

All Of Me Sinatra At The Sands The Count Basie Orchestra
All Of Me Ella Swings Gently with Nelson
The Birth of the Blues Dinah!

Count Basie - All Of Me - Sinatra At The Sands

Ella Fitzgerald - All Of Me - Ella Swings Gently with Nelson

Dinah Washington - The Birth of the Blues - Dinah!

Count Basie - In a Mellow Tone - The Complete Roulette Live Recordings of Count Basie and His Orchestra (1959-1962)

Ella Fitzgerald - In a Mellow Tone - Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Songbook

Louis Armstrong - You Turned The Tables On Me - I've Got the World on a String

Billie Holiday - Love For Sale - Billie Holiday First Issue: The Great American Song Book

Count Basie - Shiny Stockings - Jazz Masters 2

Ella Fitzgerald - Shiny Stockings - On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Williams - Party Blues - The Complete Clef/Verve Fifties Basie







More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [1]

captain eddie from Villanova, PA.

The man from Red Bank (New Jersey). No one ever swung any better !
And, oh how he could "back" singers, e.g. Nat Cole and Sinatra.
And OH, how we need a current and ongoing list of what's plying and
who is doing it. I keep reading this request over and over in the comments and it doesn't happen.
Not Good ! !

Feb. 25 2014 11:42 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.


About The Jonathan Channel

The sounds of Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday and other masters of the American songbook can be heard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world.

“The Jonathan Channel” provides an unparalleled showcase for this timeless music, presented by its strongest advocate, Jonathan Schwartz, in his intimate, insightful, and utterly original approach that combines impeccable taste with countless personal tales, colorful anecdotes and encyclopedic knowledge

The Jonathan Channel Newsletter

Connect with The Jonathan Channel

Follow @jonathanwnyc




Supported by