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Bebop Spoken There

KT Reeder: "The idea of teaching somebody to improvise is just bloody ridiculous. In this country jazz has been appropriated by universities. They have jazz courses, and they churn out people who have a degree in jazz, which makes me feel very nauseous, the idea that you can be trained to do jazz." - (Giant Steps by David Burke)

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Postage

13,248 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 667 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (May 16).

Coming soon ...



May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club. 8:30pm start.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Fats Waller plays Sunderland Empire!

(By Russell/Programme pics courtesy of Keith Belton)

It had been a great day for the people of Bishop Auckland. The town's football club won the FA Amateur Cup beating Willington 3-0 in the final. The County Durham non-league clubs battled for silverware in the final staged at Roker Park, Sunderland. 

The year was 1939, war was looming but for one day all eyes were on Roker Park. How many of those who were at Roker Park that day walked across Wearmouth Bridge to go to the Empire Theatre in the evening? Touring Britain at the time was Fats Waller and his itinerary included a concert performance in Sunderland!*

The above story was told by the Tees Valley Jazzmen's  Keith Belton on Aycliffe Radio's Jazz Time programme. Mr Belton, the sole surviving founding member of the enduringly popular Dixieland outfit, is a big football fan and an avid collector of match day programmes. An advertisement in the match day programme that memorable day caught the eye of Belton...Fats Waller at Sunderland Empire! 

Assuming some people in their teens - let's say 15 year olds - went to the Empire that night in 1939 they would now be in their mid-nineties. Is there anyone out there who remembers the day - going to Roker Park in the afternoon and on to the Empire in the evening? 
* The tour also included Newcastle Empire.
Russell

2 comments :

Lance said...

... and the Mills Brothers on the same bill!
I wonder if Fats played solo or if he had some Britiish guys with him?

Some football scores that day:
Liverpool 1 Sunderland 1
Middlesbrough 2 Derby Co. 0
Newcastle 1 Swansea Town 2
New Brighton 0 Gateshead 1
Chester 0 Darlington 0
Barrow 1 Hartlepools Utd 1

Dave Kerr said...

My parents went to see Fats on the same tour at Newcastle Empire.
I remember asking her if she could remember anything about it.
She said he was just one of several acts and played and sang three tunes.
Ain't Misbehavin',My Very Good Friend the Milkman and a very fast number probably A Handful of Keys.

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