PAPER EPHEMERA FROM THE CONDON EMPIRE: 1947 / 1960; December 5, 1942

This I know.  It’s an inscribed first edition of Eddie Condon’s 1947 autobiography, WE CALLED IT MUSIC. But beyond that.  “It’s warm here now,” Condon writes to Lou in 1947.  Then, thirteen years later, Lou inscribes the book to Woody or Woodie.  I don’t think this is Woody Herman, although the Lou could be Robert Louis McGarity:

Then, another (facing?) page from the same book:

$_57Some famous names: ME TOO, Bobby Hackett; Bob Wilber; pianist Graham Forbes.  Who was Thomas Golden? Bob Pancrost?

Any detectives out there, ready to leap on these clues?  (What was the weather like in New York City — a plausible guess — on October 20, 1947?)

The pages that follow aren’t at all mysterious: an Eddie Condon Town Hall concert program from December 5, 1942.  But in me they awake such longing. Why can’t I hear this band or these bands?


I want to be there. (Urban historians will note Thomas – Morton – Hall – Johnny Williams, a combination working under Teddy Wilson’s leadership at Cafe Society. In fact, some private recordings exist with Mel Powell taking Wilson’s place at around this time — not from this concert, though.)

May your happiness increase!

3 responses to “PAPER EPHEMERA FROM THE CONDON EMPIRE: 1947 / 1960; December 5, 1942

  1. Stompy Jones

    My crack team of researchers tells me that, according to the Brooklyn Eagle of October 20, 1947, “freedom from heat and humidity … brought relief last night after several days of unseasonable weather … promising sunny skies and less humidity with a high temperature in the middle 70s.” Of course that was Brooklyn, and we had just lost the World Series to the Yankees, so there may have been a slight chill in the air. In other news, a Republican congressman blasted the Marshall Plan as “not a plan at all but merely a suggestion which had degenerated into a grandiose worldwide WPA.” Some things never change.

  2. Michael, neat stuff as always! I met Lou McGarity at Blues Alley in 1970 and got his autograph which looks very similar to your posting. As an aside, sadly Lou died of a heart attack in 1971 while giging at Blues Alley. Having read the comments of Stompy Jones, relative to the weather, I discovered that Lou was in Sunny California from June 1947 to at least October with Benny Goodman performing live dates as well as recording for Capitol Records. . Strangely, Lou and a few other BG sidemen were present on 2 record sessions with the Woody Herman Orchestra in August.for Columbia Records. So even though it’s 13 years earlier than the Woodie / Woody note, their paths certainly had crossed. For what it’s worth.

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