A RED COTTAGE and KATIE’S MUFFINS (Stockholm, April 1939)

I quote the eBay seller: “This is an autograph album that includes the signatures of Duke Ellington and Paul Robeson as well as many of Duke Ellington’s Orchestra members including; Juan Tizol (trombone), Harry Carney (baritone sax), Fred Guy (guitar), Cootie Williams, Lawrence Brown, Otto Hardwick, Wallace Jones, Rex Stewart (cornet), Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard (clarinet), Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton, Billy Taylor (trombone), Sonny Greer and Ivie Anderson (vocals). Album has a note from the “Three Dukes”, Bob, Bubba, and Pye (Tap Dancers, I believe). Also includes a number of Swedish names some of which are pictured. Includes a 1939 Swedish almanac. Album is 4″ x 5 1/4″, almanac is 4 3/4″ x 4″. Buyer pays 4.00 shipping.”

The price, which is not mentioned in the description, is $600 USD.  Here is the link, which will soon expire.


The outside, beautifully preserved.


The Maestro.



The Orchestra.



Another angle.  When did musicians stop identifying themselves not only by name but by instrument?


The extraordinary Ivie.




A tap dance trio?


Mister Robeson.



She might not have been a musician, but I couldn’t omit this.


or this.





Anything I would say about Katie’s muffins would of course be wrong, but they were certainly memorable.

And some music — a Swedish pop song performed by the band (A LITTLE RED COTTAGE BY THE SEA) at a concert in Stockholm on April 29, with a wonderful Ivie vocal:

and SERENADE TO SWEDEN from the same concert:

Sacred artifacts, whether the book or the radio broadcasts.  How lucky we are to view and hear such things.

May your happiness increase!

12 responses to “A RED COTTAGE and KATIE’S MUFFINS (Stockholm, April 1939)

  1. Since I don’t have the $600 I thank you for this marvelous post which is the next best thing to owning that special set of autographs. I teach 7th grade Social Studies and it’s wonderful to see that back in the day adults were once taught as children penmanship and spelling. The two recordings were wonderful and I am wondering if you know if that is Wallace Jones with the opening trumpet chorus on Serenade to Sweden? The trumpet section sounds great on both sides and I’m always wondering what the story is on Jones who seems to have led the section for many years but got little solo time and who seems to have vanished after his years with Duke.

  2. Dear Gary, thanks for the words! About Jones: playing lead is demanding work, even in Duke’s band where he moved the lead voice around — so I think it’s not surprising we don’t hear more of Jones the “jazz soloist.” I know he does play in a Putney Dandridge small group session in 1936, and he is a fine player of the era. I also suspect that he was one of the musicians worn down by constant touring, and when he got older, he wanted to get off the road and live in one place. But that’s speculation, and I am away from my books at the moment. Does anyone know more about what became of Wallace Jones? And, yes, penmanship — a neglected if not dead art.

  3. Michael Hashim

    That’s really interesting and touching. Thank you, Michael!

  4. Chilton says Wallace Jones played with Duke from from March 1938 to March 1944. After that: “Played with Benny Carter in New York September 1945), during following year worked on Snub Mosely’s Band, with John Kirby (early 1947). Left full-time music to become a mortician.”

  5. Thanks Rob for your research on Wallace Jones. He became a mortician. Wow. I think I’ll salute Wallace Jones on my day off by listening to Jelly Roll’s “Dead Man Blues”, followed by Duke’s “Dusk” which features some nice, soothing Wallace Jones.

  6. You’re welcome, Gary. You might like this too: https://youtu.be/hUXEah5p7o4

  7. Don "Zoot"Conner

    Great post,Michael.Always wondered where Stan Getz picked up Serenade to Sweden and now I know.

  8. Dan Morgenstern

    The note from the lady fan says “Thanks for a wonderful evening” The male fan describing himself as an American of course has a Swedish last name…same as the Rangers’ wonderful goalie. Serenade to Sweden is a beauty of a tune nobody seems to ever play…maybe you have to have a tone like an Ellingtonian to do it justice….


  9. I agree, – great post – but Michael: The Lawrence Brown page is not self explanatory. Lawrence Brown was the name of Paul Robeson’s piano accompanist and it also obvious that the signature is not the same as the Lawrence Brown-signature in the middle of the page with Ellington band members. Finally, the Ellington concert was on April 29 while the Paul Robeson performance, apparently, was on April 20

  10. Thank you, Tom/ I had forgotten the second LB.

  11. One minor correction: Billy Taylor was a bassist, not a trombonist. I had the great pleasure of meeting him back in the ’70s when he volunteered at New York’s all-too-short-lived jazz museum.

  12. John, that was the seller’s description, so thank you for pointing out his error.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s