♪ [up-tempo brass band music] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [trumpet notes progressing higher] ♪ [highest trumpet notes played] All the high-note players I know, the really high-note players, came out of the Jenkins Band from South Carolina.
When I want to get a high-note player, I get him out of the Jenkins Band.
That's what I call a tradition.
We've had children to be sent to us from all over, especially from North Carolina... New York... Philadelphia... you name it, and children were sent there.
You see, Mr. Jenkins had something that those children's parents wanted them to have, and that was the music.
[trumpet player playing scales] ♪ Hey, you boys, what are y'all doing in this boxcar?
Come on out of there!
Y'all know you could get hurt in this boxcar?
Where's your mama?
We ain't got no mama.
What about the rest of you?
Come on with me.
♪ (Abbey Lincoln) The year was 1891 in the city of Charleston, South Carolina.
The Reverend Daniel Joseph Jenkins, a black minister, was the son of ex-slaves.
Industrious by nature in this era of post-Reconstruction, Reverend Jenkins managed to own several small businesses.
One, a wood supply company, accounted for his early morning venture on the day this story begins.
[no audio] (Reverend Jenkins, dramatized) The pitiful scene I saw at 6:00 early one cold, wintry morning will never be forgotten.
When such a wind blew, as is customary in winter, causing those comfortably clothed to shiver, I discovered half a dozen half-naked colored children standing on the city railroad track near a freight car in which they had taken shelter from the penetrating wind and cold during the night.
(Lincoln) Reverend Jenkins took the four waifs into his own home.
He appealed to members of his church congregation to relieve the plight, not only of these boys, but of all homeless and abandoned black children, for whom the state made no provision.
Assisted by his cousin, the Reverend Paul Daniels, and Daniels' half-brother, the Reverend John Dowling, Jenkins set the pattern for his life's work.
Thus began the saga of the Jenkins Orphanage, the first private institution of its kind.
♪ A home was found in the old marine building, a haven for sick and disabled seamen.
Once used as a free school for Negro children, the home was located at 20 Franklin Street, immediately adjacent to the city jail.
Within a two-year period, it became home to some 360 boys and girls.
♪ [no audio] The first task facing the Reverend Jenkins was to provide for these children, whom he called his "Black Lambs."
Recognizing the need to develop a sustaining mechanism for funds, he decided to organize a children's brass band.
Appealing to the citizenry of Charleston, Reverend Jenkins obtained the necessary instruments and hired capable tutors, most notably P.M. "Hatsie" Logan and Francis Eugene Mikell, to instruct selected youngsters in the rudiments of music.
The young musicians were divided into units and taken out onto the streets to perform.
Once the playing subsided, an appeal would be made for donations.
♪ We were staying at my grandfather and grandmother's at 31 Legare Street.
I was quite small, my brother was even smaller, my sister was not yet.... We had a big front room upstairs and the piazza outside it, and I heard this noise.
♪ [trumpet music] I ran out onto the front piazza, and here were all these people... in uniform!
I don't remember the colors.
I think they were black and red, but I'm not certain.
They were playing on different instruments, and there were a couple of older people along with them.
They were just having themselves a time!
But they were tooting and banging away and having the best time, and I found they did that fairly frequently, because Grandfather was one of those men that would help back the Reverend Mr. Jenkins in setting up his orphanage.
(Lincoln) Her grandfather was Augustine Smythe, a prominent Charleston lawyer and Jenkins supporter.
I think the early sound of the Jenkins Orphanage Band was, shall we say, spirited.
It was probably a bit rough on the ears, but it was flamboyant and highly rhythmic.
This would set people-- their feet tapping, and maybe want to join in and march along with the band.
It was, I think, an early example of the music that linked ragtime with marching music and with the early strains of jazz, if you like.
♪ [up-tempo brass band music] ♪ ♪ [no audio] ♪ [plaintive clarinet music] (Reverend Jenkins, dramatized) In 1895, after the big storm, our orphanage building was wrecked, and we got in a debt of $1700.
I took 18 of the orphans north to play and give entertainments.
All being green, we scarcely made our expenses, and the big debt loomed up before me.
I felt that I had rather die than return to Charleston without the money to cancel the debt.
Some good white friends met me while in a spirit of despondency and advised me to go over to England, saying that I would get barrels of money.
Nothing doubting, neither counting the cost, I leaped out without a dollar, only had half enough to pay our way, but the captain took us over anyway, expecting to make money on the ship.
In less than half hour's time after getting on the ship, we became seasick and remained so until the day before we landed.
I took the boys out on the streets, but their strange appearance created so much excitement and monopolized the thoroughfares to such an extent that we, at once, were forced to retire.
I went before the court to appeal the decision with a strong address to the court... ♪ Thank you, sir.
I am the Reverend D.J.
Jenkins, a Baptist minister of Charleston, South Carolina, America, and I wish to make a particular application to the magistrate.
You see, sir, I have traveled a great distance to raise funds for my orphanage, the only facility of its sort, which provides for hundreds of homeless black waifs.
I brought with me these boys who play brass instruments, my object being to let them play in the public streets, after which I will explain our cause and collect monies for the orphanage.
Could an exception be made in my case, seeing the object I have in view?
Because of... various acts and laws, the band weren't allowed to perform on the highways and byways.
So they looked in danger of the whole mission being... the purpose of the mission being defeated.
Poor Reverend Mr. Jenkins got chucked in the chokey... and Grandfather heard about it.
They came around to him and said, "It's a good thing you're in London, "because you're a lawyer and you can do something about it."
So he did something about it.
He got Mr. Jenkins out and got permission for them to continue their playing here and there in London.
(Lincoln) Smythe's connections coupled with Jenkins eloquent pleas convinced even the magistrate to contribute to the cause.
After speaking in numerous churches, Reverend Jenkins soon collected enough money for the journey home.
Back in Charleston, the Reverend faced new challenges.
With the advent of Jim Crowism, he was forced to be even more self-sufficient.
He soon established the Jenkins Industrial Reformatory, later known as the Greenwood Industrial Farm.
Here, on a hundred acres, Reverend Jenkins put to work youngsters who otherwise would have been incarcerated in the state prisons.
The farm provided not only food for the orphanage, but activity for the youthful offenders as well.
♪ [acoustic guitar music] Within the orphanage, Jenkins organized several departments through which the inmates could learn a trade, while contributing to the welfare of the institution.
Carpentry, tailoring, a laundry, shoemaking, shoe repair, chair-caning, and a bakery all flourished.
He boldly bought a printing press and began handling local jobs for various merchants and trades.
Soon he began a weekly newspaper as well.
Parents inspired by this industry sought to send their children to the orphanage.
In Cottageville, where I was born, the schooling we got there was only through the fifth or sixth grade.
When I got through that, there was nowhere else for me to go.
No schooling any higher was provided for blacks.
(Dowling) Reverend Jenkins had a tendency, if a boy came--a new boy came into the orphanage.
It was a funny thing, what I'm going to say, but he would take that boy... "Come here."
Bring that boy to him, or the girl for that matter.
He just took his hands and go all over the child's head, sort of as if he was feeling for something.
"You go to the band room.
"You go to the printing office.
You go to the farm," the various things, and those children would fit into whatever area he sent them to!
[no audio] He was a wise old man!
He took me downstairs in the printing department.
We had two Linotypes there and the printing press, and there was two job press and then the paper press.
He said, "Sonny, one day I want you to run this place."
That was... you know, amazing to me, because I had never seen printing before.
When he died in 1937, I was managing the shop.
(Cathy Russell) George R. Scott was my husband's great-great-grandfather.
He was born in Norfolk County, England, in 1836.
Reverend Jenkins had traveled to New York seeking out those people who might make contributions to the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, an orphanage that not many people knew about shortly after Reverend Jenkins began.
It seems to me that Reverend Jenkins and Mr. Scott sat together in Mr. Scott's office and, according to the accounts that I've read, immediately bonded together.
He began to write in his newspaper quite regularly that the Jenkins Orphanage and Reverend Jenkins needed money.
I believe the reason that Mr. Scott was known as the "Father of the Black Lambs" is because he truly adopted the orphans from the Jenkins Orphanage.
He took them under his wing as his own.
When Reverend Jenkins lost Mr. Scott, he lost a true friend, but he also understood how much of an impact Mr. Scott had on the monies that allowed the orphanage to continue.
[no audio] ♪ [syncopative music] (Lincoln) During the early years of this century, the band's itineraries grew, and so did their reputation.
Throughout the USA they were known as "The Pickaninny Band," while the good reverend was dubbed "The Orphanage Man."
In 1901 they appeared at the Buffalo Exposition.
In 1904 they were featured at the St. Louis Fair.
The Jenkins Orphanage Band was also a spectacular component of President Taft's inaugural parade.
♪ The band returned to England in 1914.
They were a featured attraction at the Anglo-American Exposition.
(Jeffrey Green) The Jenkins Orphanage Band was employed to come to England in 1914 as part of the organization of Hurtig and Seaman group, theatrical impresarios based somewhere in New York.
♪ I'm sure that they were employed as a novelty.
They were--I think it was six- or eight-week contract.
When they arrived here in England, they were so good... that their contract was extended.
This was a large exposition held in West London, and the Reverend Jenkins could see that this would make an excellent showcase, I mean, presenting an American band in the midst of an international exposition.
The band came and were, again, a startling success.
(Lincoln) Inspired by the tremendous response, the Reverend Jenkins drafted an impassioned letter to South Carolina Governor Cole Blease... (Reverend Jenkins, dramatized) "It is the sympathy "and pity that I have "for the little waifs and outcasts of my race "that forces me to write to you.
"The salvation of the South "between the white and the black man "lies in the careful training "of the little Negro boys and girls "to become honest, upright, and industrious citizens.
"It was never intended by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ "nor by any law of God "that children should be jailed "or put into the penitentiary for trivial offenses.
"The schoolroom and the rod "are the better masters for this training.
"Teaching the Negro to read, to write, and to work "is not going to do the white man any harm.
"I have my band here with a party of 28 inmates.
"Nine of the councilmen of London "called on me yesterday and congratulated me "on the work that I am doing for my race.
"I feel much encouraged and believe "that if boys taken from the depths of the lowest dives "can be taught and trained in such a manner "as to gain the respect of the people of England, "how much more can be done "if the Governor and lawmakers of South Carolina would simply cooperate with me?"
When Parson Jenkins wanted the band-- his band to appear in England, he obviously needed the best, and what he did was to call back people who had graduated from his orphanage.
Reverend Jenkins' son was 20, but the others... Emerson Harper was 17, and some of the others were 18, 19.
They couldn't possibly have been in the orphanage.
So he pulled together children, and that's hinted at in correspondence between the employer in New York, who said, "Bring the best of the small children."
There was no way, as far as I could see, that Parson Jenkins was prepared to bring a pickaninny band.
He was bringing a band to represent the black community of America and to do a professional job.
Not that the 11- and 12- year-olds couldn't play, but the 17-, 18-, and 20-year-olds could play better.
For the Anglo-American Exposition, we left New York.
They booked us out of New York.
They first book us in 1913.
They book us from Charleston to 104 Jacob Street to play for the... play for, uh... the "Uncle Tom's Cabin"... "Uncle Tom's Cabin" on Broadway.
The next time they book us to go to London, England, to play for the Anglo-American Exposition.
We had to take 70 with us on the "Campania."
In England, they put up a big opera.
We used to play opera tunes.
We did jazz, jazz pickaninny, and we played.
We had all the people around us.
Everybody come see the pickaninnies... the jazz nursery.
(Lincoln) A comparison of schedules shows the Jenkins Orphanage Band worked just as intensely as the more mature army bands, often playing 11 or 12 hours per day.
Their contract was extended from six weeks, starting in the middle of May, to expire in October or November of 1914.
It was stopped because the First World War broke out.
Otherwise, the band would have been here for six months.
[mortar fire] Boom!
Another indication of the skills of the Jenkins Orphanage musicians is that they were... taken into Jim Europe's band that he brought to Europe, the service band.
The 369th Regiment came to Europe, and again, this black music created a sensation, in France particularly.
The fact that-- Jim Europe, who, after all, could almost scour America for talent, for black talent, happily, willingly, included members of the Jenkins Orphanage Band.
♪ ♪ (Lincoln) Francis Mikell, former Jenkins Band tutor, was the bandmaster for Europe's famed Hellfighters U.S. Army Band, which also included three former Jenkins Band members... trombonist Amos Gaillard and drummers Steven and Herbert Wright.
♪ ♪ (Dan Morgenstern) James Europe was a fascinating figure and would have played, I think, an enormously important role in American music if he hadn't, unfortunately, been stabbed by a deranged member of his post-war band, but in 1919, in Boston, Europe was stabbed by his drummer in the band, Herbert Wright.
He wasn't aware of how seriously injured he'd been.
Actually it was a small wound in his neck, but it had actually-- it was in the jugular, so he bled to death.
He was only 39 years old.
♪ [trumpet mournfully playing "Amazing Grace"] (Lincoln) Ironically, Europe's attacker, Herbert Wright, was also a Jenkins alumnus.
♪ [trumpet mournfully playing "Amazing Grace"] ♪ (Lincoln) From the streets of Charleston, the bands-- for there were several-- would journey along the Eastern Seaboard as far north as Bangor, Maine, and as far south as Miami, Florida, but the major point of rendezvous was New York City.
(Lionel Hampton) The first time that I heard about the band and I saw the band was in New York City.
They came up for a fundraising.
They had all these trumpet players, and they played all these high notes.
I'm amazed a guy can get up and play all these high notes on a trumpet.
Outside that, they had some great jazz musicians, you know.
We played on street corners sometimes, we played in school, we played in churches, we played in the halls, we played with the circus.
We played all types of music... all types!
♪ (Lincoln) By 1923, the number of bands had increased to five.
They were often accompanied by a vocal group, The Sewanee River Company or one of the girls' choirs, the Jubilee Concert Company.
By bus or boat, they traveled the East Coast during the summer, converging at the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, which was pastored by ex-Charlestonian, the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. We gave our final concert for the season at Abyssinian Baptist Church with Reverend Clayton Powell.
We had a huge crowd.
We had--seemingly, everybody from the South knew of Charleston, South Carolina, knew of the Jenkins Orphanage, came out to our program.
It was really very nice, and we called it the culminating program for the year.
I would take them on the ferry from New York to New Jersey, and they sang on the ferry.
I'd make my little speech...
These are the children of the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, South Carolina.
They are not bad children.
They're just underprivileged children, seeking an opportunity at life.
It is our place to try to help them, and we are doing our best toward helping them.
If you find it in your heart to be able to contribute a contribution to them, we would gladly appreciate it.
[no audio] ♪ [up-tempo dance music] (Lincoln) During the '20s, a new dance phenomenon was all the rage.
Characterized by a rhythmic shuffle, this dance featured Geechee steps, which we now know as The Charleston.
While some go so far as to credit the Jenkins showmen with actually originating the dance, none would argue that the Jenkins Orphanage conductors did not serve as goodwill exponents of this Lowcountry dance craze.
(Chilton) The musicians themselves, or some of them, put down their instruments and actually went out and did some steps.
I feel that this was the-- the early version of The Charleston that many people saw.
They saw this before sheet music was ever published and recordings were made of "The Charleston."
Now, that's always been very controversial.
They say that it was started with us.
It was started, it was a dance, but now, just about everybody in the band could do The Charleston, and everybody played "The Charleston."
Of course, as we played it, there would be people coming up, and, you know, it's just one of those things...informal.
If they felt like doing it, they'd do it.
The more they did, the more we were, "Come on with it."
♪ (Lincoln) A ragtag group with ill-fitting uniforms and scarred instruments, the orphanage boys and girls were nothing if not showmen.
Wherever they went, they could attract a crowd.
So impressed was DuBose Heyward when he heard the band that he enthusiastically detailed their appearance as well as their sound in his new novel, "Porgy."
When the play "Porgy" went on tour from 1927 to 1930, included on stage was an authentic unit of the Jenkins Orphanage Band.
♪ (male singer) ♪ Oh, somebody tell me where... ♪ (Chilton) Of course, "Porgy" led to George Gershwin being fascinated by South Carolina music, and so we have "Porgy and Bess."
Just conjecture, but maybe the very fact that the Jenkins Orphanage were actually providing the music for "Porgy" may have been the spark that ignited Gershwin's interest.
(Lincoln) From Broadway popularity to unwanted baggage, as critical times enveloped the country, the Jenkins Band found their audiences largely diminished.
(Daniels) I guess-- jumping ahead of the story, I guess that was the downfall, because in later years, cities... start feeling that you're taking that money back to South Carolina, and they had their own problems, and welfare was a problem then.
They'd tell you very nicely, "I'm sorry, but you go on back to South Carolina and let South Carolina take care of you."
♪ (Lincoln) Political problems at home also plagued the orphanage.
Decimated by major fires, the Reverend Jenkins soon had to answer charges of neglect and abuse.
By the end of the 1920s, the orphanage was in dire financial need.
The Depression that plagued the rest of the nation stalked the Jenkins Orphanage as well.
(Reverend Jenkins, dramatized) "Dear friend of the poor, "nothing but our present desperate financial condition "could force me to ask help at this time, "when all the country is united "in helping the suffering victims of the flood disaster, "but we, too, must have help, "or my life's work, "36 years saving, caring for, "and training thousands of destitute, helpless children, "must be abandoned.
"My long illness and the failure of the bank "in which my reserve funds were kept "have placed us near starvation.
"Please do read the enclosed small book "and pass it on to some friend "who may be glad to help us "in this worthy and needy cause.
"Thanking you for whatever you may do.
(Lincoln) On March 17, 1933, fire swept through the orphanage dormitory, gutting the entire third floor.
Enraged, a group of white citizens demanded that the city assume control or that Reverend Jenkins be forced to relocate in the country.
The city council chambers were packed as Reverend Jenkins rose to answer the charges.
(Reverend Jenkins, dramatized) The Lord told me not to say anything, and He would fix it.
But after hearing these remarks, I think I had better say a few words.
If you want me to go into the country, give me $50,000 quick and let me build a big place there.
If you don't want to do that, let me run it as it is.
[no audio] (Lincoln) In the end, Reverend Jenkins was again applauded for his good works.
It was the last major battle for the resourceful reverend, whose health had been failing.
He began to grow progressively weaker, and on July 30, 1937, the man known across continents as "The Orphanage Man" finally slipped away.
♪ (female singer) ♪ Let it shine, ♪ let it shine, let it shine.
♪♪ ♪ (Green) Edmund Jenkins was with the-- his father's orphanage band in England in 1914.
He came back to England in October of 1914 and joined the Royal Academy of Music.
The Royal Academy of Music in London was founded in the year 1822, which isn't old by Charleston, South Carolina, standards, but it's older than many of the other colleges in England.
He studied there for seven years.
At the Royal Academy of Music, he was the subprofessor of the clarinet, so whoever taught him the clarinet in America must have been an extremely skilled person.
Edmund Jenkins was an extremely skilled instrumentalist.
♪ ♪ ♪ Edmund Jenkins was studying music at Morehouse College with Kemper Harreld, who was a very skilled tutor, a man whose-- through whose school many, many fine musicians came.
In the jazz sense, the finest musician to have come through under Kemper Harreld was Fletcher Henderson.
Fletcher Henderson made the arrangements for the orchestras of Benny Goodman.
So the Swing Era is Benny Goodman's orchestra playing Fletcher Henderson's music, and Fletcher Henderson was taught by Kemper Harreld.
So we're talking of an important individual.
Kemper Harreld's favorite pupil was Edmund Jenkins.
(Morgenstern) Jenkins was, apparently, an excellent clarinetist, and he did appear in one of the earliest British-made jazz recordings, "Queen's" Dance Orchestra, something like that.
The instigator was, at that time, a young pianist named Jack Hylton, who later became, so to speak, the Paul Whiteman of England and had an enormously successful band, used to develop a lot of famous-to-be British musicians.
But this was his first recording venture, and it was quite probably the first integrated band to make records.
He was a pianist, an organist, and a clarinet player.
I once had the privilege of talking to one of his colleagues, one of his friends, who told me that he was the first saxophone player-- of any race-- to lead a dance band in Paris.
We're talking about the year 1923.
Edmund Jenkins wrote music, and the titles show that he was proud to be black... "Afram," the "African War Dogs."
He was proud to be from South Carolina.
He wrote an orchestral piece called "Charlestonia."
We're not talking about a piece written for a seven-piece jazz band.
We're talking about a piece written for a 50- to 70-piece orchestra with three double basses, a piano and timpani, three French horns, all that sort of thing.
His obituaries in the American press were written by friends who'd met him during his rather sad period between 1923 and 1924.
When he went back from Europe full of hopes, found that the Black Renaissance didn't include the sort of music-making, the orchestral music-making that he wanted to be involved in, he returned to France.
He spent the last two years of his life based in Paris, but Edmund Jenkins' death at the age of 32 cut off the promise so early that his American friends could only talk about what might have been.
♪ When I look into not only Edmund Jenkins but Emerson Harper, the other clarinet player in the Jenkins Orphanage Band, who were in England in 1914, Emerson Harper's career in music-making in New York was in the orchestral and radio sector.
Despite the fierce racial prejudice and bigotry of the time, he was an individual-- Emerson Harper of the Jenkins Orphanage was an individual who was capable of standing up to the extent that Langston Hughes dedicated his autobiography, "The Big Sea," to Emerson Harper and his wife.
Langston Hughes lived in New York City with Emerson Harper.
Emerson Harper, as a professional musician, a music-maker trained by the Jenkins Orphanage Band, exists on the margin of jazz because he made one or two records in the jazz idiom.
If you discard the jazz side of it and say "black music-making," "orchestral music-making," Emerson Harper is one example and Edmund Jenkins is another.
We must ask ourselves, What happened to the other instrumentalists, not the ones like Jabbo Smith or Bill Benford, who worked in the field of jazz music-making, but the others who made music of a different sort?
(Lincoln) While the impact of Jenkins musicians on the classical world may be based largely on conjecture, there is no doubt that the Jenkins Orphanage Band fueled the development of jazz.
Thomas Delaney, a prolific composer and pianist who toured the vaudeville circuits, pinned the jazz standard "Jasmine Blues."
Amos White, who entered Jenkins in 1900, established a respectable career in New Orleans during the early '20s.
The Aiken Brothers, Gus and Buddy, were a vital part of the New York recording scene in the early '20s.
Both toured with Fletcher Henderson before joining other groups.
Gus is perhaps best-known for a recording made with Sidney Bechet around 1941.
He was also a member of the Luis Russell Band, that played backup Armstrong in the early '30s.
Another Jenkins Orphanage alumnus was the trombonist Geechie Fields, who is not very well-documented but is important because he recorded with Jelly Roll Morton in a band that also included Tommy Benford.
That was a band that Jelly put together up in New York in, uh, the late '20s.
(Lincoln) Tommy Benford was a great drummer who recorded with Jelly Roll Morton, then later made a famous record date in Paris in 1937 with Coleman Hopkins, Benny Carter, and Django Reinhardt.
The first acknowledged Jenkins Band star was Cladys "Jabbo" Smith.
Jabbo Smith was another one of the great trumpet players of all time.
Oh, Jabbo was phenomenal!
I mean, Jabbo...
I guess his earliest, some of his earliest stuff was with Charlie Johnson's band here in New York.
The things that he made under his own name in Chicago, he obviously had, uh, caught on to what Louis Armstrong was doing, and had his own way of interpreting that.
But he did it in a different way.
He didn't imitate Louis.
You see, all of his life, Jabbo has been compared to Louis Armstrong, but people don't understand that it was not by the style.
He was--really should have been compared as another great trumpet player who was totally different from Louis in style.
Jabbo had his own style, had nothing to do with Louis, but he was great too.
He had tremendous speed.
My old friend Roy Eldridge who, unfortunately, isn't with us anymore, but--Roy was in a jam session, kind of a cutting contest with Jabbo in the '20s.
He always talked about how impressive Jabbo was, and Roy was another one who loved to play very fast on the horn.
That's what really impressed him about Jabbo, was the speed that he had.
♪ [up-tempo trumpet playing] (Gordon) Well, it depends on what year you're talking about.
If you wanted to know about Jabbo when he was a young man and just out of the orphanage and doing his first recordings, that's what caught him at, actually, his peak.
When he was 17 or 18 years old, he did make a series of records.
So his playing was unbelievable, not like any other trumpet player who was playing at the time.
It was very avant-garde.
It was like a meteor.
He was doing things on the trumpet that Louis Armstrong didn't do, because they didn't even know each other at that point.
So Jabbo was a very original trumpet player... very dynamic, very daring, and hit those high registers before that became something that lots of trumpet players did.
So you see, Jabbo is a seminal figure into the modern trumpet, unbeknownst to Jabbo.
He just had that kind of character.
He's just a wild, irrepressible person, and handsome.
He was just filled with the joy of life and his trumpet.
So he played the way he thought, wild and extemporaneous and very beautiful.
(Lincoln) Although mentioned in numerous jazz anthologies, Jabbo, who was equally adept on the trombone and euphonium, never really achieved much widespread public fame.
(Gordon) There was a great guitar player by the name of Teddy Bunn.
There's records on him... he was fabulous!
He knew Jabbo.
If I have the story straight, he went to get Jabbo, because he heard Louis playing at this ball.
He said, "Jabbo, get your horn!
"I want you to go down there and hear this guy, and I want you to cut him."
So Jabbo, who was not aggressive in any way, did go.
He went and played in the band, and he and Louis had this session.
Now, Louis' big number was "West End Blues," which is gorgeous to this day.
Well, Jabbo picked up and did it and just floated away, and he-- for the witnesses who were there who are alive today, all say that Jabbo cut Louis.
Jabbo's been rediscovered so many times.
One of his later discoveries was for the play "One Mo' Time!"
that the wonderful young man, Vernel Bagneris, wrote from New Orleans.
He got involved in "One Mo' Time!"
because Orange Kellen, who was our musical director, had been touring and looking for certain jazz legends that everybody collected their albums.
One of those was Jabbo Smith.
He found out that Jabbo was quite alive and living in Milwaukee.
So he brought him down and tried to get his lip back in shape.
It takes a few months just to get the lip to a certain point.
He came to see "One Mo' Time!"
while he was in New Orleans.
He was like a child at a circus!
He enjoyed every moment of it.
He believed every moment of it because it was his era.
He asked if he could be in the show.
I said, "I'll find a way."
So I wrote him a part as a janitor at the Lyric.
I think it changed as Vernel got to know Jabbo, and Jabbo picked up his trumpet.
He got a better script than just the janitor.
Then he was incorporated into the band in New Orleans.
Then the play came to New York at the Village Gate here, where it was a huge success!
Jabbo played trumpet and was in the band and sang two songs, his own compositions, "Love" and "Yes, Yes, Yes."
Well, the city went crazy... Jabbo was a star again!
He's now in his 70s, and the phoenix has arisen!
♪ The title of our next number is "The Prowling Cat," and "The Prowling Cat" will be executed by, or, rather, performed by, Cat Anderson.
♪ [trumpet solo] ♪ (Chilton) One of the strong points of the Jenkins Orphanage trumpet playing and players is the excellent range, and this was... worked on avidly by the pupils themselves.
In the early days, it's-- playing high on the trumpet is rather like the four-minute mile.
There was a sort of barrier for a long time.
Then people broke through and began to play above what we call "top C" or what was called "top C." People thought that was just about as far as you dared go, or could go, but certainly, someone like Cat Anderson, one of the big stars of the Jenkins Orphanage Band, could go at least an octave above that...
I mean, at least an octave, comfortably!
He worked on this, and there was rivalry... who could go the highest?
Who could run faster, as it were?
Cat was not only an amazing high-note man, but he was a great all-around trumpet player.
He could play anything you put in front of him.
He could growl.
He could imitate the style, and he was very useful to Ellington.
♪ ♪ ♪ Cat Anderson was an amazing jazz musician and an excellent arranger and writer.
I think that training must have been something that he got at Jenkins, because there weren't, you know, too many guys who were that well-equipped all around.
(Lincoln) Anderson and several of his Jenkins colleagues left the orphanage in the early '30s to form the Carolina Cotton Pickers, a group which enjoyed moderate success and recorded for Vocalion.
Carolina Cotton Pickers... he came out of that band.
They came to New York and played the Apollo Theater.
I got Cat out of that band.
He stayed with me for a long time before he went to Duke Ellington.
He was a good guy.
He didn't like to hear the guys play the wrong way.
If a guy would--wasn't playing right on his horn, well, Cat would get on him, you know!
He would learn him something, though.
He'd say, "Man, you got to play like this."
There were several who were the same way.
He was a quiet guy.
He did all of his talking with his horn.
He could talk with his horn, all right!
♪ ♪ Like I said before, Cat used to play so high, I thought he was playing a fiddle!
[laughing] (male singer) ♪ I love you like mad...
I love you like crazy.
♪♪ ♪ (Lincoln) Peanuts Holland was another trumpet player of note.
♪ [trumpet solo] ♪ Holland and an excellent trombonist named Snub Moseley were the stars of the Alphonse Trent Band, which was headquartered in Texas.
Several recordings from the late '20s and early '30s showcase Peanuts at his best.
♪ During the mid-'40s Holland was a featured trumpeter and singer with the Charlie Barnet Band.
In 1946 he went to Europe with a band organized by Don Redman.
This was the first American jazz band to go to Europe following World War II.
♪ Baby's got a heart like a rock in the deep blue sea.
♪ ♪ Hey, pretty baby, what you gonna do with me?
♪♪ I think the band encouraged showmanship as well, which is an important factor of musical presentation.
Sylvester Briscoe was an early star of the band.
He could play very adeptly with his feet.
He could get his feet-- taking his shoes off, naturally-- around the slide of the trombone and play very technical pieces in that way, which is--well, it brought the house down!
At least it...the sidewalk went crazy when he did this.
So the interesting thing is, I think all of the Jenkins Orphanage musicians had a sort of musical presence.
Whenever I saw them in action in later years, I was always impressed by the fact that they got their music over boldly and with skill.
(Lincoln) Another Jenkins protégé was Freddie Green, master of Count Basie's percussive rhythm beat.
Although not an orphanage inmate himself, Green once sang with the band on tour.
Later he took music theory lessons at the orphanage.
♪ He and Basie were sort of synonymous.
You know, I mean, when anyone thought of Count Basie, they also thought of Freddie Green.
Freddie spent 49 years and 52 weeks in the band with Count Basie.
He immediately sort of, uh... took me under his wing when he realized that I was from South Carolina.
We talked about South Carolina.
He talked about a Professor Blake, by the way, at Jenkins Orphanage, who taught him harmony and theory on Sunday afternoons when he'd go by the orphanage.
Professor Blake, evidently, was one of the teachers at Jenkins.
Rhythm" we called him, because he... he established the art of rhythm guitar playing with the orchestra in a way that no one else has been able to emulate.
♪ ♪ (Morganstern) Freddie was an extraordinary phenomenon.
He was--in effect, he was the only rhythm guitarist who survived the revolutionary change in the use of that instrument in jazz, which, mainly through the impact of Charlie Christian, then became amplified and became a solo instrument rather than part of the rhythm section.
[drum solo] (Lincoln) Rufus "Speedy" Jones was a great drummer who often played gigs with the Jenkins Orphanage Band.
As a child he learned to play trumpet, clarinet, violin, and sax before turning to the drums.
He played with a host of major figures, including Lionel Hampton, Red Allen, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, and Basie.
[drum solo] [drum solo] (Morganstern) He really was devoted to the drums and very serious and he had terrific hands... very good technical drummer... extraordinary!
He had great endurance, which probably came from the fact that he was practicing all of the time!
[drum solo] ♪ ♪ ♪ [cheering and applause] ♪ (Lincoln) Not all Jenkins sidemen reached stardom, but the list of sidemen is impressive.
They peopled the famous bands of the '20s, '30s, and '40s, lending their efforts to Lucky Millinder, Charlie Johnson, Blanche Calloway, Luis Russell, Claude Hopkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Fletcher Henderson, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and more!
Today there are no bands to support the reduced number of children now entrusted to foster care at the orphanage.
The orphanage has a new mission, but the legacy of the Jenkins Orphanage Band lives on in the musical heritage it inspired.
♪ (Lonnie Hamilton) I would get to know the guys by hanging around the band.
I would hold the music for them because they were playing on the street... they had no stands.
These guys were exceptional musicians.
Anybody that came out of that orphanage at that time really played.
♪ There was a time, though, that the Northerners, black and white, thought that all the musicians from Charleston, South Carolina, were good because of being preceded by the Jenkins Orphanage history.
Even if you had nothing to do with it, they assumed that if you were in Charleston, you'd seen the Jenkins Orphanage Band, you got something from it.
That's still true today.
♪ ♪ ♪ [cheering and applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ Program captioned by: CompuScripts Captioning, Inc. 803.988.8438.
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