Tag Archive | Jazz

Sympathy Saturday: Jimmy Smith (The Jazz Organist)

     When both of my parents passed, I had access to their address book.  I came across Jimmy & Lola Smith’s phone number and decided to call.  I spoke with Lola, as Jimmy was performing at a Jazz festival.  Lola had expressed that she was recovering from a stroke.  Through the years I would hear stories about Lola & Jimmy as my parents kept up with them and one of their children, Michael.
     Apparently Michael had lived in San Diego for awhile and had attended the school where my father was Dean.

     Jimmy Smith was born on December 8, 1928 and died February 8, 2005.  We lost the Jazz Organist Pioneer.

Signed picture of Jimmy Smith
to Yvette  (me)
Jimmy Smith Obituary

(l to r) The Grants, Betty & Walter Porter, Me & Jimmy Smith
I must have really liked Jimmy.  

Lola & Jimmy Smith and Betty Porter at ECC
Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Those Places Thursday: Jazz from Copenhagen, Denmark to San Diego, California

Every year Henry Hodge, my father’s best friend from St. Louis, Missouri would go to Copenhagen for the Jazz Festival, spend time with his girlfriend, and Jazz Artist Friends.


Henry has a collection of the yearly Copenhagen Jazz Festival Postcards, so I decided to post a few of them as there are too many to share.

While in Copenhagen, Henry Hodge met Jazz artists such as Ed Thigpen.  An American drummer that played with Oscar Peterson Trio and many other greats.  Ed moved to Copenhagen in 1972.


Ed Thigpen’s Obituary


Ed Thigpen was born December 28, 1930 and died January 13, 2010.


Richard Boone was another artist my uncle, Henry Hodge met and socialized with in Copenhagen.  Richard Boone was also an American Jazz artist and a Scat singer that moved to Copenhagen.  


Richard Boone was born February 24, 1930 and died February 8, 1999.


More about Richard Boone


My Father Dr. Wally Porter, Richard Boone, Ed Thigpen, Henry Hodge
Photo from the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper
Ed Thigpen & Richard Boone

Ed Thigpen & Richard Boone came to San Diego a few times to visit.  I distinctly remember one Summer when they came to visit Henry Hodge at his home in the the late 80’s.

It was customary for Henry to have a Summer gathering, and these were his special guests.  I was familiar with Ed Thigpen and Richard Boone as I would hear conversations among my parents and Henry.  My father Wally Porter and Henry Hodge had been entertaining jazz artists in their homes through the years, and I am so appreciative that I have been exposed to this.

Ed Thigpen & my mother Betty Porter
Henry Hodge, Richard Boone, unidentified gentleman
Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

not so Wordless Wednesday: Dorothy Donegan

I came across an old Photo postcard of Dorothy Donegan in my Uncle Henry’s garage.  I asked him about it, and he stated that Dorothy was the finest woman he ever met and she was a talented pianist. Henry met Dorothy in 1946 when he was 16 years old. She was a part of the Y-Service (YMCA) and performed in St. Louis Missouri at the Kiel Auditorium.


Dorothy Donegan was born on April 6, 1922 and died May 19, 1998.  She was an American classically trained Jazz pianist, who played with Cab Calloway.  She is an unsung musician that has hardly been recognized.

Bio of Dorothy Donegan

Check out this Recording:  Dorothy was HOT on that Piano!

Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Wally Porter and Jody- Talented Tuesday

My late father, Dr. Walter James Porter, had been a part of the Black Entertainment scene in Los Angeles, CA in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  During this era, many entertainers performed in Black Night Clubs, as the Jim Crow Era was the political framework of the day.  The Black Night clubs were located in the ghetto’s and the performers would perform not only in the clubs, but at parties, and other social gatherings.  During this time there was no formal Comedian, Jazz, Entertainment circuit for African Americans.

My father opened for Jazz Artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Lionel Hampton and other Big Name Comedians Such as Red Foxx.  Wally would perform his famous act with Jody and would go everywhere with this little guy with a hat.

Wally Porter also had many other talents as he wrote lyrics and music (of which two songs are played by Jimmy Witherspoon-3rd Floor Blues) Third Floor Blues, played the Bongo Drums and was a wonderful Dancer.  He and my mother could really cut the rug…

Photo of Myself holding picture of my dad by Tyree Griffith.

Pictures of Walter J. Porter

Advertisement, March 14, 1957
Walter and Betty Porter dancing at Walter’s Retirement Party
Advertisement, March 3, 1960

Just a little Trivia….My Father would scare the color off of us when he would hide behind the corner and pop out with Jody staring at us when we least expected it…. My Dad could throw his voice, which would amaze us…Growing up With Wally Porter and Jody was a blast…Interesting enough, when my father died in 2001, so did Jody…He began to fall apart….

Tombstone Tuesday (Wendell Culley and Zara Cully Brown)

My Daughter Tori and I placing flowers on Wendell Culley’s unmarked Grave

Summer of 2010, My daughter and I went to locate my Great Uncle Wendell Phillip Culley’s grave and headstone.  Wendell was born January 8, 1906-May 8, 1983. Wendell was a jazz musician from Worcester, MA and played trumpet for Sissle Noble, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and played on over 200 recordings for many other singers and musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughn. Wendell was one of Zara Cully Brown’s from the “Jefferson’s” younger brothers.  Much to my surprise there was no headstone.  There will be some family efforts to get Wendell a marker on his Grave. Our loved one’s should never be forgotten.

Location of Grave:
Rose Hills Memorial Park
Whittier
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Garden of Affection, Sec 9, Lot 3149 Grave 4

Zara Cully Brown, listed are her husband and two of her children.

Photo by Scott Michaels

Location of Gravesite:  Photos from Findagrave.com
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Glendale
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Victory

Photo by A.J. Marik: Zara Cully Brown’s wall nitch

© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved