First and most importantly, belated good wishes to all of you for a swingin’ New Year and beyond. Your continued support, encouragement–and suggestions–mean the world to me. Here’s hoping that this year brings more discoveries and more great projects.

Our apologies to those mail order supporters who did not get the message that for most of the month of January, as well as the last two weeks in December, all mail orders need be sent to: Bruce Klauber, 1108 Forrest Lakes Boulevard, Naples, FL 34105. Joy and I are down here enjoying children, grandchildren, in-laws and the rest. Naturally, Joy did her annual Christmas bash, and this year there were over 20 good folks in attendence. It’s worth the work.

Naples, Florida, is one of the great jazz towns in the country, believe it or not. We’re sitting in here at least two nights per week and doing some subbing when asked. The wonderful scene here is led by a superb singer by the name of Jebry, aka Judy Branch, who spent some great time with the Harry James band of the late 1960s. Her husband, Bobby Phillips, is a fabulous, fabulous drummer, and these great people lead some of the darndest jam sessions you ever heard. In fact, we’re going out on the town tonight with Jebry and Bobby for something of a “jazz tour” of nearby Fort Myers.

The drum catalog book project is moving along, and is now on the desk of the Alfred Publishing Company. Truth be told, I wasn’t thrilled about my treatment from the previous publisher who was considering this, despite the fact that I’ve personally helped put hundreds of thousands of dollars into their collective pockets. At this late date, the very least I can expect–and demand–is respect. Alfred Publishing is a company filled with good, compassionate, understanding and forward-thinking people. Like Hudson Music, for me, it’s the place to be. We have narrowed our conceptual sights down a bit for this book, and I think the working title, “The Great American Drum Catalogs: The 1950s” says it all. I’ve bombarded Alfred with more than enough ideas over the past year or so. I have the feeling that this one, like our 1950s “Jazz on TV” DVD project, will go through.

The idea of a Gene Krupa drum stick is still very much a possibility. Vic Firth is still up in the air about it, but there are several smaller companies ready to move on the idea right now. Stay tuned. In the meantime, we are doing everything possible to gather up what’s left of the famed, Capella “Heritage” model Krupa stick, in hopes of making them available on our site.

In another area, and forgive me if I’ve gone through this before, the YouTube era is indeed here and there seems to be no stopping them. What you might not know is this: YouTube is broadcasting thousands of videos illegally, without regard to copyrights or ownership, and this includes footage from virtually every video and DVD I’ve written and produced since 1993. And all this goes on without credit of any kind. Two examples? The famed, Jerry Lewis/Buddy Rich drum battle sequence from the mid-1950s was given to me, personally and exclusively, by Jerry Lewis as thanks for a significant personal donation I made to Muscular Dystrophy. This footage shows up, as of today, an astounding 18 times on YouTube, in full-length form. Another blatant instance is the Krupa/Rich drum battle from the Sammy Davis, Jr. television show of 1966. I went to the ends of the earth to discover, restore and pay for this footage, and it’s up there for all to see, at no charge and with no credit given, on YouTube. This is called stealing, and YouTube is stealing from hundreds of companies and individuals, from Hudson Music and Alfred Publishing to CBS and CNN. Want to sue? Wait in line. Want to force them to stop showing clips illegally? Prepare to fill out several dozen pages of paperwork. It’s grown too big too quickly–just like the internet–to stop it, though believe me, I’m going to try.

Though there is no real way to combat this, I will take the suggestions made in the Forum — about making downloads of clips that are not on YouTube available on the JazzLegends.com site — to heart.

Due to your wonderful support over the years, our singular product line and the efforts of our genius of a Webmaster, this web site is among the most visited of its kind in the world, with a domain name that has become quite, quite valuable. We’ve said this several times over the past year, but 2007 will be the year of actively pursuing appropriate advertisers. No site reaches the audience we do and there are literally hundreds of potential drum and jazz-oriented companies out there who should be advertising on JazzLegends.com Since all of you have helped make us what we are, I offer you the following: A home page display ad will cost $1,500 per month, with the biggest, bottom-of-the-page banner that we can fit. Other pages list at $1,000. This includes a link on our links page, any graphic design needed, and when appropriate, some insightful editorial about the company itself. Anyone out there–and anywhere–who successfully gets a company to join us gets 20 percent of whatever is sold. This is a deal. For more details, if necessary, e-mail me personally at DrumAlive@aol.com

Finally, we are going to extend our DVD sale price of $20 through January. You all deserve it.

God bless and keep swingin’

Bruce Klauber January, 2007

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