Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category Community Pages move to Facebook. Please join us there!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Gene Krupa was once asked about his thoughts on “modern music.” His reply was, “I certainly believe in progress and modernism, but I do think it has to be presented and played carefully and intelligently.”

The same thing could be applied to technology, which is why has kept its Community Pages open for such a long time. But given the rise of Facebook–and “rise” is an understatement–and the various Krupa, Rich, and Great Drummers groups, we have finally decided to go along with progress. The community and, we hope, it’s members, will join the on Facebook and keep things going there in a bigger way. Just log onto Facebook, type in, and you’ll get there directly. Better yet, here’s the link: We’ll let you know about new discoveries, some stories about old discoveries, and all kinds of news. Please join us, and above all, keep swingin’. — Bruce Klauber

Remaining Pretty and Perky: The Return of Legendary Jazz Songstress Peggy King

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

The legendary jazz songstress known as “pretty, perky Peggy King” had an impressive career before and after her mid-fifties tenure on George Gobel’s television program.

Paying dues at the big band era’s end with the ensembles of Charlie Spivak and Ralph Flanagan, King learned her lessons well, parlaying her good looks, fine voice and flair for acting into an impressive showbusiness resume, which included stints as an MGM contract player, television actress, recording artist, and in-demand nightclub performer who figured prominently in the careers—and sometimes personal lives—of Andre Previn, Bobby Hackett, Charlie Barnet, Harry James, Buddy Rich, Mel Torme’, and yes, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra. She sang at the Oscars and did Carson and everything else.

In the end, it was her voice: Clean, pure, with perfect intonation, with just enough interpretive turn of phrase to make the composer’s message ring true. And the composers—all of them—loved her. She respected the melody and respected the lyric.

In the late 1950s, while guesting on pianist/composer Bobby Troup’s “Stars of Jazz” television program for ABC, she introduced her jazz side. It wasn’t a complete changeover. It didn’t have to be. An inflection here and there, a subtle rhythmic emphasis on a word or a phrase to get the meaning across, coupled with a gentle sense of swing that had you finger popping when you least expected it. It was the same on ballads. She knew the drama was already in there, and that her job was only to bring it out.

The recordings? There were hundreds of them. All glorious.

Then there was nothing. Or at least not much. The slowdown, which began in 1961 with her marriage to After Six formal wear founder Sam Rudofker, was gradual. It was family time, and while there were still songs and plenty of them, they eventually slowed to a trickle. By the 1980s, there was the odd benefit here and there near her Philadelphia home, but not much. Perhaps she was intuitive enough, circa 1961, to see the handwriting that would end up on the wall as it related to singers of popular songs, however jazzy.

None of this escaped the Philadelphia promotional dynamo, Anthony DiFlorio. DiFlorio, known as “Anthony DiFlorio III” by his intimates, learned showbiz at the knee of another area icon, the late Atlantic City broadcaster Sonny Schwartz. In terms of entertainment, DiFlorio discovered what worked and what didn’t, who was good, who was not and why, the
value of pacing, and how to hype the living heck out of everything.

In years since, he has become a respected and dedicated pop culture historian, and world class publicist of all things pre-Lady Gaga. Don’t be fooled. DiFlorio knows plenty.

He loved Peggy King. Always did. When he found out she was still in the Philadelphia area and no longer singing much—coupled with the fact that reissues of her old product were coming fast and furious in Japan and points overseas—he was determined to get her out there again. She did a tune here and there, but nothing lasting.

Until now.

It started innocently and coincidentally. My longtime personal and professional colleague, the pianist/singer/composer/record producer Andy Kahn and I, reunited musically and revived “The All-Star Jazz Trio” not more than a year ago. We have, I will say, been received more than very fondly.

With a great, great assist from the regional arts/music/pop culture magazine ICON, as well as WRTI Radio, Jacobs Music and The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the All-Stars organized a benefit for the non-profit music ed organization, Musicopia. The event, held earlier this summer, featured the cream of area classical and jazz players, including The All-Stars, and was a sell-out.

Certainly, Anthony DiFlorio was on the press list and invited. He called and asked if he could bring Peggy King as a guest. I had done a benefit with King in the mid-1980s, always admired her, and happily told DiFlorio I looked forward to seeing her and hoped she would enjoy the show.

She showed up, quite pretty and perky. We introduced her from the stage.

The crowd, as they say, “went wild,” and after the hour program, autograph seekers and well-wishers surrounded her for a good 45 minutes. Amidst the excitement and glory, she made time to talk to us, and her words made all the work, sweat and effort that went into putting this show on more than worthwhile. More importantly, what she said made good sense. The words were kind, but they were very intelligent, and they were words that could have only come from a pro.

We left the gig with hugs and kisses and the promise that “we must do something together.” It appears that our music inspired her. And just by way of her presence and what she said to us, Andy Kahn was inspired, and so was I. As for Anthonly DiFlorio III, he just smiled. He knew.

Given that she, like Tony Bennett and most of us, for that matter, are of a certain age these days, the concern was not whether she wanted to sing but whether she could, having admitted that she hadn’t really sung in about a dozen years. After the first of many telephone conversations with her, Kahn—who started in this business as a child actor and can sense such things—said he was certain she could sing.

We had a get together at the Kahn center city compound, and there was Peggy, standing up next to the piano and singing better than anyone one-third her age. The time, intonation, purity, sincerity, interpretive powers, subtle sense of swing, dynamics, and range were all there, and in many ways, better than they were in 1955.

On a personal basis, she regaled us with her knowledge of songs and their writers, and of the business. She let us know how much she appreciated our dedication to what she considers the lost art of “accompanying.”

The All-Stars had an upcoming gig at Chris’ Jazz Café’, Philadelphia’s only “name” jazz club and one of the finest in the nation. Days before the engagement, we let it be known that Peggy King was going to “guest star” with us.

Word travels quickly in Philadelphia. Night of the performance, you would have thought you were at Grauman’s Chinese for a movie premier, what with all the autograph seekers, flashes from still cameras and those holding video rigs.

This woman—this exquisite, graceful, professional artist—sang so, so beautifully. It wasn’t a question of “still having it.” “It,” that indefinable “it” was always there. It had to be. On a professional level, perhaps she didn’t need to sing for all those years. But it was clear that her soul needed it.

We didn’t want to tax her or take advantage, so we only asked her to join us at the end of our first show. She insisted on staying and participating in our second show, which went rather late into the night. She had more energy than all of us. Combined. Her version of “Little Girl Blue,” worked out quickly with Andy Kahn during the break, brought tears to my eyes. And a lot of others. This was Peggy King.

Rather, this is Peggy King.

Since then, we’ve done a concert in Atlantic City, and have plans for a gala, afternoon performance at Philadelphia’s Ethical Society on the afternoon of December 1.

Andy Kahn, our bassist Bruce Kaminsky and yours truly have been blessed with the honor and privilege of backing some of the certifiable instrumental and vocal jazz stars though the years. There have been hundreds of them. But none of them—none of them—were like Peggy King. And we’re just getting started.

See and hear for yourself via this clip: It speaks volumes. .

Spammers Beware

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

We are doing everything possible to delete these offensive spammers as quickly as possible. It is becoming a full time job, and it would be a terrible thing to close down the community pages, which have been so valuable to so many for so long.


Friday, April 26th, 2013

1. The Community Pages are important to We need your donations to continue it and to continue to welcome members like Evan Shulman, son of Eddie Shu. I am spending at least one hour per day, seven days per week, deleting the spammers that seem to find the site attractive, in order to make it easier for members to use.

2. Postage has gone up. Overseas postage has more than doubled. We want to keep going at the site, and I am urging–overseas visitors especially–to order more than one item. Otherwise, I end up losing money on every order. This can only continue for so long.

3. What you get at From time to time, we still get a complaint that says something like: “I thought such-and-such a title was a commercial issue, with full-color art, detailed notes and state-of-the-art sound.” If that’s what you want, look elsewhere. Nothing we have, with the exception of long-deleted LPs that have never been issued on CD, was ever commercially issued. And if you’re concerned that some of the film footage on our DVDs looks as if it’s 75 years old, that’s because it is.

4. I continue in my pledge to find those rarities and new discoveries that no one thought existed. Help me out, will you? Order stuff, make a donation or both.

Have a swingin’ spring and beyond,
Bruce Klauber


Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Perhaps I should take it as a compliment that so many spammers want to sell their hair products, among other things, via the pages of When I do my site devoted to men’s hair replacements, I’ll welcome them, but right now, if they–and they know who they are–continue, I can guarantee they will be made an offer they cannot refuse. I am purging the site of this garbage at least four times per day and have written personally to all the spammers, putting them on notice. And the notice is, if this continues, they will–and I promise this–be paid a visit. In the meantime, please, please, please keep using the community pages for your good dialogues, postings of videos, etc. And don’t forget, by the way, that if you want to hear something unreal, contact me directly at about getting “The Gene Krupa Story” in stereo. And remember also that we are extending our MP3 sale for a bit. All titles, and there will be more, are $5. You can’t beat that with a stick. Or a spammer.


Saturday, November 24th, 2012

You’ve all heard about the gift that “keeps on giving,” but perhaps you’ve never applied it to jazz. The fact is, America’s only original art form has been giving to the world for close to 100 years, and in our own small way, continues to make its contribution by discovering rare and vital audio and film footage of the legends of jazz and drumming.

We’re not yet fully recovered from last year’s unfortunate shut down, yet we still go to the ends of the earth to find incredible new material, offer it for $10, and provide shipping for free all over the world.

We hope to continue this through the holiday season and way beyond, but your help would make things much, much easier. Go to our Community Pages and make a donation. Every little bit will help us–and the world–to keep swingin!


Speaking of discoveries, our two new releases are nothing less than astonishing. “Papa” Jo Jones swings through some rare and timeless sessions with everyone from Teddy Wilson and Milt Buckner to Slam Stewart and believe it or not, George Benson, spanning the years 1963 to 1965.


And in the astonishing department, the Gene Krupa Big Band in Canada from 1972, recorded live at the Canadian National Exhibition with Guido Basso’s men, is the most unbelievable Krupa recording I have heard in decades. When we speak of a “must have,” this one is it! Featuring several great Mulligan charts, a new “Drum Boogie” an out-of-this-world “Sing Sing Sing” and “Dark Eyes.” Highlighted by the playing of Guido Basso, Moe Kauffman, Ed Bickert and songstress Lynn McNeil.

Both of these CDs will be available as MP3’s shortly.


Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

We all presumably agree that “Papa” Jo Jones was one of the most influential jazz drummers who ever lived. That’s likely only one reason why DVDs and CDs with Jo on them continue to be among our most popular titles.

For those interested in Jo–as you should be–and don’t have the time to go through all our listings, please note that we have the following, and all are very, very rare and for the most part, are not available anywhere else:

The Drums By Jo Jones (CD)

Jo Jones in Europe (1975): The Master with Milt Buckner and Illinois Jacquet. Part One of this DVD features very rare film of J.C. Heard.

Jo Jones and the JATP All-Stars: WIth the JATP gang on the Nat Cole TV show of 1957.

Complete Concert in London, 1964: With Coleman Hawkins. Jo takes a definitive extended solo on “Caravan.”

Jo Jones and the Drum Stars: A shorty but a goody.

Timex All-Star Jazz Show Volume 4: Jo appears thoughout this extravaganza hosted by Jackie Gleason.


Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Celebrity biographer Darwin Porter has written several celebrity biographies—including those on Humprhey Bogart, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and now, Frank Sinatra, for a publishing house called Blood Moon Productions, Ltd.

In all of his “works,” if you want to call them that, Porter sets out to prove that all of these dead stars were homosexual, bi-sexual, or at the very least, had homosexual experiences. Usually with each other.

The author also makes sure that a goodly number of pages are devoted to the size and other physical attributes of the celebrity’s genitals, male and female, as well as the frequently and quality of their use.

To be sure, some may be interested in this, but the problem with Porter and his publisher and sometimes collaborator, Danforth Price, is that a very high percentage of their “reporting,” if you want to call it that, is absolutely and totally untrue.

Calling this stuff “fiction” would be to kind. So let’s call it “beyond fantasy.”

If there’s a rating on garbage and slime, these books should get five stars. If there’s a rating on sociopathic sleaze merchants and greedy parasites, Porter and Prince should get the highest rating.

To simplify the issue: Porter and Prince, and a $500 reward if those are their real names, personify the human faces of feces.

They should be dealt with accordingly.

Conveniently, virtually every character who shows up in these “books,” if you want to call them that, is dead. How nice for Porter and Price is that you can’t libel the deceased.

I am appalled that things like this are published, that pieces of diarrhea like Porter are paid to create such things, that companies publish them, and most unbelievably, that libraries carry them. But, as we all know, the First Amendment protects even tripe like this.

The latest Porter/Price Blood Moon Production is called “Frank Sinatra / The Boudoir Singer: All the Gossip Unfit to Print,” which is similar to all of the author’s other works, in that he creates situations, scenarios and dialogue—written as direct quotations, no less—without any proof or any attribution (unless lifted from another celeb bios, and Porter lifts often) whatsoever.

Sexuality is a personal choice and a personal matter that’s not my business or concern. Homosexuality? To quote Seinfeld: “Not that there’s anything wrong with it.”

But to make up degrading, inaccurate and impossible sexual situations out of absolute whole cloth is shameful. I won’t stoop as low as to name all the names and detail situations, except to say that Darwin Porter would not have had the balls to write this waste if Sinatra, Dean Martin and several others within were alive.

Something tells me that if they were, Darwin Porter and Danforth Price would have likely been made an offer they could not refuse.

And no one is immune from Darwin Porter’s fictional, psycho-sexual slime, including someone we know and love as the “world’s greatest drummer.” If Cathy Rich ever reads this filth, I know she’ll do something legally about it.

I never believed there actually was an excuse for a person named Darwin Porter, but I saw him on television with my own eyes, promoting, I think, an upcoming literary effort, if you want to call it that, on Elizabeth Taylor. Given what this less than human being does for a living, showing his face in public wasn’t the brightest move.

Think of it! In the world of Darwin Porter, anyone can say anything about anyone, have it printed and make money from it. Anyone can think of any celebrity—remember, for legal reasons, they have to be dead—construct the wildest sexual scenario imaginable, write it down, get it published, and get paid for it. Think of it! Marilyn having sex in a swimming pool with Elvis just to make Sinatra jealous!

Don’t laugh. That’s one of the milder scenes within these pages.

There’s only one way whereby something like this could even be slightly justified. On the cover, in large letters, print the words: Fictional Pornographic Fantasies Within.

It’s not surprising that the quality of their actual prose is, at best, less than amateurish. Even the “made up” quotes sound horribly phony, and have absolutely nothing to do with how these people spoke publicly or privately.

By the way, as an important note to Mr. Porter and Mr. Price: My Uncle Al had intimate relations with both of your mothers. Your second cousin told me while he was in the sauna with Eddie Fisher. Lucky for me, Uncle Al, your mothers, your cousin and Eddie Fisher are dead. So sue me.


Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Check out our DVD section for two new “discoveries”: A Count Basie concert from 1965 with Rufus Jones on drums; and a compilation DVD featuring a vocalist that many maintain was the finest in history, Jo Stafford. These were television shots from around 1961 and feature Stafford with guests Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme’ and Ella Fitzgerald. These were issued on VHS at the dawn of the video age and have never been released–until now–on DVD. More good stuff to come!


Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Television reality shows, specifically amateur talent competitions, focus on everything from singing and dancing to cooking and home remodeling.

Think there will ever be a reality/competition program devoted to jazz?

You never know, but the fact is, there actually was one, and it had all the qualities of today’s programming, excepting the fact that this one was anything but an amateur show.

Around 1962, an somewhat elderly gent and jazz fan–whose name escapes me– who had served in the production department of Universal Pictures for years had an idea for a television pilot.

His concept was simple: Pit two, “name” jazz groups againist each other in friendly competition, hire celebrity judges and a celebrity host, determine the winner by the amount of audience applause, award the winner $6,000 in cash and the opportunity to slug it out against another group the following week, and give the loser a generous $4,000.

This actually happened. The title was “Championship Jazz” and the television pilot was filmed before a live audience in 1962. Voice of America’s famed WIllis J. Conover was hired as host. Writer George T. Simon and Woody Herman signed on as celeb judges.

The bands? The Dukes of Dixieland, and none other than the Gene Krupa Jazz Quartet featuring Charlie Ventura.

This is an absolutely incredible program and is the only filmed record of Gene’s famed group at the time, which also featured pianist John Bunch and bassist Knobby Totah, playing “Drum Boogie,” “Dark Eyes” and “Big Noise from Winnetka.”

I won’t divulge the winner.

As great as this was, it never made it to television, and that’s sad, because groups being considered as future competitors included the Modern Jazz Quartet, Oscar Peterson Trio, George Shearing Quintet, etc.

Wow! went to great, great lengths to obtain a screening copy (with time code at the bottom of the screen) of this superb and semi-legendary half-hour program.

It’s listed under “The Champ” (the second half features the entire Krupa/Rich drum battle sequence from the Sammy Davis TV program of 1966)

If you don’t have it, you should. This is, after all, reality.