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Count Basie

Guide about Count Basie with biography, annotated listing of recordings, videos, readings, interviews, oral histories, and websites.


Count Basie, 1941

“Dance of the Gremlins” and “Swingin’ the Blues” 
Soloists “Dance of the Gremlins”: Harry Edison, Don Byas, Buck Clayton, Jo Jones

“Swingin’the Blues;: Don Byas, Buck Clayton, Jo Jones

“One O’Clock Jump” from Reveille with Beverly, 1943
Soloists: Buddy Tate, Dicky Wells, Don Byas, Buck Clayton, Basie

“Harlem Sand Man,” Hit Parade of 1943
Count Basie, singer/actress Dorothy Dandridge and Jack Williams (the Harlem Sandman) also featured the bands of Freddy Martin, Ray McKinley, and the Golden Gate Quartet.

Ethel Waters with the Basie band, 1943

Count Basie with sextet, c. 1950 and c. 1943
Clark Terry, Wardell Gray, Buddy DeFranco, Freddie Green, James Lewis, Helen Humes

“Basie Boogie”
“If I Could Be with You One Hour Tonight,” Humes vocal
“Basie’s Conversation”
“I Cried for You,” Humes vocal
“One O’Clock Jump”
“Take Me Back, Baby” (c. 1943), Jimmy Rushing vocal
“Air Mail Special” (c. 1943)

Count Basie and sextet with Billie Holiday, 1950
Basie with Clark Terry, Marshal Royal, Wardell Gray, Freddie Green, Jimmy Lewis, and Gus Johnson in a performance of “God Bless the Child” and “Now or Never.”

The Hollywood Palace, ABC Television, October 16, 1965
With Frank Sinatra and the Count Basie Orchestra
Arranger/conductor Quincy Jones
Sinatra and the band perform “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Please Be Kind,” “Too Marvelous for Words,” “Everybody Has a Right to Be Wrong,” and “The Gal That Got Away” in a rare video appearance of the two.

Frank Sinatra and the Count Basie Orchestra entertain prisoners, CBS News, 1965
Sinatra was invited to perform by the chaplain at a prison in Washington State and brought Basie and Company with him. Narration is by CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite behind “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Words and Music, BBC Four, hosted by Oscar Peterson
With guests Count Basie (at Festival Hall) and Joe Pass, 1980


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