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Image for John Kirby Orchestra

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John Kirby Orchestra

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Sunday 01 July 2012

Rather forgotten now, in the Swing Era the John Kirby Orchestra was known as "the biggest little band in the land", famed for witty, swinging arrangements of pop, folk and classical music. Geoffrey Smith surveys its brilliant career and star sidemen.

Music Played

32 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Buster Bailey

    Buster Bailey Dizzy Debutante

    Composer: Buster Bailey Performers: John Kirby (b), Frankie Newton (tr), Pete Brown (as), Don Frye (p), James McLin (g) O’Neil Spencer (d) Recorded: 1937

    Buster Bailey 1925 - 1940, Classics 904 (1)

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Rehearsin' for a Nervous Breakdown

    Composer: Shavers / Robin Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1938

    The Biggest Little Band, ASV CD AJA 5304

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby From Ab to C

    Composer: Billy Kyle Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1937

    John Kirby – The Biggest Little Band 1937 - 1941, Smithsonian R013/A

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Effervescent Blues

    Composer: Charlie Shavers Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1939

    The Biggest Little Band, ASV CD AJA 5304

  • Image for Billy Kyle

    Billy Kyle Finishing Up a Date

    Composer: Billy Kyle Performers: Billy Kyle (p), Dave Barbour (g), Marty Kaplan (b), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1939

    The Great Jazz Pianists, Past Perfect PPCD 78107

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Front and Center

    Composer: Shavers / Kirby Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1939

    The Biggest Little Band, ASV CD AJA 5304

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Opus 5

    Composer: Chopin arr. Shavers Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1939

    And The Angels Sing Over the Rainbow - 1939, Phontastic PHONTCD7667 (1)

  • Image for Maxine Sullivan

    Maxine Sullivan If I Had a Ribbon Bow

    Composer: Trad Performers: Maxine Sullivan (voc), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), John Kirby (b), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1940

    Maxine Sullivan 1938 - 1941, Classics 991

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Coquette

    Composer: Carmen Lombardo / Johnny Green Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1940

    John Kirby – The Biggest Little Band 1937 - 1941, Smithsonian R 013/B

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Original Dixieland One-Step

    Composer: Joe Jordan / Nick LaRocca / Russell Robinson Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1940

    John Kirby and His Band, Jazz Anthology 550252 (1)

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Tweed Me

    Composer: Kyle Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), Specs Powell (d) Recorded: 1941

    John Kirby and His Orchestra 1941 - 1943, Classics 792 (1)

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby St. Louis Blues

    Composer: Handy Performers: John Kirby (sb), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), Specs Powell (d) Recorded: 1942

    John Kirby and His Orchestra 1941 - 1943, Classics 792 (1)

  • Image for Bud Powell

    Bud Powell Fine and Dandy

    Composer: Swift / James Performers: Bud Powell (p), Sonny Stitt (ts) Recorded: 1950

    So Sorry Please, Proper P1188

  • Image for Tadd Dameron

    Tadd Dameron Tadd Walk

    Composer: Dameron Performers: Fats Navarro (tr), Rudy Williams (as), Allen Eager (ts), Tadd Dameron (p), Curly Russell (b), Kenny Clarke (d) Recorded: 1948

    The Fats Navarro Story, Properbox 11

  • Image for Don Byron

    Don Byron Bounce of the Sugar Plum Fairy/ Charley's Prelude

    Composer: Peter Llyich Tchaikovsky / Louis C. Singer Performers: Don Byron (cl), Charles Lewis (tr), Steve Wilson (as), Uri Caine (p), Ken Davis (b), Billy Hart (d) Recorded: 1992

    Bug Music, Nonesuch 7559794382 (1)

  • Image for Charlie Shavers

    Charlie Shavers Flow Gently Sweet Rhythm

    Composer: Charlie Shavers Performers: Charlie Shavers ((tp), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Biily Kyle (p), Aaron Bell (b), Specs Powell (d) Recorded: 1955

    Horn O’Plenty, Lonehill Jazz LHJ10140 (1)

  • Image for Buster Bailey

    Buster Bailey Dizzy Debutante

    Composer: Buster Bailey Performers: John Kirby (b), Frankie Newton (tr), Pete Brown (as), Don Frye (p), James McLin (g) O’Neil Spencer (d) Recorded: 1937

    Buster Bailey 1925 - 1940, Classics 904 (1)

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Rehearsin' for a Nervous Breakdown

    Composer: Shavers / Robin Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1938

    The Biggest Little Band, ASV CD AJA 5304

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby From Ab to C

    Composer: Billy Kyle Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1937

    John Kirby – The Biggest Little Band 1937 - 1941, Smithsonian R013/A

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Effervescent Blues

    Composer: Charlie Shavers Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1939

    The Biggest Little Band, ASV CD AJA 5304

  • Image for Billy Kyle

    Billy Kyle Finishing Up a Date

    Composer: Billy Kyle Performers: Billy Kyle (p), Dave Barbour (g), Marty Kaplan (b), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1939

    The Great Jazz Pianists, Past Perfect PPCD 78107

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Front and Center

    Composer: Shavers / Kirby Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1939

    The Biggest Little Band, ASV CD AJA 5304

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Opus 5

    Composer: Chopin arr. Shavers Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1939

    And The Angels Sing Over the Rainbow - 1939, Phontastic PHONTCD7667 (1)

  • Image for Maxine Sullivan

    Maxine Sullivan If I Had a Ribbon Bow

    Composer: Trad Performers: Maxine Sullivan (voc), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), John Kirby (b), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1940

    Maxine Sullivan 1938 - 1941, Classics 991

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Coquette

    Composer: Carmen Lombardo / Johnny Green Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1940

    John Kirby – The Biggest Little Band 1937 - 1941, Smithsonian R 013/B

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Original Dixieland One-Step

    Composer: Joe Jordan / Nick LaRocca / Russell Robinson Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), O’Neill Spencer (d) Recorded: 1940

    John Kirby and His Band, Jazz Anthology 550252 (1)

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby Tweed Me

    Composer: Kyle Performers: John Kirby (b), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), Specs Powell (d) Recorded: 1941

    John Kirby and His Orchestra 1941 - 1943, Classics 792 (1)

  • Image for John Kirby

    John Kirby St. Louis Blues

    Composer: Handy Performers: John Kirby (sb), Charlie Shavers (tr), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Billy Kyle (p), Specs Powell (d) Recorded: 1942

    John Kirby and His Orchestra 1941 - 1943, Classics 792 (1)

  • Image for Bud Powell

    Bud Powell Fine and Dandy

    Composer: Swift / James Performers: Bud Powell (p), Sonny Stitt (ts) Recorded: 1950

    So Sorry Please, Proper P1188

  • Image for Tadd Dameron

    Tadd Dameron Tadd Walk

    Composer: Dameron Performers: Fats Navarro (tr), Rudy Williams (as), Allen Eager (ts), Tadd Dameron (p), Curly Russell (b), Kenny Clarke (d) Recorded: 1948

    The Fats Navarro Story, Properbox 11

  • Image for Don Byron

    Don Byron Bounce of the Sugar Plum Fairy/ Charley's Prelude

    Composer: Peter Llyich Tchaikovsky / Louis C. Singer Performers: Don Byron (cl), Charles Lewis (tr), Steve Wilson (as), Uri Caine (p), Ken Davis (b), Billy Hart (d) Recorded: 1992

    Bug Music, Nonesuch 7559794382 (1)

  • Image for Charlie Shavers

    Charlie Shavers Flow Gently Sweet Rhythm

    Composer: Charlie Shavers Performers: Charlie Shavers ((tp), Buster Bailey (cl), Russell Procope (as), Biily Kyle (p), Aaron Bell (b), Specs Powell (d) Recorded: 1955

    Horn O’Plenty, Lonehill Jazz LHJ10140 (1)

Broadcasts

Podcast

  1. Image for Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz

    Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz

    Geoffrey Smith with his weekly selection of jazz. Each Saturday at midnight, Geoffrey Smith…

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