PLEDGE NOW
New Jazz Gems: Basie to Billie

Jazz from the vaults of history. We’ve got samples of the “Savory” recordings, unearthed gems from the 1930’s.

Count Basie’s all-African American band at Carnegie Hall, Dec. 23, 1938. (AP)

Bill Savory was a college dropout radio tech in New York in the late 1930s who liked to record what he heard on the radio. And what he heard in those days was some of the greatest live jazz in history.

The greats of the Swing Jazz era – Ella Fitzgerald, Teddy Wilson, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, on and on – at the height of their powers.  Bill Savory made nearly a thousand recordings on acetate and aluminum discs.  And hid them away.

Now, they’re out, in the light of day, and pretty amazing.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Loren Schoenberg, jazz musician and historian, is executive director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and author of “The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Jazz.” He acquired the Savory Collection for the National Jazz Museum.

Michael Cogswell, director of the Louis Armstrong House & Archives.

Hear some samples of the Savory recordings, courtesy of the National Jazz Museum:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 22, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 22, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 22, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

 
May 22, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment