Search Manic Mark's Blog

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dame Dreaming - Bill Dogget

Sweet Lorraine
Dame Dreaming
With Bill Doggett
King Records 532

From Billboard April 27, 1957: Dreamy, leisurely paced instrumental treatments in a low-pressure rock and roll vein by organist Doggett and his boys. Striking color photo of pretty brunette and provocative title gives album good display value.

From the back cover: The Bill Doggett success story is not a new one. The same struggles, the same trails, the same tribulations that every musician encounters before success are part of the Doggett story. Bill's musical knowledge dates back to the time when he was nine years old. He wanted to study the trumpet but his family decided that the expense would be too great at that time so Bill turned his attention to the family piano. He studied long and hard and soon became an accomplished musician. When he was sixteen he made his first professional appearance in his native Philadelphia. That didn't last long for his aunt came and took him off the job since the hours were beginning to tell on his schoolwork. In school Bill was considered a good student. When he was graduated from Central High School in Philadelphia in 1933, Doggett got a job with Jimmy Gorman's Orchestra which paid eighteen dollars per week and that was a lot of money in those days, so Bill struck with it. In 1938 Doggett formed his own orchestra. After a few months he sold the entire organization to Lucky Millinder and Dogget Devoted his time to arranging and writing music.

In 1943 Bill became the pianist and arranger for The Ink Spots. During his tenure with The Ink Spots, Bill arranged many of their long to be remembered hits.

1947 was the year that probably changed Doggett's entire musical career. He got a job as pianist with Louis Jordan's band and the fellow he was replacing was Bill Davis. Davis wanted to leave and devote some time to the study of the Hammon Organ as a jazz instrument. About six months later Jordan hire Davis to go on his tour of theater dates at three times the salary he was paying Doggett for arranging and as the pianist in the band. As Bill put it, "That was the bitter end." Six months later Bill left the Jordan outfit to study the Hammond organ.

Organist Doggett made his first record date accompanying Ella Fitzgerald. This was his first time to play the organ outside of his home. The first record that he made with Ella was "Smooth Sailing" and it was a big fat hit. The word spread about the terrific organ background and two more hits rolled off with Ella – "Rough Riding" and "Air Mail Special."

With Bill's popularity soaring, he was encouraged to form his own combo, and on June 6, 1952 The Bill Doggett Combo played their first date at New York's famed Baby Grand. The rest is history.

Because Bill Doggett believes in the golden role, he gives full credit for his success to the three musicians who make up the quartet. Berisford Shepherd, known to his friends as "Shep", has been playing drums with Doggett almost since the group was formed. He is a master at the drums. Born in Honduras in Central America, his family moved to Philadelphia very shortly thereafter and he still resides there. In January 1955, guitarist Billy Butler joined the Doggett clan. Billy is also a native Philadelphian. Early in life Butler studied the violin but turned to the guitar because it enabled him to play the type of music he liked. John Collins aided Billy in his studies on the guitar. Billy is a fine musician with fresh ideas and plenty of imagination. The youngest and newest member of the combo is sax man Clifford Scott. Clifford was born in 1928 in San Antonio, Texas. It was always his ambition to become a professional musician. Scott plays both tenor and alto sax, clarinet and flute. He has played with Roy Milton and Lionel Hampton and joined Doggett in 1956.

Sweet Lorraine

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!