Today is the birthday of jazz coronetist (and piano player) Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931). A native of Davenport, Iowa, he was a product of private schools who found himself irresistibly drawn to the hot new music that was then igniting all across the country. In 1922, he was thrown out of Lake Forest Academy for sneaking out after curfew to go to speakeasies to listen to, and sometimes play with, jazz bands. He became a full time professional immediately thereafter. While his most famous affiliation was with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra from 1927 until his death in 1931, he was already making waves in 1923 with his first band the Wolverines, which can be heard on the terrific release by Archeophone Records The Complete Wolverines (1924-28).
To find out more about show business past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.