Today in History

Today in History: January 6

Dizzy Gillespie

Well Be-Bop! Dizzy Gillespie with Trumpet and Be-bop Background
Dizzy Gillespie,
New York, New York,
William Gottlieb, photographer,
circa May 1947.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

New York—This study of Dizzy Gillespie is from the camera of staffer Bill Gottlieb, depicting the be-bopper's characteristic hat, spectacles, horn, goatee and slouch.

Caption
Well Be-Bop!
Down Beat,
May 21, 1947.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

Be-bop is a way of phrasing and accenting. The accent is on the up beat. Instead of OO-bah it's oo-BAH. Different chords too. And lots of flatted 5ths and 9ths. There's lots more to it. But just now I can't think of what.

Dizzy Gillespie quoted in "Posin',"
Down Beat 14, no. 19,
September 10, 1947.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

On January 6, 1993, Dizzy Gillespie, the last of the primary originators of Be-Bop jazz, died in Englewood, New Jersey. The trumpeter-composer-bandleader had laid the foundation of modern jazz with pianist Thelonius Monk, drummer Kenny Clarke, guitarist Charlie Christian, and alto saxophonist Charlie "Yardbird" Parker.

52nd Street, New York
52nd Street,
New York, New York,
William Gottlieb, photographer,
circa 1948.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

In the 1940s, jazz thrived at venues such as the Three Deuces, the Troubador, and the Famous Door which shared the stretch of 52nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues with strip clubs and restaurants. The area was alternately refered to as "Swing Lane" and "Be-Bop Alley" and often simply called "The Street."

Dizzy and his fellow innovators frequently gathered at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem for after-hours jam sessions. The men favored complicated chord changes and rapid syncopated rhythms due in large part to their effect of frightening away less-talented musicians who would have wanted to join in had they felt capable.

Gillespie thrilled audiences with his effortless combination of heart-stopping talent and irrepressible showmanship and made incalculable contributions to jazz throughout his career, championing Afro-Cuban jazz and influencing such musical behemoths as Miles Davis. Dizzy continued to play until the end of his life. He toured far-flung locales making his bent trumpet, moon cheeks, and compositions such as "Night in Tunisia," "Manteca," and "Birks Works" recognizable to jazz fans around the world.

Series of Photos of Dizzy Gillespie Animatedly Directing His Band
"Gillespie's Gyrations and Gestures Get His Band Going,"
Down Beat 14, no. 18,
August 27, 1947.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

New York—This is what the customers miss when the Diz directs his band, back to the audience. In the first photo we find an appealing lullaby-like attitude, indicating the gentle treatment. Picture two makes one wonder what good the mike would do inside Gillespie. Climax comes in the third shot. It seems a little hard for Dizzy to believe what he hears. Last, the final bow of exhaustion, and the work on one number is over.

The collection William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz, comprised of over 1,600 photographs of celebrated jazz artists, documents the jazz scene from 1938 to 1948, primarily in New York City and Washington, D.C. During the course of his career, Gottlieb took portraits of prominent jazz musicians and personalities, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Earl Hines, Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, and Benny Carter. This online collection presents Gottlieb's photographs, annotated contact prints, selected published prints, and related articles from Down Beat magazine

.

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz
Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie… Downbeat,
New York, New York,
William Gottlieb, photographer,
circa September 1947.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Cecil Payne, Miles Davis, and Ray Brown
Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Cecil Payne, Miles Davis, and Ray Brown,
New York, New York,
William Gottlieb, photographer,
between 1946 and 1948.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

Dizzy Gillespie Playing Trumpet
Portrait of Dizzy Gillespie,
New York, New York,
William Gottlieb, photographer,
circa May 1947.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

Why must you wear a goatee to play good hot horn? Strictly utilitarian, man…strictly utilitarian! Nothing faddish about it. First, it gives my lips strength. You know what hair did for Sampson. It's protection, too. Can't afford to let a razor get too close to those chops.

Dizzy Gillespie answers William Gottlieb in
"Posin',"
Down Beat 13, no. 12,
June 3, 1946.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

George and Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush,
David Valdez, photographer,
January 8, 1989.
By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present

On January 6, 1945, George Herbert Walker Bush, on leave from active duty in World War II, married former Smith College student Barbara Pierce. The bride was twenty years old—the groom her senior by just one year. George Bush enlisted in the Navy the day he graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Still eighteen when commissioned in June 1943, Bush became the youngest pilot in the United States Navy. Following the war, he attended Yale University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1948.

George Bush
George Bush,
David Valdez, photographer,
1989.
By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present

After a career in the Texas oil industry, Bush entered national politics. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1966 and 1968. During the 1970s, he held several key government positions including United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Twice selected to be Ronald Reagan's running mate, George Bush was elected president in 1988. As president, he guided the United States out of the Cold War, presided over a U.S. victory in the Persian Gulf, and proved an effective advocate of free trade.

Barbara Bush raised six children while assisting her husband in his business and political career. Over the course of their marriage, Mrs. Bush organized twenty-nine family moves. Like many women of her generation, Barbara Bush volunteered in a variety of social and humanitarian causes. During her years as wife of the vice president and later as first lady, Mrs. Bush championed family literacy—an issue she continues actively to support.

Online resources pertaining to the lives of George and Barbara Bush include the following: