|Snapshot -1 from the Melody Maker (1950)...|
|The "Melody Maker" was the leading weekly music paper and the clips below from April and May give an essence of the public furore created when Club Eleven was raided. Bebop, (new, or modern music as some called it), was the musical talking point... more from the Melody Maker...... Records of 1950...||One of the regular features was an analysis of how much playing time the BBC gave to the many dance bands then broadcasting...|
Melody Maker April 22, 1950|
Among those charged with illegally possessing Indian hemp were the following musicians: Leonard Bush and Denis Rose. In addition Ronald Schatt (Scott) was accused of being in unauthorised possession of cocaine and Rose was also charged with being a deserter from the RAMC since July 1944.
All with the exception of Rose were remanded on bail until tomorrow (Saturday). Rose was remanded in custody.
Chief Insp. Brandon said that 250 people, mostly young men and women, were in the club when the raid took place. The club was a bebop club run by some musicians and had recently moved from other premises in Soho.
"What is bebop?" asked the magistrate Mr Daniel Hopkin.
Inspector: "It is a queer form of modern dancing - a Negro jive".
Mr Daniel Hopkin, the Marlborough Street magistrate, made these remarks when he imposed fines on eight young men arrested in a police raid on Club Eleven in the early hours of Saturday, April 15.
Nine men were charged under the Raw Opium Regulations and the Dangerous Drugs Act, and scores of spectators were unable to gain admittance to the crowded public galleries of the court.
Leonard Bush (22) and Denis Rose (27) were charged with possession of Indian hemp without authority. Ronald Schatt (Scott) (23) was accused of unauthorised possession of cocaine. Rose was further charged with being a deserter from the RAMC since July 1944.
Rose was fined £15 with £5 costs, Bush £10 with £5 costs and Schatt £7 with £5 costs.
Mr Messer, a solicitor prosecuting for the police, said that the club was a bebop dance club, "whatever that means". Describing the raid Mr. Messer said that people of all types and conditions, mostly between the ages of 17 and 30 were found on the premises. There was a soft drinks bar and music was coming from an orchestra on a raised rostrum. In addition to the drugs found on the accused, the police found on the floor, clearly abandoned by persons there, twenty-three variously sized packets of Indian hemp, a small packet of cocaine and one of prepared opium.
There was also a box of boric acid which, said Mr. Messer, was used in conjunction with cocaine to make the effect of the drug last longer. The cocaine found on three of the accused was contaminated with boric acid. Also on the floor were a number of reefer cigarettes and ends containing Indian hemp.
Defending counsel Mr Du Cann said that the club had been formed by a group of respectable musicians who were bebop enthusiasts. They had not realised the possible danger and in future they would take strict steps to ensure that drugs were not brought into the club.
There was no doubt said counsel, that on the night of the raid drugs had been peddled around he club. Winston, a drummer, had intended to take a hemp cigarette to relieve asthma, Bush, who played the bass, was a victim of infantile paralysis and had intended to take a drug to relieve pain ; Schatt, a saxophonist, had one grain of cocaine with the object of relieving his tooth ache.
None of the trio was a drug addict and it might be that the raid had stopped them from taking a step which might have led to mental or moral ruin.
The magistrate said that he was sure that Sir John Cameron, barrister, who represented the club, would so advise the owners as to prevent further similar cases coming before the court.
The new club will be entirely managed by Leon Calvert. His policy will be to have three groups comprising "The Cubana Boys", playing Latin - American music, a quartet led by Leon Calvert, and a modern music group which is likely to contain some of the old Club Eleven musicians. Admission prices will be cheaper than those appertaining at the Club Eleven and the club will be open every evening (7.30-11.30).
More about Club Eleven (2)
Melody Maker 29 April, 1950|
(Extracted from the leading column on page 3)
These facts were enough for sensational headlines and equally sensational allegations to appear in the National Press.
"In the Soho haunts of bebop and jive the drugs are being passed so that the devotees may be stimulated into an ecstasy which allows them to dance with complete abandonment.... hemp and marihuana are most favoured by the bebop addicts... Raids on clubs have been planned (because in) this way the police believe London's drug problem can be beaten".
To those who know the facts - or are even, merely aware that hemp and marihuana are one and the same thing - such statements are ludicrous. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the lay public do not know the facts. And in one day the dance music profession and it's followers suffered a blow that may take many months to overcome.
Letters from readers, that began to inundate these offices as soon as these newspaper statements appeared, put the case in a nutshell. "What a stab in the back for modern music and its enthusiasts" wrote one reader: "I was ashamed to read about (this raid), and I shudder to think how many times the enemies of modern jazz will use this news as an instrument against it." wrote another, that gives the whole world of music a bad name.
Already, news has been reaching us of a falling off in attendance at jazz clubs. Already, promoters of concerts have told us that they are having to think twice about using the word "bop" on their posters. Already, West end club owners are showing a disinclination to present bop music for fear of the "undesirable element" they imagine it will attract.
Thus have five foolish young men dealt their profession, their music, and their followers a blow, the effects of which may be incalculable.
...dance music has been the Aunt Sally of mudslingers in this country for years and this case has given them a heaven sent opportunity. But the fact is that 99 per cent of musicians and fans are decent clean living, playing or studying their music in places that are decently run.
To place the whole affair in it's proper perspective, the MELODY MAKER has asked one of this country's premier exponents of bebop, and the man who introduced it into this country in 1946 to state his point of view below.
Let me say right now that if I had ever thought back in 1946, that I would see headlines such as have been appearing in the National Press coupled with the word "bebop," I might never have considered introducing it on the air in the "Accordian Club."
For some time now there has been a widely held belief among certain musicians and laymen, that an indulgence in marihuana is an essential factor in being able to play bop. It is a fallacy that has been disproved time and time again by some of the premier American exponents of this music.
An indulgence in this habit does not make you "one of the boys." I guess will-power is one of the greatest habits anyone can have - and a knowledge that one is leading a clean life.
By virtue of the fact that we play music in the modern manner, I suspect my sextet will come in for a lot of unpleasant remarks from people ignorant of the true state of affairs in our profession, as will the bands of such people as Johnny Dankworth, Kathleen Stobart and Ralph Sharon. Come to think of it there will not be many bands and musicians who will escape this stigma whether they play modern music or not.
Through this unfortunate case the word "bebop" has been made to sound unclean, and all the musicians who play it have become tainted. Further, throughout the country, wherever bop is played, whether in concert halls or clubs, there will be on the one hand a reluctance for parents to let their children participate in the enjoyment of the music and, on the other, a tendency for it to attract only the sub - human seeker after sensation.
My own Sextet has built up quite a large club, through which followers of modern music can chinwag with the boys and receive all the latest news about the people who play in the modern idiom.
How about the mums and dads who will now tell their children "I'm not having you go to places like that any more. I'm not having children of mine mixed up with that bop stuff."?
Thus, in their turn musically minded youngsters - the vanguard of musical progress in this country - may be denied the right to further their interest because of the stigma that has been placed on modern music.
Editor: Pat Brand
Melody Maker April 29, 1950
SEE HOW THEY AIRED
by BILL BADLEY
26. Tito Burns.................11 hours - 35 minutes
44. Vic Lewis.....................5 hours - 35 minutes
57. Tommy Sampson.......3 hours - 10 minutes
60. Harry Parry..................2 hours - 30 minutes
68. Ralph Sharon...............1 hour - 40 minutes
80. Alan Dean's Beboppers............15 minutes
80. Johnny Dankworth Seven........15 minutes
80. Jack Parnell Quartet...................15 minutes
Despite the enthusiastic reception which her New Music has received since it's formation nine weeks ago girl tenor-sax star Kathleen Stobart announces this week that all her present men are under notice to terminate their engagement with her on May 14.
On May 21, a few days after this virtual dis-banding , Kathleen will take to the road again with an enlarged and completely re-formed band.
Kathleen told the MELODY MAKER: "Frankly I have come to the conclusion that an out-and-out policy of advanced music cannot pay in this country. Please do not imagine, however, that I shall be forsaking modern music. I shall still cater predominantly for the modernist, but not for the extreme modernist."
Kathleen's new outfit will be ten strong. Instrumentation will comprise trumpet, trombone, three rhythm and five saxes including the girl sax star herself.
This week the MELODY MAKER is able to exclusively announce details of the personnel which Kathleen Stobart is assembling for her new band, due to take the road this Saturday (20th) at the Paget Hall, Gillingham. Agent Harold Davison is negotiating with the Musicians Unionfor the Stobart group to go abroad at the end of next week to take up a resident engagement.
Lineup will include two of her old group: trumpeter Bert Courtley, leading light of the former outfit, and altoist Freddy Syer. Dill Jones will be the pianist. The sax section is completed by altoist Derek Humble, tenorman Pete King and baritone saxist Alex Leslie. Vocals will be by Franklyn Boyd.
Next month Kathleen Stobart leaves with her new nine piece outfit to fulfil a month 's engagement at the Odean, Basle. The girl tenor-sax star will lead her group for dancing at the venue, (a restaurant), and, as part of her contract, will give a nightly jam session. The band will also play for dancing on Saturday and Sunday afternoons...
(Extract from the Technical page)... Jackie Armstromg - trombonist with Ted Heath...
"I'm going to say something now that will be obvious to most readers, but how it needs saying to many others. I'ts this: Because a fellow can't play bop it doesn't mean that he's a "square" or that he can't play well. I'll so far as to add this. There are more good reliable players who can't play bop than people who fancy that they are boppists but who can't handle their instruments properly.
Mind you I'm all for progress but what I'm getting at is this: the basis of any style should be sound technical knowledge and there is no quick way to acquire it..."
says Harry Parry
"To make sure of pleasing everyone I included in my programme every type of music that I knew how to play: dixieland, bop, boogie, straightforward jazz and dance music. I am an enthusiastic listener to bop myself and have two or three boys in the band who specialise in it, so every evening I used to ask the audience if there were any bop fans in the theatre.
Well the response was varied. Some nights we would get about twenty five lads shouting "Yes" and the rest of the audience shouting "Boo" in reply. When that happened I would ask those who didn't like bop to be tolerant while I played it for those who did, suggesting at the same time that even if they didn't like it they must surely recognise the technical ability of the players.
It was astonishing how well the music went down, even with the non - bop addicts, after this.... the sentimental songs are always sure - fire winners, and I have found, during my eighteen years of experience in the business of dispensing swing music, that no matter what style the modern music listener likes individually, he or she is always partial to a little sentiment..."