Big Yank Is Here!
Clacy Hayes (banjo & vocal), Bob Haggart (bass), Osie Johnson (drums), Cutty Cutshall (trombone), Bill Stegmeyer (clarinet), Dave McKenna (piano), Yank Lawson (trumpet)
(Released in 1965)
Chim Chim Cheree
When My Baby Smiles At Me
Bury Me On Basin Street
Come Back Sweet Papa
Breezin' Along With The Breeze
Boy From New Orleans
Beverly Hills, LA.
Five Point Blues
Album Notes: Take a look at Yank Lawson without his trumpet, and you'd swear he's a financier from Wall Street - but you'd be wrong! Yank works a different street - reminiscent of those like Basin and Beale - but an up-to-date, tailored-for-the-jet-age street - one that every music lover enjoys traveling!
Call Yank's music "popular jazz"; call it "middle road jazz"; call it "jazz for people who hate jazz" - but whatever you call it, it's an easy swingin', free flowin', free wheelin', carefree kind of music. "Free" is the key word here, because this good-time music unshackles the drudgery of a troubled world. As Wingy Manone has said, "Listen to the truth - the happy music!"
Yank Lawson has been a musician since he was eight - well, at least that was the beginning. Looking for an instrument to call his own, Yank gave the piano a try, and then the saxophone, before coming to terms with the trumpet. The two of them have since joined in one of the most sucessful careers in the music business.
Hailing from Trenton, Missouri (population 8,000), Yank played trumpet in college dance bands while studying for a libral arts degree at the University of Missouri. The depression of the 30's cut short his college education, but his moonlighting with dance bands paid off when he was offered a job with Slats Randle's band, and played Midwest hotels for a year. Yank took a big step forward when he joined Ben Pollack's group and traveled to New York. Gaining valuable experience, Yank fell in with a group of eight musicians who decided to form their own corporation, and they began rehearsing. Jack Teagarden had agreed to be the leader, but contractual commitments prevented it, so the eight men hired Bob Crosby away from his singing chores with Tommy Dorsey. Bob fronted the band, and these eight - Ray Bauduc, Eddie Miller, Bob Haggart, Matty Matlock, Nappy Lamare, Gil Roden, Gil Bowers and Yank Lawson - comprised the first Crosby band. Yank stayed with the group for four years, then joined Tommy Dorsey.
Yank Began branching out at this point, and played in the pit for a Broadway musical called "Louisiana Purchase." Rejoining the Crosby band, he made motion pictures with Bob, and about 1942, entered the field of radio, playing with Kate Smith and the popular Hit Parade program. In 1944, Yank made his first recordings with his own group, under the auspices of Bob Thiele, who produced this new album for ABC-Paramount.
Since the 1940's, Yank has established himself as one of the most-demanded musicians for recording dates, club work, concert tours, and television bands. At present, he is a regular member of the "Tonight" TV network shoiw; he appears at Eddie Condon's club in New York City; the Newport Jazz Festival; and in October, 1964, he toured Japan during the Olympic Games. Often, Yank does as many as two or three record dates a day, and has made at least fifteen albums on his own during his career.
Much of the music here is familiar, but the Yank Lawson touch makes it sparkle in a brand new way. "Chim Chim Cheree," the Academy Award winner from the movie "Mary Poppins," swings in a way that Miss Poppins never imagined. The old standards, "When My Baby Smiles At Me," Hot Lips," and "Breezin' Along With The Breeze," are welcome in any collection, and here they musically illustrate the Yank Lawson style, as compared with other versions you've heard. "Bury Me On Basin Street," with Clancy Hayes on vocal, is a sentiment dear to the heart of any musician, and a treat for the listener. You'll hear a tribute to the great Satchmo by listening to "Boy From New Orleans," a musical biography of Louis Armstrong, written to a melody long associated with him, and sung by Clancy Hayes. Bob Haggart, one of the original members of Crosby band and here reunited with Yank Lawson, wrote "Beverly Hills, LA." Haggart has written other popular tunes like "What's New" and "Big Noise From Winnetka."
The only original in this album by Yank Lawson - "Five Point Blues" - was first recorded in 1937 by Bob Crosby's Bobcats.
This is not mood music. It doesn't matter to us what mood you're in, because Yank Lawson and His Yankee Clippers will change all that - "Big Yank is Here" with happy music!
- Rick Ward
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Clancy Hayes (banjo &vocal): Clancy is from San Francisco, and plays regularly at Earthquake Magoon's. He was brought to New York City to record this LP.
Bob Haggart (bass): Bob has probably won more popularity polls than anyone else in the history of jazz music.
Osie Johnson (drums): Ossie is one of the busiest drummers in the business, much in demand for radio and television work, and recording with bands such as Lionel Hampton's.
Cutty Cutshall (trombone): Cutty played with the Benny Goodman band, and has worked with Eddie Condon for nine years.
Bill Stegmeyer (clarinet): Bill is a well known arranger, and has worked on many TV shows, including Jackie Gleason's. He wrote "Kissin' Cousin" in this album.
Dave McKenna (piano): Dave is a young jazz pianist whose work is highly respected in the field. He has recorded a number of albums as a solo artist.
Yank Lawson (trumpet)