March 10, 2008

Olbermann gives shout-out to Bix

You probably weren't aware that today, March 10th, is the Quad Cities' world reknowned homeboy Bix Beiderbecke's birthday, but now millions of viewers around the world do.


I was pleasantly surprised to hear MSNBC's Keith Olbermann pay honor to Bix on tonight's "Countdown" program.

Olbermann does a nighly "On this date..." bit on his show where he cites people who were born on that date in history.

Tonight Olbermann opened a segment of "Countdown" with,
"On this date in 1903 Leon Bismarck Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, Iowa. Apart from being one of the greatest cornet players, Bix Beiderbecke was probably the first legend of jazz to come not only from the middle class, but from the audience made possible by records."
He then noted Beiderbecke's meteoric rise to fame during the era of bathtub gin and his tragic early death at the age of 28.

So Happy Birthday Bix, and hat's off to Keith Olbermann for paying respect to our area's most widely acclaimed native son.

Countdown is rebroadcast tonight at 11:00 p.m. on MSNBC.

5 Comments:

At 3/11/2008 10:52 PM, Anonymous nooncat said...

Who's Bix Beiderbecke??

 
At 3/12/2008 2:28 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Some runner who started that Bix7 race?

Check bixbeiderbecke.com, maybe there's some info there.

 
At 3/12/2008 12:25 PM, Blogger tiz said...

One of my favorite Bix stories (I'm a fan and I focused on him for a jazz history class when I was an undergrad):

When he was in grade school (taking a year off because he was sick if I recall correctly) his mom had a piano teacher come to teach Bix piano. Each week the teacher would assign something for him to play the next week. Bix would have the teacher play it for him and then would play it back for his teacher flawlessly the next week. The teacher was having a hard time getting Bix to read music (something I don't think ever got around to learning) during lessons so it was kind of odd he could always recite the assignment perfectly each week. So one week the teacher deliberately made mistakes when playing Bix the assigned piece. The next week, his mistakes showed up when Bix played. He could play the whole thing back by ear after only hearing it once. Amazing for anyone let alone a kid in grade school.

Bix is one of the most influential jazz musicians ever and by far the most gifted musician I know of to come from the Quad Cities. It's sad that there are people in the QC who identify his name more with the race than, well, with him.

 
At 3/12/2008 3:41 PM, Blogger Craig said...

I love Olbermann... check out the countdown tonight for a special comment on Hillary's campaign.

 
At 3/15/2008 5:36 PM, Anonymous sueshedap;puhleeze said...

Oct. 12th 1996 went to a tribute to Bix with Lalo Schifrin (mission impossible) on piano, and conducting the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra featuring Louie Belson (friend and fellow jobber of my dad)on drums, James Morrison (from Australia)on trumpet, etc. and a bass player whose name escapes me now (old timers-sheesh!)What a TREE-memndous night! Nothin' like a live full orchestra and Jammin' Jazz.........even got autographs at the party after the show....Kudos to the Cities! Happy Birthday Bix......

 

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