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new: Stories of Mingus, Wes and the CBC

by Jim Carney


Jack Fulton and Fraser McPherson, 1958


Don Cumming and Chuck Knott


(lt-rt.) Bill Boyle, Tony Clitheroe, Jim Johnson, Jack Feyer, John Dawe

(lt.-rt.) Fraser MacPherson, Bill Holmes, Earl Freeman,
 Bill Perkins, Chuck Logan, Tom Thorsburn


Fred Massey


Bill Boyle

lt. Harold Land, tenor sax;  rt. Amos Trice, piano

John Dawe playing at the Cellar
with Bob Miller, bass


Tony Clitheroe, bass

(lt) Stan "Cuddles" Johnson, bass
 (rt.) Art Pepper, alto sax


lt.John Dawe, trumpet, (rt) Harold Krause, piano

(lt-rt)  Ray Sikora, (trombone) Bob Miller, bass,
Chuck Logan, drums , The Scene, Victoria, ca. 1960


The Mastersounds: (lt-rt.) Benny Barth, Monk Montgomery,
Buddy Montgomery, Richie Crabtree,
The Cellar, 1959


(lt-rt) Eddy Roop, Tony Clitheroe, Bill Perkins,
Chuck Logan, Tom Thorsburn,
The Cellar, 1960



lt-rt. Chuck Logan, Bill Boyle, Tony Clitheroe,
Harold Krause, John Dawe,
The Cellar, ca 1958


(lt-rt) Dale Hillary, Ornette Coleman, Spanky de Brest,
Don Cherry, Mel Lewis, New York, ca. 1959



Bob Frogge


Wally Lightbody


Ray Sikora and Bob Miller



Jerry Fuller



Frequent visitors to the Cellar: Carl Perkins, piano, Curtis Counce, bass, Frank Butler, drums,
Harold Land, tenor sax and Jack Sheldon, trumpet, Unidentified club in L.A., 1957


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Stories of Mingus, Wes and the CBC
by Jim Carney

       In the spring of 1961, I was a young producer at CBC-Televsion Vancouver (CBUT) collaborating with Cellar manager Dave Quarin in a cost-sharing
       arrangement whereby The Cellar was able to present outstanding West Coast musicians for a period of one or two weeks, while Pacific Regional CBC-TV
       viewers enjoyed  a unique series of jazz shows.

      Between January and July 1961, I produced six half-hour TV programs featuring stellar US performers such as Charles Mingus, Monk and Buddy
      Montgomery (“The Mastersounds” - later joined by brother Wes and known as “The Montgomery Brothers”), guitarist Barney Kessel and singer Ernestine Anderson
     – all of whom also appeared at The Cellar - as well as outstanding local artists Eleanor Collins, the Al Neil Quartet and The Ray Sikora Jazz Orchestra.

     The Al Neil show was broadcast live as a “remote” from The Cellar on March 21, 1961, an innovative approach at the time.


The Al Neil Quartet:
Dale Hillary, alto sax, Al Neil, piano (behind Dale Hillary)
Tony Clitheroe, bass, Jerry Fuller Jr., drums,



CBC remote unit at 2415 Watson St. Mar. 21, 1961

Memories of Mingus and other musical adventures
by  Jim Carney

        The first show - “Mind of Mingus” – shot in CBUT’s Studio 41 and broadcast on January 12, 1961, included excerpts from an interview of Mingus by Bob
        Quintrell, filmed in The Cellar. Dark and moody, it presented a thoughtful and introspective dimension not normally associated with jazz performances and
        revealed a compassionate and sensitive side of the virtuoso bassist and composer.

        Mind of Mingus was picked up by CBC Toronto and repeated on the national network as part of Daryl Duke’s “Quest” series, hosted by Andrew Alan, on
        March 29, 1961.  A copy of that rebroadcast, a poor quality kinescope recording, is the only remaining evidence of this pioneering jazz series.









For more on this series of TV shows and other Cellar stories see The Cellar Blog

        CBC-TV Vancouver (CBUT) began broadcasting on December 16, 1953 from a converted automotive service garage at 1200 West Georgia St.. CBUT’s
        primary mandate was to produce programming for the Pacific Region. Access to the national network in terms of production and programming was limited and
        air-time for even regional programming was allocated by the network brass in Toronto.

        Nonetheless, there was a remarkable spirit of experimentation and innovation at CBUT in the early days. It had quickly attracted a remarkable cohort of
        production talent including Alan King, Daryl Duke, Ron Kelly, Mario Prizek, Jorn Winther, Jack Thorne, Peter Elkington, Gene Lawrence, Phil Keatley, Len Lauk
        and Frank Goodship, many of whom moved on to Toronto and the US.

        During my last two years at UBC (‘56, ‘57) I worked nights at 1200 West Georgia as a stagehand (9:30 pm to 7:30 am) dismantling and setting up sets for the
        next day’s productions, as well as reporting on UBC sports for the Vancouver Province. I found it was a great way to ensure that I got to my 8 am lectures !!

        I was an avid jazz fan and trumpet player while at UBC and along with tenor saxophonist Walley Lightbody formed a UBC jazz group called “The Campus Coolsters.”
        I was also one of the handful of jazz players (part-time, non-union) who in the mid-fifties frequented the “The Wailhouse” in Richmond, several of whom were
        among the initial proponents of The Cellar.

        I spent the summer of 1958 on a CKNW scholarship at the Radio and Television Institute at Stanford University, near Palo Alto, California. A course requirement
        was the production of a short film or TV program. The three Canadians in the class – Tom Koch, John Edwards and me - decided to make a film on the “Beatniks”,
        then famously living very colourful lives on San Francisco’s “North Beach” district along Grant Avenue. (Jack Kerouac’s iconic “On the Road” had been published
        a few months before). After our late-evening filming I would drop into The Jazz Workshop on Columbus Avenue where a group called The Mastersounds often played:
        brothers Monk and Buddy Montgomery, with pianist Richie Crabtree and drummer Benny Barth.

        During our between-sets chats Monk and Buddy would tell me about their brother Wes, still back home in Indianapolis, who played guitar.  They said he “played his ass”
        – the ultimate accolade - and would soon come out to the West Coast and “blow everybody away”.  And he did.


Wailhouse, Richmond ca. 1955 -  Jim Carney

Wailhouse: Jimmy Johnson, Bill Boyle, (Carney’s left ear)
Photos-Gordon Sedawie, Vancouver Province.    

      

Campus Coolsters, UBC Auditorium, February 1953
Lt to Rt: Jimmy Johnson, Walley Lightbody, Ron “Zoot” Chandler, Jim Carney,
Alexander (“Sandy”) Ross, Norval Garrard, Brian Guns, “Saxy” Johnson



          Musician and entrepreneur Kenny Hole, a driving force behind the establishment of The Cellar, was a key factor in Vancouver’s below-the-radar-jazz scene.

          One of his ventures was the Ken Hole Big Band which attracted many young musicians, many of whom would become distinguished professionals with
          national and international reputations, long before the college and university programs available today. It provided an opportunity for young musicians to
          play advanced, demanding charts alongside gifted peers for the sheer enjoyment and experience of doing so. Below is a photo of one of Ken’s big bands
          taken
at the Alma Academy on West Broadway in the mid 1950s.
 

The Ken Hole Big Band
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(L to R:) Trombones: George Burgess, Bill Trussel, Bud Trussel; Rhythm section: Tony Clitheroe, guitar; Ken Hole, bass;
          Bill “Sweeney” Shiner, drums
; Trumpets: John Dawe, Arnold Emery, Arnie Chykoski, Jim Carney; Reeds: Gordy Brown,
Charles Hendricks, Jimmy Johnson, Jim Peters, and Walley Lightbody.


        Ken was tireless in searching out gigs. Paid work for large 16-piece jazz orchestras  was hard to find. He would occasionally organize “tours” of
       Vancouver Island, where  we would perform at dances in places like Ladysmith, Chemainus and Nanaimo, playing charts by Count Basie, Woody Herman,
        Stan Kenton. We sounded pretty good and the locals loved it. We were mostly non-union and certainly weren’t in it for the money. I remember one return
        passage on BC Ferries, when Ken doled out the revenues less expenses. I think the net return for each of us was one dollar.


On the ferry returning from a Vancouver Island  tour
L-R (ladies unknown) Brian Guns, Jimmy Johnson, Walley Lightbody, Jack Reynolds


        On a Monday following one such weekend, I had to write a Physics exam. I wisely did NOT attend the lecture when Professor Gordon Shrum returned
        the marked papers. Having completed this task and determined that Mr. Carney was not in attendance, Prof Shrum expressed his deep regret, my friends
        later told me, “for Mr Carney has truly distinguished himself. He received a mark of two (out of 150), but only because he managed to spell his name correctly”.

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