Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Joy of Music

I have long been interested in RCA arranger-producer-conductor Leonard Joy.  His major claim to fame is that he was the studio producer of Coleman Hawkins' inarguably legendary 1939 "Body and Soul." The recording was Joy's idea, one that Hawk initially resisted, according to info about the latter. Also discovered Gene Autry. But that is just for starters. There are several hundred very nice "business man's bounce" thirties studio recordings Joy arranged, conducted, and produced, under various names, i.e. The High Hatters, The Southerners, etc. Also produced (and also arranged?) the majority of Victor Gene Austin, plus Helen (Boop-a-Doop) Kane, Helen Morgan, Victor Light Opera Company (versatile!),
Earlier today I decided it was just about time for me to check out some biographical info on him on the net. I did. But there is virtually nothing. Nada, zip, Mount Rushmore. . . I even delved into the complete NYT 20th Century index, but all I could uncover were display ads and radio listings.  I can find recordings by him for Decca up through about 1945. Not that long ago. Strange, then, that he has fallen so far beneath radar.

UPDATE: Finally found his obit and a lot more info. He turns out to be one of the most interesting music jazz-pop figures of the last century. Just for starters, HE was the first to record Count Basie and not John Hammond (not that there's anything wrong with that). Directly had his finger in the pie, in once capacity or other, on at least 500 sides!

1 comment:

Meredith Brody said...

Coolio! Your obsessions are SO interesting to me, Dr. Bill!