Saturday, August 22, 2009

Factual Errors Present In Commercial Appeal Story Concerning Jimmie Lunceford's Brass Note Dedication

“Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper”
~George Orwell

Tha Artivist Says: The following is what I wrote to Jody Callahan, the author of the error-proned article about Jimmie Lunceford and the Beale Street Brass Note Dedication which appeared in The Memphis Commercial Appeal...In terms of the brass note dedication itself I will talk about in a later post...However, I do think it is rather important to correct mistakes which may be crucial in putting anything in proper context...I do not believe Ms. Callahan did this on purpose or out of malice, but rather ignorance concerning the topic and subject matter...Unfortunately, she is not alone...It is truly sad that Memphis has neglected the legacy of such an important and dynamic figure in our collective cultural heritage...This is bigger than Jimmie Lunceford and Memphis of course...After my message to Ms. Callahan please read her article!!!


Dear Jody,
Your story about Jimmie Lunceford getting a brass note on Beale Street in July 2009 had some factual errors in it.

He was born June 6,1902, in Fulton, Mississippi not Missouri...He first recorded for the Victor label on June 6, 1930 (on his 28th birthday) in Memphis,TN not Cleveland, Ohio...And his orchestra made their Cotton Club debut in 1934 not 1933...

View the ‘Real Talk With Tha Artivist’ Memphis Comcast Cable TV Special, “And Rhythm Was His Business…Jimmie Lunceford: Memphis Music Legend” in three parts online…

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

For More Information About Jimmie Lunceford & The Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Please Visit The Official Website:


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~2nd Annual Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Radio Program:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~1st Annual Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Radio Program:

Buy Jimmie Lunceford Art & Gear To Support The Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Movement...


Jimmie Lunceford Added To Beale Street Walk Of Fame

Brad Luttrell/The Commercial Appeal

James Thompson, president of the Manassas High School Alumni Association, accepts the Walk of Fame brass note for Jimmie Lunceford on Beale Street on Sunday.

By Jody Callahan
The Memphis Commercial Appeal
Monday, July 20, 2009

Jazz aficionado Jack Schaffer laments that big-band leader Jimmie Lunceford is often overlooked on a scorecard of the style's greats.

But soon, anyone who wanders down Beale Street can see Lunceford's name engraved on a brass note as part of the street's Walk of Fame.

Late Sunday afternoon, a group of jazz fans and others gathered to dedicate the 20-pound brass note commemorating Lunceford.

It's expected to be installed in August in the concrete just outside the entrance to Handy Park.

"Jimmie Lunceford is an unsung hero," said Schaffer, a member of the Mid-South Jazz Foundation.

Lunceford was born in 1902 in Fulton, Mo., and earned a degree from Fisk University in 1925. He taught there for a year, then came to Memphis in 1926 to coach football at Manassas High School. But he soon started tutoring students in music. In 1927, the students formed a band that would be called the Chickasaw Syncopators.

Lunceford moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1930 and made his first recordings for the Victor label. In 1933, Lunceford and his orchestra played the famed Cotton Club in Harlem.

The orchestra went on to play around the world, earning accolades and comparisons with the likes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

Lunceford often returned to Memphis, holding classes for local musicians.

He died in 1947 and is buried in Memphis' Elmwood Cemetery.

Lunceford is part of what Schaffer calls an almost unknown jazz legacy in Memphis, more traditionally noted for its blues and rock.

"Jazz started in New Orleans," he said. "It migrated up the Mississippi and settled real hard here."

The Mid-South Jazz Foundation held a concert at the Memphis Drum Shop in June to raise money for the brass note, which will cost around $1,700 when fully installed, foundation volunteer Ken Hall said.

In August, two more brass notes are expected to be dedicated. The first, on Aug. 1, will be for Will Shade and the Memphis Jug Band, Hall said. The second on Aug. 13 will be for legendary deejay Dewey Phillips.
Scripps Lighthouse

© 2009 Scripps Newspaper Group — Online

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