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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Nancy Ames born 30 September 1937



Nancy Ames (born September 30th 1937 as Nancy Hamilton Alfaro) is an American folk singer and songwriter. She regularly appeared on the American version of the television series  “That Was the Week That Was”

She was born in Washington, DC. She is the granddaughter of Ricardo Joaquín Alfaro (1882–1971), who served as President of Panama from 1931 to 1932. The daughter of a physician, she grew up in Washington. She attended Holton Arms College and Bennett College, both of them for girls. By 1964 she was married to Romanian hypnotist Triaian Boyer. By 1968, they had divorced. After the divorce with Boyer, she got married to jay Riviere, a golf course designer, whom she also later divorced.  

Her performing career included the Broadway stage, television, recordings, supper clubs and concerts. 

Her “on camera” television years included starring on NBC TV’s “That Was the Week That Was” as the show’s singing and acting signature “TW3 Girl”,12 years as a guest headliner on Ed Sullivan, Hollywood Palace and the gamut of star-hosted Variety Shows until the late 70’s.
 
A folk singer with a partially Latin repertoire, she was signed to Liberty Records; her first album was entitled Cu Cu Rru Cu Cu La Paloma.  She broke the top 100 twice in 1966; "He Wore the Green Beret," her answer song to Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler's "Ballad of the Green Berets," hit number 89, and later in the year "Cry Softly" also placed in the charts.  



She recorded thirteen albums and co-wrote, with Mason Williams, the theme to The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967). Also with Williams wrote the 1960s novelty classic ‘Cinderella Rockefella’, which has been covered by many artists including Jennifer Warnes, but is best remembered as a cover by the husband and wife duo Esther and Abi Ofarim. This version reached number one in Britain, Germany and all over the continent. 
 
Since 1972, she has lived in Houston, Texas, where she headlined her own television show, "The Nancy Ames Show", for five years on the NBC affiliate station. She performed live concerts throughout the world until 1987. 


She and her husband, Danny Ward, run an event-planning company, Ward & Ames Special Events; and she and her daughter, Nancy Riviere, have a jewellery company, Alfaro Designs, that sells the jewellery she designs based on wine motifs. In 2002, she started her wine-related jewellery company Alfaro, A Nancy Ames Collection, for wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs. She is also a  Chevalier in La Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. 
 
She is also a renowned gastronome winning Food & Wine Magazine’s top culinary award, Co-Founder of The Plumeria Society of America and a gardener specializing in orchids and tropical plants.  (Info edited from Wikipedia, IMDB & ward&ames.com)
 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Billy Strange born 29 September 1936

 

William Everett "Billy" Strange (September 29, 1930 – February 22, 2012) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor. He was a session musician with the famed Wrecking Crew, and

was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum as a member of The Wrecking Crew in 2007.
 
Billy Strange was born in Long Beach, California on September 29, 1930. Started performing with his mother and father, cowboy entertainers George and Billie Strange, on radio as a young boy and won a yodelling contest.  He initially learned the trumpet; however his asthmatic condition impeded his playing ability. At the age of fourteen, his parents bought him a guitar. He had toured Texas with his father and when he returned home to the West Coast, he established himself as a regular presence on television. A separation from music led him to a period as a truck driver and stunt man, but his love for harmony lured him back with an emphasis on the country genre. 

He initially worked as a country guitarist, backing Spade Cooley, Roy Rogers, The Sons of the Pioneers, Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant in the 1950s. He also served a stint in Count Basie’s band. During the 1960s, he became a part of the famed stable of session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew". He teamed up with Mac Davis to write several hit songs for Elvis Presley, including "A Little Less Conversation", the theme from Charro!, and "Memories". Strange also composed the musical soundtrack for two of Presley's films Live a Little, Love a Little and The Trouble with Girls. He also wrote "Limbo Rock" that was recorded by The Champs and Chubby Checker. 
Strange recorded many cover versions of James Bond movie themes for GNP Crescendo Records and provided the instrumental backing and arrangement for Nancy Sinatra's non-soundtrack version of "You Only Live Twice" as well as Nancy and Frank Sinatra's "Somethin' Stupid". He was recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame for his pioneering contribution to the genre. 
Strange played guitar on numerous Beach Boys hits, including "Sloop John B" and the Pet Sounds album. He also played guitar for Nancy Sinatra, Jan & Dean, The Ventures, Willie Nelson, The Everly Brothers, Wanda Jackson, Randy Newman, and Nat King Cole, among others. One of his most famous performances is on Nancy Sinatra's version of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)". 
 
In the 1970s, Strange settled in Nashville to open a publishing company for the Sinatra family. He arranged and conducted all of Nancy Sinatra's Reprise albums as well as Nancy Sinatra's and Lee Hazlewood's 1972 RCA Records release, Nancy & Lee Again and their 2003 album, Nancy & Lee 3. He also arranged the 1981 Sinatra and Mel Tillis album, Mel & Nancy. He arranged and conducted for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Duane Eddy, and Elvis Presley. One of his most famous arrangements was "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" for Nancy Sinatra. Strange also performed the vocals for Steve McQueen in Baby the Rain Must Fall.
 
 


Heard on the soundtracks of many Disney features, Strange played themes for such TV shows as "The Munsters" (1964), "Batman" (1966) and "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957). He is the guitarist heard on the theme to "The Munsters". He sang his own composition, "The Ballad of Bunny and Claude", in the Merrie Melodies Bunny And Claude (We Rob Carrot Patches) (1968) and The Great Carrot-Train Robbery (1969). 
 
Strange was married to singer and actress Joan O'Brien from 1954 to 1955. They had a son, Russell Glen Strange, born on October 4, 1955. He was also married to Betty Jo Conrad (son: Jerry Strange) from 1960 to 1978. They had a daughter together, Kelly Kimberly Strange, born on November 11, 1964.

 
Strange was married to Country singer Jeanne Black in his final years. After a brief illness he died on February 22, 2012, aged 81. (Info edited from various sources, mainly Wikipedia) 

Billy Strange -The amazing Man with the guitar - interview - part 1 & 2




Monday, 28 September 2015

Koko Taylor born 28 September 1928


Koko Taylor (September 28, 1928 – June 3, 2009) was an American blues musician, popularly known as the "Queen of the Blues." She was known primarily for her rough, powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings.

Born Cora Walton in Shelby County, Tennessee, Taylor was the daughter of a sharecropper. Taylor often worked in the fields with her father and five brothers and sisters, and received her nickname "Koko" because of her love of chocolate. 

 
Like many modern era blues singers, Taylor began by singing gospel music in the church, but picked up her love of the blues after hearing artists like Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith on the radio. 

She left Memphis for Chicago, Illinois in 1952 with her husband, truck driver Robert "Pops" Taylor. In the late 1950s she began singing in Chicago blues clubs. She was spotted by Willie Dixon in 1962, and this led to wider performances and her first recording contract.  
 
 

 

In 1965, Taylor was signed by Chess Records where she recorded "Wang Dang Doodle," a song written by Dixon and recorded by Howlin' Wolf five years earlier. The song became a hit, reaching number four on the R&B charts in 1966, and selling a million copies. Taylor recorded several versions of "Wang Dang Doodle" over the years, including a live version at the 1967 American Folk Blues Festival with harmonica player Little Walter and guitarist Hound Dog Taylor. Taylor subsequently recorded more material, both original and covers, but never repeated that initial chart success. 

National touring in the late 1960s and early 1970s improved her fan base, and she became accessible to a wider record-buying public when she signed with Alligator Records in 1975. Taylor became one of the first Chicago blues performer to cross over to a white audience, and as she moved further outside of the Chicago area to perform, her popularity grew even larger.  

An appearance at the 1972 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival was captured by a live compilation album released by Atlantic Records, introducing a national audience to Taylor's talents. 

She recorded nine albums for Alligator, 8 of which were Grammy-nominated, and came to dominate the female blues singer ranks, winning twenty five W. C. Handy Awards (more than any other artist). After her recovery from a near-fatal car crash in 1989, the 1990s found Taylor in films such as Blues Brothers 2000 and Wild at Heart, and she opened a blues club on Division Street in Chicago in 1994, but it closed in 1999. 

Taylor overcame poverty, tragedy, and physical infirmity to become one of the most popular blues singers in the world, male or female. Her dynamic live performances and recordings have influenced countless young musicians, including artists like Bonnie Raitt, Shemekia Copeland, and Susan Tedeschi.In the years prior to her death; she performed over 70 concerts a year and resided just south of Chicago in Country Club Hills, Illinois. 

In 2008, the Internal Revenue Service said that Taylor owed $400,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest. Her tax problems concerned 1998, 2000 and 2001; for those years combined, her adjusted gross income was $949,000. 

 
Taylor died on June 3, 2009, after complications from surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding on May 19, 2009. Her final performance was at the Blues Music Awards, on May 7, 2009. (Info edited from About.com & Wikipedia)
 


    Koko Taylor and her band in Montreal, 1980.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Bernard Miles born 27 September 1920


Bernard James Miles, Baron Miles of Blackfriars, CBE (27 September 1907 – 14 June 1991) was an English character actor, writer and director. He opened the Mermaid Theatre in London in 1959, the first new theatre opened in the City of London since the 17th century. 

Miles was born in Uxbridge, Middlesex and attended Bishopshalt School in Hillingdon. His father and mother were, respectively, a farm labourer and a cook.

Miles completed his education at Pembroke College, Oxford and then entered the theatre in the 1930s. He also soon began appearing in films and featured prominently in patriotic cinema during the Second World War, including classics such as In Which We Serve and One of Our Aircraft Is Missing. He also had an uncredited role in The First of the Few (released in the US as Spitfire). 

His typical persona as an actor was as a countryman, with a strong accent typical of the Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire counties. He was also, after Robert Newton, the actor most associated with the part of Long John Silver, which he played in a British TV version of Treasure Island, and in an annual performance at the Mermaid commencing in the winter of 1961-62.  

Actors in the annual theatrical productions included Spike Milligan as Ben Gunn, and, in the 1968 production, Barry Humphries as Long John Silver. It was Miles who, impressed by the talent of John Antrobus, originally commissioned him to write a play of some sort. This led to Antrobus collaborating with Milligan to produce a one-act play called The Bed Sitting Room, which was later adapted to a longer play, and staged by Miles at The Mermaid on 31 January 1963, with both critical and commercial success. 
 
 

 
He had a pleasant rolling bass-baritone voice that worked well in theatre and film, as well as being much in demand for voice-overs. As a performer, he was most well known for a series of comic monologues, often given in a rural dialect. These were recorded and sold as record albums, which were quite popular. Some of his comic monologues are currently available on youtube.com. 

Miles was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1953, was knighted in 1969, and was created a life peer as Baron Miles, of Blackfriars in the City of London on 7 February 1979. He was only the second British actor ever to be given a peerage (the first was Laurence Olivier). 

Miles's written works include The British Theatre (1947), God's Brainwave (1972) and Favourite Tales from Shakespeare (1972). In 1981, he co-authored the book Curtain Calls with J.C. Trewin. 

 
He died in Knaresborough, Yorkshire on 14 June 1991 aged 83. 

His daughters are the actress Sally Miles and the artist Bridget Miles. His son John Miles was a Grand Prix driver in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the Lotus team.(Info Wikipedia)
 

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Marty Robbins born 26 September 1925


Marty Robbins (September 26, 1925 – December 8, 1982) was one of the most popular and successful American country and western singers of his era. For most of his nearly four decade career, Robbins was rarely far from the country music charts. Several of his songs also became pop hits.   

Robbins was born Martin David Robinson in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona. He was reared in a difficult family situation. His father took odd jobs to support the family of ten children. His father's drinking led to divorce in 1937. Among his warmer memories of his childhood, Robbins recalled having listened to stories of the American West told by his maternal grandfather, Texas Bob Heckle, a former Texas Ranger and medicine show performer.  

Robbins left the troubled home at the age of seventeen to serve in the United States Navy as an LCT coxswain during World War II. He was stationed in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. To pass the time during the war, he learned to play the guitar, started writing songs, and came to love Hawaiian music. 

After his discharge from the military in 1945, he began to play at local venues in Phoenix, then moved on to host his own radio station show on KTYL. He thereafter had his own television (TV) show on KPHO in Phoenix. After Little Jimmy Dickens made a guest appearance on Robbins' TV show, Dickens got Robbins a record deal with Columbia Records. Robbins became an immensely popular singing star at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennnessee. He was especially known for his kindness toward his many fans.

In 1948, Robbins married the former Marizona Baldwin (September 11, 1930 - July 10, 2001) to whom he dedicated his song My Woman, My Woman, My Wife. They had two children, a son, Ronnie Robbins (born 1949), and a daughter, Janet (born 1959). 



His musical accomplishments include the first Grammy Award ever awarded for a country song, for his 1959 hit and signature song "El Paso", taken from his album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. "El Paso" was also the first song to hit #1 on the pop chart in the 1960s. He won the Grammy Award for the Best Country & Western Recording 1961, for his follow-up album More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, and was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1970, for "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife." Robbins was named "Artist of the Decade" (1960-69) by the Academy of Country Music, was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982, and was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998 for his song "El Paso".

In addition to his recordings and performances, Robbins was an avid race car driver, competing in NASCAR races, including the Daytona 500. In 1967, Robbins played himself in the car racing film Hell on Wheels.  

In August 1969 Robbins suffered a heart attack, and on January 27, 1970, he underwent bypass surgery, which was still in the experimental stages then. The operation was a success, and he recovered quickly. On April 13, 1970, he received the Man of the Decade Award from the Academy of Country Music (ACM).  

The last year of Robbins’s life was climatic. In May 1982 “Some Memories Just Won’t Die” made the country Top Ten, and in October Billboard recognized his renewed success by awarding him its Artist Resurgence Award as the performer who had seen the greatest career revival during the past year. On October 11, 1982, Robbins was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It was only seven weeks before he suffered a heart attack, on December 2. Robbins died December 8, 1982, at age fifty-seven.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Dee Dee Warwick born 25 September 1945


Delia Mae Warrick, known as Dee Dee Warwick (September 25, 1942 – October 18, 2008) was an American soul singer. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she was the sister of Dionne Warwick, niece of Cissy Houston and the cousin of Whitney Houston. Celebrated in the 1960s and early 1970s for the beauty of her voice and appearance, her career was overshadowed by record-company mismanagement and the fame of her sibling, older by five years. 

Born Delia Mae Warrick in East Orange, New Jersey, Dee Dee came from a family who were prominent members of the East Coast gospel community. Her father was the director of gospel promotion for the Chicago black-music powerhouse Chess Records, while her mother managed the Drinkard Singers, a gospel group that recorded for Savoy, Verve and RCA Victor during the 1950s. 
 
The Drinkard Singers were led by Dee Dee's aunt, Cissy Houston (the mother of Whitney Houston), and both Dee Dee and Dionne sang with the group as teenagers. The sisters then formed a trio called the Gospelaires that sang both in church and on secular recording sessions in the late 1950s. Dee Dee's dulcet tones graced hundreds of soul and pop recordings over the next decade and she can be heard on hits cut by Garnet Mimms, the Drifters, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone. 

Dionne Warwick was discovered by the songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David in early 1963. Dee Dee was signed later that year by the celebrated song writing-production team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and, following her sister's lead, changed her surname from Warrick to Warwick.  

Leiber & Stoller produced her first single, You're No Good. Although not a hit when it was released, the song became a US hit for Betty Everett in 1964 (and a UK No 3 when covered by the Swinging Blue Jeans) and topped the US charts in 1975 when sung by Linda Ronstadt. Leiber & Stoller tried again with Standing By (1964), but the single failed and Warwick signed with Blue Rock, a black-music subsidiary of Mercury Records and, with Ed Townsend as the producer, scored R&B top 30 hits with We're Doing Fine and I Want To Be With You.  

Dee Dee's 1966 hit I'm Gonna Make You Love Me was remade into a huge pop hit the following year by Madeline Bell and then reached No 2 in the US pop charts (No 3 in the UK) when recorded as a duet between the Supremes and the Temptations. Warwick continued to issue high-quality soul music, her records possessing stronger rhythmic and gospel vocals than those of her sister, and in 1969 she scored an R&B and pop hit with Foolish Fool. The song won Warwick a Grammy nomination and a guest spot singing on Dick Cavett's popular talk show.
 
 


She then signed with Atco, a subsidiary of Atlantic, and was sent to Miami to record with top session band the Dixie Flyers, immediately enjoying a top 10 R&B hit with She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking). This won Warwick her second Grammy nomination. Her 1970 album Turning Around was well received, yet her career stalled, with the singles Suspicious Minds and Cold Night in Georgia being minor R&B chart hits. 

Dee Dee returned to Mercury in 1973, claiming that Atlantic concentrated its energies on Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack to the detriment of her career. In 1975 she enjoyed an R&B hit with Get Out of My Life. It was her last chart placing. Thereafter, she recorded for a variety of small labels before concentrating on providing backing vocals for commercial sessions. 

After several years away from the recording studio, Dee Dee Warwick made her final recordings in the mid-80s: in 1984 her album Dee Dee Warwick, Call Me was released on Sutra Records and she subsequently recorded for Heritage. After living in Los Angeles for a number of years, Warwick became a resident of Georgia in 1994. Dee Dee received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1999. 

In January 2008, Dee Dee was featured in the title song from Dionne's gospel album, Why We Sing. In February 2008, she continued her background vocals for Dionne's one-woman show My Music and Me in Europe. 

 Dee Dee struggled with narcotics addiction for many years and was in failing health for some time. Her sister was with her when she died on October 18, 2008 in a nursing home in Essex County, New Jersey, aged 66. (Info edited mainly from The Guardian obit)



Here's Dee Dee singing  I WANT TO BE WITH YOU Taken from SHIVAREE (JULY 17TH YEAR 1965) SEASON 1 EPISODE 25

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Herb Jeffries born 24 September 1916


Herb Jeffries (born Umberto Alexander Valentino; September 24, 1913 – May 25, 2014) was an American actor of film and television and popular music and jazz singer-songwriter, known of his baritone voice, he was of African descent and was Hollywood's first singing black cowboy.
 
Born Herbert Jeffrey, he was the son of Umberto Balentino, a pianist of African-American and Sicilan descent and his wife, Mildred, who was of Irish descent. More specifically he was of of Ethiopian-French Canadian and Italian-Irish descent. The family lived in a rented home on 224 Watson Street in Detroit's third ward. 

Jeffries was a singing star with Earl “Fatha” Hines  before he became the “Bronze Buckaroo,” starring in all-black Hollywood westerns as Herbert Jeffrey. He helped raise money to make the films in which he was billed as “The Singing Cowboy.” He also hired Spencer Williams to appear with him. In addition to starring in the film, Jeffries sang and performed his own stunts as the cowboy character, "Bob Blake."

 In a time of American racial segregation these films played mostly in theatres catering to African American audiences. The films can be found on video and are titled "Harlem on the Prairie", "The Bronze Buckaroo", "Harlem Rides the Range" and "Two Gun Man from Harlem". 
 
 



Whist making the films between 1937 and 1939, Duke Ellington heard him at the Apollo Theatre and hired him. His rich baritone and huge range made him a popular singer, and he stayed with the band until 1943. “Flamingo” became a nickname for him because of his rendition of that song which sold over 50 million copies. He is also closely associated with “Satin Doll,” and he introduced “Angel Eyes” with the band. In 1941 he appeared in the stage show Jump for Joy. He was replaced by Al Hibbler in 1943.  

After service in WWII, Jeffries was in a plane accident in 1948. Pain from his injuries led him to study with an Indian spiritualist Paramhansa Yogananda who founded the Self-Realization Fellowship and who taught him yoga and healing practices.  

In the 50's, he appeared in a handful of Hollywood films. He then
made a decision to move to France, where he spent a decade running a night club frequented by many a Hollywood personality. He appeared in some 60's TV shows, had a period of limited exposure, and then in 1995, aged 81, Herb recorded a Nashville album of songs on the Warner Western label titled The Bronze Buckaroo (Rides Again).  

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Herb Jeffries has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6672 Hollywood Blvd.  In 2004, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

In 2007, while assembling materials for the producers of a documentary film about him, "A Coloured Life," Jeffries ran across his birth certificate, which reminded him that he actually had been born in 1913—not 1911—but that he had fibbed about his age after he left home as a youngster looking for a job. So he celebrated turning 95 twice. 
 
He appeared at jazz festivals and events benefiting autism and other developmental problems and lectured at colleges and universities. He supported music education in schools. In June 2010, aged 96, Jeffries performed to raise funds for the Oceanside (California) Unified School District's music program, accompanied by the Big Band Jazz Hall of Fame Orchestra under the direction of clarinettist Tad Calcara. This benefit concert was his second (the previous concert was in 2001).
 
 
In later years, he resided in Wichita, Kansas. He died of heart failure at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center on May 25, 2014, at the age of 100, although he was known to exaggerate his age.
  (Info edited from various sources mainly Wikipedia)
 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Albert Ammons born 23 September 1907


Albert Ammons (September 23, 1907 – December 2, 1949) was an American pianist and player of boogie-woogie, a bluesy jazz style popular from the late 1930s into the mid-1940s. 

Born Albert C. Ammons in Chicago, Illinois, his parents were pianists, and he had learned to play by the age of ten. His interest in boogie-woogie is attributed to his close friendship with Meade Lux Lewis and also his father's interest in the style. Both Albert and Meade would practice together on the piano in the Ammons household. 
 
From the age of ten, Ammons learned about chords by marking the depressed keys on the family pianola (player piano) with a pencil and repeated the process until he had mastered it. He also played percussion in the drum and bugle corps as a teenager and was soon performing with bands on the Chicago club scene. After World War I he became interested in the blues, learning by listening to Chicago pianists Hersal Thomas and the brothers Alonzo and Jimmy Yancey.

In the early to mid-1920s Ammons worked as a cab driver for the Silver Taxicab Company. In 1924 he met back up with boyhood friend and fellow taxi driver Meade Lux Lewis. Soon the two players began working as a team, performing at club parties. Ammons started his own band at the Club DeLisa in 1934 and remained at the club for the next two years. During that time he played with a five piece unit that included Guy Kelly, Dalbert Bright, Jimmy Hoskins, and Israel Crosby. Ammons also recorded as Albert Ammons's Rhythm Kings for Decca Records in 1936. The Rhythm Kings' version of "Swanee River Boogie" sold a million copies. 


Ammons moved from Chicago to New York, where he teamed up with another pianist, Pete Johnson. The two performed regularly at the Café Society, occasionally joined by Lewis, and performed with other jazz musicians such as Benny Goodman and Harry James. 

In 1938 Ammons appeared at Carnegie Hall with Johnson and Lewis at From Spirituals to Swing, an event that helped launch the boogie-woogie craze. Two weeks later, record producer Alfred Lion, who had attended John H. Hammond's From Spirituals to Swing concert on December 23, 1938, which had introduced Ammons and Lewis, started Blue Note Records, recording nine Ammons solos including "The Blues" and "Boogie Woogie Stomp", eight by Lewis and a pair of duets in a one-day session in a rented studio.
 
 


In 1941, Ammons' boogie music was accompanied by drawn-on-film animation in the short film Boogie-Doodle by Norman McLaren. Ammons played himself in the movie Boogie-Woogie Dream (1944), with Lena Horne and Johnson. As a sideman with Sippie Wallace in the 1940s Ammons recorded a session with his son, the tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons.
 
Although the boogie-woogie fad began to die down in 1945, Ammons had no difficulty securing work. He continued to tour as a solo artist, and between 1946 and 1949 recorded his last sides for Mercury Records, with bassist Israel Crosby, and took on the position of staff pianist with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra.

On August 6, 1947, Albert's son, up-and-coming tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, joined him as a member of "Albert Ammons And His Rhythm Kings" for a Mercury recording session. This, very likely, was the first father-and-son recording team in jazz. 

In 1949 he played at President Harry S. Truman's inauguration. During the last few years of his life Ammons played mainly in Chicago's Beehive Club and the Tailspin Club, and just four days before he died he had been at the Yancey apartment listening to Don Ewell and Jimmy Yancey play. Albert himself could only play one song, having just regained the use of his hands after a temporary paralysis. 

Albert Ammons died from a heart attack on December 2, 1949, in Chicago and was interred at the Lincoln Cemetery, at Kedzie Avenue in Blue Island, Worth Township, Cook County, Illinois. Even following his death, the pianist continued to assert a strong influence over a new generation of pianists, including Erroll Garner and Ray Bryant.

Boogie-woogie was an invigorating art form that bridged the gap between jazz, blues, R&B and eventually rock and roll. Albert Ammons represented boogie-woogie's highest level of artistic achievement.  (Info mainly Wikipedia)
 


Fabulous piano duet by Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson with Boogie Woogie Dream from 1944. The girl is a very young Lena Horne!