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Dick Parker's Music  |  Music Dick Parker Likes

Ashokan Farewell

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Jay Ungar, 1982

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Size: 1,919kb, uploaded 1/9/2010 3:06:02 PM
Genre: Fiddle/Celtic/Irish / Playing Style: Other

No banjo on this tune, but I'll put it up for a little while in response to a couple comments I just ran across in a BHO discussion. The fiddler is my oldest daughter, Laurie, pictured at left <------ on my lap when she was 2 or 3 years old in 1980 or 81. I just played chords behind her... As a college student, she had been playing and singing with a rock band (I'd call it) but in 1997 was heading off to Scotland for a year of study abroad. I sat her down with a tape recorder in the living room to do some music with her, feeling it was the end of a chapter in our lives. As it turned out, she made connections at the University of Glasgow, went back for grad school and got a Ph.D in chemistry there and is now an assistant professor at Purdue U. in Indiana. And just gave birth to our first grandchild. No more fiddling in the living room.

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At the Jazz Band Ball

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Larry Shields /Nick LaRocca, 1918

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Size: 5,128kb, uploaded 1/29/2010 8:43:35 PM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: Other

Early Reggie Hacksenflax Society Dance Band -- Another from the morning of Jan. 9, 1982, with Stan Hall on piano and Bill Price on cornet, two professionals coaching our amateur band in a basement rehearsal. I'm playing my B&D Super tenor in lowered Chicago tuning.

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Banjo Medley

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Hamm, Bennett, Lown, Gray; Yellen & Cobb, 1915; Gilbert, 1921; Muir, Gilbert

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- Play count: 3391

Size: 5,046kb, uploaded 11/29/2009 10:18:40 AM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

The Fern Dale Memorial Banjo Band -- on this occasion, eight plectrums and a tenor, plus trombone, bass, drums and two washboards -- at the Mouldy Figs' 30th anniversary bash in suburban Minneapolis, Minn., on Feb. 9, 2003. I arranged it, so to speak, and lead off with a bit of "Rhapsody in Blue" on my 1926 B&D Silver Bell #1 plectrum, then we carve up "Bye Bye Blues," "Alabama Jubilee,""Down Yonder" and "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee." There's a picture of the band in my album here.

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Freezing the Blues

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Lewis, Young, Conrad, Robinson, 1927

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- Play count: 213

Size: 3,716kb, uploaded 12/6/2009 12:05:29 PM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: Other

Early Reggie Hacksenflax Society Dance Band. I debated whether to put this up or not. The banjo work is nothing special, just rhythm. But it's one of my favorite memories of learning about jazz from seasoned musicians, and it happened on a very cold Minnesota morning. It was Jan. 9, 1982, our regular Saturday morning practice in Al Holbert's basement. Even though it was 15 to 20 below zero outside, Bill Price and Stan Hall showed up to coach us. Bill was a cornetist who made a name for himself in Chicago before he moved to Minnesota; Stan was a pianist and co-founder of the Hall Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band and the Emporium of Jazz, which are included in the Minnesota Historical Society's MN150 exhibit ( http://discovery.mnhs.org/MN150/index.php?title=Hall_Brothers_New_Orleans_Jazz_Band ). In this clip we are working on an arrangement of the Bix classic "Singin' the Blues" based on Frank Trumbauer's sax chorus. Barbara Holbert arrives home from an errand and says, "The world is freezing!" Al, Bill and Stan are all gone now.

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Georgia Swing

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Jelly Roll Morton, 1906

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Size: 3,660kb, uploaded 12/3/2009 9:43:57 PM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

The Reggie Hacksenflax Society Dance Band in 1987 at the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota, Minn. I played my B&D Super tenor, guitar tuning. This was taped with a portable recorder at a table, so the balance isn't great; hope you can hear the banjo chorus.

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Mendota Bridge Song

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Contest winner, 1926

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Size: 2,038kb, uploaded 8/1/2012 12:20:15 PM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Today (Aug. 1, 2012) is the fifth anniversary of the collapse of a major freeway bridge into downtown Minneapolis, with 13 fatalities. Without intending to I happened to come upon a tune I recorded for online listening when I was doing a weekly historical feature for the city's daily newspaper, the Star Tribune. The date was in November 2006, and the article was about the 80th anniversary of the dedication of the Mendota Bridge at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, which is almost 86 years old now and still hasn't collapsed (to be fair, it has been extensively updated). In its day it was the longest concrete bridge of its type in the world. Back at the opening in 1926, the newspaper held a contest for the best song about the bridge. This was the winner, written by a Minneapolis woman. I tried to sing it, accompanying myself on my 1929 Gibson TB-1, and the paper's website had it up for a while with my story.

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Once In a While

Posted by Dick Parker, written by W. Butler

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Size: 4,497kb, uploaded 12/4/2009 1:52:10 PM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Red Beans & Rice at the Loring Bar in Minneapolis, February 1997. A 1920s tune that Louis Armstrong did. I was playing my 1928 B&D Super tenor, guitar tuning.

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Saints Go Marching In - part 1

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Author Unknown (traditional)

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Size: 4,006kb, uploaded 12/4/2009 1:57:29 PM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Red Beans & Rice at the Loring Bar in Minneapolis, February 1997. Our finale for the 9-midnight gig. A Dixieland standard with my wife Deb on vocal. I was playing my 1928 B&D Super tenor in guitar tuning. A long number, so I split it into two parts to post here. There's a 1999 picture of the band at the Loring in my Photos section. Trumpet: the late Gene Adams; Bone: the late Dale Canfield; clarinet: Bob Watson; tuba: Ralph Campbell...

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Saints Go Marching In - part 2

Posted by Dick Parker

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Size: 3,284kb, uploaded 12/4/2009 1:58:58 PM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Red Beans & Rice at the Loring Bar in Minneapolis, February 1997. Our finale for the 9-midnight gig. A Dixieland standard with my wife Deb on vocal. I was playing my 1928 B&D Super tenor in guitar tuning. A long number, so I split it into two parts to post here. There's a 1999 picture of the band at the Loring in my Photos section. Drums: Bob Stacke. Scat co-vocal: Gene Adams. I hope you can get a sense of how much fun we had. I sure miss Gene and Dale.

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Silver Bells

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans

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Size: 3,121kb, uploaded 12/1/2009 11:29:39 PM
Genre: Popular / Playing Style: Other

Here's another one from our family Christmas CD. Daughter Amy again, backed by her mom, my wife Deb. I'm sticking my (4-string) neck out a little here; pianist/engineer Mike multi-tracked it again and I tried playing along with myself on mandolin and Vega (not Silver Bell) plectrum in sort of a well-meaning train wreck behind the sweet voices.

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Stackolee

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Lopez, Colwell

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Size: 5,025kb, uploaded 12/11/2009 9:25:39 AM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Here's a slow tune for a change, again from the 1987 performance at the Emporium of Jazz. I like the way it kind of builds and marches along relentlessly.

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Sunny Side of the Street

Posted by Dick Parker, written by McHugh and Fields, 1930

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Size: 2,856kb, uploaded 1/19/2010 6:28:35 PM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: Other

I was with the Winona Calliope Band in two Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans in February, 2009. The band accompanies a 1939 circus-wagon steam calliope that makes the trip each year from Winona, Minn. This was one of the numbers we played in the Endymion Parade, which wound through the city for five hours on Saturday night of Mardi Gras weekend. The automatic gain control on my little digital recorder adjusted itself to the rather earsplitting volume of the calliope, so the balance isn't too good. I was playing my trusty -- and loud -- Silver Bell plectrum.

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The Chant

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Mel Stitzel

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Size: 4,039kb, uploaded 12/22/2009 10:04:38 AM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Reggie Hacksenflax Society Dance Band at the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota, Minn., in December 1982. This is our cover of the 1926 Jelly Roll Morton recording in our first concert at the Emporium. Trombonist/leader Al Holbert can be heard calling audibles, and the live recording balance isn't the best. Piano player Jeff Taylor had just graduated from Carleton College with a music degree and was working a minimum-wage day job. He's now an associate professor of musicology at Brooklyn College in New York.

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This Train/Mama Don't 'Low

Posted by Dick Parker

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Size: 2,018kb, uploaded 12/5/2009 2:32:31 PM
Genre: Folk / Playing Style: Other

Our folk group, the Strictly People, in 1963 -- about the only tune on the lone surviving mushy tape where you can hear the banjo; I believe it's my brother doing his best to emulate Dave Guard. I think I do the "gittar playin'." To get some reverb, we recorded it in a hallway of the high school on a Saturday. Hmm -- Maybe I should have left this session resting in the glow of nostalgic memory rather than digging out that tape...

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Tishomingo Blues

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Spencer Williams

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- Play count: 237

Size: 2,121kb, uploaded 2/13/2010 11:52:18 AM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: Other

Recorded the banjo track in October 2009, trying out the new Ebbe tone ring in my TB-1. Played with metal fingerpicks in Chicago tuning. As always, there are some rough spots -- in my playing, not the banjo or the picks. Added the guitar track Feb. 12, 2010, with my 1939 Epiphone Triumph. Got a little uncoordinated in the final bars...

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Toot-Toot Tootsie, Goodbye

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Dan Russo, Gus Kahn & Ernie Erdman

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- Play count: 1052

Size: 1,522kb, uploaded 1/19/2010 6:33:52 PM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Recorded this in October 2009 after Arthur Hatfield installed one of Paul Ebbe's Mastertone-type flathead tone rings in my TB-1. Don't think this recording really captures the banjo's new richness of tone. Played it with a flatpick in Chicago (guitar) tuning.

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White Christmas

Posted by Dick Parker, written by Irving Berlin, 1942

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- Play count: 1107

Size: 3,147kb, uploaded 11/14/2009 6:09:13 PM
Genre: Popular / Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Accompanying my daughter Amy in the spare-bedroom studio of a friend who plays keyboard. We overdubbed a second track on this, one of the songs on a homebrew Christmas CD for family members. Playing a 1930 Vegaphone Professional plectrum in Chicago (guitar) tuning. (Please forgive the random notes at the end.)

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