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BOB MIELKE
(1927-2020)
West Coast Trombone Player

Bob Mielke was a superb musician.  His versatile trombone sound ranged from Kid Ory's New Orleans tailgate style to the Harlem swing of J.C. Higginbotham. 

Bob Mielke's Bearcats was one of the most popular and creative jazz bands of the Traditional Jazz revival movement, c. 1954-70.


RIP Bob (1927-2020)

My fond Farewell to Bob Mielke offers three dozen previously unpublished photos and fifty streaming audio tracks profiling this innovative bandleader and imaginative trombonist. 

Newly available exclusives include Mielke's New Bearcats (1991) and Joe Sullivan (1961) live on the San Francisco waterfront.

Photo of Mielke from the early 1950s. 

The passing of trombone player and bandleader Bob Mielke (1927-2020) at age 93 was the result of age and fragility.  He was in slow decline for decades, though able to play at parties and special events until recently.

Bob Mielke and The Bearcats Jazz Band, were a distinct and independent voice in the great Traditional Jazz revival that swept through San Francisco and environs in the mid-20th Century.  

Bob was one of the most imaginative trombonists to emerge from the Frisco Revival.  His personal trombone style fused elements from Kid Ory’s New Orleans tailgate tradition, the Harlem swing of J.C. Higginbotham and plunger mute techniques of Ellington’s “Tricky Sam” Nanton.

Trombone player Bob Mielke was active in the San Francisco Traditional Jazz scene from the 1940s until a few years ago.   His outstanding musicianship brought him to the attention of jazz greats as a young man.  By his mid-30s he’d performed or recorded with Sidney Bechet, Bunk Johnson, George Lewis, Bob Scobey, Joe Sullivan, Lu Watters, Wingie Manone, Muggsy Spanier and Barbara Dane and a half-dozen West Coast Jazz Bands.

Bob has been a bright light on the West Coast Jazz scene, creating a delightful body of work.  For a couple decades starting in 1968 he shared a gig playing the Oakland A’s Swingers jazz band and their baseball games with Dick Oxtot and band that often featured Bob Helm, Richard Hadlock, Bob Neighbor and others.


More music and rarities are found at the accompanying Bearcats archive.
  


EMPIRICAL LP/Tape (1955)


The ill-fated Empirical Stereo album is a jewel. The San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation eventually issued the music on CD in 1991 from existing second-generation sources.  The liner notes explain the back story, and apologize for the remaining but unavoidable flaws in “Ice Cream” and “Creole Song.”

Through the kindness of jazz collector Joe Spencer I have made fresh transfers from the original Empirical master tape.  Besides superb sound, this was a pioneering stereo recording utilizing a microphone technique known as mid-side

This allowed me to extract maximum detail and presence, while retaining the glorious ambiance of Jenny Lind Hall – well know as one the best sounding recording locations in Northern California.  An innovative technical and musical milestone may now be savored as it was first intended in the mid-1950s.


ARCHIVE MUSIC

Bob Mielke's Bearcats
Empirical EM-108 Master


Creole Song.mp3
Blue Guaiac Blues.mp3
Ice Cream.mp3
Sing On.mp3
My Lovin' Imogene.mp3
Bogalusa Strut.mp3
Weary Blues.mp3
 


Synthesizing an Independent Jazz Style

Mielke synthesized his own exciting trombone style with elements ranging from Kid Ory’s New Orleans tailgate tradition to the Harlem swing of J.C. Higginbotham and Ellington’s “Tricky Sam” Nanton.  Leading his own very popular Bearcats jazz band in the 1950-60s.  And he may have been the first to hire Frank "Big Boy" Goudie in the Bay Area c. 1957-58.

Mielke was particularly skillful at was carrying his solos back into the ensemble and providing excellent support for his fellow musicians.  He is a warm and personable man who has a deep understanding of the early jazz music to which he dedicated his life. 

As a soloist Mielke kept things interesting because he was brave enough to take the unexpected route.  His support for the other players is palpable, his comping alternates between ensemble counterpoint and background riffs.

The Bearcats name was inspired by Mielke’s esteem for Bob Crosby’s Bobcats (a Dixieland unit within the popular Swing orchestra of Bing’s brother) and the Wildcats of Bob Wilbur, whom he knew and played with on record.  The grizzly bear on the California state flag has been a fierce symbol of independence dating back to the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846.

Bob’s bands were bold and inventive, rejecting the prevalent Dixieland formulas of Eddie Condon’s jam sessions, East Coast cutting contests or the Traditional Jazz style of Lu Watters and Turk Murphy.  Instead, they adopted as a starting point the popular New Orleans four-beat style associated with George Lewis and Jim Robinson, adding their own innovations.

Their fresh and creative style blended Mielke’s love for New Orleans ensemble polyphony with P.T. Stanton’s Basie-inspired riffing behind the soloists, a key feature of the band.  The riffs were typically organized by cornet player P.T. Stanton in coordination with the clarinetist or trombonist.  This riffing became a distinctive feature of East Bay bands run by Stanton, Dick Oxtot, Earl Scheelar and Mielke.


ARCHIVE MUSIC

The Bearcats distinctive style is evident in early tracks from a recovered demo tape much of it probably recorded around 1955 or ’56. 
“Bully of the Town” is sung by Oxtot who imported it from the country string band tradition.  “Darktown Strutters’ Ball” is a rare surviving example of P.T. Stanton’s vocal stylings.  Their sublime rendition of “Saturday Night Function” is an early Ellington tune that is so ubiquitous among the surviving tapes it might be considered their theme song.

Saturday Night Function – Demo tape 1955

Just a Little While to Stay – Demo tape 1955

Bully of the Town – Demo tape 1955

Darktown Strutters’ Ball – Demo tape 1955   
 


ARCHIVE MUSIC

Bob Mielke's Bearcats
at the Lark's Club



Creole Song.mp3 vocal Dick Oxtot

Sweet Georgia Brown.mp3 vocal Oxtot

Ponchartrain.mp3

My Lovin’ Imogene.mp3 vocal Oxtot

Tiger Rag.mp3
    

Bob Mielke's Bearcats
Mielke, P.T. Stanton (cornet) and Dick Oxtot (banjo, vocals) established early the basic elements of the Bearcats sound: strong ensemble unity, and riffing: P.T.’s contribution inspired by the Basie band, says Mielke.  The riffs were simple repeated figures played behind a soloist, typically Stanton in co-ordination with the clarinet or trombone player.  Riffing added complexity, harmonic development and rhythmic drive to the Bearcats, and was a popular technique in Bay Area jams and jazz performance at the time.

Fusing Mielke’s love for full-throated New Orleans ensemble polyphony and P.T.’s sly riffing the Bearcats created an independent style that was a potent brew.  It proved a fresh alternative to the formulas of Eddie Condon’s Dixieland jam sessions, East Coast ‘cutting contests,’ and the Traditional Jazz styles of Lu Watters and Turk Murphy.

Bob Mielke and his crew were at the core of an East Bay contingent in the San Francisco jazz-revival, and among the second wave of jazz musicians who built their own independent style during the 1950s.  His band was a significant voice in the mid-century jazz revival.  Their independent style was an achievement of originality that left an indelible signature on the West Coast jazz revival.


The Lark's Club

By 1955 Bob Mielke and The Bearcats Jazz Band were leading a second wave of the Frisco Jazz Revival at The Lark’s Club in Berkeley.  They crafted a distinctive sound based on driving rhythms, skilled soloing, creative voicing of the horns and Bob’s faith in “standing on the chord.”  Most importantly, they fused New Orleans ensemble parts with Kansas City-style riffing to shape their independent style.

The Bearcats name was inspired by Mielke’s esteem for Bob Crosby’s Bobcats (a Dixieland unit within the popular Swing orchestra of Bing’s brother) and the Wildcats of Bob Wilbur, whom he knew and played with on record.  The grizzly bear on the California state flag has been a fierce symbol of independence dating back to the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846.

Mielke’s bands were bold and inventive, rejecting the prevalent Dixieland formulas of Eddie Condon’s jam sessions, East Coast cutting contests or the Traditional Jazz style of Lu Watters and Turk Murphy.  Instead, they adopted as a starting point the popular New Orleans four-beat style associated with George Lewis and Jim Robinson, adding their own innovations.

Milenberg Joys.mp3 Bob Mielke’s Bearcats, Larks club, c. 1955
Ice Cream.mp3 Bob Mielke’s Bearcats, Jenny Lind Hall, 1954

The basic Bearcats lineup was P.T. Stanton (cornet), Bob Mielke (trombone), Bunky Coleman (clarinet), Dick Oxtot (banjo and vocals), Pete Allen (bass), and Don Marchant (drums).  Additions and substitutes included singer Barbara Dane, clarinet players Bill Napier, Ellis Horne and Frank "Big Boy" Goudie, and drummer Don Fay. 

When Mielke could not attend Bill Bardin stood in on trombone.  The core group did not include piano, and they didn’t use one at the Lark’s Club, but when a piano player was needed for a gig Bill Erickson or Burt Bales.

Lark's Club at Syncopated Times        


West Coast Trombonist Bob Mielke
In an exclusive interview program, Bob recalls his fascinating life making Jazz with the likes of Sidney Bechet, Bob Wilbur, Dick Oxtot and his own band since the early 1950s.  Many rare and one-of-a-kind recordings are featured.

Pt. 1 - Early years, Bechet and Bob Wilbur, Mielke bands of the 1950s.

BOB MIELKE 1A.mp3
COME BACK SWEET PAPA  --  Frisco Syncopators
POLKA DOT STOMP  --  Sidney Bechet w/ Bob Wilber’s Wildcats, 1947
KANSAS CITY MAN BLUES  --  Sidney Bechet w/ Bob Wilber’s Wildcats, 1947
SNAKE RAG  --  Bob Wilber’s Wildcats, Ramparts 78 rpm c. 1948
CHARLESTON  --  Fairway Rhythm Kings, 1949  78 rpm
DIDN’T HE RAMBLE  --  Fairway Rhythm Kings, 1949  78 rpm
CRAZY CHORDS  --  Bob Mielke’s Jazz Band, 1949  78 rpm
RIVERBOAT SHUFFLE  --  Bob Meilke Jazz Band, 1949  78 rpm
BOGALUSA STRUT  --  Bob Mielke’s New Bearcats, Live, KALW-FM San Francisco, CA 1992

BOB MIELKE 1B.mp3
MY LOVIN’ IMOGENE  --  Bob Mielke and his Bearcats, 1954
THAT’S MY WEAKNESS NOW  --   Mielke Bearcats, Lark’s Club, Berkeley, CA 1955
EGYPTIAN FANTASY  --  Bob Mielke and his Bearcats, Lark’s Club, Berkeley 1955
JUST A CLOSER WALK  --  Estuary Jazz Band, San Francisco, CA 1959
WEARY BLUES  --  Bob Mielke and his Bearcats, 1954

The Lark’s Club, 1954-56

Mielke became the leader of this pre-Exising group when he secured them steady gigs -- most notably at the The Lark’s Club in Berkeley.  The club was located in an African American neighborhood at the South end of Berkeley.  The clientele was from the local black community, young white Dixieland fans and traditional jazz enthusiasts.  It became a vanguard for the East Bay Jazz Revival.

The Bearcats popularity demonstrated that an eager young audience would turn up for the music, and not just on weekends but several nights of the week.  They played Thursday through Saturday, other bands performed, and Dick Oxtot booked in one of his Polecats ensembles.  

For the next half century Bob Mielke was at the core of an East Bay contingent in the second wave of the great Frisco Jazz revival.







Mielke with several of his closest associates:

L to R:
Goudie, Mielke,
P.T. Stanton,
Allen, Oxtot

Pioneer Village,
East Bay, c. 1958.



Recovered contact print,
Bob Mielke collection


Pt. 2 - Featuring exclusive live recordings of Mielke with Frank Goudie, and his recollections of the legendary clarinet player.

BOB MIELKE 2A.mp3
GIVE ME YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER  --  Golden State Jazz Band, Live San Francisco, 1980
SATURDAY NIGHT FUNCTION  --  Estuary Jazz Band, San Francisco, CA 1959
THE GOLDIGGER’S SONG  --  Bill Erickson’s Quartet, Live, Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA, 1962
CHINA BOY  --  Bill Erickson’s Quartet, Live, Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA, 1962
RING DEM BELLS  --  Bill Erickson’s Quartet, Live, Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA, 1962
GETTYSBURG MARCH  --  Bill Erickson’s Quartet, Live, Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA, 1962

BOB MIELKE 2B.mp3
WILLIE THE WEEPER  --  Bill Erickson’s Quartet, Live, Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA, 1962
SHOUT ‘EM AUNT TILLIE  --  Bob Mielke’s Bearcats,  Live in San Francisco, CA 1958
GET OUT OF HERE  --  Bill Erickson’s Quartet, Live, Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA, 1962
BUGLE BOY MARCH  --  Bob Mielke’s New Bearcats, Live, KALW San Francisco, CA 1992
   


Oakland A's Swingers baseball band 

The first season of Bob Mielke's Oakland A's Swingers baseball team band (1968) consisted of a quartet Mileke (trombone) Bob Neighbor (trumpet), Bob Helm (soprano) and Dick Oxtot (banjo).  

After the band complained strenuously about lacking a bass, tuba player John Moore was hired.  In subsequent years Helm was replaced by Bill Napier, later by Richard Hadlock and others.  

Dick Oxtot wrote in his memoir, Jazz Scrapbook:
"We played the first season, each and every A's home game, with four musicians.  We played in the hallways before the game, on top of the dugouts during each half-inning, and strolled through the bleachers."

". . . the band was dissatisfied with the 4-piece arrangement -- especially me.  It was tough on me to provide an entire rhythm for the three horns . . . I needed a tuba to complete the rhythm for the section.  Also the band would sound much better . . . the following season [team owner Art] Finley went along and agreed to add a fifth musician." 


.

Further investigate Mielke's Baseball Band on Syncopated Times (forthcoming).        Strolling Dixieland Baseball Band at DagogoMielke' Strolling Dixieland Baseball Band








L to R: 
Bob Helm, Bob Mielke, Bob Neighbor, Dick Oxtot



ARCHIVE INTERVIEW
(transcript)

Transcript of Bob Mielke phone interview.pdf
regarding Frank Goudie, taped at KALW-FM, San Francisco, CA, 8.9.93

Personal Challenges, 1960s and ‘70s

In his maturity, Mielke grew into a warm and personable man, a skilled musician dedicated to the performance, lore and culture of Classic Jazz.  Nonetheless in his early years Bob was a drinker and known as a hothead. 

Being a local celebrity did not exempt him from tragedy and travail.  Sadly, Bob’s wife and partner Frances Mielke, died suddenly in 1960, leaving him a widower raising two young sons in his early-30s. 

Among his new responsibilities was a full-time job dealing with statistics for the State of California Department of Health.  When his position was moved to Sacramento, Bob commuted from Berkeley, sleeping in his van several nights of the week in the capitol city.  Meanwhile he continued performing, running ensembles and building his superlative chops.


Hear Bob Mielke's Bearcats live at the Lark's Club, mid-1950s
 

Mielke and the Non-Profit Jazz Clubs, 1970s-80s

By the mid-1960s, Mielke and most of his fellow musicians had acquired larger responsibilities, growing families, demanding jobs or other avocations.  The “beer and peanuts” music joints where they had played closed. 

Rock music displaced or absorbed the former jazz venues.  For Mielke and his cohort, the action shifted from nightclubs three or more nights a week to the weekends and events hosted by Traditional Jazz societies. 

Traditional Jazz clubs like the New Orleans Jazz Club of Northern California (NOJCNC) were formed as non-profit organizations to support a culture of monthly dances, jam sessions, band showcases and multi-day special events.  And for instance, Mielke won the NOJCNC favorite trombonist polls for half a dozen consecutive years. And Bob played regularly at the biggest festival of them all in Sacramento, California, often performing in more than one band.  


Pt. 3 - Bob recalls more of his years in the Bay Area, exclusive live broadcast recordings of the New Bearcats, 1992.

BOB MIELKE 3A.mp3
SUGARFOOT STRUT  --  Golden State Jazz Band, Live San Francisco, 1980
SHE’S CRYI N’ FOR ME  --  Bob Mielke’s New Bearcats, Live, KALW San Francisco, CA 1992
AIN’T NOBODY GOT THE BLUES LIKE ME  --  Baraba Dane, 1957
MUDDY WATER  --  Baraba Dane, 1957
I’M SATISFIED WITH MY GAL  --  Bob Mielke’s Bearcats, 1958
MILENBURG JOYS  --  Bob Mielke’s Bearcats, 1958

BOB MIELKE 3B.mp3
BLUE GUAIAC BLUES  --  Bob Mielke’s New Bearcats, Live, KALW San Francisco 1992
SWING THAT MUSIC  --  Bob Mielke’s New Bearcats, Live, KALW San Francisco 1992
SAWDUST BLUES  --  Bob Mielke’s New Bearcats, Live, KALW San Francisco 1992
TEARS  --  Berkeley Rhythm,  c. 1973
SING ON  --  Bob Mielke’s New Bearcats, Live, KALW San Francisco 1992
 

Farewell, Bob

Accidents and health challenges sidelined Mielke in the 2000s.  Remaining a beloved musician, he was a popular guest at concerts, parties and informal jams until not long before his passing.  

The Bearcats Jazz Band and related ensembles created a fresh mid-century sound by fusing four-beat New Orleans ensemble polyphony with Kansas City style riffs, fueling a second wave of the great San Francisco traditionalist jazz movement. 

A creative jazz trombonist and original bandleader, Bob Mielke left a distinctive signature on the Frisco Revival and mid-century Jazz in the West. 



Bob Mielke with Bunk Johnson

Caravan Ballroom, October 1947


Front row L to R:
Bob Mielke (trombone),
Jerry Blumberg (trumpet), Bunk Johnson (trumpet), James P. Johnson (piano), Albert Nicholas (clarinet)


ARCHIVE MUSIC

Bob Wilbur’s Wildcats 12.31.1947
Issued on, Young Men with Horns, London H-APB 1026, 10” vinyl LP


Johnny Glasel and Jerry Blumberg (cornets)
Bob Wilber (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Wellstood (piano)
Charlier Trager (bass)
Denny Strong (drums)


Once in a While.mp3
I Can’t Say.mp3
When You Wore a Tulip.mp3
Old Fashioned Love.mp3
Salty Dog.mp3
Mixed Salad.mp3

Special thanks to Frank Selman.
    


Excerpts from the original Young Men with Horns LP liner notes:


In 1946 the management of Jimmy Ryan’s on New York’s 52nd Street, were talked into letting a group of very young musicians from suburban Scarsdale take over for a few numbers during one of the regular weekend jam sessions.  They played New Orleans standards . . . with an enthusiasm that made even the hardened professionals sit up and take notice.  This was the group that was to be known as Bob Wilber’s Wildcats.

The original band many of the musicians were under seventeen, Johnny Glasel, the cornet player, was actually fifteen . . . . With the fine, deep, Ory-style trombone of Bob Mielke, their regular drummer, Denny Strong, to lay down a healthy, solid beat and with Dick Wellstood to play such fine piano as can be heard on “Old Fashioned Love,” the band really showed what it could do.  Jerry Blumberg, who had announced his ambition of only playing second cornet parts, nevertheless takes some fine solos on “I Can’t Say” and “When You Wore a Tulip,” while Wilber, now on the clarinet, shows that he had achieved an original, lusty style that wasn’t merely a shadow of the playing of [his mentor] Sidney Bechet.


ARCHIVE MUSIC

Bob Mielke's Jazz Band, 1951
Mielke (trombone), Bill Erickson (trumpet), Bill Napier (clarinet), Jerry Stanton (piano), Bob Mussiter (guitar), John Schuler (string bass), Jack Lowe (drums)

Crazy Chords.mp3
Riverboat Shuffle introduced by Bob.mp3

Bob Mielke's Fairway Rhythm Kings, 1951
personnel same as above

Charleston.mp3
Didn't He Ramble.mp3
   









From a golf-themed promotion Mielke tried in 1951, The Fairway Rhythm Kings.


L to R: Bob Mielke (looking rather like a young James Cagney), unknown musician, Bill Napier (Looking rather natty) and Bill Erickson


From the archives of SFTJF.







From the live set of,
I Cover the Waterfront, KSAN-TV, 1955


L to R:
Burt Bales, Don Marchant, Mielke, Bunky Coleman, Dick Oxtot


Monkey Inn I

The sometimes boisterous Monkey Inn opened onto to busy Shattuck Avenue through the (audibly) swinging barroom doors next to the piano.

According to Bob Mielke, things could occasionally, “get a little rough.”   He describes the college-age crowd as, “fraternity boys out on their first beer benders,” though another less charitably called them “a pack of little thugs.”  Earl Scheelar reports that one time, when a tough motorcycle gang infested the joint, the musicians packed up their instruments and left.

The Bearcats and other band played there for “beer and peanuts” (the beer was free, but they were paid peanuts).  After about 1960 Bill Erickson was house pianist, directing various combos and ad hoc groups.


ARCHIVE MUSIC  

Burp Hollow was a popular jazz bar at 487 Broadway in San Francisco for a few years around 1960.  Dick Oxtot fronted bands there with various line-ups often including  Erickson, Mielke and others. 

This rare 1959 tape from Burp Hollow is a remarkable manifestation of East Bay revival-jazz players. 

Napier sounds terrific and gets the most solo time, switching occasionally to bass clarinet (visible, right)

Drummer Max Leavitt worked with Erickson, though he was not part of this coterie.

Bill Erickson (trumpet)
Bill Napier (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo, vocals)
Peter Allen (string bass)
Max Leavitt (drums)


Mamies Blues.mp3 vocal Oxtot
Back in Your Own Back Yard.mp3
Blues at the Hollow.mp3 unknown vocalist
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.mp3 bass clarinet solo, Napier
Beale St. Blues.mp3
You Can’t Shush Katie.mp3
Song of the Islands.mp3
Darktown Strutter's Ball.mp3
Don't You Leave Me Here.mp3 vocal unknown, good blues trumpet by Erickson
1919 March.mp3
L-O-U-I-S-I-A-N-I-A.mp3 vocal Oxtot
Yes, Yes in your Eyes.mp3 vocal Oxtot
Buddy Bolden Blues.mp3
Love Nest.mp3
Original Dixieland One-Step.mp3
Wabash Blues.mp3 featuring Dick Oxtot, banjo
Bugle Boy March.mp3
Tiger Rag.mp3 (incomplete at end)

Thanks to recordist Dave Greer.
Photo: Oxtot collection
  

     
Explore Burp Hollow in music and pictures:    

Burp Hollow (this site)    
     
The Infamous Burp Hollow at Dagogo

The Infamous Burp Hollow at Syncopated Times.
            


ARCHIVE MUSIC

Bob Mielke’s Bearcats
Live at Sail ‘N - 1958
Arhoolie cassette C-1099
1998 Arhoolie Records
Recorded by Chris Strachwitz 1958


(Note: Clarinet player Bunky Coleman, pictured right, is not present on this recording.)

P.T. Stanton (trumpet)
Bill Napier (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Pete Allen (string bass)
Don Marchant (drums)


Bugle Boy March.mp3 (3:33)
Eh La Bas.mp3 (3:18)
I’m Satisfied with My Gal.mp3 (4:25)
Milenberg Joys.mp3 (5:17)
My Baby Don't Mean Maybe Now.mp3 (3:51)
Pastel Blue.mp3 (5:11)
Saturday Night Function.mp3 (3:57)
Shout ‘em Aunt Tillie.mp3 (3:57)
Winin’ Boy.mp3  (6:37, Burt Bales, piano featured)
   


MONKEY INN TAPES from the personal collection of Bob Mielke


Bill Erickson Quartet, 6.24.61
Unknown trumpet
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Don Marchant (drums)

The unknown trumpet player sounds particularly excellent on these sessions.

Sweet Georgia Brown (6:48; inc at start)
In A Little Spanish Town (7:11)
Nobody Knows (6:44)
Yes, Yes, in Your Eyes (6:37)

Bill Erickson Quintet, 6.31.61
Unknown trumpet
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Don Marchant (drums)

Joseph, Joseph (7:40)
Battle Hymn of the Republic (5:13)
Ida Sweet as Apple Cider (6:13, off mic vocal by Vince Hickey; drums?)
Closing waltz and Looney tunes theme (1:10)
   
Bill Erickson Quartet, 8.7.61
same personnel

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (5:58)
Beale Street Blues (5:26)
Indiana (5:50)
Shimmy Sha Wabble (4:00)
Bienville Blues (6:25)
Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You (7:33)
Over the Waves (6:20)
Tishomingo Blues (5:30)
Tiger Rag (7:15)
Royal Garden Blues (4:20)
Savoy Blues (4:48)
Sweet Georgia Brown (3:30 incomplete at end)
    


ARCHIVE MUSIC

MONKEY INN TAPES from the personal collection of Bob Mielke


Bill Erickson Quartet, 9.7.61
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Don Marchant (drums)

Goudie sounds particularly good on this session, and it's some of the best sound pickup available of his clarinet.


Just a Little While to Stay (6:33; level fluctuates at start)
Breeze (5:20)

Special thanks to Bob and Art Mielke.
  


Bob Mielke Tape Archive
   


ARCHIVE MUSIC

Bob Mielke and The Oakland A's Baseball Band
at the Bob Helm Memorial Event, San Pablo Moose Lodge, 11.11.2002

Bob Mielke, trombone and leader
Bob Neighbor, trumpet
Bill Napier, clarinet
Jim Maihack, tuba
Stuart Zank, banjo


Once in a While - Oakland A's Band.mp3
There's an Old Spinning Wheel in the Parlor - Oakland A's Band.mp3
Joseph Joseph - Oakland A's Band.mp3
Savoy Blues - Oakland A's Band.mp3
Take Me Out to the Ballgame - Oakland A's Band.mp3

Recorded by Phil Edwards and Bill Ruck for Bud Spangler and KCSM
Courtesy of Leon Oakley and Diamondstack Productions
   


More about the Strolling Baseball Band on this site

More about the Baseball Band on Syncopated Times


Oxtot recalled some of the highlights in his memoir,
Jazz Scrapbook:

“We played the first season, each and every A’s home game, with four musicians.  We played the hallways before the game, on top of the dugout during each half-inning, and strolled through the bleachers.

The band was dissatisfied with the 4-piece arrangement – especially me.  It was tough on me to provide an entire rhythm for the three horns . . . I needed a tuba to complete the rhythm section.  The following season, (team owner) Charlie Finley went along and agreed to add a fifth musician, Squire Girsback.  But Squire had to leave after a month or so, and after trying other tuba players, we decided on John Moore as the regular.

Life on the road with Finely was a full-time party.  Finley was a genial host.  (In Detroit) he hosted a 7- course lobster dinner for a flock of dignitaries and the band.  After the feast, which must have cost him a bundle, Finley called a cab and invited Mielke to ride back to the hotel with him.   As the cab approached the hotel, Finley asked Mielke, “Have you got five dollars for the cab?”
   


     
Oxtot collection



ARCHIVE INTERVIEW


Earl Scheelar recalls playing with the Swingin' A's:

Earl Scheelar_Intv_on_Swingin_A's.mp3

Sources and further reading:

BIG BOY, The life and story of Frank Goudie, Vernhettes, Dan with Christine Goudie and Tony Baldwin (2015 Jazzedit.org)

Bob Mielke: A Life in Jazz, Jim Goggin (Trafford/Goggin, 2008)

Jazz Scrapbook Dick Oxtot and Jim Goggin (Creative Arts Books, 1999)

Jazz West 2, K.O. Ecklund (Donna Ewald, 1995)
  



LINKS:

Bearcats archive
More about Bill Erickson
More about Frank Goudie
More about Bill Napier
More about P.T. Stanton
More about Burt Bales
More about Dick Oxtot

More rare and archival tapes:

Mielke tapes archive
Burp Hollow tapes
Lark's Club tapes
Monkey Inn tapes
Berkeley Jazz House tape
Pier 23 tapes
Oakland Swingin' A's Baseball Band


Photo: Oxtot collection   


Further exploration:

The Gang at Monkey Inn

The Odd Brilliance of P.T. Stanton

The Unissued Bearcats Stereo Album

Farewell to Bob Mielke: Photo Essay and Rare Audio   
      


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