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Writing and Essays

Bill Erickson archive

All the rare music of Bill Erickson on this website can be found here . . .

Plus stories, commentary by friends and associates, and other miscellany.

                                                      On many tapes Bill Erickson, right is accompanied by
                                                            Earl Scheelar, left (trumpet, clarinet, banjo),
                                                                and Bret Runkle, center (washboard)

                                                                            (Photo by William Carter,
                                                                           Courtesy of Earl Scheelar)


Article:
Remembering Willie the Master.pdf
  


ARCHIVE addendum: Bill Erickson One-Man-Band.
   

New 8.2014

Bill Erickson’s One Man Band


Bill Erickson’s one-man-band recordings of the early 1950s are gems, and among the more successful of their kind.  Musically and technically the tunes are tight and polished, providing some delightful Bixian trumpet solos and overdubbed horn section passages.

This is excellent arranging aimed to satirize some of the ‘mouse music’ played by the dance-bands and hotel-orchestras of the late-1920s, a tongue-in-cheek send-up and affectionate tribute to the popular music of an earlier generation.  Erickson’s gentle parodies are showcases for his formidable arranging, detailed section work, and clangorous musical jokes that utilize advanced harmony and modern composition.

As a sound engineer, I’m baffled how such clean undistorted sound was achieved with the recording equipment then available, requiring at least half a dozen overdubs.
 

New 8.2014

Bill Erickson One Man Band
Early 1950's, Woodmont Ave.

(All instruments and vocals by Erickson):

Trumpet, clarinet, piano, washboard, vocal harmony:

Your Mother and Mine.mp3
You Can't Make Your Shimmy Shake on Tea.mp3
We're All For You Uncle Sammy.mp3
The Merry Go Round Broke Down.mp3
The Good Ship Lollipop.mp3
Teddy Bears Picnic.mp3
Hot Town.mp3
Hard Boiled Mama.mp3
Green Light #2.mp3
  
Great thanks to Richard Hadlock for sharing these unique treasures.
 


ARCHIVE Addendum: Bill Erickson sings.
  


Bill Erickson sings
These songs were associated with Erickson and never commercially issued.  They are recovered here thanks to Dave Greeer, Oscar Anderson, and Richard Hadlock.

My Sunday Girl.mp3
Dick Oxtot Birthday 1965:
P.T. Stanton (cornet)
Earl Scheelar (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Peter Allen (string bass)
Bill Dart (drums)


Green Light.mp3
Erickson One-Man-band early 1950s.

Bill plays all instruments.
  


ARCHIVE I. Bill Erickson piano solos, duos and trios
 








Bill Erickson in the 1950s

Oxtot collection


Bill Erickson piano solos.

Multiple takes recorded above Earl Scheelar’s garage by Dave Greer in 1963.

BIG BOY Erickson Composite take.mp3
BIG BOY Erickson Take 1.mp3
BIG BOY Erickson Take 2.mp3

I USED TO LOVE YOU Erickson Composite take.mp3
I USED TO LOVE YOU Erickson Take 1.mp3
I USED TO LOVE YOU Erickson Take 2.mp3
I USED TO LOVE YOU Erickson  Take 3.mp3
I USED TO LOVE YOU Erickson Take 4.mp3

TIA JUANA Erickson Take 1.mp3
TIA JUANA Erickson Take 2.mp3
TIA JUANA Erickson Take 3.mp3
TIA JUANA Erickson Take 4.mp3
  


PIANO DUETS with Earl Scheelar

Bill Erickson (piano)
Earl Scheelar (banjo)


Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA
1.20.62 and 2.3.62


Winin'_Boy_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
After_Youve_Gone_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
Big_Butter_and_Egg_Man_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
Ugly Child_Erickson_Scheelar_Monkey_1962.mp3
South_Erickson_Scheelar_Monkey_1962.mp3
MEDLEY: It_Had_to_Be_You, Sleepy Time Gal, My Gal Sal_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
Hindustan_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
Sweet_Georgia_Brown_Erickson_Scheelar2.mp3
Sister_Kate_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
When_Youre_Smiling_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
Wabash Blues_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
The Saints_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
Up_a_Lazy_River_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
Please_Don't_Talk_bout_Me_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
Robert_E_Lee_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
You_Tell_Me_Your_Dreams_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
   


Earl Scheelar (doubling on cornet and clarinet)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Bret Runkle (washboard)


Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA
1.20.62 and 2.3.62

Buddly_Bolden_Blues_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
I'm_Confessin'_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
Someday Sweetheart_Erickson_Scheelar.mp3
   


A note on these recordings:
The archival recordings heard on these pages are offered as historic artifacts.  They contain many musical and technical flaws, or are incomplete or poorly balanced  in places.  Personnel are listed as available, or as deduced  from educated guesses.
  




ARCHIVE II
Bandleader and piano

  


(NEWLY AVAILABLE 2014)

MONKEY INN TAPES from the personal collection of Bob Mielke


Bill Erickson Quartet, 6.24.61
Trumpet unknown
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Don Marchant (drums)

In A Little Spanish Town (7:11)
Nobody Knows (6:44)
Yes, Yes, in Your Eyes (1:10)
   

Bill Erickson Quintet, 6.31.61
Trumpet unknown
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
Trumpet unknown
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?)
Ring Dem Bells (4:19)
Beale Street Blues (5:26)
Indiana (5:50)
Shimmy Sha Wabble (4:00)
Bienville Blues (6:25)
Japanese Sandman (6:20)
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)
   


Correction:
Jerry Blumberg is not the horn player on the Bill Erickson Quintet Monkey Inn tapes of 1961-62, contrary to Bob Mielke’s recollection, and notations on the tape reel boxes.  Blumberg recently broke a long silence about his San Francisco years to send me correspondence stating that he was not the horn player on those recordings.  According to his own records, Blumberg was not in the Bay Area when this series of recordings began, yet he does recall playing with Mielke at the Monkey Inn. 

The notations in pencil on the Monkey Inn tape boxes regarding personnel might not be contemporaneous, but added later when the tapes were in the possession of collector Bill Raynolds.  Suggestions regarding who this horn player might be include:  RCH Smith, Eddie Smith, Ted Butterman or Jack Minger. 

Trumpet player Byron Berry has been suggested by several including Blumberg.  But my careful audition of contemporaneous Berry tapes leads me to reject this candidate.


Bill Erickson Quartet
Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA c. 1961-62

Frank "Big Boy" Goudie (clarinet
)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Jimmy Carter (drums)
  
Get Out of Here.mp3
Gettysburg March.mp3
Joseph Joseph.mp3
Gold Diggers Song.mp3

Bill Erickson Quintet
Monkey Inn, Berkeley, CA c. 1961-62

Add: unknown (trumpet)

Joseph, Joseph - Quintet.mp3 7:10
Careless Love - Quintet.mp3 6:55
  
(Thanks to Richard Hadlock and Bob Mielke.)
  


Monkey Inn, February 3, 1962


Walter Yost (trumpet)
Earl Scheelar (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Bret Runkle (washboard)

Introduction_MONKEY INN 2.62.mp3 (recordist, Dave Greer)

I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody ... Jellyroll_MONKEY INN 2.62.mp3
Wild Man Blues_MONKEY INN 2.62.mp3
1919 March MONKEY INN 2.62.mp3
Sweethearts on Parade_MONKEY INN 2.62.mp3
You Always Hurt the One You Love_MONKEY INN 2.62.mp3
Poor Butterfly_MONKEY INN 2.62.mp3
Just a Closer Walk with Thee_MONKEY INN 2.62.mp3
When Erastus Plays his Old Kazoo_MONKEY INN 2.62.mp3

(Thanks to Dave Greer who recorded these tapes.)
 


PIER 23 June 25, 1960 Jam
Ray Ronnei (trumpet)
Frank Big Boy Goudie (clarinet)
Jim Leigh (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Pete Allen (bass)
Jimmy Carter (drums)


SEXTET:
Just a Closer Walk_PIER 23.mp3
Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet_PIER 23.mp3

TRIO (Goudie, Erickson, Carter):
You Took Advantage of Me_PIER 23.mp3
You're Driving Me Crazy_PIER 23.mp3
[Blues at the Pier] PIER 23.mp3

[These historic tracks are made available despite being rough or incomplete in places.]

Great thanks to recordist, Dave Greer.
  


PIER 23 jam session
[These historic tracks are made available despite being rough or incomplete in places.]

Great thanks to recordist, Dave Greer.

October 1960
Ray Ronnei (trumpet)
Frank Big Boy Goudie (clarinet)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Pete Allen (bass)
Jimmy Carter (drums)

L-O-U-I-S-I-A-N-I-A PIER 23.mp3
You Always Hurt the One You Love_PIER 23.mp3
Make Me a Pallet PIER 23.mp3
Lord, Lord, Lord_PIER 23.mp3
Just a Little While to Stay_PIER 23.mp3
Under the Bamboo Tree_PIER 23.mp3

See_See_Rider_PIER_23.mp3
Hot_Time_in_the_Old_Town_PIER_23.mp3
Alexanders_Ragtime_Band_PIER_23.mp3
Eh_la_Bas_PIER_23.mp3
  


PIER 23 Jam session
, Spring 1962
Amos White, Bob Hodes (trumpets)
Frank Big Boy Goudie (clarinet)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Mike Prince (bjo)
Jimmy Carter (drums)
(bass unknown)

Sweet Sue_PIER 23.mp3
Old Fashioned Love PIER 23.mp3
Over the Waves PIER 23.mp3
St. Louis Blues (incomplete) PIER 23.mp3
Has Anybody Seen my Gal PIER 23.mp3
  

PIER 23 Jam session, 6.25.60
Ray Ronnei (trumpet)
Frank Big Boy Goudie (clarinet)
Jim Leigh (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Pete Allen (bass)
Jimmy Carter (drums)


SEXTET:
Just a Closer Walk_PIER 23.mp3
Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet_PIER 23.mp3

TRIO (Goudie, Erickson, Carter):
You Took Advantage of Me_PIER 23.mp3
You're Driving Me Crazy_PIER 23.mp3
[Blues at the Pier] PIER 23.mp3

[These historic tracks are made available despite being rough or incomplete in places.]

Great thanks to recordist, Dave Greer.
   

New 10.2014

ARCHIVE MUSIC

“The Fabulous Byron Berry –
Pier 23 Polecats, April 11, 1960"

"Recording by  Jack Stratford, initiated by Grayson ‘Ken’ Mills.  Recorded zon Wollensack tape recorder with stock microphone.  Personnel identified by Jerry Stanton.”


Byron Berry (trumpet)
Bill Napier (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Al Conger (bass)


Isle of Capri.mp3
Joseph, Joseph.mp3
Just a Gigolo.mp3
Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella.mp3
Muskrat Ramble.mp3
Shake That Thing.mp3
Weary Blues.mp3
You're the Cream in my Coffee.mp3

The Oxtot collection.


PIER 23 May 28, 1963
Swing session (in stereo)


Robin Hodes (trumpet)
Jim Leigh (trombone)
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
Dave Clarkson (tenor sax)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Squire Girsback (bass)
Jimmy Carter (drums)


It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got that Swing).mp3 (4:23)
Take the "A" Train.mp3 (7:20)
Broadway.mp3 (8:33)
The King.mp3 (6:30)
Sweethearts on Parade.mp3 (10:50)
  
(Special thanks to Mili Rosenblatt-Bardin.)
   

New 12.16.13

“CHICKS PARTY” at the Berkeley Jazz house

Earl Scheelar recalls:
The Jazz House was an old Victorian, that was torn down not long after this event.  I remember this session:  Dick Oxtot, Bill Erickson, and Pete Allen (bass), Frank Goudie clarinet on all five songs. 

'Just Because' and 'Under the Bamboo Tree' have Ray Ronnie (cornet) and a friend Ray came up from southern California with on trombone.  [Others are] P. T. Stanton (trumpet) and Bob Mielke (trombone).”


Ray Ronnei (cornet)
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
unknown (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Pete Allen (bass)


Just Because 5:24
Under the Bamboo Tree 4:25

P. T. Stanton (trumpet)
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Bill Erickson (piano)
unknown (drums)


I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (incomplete and tape interrupted) 6:05
Sweet Jennie Lee (Oxtot vocal off mic) 5:40
They Say Si-Si 5:25

Great thanks to recordist, Dave Greer.  Hear more from the Berkeley Jazz house, here.
[These historic tracks are made available despite being rough or incomplete in places.]

  




ERICKSON ARCHIVE III
Erickson bandleader and playing trumpet

  

New 5.2.2014

Pier 23 Live KOFY broadcast, c. 1959
"WATERFRONT JAZZ SOCIETY"


This is an amazing live performance and extraordinary audio document that has everything.

Bill Erickson leads the band in fine form on trumpet, Burt Bales and Bob Mielke are at the top of their games, both Oxtot and Bales sing, Frank Goudie gives a swashbucking performance, and the electric atmosphere of a jazz broadcast from the San Francisco waterfront is on full display.  There's even an appearance by club owner Havelock Jerome (a world-class weirdo).


L to R: Erickson, Goudie, Oxtot broadcasting from
Pier 23.

Photo: Oxtot collection

Despite heroic restoration efforts, this tape contains unavoidable gaps, distortion and musical flaws.


Bill Erickson (trumpet)
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo, vocals)
Burt Bales (piano, vocals)
Squire Girsback (string bass)
Bob Osibin (drums)
Suzane Summers (vocals)
Lee Crosby (on-air host)


KOFY Pier 23 broadcast complete.mp3 (38:38)

or selections:

Royal Garden Blues.mp3 (3:37, sound improves after :30)

Mister Joe.mp3 (3:36, fragment)
     fragment featuring Burt Bales, announcement by Havelock Jerome

Chri-Biri-Bim.mp3 (6:00)
    announce with personnel: “Live Jazz on the air nightly”

Up a Lazy River.mp3 (2:59)
    Suzanne Summers vocal duet with Burt Bales, piano

Original Dixieland One-step.mp3 (4:35)

That Certain Party.mp3
(4:26)
    vocal by Oxtot
 
Rose Room.mp3 (3:54)
    featuring Big Boy Goudie, mentions years in Europe

Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down.mp3  (3:31, contains a brief gap)
    announce  “Jazz As Is” jazz from the Waterfront

I Had Someone Else Before I Had You.mp3 (3:00)
    vocal Suzanne Summers
    personnel and sign-off
  


Burp Hollow

For a while in 1959 Erickson played trumpet at Burp Hollow on Broadway in San Francisco, a dismal dive owned by a thoroughly unpleasant former Chicago mobster.

Bill Erickson (trumpet)
Bill Napier (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Pete Allen (bass)
possibly Max Leavitt (drums)


Back in Your Own Backyard.mp3
(5:17)
Darktown Strutters Ball.mp3 (3:30)
Original Dixieland One-Step.mp3 (5:42)
Blues at the Hollow.mp3 (7:01)
L-O-U-I-S-I-A-N-I-A.mp3 (3:46)
Beale St. Blues.mp3 (5:38)
Don't You Leave Me Here.mp3 (4:12, good blues trumpet)
There's Yes, Yes in Your Eyes.mp3 (5:20, Oxtot vocal)
Tiger Rag.mp3 (6:58, incomplete at end)
Song of the Islands.mp3 (4:10)
Way Down Yonder In New Orleans.mp3 (5:53, Napier, bass clarinet)

Thanks to Dave Greer for these rare recordings.
  


Bill Erickson, trumpet with the Estuary Jazz group, 1959
Live broadcast
from Pier 23,
San Francisco, California
KGO
(AM & FM dual mono/stereo broadcast)

Just a Closer Walk with Thee.mp3
Saturday Night Function.mp3

Bill Erickson, trumpet
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Burt Bales (piano)
Squire Girsback (bass)
Bob Osibin (drums)
  
Note:  Estuary was an outgrowth of the Pier 23 jam sessions.  Musically, it was directed by Erickson's strong trumpet lead, and featured soloists
Frank Goudie (clarinet) and Bob Mielke (trombone).  All the  players were bandleaders, except for drummer Bob Osibin.  The two 1959 broadcasts from Pier 23 were a pioneering experiment in stereo: the left and right signals transmitted simultaneously via AM and FM radio.

(Thanks to Bob Mielke and Bill Raynolds.)
  

Broadcasts from Pier 23

These broadcasts feature everything great about Pier 23.  Most of these swinging dixieland shows featured Burt Bales, then at his peak as an entertainer, clarinetist Frank "Big Boy" Goudie, and the singing of "Uncle Dick" Oxtot.

On-air host and producer 'Hambone Lee' Crosby self-consciously evoked the piquant waterfront atmosphere, "a little slice of old SanFransciscanner."  Occasional local adverts and off the wall comments by Pier owner/host Havelock Jerome added local color.

The fine Estuary Jazz group broadcast band was closely related to Bob Mielke's Bearcats.  Featuring Bill Erickson on horn, it's a rare opportunity to hear his fine, and hard to classify trumpet sound.

Several of these remotes were heard in 1959, nobody recalls how many.  Some were transmitted as early experiments in stereo radio, simultaneously broadcast on AM and FM mono stations.  It seems the hoped for TV coverage did not develop.

New 9.2015

ARCHIVE MUSIC

PIER 23 Stereo Broadcast
KGO 1959


Sound quality is mostly quite good except for some bad speed flutter toward the end.

Bill Erickson (trumpet)
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Burt Bales (piano, vocals)
Dick Oxtot (banjo, vocals)
Squire Girsback (string bass)
Bob Osibin (drums)
Suzanne Summers (vocals)


KGO Pier 23 stereo broadcast complete.mp3 45:00

Intro announce
Struttin’ with Some Barbeque
Lucky, Lucky Lindberg, Eagle of the USA (vocal, Oxtot)
Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams ( vocal, Susanne Sommers)
Just a Closer Walk with Thee
Mack the Knife (vocal, Burt Bales)
High Society – (featuring Frank Goudie, clarinet)
Someday Sweetheart (vocal, Susanne Sommers)
Saturday Night Function
Should I Reveal? (theme)

Message from Mr. Orrfelt

Compiled by Orrfelt for Mielke
  


Bill Erickson plays trumpet at Pier 23
(early 1960s)

Bill Erickson (trumpet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Bill Napier (clarinet)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Pete Allen (bass)
Jimmy Carter (drums)


Love Nest_Erickson, Bill Erickson trumpet, Pier 23.mp3 (5:15)

Original Dixieland One Step, Bill Erickson trumpet, Pier 23.mp3 (5:370

Darktown Strutters Ball, Bill Erickson trumpet, Pier 23.mp3 (3:28)

Bill Erickson (trumpet)
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
(date and other personnel unknown)


Rosetta, Bill Erickson trumpet, Pier 23.mp3 (7:30)

Thanks to Dave Greer for these rare recordings.
   


A note on these recordings:
The archival recordings heard on these pages are offered as historic artifacts.  They contain many musical and technical flaws, or are incomplete or poorly balanced  in places.  Personnel are listed as available, or as deduced  from educated guesses.




ERICKSON ARCHIVE IV.
Playing trumpet or piano as sideman


Bob Mielke's Jazz Band, 1951

Bill Erickson (trumpet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
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
  


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


P.T. Stanton (trumpet)
Bill Napier (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Bill Erickson (piano)
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)
    


The Jack Sheedy Dixeland Band, c. 1950

Sheedy's was the first to play San Francisco's famed Club Hangover in 1949.

Jack Minger (trumpet)
Vince
Cattolica (clarinet)
Jack Sheedy (trombone, vocal)
Paul Miller (guitar)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Vernon Alley (bass)
Bill Dart (drums)


A Good Man is Hard to Find - Jack Sheedy.mp3
Blues in the Night Jack - Sheedy.mp3
Down in Jungletown - Jack Sheedy.mp3
Gamblers Blues Jack - Sheedy.mp3