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Byron Berry

The colorful tale of this excellent Bay Area trumpet player is yet to be told.

A Burt Bales pick-up band, 1959
L to R: Joe Darensbourg (clarinet), Bales (piano), Berry, Cuz Cousineau (drums), Ernie Figueroa (bass), Jerry Butzen (trombone), probably at Pier 23.

Berry’s story includes the early days of Yerba Buena, Earl Hines, Kid Ory, the Dude Martin Western Swing band, Pier 23, Bill Erickson and the East Bay jazz gang.


This was recorded at a popular little bar in Berkeley by Dave Greer who has made it available; this is first publication.

With the exception of Oxtot, all these performers are badly under-represented on disc.  This archival performance tape is quite listenable, despite technical flaws.

NODS BAR  May 19, 1960, Berkeley, CA
Byron Berry (trumpet)
Frank Chace (clarinet)
Jerry Butzen (trombone)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
bass unknown

I Would Do Anything for You.mp3 (4:04)
Isle of Capri.mp3 (5:34)
Love is Just Around the Corner.mp3 (7:30)
Love Nest.mp3 (1:58; incomplete)
New Orleans.mp3 (4:44)
Riverboat Shuffle.mp3 (4:19)
Sugar.mp3 (6:30)
Struttin' with Some Barbeque.mp3 (4:03)
Oh! Baby_Nods_Berry_Chase_Erickson.mp3 (5:00)
Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jibe_Nods_Berry_Chase_Erickson.mp3 (5:15)
You Are My Lucky Star_ Nods_Berry_Chase_Erickson.mp3 (4:43)
Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella (on a Rainy Day) Nods_Berry_Chase_Erickson.mp3 (3:59)

According to Jim Leigh in Heaven on the Side:

"Twenty years after having been a pioneer revivalist in the Bay Area, with Watters, Turk,  and Co., the trumpeter Byron Berry had his turn on trumpet with Ory in 1962-63, and when he was not at On the Levee he was hanging out across the street at The Pier."

Berry at “The Ordinary,” Fall 1974

L to R:
Bill Bardin (trombone)
P.T. Stanton (cornet)
Byron Berry (trumpet)
Walter Yost (tuba)

not visible:
Dick Oxtot, banjo
Terry Garthwaite, vocal

(Photo by Joy Berry,
courtesy of Mili Rosenblatt-Bardin)


Like the items above, this JAZZ RHYHTM exclusive was recorded at Nod's bar in Berkeley by Dave Greer.

NODS BAR, April 6, 1960, Berkeley, CA
Byron Berry (trumpet)
Frank Goudie (clarinet)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Bill Erickson (piano)
Brett Runkle (washboard)

New Orleans.mp3
Milenberg Joys.mp3
I Would Do Anything for You.mp3
Do You Ever Think of Me.mp3
Weary Blues.mp3
Walkin' with the King.mp3
Shake That Thing.mp3

New 9.2014

Probably New Orleans Jazz Club of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

Byron Berry (trumpet)
John Smith (tenor, soprano & clarinet?)
Bob Mielke (trombone)
Dick Oxtot (banjo)
Jim Cummings (string bass)
and possibly others

You’re Driving Me Crazy.mp3 (8:18)

Thanks to Earl Scheelar.

New 10.2014


“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

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