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NEW ORLEANS  TRUMPET IN CHICAGO - Additions and Corrections


THE YAS YAS GIRL AND HER JAZZ BOYS (P. 79) : Should now read:-


Merline Johnson vocal, acc. by Lee Collins t; Buster Bennett as; Blind John Davis p; Alfred Elkins vcl b.


                                                                                      Chicago, August 31 1939


WC-2671-A Fine And Mellow (Holiday)                                                                               Voc 05105

WC-2672-A Nobody Knows How I Feel (T. Delaney - P. Delaney)                                         Voc 05105

WC-2673-A I Need You By My Side (Whitaker)                                                                    Voc 05219

WC-2674-A You Can’t Have None Of That (----)                                                                   Voc 05180, Co 30088, 37786

WC-2675-A I Got To Have It Daddy (----)                                                                            Voc 05286, Co 30062, 37685

WC-2676-A I Don’t Have To Sing The Blues (----)                                                                 Voc 05219

WC-2677-A You’re A Pain In The Neck To Me (Casey Bill)                                                    Voc 05501Cq 9449

WC-2678-A I’d Rather Be Drunk  (Casey Bill)                                                                        Voc 05180, Co 30088, 37786

WC-2679-A I Just Keep On Drinking (----)                                                                            Voc 05286, Co 30062, 37685


While I was looking through my correspondence with my late friend and collaborator Ernest Virgo regarding a quite different matter I stumbled on the following reference from a letter from September 1988 from the distinguished Swiss researcher Johnhny Simmen to André Vasset, Big Bill Broonzy’s biographer with whom Ernest was in contact:

I remember when (in Dec. 1951, in Basle) we were searching for some titles he (Lee Collins) did with the Yas Yas Girl, he was singing the main riff of Nobody Knows The Way (sic - CH) and also said “We recorded that famous blues made by Billie Holiday” (Fine and Mellow). Two days later Lee Came to Zurich and, in the meantime, I had checked the titles and he confirmed them. We had “quite a session” that afternoon with Lee, Zutty, Marge and me…..

Ernest goes on to regret that this was not reported to B&GR or Rust. I must have been aware of this at the time and took it at face value as I was convinced of Lee’s presence on the session but it escaped my memory when putting New Orleans Trumpet in Chicago together. Our collaborator Clive Wilson was sceptical regarding Collins’s presence on that Yas Yas Girl session on stylistic grounds, preferring to suggest Guy Kelly on which I felt bound to bow to his greater experience and knowledge.  

By the time of publication of Chicago Swingers which also included that same session, we were less happy with the suggestion of Kelly and preferred to list the trumpeter as “unknown”.

We are now also convinced that the alto sax player is Buster Bennett, as listed in B&GR and the Buster Bennett website, and not Edgar Saucier as we suggested..

Coincidentally Guy Kelly has recently come up on the New Orleans Music group on Facebook and our earlier views on the matter have been quoted, ref. New Orleans Music Magazine vol. 52 vol. 2 &3. - see below. This, of course, modifies those views with respect to the Yas Yas Girl session and gives us the last word on a most important session of the blues band genre.


REFERENCES (P. 95) The following would have been included were it not for the fact that they were published just after the book:- 

Guy Kelly: One who nearly got away by Robert Greenwood. New Orleans Music magazine volume 15 no. 2 (December 2009). This amplifies what we were able to say about Kelly in the book. 

Guy Kelly: letters from Chris Hillman and Clive Wilson. New Orleans Music magazine volume 15 no. 3 (March 2010). 


The above updates apply equally to Chicago Swingers (q.v.).


We are also aware that Dan Vernhettes is working on an in depth study of Guy Kelly, probably for inclusion in the next volume of Jazz Letters, the first volume of which has has been invaluable in our compilation of our forthcoming publication Crescent City  Cornet.


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