WFMU Ichiban, Rock and Soul with Debbie D

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Above: Slim Gaillard on guitar and a drummer I cannot identify, 1946. From the LIFE archives.


Steve Hathaway said...

Drummer is Scatman Crothers. Picture taken at Billy Berg's, 356 North Vine Street, Hollywood. You can recognize this from film that was made during this time period. Example on YouTube:

Dr. Horse said...

Billy Berg's it is but with all due respect, Steve, I believe the drummer is the scat singing genius Leo Watson. He also played trombone and drums but his stream-of-consciousness scatting was one-of-a-kind. Leo was one of the several L.A. drummers who worked with Gaillard in the mid 1940s; they included Zutty Singleton, Oscar Bradley and Chico Hamilton. But Leo's ability to improvise as a singer set him apart from almost all of the musical Gaillard associates of that time.
Scatman Crothers, recently arrived in L.A., still had a little bit of hair in 1946. Leo was near the end of his life and acting crazier than usual. One way that played out was the shaving of his head--not a common sight in those days.