Bix Beiderbecke Music Collection
Scope and Contents
This is a collection containing audio recordings of Bix Beiderbecke, a native to Davenport, Iowa.
Included are CD's called "The Bix Beiderbecke Story" consisting of four CDs compiled in 2003 in England. There are over 100 recordings by Bix Beiderbecke included.
Additionally there are 78 rpm audio disk recordings of Beiderbecke:
Ol' Man River - Fox Trot by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
Make Believe - Fox Trot by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
Together by Paul Whiteman and his Concert Orchestra
My Heart Stood Still by Paul Whiteman and his Concert Orchestra
Soliloquy by Paul Whiteman and his Concert Orchestra
When Day is Done by Paul Whiteman and his Concert Orchestra
Gypsy by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
I Dream of Lilac Time by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
Wherever You Go Whatever You Do - Fox Trot by Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orchestra
I'm in Love Again - Fox Trot by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
Ramona - Waltz by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
Lonely Melody by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
- Creation: 1920-1931
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Materials are available for use in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center only.
Request permission before copying materials.
Personal digital cameras and scanners are allowed in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center on a case-by-case basis. The items that a researcher may want to scan or photograph must be examined and evaluated for physical condition, copyright issues, and donor restrictions by staff.
Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material.
Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.
Biographical / Historical
Bix Beiderbecke, in full Leon Bismark Beiderbecke, (born March 10, 1903, Davenport, Iowa, U.S.—died August 6, 1931, Long Island, New York), American jazz cornetist who was an outstanding improviser and composer of the 1920s and whose style is characterized by lyricism and purity of tone. He was the first major white jazz soloist.
As a boy Beiderbecke was expelled from Lake Forest Academy in suburban Chicago. In 1923 he joined the Wolverines, a youthful group with whom he first recorded and toured to New York City, and in 1925 he worked in Chicago, where he first heard and played with the great Black innovators Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, and Jimmy Noone. While in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1926, Beiderbecke joined Frank Trumbauer, with whom he maintained a close friendship for most of the rest of his life. The two played in the Jean Goldkette band (1927) and in Paul Whiteman’s outstanding pop music orchestra (1928–30), in which Beiderbecke was a featured soloist. Severe alcoholism disrupted his career and led to his death.
Beiderbecke emphasized the cornet’s middle register, using simple rhythms and diatonic harmonies. His attack was precise, and his tone, often described as “golden” and “bell-like,” was consistently pure. If the simplicity of his materials made Beiderbecke’s playing seem delicate, the vitality of his lyric imagination—he had a rare ability to create melodies, embellishments, and melodic variations—demonstrated his strength. Such recordings as “I’m Coming, Virginia” and “Singin’ the Blues,” both recorded with Trumbauer’s group in 1927, remain jazz classics. Beiderbecke’s approach lived on in the playing of Jimmy McPartland and Bobby Hackett, as well as in that of the many lesser players who formed almost a cult of hero worshipers, possibly fueled by novels and films such as Dorothy Baker’s Young Man with a Horn (1938; film 1950), a novel inspired by (but not based on) Beiderbecke’s life. His compositions include several short piano pieces, most notably “In a Mist,” written in an advanced, chromatic harmonic language that showed the influence of such French Impressionist composers as Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Bix Beiderbecke". Encyclopedia Britannica, 6 Mar. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bix-Beiderbecke. Accessed 4 May 2023.
7 Linear Inch (in one 5" overtall legal manuscript box and one original CD cardboard case.)
Language of Materials
Lower Level Lab;
Vinyl records have been recorded by donor and are available with the assistance of a staff member. The CD collection has never been opened.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center Repository
321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490 United States