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THE STRONG CARD

PITTSBURGH JAZZ

Roger Humphries

 

From Blakey to Brown, Como to Costa, Eckstine to Eldridge, Galbraith to Garner, Harris to Hines, Horne to Hyman, Jamal to Jefferson, Kelly to Klook; Mancini to Marmarosa, May to Mitchell, Negri to Nestico, Parlan to Ponder, Reed to Ruther, Strayhorn to Sullivan, Turk to Turrentine, Wade to Williams… the forthcoming publication Treasury of Pittsburgh Jazz Connections by Dr. Nelson Harrison and Dr. Ralph Proctor, Jr. will document the legacy of one of the world’s greatest jazz capitals.

 

Do you want to know who Dizzy Gillespie  idolized? Did you ever wonder who inspired Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey? Who was the pianist that mentored Monk, Bud Powell, Tad Dameron, Elmo Hope, Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme? Who was Art Tatum’s idol and Nat Cole’s mentor? What musical quartet pioneered the concept adopted later by the Modern Jazz Quartet? Were you ever curious to know who taught saxophone to Stanley Turrentine or who taught piano to Ahmad Jamal? What community music school trained Robert McFerrin, Sr. for his history-making debut with the Metropolitan Opera? What virtually unknown pianist was a significant influence on young John Coltrane, Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Timmons and Ray Bryant when he moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh in the 1940s?  Would you be surprised to know that Erroll Garner attended classes at the Julliard School of Music in New York and was at the top of his class in writing and arranging proficiency?

 

Some answers  can be gleaned from the postings on the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.

 

For almost 100 years the Pittsburgh region has been a metacenter of jazz originality that is second to no other in the history of jazz.  One of the best kept secrets in jazz folklore, the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy has heretofore remained mythical.  We have dubbed it “the greatest story never told” since it has not been represented in writing before now in such a way as to be accessible to anyone seeking to know more about it.  When it was happening, little did we know how priceless the memories would become when the times were gone.

 

Today jazz is still king in Pittsburgh, with events, performances and activities happening all the time. The Pittsburgh Jazz Network is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the places, artists and fans that carry on the legacy of Pittsburgh's jazz heritage.

 

WELCOME!

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words
Frank B. Greenlee
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May 18, 2013
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Leonard Johnson

"Leonard, Take a look at my blog post and let me know if you would be interested. Hope all is well. Ken  "
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Union Local 471 Plaque

"Beautiful photo!  Well Done -- Chuck Austin and the Members of the African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh, Inc.!!!"
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Profile Information

Pittsburgh Connection
Born and raised in Pittsburgh and have enjoyed it all. I have had the opportunity to play music as a small performer and as a radio announcer.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
All the musicians and performers in Pittsburgh are my favorites. All the talent of Pittsburgh needs to be promoted as much as possible.

There are some Pittsburgh musicians that have been forgotten that need to be remembered, like Jame "Blood" Ulmer, Charles Bell, Allan Blairman and those that were adopted like Willie Love, Sonny Stanton and Mickey Bass to name just a few.
About Me:
My first gig was with Ron Bickle when we were students at Allegheny High School, Ron was a monster even then, he invited me to play with him at the YMCA on bass which I never played, he said I had ears so I could play it, I did.

some of you know me and can speak of me better than I can.
Website:
http://grou.ps/franksplace
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industry professional

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Frank B. Greenlee's Blog

I Was Honored

Posted on November 17, 2010 at 3:30pm 0 Comments

You know how people always say let me smell the roses. Well yesterday was a good day and I got to smell some of the roses. I was presented an honor by Allegheny County Council and Member, William Russell Robinson a "Allegheny County Council Proclamation" for my history with music in Allegheny County. I want to thank you all, Frank B. Greenlee…

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Pittsburghers, Eddie Russ, Leon Cook and Kwasi Jayourba

Posted on November 24, 2009 at 4:31am 0 Comments

I added two tunes with Pittsburghers performing. Eddie Russ doing, Don't Tell My Neighbors. Leon Cook and Kwasi Jayourba on "Bean's" with Jimmy McGriff and Richard 'Groove' Holmes. Enjoy....

They have done it again...... Black Radio is Dead in Pittsburgh

Posted on May 16, 2009 at 5:58am 0 Comments

Ron Davenport has sold WAMO A.M./F.M. and WPGR, there is now no Black Urban Radio in Pittsburgh, PA. Think about it, there is no broadcast media outlet for black expression, concern or news. We are now back to the future of the 1940's. What is your comment or concerns?

Comment Wall (42 comments)

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At 11:55pm on April 26, 2010, Eugene Woody Smith said…
Sorry about the photo.It`s old,taken by Van`s dad Tini.
At 11:47pm on April 26, 2010, Eugene Woody Smith said…
That was taken in the 60`s!!
At 10:07pm on December 18, 2009, Mark Leonard said…
Hey Mr Frank! (yes, although I'm 46, my dad (Roger Leonard) taught me nothing but respect! I remember your radio days " The Big G", it inspired me to finally do it. Did the Columbia School thing and had an on air Acid Jazz format show on WYEP for a couple of years while I was still with the Police Dept. Thanks to you...one of my Dad's best friends!

Mark Leonard
At 6:11am on October 10, 2009, Sandra Hurt-P said…
It saddens me to see so many jazz stations fading away. When living in Pittsburgh I could not wait to hear that distinguish deep voice saying “Hi this is Frank Greenlee”. His voice alone illuminated my already dark living room as I awaited the sooth sounds that I knew would soon be filling the room with history of many jazz artists. Some older than me at the time but still capture my mind wanting more. I remember when I applied for a job a Mercy health Clinic, the interviewer walked in the room and said Hi I am Frank Greenlee, I almost fell out the chair. In my mind I keep saying OMG it’s him, however I kept my composure until after the interview. Once it was confirmed I had the job then I fell apart, LOL. I have three children ranging from the age of 36, 22 and 19 and they all have been introduced to jazz including the history of jazz and the artist. We must continue to educate are children, grandchildren, all of our youth so that Jazz will not fade and slowly become a sound of the past like so many jazz stations. I wanted to take this moment to say thank you Frank!
At 5:44am on October 4, 2009, Sandy Papi said…
Frank Greenlee, OMG where have you been since the Mercy Health Center days... Sandy K here. Hope all is well and good to see you here
At 8:51pm on September 6, 2009, Buster Maxwell said…
At 8:50pm on September 6, 2009, Buster Maxwell said…
Frank, Thanks for your nice note and the kind words. Those are also my demo tunes above the video link on my page. I'll be in touch - would love to catch up! - Buster/mj
At 11:36pm on September 5, 2009, Buster Maxwell said…
Frank, "The Master, The Big G" Greenlee! I learned a lot about presentation from you when we were on WMBA, Ambridge. That was 1973, my first radio gig. We had some fun, yes? It was so far from my house that I spent more time on the bus than I did on the air.
At 12:57am on February 27, 2009, Jerry Butler said…
I would love to feature "you" as my guest on my show..If I am not your friend..please add me...also please call me @ the offc at 757 538 3540...757 971 3733 for details...click on the banner below to be a guest...JB


At 5:01pm on December 8, 2008, Dwayne Dolphin said…
Frank
I dont have the words for what you have meant to the jazz scene in this city! Dave Budway and I where talking about you yesterday! You and Buck! We love you and THANK YOU!
At 4:49am on December 7, 2008, Ronnie Cox said…
I am Ronnie Cox from originally from Beaver Falls. My younger brother and I used to listen to you on Saturday mornings I believe. Back then AM radio was pretty much all we had. We had a hard time getting WAMO in Beaver Falls. Those tunes you played helped to keep us in touch with the sounds of the 70's. As we get older, those things that seemed little years ago, were actually huge in helping to shape our lives. Thanks " Big G" ... RC

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