August 21, 1904 - Count Basie

Aug 21, 2012

By AM740 Staff

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Bandleader, pianist and composer Count Basie was born on this day. The Count and his band played with a number of jazz musicians and singers including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. He recorded three albums with Sinatra, including Sinatra’s first live album, Sinatra at the Sands. In his autobiography, he recounts the sessions from their first collaboration, Sinatra-Baise:

 “I don’t remember any snarl-ups or anything like that at all on those sessions. Frank is a perfectionist, and he believes in thorough preparation and hard work, but he also likes for things to hang loose. I remember rehearsals and the takes going down very smoothly, and I also remember friends and well-wishers like Sammy Davis, Benny Carter, Dinah Shore, and a whole bunch of others dropping by those sessions and sticking around as long as they had time to spare. That’s the kind of gig that was, and when we finished, Frank said something like ‘We must do this again sometime.'”


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