Gin--free love--late and irregular hours--overwhelming conceit; all are closely associated with the average jazz musician by the general public. However, we who have known Charley Vinal can certainly point with pride to a man who was not only a credit to his profession but also an outstanding example of clean-living American youth.
Charley was a talented young musician of 17, playing saxophone with a local radio orchestra, when he contracted in fantile paralysis. Then followed a year in an iron lung and three more in bed. He switched from sax to clarinet, deriving his musical inspiration from an excellent recorded library by Tesch, Huntz Hall, Pee Wee, and others steeped in the musical traditions of the Mississippi delta.
George Frazier '33, was one of the first critics to "discover" this young man who despite the physical disability which confined him to a wheelchair, had a personality so magnetic as to draw one great musician after another on the 15 mile pilgrimage to the Vinal hozze in South Weymouth. On a home records waxings were made of Charley jammings with Josh White, Frank Newton, J. Jones, Basie, and the Crosby band to mention only a few. With one musical climax following another, the apex of Charley's career may be said to have occurred this past summer when, under the guiding hand of George Avakian, he gathered together his own Dixieland Band which was featured at Harvard Jazz Club sessions and early opened at a Boston night club.
On Tuesday, April 25, after a brief illness, Charley Vinal died of pneumonia. In order to carry on his fine musical tradition, his friends will gather at the Cantabrigia Club this Sunday afternoon for a Jam Session dedicated to him.
Notes About Town--The Ken Club is inaugurating a new policy calling for guest stars from New York every Sunday. Frankie Newton was featured last Sunday. Frankie stayed over Monday and dropped in on Pete Brown at the Savoy.
Ted Lewis opened at the RKO Boston yesterday with George Brunies and Muggsy Spanier in the band. What some men will do for money!--Latest advice from NYC tells of Dorchester's Max Kaminsky, just out of the Navy, opening a new Village bistro, "The Pied Piper," Cless. Orchard, and Danny Alvin in the band