The Natchez Fire- Part 3 “The Museum”

Now that we have addressed the fire as well as the band and band leader who perished in the Natchez Blaze on April 23, 1940, I would like to introduce you to a couple who have worked diligently to preserve the names and history behind the fire. Their names are Monroe and Betty Sago who are the owners and operators of the Rhythm Night Club Memorial Museum in Natchez. While making our way to the gulf to spend some time with our family, my wife and I decided to visit the city of Natchez of which we knew nothing about.…

The Natchez Fire- Part 2 “The Remarkable Walter Barnes”

Walter Barnes was an important figure in history for several reasons. • Mr. Barnes was a popular columnist, writing for the Chicago Defender, the national black news of the day. • Walter Barnes & His Royal Creolians became the first black band to broadcast in Chicago, over WHFC. • Barnes’s writings became the guide for traveling black bands in the South, opening a new frontier to the black band business. • Barnes’s greatness as an entertainer stemmed from his ability to exploit his audience’s desires. He became Duke Ellington to the smaller dance halls of the South. • Trapped in…

The Natchez Fire- Part 1

Man has been subjected to many devastating conditions such as the crash of the Hindenburg, the sinking of the Titanic, the earth quake in Haiti and even more currently, school shootings. Each reserved time in the headlines and each was viewed as a tragic happening but some disasters go unnoticed by the general public for various reasons. The world knows within minutes of a bomb exploding at the end of the Boston Marathon and all of the horrifying details are shown over and over as the news reports keep the story alive for weeks or until another gruesome event takes…

It Could Only Happen In Branson

Many times we in Branson repeat this time worn phrase, “It could only happen in Branson”. It could be stated while waiting for the traffic light to change when suddenly you see a pink Cadillac drive past with Elvis at the wheel. You could be walking down one of the isles in a grocery store and bump carts with one of the Oak Ridge Boys. Or the time I ran into the members of the Comets shopping in Wal-Mart. It happens more often than one would realize. But what happened today may be the best “It only happens in Branson”…

A Breathing Lesson With Don “Jake” Jacoby

Voices from the past bring back wonderful recollections of people who have influenced our lives and for that reason I have posted this lecture given by one of my former trumpet teachers, Don Jacoby. The tone and mannerisms in this recording make it almost as if “Jake” were actually in the room. Only people who knew this very gifted player and teacher can really know what this recording can do to a person’s past memories. For those who knew Mr. Jacoby, enjoy remembering those good times and for those who never had the pleasure of meeting him, enjoy his lesson…

Returning Home With Honor- The Branson Trumpet Ensemble

I wrote this number to recognize the people who give so much to our country and who do it in such an unselfish manner. I’m speaking of course of the members of our armed services. This video was recorded at our local college and I hope you enjoy this small token of our gratitude to those who spend their lives making sure that we continue to live in the greatest country on earth. Thank you from the Branson Trumpet Ensemble and the free people of the United States of America. Returning Home With Honor- The Branson Trumpet Ensemble

Springs have sprung

To make sure your valves come back up after you press them down, manufacturers have furnished us with a set of springs which work very well for most of the time. Sometimes we are faced with valves which seem to hang up every so often and it usually happens at the worst time. Hesitant valves can be a real headache as I remember when I was in fifth grade and performing cornet solos with the Moline Boys Choir, of which I was a member. I had two solos to alternately perform in our concerts. It was usually when we had…