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New Original Documentary: WHAM Re-Bop-Boom-Bam: The Swing Jazz of Eddie Durham

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WVIA and Chiaroscuro Records have announced the premiere of a new original documentary titled WHAM Re-Bop-Boom-Bam: The Swing Jazz of Eddie Durham.

WVIA and Chiaroscuro Records have announced the premiere of a new original documentary titled WHAM Re-Bop-Boom-Bam: The Swing Jazz of Eddie Durham, which will be made available to public television stations nationwide on February 1st, distributed through American Public Television (APT). The film will be broadcast on over 250 APT member stations nationwide.


Though a fine jazz guitarist in his day, Eddie Durham (1906-1987) is known more as a trombonist, arranger, and composer, but was also a real pioneer of the electric guitar.  George Barnes beat him to the studio to record on the electric guitar by fifteen days, and Eddie’s recordings with the Kansas City Five and Six in 1938 predate Charlie Christian’s recordings by a year.  He got his start in Kansas City in 1927 with Walter Page’s Blue Devils and with Bennie Moten in 1929.  In 1937 he met Charlie Christian at a local pool hall in Oklahoma City and demonstrated to Charlie how he soloed on the guitar and within two years Charlie would take the electric guitar to a new era.  In1938 Durham played and soloed on electric guitar with Freddie Green (Basie’s regular guitarist) comping on acoustic guitar, a rarity for guitarists of the pre-Charlie Christian era.  Eddie’s focus on the guitar lessened as he concentrated on arranging for the big bands of that era.

Through the testimonials of family, friends, and devoted fellow musicians of all ages, Wham-Re-Bop-Boom-Bam: The Swing Jazz of Eddie Durham follows the musical journey of this often overlooked, but totally unique, musical genius. Check your local PBS station for this program after February 1.


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