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Tentet Anyone?


Tonight's "Big Broadcast" is about as crowded as they get, with ten birthday salutes. Crossover helps; finding a record by one of the songwriters (Sam H. Stept) featuring birthday violinist Joe Venuti. The object is to keep the four hours moving, and keep recirculating the whole crew. Although it wounds me to know that everybody doesn't stick from 8 until midnight, it's important to avoid long stretches by any one person.

One of tonight's persons is composer and pianist J.C. Johnson, who is best known for being mixed up with pianist and composer James P. Johnson. Adding to the confusion is that both were known as "Jimmy," and it isn't unusual to find a recording of a "Johnson" song with Johnson playing piano. Or the other way around. And both were associated with the only Fats Waller. 1928 was a big year for J.C., with pop hits that included "Louisiana" and "When." Both were recorded by Paul Whiteman, the most popular band of the era. Kenneth "Kenn" Sisson had a long career as an arranger, but only a year of recording as a leader. It's unlikely he had a working band, since the personnel on his Brunswick records line up with Ben Bernie's orchestra. Sisson's "When" will be heard tonight. Or sooner.