Count Basie in Geneva 1956
Update (December 16 2011): Meanwhile everybody on these photos has been identified. Thanks to Peter Vacher and Bill Lee!
I had a request from Yvette Porter Moore who was in search for photographs of her Grand Uncle Wendell Culley. Culley (January 8, 1906 – June 1983) played trumpet with Noble Sissle, Lionel Hampton (from 1944 to 1949) and Count Basie (from 1951 to 1959). Indeed I found a photo in the Otto Flückiger archives that showed Wendell Culley and Duke Garrette 1948 in Lionel Hampton’s band. You can see this photo on Yvette’s blog.
When I looked for further photographs of Culley, I discovered a handful of photos showing different members of the Count Basie orchestra when it was touring switzerland in 1956. Most probably these were taken by Ernest Zwonicek in Geneva. It would be nice to know for sure though. I am not really a specialist on Basie, so I could not identify each and everyone. But I had help!
First up is a photo of Basie himself, probably taken at the Geneva train station.
Next up is the man who unwillingly made me look for these photos:
Wendell Culley, probably in Geneva
Now for guitarist Freddie Green
A copy of the Freddie Green photo is also in Hans Phillipi’s notebooks now residing in the collection of Mario Schneeberger. That copy (edited) was used in the booklet of TCB CD02202 Count Basie Orchestra Mustermesse Basel 1956 Part 2.
If these photos were indeed taken in Geneva, they sure were taken in the dressing rooms of Victoria Hall where the orchestra played. This one shows Frank Wess:
Frank Wess, Joe Newman
Wendell Culley, Eddie Jones, Count Basie, Joe Williams,
Frank Foster, Freddie Green.