Friday, April 20, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Terry Pollard & Clark Terry

Artist:Terry Pollard & Clark Terry
Song:Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)
Album:Hot vs Cool/Cats vs Chicks

Today we take the idea of women as jazz musicians for granted. Right now Esperanza Spalding is probably the most popular jazz musician in the world. But back in the 40s and 50s, there were very few opportunities for women. Singers yes, musicians no. So here's an interesting recording from a 1954 battle of the sexes called Cats vs Chicks. It features the bands of legendary trumpeter Clark Terry and female pianist and vibraphonist Terry Pollard trading licks with each other. And as you will be able to tell, the chicks are as good as the cats. Terry Pollard was born Aug. 15, 1931 in Detroit. She started out playing with local musicians like Billy Mitchell and Emmitt Slay. She was discovered by vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and toured with him from 1953-57. She recorded one solo album for Bethlehem Records in 1955. Cats vs Chicks was a ten inch EP. It only had three songs on it. Down Beat Magazine's Leonard Feather produced it and it was released by MGM. Featured players include Clark Terry on trumpet, Tal Farlow on guitar, Horace Silver on piano, Terry Pollard on piano, Mary Osborne on guitar and Norma Carson on trumpet. The three songs were tacked on to a Clark Terry comp that is out of print. But you can also get them on this various artists CD that is sort of a battle of the sexes. Terry Pollard quit touring in the late 50s to raise a family. She continued to play gigs in Detroit. She died Dec. 16, 2009 at age 68. Mary Osborne was born July 17, 1921 in Minot, ND and was heavily influenced by Charlie Christian. She was a regular on Jack Sterling's CBS radio show in the 50s. She quit the music business and moved to Bakersfield, CA. She died Mar. 4, 1992 at age 70. Norma Carson was a member of the very first all female band The International Sweethearts Of Rhythm. She married sax player Bob Newman in the 50s and retired to Philadelphia. She quit music because of gender bias. To quote Norma "I don't want to be a girl musician. I just want to be a musician". That says it all. Here's a video for Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better) by Terry Pollard and Clark Terry.

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