Item #8588 [Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title]. Dale “Lucky” M. Cook, compiler.
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].
[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].

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Cook, Dale “Lucky” M., compiler.

[Photo album/scrapbook documenting the Swing Era scene and African American musicians.] Scrapbook [cover title].

U.S.; Canada, 1939–1947. Folio (15.5” x 12.5”), embossed brown paper boards. Total of 62 original photographs, two being duplicates, approx. 4.75” x 3” to 8.125” x 10”, including 39 photos mounted on 34 leaves, all now loose and each in a mylar sleeve, and 23 additional loose photos; many photos inscribed, some with photographer’s stamp on the verso; 7 clipped photo-illustrations, 3 clipped articles, 1 typed set list with notes in pencil, 1 cabaret dance handbill, 1 club membership card, 1 typed document authorizing William Morris Agency to act as “our personal representative” for an engagement at Club Laurine, Los Angeles, signed by Cook and dated 28 April 1944. CONDITION: Loose photos generally good with occasional patches of damage and dampstaining, very good tonality; most mounted photos with some damage to the right edge, but images largely unaffected, a few with more extensive damage, photos wuth strong tonality overall; most leaves partially dampstained, 2 half leaves excised.

An extensive and highly evocative album compiled by a prolific jazz double-bassist, comprising sixty-two photos and related ephemera, including photos of Count Basie and a young Nat King Cole; documenting a handful of Black and white female jazz musicians, and featuring considerable Roy Milton Band content. 

The compiler of this scrapbook, Dale “Lucky” M. Cook, was a beloved jazz double-bassist who was active during the Swing Era (approx. 1930–45) and kept the company of Count Basie, Vernon Brown, Candy Candido, Roy Milton, and numerous others. An affable-looking man, Cook is variously shown with and without a mustache, and playing or holding his double-bass, which he affectionately named Anastasia (one photo is captioned “Me and Anastasia”). Spanning from the late 1930s to the late ‘40s, this scrapbook is an appealing document of the Swing jazz scene from New York to Vancouver to Hollywood. A cast of influential characters—male and female, Black and white—are pictured throughout: Nat King Cole, Johnny Miller, Oscar Moore, Count Basie, Charlie Barnet Band, Roy Milton’s Band, Bill Renaldi, Eddy Davis, Billy Bell, singer Peggy Goodman, Belgium drummer Jo Duchateau, singer June Richmond, pianist Camille Howard, Allen Tomm, Al Donahue’s Boys, and the Gerald Wells Orchestra. In several photos, Cook is the only white member of whatever band he is playing with, and while a number of white musicians are featured in these images, African Americans musicians predominate. Several interracial groups are identified by Cook as “my band,” and in a shot that captures Cook’s “first band,” he and the all-white members wear skirts while performing. One image features Cook with a woman named Georgie, possibly his partner.

Many pivotal jazz venues of this exuberant era are pictured (the locations of some noted in the inscriptions): Sugar Hill (Hollywood), the Apollo Theater (NY), the Paramount Theatre (NY), Club Alabam (LA), Circle Club (Hollywood), Club Lido (San Francisco), Roll Inn (Seattle), Plantation Club (LA), Trianon Ballroom (Seattle), Roseland Ballroom (NY), Orpheum Theatre (Boston), Jantzen Beach (Portland, OR), Florentine Gardens (Hollywood), Pirates Den (Hollywood), The Troc (Vancouver), 333 Club (Hollywood), Plantation Club (LA), Cotton Club (St. Louis), Lows State Theatre (Chicago), and the Savoy Ballroom (Chicago). During this period, jazz musicians were often hired to accompany burlesque shows, and several photos here picture both musicians and burlesque dancers. While audiences tend to be predominately white, several Black audience members are seen in a number of shots. In the case of Seattle’s Trianon Ballroom, the band appears to have played to U.S. servicemen. 

Included here are a number of signed and inscribed photos presented to Cook by the likes of Red Callender (inscribed “One of the greatest people I know”), Roy Milton (“All the best to one of the best”), Al Mitchell (“Lots of success with our bass”), Candy Candido (“All the best in my three voices, always”), Vernon Brown (“To my boy Lucky”), Ricky Mason (“Lafayette—thank God you were there”), Russell Jones (“A fine cat and friend stay with your bass”), Mick Mack (“Because I get your kicks”), Stone & Barton (“Here’s hoping your slapping your bass instead of the mah-‘agony’ bar the next time we see you”), and Marque & Marquette. Many of the most effusive inscriptions are by drummers, with whom Cook would have had a natural rapport in holding-down the rhythm section. 

Among the ephemera included here are: a letter signed by Cook on April 28th, 1944 authorizing the William Morris Agency, Inc. to represent him for a period of one month at Club Laurine in Los Angeles; an envelope sent to Cook at a Hotel in New Mexico; a typed music set-list with amendments made in pencil; a newspaper clipping celebrating the life and work of Jimmy Blanton, who was a bassist for Duke Ellington; and a clipping featuring saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, who is dubbed “the world’s top saxophonist” for “20 years” (the presence of this clipping suggesting Cook may have also worked with him). Judging by Cook’s scattered appearances in newspapers, he played well into the 1950s.

A rich survival of the Swing Era by a bassist who held his own among jazz greats and toured extensively. 

Item #8588

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