Eddie Condon in Color, 1962


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In the early 1960's the American Goodyear Tire Co. commissioned a series of short jazz-performance films as part of a promotional campaign. Why Google and Facebook don't do the same today with classic jazz, rock and soul artists is beyond me. Goodyear's jazz movies were filmed in color by multiple cameras on 35mm and the sound was recorded on professional stereo. When presented, the shows were shown in 16mm and mono sound.

In 1962, Goodyear filmed Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars in a TV studio performing some of his hits. Also captured as part of the series was the Bobby Hackett Quintet and Sextet, featuring trombonist Urbie Green, clarinetist Bob Wilber and pianist Dave McKenna. Lastly, Goodyear managed to bring together a stellar Chicago jazz band led by guitarist Eddie Condon. The band featured Wild Bill Davison on cornet, Cutty Curshall on trombone and Peanuts Hucko on clarinet backed by Condon on guitar, Johnny Varro on piano, Joe Williams on bass and Buzzy Drootin on drums.

The following film might not seem like much, but thanks to Goodyear you're seeing an incredible bunch of Chicago jazz musicians who still had what it takes to work through essential songs popular 25 years earlier...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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