|Visit www.philcartwright.info for information about the NE Ohio jazz scene, about traditional
New Orleans bands active in our area, and information about songs and composers.
The Get Hep Swing Dance Studio sponsors
monthly dance sessions. This month’s event
is at the Bohemian National Hall, 4939
Broadway, Cleveland, OH 44127. Jitterbug
lesson from 8:00-9:00 PM followed by
dancing with EARLYJAS’ HOT JAZZ
SEVEN. Admission charge. Parking at rear
Check out the band at:
Triangle Jazz Record Review
Ralph Grugel , Cleveland Jazz Father
Ralph Grugel, known to many Clevelanders as the "patriarch of traditional jazz," died Monday July
18, 2005, at Heather Hill Hospital in Chardon. He was 73.
Grugel, who lived in Richmond Heights, became well-known to Cleveland when he played
trombone at Fagan's, one of the first nightclubs in the Flats with live jazz. Grugel's band, the
Bourbon Street Bums, became a mainstay at Fagan's.
Over the years, Grugel played with local bands, such as Eagle Jazz and Sister Jean and Laundry Fat.
Grugel, the band leader of the Eagle Jazz Band, played with the group for more than 25 years, said
his widow, Tannis. They performed at the Market Street Ex-change and Sea World. The Eagle Jazz
Band occasionally substituted for another band that played at Tony Packo's, a Toledo restaurant
made famous by actor Jamie Farr in the TV series "M*A*S*H."
Grugel, a Cleveland native, graduated from Shaw High School before serving in the Army during
the Korean War. Following the war, he worked as a brakeman for New York Central Railroad.
It was while working on the trains that he got his first taste of Dixieland jazz. He would travel to
New York City, where he would watch the local jazz bands. It was then that he fell in love with
what would become his great hobby — Dixieland.
"He really wanted to play trumpet because Louis Arm-strong played trumpet, but he thought the
fingering was too hard," his wife said. "He never got the fingering. He tried his whole life."
Grugel worked briefly as a bar-tender in the mid-1960s before working as a scrap metal sales-man
with M. Weingold, a job he had until he retired in 1994. All the while, he learned to play trombone
and continued his hobby.
"Musicians have a saying, `You play terrific, but don't quit your day job, because you'll never make
a living at it,' " his wife said.
The last time he played was in May, before illness made him cancel the rest of his summer schedule.
In addition to his wife of 33 years, Grugel’s survivors include his sister, Norma Roberts.
Services were held on July 22, 2005, at the Schulte and Mahon-Murphy Funeral Home, Lyndhurst,
OH. Donations can be made to the Salvation Army, 2507 E. 22nd St., Cleveland, OH 44115.
AUSTIN ARCEO Plain Dealer Reporter.
Plain Dealer, July 22, 2005
Electronic Newsletter for EARLYJAS
Editor: Phil Cartwright Editor@earlyjas.org
|Earlville Association for Ragtime Lovers Yearning
for Jazz Advancement and Socialization
Once in awhile one sort of "blunders" onto some
great art form. It could be a painting, an old
auto, a once prized musical instrument or an
exceptional recording. I can think of a few
recordings like Cornetcopia or the all Hoagy
albums by Jim Cullum or some of Charlie
Bertini's works of art — Christmas Cookies or
one he, Randy Morris and Dave Gannett put
Then, there's this one I stumbled onto by Ken Salvo who plays mostly in the East and can really
make a banjo jump and jive. Makin' Whoopee is it's name. Ken joins Fred Stoll on Drums and Matt
Finders on Tuba.
As I write this word -- Tuba -- I digress a little to mention another CD featuring Dave Gannett
named appropriately "Tubas from Hell" and if you like Tubas, this is one for you.
But, back to Ken Salvo and Makin Whoopee. The tune selection includes the Title, I Found a New
Baby, Crazy Rhythm, I Got Rhythm, Lover, Honeysuckle Rose, Medley Italian, Darktown Strutter /
Doin the Raccoon, Louisiana Fairytale (my favorite), Alabama Jubilee, Alexanders Ragtime Band,
12th Street Rag, Dream a Little Dream, and a medley of music.
This album is jazz to it's true form. It's not Chicago or West Coast Trad nor is it Old New Orleans
or Kansas City. It is Ken Salvo doing a great job with a trio that makes the music we call jazz.
This and 3500 or so other titles are available at Triangle Jazz, 266 Lakeshore Drive West, Lake
Quivira, KS, 66217. Phone number (913)962-6818.