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Ann Richards

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Listening to a collection of 1958-1961 albums by Ann Richards.  She sang with and had a very ill-advised, troubled marriage to Stan Kenton, and caused him a lot of heartache toward the end of the marriage.  Seems to have had a very haunted life and committed suicide in 1982 at 46,, but had an amazing voice, and the collection is really good.  Any other thoughts on her music?  Here is a prime example, a song I love in almost every version I've ever heard:

 

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She ended up in Dallas. The little bit of local lore that I’ve heard has “haunted” as a very generous euphemism, and if I were to say that the marriage to Kenton was as much a symptom as it was a cause, I hope that’s understood. Nowadays there’s so many different medications, but back then ( and still today) alcohol is cheap and available.

There was a later record made locally. I’ve not heard it, but I recall the cover being kind of, uh, self-explanatory, but maybe not.

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Jazz Wax had an interesting article earlier this week about Dallas Jazz, including Ann Richards. 

See Dallas Jazz Circa 1960

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Ok, I got some things conflated. That Losers Club record was made In Hollywood, not Dallas. There was a club here by that name, but it was not that one. So I don’t know if the lore is from whatever time she was here, or if it’s been passed down by and through the then-extensive Kenton network in these parts.

No matter. It sure seems like these were two self-destructive individuals who were not going to be anything but what they were. People are funny that way.

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39 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Ok, I got some things conflated. That Losers Club record was made In Hollywood, not Dallas. There was a club here by that name, but it was not that one. So I don’t know if the lore is from whatever time she was here, or if it’s been passed down by and through the then-extensive Kenton network in these parts.

No matter. It sure seems like these were two self-destructive individuals who were not going to be anything but what they were. People are funny that way.

Yeah, I found out a lot more about Stan Kenton than I wanted to know while looking up some of this.  

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Kenton was a BIG mess, but how he emerged from that weird semi-retirement of tour bands and all over the place studio records (Neophonic, Wagner, The World We Knew, Dee Barton, Hair, jeeeeez, talk about being adrift and directionless) to get a group of True Believers and finally come out on the other side with that superb Redlands band/record...that’s its own kind of heroic odyssey, to be sure. Whatever else there is to say about him, there is still that. At its peak, that whole Creative World thing (the actual business, not the marketing slogan) was really working. When we now talk about artist-controlled record/management enterprises, that one gets forgotten, but it was there, doing it.

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6 hours ago, JSngry said:

Kenton was a BIG mess, but how he emerged from that weird semi-retirement of tour bands and all over the place studio records (Neophonic, Wagner, The World We Knew, Dee Barton, Hair, jeeeeez, talk about being adrift and directionless) to get a group of True Believers and finally come out on the other side with that superb Redlands band/record...that’s its own kind of heroic odyssey, to be sure. Whatever else there is to say about him, there is still that. At its peak, that whole Creative World thing (the actual business, not the marketing slogan) was really working. When we now talk about artist-controlled record/management enterprises, that one gets forgotten, but it was there, doing it.

Yep.  Kenton was "uncool" when I started listening in the early 70's so I shunned his work, but now that I have heard what he was doing during that period, I know it is major stuff and a great band.  I have that Redlands set in permanent collection, along with some other material that came out posthumously.  And I have learned to appreciate much of his old stuff, such as "West Side Story".

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Major stuff...from time to time, occasionally, maybe. But great bands, always, and that is never anything to take for granted. Just listen to all the non-*great bands who put on an attempt at going there. As painful as the model sometimes is, the copies aren’t just painful, they’re failures in a way that the stuff that drove the originals despised. Moral of the story, maybe, is that one good way to never be a hero is to imitate one.

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"""Her goal of meeting him""""??? oh god....im reading....

I also did not know chris conner was a kenton singer.  Shes not on any kenton 78s right, is she after that

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6 hours ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

I also did not know chris connOr was a kenton singer.  Shes not on any kenton 78s right, is she after that

What makes you think so?

She was on Kenton reecording sessions on

Feb. 11, 1953
April 8, 1953
May 25, 1953

Reissued often ...

https://jazzdiscography.com/Artists/Connor/Connor_preBeth.php

 

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well hindsight is 20-20 but now i see that if she was solo on bethelem in what, '55, then yea '53 makes scence - i will look that over, im always on jazzdisco but not jazzdiscogrpahy.  i need to browse that more. i just read up on all the kenton stuff, i didnt know he was a monster, and so was his mother too.  you cant blame that on the drinking, thats not a drinking side effect, they were straight up crazy.  whats the deal with the young kenton biography. is it known in his younger years the events which led up to him becoming evil. 

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An endless subject ...  Was he more evil than many other "celebs" who were not all that pleasant in their day-to-day dealings - in stark contrast to their artist image?

Artists aren't per se better human beings in the way they act in their private lives. Hasn't it often been said that in the end you cannot really avoid separating the artist (and his work) from the person? Otherwise, where would things end up if we all were to stage posthumous "Weinstein revisited" campaigns on whomever for whatever reason? Would we discard our Dizzy Gillespie records, for example, because Valerie Wilmer must have found him rather evil too after certain things that happened?

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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There was a well-known jazz musician that a good friend of mine had mentioned to the musician's manager (who I also had good relationship with) that it would be great if that musician and I could meet.  The manager told my friend that would not be a good idea.  My friend said that I was not the kind of person who would be all goo goo over that meeting, I would not be a problem.  The manager said that was not the concern, the manager was worried that the musician would immediately start hounding me for money (and I'm not wealthy by any means, pure middle class).    I remember Zoot Sims' famous comment about Stan Getz, "Stan's a whole bunch of swell guys".  Some of the stories of the Blue Note artists from the 50's/60's are harrowing,  much as I love that music.  And that's just what we know on the surface, it gets worse from there, I'm sure.   In this much needed age of #metoo, I can't imagine what all would be coming out.  There are a spectrum of good and evil and broken people, and so no doubt a spectrum of good and evil and broken jazz musicians, and there is public image vs. private reality.  It gets complicated.  Life gets complicated when we get our hands dirty living it.  My wife and I do counseling and intervention for abusive marriages, and it's never straightforward. (be glad to discuss that offline with anyone who's interested)  Justice and mercy both have their places.  

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