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Mark Stryker

Birks/Birk's/Birks'

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In various spots I see Dizzy's Gillespie's tune referred to Birk's Works, Birks' Works and Birks Works. Anyone have an authoritative answer or informed guess as to what the definitive title is? Thanks in advance.

 

Edited by Mark Stryker

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Here lies the original, correct?

R-5207893-1504284958-1137.jpeg.jpg

If that's really it, then "works" is a verb, not a noun. Either that or it should be Birks'.

John Birks Gillespie was his name, right? So there's no "Birk" to be had, it's Birks.

Still, did anybody think about it that much when they made the record?

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So "Birks Works" actually means "Birks at work" - right?

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4 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Here lies the original, correct?

R-5207893-1504284958-1137.jpeg.jpg

If that's really it, then "works" is a verb, not a noun. Either that or it should be Birks'.

John Birks Gillespie was his name, right? So there's no "Birk" to be had, it's Birks.

Still, did anybody think about it that much when they made the record?

4 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Here lies the original, correct?

R-5207893-1504284958-1137.jpeg.jpg

If that's really it, then "works" is a verb, not a noun. Either that or it should be Birks'.

John Birks Gillespie was his name, right? So there's no "Birk" to be had, it's Birks.

Still, did anybody think about it that much when they made the record?

Yep -- that's the original.Your "verb" explanation makes sense. But it's possible (likely) that the title was incorrect here because later it's almost always spelled with an apostrophe somewhere in there. BTW, the original producer of that record -- Detroit guy who co-owned  Dee Gee with Dizzy -- is a friend, Dave Usher (later produced stuff for Argo). I could ask him but that's complicated ...

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The works-is-a-verb explanation would require a comma: "Dizzy Gillespie plays, Birks works."

Either way, a small punctuation mark is missing.

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Since his middle name was spelled Birks, grammatically if it’s in the possessive, it should be Birks’ as in Birks’ Works. “Birk’s  Works” is clearly incorrect. 

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I certainty know the name Dave Usher! How old is he now?

I get the principle of most common practice making the final rules, but, really, "Birk's" is not logical, that was not his name, nore was it his nickname. In both cases it was "Birks".

 

Here's Verve, then and later. If "works" is going to be a noun, then it will be " Birks' ". But Verve wants it to also be a verb" "Birks Works" no additional punctuation needed, no different that "Sam works"

220px-Birks%27_Works.jpg

but HERE'S also Verve:

MI0000078581.jpg

Let's look at historical context -  what would you say to the then-commonish complaints about Dizzy's "descent" into commercialism? Hey, Dizzy got the gigs, y'all don't. Y'all hungry, Birks WORKS!

As far as TV shows, I'll take Burke's Law. But that's not in play here, correct?

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Wasn´t Birks Works composed a bit later than all the dozens of compositions he wrote during the 40´s for his combos and big band? Like: Salt Peanuts, Shaw Nuff, I Waited for You, Bebop, Emanon, Groovin High, Blue n Boogie, all were written during the 40´s. Birks Works in comparation sounds "easier". It´s the type of tune you play on jams just to be sure that everybody can blow it.....

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10 hours ago, lipi said:

The works-is-a-verb explanation would require a comma: "Dizzy Gillespie plays, Birks works."

Either way, a small punctuation mark is missing.

 

Well, not really: "Dizzy Gillespie Plays Salt Peanuts" would read okay on a record cover, too, wouldn't it? It's on two lines, after all.

And now the next question would be, judging on the label, the artist/band would be "Dizzy Gillespie Plays", right? ;) 

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20 hours ago, JSngry said:

I certainty know the name Dave Usher! How old is he now?

 

Dave is now 88. As you probably know, he worked for the Chess brothers in the late '50s as an Argo producer, but somewhere around 1960 his father got sick and he had to return to Detroit to fun the family oil reclamation business. (The guys that that pick and dispose of the oil at auto repair shops/gas stations etc.) Dave built the company into a powerhouse called Marine Pollution Control, one of the world's leading oil spill and hazardous waste/disaster clean-up companies. When the Exxon Valdez disaster happened, it was Dave's company that cleaned it up -- and, boy did he also clean up. $$$. Good guy wins!. Dave met Dizzy in the '40s in Detroit. In later years, he put Dizzy on his company board and the trumpeter took his responsibility serious, coming here for the all annual meetings etc.  https://www.marinepollutioncontrol.com/

Edited by Mark Stryker

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24 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

 Dave met Dizzy in the '40s in Detroit. In later years, he put Dizzy on his company board and the trumpeter took his responsibility serious, coming here for the all annual meetings etc.  https://www.marinepollutioncontrol.com/

wow, Birks worked!

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2 minutes ago, JSngry said:

wow, Birks worked!

Good one.

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On a broadcast with Bird and Diz from Birdland 1950/51(?), Symphony Sid Torin addresses Diz as "Birks" and is told by Diz to "Watch your language!"

And doesn't Sid reply "I said Birks, not berk"?

Can it be that Cockney rhyming slang (berk for 'c' word that rhymes with Berkshire Hunt) had crossed the Atlantic? ^_^

Edited by BillF

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12 hours ago, king ubu said:

Well, not really: "Dizzy Gillespie Plays Salt Peanuts" would read okay on a record cover, too, wouldn't it? It's on two lines, after all.

And now the next question would be, judging on the label, the artist/band would be "Dizzy Gillespie Plays", right? ;) 

No, that's different. "Peanuts" is a noun. So in that cays "Works" would not be a verb, it would be a plural noun, and we're back to Birks' needing an apostrophe. (And, yes, I purposefully used a gerund there to make it extra confusing.)

Now that we've fallen down this hole, we might as well go all the way:

Another fun semantic possibility is that Works is like a factory or place of manufacturing, a synonym for "plant" in the sense of assembly plant. For example, "the Chevrolet works."

And finally, "Birks" can be read as a noun adjunct, that is, a noun used as an adjective, like in "record cover" or "Rembrandt works," as in "I bought two Rembrandt works." (The latter is more commonly written as "I bought two of Rembrandt's works" or "I bought two Rembrandts," but the s-less variant is definitely in use. Well, perhaps not so much in use in the case of Rembrandt...)

I can't wait to see how this thread develops.

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Now that we have settled that it's Birks and not Birk - can anybody tell me who Herk was?? :P

 

 

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So "John Coltrane Plays While My Lady Sleeps" dhould really be "John Coltrane Plays While His Lady Sleeps"? Feels like we have some history to rewrite ...

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2 minutes ago, king ubu said:

So "John Coltrane Plays While My Lady Sleeps" dhould really be "John Coltrane Plays While His Lady Sleeps"? Feels like we have some history to rewrite ...

either way, it's a testament to Coltrane's devotion to the instrument.

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On 8/12/2018 at 11:55 AM, JSngry said:

Here lies the original, correct?

R-5207893-1504284958-1137.jpeg.jpg

If that's really it, then "works" is a verb, not a noun. Either that or it should be Birks'.

John Birks Gillespie was his name, right? So there's no "Birk" to be had, it's Birks.

 

 

rad!!!! i have a degree 78, side one is shelly manne vocal (all of me)- side 2 is an instrumental featuring art pepper.  anyone know of a discography for this label, is it part of a bigger label?

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Birks Works (without any apostrophe) makes sense.  It's similar to saying "John Works," "Sam Plays," "Leroy Walks," "Leroy Walks Again!!" etc.  I imagine Dave Usher saying "Work it on out, Birks!"

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1 hour ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

 

rad!!!! i have a degree 78, side one is shelly manne vocal (all of me)- side 2 is an instrumental featuring art pepper.  anyone know of a discography for this label, is it part of a bigger label?

It was Dizzy's own enterprise. The catalog (some or all, not sure) went to Savoy at some point.

No idea if this is complete, but here's a start:

https://www.discogs.com/label/187018-Dee-Gee

R-4579722-1368975746-2445.jpeg.jpg

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7 minutes ago, JSngry said:

It was Dizzy's own enterprise. The catalog (some or all, not sure) went to Savoy at some point.

No idea if this is complete, but here's a start:

https://www.discogs.com/label/187018-Dee-Gee

R-4579722-1368975746-2445.jpeg.jpg

Diz and Dave Usher owned the label. Usher was an interesting Detroiter. Check him out.

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oh no wonder- its not degree as i was looking for- its dee gee <_<

wow, i have learned the 78 i have is the single off of this album!

 

R-2188519-1268775148.jpeg.jpg

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13 hours ago, BillF said:

On a broadcast with Bird and Diz from Birdland 1950/51(?), Symphony Sid Torin addresses Diz as "Birks" and is told by Diz to "Watch your language!"

And doesn't Sid reply "I said Birks, not berk"?

Can it be that Cockney rhyming slang (berk for 'c' word that rhymes with Berkshire Hunt) had crossed the Atlantic? ^_^

No one has yet told me if the expression "stupid berk" was known in the US in 1950. ^_^

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On 8/13/2018 at 0:21 PM, Mark Stryker said:

Dave is now 88. As you probably know, he worked for the Chess brothers in the late '50s as an Argo producer, but somewhere around 1960 his father got sick and he had to return to Detroit to fun the family oil reclamation business. (The guys that that pick and dispose of the oil at auto repair shops/gas stations etc.) Dave built the company into a powerhouse called Marine Pollution Control, one of the world's leading oil spill and hazardous waste/disaster clean-up companies. When the Exxon Valdez disaster happened, it was Dave's company that cleaned it up -- and, boy did he also clean up. $$$. Good guy wins!. Dave met Dizzy in the '40s in Detroit. In later years, he put Dizzy on his company board and the trumpeter took his responsibility serious, coming here for the all annual meetings etc.  https://www.marinepollutioncontrol.com/

Mark, nice to hear that Dave is still with us and still doing OK.  Back in the late '40s and early '50s he was in a group of jazz-crazed (and otherwise-crazed) young men that included my father.  But Dave was the one with enough money to put his passion into action, so while my dad was penning record reviews for little neighborhood shopping papers Dave was in a recording studio with Dizzy Gillespie and many other greats.  I later went to high school with his son, and Dave hired on a few of my classmates for part-time work at his company cleaning up ugly messes.  I still have a few of my dad's old DeeGee 78s stuffed in the shelves over at our family place in Ontario, and a photo of my 2 year old self shaking Dizzy's hand at a benefit for one of my father's organizations.

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