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Earl Bostic Play’s sweet tunes of the Fantastic 50s

Updated on February 24, 2015
Earl Bostic Play’s sweet tunes of the Fantastic 50s, here you have fantastic music from the fantastic fifties!
Earl Bostic Play’s sweet tunes of the Fantastic 50s, here you have fantastic music from the fantastic fifties!

Earl has always loved music, so much so he gave up a job as a grammar school teacher to go on the road. He first learned to play the clarinet in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. His first job netted exactly 15 cent, yet he liked what he was doing, and moved to Xavier University in New Orleans where he received training in harmony, composing, theory, arranging, plus all the brass, reed and string instruments. He formed a small combo and managed to get one week’s commitment at Small’s Paradise in New York City. He did not leave, however, when the week was up … but was held there for four years. Earl produced some of the best sounding music of his time. He was one of the greatest jazz alto saxophonist, and a master of the American sound in rhythm and blues.

This is a wonderful album that presents the sweet tunes of the 1950s era. Somehow, in spite of the cleverness of words, ideas or arrangements, the novelty and fast-beat tunes seldom carry on into the years to come … yet with the sweet songs the reverse seems to be true. Sweet music, with meaning and feelings, will live perhaps as memories for other generations. Here, then are Earl Bostic choices of songs form the fantastic fifties … and naturally here we have the number one alto saxophone man in the country to portray these melodies. Earl is one of those rugged individualists who plays music the way he wants to and from the immense following that Bostic has, he plays the way his listeners like to hear it. In the world of solo jazz alto saxophonist Earl Bostic is the American King in his total mastery of this genre.

Because of You, Earl Bostic plays sweet tunes of the Fantastic 50s.

With a desire to learn more through experience, he joined Lionel Hampton’s sextet, and played along with Teddy Wilson, Sid Catlett, and J.C. Higginbotham. Through experience he picked up, he began arranging for Paul Whiteman, Louis Prima, Cab Calloway and Ina Ray Hutton among other. In 1945 he started on his own again and blossomed into one of the outstanding horn men in the music business. At the time he recorded “845 Special” and “That’s The Groovy Thing” things really began to happen. Both records were instant hits and Bostic’s musical career was assured.

Earl has always loved music, so much so he gave up a job as a grammar school teacher to go on the road. He first learned to play the clarinet in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Earl has always loved music, so much so he gave up a job as a grammar school teacher to go on the road. He first learned to play the clarinet in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Many words are employed to describe time and space. Dynamic, fabulous, awesome and terrific are in common usage today … and yet, to describe the age in which people live, the only word we can find to appropriately picture the 1950s time of life is fantastic. In the 1950s day of rockets, satellites, lunar probes, atomic power, the developments of science promised things, as yet, unknown. People, who lived in the fantastic fifties, would have in all likelihood, cast their eyes upon things that but a few years before seemed impossible to them, and yet, in a short time they will accept them to the point of their becoming commonplace. In these times, music has had new meaning, new felling, and new acceptance. These fantastic fifties have provided new sounds for writers of music … form which they have taken the most outstanding tunes that will live for years.

Encore "Unchained Melody", Earl Bostic plays sweet tunes of the Fantastic 50s.

Side One: Because of You (2:28) Unchained Melody (2:00) Stranger in Paradise (2:09) Ebb Tide (3:24) Lisbon Antigua (2:24) Love is a Many Splendored Thing (1:46)

Side Two: April in Portugal (1:47) Blue Tango (1:36) Three Coins in the Fountain (2:57) Canadian Sunset (2:27) Autumn Leaves (2:13) The Song From Moulin Rouge (1:52)

Earl is one of those rugged individualists who plays music the way he wants to and from the immense following that Bostic has, he plays the way his listeners like to hear it.
Earl is one of those rugged individualists who plays music the way he wants to and from the immense following that Bostic has, he plays the way his listeners like to hear it.

Stranger in Paradise, Earl Bostic plays sweet tunes of the Fantastic 50s.

Earl Bostic was a Master Rhythm and Blues Sax Player

In Earl Bostic hands the saxophone makes an awesome and magical rhythm and blues instrument. In the the sax family of woodwind instruments the modern age saxophone are extremely popular in R&B orchestras of today thanks to what Earl has shown the world in his remarkable ablities. Today’s saxophones are usually made of brass and have mouthpiece that is single-reed much like the clarinet. Instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1840 invented the first instruments we call saxophones in Belgian. Adolphe Sax wanted to create instruments that could be the powerful vocal sound of the woodwinds. Earl Bostic was a master and the most adaptive rhythm and blues sax player of the brass saxophone world of his time. He made the sax fill the vacant middle ground between the two musical worlds of the 1940s Big Band era and the 1950s Rhythm & Blues era.

The art work on the album cover is of a X-15 the first manned craft to probe outer space. The X-15, which will fly man higher and faster than h has ever been.
The art work on the album cover is of a X-15 the first manned craft to probe outer space. The X-15, which will fly man higher and faster than h has ever been.

The art work on the album cover is of a X-15 the first manned craft to probe outer space. The X-15, which did fly man higher and faster than he has ever been. It actually glowed red like the iron in a blacksmith’s forge as in plunged back into the earth’s atmosphere. The X-15 was built of new stainless steel alloys to combat these high temperatures. It was a great piece of art work to have on the cover of Earl Bostic’s record. Because he was like the X-15 exploring new frontiers. Taking music higher, and into a new frontier.

Ebb Tide, Earl Bostic plays sweet tunes of the Fantastic 50s

Earl Bostic was Under-appreciated

Earl Bostic was one of the most under-appreciated and poorly paid Rhythm and Blues artists for all the great inspiration-ally thing he did to influence American music of his time. He was not only one of the best R&B saxophonists ever; Earl Bostic was a musical genius in his art of understanding blues, ballads, and Rhythm. He showed his unending talent with amazing sentimental songs, never aging love tunes, and soulful pop on this album, which was first issued back in the 1950s by King Records. It was reissued by Gusto Records in the 1970s.

Earl Bostic was a Musical Genius

Earl Bostic was a musical genius in his art of understanding blues, ballads, and Rhythm. He showed his unending talent with amazing sentimental songs, never aging love tunes
Earl Bostic was a musical genius in his art of understanding blues, ballads, and Rhythm. He showed his unending talent with amazing sentimental songs, never aging love tunes

Earl Bostic - Dancing In The Dark

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    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 22 months ago

      Thank you Billrrrr for you comments, so many alto players in the 1950s and 1960s do not get their fair place in the music history of this great era, and you are right on the mark about the stylish innovations of Tab and Earl ... :)

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 22 months ago from Cape Cod

      Fine job on this Glenn. Earl Bostic and Tab Smith were my favorite alto players in the 50s and 60s. I thought their style was immensely sophisticated. I agree with your comment about Earl filling in the gaps between the big bands and R&B and yet he was so much more than that. Earl Bostic and Tab Smith, in my opinion, patented a style that became very popular in a later and paler incarnation called West Coast Jazz - Getz, Chet Baker et al. The left coasters were good, but not as innovative or stylish as the two Aces of Alto; Tab and Earl.