Item #1410 I Paid My Dues. Babs Gonzales.
I Paid My Dues

I Paid My Dues

New York: Lancer Books, 1967. Signature-bound mass market in pictorial wraps, 8vo, 159 pp. Born Lee Brown in Newark, New Jersey, Babs assumed multiple pseudonyms throughout his life to avoid racial segregation. First, with the accoutrements of an Indian National and a Turban, Babs passed as Ram Singh privately chauffeuring Errol Flynn at a Los Angeles country club. And while hospitalized for appendicitis in 1944 he assumed the last name Gonzales. Later that year he returned to Newark, crossdressing his way out of a report for the military as he was declared unfit for service. Perennial Hustler and jazz personality, Babs was no stranger to the underworld, accompanying pimps, drug dealers and criminals in and out of the jazz clubs. His I Paid My Dues stands with Beneath the Underdog, Really the Blues and Raise Up Off Me in terms of sound storytelling and a jazz lexicographer's companion. He made all the rounds with musicians of his time. Beginning his journeyman status in the 1940s with the big bands of Charlie Garnet and Lionel Hamton, admiring Bird and Dizzy with wonder. His bebop 'oop-pa-pa-da' recorded with Tad Dameron eventually became a hit when Dizzy Gillespie struck it with the Victor label. Through the 1950s and 1960s Gonzales bolstered his career with his own style of scat singing and improvisation. His self-publshing determination to release his music aided in his music getting attention from established jazz greats and garnering recording sessions with the like. His 'Professor Bop' featuring an 18-year old Sonny Rollins on his first studio session in 1949 was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. In the early 1950s, Babs connected with James Moody in Europe where he penned several tunes for the group he led in vocals. These amongst many are his stories: a magnetic and necessary part of jazz history he wrote and lived. Good, gently worn and lightly creased spine with similar wear and close tears to perimeter of wraps. Item #1410

Price: $60.00

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