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Don't Leave The Porch

Don't Leave The Porch


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Published by Victoria Alaadeen
Memories from the early years in Jazz Master Alaadeen's life and career.
Memories from the early years in Jazz Master Alaadeen's life and career.

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Published by: Victoria Alaadeen on Sep 13, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Don’t Leave The Porch The bug hit me at the tender age of about five.

I was living three or four doors down the street from Jay McShann at around 10th & Park at the time. I would constantly hear all of this commotion coming from Jay's house - like people having a good time. They were blowing and playing and stuff like that. The music really moved me beyond description. However, my mother told me: 'Boy, don't you leave this porch. If you leave this porch, I'm going to have to do something to you'. But, despite the forewarned consequences, the music had a stronger influence than my mother's order not to go any closer to listen. One day, the urge was too much and I left the porch to go down to Jay's house. I recall looking through the screen door and seeing these people just having a good time playing this music. And from there, my mind was made up and I said that's what I want to do. After several moments of actually being up close and watching the musicians as I listened to their music, I thought about what my mother said. I immediately ran back home to our porch. Of course, she was there waiting on me. That particular band, which I heard rehearsing almost everyday was, of course, Jay McShann's famous unit. It also included Charlie Parker. The positive impact of the experience stayed with me. My love for music and my choice of occupation has been sealed ever since. 99 Dollars I took up the alto sax when I was in the 6th grade. “I got my first saxophone in the 6th grade. It was an alto. There was a music store in town called Bohart’s around 13th and Grand. They had this alto, and they wanted $99. for it. I begged and cried, you know, and finally got it. Then I started in elementary school with this teacher, Paris Jim Jones; he was a violinist.”

Straight To Hell My professional career began at the age of 14. Then in 1950, I received my Union card. My parents told me I was going straight to Hell. They scorned those women with the short dresses and the paint on their faces…those gamblers. Well, I didn’t see all that, all I heard was the music. They were not in favor of me playing on the street, but I could play in church. They would ask me to play songs in church, which

were the same notes I played on the street, but I guess when I went to church, the notes got holy. They were not very cooperative. Miss Creamy I was a student at R.T. Coles. I would play hooky also and come up here to the 18th & Vine area. The song says, “Come with me if you want to go to Kansas City.” there’s a phrase in there that says “in Miss Creamy’s Dreamy town.” I knew Miss Creamy. I would actually go in Miss Creamy’s. And this was the atmosphere that this music was in.

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