Hoagy Carmichael & Bix Beiderbecke: Barnacle Bill the Sailor


Barnacle Bill the Sailor


Hoagy Carmichael And His Orchestra (With Bix Beiderbecke)


Bix Restored, Volume 4 (Origin Jazz Library BXCD 10-12 )

Buy Track


Hoagy Carmichael (pipe organ, vocals), Bix Beiderbecke (cornet), Bubber Miley (trumpet), Tommy Dorsey (trombone), Benny Goodman (clarinet), Joe Venuti (violin), Eddie Lang (guitar), Gene Krupa (drums).

Recorded: Liederkranz Hall, New York, May 21, 1930


Rating: 80/100 (learn more)

Records hardly get stranger than this. An integrated, all-star cast convenes to record a tune most of them thought was beyond stupid. In fact, Bix later told a friend he had had no idea the side would even be released. But release it RCA-Victor did – a Depression was on, after all – despite the fact that the musicians, led by trickster Joe Venuti, happily inserted profanity into the chorus. Bix, already a veteran of rehab, had been a stranger to the studio since fainting during a session the previous Fall. His 20-bar solo begins triumphantly and then ends, like his life soon would, a total mess. That Gene Krupa and Benny Goodman would take over for a turn that is tight and remarkably accomplished – well, that just makes sense.

Reviewer: Brendan Wolfe

If you liked this track, also check out

Related Links

Bixology, an excerpt from a book by Brendan Wolfe
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Bix Beiderbecke Performances by Brendan Wolfe

Remembering Bix by Ted Gioia
Bix Beiderbecke from jazz.com’s Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians


Comments are closed.