Jazz Birthdays: Bobby Troup (1918) and Anita O’Day (1919)

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Bobby Troup was a composer, pianist, singer and actor. He composed Route 66, which he performs here. In similar laid back and relaxed style, he does “Skylark”.

Anita O’Day was in the top tier of jazz singers, and she is seen and heard at the top of her form in this video of “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Tea for Two”. She left home at the age of 14 and by 21 was singing with the Gene Krupa orchestra. She was a musician and her voice was her instrument. One reviewer of her autobiography, which I haven’t read, says “Interesting to see the effects of the first foray in the ‘war against drugs’- Anita was set up several times by government officials and she served hard prison time for a couple of pot seeds, insane!” O’Day used heroin for 15 years and went to prison for that too.

In a separate such case, Gene Krupa also was set up by federal agents and arrested on charges associated with marijuana. That complete story is told here. He was said to have sent a minor to his hotel room to fetch two joints.

“On February 15th, 1944, almost a year after the abortive case had begun, John Pateakos, in Army uniform (and no-longer a so-called wayward minor as the press had made out), testified as follows in juvenile court:

“‘I lied,’ he said. He swore that he had been coached in his testimony by narcotics agents. He said he had never been asked by Gene Krupa to get marijuana from Krupa’s room.”

4:33 am on October 18, 2012