June 7, 2014

“To Fats Waller with Love, Honeysuckle Rosenkrantz”

`A Barrelhouse of Talent and Love'

A few artists make us happy. That is the nature of their gift. Think of Louis Armstrong, Laurel and Hardy, P.G. Wodehouse and Thomas “Fats” Waller.

Timme Rosenkranz (1911-1969) was a Danish aristocrat, writer, concert and record producer, and jazz enthusiast who lived for fifteen years in New York City…. When he opened the Mel-O-Dee Music Shop in Harlem in 1940, his first customer was Armstrong, who bought fifty dollars’ worth of records. Rosenkranz’s Harlem Jazz Adventures: A European Baron’s Memoir, 1934-1969, was published by the Scarecrow Press in 2012. He concludes the chapter titled “To Fats Waller with Love, Honeysuckle Rosenkrantz” like this:

"Yes, Fats Waller was great. I think of him often, especially when I’m sitting with my record player at home in Hellerup, north of Copenhagen. I put on his happy sounds, and I don’t have to close my eyes to see that great big happy kid in front of me, waggling his eyebrows and wiggling his torso. I hear him laugh and laugh, and remember the wonderful days and nights I spent with him. Sometimes, awash in his music, I feel him right there in the room, and I am twice blessed to have known such a barrelhouse of talent and love.”

I put on his happy sounds. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at June 7, 2014 9:30 AM | Permalink