Ted Lewis (musician)

Ted Lewis ( born June 6, 1890, in Circleville, Ohio Theodore Leopold Friedman, † August 25 1971 in New York City ) was an American singer, clarinetist, entertainers and big band leader in the swing and popular music.

Life and work

Theodore Leopold Friedman, who later became known by the stage name Ted Lewis, was an entertainer, bandleader, singer and musician who has been successful with a mixture of jazz, vaudeville comedy and sentimental melodies; he was also nicknamed "Mr. Entertainment ". Lewis, a native of Ohio, was among the first musicians of the North of the U.S., the New Orleans Jazz acting out, the musician came through from the south to New York in the twenties. 1917 made ​​his first recordings with Earl Fuller's Jass band that nachempfanden the sound of the Original Dixieland Jass band. His clarinet playing ( which was provided by the Victor label with the remark that " it sounded like a dying dog " ) was influenced by the gas- animal border in New York musicians from New Orleans, Larry Shields, Alcide Nunez, and Achille Baquet.

In 1919, Ted Lewis formed his own band and got a recording contract with Columbia Records, which marketed him as their answer to the Original Dixieland Jass band who stood with Victor Records. For a time he received (as well as Paul Whiteman ) Columbia its own ( sub) label with his image. Early 1920s, he was viewed by many people ( without in-depth knowledge of the music scene ) as one of the leading figures of the Hot Jazz. Lewis's clarinet playing, however, developed little about the technical musical level dessin addition, which he had built up around the year 1919 around; later, his game -oriented increasingly by commercial expectations and he then hired musicians like Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey and Don Murray, who then held him in his band played the clarinet. In addition, the band known musicians such as Muggsy Spanier and George belonged to Bruni later. Ted Lewis' band enjoyed almost the same popularity as that of Paul Whiteman, but played some less Veaudeville music and more real jazz tracks, and with a little less superficial image-building as Whiteman, for example, compared with the recordings in the late 1920s (Tiger Rag, 1928 ). After the expiry of his contract with Columbia in 1933 Lewis participated from 1934 up to the 1940s for Decca. Theme song was composed by Lewis Title When My Baby Smiles at Me

Lewis' band played during the time of the Great Depression in a popular style with which they met the public taste exactly. The band also appeared in early sound films like 1929 in the Warner Brothers revue The Show of Shows. One of several films of this period bore the title of Lewis' opening phrase Is Everybody Happy?. In 1935, the Band has performed with some numbers in the musical film Here Comes the 1937 Manhattan Merry- Go-Round. In 1941 she participated in some musical numbers in the Abbott and Costello comedy Hold That Ghost, together with the Andrews Sisters. 1943 Columbia Pictures turned a short film biography of Lewis, again entitled Is Everybody Happy?, In which the actor Michael Duane played the band leader.

Lewis was able to keep his band in the 1950s and then went up in the 60s in numerous television shows and in Las Vegas. As with his vaudeville beginnings, he combined his performances with humorous and comical interludes and dance. One of the most important songs of this phase was Me and My Shadow, with whom he finished his performances over a longer period of time. In this song he danced on stage with his own, produced by the headlamp shade. At the age of 79 years he gave his farewell performance at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. After his death in 1971 in New York City created Lewis' widow and his friends in his hometown of Circleville ( Ohio) from his memory dedicated to Ted Lewis Museum and a park.


Bruce Eder wrote for the music database Allmusic that it is incomprehensible from today's perspective and on the basis of the present recordings that Ted Lewis with his music from the early 1920s until the mid- 1930s one of the most popular musicians in the world was, and in a year, millions selling of records. Even more difficult it is to understand that Lewis over fifty years - 1917 to 1967 - in the music business was active and the respect of many jazz musicians enjoyed what was unique to the leader of a dance band. In memory he is in any event especially for the most authoritative, early promotion world become known jazz musicians such as Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Muggsy Spanier, Jimmy Dorsey, Frank Teschemacher and George Brunies.

The website RedHotJazz authors consider Lewis as a true jazz pioneer; one of his best title would be Dip Your Brush In Sunshine been, " and ( roughly translated by its title Dip Your Brush In Sunshine: " Tunk ' Your Brush In Sunshine " ) is understood very easily why he was so popular " (quote: RedHotJazz ). This song, which is exactly level for the time of the Great Depression transported the irresistible positivism to overcome the crisis by its life-affirming self-expression, explains, at least partly, why Lewis actually - the genre of jazz so across - was so extraordinarily popular.