Memory Lane: Oct. 14, 1971


From the Oct. 14, 1971 edition of The Wayne Herald:

Jazz Band Sets Crowd Clapping, Marching

Ramsey Theater in Wayne State's Fine Arts Center really vibrated Monday night when the Preservation Hall Jazz Band set an enthusiastic crowd clapping, stomping, cheering and whistling.

The combo, most of them returning from their previous concert here about five years ago, included DeDe Pierce, the blind trumpeter and singer, Cy Frazier on drums, Willie Humphrey on clarinet, Allan Jaffe on bass, Frank Demonde on trombone and Sing Miller at the piano.

Known as the Billie and DeDe Jazz Band, it lacked Billie this time. The piano-playing wife of DeDe, she is temporarily halted by a fractured hip. After playing numerous old favorite tunes, the band changed the tempo to "A Closer Walk With Thee" in a traditional funeral
march cadence of old New Orleans, followed by the same tune in jazz time.

Then the tumultuous finale! What else? "When the Saints Go Marching In." March they did, with ebullient Willie Humphrey beckoning the crowd to follow the band on a parade up one aisle, back down the other. Old jazz was as new as now.