No Sooner...


From #42 Winter 2009 issue of the Frisco Cricket

No sooner was the mountain of storage boxes -- the heart of your Foundation’s archive -- picked up by a truck from the Archive of Recorded Sound at Stanford University, than another intriguing box arrived on our doorstep: The Clancy Hayes Collection. We had long held valuable Clancy items in our old archive (represented, among other places, on our “Unheard Bob Scobey” and “Clancy Hayes” CD’s – see product list). But this new, well organized collection of very personal memorabilia and photos is special. It came to us as a gift from SFTJF members Frank Selman, Sam Linschooten, and Carol Clute.

No sooner had that happened than an email arrived from the noted singer, Carol Leigh, forwarding an announcement of the passing of Leslie Johnson -- editor, heart and soul, and businesslike guts of the Mississippi Rag, in print and online, for 35 years. That publication has served as the spiritual mainstay and central clearing house of information about traditional jazz during a period when whisperings of the demise of “Our Kind of Music” have steadily proved premature. Leslie’s legacy is one of life itself.

An important wellspring of jazz development is often slighted in the standard history books: radio. Perhaps the best-known, most professionally prepared, long-running traditional jazz show appearing nationally, both on dozens of FM stations and over the internet, is Live at the Landing -- the work of our board member Jim Cullum. But there are significant others, such as the regular webcasts of announcer Dave Radlauer, whose tireless research lies behind several of our CD’s, including the above-mentioned “Clancy Hayes – Satchel of Song.”

Jazz fans first became aware of Clancy for his work with the Lu Watters band, and then with Bob Scobey’s band, as an intermission soloist at Turk Murphy’s clubs and in many other highlighted appearances as a distinctive singer and banjoist. But like many another jazzman of his generation, he had a prior career in music – as a radio personality.

Post-vaudeville, and pre-television, the thirties were the heyday of radio. While urbanizing rapidly, America was still typified by its farms and small towns. Radio helped stitch the nation together by reaching directly into living rooms. Favorite programs would be listened to regularly, almost religiously. Families would gather and stare at the wood-grained, hearth-like set. Homebound women could keep washing sheets and preparing meals for many lonely, tiring hours without turning off their kitchen radios. In the nation’s expanding urban centers, regional radio networks based in cities like San Francisco made sure their ads and programs appealed to factory hands and office workers.

Clancy Hayes, with his homefolks accent and humor, found employment at the center of all this. His career as a midlevel radio personality extended from about 1928, through the 1930s, well into the war years, and beyond. We invite any of our readers who can provide us with more information about our Clancy clippings, to do so.


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With clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, Blues Alley Jazz Club, Washington, D.C., 1967-1968. The guitarist behind Clancy is Steve Jordan, the house guitarist. (Original info corrected by Sonny McGowan)
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Clancy at opening ceremony for San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
History mystery: these unused tickets to two international events in 1943 were carefully filed in Clancy’s papers. Perhaps he was performing there, or was a guest of his radio colleagues.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
A publicity shot for Clancy’s show on thed NBC network, probably 1930’s.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Clarence Hayes and his wife, Anna Marie, among California’s big trees, July 2, 1930.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
When Hawaiian guitars were big on radio, soon after World War II.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
The Hayes’ wedding certificate, 1928.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Clancy Hayes and Ralph Sutton, Martinez, California, November 10, 1956.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Jack Buck, Bill Erikson, Bill Napier, Clancy Hayes, Ralph Sutton, Martinez, California, November 10, 1956.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
NBC studio schedule, 1930.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Hambone Kelly’s flier, late 1940’s.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
NBC studio pass the month of Pearl Harbor, 1941.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
McGoon’s fliers, August 1963.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Undated sketch of Clancy Hayes on the back of a nightclub table card stating, “MINIMUM CHARGE $2.50 PER PERSON”.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Undated sketch of Clancy Hayes.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Clancy and friends doing their thing for the war effort, 1940’s.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Visitors Register, 1972.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Visitors Register, 1972.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Visitors Register, 1972 includes Turk Murphy, Leon Oakley, Carl Lunsford together.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Visitors Register, 1972.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Visitors Register, 1972.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Visitors Register, 1972.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Fan mail, 1932.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Fan mail, 1933 (page 1).
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Fan mail, 1933 (pages 2 and 3).
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Fan mail, 1933.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
NBC letter, 1930.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Fan mail, 1930.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation
Two related fan letters from Florida, 1930.
Copyright 2010 San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation