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The Story Is Told

For this alliance may so happy prove

Romeo and Juliet b.jpg

Trumpeter Wingy Manone looks back:


'I almost added Shakespeare to my repertoire during my stay in Paris. No fooling man. John Barrymore got me on that "Bard of Avon" kick ... The next day I went to the library to get some books, so I could catch this Shakepeare's stuff and practice up.

"Ma'am, I want to dig some of that jive about Romeo and Juliet ... can you all show me where I can find a tome on the subject?" Man, that Shakespeare cat had me baffled from the beginning. He could have been writing in Greek, as far as I was concerned ... A couple of nights later (John) was in, and explained it to me, telling me the whole story of Romeo and Juliet.

It seems that in the ancient, Italian beat-up town of Verona lived two families, the Montagues and Capulets, who were deadly enemies ... Then Romeo kissed the hand of the beautiful gal and spoke some soft jive admiration to her. He learned later that she was Juliet, the mellow child of his arch enemy. This made him even more salty. He left the ball an hour before the ace of chimes, and man, he was really in love with Juliet. He didn't go to his domicile, but climbed over the wall into her righteous garden.

Juliet busted out of the window and hollered, "'O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name: or if thou wilt not, be but my sworn love, And I'll no longer be a Capulet." Romeo then stepped closer and told this chick his name now made him very sad, 'cause her old man wasn't comin' on that riff with the Montagues.

"It makes no difference, Jack," Juliet told him. "If you're hip as a dip, and sharp as a tack, in the rack, and solid packed, I'll go upstairs and get my pack, and we'll go on down the track. Your kind of jive and my kind of jive has never been done befo', and after we see that deacon, we won't have no troubles no mo'."

So the next morning they were married ...

Man, after John told me all that stuff, I thought, "That guy Shakespeare had got to use something to dream up a mess like that."

From Trumpet On The Wing by Wingy Manone and Paul Vandervoot II


[Of course the story of Romeo and Juliet did not end happily, so here is Wingy Manone and his Club Royale Orchestra back in 1928 playing Trying To Stop My Crying. (Wingy Manone (trumpet, vocals); Frank Teschemacher (clarinet); George Snurpus (tenor sax); Art Hodes (piano); Ray Biondi (guitar); Augie Schellange (drums). There are many reproductions of this recording on YouTube; most have been 'cleaned', but somehow this one retains a 'rawness' that gives it an edge, despite the surreal pictures that go with it. ]

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