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WINGY MANONE!<br>Signed 1943 Contract for appearance<br>at the ill fated Bamboo Room in Balboa, California<br>Contract TERMINATED when the Legendary Club Burned Down.<br>Signed by Manone and Bamboo Room Owner, Bob Murphy.

Click above image for larger picture and better detail.

In 1943 the legendary swing club and watering hole, The Bamboo Room, burnt to the ground under mysterious circumstances - the cause of the fire was never determined.

The Bamboo Room was owned by Bob Murphy and was a favorite dance club for WW2 service men. It was so popular that a sign was hung on its burnt-out frame stating, "20,000 Santa Ana, Army Air Force Cadets are out of a home." Murphy managed to rebuild, but the Bamboo Room was torn down for good in the 1950s. The site is now a restaurant parking lot.

The year of the fire, Wingy Manone secured a contract with Bob Murphy for an ongoing engagement at the Bamboo Room. The "terms of employment" (which can be seen on the scan) were as follows:

"Opening Sat. April 17 and continuing through Sun. April 25, 1943.
Continuation thereafter subject to mutual agreement."

Ironic wording considering the outcome. The continuation (or lack thereof) was determined by other forces altogether.

On the contract you will see a rubber stamped: "ENGAGEMENT TERMINATED" with the hand written date, "5-30-43". So apparently Wingy and his boys played on past April 25, but were out of a job after the fire.

To view a close-up of the contract, please click the above image. The contract is signed by both Manone and Bamboo Room owner, Bob Murphy.

Also of interest is the information on the back of the contract. All band members and social security numbers are listed there, the lineup being Wingy Manone, Howard Claunch, Curt Garrett, Harold Robbins, and Irving Verrett.

And on the lower portion of the back there is some interesting notations about mileage expenses and union scale pay for band members.

Wingy Manone was clearly not the luckiest man in the jazz world. He earned the nickname "Wingy" due to the fact that he lost an arm in a New Orleans trolley accident as a child. And although he never got the recognition he deserved as a great player and composer, the catchy riff of his song, "Tar Paper Stomp", became became a huge hit after being lifted and transformed into "In the Mood".

A brief bio of Wingy Manone by Scott Yanow of the All Music Guide appears below with Scott's kind permission:

Wingy Manone was an excellent Dixieland trumpeter whose jivey vocals were popular and somewhat reminiscent of his contemporary, Louis Prima. He had lost his right arm in a streetcar accident when he was ten, but Manone (who Joe Venuti once gave one cuff link for a Christmas present) never appeared to be handicapped in public (effectively using an artificial arm). He played trumpet in riverboats starting when he was 17, was with the Crescent City Jazzers (which later became the Arcadian Serenaders) in Alabama, and made his recording debut with the group in the mid-'20s. He worked in many territory bands throughout the era before recording as a leader in 1927 in New Orleans. By the following year, Manone was in Chicago and soon relocated to New York, touring with theater companies. His "Tar Paper Stomp" in 1930 used a riff that later became the basis for "In the Mood." In 1934, Manone began recording on a regular basis and after he had a hit with "The Isle of Capri" in 1935, he became a very popular attraction. Among his sidemen on his 1935-1941 recordings were Matty Matlock, Eddie Miller, Bud Freeman, Jack Teagarden, Joe Marsala, George Brunies, Brad Gowans, and Chu Berry. In 1940, Manone appeared in the Bing Crosby movie Rhythm on the River, he soon wrote his humorous memoirs Trumpet on the Wing (1948), and he would later appear on many of Crosby's radio shows. Wingy Manone lived in Las Vegas from 1954 up until his death and he stayed active until near the end, although he only recorded one full album (for Storyville in 1966) after 1960. -- Scott Yanow

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