the grimsay press

Jazz: So Much In My Life
Click to enlarge >> 
By Whyatt, Jim "Bert"
ISBN 1845301544
Paperback  174 pages
Published 6 November 2014
UK Price £12.95   Order from
US Price $19.95   Order from

Between 1952 and 2013, Bert - alias Jim - Whyatt contributed over 800 articles to small magazines, including Jazz Notes, Matrix, Jazzfinder and Record Research, and was an enthusiastic supporter of The Discophile, later becoming its assistant editor. With Derek Coller he prepared discographical columns for VJM and Jazz Music, and contributed biographical articles to The Mississippi Rag, Storyville, Jazz Journal and the IAJRC Journal - often featuring interesting yet under-rated musicians such as Tut Soper, George Zack, Floyd Bean, Doc Cenardo and Burt Bales. Bert had bought his first jazz record at the age of 15; in 1938 he bought a copy of a Jazz Discography from Stanley Dance, starting his interest in jazz record research. He joined the RAF in April 1940, where he met Trevor Benwell, founder and editor of Vintage Jazz Mart (VJM). After WWII, when he resumed his working life with with Lotus and Delta, the famous shoe company, his job allowed him to pursue his hobby of junkshopping - searching for elusive hot dance items by the likes of Ted Lewis, Fred Rich or Sam Lanin. Bert's jazz interests were broad, but his research focussed on a group of musicians who centred around Eddie Condon. Bobby Hackett, Muggsy Spanier, Pee Wee Russell and Lee Wiley were among his favourites - as well as Wingy Manone, the subject of his first major discography, serialised in Jazz Journal in 1950. In 1975, with his wife Beryl, Bert made the first of several trips to America and took the opportunity to visit San Francisco to meet Ruth Spanier, widow of Muggsy. A friendship developed, confirmed by three more visits. As a result Bert wrote Spanier's life story, which was published in 1995 by Jazzology Press as "Muggsy Spanier: The Lonesome Road". Another favourite project, "The Jump Records Story", a history and discography written in partnership with Sonny McGown, was published by the IAJRC in 2006. And soon to come is "Bobby Hackett: His Life In Music", the biography and discography on which Bert and George Hulme have worked for many years. Bert describes these reflections on his busy life as 'a ramble ... on the hows and whys and wherefores of my interest in jazz'. It is studded with cuttings from Jazz magazines and other memorabilia, and with many photographs of friends, musicians, and family - some of whom get a word in themselves.

© The Grimsay Press, an imprint of Zeticula Ltd., Unit 13, 196 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AT, Scotland