Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke

Celebrity Profile

Name: Bix Beiderbecke
Occupation: Pianist
Gender: Male
Height: 178 cm (5' 11'')
Birth Day: March 10, 1903
Death Date: Aug 6, 1931 (age 28)
Age: Aged 28
Birth Place: Davenport, United States
Zodiac Sign: Pisces

Social Accounts

Height: 178 cm (5' 11'')
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
Tattoo(s) N/A

Bix Beiderbecke

Bix Beiderbecke was born on March 10, 1903 in Davenport, United States (28 years old). Bix Beiderbecke is a Pianist, zodiac sign: Pisces. Find out Bix Beiderbeckenet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


His versions of Singin' the Blues and I'm Coming, Virginia, both from 1927, were admired for their tonal purity and improvisation.

Does Bix Beiderbecke Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Bix Beiderbecke died on Aug 6, 1931 (age 28).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He would skip dinner to play the calliope.

Biography Timeline


The son of Bismark Herman Beiderbecke and Agatha Jane Hilton, Bix Beiderbecke was born on March 10, 1903, in Davenport, Iowa. There is disagreement over whether Beiderbecke was christened Leon Bix or Leon Bismark and nicknamed "Bix". His father was nicknamed "Bix", as was his older brother, Charles Burnette "Burnie" Beiderbecke. Burnie Beiderbecke claimed that the boy was named Leon Bix and biographers have reproduced birth certificates that agree. More recent research — which takes into account church and school records in addition to the will of a relative — suggests he was named Leon Bismark. Regardless, his parents called him Bix, which seems to have been his preference. In a letter to his mother when he was nine years old, Beiderbecke signed off, "frome your Leon Bix Beiderbecke not Bismark Remeber [sic]".


Beiderbecke attended Davenport High School from 1918 to 1921. During this time, he sat in and played professionally with various bands, including those of Wilbur Hatch, Floyd Bean, and Carlisle Evans. In the spring of 1920 he performed for the school's Vaudeville Night, singing in a vocal quintet called the Black Jazz Babies and playing his cornet. At the invitation of his friend Fritz Putzier, he subsequently joined Neal Buckley's Novelty Orchestra. The group was hired for a gig in December 1920, but a complaint was lodged with the American Federation of Musicians, Local 67, that the boys did not have union cards. In an audition before a union executive, Beiderbecke was forced to sight read and failed. He did not earn his card.


On April 22, 1921, a month after he turned 18, Beiderbecke was arrested by two Davenport police officers on an accusation that he had taken a five-year-old girl named Sarah Ivens into a neighbor's garage and committed a lewd and lascivious act with her—a statutory felony in Iowa. According to the police ledger, the girl accused Beiderbecke of "putting his hands on her person outside of her dress." The ledger went on to state that Beiderbecke and the girl "were in an auto in the garage and he closed the door on the girl and she hollered," attracting the attention of two young men who were across the street. The young men "went over [to the garage] and the girl went home." Beiderbecke was released after a $1,500 bail bond was posted. Sarah's father, Preston Ivens, requested that the Scott County grand jury drop the charge to avoid "harm that would result to her in going over this case," and in September 1921, the grand jury returned no indictment, whereupon the County Attorney filed a dismissal of the case. It is not clear from the official documents if Sarah herself had identified Beiderbecke, but the two young men had told her father, when he questioned them a day after the alleged incident, that they had seen Beiderbecke take the girl into the garage. The surviving official documents concerning the arrest and its aftermath - including two police entries and Preston Ivens' grand jury testimony – were first made available in 2001 by Professor Albert Haim on the Bixography website. Jean Pierre Lion in his 2005 biography discussed the incident briefly and printed the texts of the documents. Earlier biographies had not reported the alleged incident.

In September 1921, Beiderbecke enrolled at the Lake Forest Academy, a boarding school north of Chicago in Lake Forest, Illinois. While historians have traditionally suggested that his parents sent him to Lake Forest to discourage his interest in jazz, others believe that he may have been sent away in response to his arrest. Regardless, Mr. and Mrs. Beiderbecke apparently felt that a boarding school would provide their son with both the faculty attention and discipline required to improve his academic performance, necessitated by the fact that Bix had failed most courses at High School, remaining a junior in 1921 despite turning 18 in March of that year. His interests, however, remained limited to music and sports. In pursuit of the former, Beiderbecke often visited Chicago to listen to jazz bands at night clubs and speakeasies, including the infamous Friar's Inn, where he sometimes sat in with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. He also traveled to the predominantly African-American South Side to listen to classic black jazz bands such as King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, which featured Louis Armstrong on second cornet. "Don't think I'm getting hard, Burnie," he wrote to his brother, "but I'd go to hell to hear a good band." On campus, he helped organize the Cy-Bix Orchestra with drummer Walter "Cy" Welge and almost immediately got into trouble with the Lake Forest headmaster for performing indecorously at a school dance.


Beiderbecke joined the Wolverine Orchestra late in 1923, and the seven-man group first played a speakeasy called the Stockton Club near Hamilton, Ohio. Specializing in hot jazz and recoiling from so-called sweet music, the band took its name from one of its most frequent numbers, Jelly Roll Morton's "Wolverine Blues." During this time, Beiderbecke also took piano lessons from a young woman who introduced him to the works of Eastwood Lane. Lane's piano suites and orchestral arrangements were self-consciously American whilst also having French Impressionist allusions, and influenced Beiderbecke's style, especially on "In a Mist." A subsequent gig at Doyle's Dance Academy in Cincinnati became the occasion for a series of band and individual photographs that resulted in the image of Beiderbecke—sitting fresh-faced, his hair perfectly combed and his cornet resting on his right knee.


On February 18, 1924, the Wolverines made their first recordings. Two sides were waxed that day at the Gennett Records studios in Richmond, Indiana: "Fidgety Feet", written by Nick LaRocca and Larry Shields from the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, and "Jazz Me Blues", written by Tom Delaney. Beiderbecke's solo on the latter heralded something new and significant in jazz, according to biographers Richard M. Sudhalter and Philip R. Evans:

Beiderbecke certainly found a kindred musical spirit in Hoagy Carmichael, whose amusingly unconventional personality he also appreciated. The two became firm friends. A law student and aspiring pianist and songwriter, Carmichael invited the Wolverines to play at the Bloomington campus of Indiana University in the Spring of 1924. On May 6, 1924, the Wolverines recorded a tune Carmichael had written especially for Beiderbecke and his colleagues: "Riverboat Shuffle".

During an engagement at the Cinderella Ballroom in New York in September–October 1924, Bix tendered his resignation with the Wolverines, leaving to join Jean Goldkette and his Orchestra in Detroit, but Beiderbecke's tenure with the band proved to be short-lived. Goldkette recorded for the Victor Talking Machine Company, whose musical director, Eddie King, objected to Beiderbecke's modernistic style of jazz playing. Moreover, despite the fact that Beiderbecke's position within the Goldkette band was "third trumpet", a less taxing role than 1st or 2nd trumpet, he struggled with the complex ensemble passages due to his limited reading abilities. After a few weeks, Beiderbecke and Goldkette agreed to part company, but to keep in touch, with Goldkette advising Beiderbecke to brush up on his reading and learn more about music. Some six weeks after leaving the band, Bix arranged a Gennett recording session back in Richmond with some of the Goldkette band members, under the name Bix and His Rhythm Jugglers. On January 26, 1925, they set two tunes to wax: "Toddlin' Blues", another number by LaRocca and Shields, and Beiderbecke's own composition, "Davenport Blues", which subsequently became a classic jazz number, recorded by musicians ranging from Bunny Berigan to Ry Cooder and Geoff Muldaur. An arrangement of "Davenport Blues" as a piano solo was published by Robbins Music in 1927.

The Paul Whiteman Orchestra was the most popular and highest paid dance band of the day. In spite of Whiteman's appellation "The King of Jazz", his band was not a jazz ensemble as such, but a popular music outfit that drew from both jazz and classical music repertoires, according to the demands of its record-buying and concert-going audience. Whiteman was perhaps best known for having premiered George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in New York in 1924, and the orchestrator of that piece, Ferde Grofé, continued to be an important part of the band throughout the 1920s. Whiteman was large physically and important culturally —"a man flabby, virile, quick, coarse, untidy and sleek, with a hard core of shrewdness in an envelope of sentimentalism", according to a 1926 New Yorker profile. A number of Beiderbecke partisans have criticised Whiteman for not giving Bix the opportunities he deserved as a jazz musician.

Some critics have highlighted "Jazz Me Blues", recorded with the Wolverines on February 18, 1924, as being particularly important to understanding Beiderbecke's style. Although it was one of his earliest recordings, the hallmarks of his playing are evident. "The overall impression we get from this solo, as in all of Bix at his best," writes the trumpeter Randy Sandke, "is that every note is spontaneous yet inevitable." Richard Hadlock describes Beiderbecke's contribution to "Jazz Me Blues" as "an ordered solo that seems more inspired by clarinetists Larry Shields of the ODJB and Leon Roppolo of the NORK than by other trumpet players." He goes on to suggest that clarinetists, by virtue of their not being tied to the melody as much as cornetists and trumpet players, could explore harmonies.


Armstrong tended to accentuate showmanship and virtuosity, whereas Beiderbecke emphasized melody, even when improvising, and rarely strayed into the upper reaches of the register. Mezz Mezzrow recounted in his autobiography driving 53 miles to Hudson Lake, Indiana with Frank Teschemacher in order to play Armstrong's "Heebie Jeebies" for Beiderbecke when it was released. In addition to listening to Armstrong's records, Beiderbecke and other white musicians patronized the Sunset Café on Fridays to listen to Armstrong and his band. Paul Mares of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings insisted that Beiderbecke's chief influence was the New Orleans cornetist Emmett Hardy, who died in 1925 at the age of 23. Indeed, Beiderbecke had met Hardy and the clarinetist Leon Roppolo in Davenport in 1921 when the two joined a local band and played in town for three months. Beiderbecke apparently spent time with them, but it is difficult to discern the degree to which Hardy's style influenced Beiderbecke's—especially since there is no publicly known recording of a Hardy performance.

In February 1925, Beiderbecke enrolled at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. His stint in academia was even briefer than his time in Detroit, however. When he attempted to pack his course schedule with music, his guidance counselor forced him instead to take religion, ethics, physical education, and military training. It was an institutional blunder that Benny Green described as being, in retrospect, "comical," "fatuous," and "a parody." Beiderbecke promptly began to skip classes, and after he participated in a drunken incident in a local bar, he was expelled. That summer he played with his friends Don Murray and Howdy Quicksell at a lake resort in Michigan. The band was run by Goldkette, and it put Beiderbecke in touch with another musician he had met before: the C-melody saxophone player Frankie Trumbauer. The two hit it off, both personally and musically, despite Trumbauer having been warned by other musicians: "Look out, he's trouble. He drinks and you'll have a hard time handling him." They were inseparable for much of the rest of Beiderbecke's career, with Trumbauer acting as something of a guardian to Beiderbecke. When Trumbauer organized a band for an extended run at the Arcadia Ballroom in St. Louis, Beiderbecke joined him. There he also played alongside the clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, who praised Beiderbecke's ability to drive the band. "He more or less made you play whether you wanted to or not," Russell said. "If you had any talent at all he made you play better."


In the spring of 1926, Bix and Trumbauer joined Goldkette's main dance band, splitting the year between playing a Summer season at a Goldkette-owned resort on Lake Hudson, Indiana and headlining at Detroit's Graystone Ballroom, which was also owned by Goldkette. In October 1926, Goldkette's "Famous Fourteen", as they came to be called, opened at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City opposite the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, one of the East Coast's outstanding African American big bands. The Roseland promoted a "Battle of the Bands" in the local press and, on October 12, after a night of furious playing, Goldkette's men were declared the winners. "We […] were amazed, angry, morose, and bewildered," Rex Stewart, Fletcher's lead trumpeter, said of listening to Beiderbecke and his colleagues play. He called the experience "most humiliating".


Although the Goldkette Orchestra recorded numerous sides for Victor during this period, none of them showcases Beiderbecke's most famous solos. The band found itself subjected to the commercial considerations of the popular music sector that Victor deliberately targeted the band's recordings at. The few exceptions to the policy include "My Pretty Girl" and "Clementine", the latter being one of the band's final recordings and its effective swan song. In addition to these commercial sessions with Goldkette, Beiderbecke and Trumbauer also recorded under their own names for the OKeh label; Bix waxed some of his best solos as a member of Trumbauer's recording band, starting with "Clarinet Marmalade" and "Singin' the Blues", recorded on February 4, 1927. Again with Trumbauer, Beiderbecke re-recorded Carmichael's "Riverboat Shuffle" in May and delivered two further seminal solos a few days later on "I'm Coming, Virginia" and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans". Beiderbecke earned co-writing credit with Trumbauer on "For No Reason at All in C", recorded under the name Tram, Bix and Eddie (in their Three Piece Band). Beiderbecke switched between cornet and piano on that number, and then in September played only piano for his recording of "In A Mist". This was perhaps the most fruitful year of his short career.

Under financial pressure, Goldkette folded his premier band in September 1927 in New York. Paul Whiteman hoped to snatch up Goldkette's best musicians for his traveling orchestra, but Beiderbecke, Trumbauer, Murray, Bill Rank, Chauncey Morehouse, and Frank Signorelli instead joined the bass saxophone player Adrian Rollini at the Club New Yorker. The band also included guitarist Eddie Lang and violinist Joe Venuti, who had often recorded on a freelance basis with the Goldkette Orchestra. Another newcomer was Sylvester Ahola, a schooled trumpeter who could play improvised jazz solos and read complex scores. When Ahola introduced himself, Beiderbecke famously stated "Hell, I'm only a musical degenerate". When that job ended sooner than expected, in October 1927, Beiderbecke and Trumbauer signed on with Whiteman. They joined his orchestra in Indianapolis on October 27.


On November 30, 1928, whilst on tour in Cleveland, Beiderbecke suffered what Lion terms "a severe nervous crisis" and Sudhalter and Evans suggest "was in all probability an acute attack of delirium tremens", presumably triggered by Beiderbecke's attempt to curb his alcohol intake. "He cracked up, that's all", trombonist Bill Rank said. "Just went to pieces; broke up a roomful of furniture in the hotel."


In February 1929, Beiderbecke returned home to Davenport to convalesce and was hailed by the local press as "the world's hottest cornetist". He then spent the summer with Whiteman's band in Hollywood in preparation for the shooting of a new talking picture, The King of Jazz. Production delays prevented any real work from being done on the film, leaving Beiderbecke and his pals plenty of time to drink heavily. By September, he was back in Davenport, where his parents helped him to seek treatment. He spent a month, from October 14 until November 18, at the Keeley Institute in Dwight, Illinois. According to Lion, an examination by Keeley physicians confirmed the damaging effects of Bix's long-term reliance on alcohol: "Bix admitted to having used liquor 'in excess' for the past nine years, his daily dose over the last three years amounting to three pints of 'whiskey' and twenty cigarettes.....A Hepatic dullness was obvious, 'knee jerk could not be obtained' – which confirmed the spread of the polyneuritis, and Bix was 'swaying in Romberg position' – standing up with his eyes closed".


While he was away, Whiteman famously kept his chair open in Beiderbecke's honor, in the hope that he would occupy it again. However, when he returned to New York at the end of January 1930, Beiderbecke did not rejoin Whiteman and performed only sparingly. On his last recording session, in New York, on September 15, 1930, Beiderbecke played on the original recording of Hoagy Carmichael's new song, "Georgia on My Mind", with Carmichael doing the vocals, Eddie Lang on guitar, Joe Venuti on violin, Jimmy Dorsey on clarinet and alto saxophone, Jack Teagarden on trombone, and Bud Freeman on tenor saxophone. The song would go on to become a jazz and popular music standard. In 2014, the 1930 recording of "Georgia on My Mind" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Following the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the once-booming music industry contracted and work became more difficult to find. For a while, Beiderbecke's only regular income came from his work as a member of Nat Shilkret's orchestra on The Camel Pleasure Hour NBC radio show. However, during a live broadcast on October 8, 1930, Beiderbecke's seemingly limitless gift for improvisation finally failed him: "He stood up to take his solo, but his mind went blank and nothing happened", recalled a fellow musician, Frankie Cush. The cornetist spent the rest of the year at home in Davenport and then, in February 1931, he returned to New York one last time.


Beiderbecke died in his apartment, No. 1G, 43-30 46th Street, in Sunnyside, Queens, New York on August 6, 1931. The week had been stiflingly hot, making sleep difficult. Suffering from insomnia, Beiderbecke played the piano late into the evenings, both to the annoyance and the delight of his neighbors. On the evening of August 6, at about 9.30 pm, his rental agent, George Kraslow, heard noises coming from across the hallway. "His hysterical shouts brought me to his apartment on the run," Kraslow told Philip Evans in 1959.

Historians have disagreed over the identity of the doctor who pronounced Beiderbecke dead, with several sources stating that it was Dr. John Haberski - the husband of the woman Kraslow identified - who pronounced Beiderbecke dead in his apartment. The official cause of death, as indicated on the death certificate, was lobar pneumonia. Unofficially, edema of the brain coupled with the effects of long-term alcoholism have been cited as contributory factors. Beiderbecke's mother and brother took the train to New York and arranged for his body to be taken home to Davenport. He was buried there on August 11, 1931 in the family plot at Oakdale Cemetery.

One of the first serious, analytical obituaries to have been published in the months after his death was by the French jazz writer Hugues Panassié. The notice appeared in October 1931.


In 1938, Dorothy Baker borrowed the title of her friend Otis Ferguson's first article and published the novel Young Man with a Horn. Her story of the doomed trumpet player Rick Martin was inspired, she wrote, by "the music, but not the life" of Beiderbecke, but the image of Martin quickly became the image of Beiderbecke: His story is about "the gap between the man's musical ability and his ability to fit it to his own life." In 1950, Michael Curtiz directed the film Young Man with a Horn, starring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Doris Day. In this version, in which Hoagy Carmichael also plays a role, the Rick Martin character lives.


Brendan Wolfe, the author of Finding Bix, spoke of Beiderbecke's lasting influence on Davenport, Iowa: "His name and face are still a huge part of the city's identity. There's an annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, and a Bix 7 road race with tens of thousands of runners, Bix T-shirts, bumper stickers, bobble-head dolls, the whole works." In 1971, on the 40th anniversary of Beiderbecke's death, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival was founded in Davenport, Iowa, to honor the musician. In 1974, Sudhalter and Evans published their biography, Bix: Man and Legend, which was nominated for a National Book Award. In 1977, the Beiderbecke childhood home at 1934 Grand Avenue in Davenport was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


Bix Beiderbecke was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have "qualitative or historical significance."


Beiderbecke's music was featured in three British comedy drama television series, all written by Alan Plater: The Beiderbecke Affair (1984), The Beiderbecke Tapes (1987), and The Beiderbecke Connection (1988). In 1991, the Italian director Pupi Avati released Bix: An Interpretation of a Legend. Filmed partially in the Beiderbecke home, which Avati had purchased and renovated, Bix was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.


At the beginning of the 21st century, Beiderbecke's music continued to reside mostly out of the mainstream and some of the facts of his life are still debated, but scholars largely agree—due in part to the influence of Sudhalter and Evans—that he was an important innovator in early jazz; jazz cornetists, including Sudhalter (who died in 2008), and Tom Pletcher, closely emulate his style. In 2003, to mark the hundredth anniversary of his birth, the Greater Astoria Historical Society and other community organizations, spearheaded by Paul Maringelli and The Bix Beiderbecke Sunnyside Memorial Committee, erected a plaque in Beiderbecke's honor at the apartment building in which he died in Queens. That same year, Frederick Turner published his novel 1929, which followed the facts of Beiderbecke's life fairly closely, focusing on his summer in Hollywood and featuring appearances by Al Capone and Clara Bow. The critic and musician Digby Fairweather sums up Beiderbecke's musical legacy, arguing that "with Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke was the most striking of jazz's cornet (and of course, trumpet) fathers; a player who first captivated his 1920s generation and after his premature death, founded a dynasty of distinguished followers beginning with Jimmy McPartland and moving on down from there."

Family Life

Bix was born to parents Bismark Herman and Agatha Jane Hilton Beiderbecke. Bix's father was a lumber and coal merchant.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Bix Beiderbecke is 119 years, 2 months and 16 days old. Bix Beiderbecke will celebrate 120th birthday on a Friday 10th of March 2023. Below we countdown to Bix Beiderbecke upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

117th birthday - Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Nighthawks play Bix Beiderbecke for Birthday Celebration

Music event in New York, NY by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks on Tuesday, March 10 2020

Bix Beiderbecke 117th birthday timeline
108th birthday - Thursday, March 10, 2011

108th Bix birthday bash is Tuesday

The celebration of the 108th anniversary of Bix Beiderbecke’s birthday will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Eastern Branch of the Davenport Public Library, 6000 Eastern

Bix Beiderbecke trends


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