Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to Chris Albertson

Just a brief entry today to wish a happy birthday to Christiern Albertson, jazz historian/archivist, record producer, critic and radio announcer. Albertson is probably best known for his biography on Bessie Smith, Bessie (1972). Born in 1931 in Reykjavik, he emigrated to the US in 1957. An individual who, in the 1960s, brought traditional jazz and blues musicians (Elmer Snowden, Meade Lux Lewis, Lil Armstrong) to LP-weaned audiences, he produced sessions for the Riverside, Columbia, and Prestige labels and worked as the general manager for WBAI-FM in New York.  In the 1970s, he curated a PBS television program, The Jazz Set.

That is, of course, only a slight and partially-informed blurb on someone who has done a hell of a lot of work in this music (and whose autobiography can't come soon enough).

Read Christiern's blog here and wish him a happy 78th birthday!


  1. I just happened upon this while Google-ing Eric Dolphy. Thank you, Clifford.

    Now I'll have to look for Jim Alfredson's Bessie SMith biography! :)


  2. Like Chris Albertson, I just happened upon this.
    I had the pleasure of directing and co-producing The Jazz Set with Chris years ago when we both were much younger. We videotaped the programs on Monday nights when the musicians normally had the night off. Thanks to Chris and the generosity of the artists, and despite what could be charitably described as a meager budget, we presented some of the legends of the day. What a joy that was.
    Stay well, Chris, wherever you are.
    Peter Anderson

  3. Thank you Peter, the pleasure was mutual and, apropos that—what a pleasure it is to learn that you are around—but where? If you read this, please contact me via my blog's guest book; I will keep your email address private (

    And Clifford, thanks again—this time for being the link.