Dairy Products And Jazz? Odd June Holidays

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Aside from Father's Day, Flag Day and the first day of summer, June might not seem to offer any holidays worth celebrating. Au contraire!

Every month is filled with holidays and observances that don't end up on official calendars, and June is no exception. This week's Take Five celebrates Chocolate Pudding Day, Smile Power Day, Gingerbread Day, National Fishing and Boating Week and Dairy Month with a few jazz notes.

Listen to five celebratory songs below.

For more entries in the Take Five series, click here. And don't forget to subscribe to the Jazz Notes newsletter.

Dairy Products And Jazz? Odd June Holidays

On The Trail

Jimmy Heath

  • Album: On the Trail
  • Song: Gingerbread Boy

Gingerbread Day (June 5). Gingerbread is prime Christmastime snacking, but the treat gets its own special day in June. This is the original version of tenor saxman Jimmy Heath's spiced-up blues tune, "Gingerbread Boy." Heath is in fine form along with guitarist Kenny Burrell and brother Albert "Tootie" Heath on drums.

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Song
Gingerbread Boy
Album
On the Trail
Artist
Jimmy Heath
Label
JVC Japan
Released
1964

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A Voice In Time 1939-1952

Frank Sinatra

  • Album: Voice in Time: 1939-1952
  • Song: When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You)

Smile Power Day (June 15). Frank Sinatra made many smile, and this happy-go-lucky tune spreads the word that smiling is contagious. "When You're Smiling" was recorded during Sinatra's comeback after suffering vocal-cord hemorrhage from years of hard use. Getting a career back into the swing of things was certainly something to smile about.

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Song
When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You)
Album
Voice in Time: 1939-1952
Artist
Frank Sinatra
Label
Sony
Released
2007

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Free Spirits

Chris Connor

  • Album: Free Spirits
  • Song: I'm Gonna Go Fishin'

National Fishing and Boating Week (June 6-14). Celebrate the days of summer fishing with a song that is more about fishing for good men who don't cheat on their woman, not trout or bass. Peggy Lee and Duke Ellington teamed up to write this fun tune. Chris Connor's version is direct in message and tone, but her voice is still warm. The drumming of Dave Bailey drives the quick tempo, while trumpets of Clark Terry and Joe Newman accent the more forceful lyrics.

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Song
I'm Gonna Go Fishin'
Album
Free Spirits
Artist
Chris Connor
Label
WEA/Warner
Released
1961

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Good Time Blues - The Ultimate Tenor Sax Collection

Zoot Sims

  • Album: Good Time Blues: The Ultimate Tenor Sax Collection
  • Song: Tasty Pudding

Chocolate Pudding Day (June 26). Who would have thought that chocolate pudding deserves its own holiday? We don't know if chocolate pudding was on the mind of Al Cohn when he penned this tune, but when his friend Zoot Sims played it, the sound was as mellow and smooth as the celebrated treat.

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Song
Tasty Pudding
Album
Good Time Blues: The Ultimate Tenor Sax Collection
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Savoy Jazz
Released
2004

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Cover for The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings [Columbia/Legacy]

Louis Armstrong with May Alix

  • Album: The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings [Columbia/Legacy]
  • Song: Big Butter and Egg Man

Dairy Month (all June-long). Ice cream gets its own holiday in July, so we feature butter for the June Dairy celebration. "Big Butter and Egg Man" is a U.S. slang term that officially means, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "a wealthy, unsophisticated man who spends money freely." The term supposedly originated from a nickname given to a Midwestern dairy man, fitting that description, who traveled East with cash in hand to spend at clubs and bars.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Big Butter and Egg Man
Album
The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings [Columbia/Legacy]
Artist
Louis Armstrong
Label
Columbia/Legacy
Released
2007

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