Henry Stone On The Legend of Popsie Randolph
“Popsie Randolph. When I was a kid about 16 years old I used to take trumpet lessons with Charlie Colin on 48th street and one of my guys that I walked with, guy by the name of Shorty Rogers, great jazz guy, at that time he was Milton Rajonsky. I grew up with him and a drummer named Shelly Mane. They were great. I was just good. So on the way to my trumpet lesson I used to have to pass one of those hamburger places, whatever they call those little hamburgers, Royal Castle like, like 4 or 5 hamburgers for a nickel or somethin’. So I used to pass there every 2 or 3 days a week to take my trumpet lesson. So one day, one kid behind the counter stopped me, he looked at me, he said, “You trumpet player,” with a heavy Greek accent, yknow, he says, “Are you Buddy Breenken?” He meant Buddy Berenken. I said “Nah, I’m just a student of the trumpet.” So I got to likin the guy, to know him and like him, and I got him into the music business. I got him a job and I’ll never forget the band name too, it was the first girl band. Ina Ray Hutton.
I got him a job as a band boy. And from there he worked for quite a few years with her, and he ended up working with Benny Goodman, becoming his right hand man. And he was a photographer on the side later on in his years. He was a Cashbox photographer taking a lot of pictures. He became a terrific photographer. Popsie Randolph.”
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