It was after serving four years during WWII, that Seattle’s former big jazz impresario, Norm Bobrow, came home and was soon heard over the Queen Anne Hill-based KRSC station doing a 15-minute weekly news-commentary radio show, and seen back on the nightclub scene reconnecting with old pals including the popular pianist/band-leader Gay Jones.
By early 1946 Bobrow met up with Adolph Linden [KJR – The Northwest Radio Service] and they agreed to make a record together. By that time Linden’s son Jimmy (1914-1972) was working as an audio engineer over at the KOL radio studios in the basement of the Northern Life Towers (1220 3rd Avenue) and a session was booked there. The result became Linden Record Company’s commercial debut — and perhaps the first locally recorded, locally issued, popular jazz record: a 78 rpm single featuring two Irving Berlin songs “The Dark Town Strutter’s Ball” and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” as performed by Jones’ Orchestra with vocals by Bobrow.
But it was another historically significant early Seattle record — Ray Charles’s 1949 debut disc “Confession Blues” – that holds out a possible connection to the Linden family tale. What little is known about the circumstances surrounding that record is this: Charles and his trio (who were hosts of a weekly KRSC radio show where they advertised their upcoming nightclub gigs) were discovered in town by a traveling Los Angeles-based music exec. A deal was struck and, according to Charles’s autobiography, they proceeded to “a little recording studio in Seattle.” It is the exact name of that studio that has remained a puzzle all these years — but it seems quite likely, given the paucity of studios existing at the time, that Charles’s session took place at KOL with Jimmy Linden participating. - HistoryLink.org SEARCH: Adolph Linden
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