Bix: Ain't None of Them Play Like Him Yet

Bix: Ain’t None of Them Play Like Him Yet (Directed by Brigitte Berman, 1981) Principals include: Louis Armstrong, Richard Basehart (narrator), Hoagy Carmichael, Bill Challis, Doc Cheatham, Charlie Davis, Jack Fulton, Matty Malneck, Artie Shaw, and Spiegle Willcox. This documentary, on the life and influence of Davenport native Bix Beiderbecke, features his best recorded music, photos, news clippings, handwritten letters, interviews with musicians and Davenport friends and family, and beautiful Middle West landscapes. Obviously an influence on Pupi Avati’s Bix: An Interpretation of a Legend, this film, while noting his family’s disapproval of his career and life, posits other explanations for Bix’s early death. The grueling pace of touring and the relentless demands of fans, who wouldn’t let the celebrity stop playing or drinking, broke down Bix’s health. Bix has the typical Iowa traits of quietness and generosity, but the film stresses his natural musical genius and influence on other musicians who admired his unique style that no one could imitate. Davenport hosts a Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival every summer, along the Mississippi River, that attracts thousands of Quad Cities residents and jazz enthusiasts. As with other celebrities who died young, his legend lives on.
Marty Knepper Morningside College knepper@morningside.edu & John Shelton Lawrence Morningside College j.shelton.1@gmail.com

Movie Posters