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About Frank "Big Boy" Goudie

Because Frank "Big Boy" Goudie's most famous recordings were made in Europe during the 1930s, he is sometimes thought of as a European even though he was actually from Louisiana. Goudie grew up in New Orleans, at first playing fiddle and then cornet. As a teenager, the musically inclined youth played piano for silent movies. Although he taught himself tenor and clarinet, he mostly played cornet while in New Orleans. Goudie performed with Oscar Celestin's Original Tuxedo Band, the Magnolia Band, Arnold DuPas, Jack Carey, and others. He toured with a minstrel show in 1921 and spent several years traveling the South and California with a variety of bands. Goudie moved to France in 1925 where he mostly played tenor and clarinet (and trumpet occasionally). He worked all over Europe with such bandleaders as Benny Peyton, Louis Mitchell, Sam Wooding, Noble Sissle, and Freddy Johnson. He performed and recorded with Willie Lewis between 1935 1938, and then worked with Oscar Aleman. He left Paris in 1940 and spent the next few years in Brazil and Argentina, performing with many local jazz bands. Goudie returned to France in 1946 where he worked with Charlie Lewis, Arthur Briggs, and Harry Cooper, among others. Other associations included Glyn Paque in Switzerland (1948-1949) and Bill Coleman (1949-1951). He led his own group in Berlin (1951-1956) and then moved to San Francisco in 1957. Although he spent part of his time working outside of music, Goudie still played clarinet locally, including with Earl Hines, Burt Bales, Dick Oxtot, and Marty Marsala. In addition to his sideman recordings (most notably with Lewis and Coleman), Big Boy Goudie recorded as a leader for Ultraphone (1935 with such sidemen as Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli on piano), Swing (1939 and 1946), Columbia (1952-1953), the Yugoslavian Jugoton label (1954), and made a final effort in San Francisco for American Music (1960-1961). ~ Scott Yanow