Scott K Fish - Frankie Dunlop Complete Interview Available Online

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
SKF NOTE - Over the next few weeks I am making available my full interview, no edits, with Frankie Dunlop. The interview took place in 1984 in two sessions. The first session, on October 16, 1984, was at my former in-law’s New York City apartment.

The December 13, 1984 second session took place at my rented cottage home in Washington, CT.

I’ve cleaned up the sound from the original audio cassettes with compression, and also noise reduction, to minimize tape hiss. Otherwise the sound is intact. The taping starts and stops are not seamless. Our conversation does not flow undetected from one side of a tape to the next, or from one tape to another tape. While interviewing, I tried to keep my eye on the time, but didn’t always succeed.

However, where Frankie was making an important or interesting point and a tape abruptly ended, we picked up the point when the next tape started rolling.

There are seven approximately 45-minute sessions in total, roughly three-and-a-half 90-minute tapes.

I will give each session a full listen before uploading them, and provide topic highlights — an index — for listeners.

I believe this is the only taped interview with Frankie Dunlop in existence. Since 1984 no other taped interviews have surfaced. For that reason I would like to make these tapes available to the public for posterity. Especially for drummers and music historians.

In this first session Frankie and I focus on his formative years. Key names discussed here are Georgie Clark, Gene Krupa, Johnny Rowland, Maynard Ferguson, Ed Shaughnessy, Louis Bellson, Charli Persip, Max Roach, US Army, Korean War, Nelson Boyd, Symphony Sid, Birdland, Charley Wilcoxon’s “Rolling in Rhythm.”

I’m happy to answer questions. The best way to contact me is through this blog. my SKFBlog - Life Beyond the Cymbals at https://scottkfish.com
 

Supernoodle

Senior Member
Thanks very much Scott for making these public. So much information from one of the best in jazz history, just before he retired? It's good to check out some of the recordings he mentions, like this:


He keeps mentioning union cards and not being able to work in NY, what is that about?
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Frankie Dunlop - Complete Interview Pt 3 of 7 now online.

This third part of Frankie’s interview, at the time, was a little frustrating. Here Frankie focuses the entire 45 minutes on his 18-months of being drafted into the US Army during the Korean War. But I also realized at the time how much his Army experience impacted Frankie. Because this experience was so important to Frankie, I was careful not to interrupt him, or to steer his conversation in a different direction.

Frankie was a young man on track to be a professional drummer when he was drafted. As you will hear, getting drafted was, at first, so depressing, Frankie seriously thought of committing suicide. Instead, he reassessed his situation and, in the end, he ended up playing drums in the US Army.

 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Frankie Dunlop - Complete Interview Pt 4 of 7 now online.

Topics covered in this fourth part of Frankie’s interview include Jake Hanna, Birdland, Maynard Ferguson, Don Sebesky, big band drumming, John Bunch, Ann Marie Moss, playing louder without hurting yourself, Big Jay McNeely, back beat, rhythm & blues, shuffle beat, Lena Horne, Lenny Hayton, Duke Ellington, playing all styles, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Monk rhythm sections play like big band rhythm sections, healthy diet and exercise, Mel Lewis, Monk listening habit, Jimmie Lunceford, Clark Terry, and swinging. https://scottkfish.com/2019/10/26/frankie-dunlop-complete-interview-pt-4-of-7/
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Frankie Dunlop -- Complete Interview Pt 5 of 7 now online.

Topics covered in this fifth part of Frankie’s interview include Maynard Ferguson, Sonny Rollins, Five Spot, Playing slow is harder than playing fast, Charlie Rouse, John Ore, Tony Williams, Tootie Heath, Randy Weston, Clifford Jarvis, melodic drumming, Lionel Hampton, stamina and power, Hamp’s Boogie Woogie, Flyin’ Home, Hampton working drummers to death, Wilbur Hogan, Jazz Tribute at Reagan White House, Columbia albums, Riverside albums, Hal Overton, Monk small bands vs big bands, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Ben Riley, Art Taylor, Monk song titles. Teo Macero, Bright Mississippi, James Meredith. // https://scottkfish.com/2019/10/31/frankie-dunlop-complete-interview-pt-5-of-7/
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Thanks very much Scott for making these public. So much information from one of the best in jazz history, just before he retired? It's good to check out some of the recordings he mentions, like this:


He keeps mentioning union cards and not being able to work in NY, what is that about?
The New York Musician's Union Local 802 could, and did, keep musicians from playing NYC clubs. In Frankie's case it was because he hadn't been a NYC resident long enough for Local 802 dispensation.
 

Supernoodle

Senior Member
wow, that seems extreme now, not being allowed to play...

Just listening to part 4, he is so into it, crazy about drumming and the music he played. Do you know why he retired so relatively early?
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
I don't know if Frankie retired as much as he was simply not playing as much with musicians in the limelight. The last Frankie Dunlop recording I've heard was a 1984 Monk Tribute album called "That's The Way I Feel Now." Frankie played with Terry Adams and NRBQ guys on the song "In Walked Bud." https://www.discogs.com/Various-Thats-The-Way-I-Feel-Now-A-Tribute-To-Thelonious-Monk/release/878262

Frankie Dunlop - Complete Interview Pt 6 or 7 is now online.

Topics covered in this sixth part of Frankie’s interview include Charlie Mingus, Bill Triglia, Booker Ervin, Don Friedman, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Julian Priester, Max Roach, Grachan Moncur III, Larry Richey, Ike Isaacs, Jimmy Wordsworth, Henry Grimes, Roy Haynes, Monk’s funeral, Barry Harris, Charlie Rouse, Ray Copeland, Gerry Mulligan, Drummers who played with Monk, Thelonious Monk, Jr., Nica the Baroness, Monk played modern chords and that old, driving, Swing beat, Gretsch Drum Night at Birdland, Lena Horne, Grady Tate. https://scottkfish.com/2019/11/10/frankie-dunlop-complete-interview-pt-6-or-7/
 

Supernoodle

Senior Member
Thanks - I hope he kept playing and having fun on low key gigs... with his ability he could probably pick anything he wanted.
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Frankie Dunlop - Complete Interview Part 7 of 7

SKF NOTE - This is the last segment of my full interview, no edits, with Frankie Dunlop. The interview took place in 1984 in two sessions. The first session, on October 16, 1984, was at my former in-law’s New York City apartment. The December 13, 1984 second session took place at my rented cottage home in Washington, CT.

Topics covered in this seventh and last part of Frankie’s interview include Lena Horne, timekeeping, Thelonious Monk, judging musicians by the condition of their instrument, Mel Lewis stolen cymbals, Frankie drum and cymbal setup with Monk, Switching to Sonor from Slingerland, Jake Hanna gifted snare drum, Frankie Dunlop drum clinics, drumsticks, Steve Gadd, Shelly Manne, Philly Joe Jones, clinics about drugs and music in elementary school, Lionel Hampton, George Jenkins. // https://scottkfish.com/2019/11/14/frankie-dunlop-complete-interview-part-7-of-7/
 
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