Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sam Woodyard (Jan. 7, 1925 - Sept. 20, 1988)

Here is my annual birthday tribute to my father, Sam Woodyard, drummer for the legendary Duke Ellington band.  A year before he died I visited Sam in Paris, he was very in very poor heath at the time.  His many wonderful friends there shared many warm memories with me.  They also give me these albums Sam played on as a sideman while in Paris.  I will treasure these always.  My special thanks to Gwen Persiany-Workman and Andre' Persiany (his album is shown below) who welcomed me into their home and treated me like family.  My thank to everyone.

  Happy birthday, Sam. 

1 comment:

Idiom59 said...


I'd like to mention that I had the great fortune to meet and speak to Sam. It was in May 1988,the year he died,and it was at the Ellington conference held in Oldham, England.
He wasn't very well but he joined in with all the concerts and discussions, bar one which just so happened to be Dim & Cres in Blue,he didn't have the steam for that one!,who could blame him !.
Something else had occurred,prior to him leaving Paris that didn't help his condtion,his drum kit had been stolen.
The conference had hired a set for Sam to play.Subsequently the delegates had a collection & bought the kit for him to take back to Paris.Too say Sam was pleased would be an understatement.
Everyone hoped that he would spend a lot of' time'
behind the kit but alas it wasn't to be.
In closing I can only say he has given me hours of enjoyment with his enthusiasm,his elbow and his shuffle.
Keep listening