Barney Kessel Bio

June 28, 2007

Nicolai Foss

Here is what I think is easily the most detailed account of Barney’s life (written as an introduction to this DVD). Lots of interesting detail, such as how Warner Bros. handled the problem of how to present, in 1944, pictures with Kessel among black musicians from the Jammin’ the Blues documentary: “… the company had Kessel playing in the shadows, head down, and ‘blacked up’: ‘They stained my hands with berry juice,’ he recalls”.

UPDATE: Here is the Jammin’ the Blues clip. Barney is just about the only one of the musicians who does not appear en face. Hard to see if his hands are indeed stained, though.

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