Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bix to Yoko in three or four

I like thinking about degrees of separation, which seem to work — always — in dizzyingly unpredictable ways. E.g.: Barack Obama – Buddy Guy – Son House – Charlie Patton. Guy played at a White House function; Guy and House played together on the television show Camera Three. And then we’re back in the Mississippi Delta.

How many degrees of separation are needed to get from Bix Beiderbecke to Yoko Ono? There’s at least one way to do it in four moves, and at least one way to do it in three. And there may (I hope) be ways to do it that have not occurred to me. Each person after Bix, including Yoko, counts as one move.

Can you solve the Bix to Yoko challenge? Leave your solution as a comment. If no one gets it, I’ll reveal my solutions tomorrow.

A related post
Six degrees of Richard Nixon

[My having met Barack Obama gives me four degrees of separation from Charlie Patton.]

*

June 18: One Bix to Yoko path is now in the comments. Here’s the in-three that I thought of: Jack Teagarden played with Bix and with Chuck Berry. (Really: Teagarden was part of the Newport Blues Band on the stage with Berry at the 1958 Newporr Jazz Festival.) And Berry performed with John and Yoko on The Mike Douglas Show. Bix to Teagarden to Berry to Yoko.

comments: 12

Andrew Hickey said...

Bix and Bing Crosby played together in Paul Whiteman's band.
Bing Crosby duetted with David Bowie on Little Drummer Boy.
Bowie knew Yoko in the 70s.

(If "knew" doesn't count, then you have to add in an extra step, for example Lennon playing on Fame.)

There's almost certainly a connection using Ono's collaborations with Ornette Coleman and La Monte Young, but I can't think of a short one off the top of my head. The only thing I can think is Coleman to Don Cherry to Coltrane to Duke Ellington to Louis Armstrong to Jack Teagarden to Bix, but there must be a way to cut a couple of steps out somewhere.

Michael Leddy said...

You got it. I didn’t know though that Yoko and Bowie knew each other independent of Lennon. I had Bix – Bing – Bowie – Lennon – Ono. There’s another in-three though. Stay tuned.

JuliaR said...

It only includes movie and tv connections so it doesn't work with Bix B. But it is fun!
http://oracleofbacon.org/

Michael Leddy said...

I didn’t know that there’s an app for that!

Diane Schirf said...

Mary Pickford to Kevin Bacon in 3. Amazing.

Bill Reed said...

I also extrapolated Bix to Bing to Bowie to Yoko before I opened "comments." Honest! Actually, that one's pretty easy. Here's me to Dizzy Gillespie in three, i.e. an affair with Cecil Taylor, who performed with John Coltrane, who recorded with Johnny Hartman, who sang with Dizzy. I actually met D.G. once who excused himself for a moment by saying to me, "I'll be white black." That's all the jazzy name-dropping for today. Ciao!

Michael Leddy said...

I was fortunate to meet Milt Hinton a couple of times, which gives me a link to Dizzy, though a far less interesting one. :)

Andrew Hickey said...

I *knew* Teagarden must be a link somewhere, just because he played with so many people. I had no clue he'd played with Chuck Berry though...

Andrew Hickey said...

As for the Oracle Of Bacon, I used to be able to get to Hitler or Elvis in three steps on that, thanks to my brief appearance in a TV program which featured Stephen Fry and Miriam Margolyes, but my IMDB page (which only listed that) was deleted as non-notable, so now I can't...

Elaine Fine said...

You're closer to Dizzy thank you think! And this chain involves playing music together: Leo Wright played with Dizzy and a whole slew of other musicians.

Michael Leddy said...

And Elaine, we both met Jon Faddis. And our friend Gail met Elvis when she was a teenager.

The degrees-of-separation thing is kinda dizzying.

Michael Leddy said...

“Dizzying”: oops. I said that already in the post.