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Gussie Mueller, c. 1922
|Birth name||Gustave Mueller|
|Also known as||"Gus"
April 17, 1890|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Origin||New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|Died||December 16, 1965
Hollywood, California, U.S
|Years active||c. 1910-c.1940|
Gustave "Gussie" Mueller (April 17, 1890 – December 16, 1965) was an early jazz clarinetist.
The New Orleans, Louisiana-born Mueller was a top clarinetist with Papa Jack Laine's bands in New Orleans before going to Chicago, Illinois with Tom Brown's band in early 1915. After serving in the Army in World War I he moved to California and joined the early Paul Whiteman Orchestra, with which he moved to New York City. He helped give Whiteman an idea of the Dixieland jazz style. One of the Whiteman Orchestra's early hit records, as well as one of the unfortunately few recordings where Mueller can be heard prominently, is Wang Wang Blues which Mueller dominates in a style similar to Larry Shields. While Mueller shares composer credit on "Wang Wang", some of his New Orleans contemporaries said the number was all his and he had featured it before joining Whiteman.
According to Whiteman, Mueller was reluctant to learning how to read music, for fear that it would impair his abilities a "hot player". He left the Whiteman band in November 1920, saying "I jes' can't play that 'pretty music' that you all play. And you fellers can't never play blues worth a damn". Mueller returned to California to join his old friend Ray Lopez in the Abe Lyman Orchestra. Mueller stayed in the Los Angeles area, playing with dance bands, novelty and "Hillbilly" bands, and working on motion picture soundtracks before retiring after World War II. He rejoins Whiteman in Capitol Record's Hollywood studios in 1945, for a recreation of the famous Wang-Wang Blues. On the record Mueller replicates in detail his phrases from the 1920 recording.
- Whiteman, Paul and Mary McBride. Jazz. New York, J. H. Sears & Company, 1926, p. 241.
- Charters, Samuel. A Trumpet Around the Corner. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2008, p. 125.
- Rayno, Don. Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music Lanham, MA: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2013, Vol 2, p. 256.
- Whiteman, Paul (1926). Jazz. J. H. Sears.
- "Gussie Mueller Dies in California". The Second Line (New Orleans Jazz Club) (vol 17 no 1, January 1966).
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