Basie at the Prom

The Power Line Forum thread on my post “Laughing in Rhythm” yesterday includes this beautiful remembrance of the Count Basie Band playing at St. Paul’s old Prom Ballroom:

I too used to go to the Prom with my young bride to listen to the Basie band. I did so a number of times. It was exhilarating to say the least. They had one microphone…ONE! And that was for the vocalist. No other amplification was present…or needed.
If you sat in the chairs in front of the band…six rows back…the power of that ensemble would straighten your hair out. I had some then. We were 24, and I loved Basie. The Count would start playing his intro, without comment, on the piano and the whole band would start digging through what amounted to a loose-leaf stack of music the size of a Ward’s Catalog for the song he was vamping into. Invariably they


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