Friday, December 3, 2021


I've met a lot of interesting artists and musicians in my life, but none was any cooler than my good buddy Whitey Thomas. They called him Whitey because of his blonde locks. Whitey played trumpet with the Glenn Miller Army Air Force band, and when the war was over, he played with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Whitey claimed he was the last man to see Glenn Miller alive, and I have no reason to doubt him.

When the war was over, and the big band days came to an end, musicians like Whitey became band leaders, or formed their own groups, and played in nightclubs and restaurants from Las Vegas to New York. Joining Whitey in this combo were Larry Kinnamon who had formerly played with The Harry James Orchestra, on piano and vibes, Jack Ordean who had played in The Stan Kenton Orchestra, on sax and clarinet, John Snyder, former Tommy Dorsey Orchestra member, on drums, and Roland Evans playing the bass.

Whitey landed in Bakersfield, California, and became a regular at a fancy French restaurant and steakhouse called Maison Jaussand. Back then, the highway still ran through town, and Jaussaud's as it was sometimes referred to, was a very popular place.

I was very lucky to find a copy of the original 1960's Maison Jaussaud menu on the internet.

I'm really hoping that's spaghetti sauce and not blood on the menu!

More than anything, check out those prices, you could get a whole lobster for $4.50, or a filet mignon for five bucks, and it came with Hors d' Oeuvres Maison, soup, salad, vegetables, bread and butter, and ice cream. Incredible, but not as incredible as this vintage music, which was obviously the last song of the night!

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