Phil's Jazz Bands
In late August, 1966, Carol and I moved to Honolulu to begin our new
careers as faculty members at the University of Hawaii.
Within a month or so, I began playing gigs with Ernie Carson and Dave
Wierbach, both recent alums of the Turk Murphy band. Ernie played piano
and cornet. Dave played banjo and bass sax.
Ernie and I had a gig for a while at a German restaurant on Kalakaua Ave.,
Waikiki Beach. Ernie played piano and sang, I did the same with banjo.
Often, Ernie would chord with his left hand and play cornet with his right
Ernie, Dave and I did a lot of gigs with cornet, bass sax and banjo. We
often added a clarinet and bass. A memorable gig with the quintet was
when we played for a dancing elephant at a Republican state convention.
My wife, Carol, and I had an apartment on the top floor of a building with
a great view of the ocean, the Ilikai and Hilton Hawaiian Village. Within a
block or so from us was the Barbecue Inn, a local bar/restaurant. The BBQ
Inn was really local and did NOT serve tourists. If tourists walked in, the
We got accepted into their limited community via music. Dave Wierbach
(known there as Dave Banjo) and Ernie Carson had a small group that played
there and they asked me to play banjo with them.
One weekend, the newspapers were full of reports that Ernie Banks, a
famous baseball player with the Chicago Cubs, did not show up in Tokyo
where the Cubs were scheduled to play an exhibition game.
Where was he? He was sitting in playing banjo with our little group at
the BBQ Inn!
I also hooked up with the Shakey's Pizza organization and played many
nights at their restaurants in downtown Honolulu, Pearl City and Kaneohe.
Honolulu 1966 - 1967