Lowboy: The Mix

I compiled another book mixtape this week, this time from John Wray‘s amazing new novel Lowboy. The majority of the tracks on this mix come directly from the book. Lowboy loves the Dixieland cornetist Bix Beiderbecke so there are four Bix tracks here. But Lowboy also name drops Clarence Williams, Nat King Cole, Fats Waller, and Jelly Roll Morton within the book so I either sought out the exact song mentioned or chose something close. For instance, the Jelly Roll Morton reference comes by way of a rhyme dancing around in Lowboy’s head – “Get Up and Get Courtin’ by Jelly Roll Morton” (page 167). I thought about dropping “Courthouse Bump” into the mix for this reference but chose “Buddy Bolden’s Blues” instead, a cut from the Library of Congress Recordings that features Mr Morton playing the piano and telling a story about a famous New Orleans trumpeter (not a cornetist like Bix but you get the idea). Also I added “Joliet Bound” to this mix as a stand in for “Leavenworth Strut” (page 232) and Bo Carter’s “Don’t Mash My Digger So Deep” for the mention of “Mashed Tapatoes” by Bootsie White (page 169).

Since much of the action in this novel takes place in the NYC Subway system I used snippets from NYC subway field recordings for all of my song transitions. These samples came from thefreesoundproject. My downloads for this project can be found here.

Also, if it wasn’t for Patrick Houston I wouldn’t have been able to pull off the book cover remix for this post. Patrick did the vector rendering of Bix Beiderbecke and placed it in the cover for me. Make sure to check out his website (name link) if you have freelancer designer needs.



  1. BIX BEIDERBECKE – Toddlin’ Blues
  2. NAT KING COLE – You Don’t Learn That In School
  3. CLARENCE WILLIAM’S BLUE FIVE – I’m A Little Blackbird
  4. BLUE SKY BOYS – Down On The Banks Of The Ohio
  5. JELLY ROLL MORTON – Buddy Bolden’s Blues
  6. BIX BEIDERBECKE – Fidgety Feet
  7. BO CARTER – Don’t Mash My Digger So Deep
  8. BIX BEIDERBECKE – Goose Pimples
  9. BILLIE HOLIDAY – Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me
  10. LOUIS ARMSTRONG – You’ll Wish You’d Never Been Born
  11. ETHEL WATERS – Black And Blue
  12. MEMPHIS MINNIE – Joliet Bound
  13. BIX BEIDERBECKE – Sunny Disposish

3 thoughts on “Lowboy: The Mix

  • Wow! I am so impressed with your idea to do a mix of songs from John Wray’s book Lowboy! Your end result is very well done! Kudos!
    I love the image of Bix on the cover. Patrick Houston did a very good job.
    I am constantly amazed and thrilled where Bix will turn up next!! What a great way (and a fun way!) to perpetuate our beloved Bix!
    Come to Davenport, Iowa this July for the 36th annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival. You won’t be disappointed!
    Bix Lives!!

    Liz Beiderbecke-Hart
    (Bix’s great-niece)

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