The Vile Parle wonderboys
Over the course of my research, I’ve occasionally encountered names of performers in programme brochures and on record labels that have, frustratingly, remained little more than just that: names. None of the other musicians I have interviewed have been able to give me more than sketchy details about these performers, I haven’t been able to track down their families and there’s little about them in the news clips I’ve found. Among these tantalising phantoms are the Theodore brothers: Joe, Harry, George and Bertie aka Lups, who led one of the first Indian swing bands to play a stint at the Taj in the late 1930s.I first heard about the brothers from the trumpet player Frank Fernand, who made his debut with an outfit led by Joe Theodore around 1937. The saxophonist Mickey Correa, who fronted his own band at the Taj from 1939 to 1961, told me that he’d also played in the Theodore band. Several years later, Correa would find himself hiring his former bandleader’s younger brother Lups, as is clear from the announcements on a scratchy tape I heard of the saxophonist’s farewell concert at the Taj, an invaluable piece of jazz history that Susheel Kurien, director of Finding Carlton, restored for his fabulous documentary.