Jack Confrey – A Newcomer to Logic Controls
Logic Controls is delighted to welcome Jack Confrey as our latest team member! We wish him success in all his endeavors with us!
As Jack was performing at the Pantages Theatre, he met a young woman he nicknamed “Stage Door Janie.” Later she revealed she was actually Sadye Marks; after starting dating she became one of his regular performers on his show.
Early Life and Education
Confrey was an extraordinary talent on the piano despite lacking formal musical training; he learned by listening to his talented older brother Jim. Over time he became well-known pianist and composer of what became known as honky-tonk piano music.
Vaudeville performances followed, including appearing in the Navy revue Leave It to Sailors and touring with Mary Lee and other stars.
Confrey recorded numerous piano rolls for QRS, Aeolian and other companies. He excelled in turning standard popular songs into original works of novelty music while carefully editing his recordings to produce polished performances. Later in life, Confrey dedicated himself to writing jazz band compositions; leaving behind over one hundred pieces as his legacy.
Zez Confrey was an acclaimed composer of syncopated piano pieces who rose to fame with the 1921 publication of Kitten on the Keys, an evocative and rhythmically intricate composition that became an instantaneous hit among audiences and was sold both as piano solo and orchestral score; additionally it could also be found on records or rolls for sale.
Jack became famous during his years on radio for consistently entertaining audiences with jokes that were always laugh out loud funny, as well as lively interactions between him and them. His shows could be split into two types – variety shows (“in one”) or situation comedy shows.
Achievement and Honors
Jack has appeared in three Toi Whakaari productions during his time there: Peer Gynt [recycled], Mrs Warren’s Profession and Three Little Oddities. Additionally he directed and wrote for Flat Race.
Zez Confrey was an esteemed pianist, composer and leader of his own dance orchestra. A pioneer in novelty piano style development, he earned numerous hits such as Kitten on the Keys.
Early in his career he started recording for QRS before going on to work with Edison, Brunswick, Emerson and Victor Talking Machine Company producing some 127 piano rolls. Additionally he wrote several books on novelty piano playing and composition before turning more towards writing after 1920s; eventually dying due to Parkinson’s disease in 1971.
Jack Confrey had an illustrious career in radio, yet also faced personal setbacks. For instance, Sadye Marks left him after one particularly disastrous episode of Canada Dry series in 1948 as she felt that Jack Confrey had become abusive; according to Marks’ allegations he would make comments about her on stage without her knowledge, and she felt too afraid to leave him.
Confrey took part in the musical revue Leave It to Sailors during World War I and then recorded novelty piano works and arrangements for QRS between 1918 and 1924; totaling 127 rolls recorded between 1918-1924.
Beginning his composition career for jazz bands during the 1920s, he left an indelible mark on both large and small ensembles. He died November 22, 1971 in Lakewood, New Jersey with wife Wilhelmina surviving until 1991.