Saxie Dowell: Saxophonist, Bandleader, War Hero

Saxie Dowell, publicity photograph, courtesy of the author.

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Saxie Dowell: Saxophonist, Bandleader, War Hero

by Terrence S. Tickle
Southern Cultures, Vol. 16, No. 3: Roots Music

"Admiral Davison recommended that Captain Gehres abandon ship. The captain refused, fearing that there were sailors still alive below decks. Dowell was one of those soldiers."

“Boob boop dittum dattum wattum, choo/And they swam and they swam all over the dam.” Today, many recognize these lines from “Three Little Fishies” in the “itty bitty pool,” and the equally popular “Playmates,” from cartoons and children’s programming, but the composer, Saxie Dowell, was once one of the most famous composers of popular and comic songs of the Big Band era.