Frank Westphal’s Orchestra 1930 “Sing You Sinner’s”


Frank Westphal was involved in various bands including the Benson Orchestra of Chicago. In 1921, he became established with his own dance orchestra at the newly opened Rainbo Gardens in Chicago. The open-air venue had a revolving stage to allow for continuous entertainment, table seating for 2,000 patrons, and space on the dance floor for an additional 1,500. Westphal’s band became popular for its “crisp, clever arrangements and superb musicianship.” Westphal’s musicians included, at various times, Charles Burns and Austyn Edwards (trumpets), Herb Winfield (trombone), Bill and Jack Richards (saxophones), John Jensen (tuba) and Earl Roberts (banjo). The band recorded in Chicago for Columbia Records regularly between 1922 and 1924, recording over 50 tracks of which 34 were issued. These included “Bugle Call Rag”, “Two Time Dan”, and “Oh! Sister, Ain’t That Hot!”, as well as novelty piano pieces played by Westphal in the style of Zez Confrey and Edward Claypoole such as “Pianola” and “Dusting The Keys”, which are “testimonies to his immense skill at the keyboard”.

Westphal did not record after 1924. He formed a new band, the All American Pioneers, and became the studio director of radio station WENR in Chicago, where he performed regularly and remained until the 1930’s.

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