Archive for Music

The Great Ontario 78 RPM And 45 RPM Record Sale

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, The Collector's Hunt for 78's with tags , , on June 10, 2016 by the78rpmrecordspins

On May 28th and May 29th, 2016, the first record sale of 2016 occurred at our premises in Brampton, Ontario. This was a test sale for our newly added LP category, which tops 5,000 in number. It was  a great success, as record collectors from the Greater Toronto Area, and from Montreal and Michigan converged.  Here are some photographs from that event.


The End Of A 42 Year Record Business And The Start of A New One

Posted in General Announcements, The Collector's Hunt for 78's, Upcoming Phonograph and Record Shows with tags , , , , on May 19, 2014 by the78rpmrecordspins

Don Keele is a legendary record dealer, and after 42 years of business, he decided to sell his record  stock, sleeves, shelves, and transcriptions. So, as of today, your editor has purchased his inventory, and will be taking a leap into selling 78’s directly, and on auction. The photographs below were taken at his warehouse located in the west end of Toronto, Ontario. Your editor is the one with the Jazz T-shirt.


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A Record Room Can Only Be Good As You Want It To Be

Posted in 78 RPM Care, Have Your Say, My 78 RPM Collection with tags , , , on May 4, 2014 by the78rpmrecordspins

Unless you have lots of money at your fingertips, your record room will seem to be very ordinary. I like to think of it as something else-my own personal venture into the past, like being in an after hours club full of Jazz musicians jamming together. My personal dream, which I hope to become a reality in the near future, is to have framed records hanging on the walls, along with a trombone, saxophone, cornet, trumpet, and clarinet. A few street signs that name famous Jazz landmarks in New York, Chicago, and New Orleans, would be a nice touch. There will be shelving from one end of the room to the next, to hold 30,000 78’s. A bookshelf to hold discographies, and reference books will be added, along with chairs and a table, for guests to relax, and enjoy the music. Eventually, I want to acquire a couple of gramophones to make the room look nostalgic. What does your record room look like? Send me your pictures, and details, and I will post them.


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Leona Williams And Her Dixie Band

Posted in 78 RPM Label Discography, Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2014 by the78rpmrecordspins

Since my last article about singer Leona Williams and her Dixie Band, I searched high and low for more advertisements that Columbia records would have run between 1922 and 1923. I was fortunate to find two more, in The Atlanta Independent, which was the local colored newspaper at that time. As I previously may have mentioned, her band was none other than members of The Original Memphis Five.

the atlanta independent   google news archive search-march 22, 1923.the atlanta independent   google news archive search-june 22, 1922.

The Best Kept Record And Phonograph Secret Of Central Ontario

Posted in Interviews and Articles, Phonographs That Played 78 rpm records, The Collector's Hunt for 78's with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by the78rpmrecordspins

One of the best kept secrets on where to junk for 78 rpm records, and phonographs in Central Ontario is the Barrie Antiques Centre, located in the heart of downtown Barrie, Ontario. Barrie, is located north of Toronto, Ontario, as is about an hour away by car. I paid a visit to it on Saturday, March 15th, 2014, and was astonished to find such a wide display of records and phonographs. The manager graciously allowed me to take some photographs and share them with you.

Barrie Antiques Centre, 227 Innisfil Street, Barrie, Ontario Open 7 days a Week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Picture Sunrise Record 012 Picture Sunrise Record 007 Picture Sunrise Record 005 Picture Sunrise Record 013 Picture Sunrise Record 009 Picture Sunrise Record 011

Vogue Records

Posted in 78 RPM Record Development with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Vogue Records


The first and most popular release from Vogue in the U.S.

Vogue Records was a short-lived United States-based record label of the 1940’s, noted for the artwork embedded in the records themselves. Founded in 1946 as part of Sav-Way Industries of Detroit, Michigan, the discs were initially a hit, because of the novelty of the colorful artwork, and the improved sound compared to the shellac records dominant at the time. The discs were manufactured by first sandwiching printed illustrations around a core of aluminum, then coating both sides with clear vinyl upon which the grooves were stamped.

The company went out of business the following year, having released between 67 and 74 double-sided 78 rpm gramophone records. Some of the Vogue issues were re-releases of recordings originally issued by other companies.

The colorful artwork on the records have made Vogue Records a collector’s item.

Two releases on the Vogue label have been the source of much collector debate over the years: the 1946 releases by the country swing group the Down Homers “Who’s Gonna Kiss You When I’m Gone?” and “Boogie Woogie Yodel” have often been cited as featuring the earliest recorded performances by future rock and roll pioneer Bill Haley, who was a member of the group in 1946. However this rumor was later debunked by surviving members of the Down Homers as well as Haley researchers. Nonetheless, the Vogue Down Homers releases are considered among the more collectable of the label’s releases.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Lucky Lindy-Sam Lanin and his Orchestra-1927

Posted in 78's on Screen, Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's with tags , , , , , , on August 24, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

I found this record last year on Canadian Domino and was amazed by the fact Rust does not list this record in his Jazz Discography (I have the first edition). The solo by Red Nichols and the plane effects, make this an enjoyable addition to anyone’s collection.

Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra


(From Wikipedia)
Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra

Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra
Background information
Genres JazzBig band
Years active 1926–1930

Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra was the main band of clarinetist Fess Williams from 1926–1930

Brief history

In 1926 Williams formed the Royal Flush Orchestra. The popular hot jazz outfit held residency at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom for most of its life and recorded on the Victor, Vocalion, Gennett, Okeh, Brunswick, Champion, and Harmony labels. Williams, Frank Marvin, and Perry Smith supplied vocals. The flamboyant Williams typically performed wearing a white suit and top hat.

In 1928 Williams traveled to Chicago where he temporarily fronted Dave Peyton’s band at the Regal Theatre. Calling the group Fess Williams and His Joy Boys, he recorded two sides with them for Vocalion. The Royal Flush Orchestra continued to operate in his absence, and in 1929 he returned to New York to resume his duties.

The Royal Flush Orchestra recorded its last side in 1930.

Orchestra members

  • Ralph Bedell – Drums
  • Ollie Blackwell – Banjo
  • Ralph Brown – Alto Saxophone
  • Emanuel Casamore – Tuba
  • Emanuel Clark – Trumpet
  • Henry Duncan – Piano
  • Felix Gregory – Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
  • Bobby Holmes – Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
  • David “Jelly” James – Trombone
  • Lockwood Lewis – Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
  • Frank Marvin – Vocals
  • Otto Mikell – Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
  • Andy Pendleton – Banjo
  • Walter “Fats” Pichon – Piano
  • Kenneth Roane – Trumpet
  • Perry Smith – Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
  • George Temple – Trumpet
  • Clinton Walker – Tuba
  • Professor Stanley Williams – Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Vocals, Leader

The Unrecognized Bix Beiderbecke #1 – What A Day!

Posted in The Sound of Jazz and Hot Dance 78's with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

On 15 May 1929 a small contingent of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra recorded two sides for Columbia – “What A Day” and “Alabammy Snow”.
The record was issued under the pseudonym “The Mason-Dixon Orchestra” no doubt as an “in-joke” because the catalogue number of the record was 1861.
Okeh (a subsidiary label of Columbia) always issued recordings with a similar personnel under saxophonist Frank Trumbauer’s name.
It is rumoured that “Tram” once mentioned that cornetist Bix Beiderbecke did not record with his orchestra for Okeh after the session of two weeks earlier, 30 April 1929.
But with a slightly different personnel under another name and for another label, this one-off session may have escaped Tram’s memory and Bix recorded in the same studio on the day after this session.
The discographies have always named three trumpeters/cornetists for this date, Charlie Margulis, Harry Goldfield and Andy Secrest, all three Whiteman regulars and the latter known for his ability to sound like Bix, who was being featured less and less and was to leave the band permanently in September.
But at the time of the Mason-Dixon recording date, Bix was still very much with Whiteman and it would have been logical if he was present; he had done a radio show with the band the day before and recorded in the same Columbia studio with them the day after.
Still, in the discographies and books about Bix, it has always been accepted that he was not present and that everything on this record that sounds like Bix was actually played by Secrest.
However, careful listening and deducting reveals that Bix can be heard on both sides.
Using the latest techniques we have newly restored both titles from a mint copy of Columbia 1861-D and identification of Bix has become quite obvious.
First of all, on both sides Secrest is the very prominent lead cornetist and it is clear that there is only one other cornet present – Bix.
On “What A Day”, it can only be Bix who takes the final bridge beginning at 2:40.
This soft and subdued 8-bar solo is typical for him and in stark contrast with Secrest’s dominating lead which immediately precedes and follows it.
Also it can clearly be heard that the two have different positions in relation to the microphone; Secrest is further away from it than the soloist and we are confident that this is Bix.
Addendum: Altoalto makes another interesting point : Secrest is out of tune, especially in the ensembles of the last chorus. However, Bix plays the middle eight perfectly in tune.

Bill McKeag and his Orchestra-1936

Posted in Canadian Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's, My 78 RPM Collection, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's, Records in Canada with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins



As you may recall from an earlier blog, I announced the discovery of an acetate recorded in 1936 by a totally unknown Toronto orchestra-Bill McKeag and his Orchestra. Here now for the first time anywhere are the two tracks, Remember, and, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. I must apologize for the sound quality of the recordings, as I do not have any filters for noise reduction at present. I have reposted the photographs of the record also, below.

chinese 054 chinese 053

Totally Unknown Toronto, Ontario Band That Recorded in 1936

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's, Records in Canada with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

In 1936, Truetone Recordings, located at 22 Grenville Street, Toronto, Ontario, which was managed by (the later radio magnate) Ralph T. Snelgrove, cut a 10 inch acetate transcription (aircheck) recorded by Bill McKeag and his Orchestra. In a recent discussion with bandleader Howard Cable who had formed his own band about this time, Howard remembered  McKeag, and in his own words said: 

“I remember Bill McKeag from the 30’s. There were pick up bands in those days. I remember playing with him in a pavilion in Longbranch and at Ramona Gardens on St. Clair Avenue. I think he was a trumpet player, but I’m not 100% positive. After those gigs, I never saw him again. Sorry I don’t have any more information for you.

As you probably know, the building at 22 Grenville later became the CBC Playhouse Studio. We did the Canadian Cavalcade with Lorne Greene from that studio.”

The two sides “Remember” and “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” bear a strikingly Canadian sound to them in their interpretation, with some hot solos. The uncovering of this recording is truly a historic find, as we now know about a band that has never been mentioned in discographies before. There is a flair of Jazz and Swing together in these recordings, and I hope to find more of these private recordings in the near future. The local radio stations would have had given the acetate airtime if it was ever sent to them.

If anyone has any information on Bill McKeag and his Orchestra, please add it to the comments below. 

chinese 053 chinese 050

Bob Zurke

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Bob Zurke

From Wikipedia

Bob Zurke (January 7, 1912 – February 16, 1944) was a significant American jazz pianist, arranger, composer and briefly a bandleader during the Swing Era.


Born Boguslaw Albert Zukowski in Hamtramck, Michigan, he was already using the name Bob Zurke professionally by the age of 16 when he first recorded with a group led by pioneering female jazz bassist Thelma Terry. At that time, Zurke also began to work as a copyist for the Detroit-based booking agency run by Jean Goldkette. Through the end of 1936, Zurke worked in various Detroit clubs, mostly as a band pianist, and occasionally went on tour with other groups; it was in this period that Zurke developed a long friendship with pianist Marvin Ash, who would later go on to record some of Zurke’s compositions.

At the beginning of 1937, Zurke was hired by bandleader Bob Crosby to fill in for Joe Sullivan, then ailing with tuberculosis. It was with Crosby that Zurke gained notice; he contributed arrangements to the band’s book and was a featured soloist on several numbers, including his arrangement of Meade Lux Lewis‘ Honky Tonk Train Blues, which became a hit. In 1938, Bob Zurke was named the winner in the piano category in the Reader’s Poll from Down Beat and, in the course of Alan Lomax‘ Library of Congress interviews, was singled out by Jelly Roll Morton as the “only one (jazz pianist of the present time) that has a tendency to be on the right track.”

In March 1939 Joe Sullivan returned to the Bob Crosby Orchestra and Zurke subsequently worked with the William Morris Agency to form his own band. They debuted at an RCA Victor recording session in July 1939 as Bob Zurke and his Delta Rhythm Orchestra, recording, among other things, Zurke’s best known original compositions Hobson Street Bluesand Old Tom-Cat on the Keys. Critical and public reception of both the records and the Delta Rhythm Band’s first appearances were initially positive, but Zurke proved to be unreliable, unpredictable and somewhat volatile as a leader, partly due to his alcohol dependency and alleged drug use. The band came to a halt not long after its final RCA Victor session in May 1940, which also proved Zurke’s last visit to the commercial recording studios; afterward Zurke served a jail sentence in Detroit for failing to pay alimony to his first wife, whom he had divorced in the late 1930s.

After a period of wandering from job to job following his release from jail, Zurke remarried and resettled in Los Angeles in late 1941. In August 1942, Zurke began an engagement at the Hangover Club in L.A. that he held until the end of his days. In December 1943, Zurke made one final recording, synchronizing an original piano part to the Walter Lantz cartoon Jungle Jive, one of his most difficult and challenging solos. On February 15, 1944, Bob Zurke collapsed at the Hangover Club and was taken to the hospital; he died the following day of complications of pneumonia aggravated by acute alcohol poisoning—he had just turned 32.


While Bob Zurke’s fame did not long outlast him, it was considerable from the time he joined Bob Crosby and his playing was widely admired by his peers and colleagues. According to pianist Norma Teagarden, Zurke had small hands and needed to develop special techniques to adjust for his lack of reach; this led to him developing a technique and style uniquely his own. During his lifetime, Zurke was considered one of the finest white boogie-woogie pianists at a time when such players were few. His ability as an arranger and transcriber helped to put pieces by non-readers into a playable, published form, such as in his transcription of Joe Sullivan’s Little Rock Getaway. Zurke published two folios of jazz piano solos and several sheet music editions of single pieces; in addition to that, 14 original compositions from Zurke are known.

Sterling Bose

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Sterling Bose

From Wikipedia

Sterling Belmont “Bozo” Bose (September 23, 1906, Florence, Alabama – June 1958, St. Petersburg, Florida) was an American jazz trumpeter and cornetist. His style was heavily influenced by Bix Beiderbecke and changed little over the course of his life.

Bose’s early experience came with Dixieland jazz bands in his native Alabama before moving to St. Louis, Missouri in 1923. He played with the Crescent City Jazzers and theArcadian Serenaders, and with Jean Goldkette‘s Orchestra in 1927-28 after the departure of Beiderbecke. Following this he worked in the house band at radio station WGN in Chicagobefore joining Ben Pollack from 1930 to 1933. He also worked with Eddie Sheasby in Chicago, and moved to New York City in 1933. He had many gigs in New York in the 1930s and 1940s, including time with Joe Haymes (1934-35) and Tommy Dorsey (1935), Ray Noble (1936), Benny Goodman (1936), Lana WebsterGlenn Miller (1937), Bob Crosby (1937-39),Bobby Hackett (1939), Bob ZurkeJack TeagardenBud Freeman (1942), George BruniesBobby Sherwood (1943), Miff MoleArt HodesHorace Heidt (1944), and Tiny Hill (1946). Following this he did some further freelancing in Chicago and New York, and then moved to Florida in 1948, setting up his own bands there.

Bose suffered from an extended period of illness in the 1950s and eventually committed suicide in 1958.

Willie Bryant

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Willie Bryant

From Wikipedia

Willie Bryant (August 30, 1908 – February 9, 1964) was an American jazz bandleader, vocalist, and disc jockey.

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Bryant grew up in Chicago and took trumpet lessons to little success. His first job in entertainment was dancing in the Whitman Sisters Show in 1926. He worked in various vaudeville productions for the next several years, and in 1934 he appeared in the show Chocolate Revue with Bessie Smith.

In 1934, he put together his first big band, which at times included Teddy WilsonCozy ColeJohnny RussellBenny CarterBen WebsterEddie DurhamRam Ramirez, and Taft Jordan. They recorded six times between 1935 and 1938; Bryant sings on 18 of the 26 sides recorded.

Once his ensemble disbanded, Bryant worked in acting and disc jockeying. He recorded R&B in 1945 and led another big band between 1946 and 1948. During September and October 1949, he hosted Uptown Jubilee, a short-lived all-black variety show on CBS-TV . The show aired on Tuesday nights.[1]

In the 1950s he was the emcee at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. He moved to California later in the 1950s and died of a heart attack in Los Angeles in 1964.

Chick Bullock

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Chick Bullock

From Wikipedia

Charles (Chick) Bullock (September 16, 1898 – September 15, 1981) was a popular American jazz and dance band vocalist, most active in the 1930s. He recorded some 500 tunes over the course of his career. Bullock was mostly associated with the ARC group of labels (MelotonePerfectBannerOrioleRomeo). Many of his records were issued under the name “Chick Bullock and his Levee Loungers”.

Bullock belonged to select group of mostly freelance vocalists who sang the vocal refrains on hundreds of New York sessions, which included Smith BallewScrappy LambertElmer FeldkampIrving KaufmanPaul SmallArthur Fields, and Dick Robertson. Some of these vocalists were also musicians, but their singing was more often featured. (All of the above had records also issued under their own name, and in case of Ballew, actually had a working orchestra for a couple of years.)

Bullock rarely performed live because his face was disfigured due to an eye disease. He was born in Montana to William and Emily Bullock, both of whom were immigrants from England. He began his career in vaudeville and sang in movie palaces. His career as a studio musician took off in the late 1920s, and in the 1930s he sang with musicians such asDuke EllingtonLuis RussellCab CallowayBunny BeriganBill ColemanJack TeagardenTommy DorseyJimmy DorseyJoe Venuti, and Eddie Lang. Bullock’s recordings proved so popular that he used pseudonyms for some recordings, including the name Sleepy Hall.

In the 1940s the World War II recording ban essentially ended Bullock’s career. He moved to California and took up real estate.

Bernie Cummins

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Bernie Cummins

From Wikipedia
Bernie Cummins
Birth name Bernard Joseph Cummins
Born March 14, 1900
Origin AkronOhio, USA
Died September 12, 1986(aged 86)
Genres Jazz, big bandswing
Occupations Musician, bandleader
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active 1919–1959
Associated acts The WolverinesCharlie Callas

Bernard Joseph “Bernie” Cummins (March 14, 1900 – September 22, 1986) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.

Cummins was born in Akron, Ohio. Cummins was in his youth a boxer, besides playing drums in local bands in Ohio. In 1919 he created a small ensemble of his own, which debuted in Indiana and which grew gradually into a larger dance band. Singers in the band included Dorothy Crane,Jerry Lang, Bernie’s brother Walter Cummins and Scottee Marsh, which sang later with Tommy Dorsey. A female singing trio known as the Sophisticates was hired by Bernie in the mid-1930s out of Minneapolis Marshall HS about the time the Andrew Sisters from Minneapolis North HS became popular and in demand. Charlie Callas and Randy Brooks also played with the band, as did Tommy Dorsey for a time. The orchestra’s theme song was “Dark Eyes“. Besides his activities as bandleader, Cummins was briefly also the manager of The Wolverines.

The Bernie Cummins Orchestra recorded frequently for such labels as BrunswickColumbiaVictorDeccaGennettVocalion andBluebird. The band had many appearances in the Mid-West and was well known for its live performances; its smooth style was much loved in larger hotels and ballrooms. They played many times at the Biltmore Hotel and the Hotel New Yorker in New York City, theTrianon, Aragon, Blackstone and the Edgewater Beach Hotel and Palmer House in Chicago, as well as further appearances in Dallas,Kansas CityNew OrleansDenverSan Francisco and Saint Paul. Cummins’ band also played on radio shows including the Spotlight Dance Program sponsored by Coca Cola, and the Fitch Bandwagon.

In the late 1950s it became increasingly difficult for the band to find gigs, but the band continued to play clubs in Las Vegas, playing at such places as The FlamingoEl Rancho andLast Frontier, before it dissolved it 1959. Cummins retired to Boca Raton, Florida.

Putney Dandridge

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Putney Dandridge

From Wikipedia
Putney Dandridge
Birth name Louis Dandridge
Born January 13, 1902
Origin Richmond, VirginiaUnited States
Died February 15, 1946
Genres Jazz
Occupations Pianist
Instruments Piano
Associated acts Lonnie Johnson

Louis “Putney” Dandridge (January 13, 1902 – February 15, 1946) was an American bandleader, jazz pianist and vocalist. Born inRichmond, Virginia, Dandridge began performing in 1918 as a pianist in the a revue entitled the Drake and Walker Show. In 1930, he worked for a time as accompanist for legendary tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, including appearances in the important black musical Brown Buddies.  After touring in Illinois and the Great Lakes region, Dandridge settled in Cleveland, Ohio, forming his own band, which included famed guitarist Lonnie Johnson. This period lasted until 1934, when he attempted to perform as a solo act. He took his show to New York City, beginning a series of long residences at the Hickory House on 52nd Street and other local clubs. From 1935 to 1936, he recorded numerous sides under his own name, many of which highlighted some major jazz talents of the period, including Roy EldridgeTeddy WilsonHenry “Red” AllenBuster BaileyJohn KirbyChu BerryCozy Cole and more. Appearing to vanish from the music scene in the late thirties, it is speculated that Dandridge may have been forced to retire due to ill health. Dandridge died in Wall Township, New Jersey at the age of 44.

Maggie Jones

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Maggie Jones

From Wikipedia
Maggie Jones
Birth name Fae Barnes
Also known as The Texas Nightingale
Born c.1900
HillsboroTexasUnited States
Died Unknown
Genres Blues
Occupations Singerpianist
Instruments Vocalspiano
Years active 1922—1933

Maggie Jones (c. 1900—unknown) was an American blues singer and pianist, who recorded thirty-eight songs between 1923 and 1926. She was billed as “The Texas Nightingale.” Jones is best remembered for her songs, “Single Woman’s Blues,” “Undertaker’s Blues,” and “Northbound Blues.”


She was born Fae Barnes in HillsboroTexas.  Her year of birth is most regularly cited as 1900, although this has not been proven. She relocated to New York in 1922, where she performed in local nightclubs. She appeared at the Princess Theater in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1922, and toured the TOBA theater circuit until ca. 1926.

Her debut recording session was on July 26, 1923, for Black Swan Records, where she became the first singer from Texas to record a side. Her recording career saw Jones appear on several record labels including Black Swan, VictorPathé and Paramount, although the bulk of her work was released by Columbia. On Black Swan and Paramount she was billed as Fae (or Faye) Barnes; on Pathé and Columbia she recorded as Maggie Jones. It is unknown whether marriage played any part in her name change.

Over a three-year period, her accompaniment was variously supplied by notables such as Louis ArmstrongFletcher HendersonCharlie Green, and Elmer Snowden. Jones is especially noted for her six sides on which she was backed by Fletcher Henderson and Louis Armstrong; author Derrick Stewart-Baxter singled out “Good Time Flat Blues” as “her masterpiece”.  With Fletcher Henderson and Charlie Green she recorded “North Bound Blues”, which contained trenchant references to the South’s Jim Crow laws that are unusual for a classic female blues singer.  By October 3, 1926, Jones had cut her final disc. In 1927 she performed with the Clarence Muse Vaudeville Company and sang in Hall Johnson‘s choir at the Roxy Theater in New York City.

In 1928–1929 Jones appeared with Bill Robinson in the Broadway production of Lew Leslie‘s revueBlackbirds of 1928, which toured the US and Canada.  She often worked outside the music industry, including co-owning a clothes store in New York. By the early 1930s Jones moved on to Dallas, Texas, and ran her own revue troupe which performed inFort Worth, Texas. In 1934 she appeared in the All American Cabaret in Fort Worth. She subsequently disappeared from the public eye.

Claude Thornhill

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Claude Thornhill

From Wikipedia
Claude Thornhill
Claude Thornhill (Gottlieb 08531).jpg
Claude Thornill, ca. 1947.
Photography by William P. Gottlieb
Background information
Birth name Claude Thornhill
Born August 10, 1909
Terre Haute, IndianaUSA
Died July 2, 1965 (aged 55)
New Jersey, USA
Genres Jazz
Cool jazz
Occupations PianistBandleader, Arranger, Composer
Instruments Piano
Years active 1924–1965
Associated acts Paul Whiteman
Benny Goodman
Ray Noble
Billie Holiday
Lee Konitz
Gil Evans
Gerry Mulligan

Claude Thornhill (August 10, 1908[1] at Terre Haute, Indiana – July 1, 1965, New Jersey) was an American pianistarranger, composer, and bandleader. He composed the jazz and pop standards “Snowfall” and “I Wish I Had You”, the last recorded by Billie Holliday.


As a youth, he was recognized as an extraordinary talent and formed a traveling duo with Danny Polo, a musical prodigy on the clarinet and trumpet from nearby Clinton, Indiana. As a student at Garfield High School in Terre Haute, he played with several theater bands.

Thornhill entered the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music at age 16. That same year he and clarinetist Artie Shaw started their careers at the Golden Pheasant in Cleveland, Ohio with the Austin Wiley Orchestra. Thornhill and Shaw went to New York together in 1931.

Claude went to the West Coast in the late 1930s with the Bob Hope Radio Show, and arranged for Judy Garland in Babes in Arms.

In 1935, he played on sessions for Glenn Miller‘s first recordings under his own name, as Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. He played on Glenn Miller’s composition “Solo Hop,” which was released on Columbia Records.

After playing for Paul WhitemanBenny GoodmanRay NobleGlenn Miller, and Billie Holiday, and arranging “Loch Lomond” and “Annie Laurie” for Maxine Sullivan, in 1939 he founded his Claude Thornhill Orchestra. Danny Polo was his lead clarinet player. Although the Thornhill band was originally a sophisticated dance band, it became known for its many superior jazz musicians and for Thornhill’s and Gil Evans‘ innovative arrangements; its “Portrait of a Guinea Farm” has become a classic jazz recording.

The band played without vibrato so that the timbres of the instruments could be better appreciated, and Thornhill encouraged the musicians to develop cool-sounding tones. The band was popular with both musicians and the public; the Miles Davis Nonet was modeled in part on Thornhill’s cool sound and use of unconventional instrumentation. The band’s most successful records were “Snowfall,” “A Sunday Kind of Love” and “Love for Love.”

His most famous recording, “Snowfall,” was released in 1941 as Columbia 36268. He released the song also as a V-Disc recording, as V-Disc 271A1.

Playing at the Paramount Theater in New York for $10,000 a week in 1942, Thornhill dropped everything to enlist in the US Navy to support the war effort. As chief musician, he played shows across the Pacific Theater with Jackie Cooper as his drummer and Dennis Day as his vocalist.

In 1946, he was discharged from the Navy. Then in April, he reformed his ensemble. He kept his same stylistic lines, but added some Bop lines to it. He got his old members of Danny PoloGerry Mulligan, and Barry Galbraith back together, but also added new members like Red RodneyLee KonitzJoe Shulman and Bill Barber. Barber was a tuba player, who was considered as a “soft brass” player rather than a bass as to not interfere with (Joe) Shulman on the bass. Their creative and immaculately clean and delicate interpretation of Evans’s arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie’s fast bop theme “Anthropology” (1947) provides a particularly noteworthy example of Thornhill’s style, which influenced Miles Davis’s recordings in 1949 for Capitol and many musicians who followed .

In the mid 1950s, Thornhill became Tony Bennett‘s musical director briefly.

He offered his big band library to Gerry Mulligan when Gerry formed the Concert Jazz Band, but Gerry regretfully declined the gift, since his instrumentation was different. A large portion of his extensive library of music is currently held by Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.

After his discharge from the Navy he continued to perform with his orchestra until his death of a heart attack at 1:30 a.m., July 2, 1965, at his home in Caldwell, New Jersey.[3]Claude was booked at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the time, the engagement was kept in his honor with his music director in his place. He was survived by his wife, actress Ruth Thornhill, and his mother, Maude Thornhill (81 at the time), of Terre Haute, Indiana, still active at the time conducting choirs.

Compositions by Claude Thornhill

Claude Thornhill’s compositions included the standard “Snowfall”, “I Wish I Had You”, recorded by Billie Holiday and Fats Waller, “Let’s Go”, “Shore Road”, “Portrait Of A Guinea Farm”, “Lodge Podge”, “Rustle Of Spring”, “It’s Time For Us To Part”, “It Was A Lover And His Lass”, “The Little Red Man”, “Memory Of An Island”, and “Where Has My Little Dog Gone?”

Claude Thornill Orchestra, with Joe Shulman,Danny PoloLee KonitzLouis MucciBarry GalbraithBill Barber, ca. 1947.
Photography by William P. Gottlieb.

Spud Murphy

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Spud Murphy

From Wikipedia

Lyle Stephanovic (August 19, 1908 – August 5, 2005), better known as Spud Murphy, was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and arranger.

Born Miko Stefanovic to Serbian émigré parents in Berlin, Germany, Murphy grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he took the name of a childhood friend. Murphy studied clarinet and saxophone when young and took trumpet lessons from Red Nichols‘s father. He worked with Jimmy Joy in 1927-28 and with Ross Gorman and Slim Lamar (on oboe) in 1928. He worked in the early 1930s as saxophonist-arranger for Austin WylieJan GarberMal Hallett, and Joe Haymes, then became a staff arranger for Benny Goodman from 1935 to 1937. At the same time he also contributed charts to the Casa Loma OrchestraIsham JonesLes Brown and many others.

From 1937 to 1940 Murphy led a big band, and recorded for Decca Records and Bluebird Records in 1938-39. In the 1940s he relocated to Los Angeles, where he did work in the studios and with film music, in addition to authoring and teaching the 1200-page “System of Horizontal Composition” (a.k.a. “Equal Interval System”). He recorded two jazz albums in the 1950s, but his later career was focused on classical and film music.

In 2003, orchestra leader Dean Mora, a close friend of Murphy’s, recorded some two dozen of his arrangements in a tribute CD, Goblin Market.

Spud Murphy died in Los Angeles, two weeks short of his 97th birthday

Gene Gifford

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , on May 1, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Gene Gifford

From Wikipedia
Gene Gifford
Birth name Harold Eugene Gifford
Born May 31, 1908
Americus, Georgia
Died November 12, 1970 (aged 62)
Memphis, Tennessee
Genres Jazz
Occupations musicianradio engineering,teacher
Instruments composerarrangerguitar,banjo
Years active 1925–1949
Labels Victor
Associated acts Jean GoldketteCasa Loma Orchestra

H. Eugene “Gene” Gifford (May 31, 1908 – November 12, 1970) was an American jazz banjoist, guitarist, and arranger.

Gifford was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and played banjo in high school; following this he played in territory bands, includingWatson’s Bell Hops and the bands of Bob Foster and Lloyd Williams. He formed his own group to tour Texas, and then switched to guitar to play with Blue Steele and Henry Cato‘s Vanities Orchestra in 1928.

In 1929 he arranged for Jean Goldkette, and that same year he joined the Casa Loma Orchestra, where he became the group’s chief arranger. He played guitar and banjo in the ensemble but quit in 1933 to concentrate on arrangements for the group. He remained with Casa Loma until 1939 when he was bought out of his contract due to alcohol-related infractions of the band’s strict rules, but returned to play with them in 1948-49. He worked as a freelance arranger in the 1940s and did much work arranging for radio. In the 1950s and 1960s he went into semiretirement from music, working in radio engineering.

Gifford led only one session as a bandleader, which yielded four tunes for Victor Records in 1935.

Sonny Dunham

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Sonny Dunham

From Wikipedia

Elmer “Sonny” Dunham (November 16, 1914 – July 9, 1990) was an American trumpet player and bandleader. A versatile musician, he was one of the few trumpet players who could double on the trombone with equal skill.


Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, the son of Elmer and Ethel (née Lewis) Dunham, he attended local schools and took lessons on the valve trombone at the age of 7. He changed to the slide trombone at the age of 11, and was playing in local bands by the age of 13. Dunham began his musical career as a trombone player in the Boston area.

In the late 1920s he moved to New York, where he played with Ben Bernie for six months before moving on in 1929 to Paul Tremaine‘s Orchestra, remaining there for two years. It was while was working with Tremaine’s group, where he also sang and arranged, that he switched to the trumpet.

In 1931, he left Tremaine and for a few months led his own group, calling it Sonny Dunham and his New York Yankees. In 1931, along with clarinettist Clarence Hutchenrider, trombonist-singer Pee Wee Hunt and singer Kenny Sargent, he was recruited by Glen Gray for Gray’s Casa Loma Orchestra. During the golden years of Casa Loma from 1931 to 1935, he was a popular soloist, scoring a big hit with his trumpet work on “Memories of You”.  His style, described as “spectacular” and “brash” is also evident on “Ol’ Man River”, “Wild Goose Chase”, “No Name Jive” and “Nagasaki”.  He stayed until March 1936, when he formed another more unusual group, Sonny Lee and The New Yorkers Band, which featured 14 pieces, with ten of his musicians doubling on trumpet.

After the band failed to secure adequate bookings, he moved to Europe for three months and in 1937 returned to the Casa Loma Orchestra, where he remained until 1940 when he tried again to form his own group, this time, with more success.

His new band debuted in July 1940 at the Glendale Auditorium in Los Angeles. Sonny’s band toured the United States, playing at the top spots and holding talent searches along the way. After returning to New York in early 1941, they were on nightly radio broadcasts at the Roseland Ballroom, and at the Meadowbrook at Cedar Grove, New Jersey, in June. The band then left New York in the late summer for Hollywood, but returned to New York in January 1942, only to return to the road again by March of that year. They played at the Hollywood Palladium in April, and were also featured in the Universal picture Behind the Eight Ball with the Ritz Brothers. Dunham served as musical director for this film. The band also appeared in another Universal film short, Jivin’ Jam Session.

In June 1943 they were part of a vaudeville revue at the Capitol that included a screening of Presenting Lily Mars (Judy Garland) and a concert.  The band then left to play in Chicago, and returned to New York for an appearance at the Paramount Theatre in November 1942. From January to April 1943, his band was on the bandstand of the Hotel New Yorker. They later toured the mid-west and returned to New York late that year where they recorded for Langworth Transcriptions. Dunham briefly experimented with dual female vocalists, Mickie Roy and Dorothy Claire, which did not turn out due to “professional temperament”.  In February 1944, the band returned to the Hotel New Yorker, and in April, performed at the Cafe Rouge Room at the Hotel Pennsylvania. The Hotel New Yorker gigs were the band’s longest career engagements: two 13-week runs and one 16-week run.[1]The band headed back to Los Angeles and performed at the Hollywood Palladium in July and August. While there, the band appeared in the Universal film short “Jive Busters” and then went over to Warner Bros. where they were featured in the film Sonny Dunham and His Orchestra. In September, they headed back to the East Coast. After another tour of the mid-west in 1945, and again in 1946, the band returned to New York in late 1946. 1946 found Dunham playing in a short-lived band headed by Bernie Mann that included Steve JordanGeorge Dessinger and Walter Robertson.

The band had few appearances between 1947 and 1950. Upon his return to the Roseland Ballroom from a tour in March 1949, Dunham became involved in a contract dispute which irked him enough to threaten to quit the business.  With a newly reorganized orchestra, late 1950 found Dunham playing the Rustic Cabin in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.  He dissolved the band in 1951 and that September joined Tommy Dorsey‘s band as trumpet player, replacing Ray Wetzel, who had died in an automobile accident a few weeks prior.  He reorganized in 1952 and remained active until the decline of the big-band business led him to give up the fight for the few bookings available, such as in the summer of 1960, when the Sonny Dunham Quartet was billed at Embers restaurant in New York.  In the mid-sixties he led a steamship band out of New York and was involved in booking other bands for such excursions. One of his last known recordings was a novelty tune (“Where Do You Work-a, John”) for Cross-Country Records in 1956 under the name of Sonny Dunham and the Noteworthys.

Little was heard from Sonny in the 1970s and 1980s. He was living in a trailer in Miami, Florida, still involved in booking bands for cruises and playing occasionally when he could find work. He died from cancer on July 9, 1990, aged 78.

Margaret Young

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Margaret Young

From Wikipedia
English: Margaret Young

English: Margaret Young

Margaret Young (born Margaret Youngblood February 23, 1891 in Detroit, Michigan – died May 3, 1969 in Inglewood, California) was a popular singer and comedienne in the United States in the 1920s.

Recording career

Young began her professional career in Detroit, Michigan. She sang at theaters, dinner clubs, and on Vaudeville. Young first recorded commercially for the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1920. She recorded a series of records for Brunswick from 1922 through 1925 which sold well. She continued as a popular entertainer until the end of the decade.

Young came out of retirement to record for Capitol Records in 1949.

Her sister was married to composer Richard A. Whiting, some of whose songs she introduced, and her niece Margaret Whiting also would become a popular singer throughout the 1940s and 1950s.


Margaret Young died in Inglewood, California, aged 78 after a brief illness. She was buried next to her late sister, Eleanore (widow of composer Richard Whiting and mother of singer Margaret Whiting) and is interred at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Maxine Sullivan

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Maxine Sullivan

From Wikipedia
Maxine Sullivan
Maxine Sullivan.jpg
Sullivan at the Village Jazz Lounge in Walt Disney World, 1975
Background information
Birth name Marietta Williams
Born May 13, 1911
HomesteadPennsylvaniaUnited States
Died April 7, 1987 (aged 75)
New York CityNew York, United States
Genres Jazzswing

Maxine Sullivan (May 13, 1911 – April 7, 1987), born Marietta Williams, was an American jazz vocalist and performer.

As a vocalist, Maxine Sullivan was active for half a century, from the mid-1930s to just before her death in 1987. She is best known for her 1937 recording of a swing version of the Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond“. Throughout her career, Sullivan also appeared as a performer on film as well as on stage. A precursor to better-known later vocalists such as Ella FitzgeraldBillie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan, Maxine Sullivan is considered one of the best jazz vocalists of the 1930s.


Maxine Sullivan was born in HomesteadPennsylvania in 1911. Sullivan began her music career singing in her uncle’s band, The Red Hot Peppers, in her native Pennsylvania, in which she occasionally played the flugelhorn and the valve trombone, in addition to singing.  In the mid-1930s she was discovered by Gladys Mosier (then working in Ina Rae Hutton’s big band). Mosier introduced her to Claude Thornhill, which led to her first recordings made in June of 1937. Shorty thereafter, Sullivan became a featured vocalist at the Onyx Club in New York.  During this period, she began forming a professional and close personal relationship with bassist John Kirby, to whom she was married from 1938 to 1941.

Early sessions with Kirby in 1937 yielded a hit recording of a swing version of the Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond” featuring Sullivan on vocals.  This early success “branded” Sullivan’s style, leading her to sing similar swing arrangements of traditional folk tunes mostly arranged by pianist Claude Thornhill, such as “Darling Nellie Gray“, “I Dream of Jeanie“, “Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes“, and “If I Had a Ribbon Bow“.  Her early popularity also led to a brief appearance in the movie Going Places opposite Louis Armstrong. In 1940, Sullivan and Kirby were featured on the radio program Flow Gently Sweet Rhythm, making them the first black jazz stars to have their own weekly radio series. From 1940-1942, Sullivan often performed with her husband Kirby’s sextet. During the 1940s Sullivan then performed with a wide range of bands, including those of Teddy Wilson, Benny Carter, and Jimmie Lunceford. Sullivan also performed at many of New York’s hottest jazz spots such as the Ruban Bleu, the Village Vanguard, the Blue Angel, and the Penthouse.

In 1956, Sullivan shifted away from her earlier style and recorded the album A Tribute to Andy Razaf. Originally on the Period record label, A Tribute to Andy Razaf featured Sullivan’s interpretations of a dozen tunes featuring the lyrics of the poet and lyricist Andy Razaf. The album also highlighted the music of Fats Waller, including versions of “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now”, “How Can you Face Me?”, “My Fate is in Your Hands”, “Honeysuckle Rose“, “Ain’t Misbehavin’“, and “Blue Turning Grey Over You“. Sullivan was joined by a sextet that was reminiscent of John Kirby’s group of 15 years prior, including trumpeter Charlie Shavers and clarinetist Buster Bailey. In 1953 Sullivan starred in the play, Take a Giant Step.

From 1958 to 1966, Sullivan began working as a nurse and raising her children, which largely consumed most of her time. Her music career did not reassert itself until 1966, when she began performing in jazz festivals alongside her new husband, Cliff Jackson, who can be heard on the 1966 live recording of Sullivan’s performance at the Manassas Jazz Festival.

Sullivan continued to perform throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and produced an output of recordings during the 1980s despite being over 70 years old. She was nominated for the 1979 Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in My Old Friends. She participated in a documentary film portrait, Maxine Sullivan: Love to Be in Love,  shortly before her death.

Maxine Sullivan died in 1987 in New York.[1] She was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1998.

Tiny Parham

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Tiny Parham

From Wikipedia

Hartzell Strathdene “Tiny” Parham (February 25, 1900– April 4, 1943) was a Canadian-born American jazz bandleader and pianist of African-American descent.

Life and career

Parham was born in WinnipegManitobaCanada but grew up in Kansas City. He worked as a pianist at The Eblon Theatre being mentored by the ragtime pianist and composerJames Scott, and later touring with territory bands in the Southwestern United States before moving to Chicago in 1926. He is best remembered for the recordings he made in Chicago between 1927 and 1930, as an accompanist for Johnny Dodds and several female blues singers as well as with his own band. Most of the musicians Parham played with are not well known in their own right, though cornetist Punch Millerbanjoist Papa Charlie Jacksonsaxophone player Junie Cobb and bassist Milt Hinton are exceptions.

His entire recorded output for Victor are highly collected and appreciated as prime examples of late 1920s jazz. Parham favored the violin and many of his records have a surprisingly sophisticated violin solos, along with the typical upfront tuba, horns and reeds.

After 1930 Parham found work in theater houses, especially as an organist; his last recordings were made in 1940. His entire recorded output fits on two compact discs.

The cartoonist R. Crumb included a drawing of Parham in his classic 1982 collection of trading cards and later book “Early Jazz Greats”. Parham was the only non-American born so included. The book also includes a bonus cd which has a Parham track.

Parham died April 4, 1943, MilwaukeeWisconsin.

Muggsy Spanier

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Muggsy Spanier

From Wikipedia
Muggsy Spanier
Muggsy Spanier Nick's New York 1946-.jpg
Nick’s (Tavern), New York, c. June 1946
Background information
Birth name Francis Joseph Julian Spanier
Also known as Joseph Spanier
Born November 9, 1901
Origin Chicago, Illinois
Died February 12, 1967 (aged 65)
Genres Jazz
Occupations Trumpeter/cornettist
Instruments Trumpetcornet

Francis Joseph Julian “Muggsy” Spanier (November 9, 1901 – February 12, 1967) was a prominent cornet player based in Chicago. He was renowned as the best trumpet/cornet in Chicago until Bix Beiderbecke entered the scene.

Muggsy led several traditional/”hot” jazz bands, most notably Muggsy Spanier and His Ragtime Band (which did not, in fact, playragtime but, rather, “hot jazz” that would now be called Dixieland). This band set the style for all later attempts to play traditional jazz with a swing rhythm section. Its key members, apart from Muggsy, were: George Brunies – later Brunis – (trombone and vocals), Rodney Cless (clarinet), George Zack or Joe Bushkin (piano), Ray McKinstry, Nick Ciazza or Bernie Billings (tenor sax), and Bob Casey (bass). A number of competent but unmemorable drummers worked in the band.

The Ragtime Band’s theme tune was “Relaxin’ at the Touro”, named for Touro Infirmary, the New Orleans hospital where Muggsy had been treated for a perforated ulcer early in 1938. He had been at the point of death when he was saved by one Dr. Alton Ochsner who drained the fluid and eased Muggsy’s weakened breathing.

“Relaxin’ At The Touro” is a fairly straightforward 12-bar blues, with a neat piano introduction and coda by Joe Bushkin. The pianist recalled, many years later: “When I finally joined Muggsy in Chicago (having left Bunny Berigan’s failing big band) we met to talk it over at the Three Deuces, where Art Tatum was appearing. Muggsy was now playing opposite Fats Waller at the Sherman hotel and we worked out a kind of stage show for the two bands. Muggsy was a man of great integrity. We played a blues in C and I made up a little intro. After that I was listed as the co-composer of “Relaxin’ at the Touro” (quoted by Richard B. Hadlock in the notes to the Bluebird CD ‘Muggsy Spanier 1939 – The “Ragtime Band” Sessions’, 07863 66550).

In his time, Muggsy made numerous Dixieland recordings that still serve as favorites today. Apart from the famous Ragtime Band, his other most important ventures were the quartet he co-led with Sidney Bechet (the ‘Big Four’) in 1940 and the traditional band he co-led with pianist Earl Hines at the Club Hangover in San Francisco in the 1950s.

Although Muggsy’s real name was Francis Joseph Julian Spanier, he acquired the nickname “Muggsy” either because of his youthful enthusiasm for a baseball hero (“Muggsy” McGraw), or because of his obsession with King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. He was known to have shadowed and “mugged” both of them, copying their styles and incorporating them into his own music. He was allowed, on at least one occasion, to sit in with King Oliver’s band (with Louis Armstrong on second cornet) at the Lincoln Gardens, Chicago, in the early 1920s.

He ended his days in the 1960s, leading a traditional jazz band that included old friends like Joe Sullivan (piano), Pops Foster (bass) and Darnell Howard (clarinet). He was not a great technician or virtuoso, but he could lead a traditional ensemble with fire and guts. The (then) young pianist Joe Bushkin was in the Ragtime Band in 1939 and later said of Muggsy: “When he nailed something right, he stayed with it; he wouldn’t fix it if it wasn’t broke”.

Roy Fox

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Roy Fox

From Wikipedia

Roy Fox (b. October 25, 1901, Denver, ColoradoUnited States – d. March 20, 1982, LondonEnglandUK) was an American dance bandleader whose period of greatest popularity came during his years performing in England during the British dance band era.

Early life and career

Roy Fox was raised in HollywoodCalifornia. He began playing cornet when he was eleven years old, and by age 13 was performing in the Los Angeles Examiner‘s newsboys‘ band. Soon after he played bugle for a studio owned by Cecil B. DeMille. His first major association came at the age of 16, when he joined Abe Lyman‘s orchestra at the Sunset Inn inSanta Monica, where he played alongside Miff MoleGussie MillerHenry Halstead, and Gus Arnheim. He developed a soft style of playing there which earned him the nickname“The Whispering Cornetist”.

The 1920s and 1930s

In 1920 he put together his own band, with whom he recorded in 1925. That same year he also scored a gig on radio broadcasting with Art Hickman‘s orchestra; this ensemble toured the U.S., then did an extended residency in Florida. After some time in New York City, Fox and Arnheim reconvened in Hollywood, working at the Ambassador Hotel, and Fox continued to broadcast with his own bands. During this time he also did a number of film soundtracks.

In 1930 Fox was invited to perform in London, which he first did on September 29, 1930. He recorded on the BBC that year, and when his band returned to the U.S. the following spring, Fox remained behind, recording with a new group for Decca Records and accepting an engagement at the Monseigneur restaurant in Piccadilly.

In Spring 1932 when he fell ill with pleurisy and travelled to Switzerland for a stay at a sanatorium. During his convalescence the band was led by its pianist, Lew Stone. Upon Fox’s return he resumed control of the band but when the Monseigneur contract came up for renewal in the autumn of 1932 was unable to agree terms. The restaurant’s owner then offered the residency to Stone and all the band with the exception of trumpeter Sid Buckman decided to remain with Stone. Fox took out an injunction on the grounds of breach of contract against his singer Al Bowlly which prevented Bowlly performing with Stone’s band on the first night, but Fox lost his action. Fox formed a new band with Buckman as trumpeter and vocalist, secured a residency at the Cafe Anglais in Leicester Square and performed in Belgium as well as the UK. Art Christmas played a variety of instruments in this band. He made the films On the Air and Big Ben Calling in 1933-34, recorded for HMV in 1936, and toured Europe until 1938, when he fell ill again.

Later years

Fox moved to Australia, where he led the Jay Whidden Orchestra and visited the U.S. for a few tours with small groups. He led a band in England in 1946-47, with appearances at the Isle of Man and London’s Potomac Club. He went into semi-retirement after 1952, when he opened his own booking agency.

He died in London in 1982, aged 80.

Lew Stone

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Lew Stone

From Wikipedia
Lew Stone
Birth name Louis Steinberg
Also known as Lew Stone
Born 1898
London, England, UK
Died 1969
Roehampton, London, England, UK
Genres British Dance Band, Jazz
Occupations Bandleader
Instruments Piano
Associated acts Nat Gonella & His Georgians

Lew Stone (1898-1969) was a bandleader and arranger of the British dance band era, and was well known in Britain during the 1930s.


Early life and career

Stone learned music at an early age and became an accomplished pianist. In the 1920s, he worked with many important dance bands. Some arrangements attributed to Stone can be heard on particular records by the Savoy Orpheans (1927) and Ray Starita and his Ambassador’s Band (1928).

During 1927-1931, Stone’s arrangements for the Bert Ambrose Orchestra made it virtually the best in Europe. The HMV discs are today sought after as much for those arrangements as for the superb instrumentalists or vocals.

Stone continued to work with other bands like Jack Hylton‘s and Jack Payne‘s BBC Dance Orchestra, and he also took several top musicians into the studio to make a few recordings that were issued on the Duophone label as ‘Stoneis Stone and his Orchestra’.

The 1930s

Roy Fox‘s Band opened at the Monseigneur Restaurant in 1931 and Stone took up the position of pianist and arranger. When Fox became ill in October he was sent to Switzerlandto rest and Stone assumed leadership of the band. The main vocalist at the Monseigneur was the very popular Al Bowlly who had already sung on over 30 recordings.

Stone began to use other band members for vocal refrain and this proved successful, particularly when trumpeter Nat Gonella sang “Oh! Mo’nah”. Sales of the record Decca F.2763 were huge and may have kept Decca in business[citation needed].

When Fox returned to London in April 1932, he found that his band was the most popular in the city. A contemporary article in The Gramophone magazine described events.

In 1932, Stone also worked with a studio band and several recordings were issued on the flexible Durium Records featuring vocals by Al Bowlly, Sam Browne and Les Allen. Some of the arrangements on Durium were by Stan Bowsher.

In October 1932, when Roy Fox’s contract at the Monseigneur ended, Stone was offered the post of bandleader and this story filled the pages of the music press. An article fromRhythm magazine describes how this happened.

The Tuesday night broadcasts from the Monseigneur established Stone’s band as a great favourite with the listening public, who recognised the sheer quality of the music, and the royal clientele attracted an unsurpassed reputation. Rave reviews were common in the music press, for example Melody Maker.

The popularity of vocalist Al Bowlly increased; he was a regular on broadcasts, his name was credited on many of the Decca records and he toured with the band including an appearance before of royalty at the London Palladium.

There is a very good cartoon of Stone’s Band with Al Bowlly at the microphone and the other musicians from the band of 1933 are: Nat Gonella and Alfie Noakes (trumpets), Stone Davis and Joe Ferrie (trombones), Joe Crossman, Jim Easton, Ernest Ritte, Harry Berly (reeds), Eddie Carroll (piano), Harry Sherman (guitar), Tiny Winters (string bass) and Bill Harty (drums). Some arrangements were by Phil Cardew, Stan Bowsher, Con Lamprecht.

In 1933, Stone’s Monseigneur Band was involved in an interesting competition designed to test the popularity in Britain of British vs US dance bands. It was run by the ‘News Chronicle‘ newspaper and was based on the sales of specially recorded dance tunes by Stone’s band, Jack Hylton’s, Guy Lombardo‘s and Wayne King‘s. The songs were “What More can I Ask?” and “Can’t We Meet Again?”.

From late 1931 until 1934, Stone was also musical director for British and Dominion Films, working mostly from Elstree Studios, and later worked with other film companies. About 40 pre-1947 films which involved Stone with his band or as Musical Director are included in the listings of British musical films on the British Dance Bands on Film, British Entertainers on Film, British Musical Directors website.

In November 1933, Stone transferred his band to the Cafe Anglais and in February 1934 started a very successful tour for the Mecca Agency. The band returned to the Monseigneur in March 1934 until the summer when the Monseigneur was sold to become a cinema. In September 1934, Al Bowlly and Bill Harty left to join Ray Noble in USA.

For about a year from November 1934, Stone moved to the Regal Zonophone record label, continued with theatre tours, and the band was resident for a time at the Hollywood Restaurant. Alan Kane became the main vocalist while there were also vocal contributions from Nat Gonella, Joe Ferrie, Tiny Winters and Joe Crossman. When Gonella left to concentrate on his own Georgians band in March 1935, trumpeter Tommy McQuater joined Stone’s band. On October 12,, Stone featured Sam Browne as vocalist for the first time with “Cheek To Cheek” and Isn’t This A Lovely Day?. In November, Stone and his band returned to the Decca record label.

In 1936, Stone stopped touring and formed a smaller band which opened on 30 March at the Cafe de Paris. The band also began to broadcast regularly for commercial radiostations Radio Normandy and Radio Luxembourg. In October, Stone became musical director for the show On Your Toes (opened February 1937). The band continued at the Cafe de Paris until 31 July 1937. In September, Stone became musical director of the show Hide and Seek at the London Hippodrome starring Cicely Courtneidge and Bobby Howes.

Al Bowlly returned to England at the end of 1937 and in February 1938 he began recording with Stone again. Recordings with Bowlly in 1938 are as good as those made during the earlier years. Stone’s band played music of all kinds, for all tastes, and for all the dance tempos, but today it is particularly their playing of the sentimental ballads that is recognised and in demand for re-issue on CD, especially the titles featuring Bowlly. In his own arrangements, Stone was particularly careful to match Bowlly’s voice with appropriate ensemble phrasing and short instrumental solos resulting in very pleasant recordings which make much more satisfying listening than many other bands’ recordings of the standard tunes.

Stone was not afraid to work with modern music and was also an innovator. His recordings of the Gene Gifford/Casa Loma Orchestra titles are not mere copies but careful interpretations which make full use of the superb musicians in his band. The skills of Stone Davis, Joe Crossman and Nat Gonella are particularly evident on several of Stone’s earlier jazz titles, some of which were issued in USA.

In June 1938, the band was the first name band to play at Butlins Holiday Camps and in September they were back at The Cafe de Paris and broadcasting regularly from there.

In October, Stone became musical director for the Jack Hulbert show Under Your Hat which continued into 1939 and featured the Rhythm Brothers (Clive Erard, Jack Trafford, Frank Trafford). His band played at the El Morocco Club, London.

The 1940s & 1950s

In June 1940, Stone opened at the Dorchester Hotel with a seven piece band which he led on the novachord. This band was much praised for its original style. Later Stone also made several records with his jazz group the Stonecrackers which featured Britain’s finest soloists. Broadcasting and recording with his large band continued and he toured the country during the rest of the war years.

After the war, his band resided at various places including The Embassy Club, The Pigalle Restaurant and Oddenino’s Restaurant up to 1955. In this period he made several recordings with the King of Jiddish Music Leo Fuld. Stone continued to work round the ballrooms and broadcast with his fourteen piece band until 1959 when the BBC told him that he could not expect to broadcast as frequently as he would wish unless he reduced the size of his band. So, Lew Stone and his sextet was born.

The 1960s

For the next eight years they played frequently for ‘Music While You Work’ also appearing weekly, for nearly two years in ‘The Bands Played On’- a breakfast-time programme. Lew was also concentrating on his entertainments agency in the 1960s.

At the time of his death in 1969 Stone’s music from the 1930s was just beginning to gather a whole new following.

HMV Victor Records Advertisements 1923-1929

Posted in 78 RPM Label Discography, Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Records in Canada with tags , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

The following advertisements were placed in the Montreal Gazette, between 1923 and 1929 to bolster sales of certain records.

-victor records-ben pollock-august 3,1929 montreal gazette -victor records, jan 5,1929 montreal gazette -victor records november 5,1927 montreal gazette -victor records november 2,1929 montreal gazette -victor records mention paul whiteman in montreal june 2,1924 montreal gazette -victor records may 6,1924 montreal gazette -victor records may 5.1928 montreal gazette -victor records may 4,1929 montreal gazette -victor records may 1,1926 montreal gazette -victor records march 6,1925 montreal gazette -victor records march 2,1929 montreal gazette -victor records march5,1927 -victor records june 3,1927 -victor records july 4,1929 montreal gazette -victor records feb 4,1928 montreal gazette -victor records feb 2,1929 montreal gazette -victor records feb 1,1924 montreal gazette -victor records december 3rd,1923 montreal gazette -victor records december 3,1927 montreal gazette -victor records august 1,1924 montreal gazette -victor records april 5,1924 montreal gazette -victor records april 3,1926 -victor records april 2,1927 montreal gazette -victor records april 1,1924 montreal gazette

Mel Powell

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Mel Powell

From Wikipedia
Mel Powell
Mel Powell.jpg
Background information
Birth name Melvin Epstein
Born February 12, 1923
New York City, United States
Died April 24, 1998 (aged 75)
Genres Jazz
Swing music/Big band
Occupations Musician, Arranger, Composer, Music educator
Instruments Piano
Years active 1939 – 1988
Associated acts Benny GoodmanGlenn Miller‘sArmy Air Force Band

Mel Powell (born Melvin Epstein) (February 12, 1923 – April 24, 1998) was an American jazz pianistcomposer of classical music, and music educator. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1990. Powell was the founding dean of the music department at theCalifornia Institute of the Arts.

Early life

Mel Powell was born Melvin D. Epstein on February 12, 1923, in The Bronx, New York City to Russian Jewish parents, Milton Epstein and Mildred Mark Epstein.  He began playing piano at age four, taking lessons from, among others, Nadia Reisenberg. A passionate baseball fan, his home was within sight of Yankee Stadium. A hand injury while playing baseball as a boy, however, convinced him to choose music as a career path instead of sports.  Powell dreamed of life as a concert pianist until one night his older brother took him to see jazz pianist Teddy Wilson play, and later to a concert featuring Benny Goodman. In a 1987 interview with The New Yorker magazine Powell said “I had never heard anything as ecstatic as this music”, prompting a shift from classical to jazz piano. By the age of 14 Powell was performing jazz professionally around New York City.  As early as 1939, he was working with Bobby HackettGeorge Brunies, and Zutty Singleton, as well as writing arrangements for Earl Hines.  He changed his last name from Epstein to Powell in 1941 shortly before joining Benny Goodman’s band.


Powell and actress wife Martha Scott at home in 1947. An award to Powell fromDownbeat magazine rests on the table.

Newly-named, the teenage Mel Powell became a pianist and arranger for Benny Goodman in 1941. One composition from his Goodman years, The Earl, is perhaps his best-known from that time. It is notable that the song—dedicated to Earl “Fatha” Hines, one of Powell’s piano heroes—was recorded without a drummer.  After nearly two years with Goodman, Powell played briefly with the CBS radio band under director Raymond Scott  before Uncle Sam came calling. With World War II at its height, Powell was drafted into the U.S. Army, but fought his battles from a piano stool, being assigned to Glenn Miller‘s Army Air Force Band from 1943 to 1945.

Near wars end Mel Powell was stationed in Paris, France where he played with Django Reinhardt then returned for a brief stint in Benny Goodman’s band again after being discharged from the military. It was around this time, the mid-to-late 1940s, that Powell moved toHollywood and ventured into providing music for movies and cartoons—notably Tom and Jerry.  In 1948 he played himself in the movie A Song Is Born as the jazz pianist working with Benny Goodman. In this movie he worked along with many other famous jazz players including Louis Armstrong. It was during his time in Hollywood that he met and married actress Martha Scott. Mel Powell had a major health crisis in the late 1940s when he developed Muscular dystrophy. Confined to a wheelchair for some time, then walking with aid of a cane, the illness effectively ended his ability to work as a traveling musician again with Goodman or other bands.  It was a career and life-changing event, prompting Powell to devote himself to music composition rather than performance. From 1948 to 1952 he studied under German composer and music theorist Paul Hindemith at Yale University.

Changing styles, careers

At first sticking to traditional neo-Classical styles of composition Powell increasingly explored concepts in Atonality, or “non-tonal” music as he called it,  as well as Serialism advocated by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg.  After receiving his degree in 1952, Powell embarked on a career as a music educator, first at Mannes College of Music and Queens College in his native New York City,  then returning to Yale in 1958, succeeding Hindemith as chair of composition faculty and director of one of the nations first electronic music studios.  Powell composed several electronic music pieces in the 1960s, some of which were performed at the Electric Circus in New York’s Greenwich Village,  a venue that also saw performances by groundbreaking rock music acts like The Velvet UndergroundThe Grateful Dead, and Blue Öyster Cult. Mel Powell had not completely turned his back on jazz music however. While teaching in the 1950s, he also played piano and recorded music with Benny Goodman again as well as on his own.  Showing the broad range of his talent, Powell composed for orchestras, choruses, singers, and chamber ensembles throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.  In 1969 Powell returned to California to serve as founding dean of the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. After serving as Provost of the Institute from 1972 to 1976 he was awarded the Roy O. Disney Professorship of music, and taught at the Institute until shortly before his death.

Later years

In 1987 Mel Powell joined other music greats for a jazz festival on the cruise ship SS Norway playing alongside Benny CarterHoward AldenMilt Hinton, and Louie Bellson and others.  One performance has been documented on the CD release The Return of Mel Powell (Chiaroscuro Records). This CD includes twenty minutes of Powell discussing his life and his reasons for leaving jazz. In an interview with The New Yorker magazine jazz critic Whitney Balliett Powell stated: “I have decided that when I retire I will think through my decision to leave jazz – with the help of Freud and Jung. At the moment, I suspect it was this: I had done what I felt I had to do in jazz. I had decided it did not hold the deepest interest for me musically. And I had decided that it was a young man’s music, even a black music. Also, the endless repetition of material in the Goodman band – playing the same tunes day after day and night after night – got to me. That repetition tended to kill spontaneity, which is the heart of jazz and which can give a lifetime’s nourishment.”

Pulitzer surprise

In 1990 Mel Powell received his highest career achievement, the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his work Duplicates: A Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra.  Powell expressed total surprise at winning the Pulitzer in a Los Angeles Times interview: “Being out here on the coast, far away from the whole Eastern establishment to which the Pulitzer is connected – that made me a remote prospect. I just didn’t expect it.”  In an interview with The New York Times Powell related the story of how Duplicates origins came from his service in World War II and an anecdote he heard in Paris about Claude Debussy‘s search for perfect music. That, Powell, stated was his goal for Duplicates. The work, commissioned in 1987 for the Los Angeles Philharmonic by music patron Betty Freeman, took Powell more than two years to complete. It was made even more difficult as his muscular dystrophy, previously affecting only his legs, began to afflict his arms, thus his ability to play the piano.

Besides the Pulitzer, other awards and honors for Mel Powell include the Creative Arts Medal from Brandeis University, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an honorary life membership in the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, a commission from the Koussevitzky Music Foundation for the Library of Congress, and a National Institute of Arts and Letters grant.  Some of Powell’s notable students include Justin ConnollyWalter HeksterArturo MarquezLewis SpratlanJohn StewartLois V Vierk and John Ferritto.


Gravesite of Mel Powell & wife Martha Scott in Jamesport, Missouri.

Melvin “Mel” Powell died at his home in Sherman Oaks, California on April 24, 1998, from liver cancer. He was 75 years old.  Powell was survived by his wife, actress Martha Scott, two daughters and a son. He was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in his wife’s hometown of Jamesport, Missouri.


  • On his days in Big Band-Swing music: “It’s really so long ago, one ought to be able to invoke a statute of limitations. I played with Benny Goodman for two years, and I’ve been composing for 40. At the time, swing music, big-band music and Benny Goodman in particular were so boundlessly popular that people who made room for it in their lives have never forgotten it. So I get calls from people who are in a kind of time warp, who ask me about this period of my life as though it were the present. But I’ve moved on to other things.”
  • “The musician’s business is structure…The musician…is…therefore drawn to a profound science of structure. Looking closely at music itself, he is likely to ask: “What changes? When? By how much?”…he is…able to feel at home where logicians exhibit techniques for “isolating relevant structure.”
  • “It is true that the music I traffic in, along with Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter and others, has never gained a great popularity. But that was true of the so-called difficult music of earlier centuries, too. And I must say that I have noticed, as we have held our ground, that there has been a softening of response. There are now those who are beginning to find expressive beauty in a music that was at first rejected entirely.”

Tony Parenti

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Tony Parenti

From Wikipedia
Tony Parenti
Tony Parenti, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, N.Y., ca. Aug. 1946 (William P. Gottlieb 06801).jpg
Photo by William P. Gottlieb
Background information
Birth name Tony Parenti
Born 6 August 1900
Origin LouisianaNew Orleans, Louisiana
Died 17 April 1972
Genres Jazz
Instruments clarinet
Associated acts Eddie CondonTed Lewis

Tony Parenti (6 August 1900 – 17 April 1972) was an American jazz clarinettist and saxophonist born in New Orleans, perhaps best known for his decades of work in New York City.



Parenti was a childhood musical prodigy, first on violin, then on clarinet. As a child he substituted for Alcide Nunez in Papa Jack Laine‘s band. In New Orleans he also worked with Johnny Dedroit. During his early teens Parenti worked with the Nick LaRocca band. among other local acts. Parenti led his own band in New Orleans in the mid-1920s, making his first recordings there, before moving toNew York City at the end of the decade.

In the late 1920s, Parenti worked with Benny Goodman and Fred Rich, and later in the decade moved to New York City full-time where he worked through the 1930s as a CBS staffman and as a member of the Radio City Symphony Orchestra.

From 1939-1945 Parenti, with Ted Lewis‘s band, played alongside Muggsy Spanier. In 1944, he recorded and appeared in concert withSidney Bechet and Max Miller in Chicago.

In the 1940s and still in New York City, Parenti formed a Dixieland jazz band called Tony Parenti and His New Orleanians, and which featured Wild Bill DavisonArt Hodes and Jimmy Archey, among others. He often appeared at such New York jazz spots as Nick’s and Jimmy Ryan’s, and also worked with Eddie Condon. Parenti remained active until the 1960s in clubs, and died in New York City on April 17, 1972.

Over his career, Parenti recorded on the labels of JazzologySouthland and Fat Cat, among several others.

Art Hodes

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Art Hodes

From Wikipedia
Art Hodes
Art Hodes, Henry Allen, Pete Johnson, Lou McGarity, and Lester Young, National Press Club, Washington, D.C., ca. 1940 (William P. Gottlieb 03601).jpg
Art Hodes on the piano at left
Background information
Birth name Arthur W. Hodes
Born November 14, 1904
NikolayevRussian Empire
Origin Chicago, Illinois
Died March 4, 1993 (aged 88)
Harvey, Illinois, United States
Genres Jazz
Occupations Musician
Instruments Piano
Associated acts Sidney BechetJoe Marsala,Mezz Mezzrow

Arthur W. Hodes (November 14, 1904, Russian Empire – March 4, 1993, Harvey, Illinois), known professionally as Art Hodes, was an American jazz pianist.


Hodes was born in Ukraine. His family settled in Chicago, Illinois when he was a few months old. His career began in Chicago clubs, but he did not gain wider attention until moving to New York City in 1938. In that city he played with Sidney BechetJoe Marsala, andMezz Mezzrow.

Later Hodes founded his own band in the 1940s and it would be associated with his home town of Chicago. He and his band played mostly in that area for the next forty years.

In the late 1960s Hodes starred in a series of TV shows on Chicago style jazz called “Jazz Alley”. Here he appeared with greats likePee Wee Russell and Jimmy McPartland. He also wrote for jazz magazines like Jazz Record. He remained an educator and writer in jazz. During this period of his life and into the 1970s Hodes resided in south suburban Park Forest, Illinois.

He toured the UK in 1987 recording with drummer John Petters. In 1988 he returned to appear at the Cork jazz Festival with Petters and Wild Bill Davison. A tour, the Legends of American Dixieland, followed in May 1989 with the same line-up.

Other musicians he played and recorded with included Louis ArmstrongWingy ManoneGene KrupaMuggsy SpanierJoe Marsala,Mezz MezzrowSidney BechetAlbert NicholasWild Bill Davison, and Vic Dickenson.

In 1998, he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

Juan Tizol

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Juan Tizol

From Wikipedia
Juan Tizol
Juan Tizol 1943.jpg
Juan Tizol in Duke Ellington’s orchestra (1943)
Background information
Born October 1, 1900
Vega BajaPuerto Rico
Died April 23, 1984 (aged 83)
Genres Jazz
Instruments Valve trombone
Associated acts Duke Ellington

Juan Tizol (22 January 1900 – 23 April 1984) was a Puerto Rican trombonist and composer. He is best known as a member of Duke Ellington‘s band, and as the co-writer of the jazz standards “Caravan” and “Perdido“.


Tizol was born in Vega BajaPuerto Rico. Music was a large part of his life from an early age. His first instrument was the violin, but he soon switched to valve trombone, the instrument he would play throughout his career. His musical training came mostly from his uncle Manuel Tizol, who was the director of the municipal band and the symphony in San Juan. Throughout his youth, Juan played in his uncle’s band and also gained experience by playing in local operas, ballets and dance bands. In 1920, Juan joined a band that was traveling to the United States to work in Washington D.C. The group eventually made it to Washington (traveling as stowaways) and established residence at the Howard Theater where they played for touring shows and silent movies. At the Howard they also were hired to play in small jazz or dance groups. This is where Juan first came in contact with Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington.

Tizol got the call to join the Ellington band in the summer of 1929. Arthur Whetsol, a trumpeter whom Juan played with in the White Brothers’ Band, apparently made the recommendation. Juan sat beside Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton in the two-man trombone section and became the fifth voice in the brass section of Ellington’s orchestra. This opened up new possibilities for Duke’s writing, as he now could write for trombones as a section instead of just having them play with the trumpets. Juan’s rich, warm tone also blended nicely with the saxophone section, so he was often scored carrying the lead melody with the saxes. Along with his distinctive sound, Juan was also known for being one of the best sight-readers and over all musicians in the band. He played with fierce accuracy and was considered to be the solid rock of the trombone section through the years. He was not a major improviser in the band, but he was often featured playing written out solos that displayed his masterful technique and agility on the horn.

Juan made many contributions to the Ellington band throughout the 1930s and 40s. One of his major roles in the band was copying parts from Ellington’s scores. Tizol spent many hours and sometimes days extracting parts that needed to by written out for upcoming shows. Besides copying, Juan also was a band composer. His best known compositions, “Caravan” (1936) and “Perdido” (1941), are still played by jazz musicians today. Mercer Ellington stated that Tizol had invented the melody to “Caravan“, from his days studying music in Puerto Rico; where they couldn’t afford much sheet music so the teacher would turn the music upside down after they had learned to play it right-side up. This technique became known as ‘inverting‘, and led to a style called Modal Jazz. Tizol was responsible for bringing Latin influences into the Ellington band with compositions such as “Moonlight Fiesta”, “Jubilesta”, “Conga Brava”, and others. He also played valide trombone.

Juan left Ellington’s band in 1944 to play in the Harry James Orchestra. The main reason for this was to allow him to spend more time with his wife who lived in Los Angeles. In 1951, he returned to Ellington, along with James’s drummer and alto saxophonist, in what became known as ‘the James raid’. However, he returned to James’ band in 1953 and remained predominantly on the West Coast for the remainder of his career. In Los Angeles he played sporadically with Harry James, Nelson Riddle, and on the Nat “King” Coletelevision show. Juan returned very briefly to Ellington’s band in the early 60s, but eventually retired in Los Angeles. He died on April 23, 1984 in InglewoodCalifornia, two years after the death of his wife, Rosebud.

Otto Hardwick

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Otto Hardwick

From Wikipedia

From right: Barney BigardBen Webster, Otto Hardwick, Harry CarneyRex StewartSonny Greer,Wallace Jones (?), Ray Nance.
Photography by William P. Gottlieb.

Otto James “Toby” Hardwicke (May 31, 1904 – August 5, 1970) was a saxophone player associated with Duke Ellington.


Hardwick started on string bass at the age of 14, then moved to C-melody sax and finally settled on alto saxophone. A childhood friend of Duke Ellington’s, Hardwick joined Ellington’s first band in Washington, D. C. in 1919. Hardwick also worked for banjoist Elmer Snowden at Murray’s Casino.

In 1923, Ellington, Hardwick, Snowden, trumpeter Arthur Whetsol, and drummer Sonny Greer had success as the Washingtonians in New York. After a disagreement over money, Snowden was forced out of the band and Duke Ellington was elected as the new leader.

They were booked at a Times Square nightspot called the Kentucky Club for three years where they met Irving Mills, who produced and published Ellington’s music.

Hardwick occasionally doubled violin and string bass in the 1920s, but specialized on alto sax. He also played clarinet and bass, baritone and soprano saxes.

Hardwick left the Duke Ellington band in 1928 to visit Europe, where he played with Noble SissleSidney Bechet and Nekka Shaw‘s Orchestra, and led his own orchestra before returning to New York in 1929.

He had a brief stint with Chick Webb (1929), then led his own band at the Hot Feet Club, with Fats Waller leading the rhythm section (1930), led at Small’s before rejoining Duke Ellington in the spring of 1932, following a brief stint with Elmer Snowden.

He played lead alto on most Ellington numbers from 1932 to 1946 but he was rarely heard as a soloist because Johnny Hodges got many of the alto solos. Famous exceptions are: Black And Tan Fantasy, In A Sentimental Mood and Sophisticated Lady. Hardwick, with his creamy tone, was almost always the lead alto in the reed section of the Ellington orchestra except in some situations where Ellington required the more cutting tone of Johnny Hodges’ alto to set the tone of the ensemble. After Hardwick’s departure (and replacement by Russell Procope) it soon became the norm for Johnny Hodges to take the ensemble lead as well as taking the lion’s share of the solos on alto sax.

He remained with Ellington until May 1946, when he left the band because of Ellington’s dislike of Hardwick’s girlfriend. Hardwick went on to freelance for a short time in the following year, and then retired from music.

In his biography of Ellington, author James Lincoln Collier says that “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Sophisticated Lady,” and “Prelude to a Kiss” are adaptations of Hardwick melodies.

Harry Carney

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Harry Carney

From Wikipedia
Harry Carney
At the Palomar.jpg
From left: Chris Gage, Louie Bellson, Stan “Cuddles” Johnson, Tony Gage, Fraser MacPherson, Harry Carney. (Photo from the Fred MacPherson estate.)
Background information
Born April 1, 1910
Origin Boston, Massachusetts
Died October 8, 1974 (aged 64)
Genres Jazz
Occupations Musician
Instruments Baritone saxophonebass clarinet
Years active 1930s – 1970s
Associated acts Duke Ellington,

Harry Howell Carney (April 1, 1910 – October 8, 1974) was an American swing baritone saxophonistclarinetist, and bass clarinetist mainly known for his 45-year tenure in Duke Ellington‘s Orchestra. Carney started off as an alto player with Ellington, but soon switched to the baritone. His strong, steady saxophone often served as the anchor of Duke’s music. He also playedclarinet and bass clarinet on occasion.

Early years

Harry Howell Carney was born in 1910 in Boston, Massachusetts. At seventeen he ran off to join Duke Ellington’s orchestra, starting on clarinet and eventually moving on to baritone saxophone.

Carney and Duke

Carney was the longest serving player in Duke Ellington’s orchestra. He was always present and on occasions when Ellington was absent he took over as conductor, particularly when Ellington wished to make a stage entrance after the band had begun playing the first piece of a performance. Ellington and Carney were close friends. The majority of their careers they rode together in Carney’s car to concerts, allowing Ellington to come up with new ideas. Fictionalised accounts of these road trips are documented in Geoff Dyer‘s But Beautiful.

Ellington wrote a number of showpiece features for Carney throughout their time together, such as “Frustration” (c. 1944-45). This was typical of Ellington’s ability to exploit the voices of his most treasured soloists by creating works that were tailored specifically to the individual rather than being for a generic baritone saxophonist. In addition, Ellington would sometimes feature Carney’s robust renditions of the melodies of such hits as “Sophisticated Lady” and “In a Mellow Tone“. In 1973 Ellington built the Third Sacred Concert around Carney’s baritone saxophone.

It has to be said, however, that in later years Carney’s voice was heard a little less as a soloist than it was in the 1930s. This is perhaps owing to the presence from late 1939 onwards of a regular tenor saxophonist (the most important of these being Ben Webster and later Paul Gonsalves), further increasing the pool of star soloists in the orchestra. It was also in the early 1940s, after this increase to five reed players in the Ellington orchestra, that Carney ceased using the alto saxophone and Johnny Hodges ceased playing the soprano saxophone. Carney’s clarinet continued to be deployed in the well-known composition “Rockin’ in Rhythm”, for which he is also credited as a co-composer. This was one of the ‘work-horses’ of the Ellington orchestra that remained in the band books throughout its life on the road. After Ellington’s 1974 death, Carney said: “This is the worst day of my life. Without Duke I have nothing to live for.” Four months later, Carney also died.

Technical Innovations

Jimmy Hamilton and Harry Carney, Aquarium NYC, c. November 1946.
Photography by William P. Gottlieb.

While not the first baritone saxophonist in jazz, Carney was certainly the first major performer on the instrument, and his sound influenced several generations of musicians. Throughout his career he played saxophones manufactured by C.G. Conn, and like other jazz musicians was known to offer endorsements of his preferred brand. Photographic evidence suggests that the mouthpieces he used were predominantly those of the Woodwind Company of New York. (His preferred model may have been that company’s ‘Sparkle-Aire’ 5.) The combination of such a large-chambered mouthpiece and the Conn brand of baritone saxophone was certainly a factor in the production of his enormous, rich tone. He may have modelled his Baritone Saxophone tone on that of the (larger) Bass Saxophone.

He was an early jazz proponent of circular breathing. He was also Hamiet Bluiett‘s favorite baritone player because he “never saw anybody else stop time”  in reference to a concert Bluiett attended where Carney held a note during which all else went silent.

Carney made a few recordings as a leader, and also recorded with Lionel Hampton.

Johnny Hodges

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Johnny Hodges

From Wikipedia
Johnny Hodges
Johnny Hodges and Al Sears, Aquarium, New York,, ca. Nov. 1946 (William P. Gottlieb 04191).jpg
Johnny Hodges, 1946 (with Al Sears in background)
Background information
Birth name John Keith Hodges
Also known as “Rabbit”
Born July 25, 1906
Origin CambridgeMassachusetts, U.S.
Died May 11, 1970 (aged 63)
Genres Swing
Mainstream jazz
Occupations Saxophonist
Instruments Alto saxophone
Soprano saxophone
Years active 1924–1970
Associated acts Duke Ellington
Sidney Bechet
Lucky Roberts
Chick Webb
Notable instruments

John Keith “Johnny” Hodges (July 25, 1906 – May 11, 1970) was an American alto saxophonist, best known for his solo work withDuke Ellington‘s big band. He played lead alto in the saxophone section for many years, except the period between 1932–1946 when Otto Hardwick generally played first chair. Hodges was also featured on soprano saxophone, but refused to play soprano after 1946, when he was given the lead chair. He is considered one of the definitive alto saxophones players of the Big Band Era (alongside Benny Carter).

Hodges started playing with Lloyd ScottSidney BechetLucky Roberts and Chick Webb. When Ellington wanted to expand his band in 1928, Ellington’s clarinet player Barney Bigard recommended Hodges, who was featured on both alto and soprano sax. His playing became one of the identifying voices of the Ellington orchestra. Hodges left the Duke to lead his own band (1951–1955), but returned to the large ensemble shortly before Ellington’s triumphant return to prominence – the orchestra’s performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival.



Early life

Hodges was born in CambridgeMassachusetts to John H. Hodges and Katie Swan Hodges, both from Virginia originally. Soon after, the family moved to Hammond Street in Boston, where he grew up with baritone saxophonist Harry Carney, and saxophonists Charlie Holmes and Howard E. Johnson.  He started out on drums and piano (his mother was a skilled piano player).  He was mostly self-taught, but once he became good enough, he would play the piano at dances in private homes for eight dollars an evening.  By the time he was a teenager, he took up the soprano saxophone. It was around this time he developed the nickname “Rabbit”. Some people believe that this arose from Hodges’ ability to win 100 yard dashes and outrun truant officers. Carney called him Rabbit because of his rabbit-like nibbling on lettuce and tomato sandwiches.

When Hodges was 14, he saw Sidney Bechet play in Jimmy Cooper’s Black and White Revue in a Boston burlesque hall. Hodges’ sister got to know Bechet, which gave him the inspiration to introduce himself and play “My Honey’s Lovin Arms” for Bechet.  Bechet was impressed with his skill and encouraged him to keep on playing. After the words of encouragement, he grew a name for himself in the Boston area till he moved to New York in 1924, able to play both the alto and soprano saxophone.

Duke Ellington

He was one of the prominent Ellington Band members who featured in Benny Goodman‘s legendary 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. Goodman described Hodges as “by far the greatest man on alto sax that I ever heard.” Charlie Parker called him “the Lily Pons of his instrument.”

Ellington’s practice of writing tunes specifically for members of his orchestra resulted in the Hodges specialties, “Confab with Rab”, “Jeep’s Blues”, “Sultry Sunset”, and “Hodge Podge”. Other songs recorded by the Ellington Orchestra which prominently feature Hodges’ smooth alto saxophone sound are “Magenta Haze”, “Prelude to a Kiss“, “Haupe” (from Anatomy of a Murder) – note also the “seductive” and hip-swaying “Flirtibird,” featuring the “irresistibly salacious tremor” by Hodges, “The Star-Crossed Lovers” from Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder suite, “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)“, “Blood Count” and “Passion Flower”.

Generations of saxophonists turn to 1963 recording The Great Paris Concert, in which Hodges’ lyrical poise is captured well, particularly on “On the Sunny Side of the Street“.

He had a pure tone and economy of melody on both the blues and ballads that won him admiration from musicians of all eras and styles, from Ben Webster and John Coltrane, who both played with him when he had his own orchestra in the 1950s, to Lawrence Welk, who featured him in an album of standards. His highly individualistic playing style, which featured the use of a wide vibrato and much sliding between slurred notes, was frequently imitated. As evidenced by the Ellington compositions named after him, he earned thenicknames Jeep and Rabbit – according to Johnny Griffin because “he looked like a rabbit, no expression on his face while he’s playing all this beautiful music.”

Hodges’ last performances were at the Imperial Room in Toronto, less than a week before his death from a heart attack, suffered during a visit to the office of a dental surgeon. His last recordings are featured on the New Orleans Suite album, incomplete on his death.

In Ellington’s eulogy of Hodges, he said, “Never the world’s most highly animated showman or greatest stage personality, but a tone so beautiful it sometimes brought tears to the eyes—this was Johnny Hodges. This is Johnny Hodges.”[10]

Zeke Zarchy

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Zeke Zarchy

From Wikipedia

Rubin “Zeke” Zarchy (June 12, 1915 – April 12, 2009) was an American lead trumpet player of the big band and swing eras.

Trumpeters Louis Armstrong and Zeke Zarchy

Trumpeters Louis Armstrong and Zeke Zarchy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trumpeters Zeke Zarchy (right) and Louis Armstrong visit during a rehearsal for a Los Angeles TV show in the late 1960s

He joined the Joe Haymes orchestra in 1934, then played with Benny Goodman in 1936 and Artie Shaw in 1937. From 1937 to 1942, he worked and recorded with the bands of Red NorvoBob CrosbyGlenn MillerMildred BaileyFrank SinatraHelen WardJudy GarlandTommy Dorsey, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Zeke’s trumpet can be heard on recordings as Benny Goodman‘s “Bugle Call Rag“, Glenn Miller‘s “Moonlight Cocktail“, and Bob Crosby‘sSouth Rampart Street Parade.

When World War II broke out, Zarchy was the first musician chosen by Glenn Miller for what became Miller’s Army Air Force Band (officially, the 418th Army Band) where Zarchy played lead trumpet and was Master (First) Sergeant from 1942 to 1945.

After the war, singer Frank Sinatra invited Zarchy to move to Los Angeles, where he became a first-call studio musician. He played on the recordings of hundreds of vocalists, including Louis ArmstrongTony BennettDinah Shore, and The Mills Brothers. His trumpet is heard in the soundtracks of many classic Hollywood movies, including West Side Story (1961), Dr. Zhivago (1965) and the The Glenn Miller Story (1954).

During the 1960s and ’70s, he played in the house bands of several CBS TV variety shows, including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,The Danny Kaye Show and The Jonathan Winters Show, and was a member of the NBC Staff Orchestras in New York and Los Angeles.

In his later years, Zarchy made many music tours of Europe, South America, and Australia, as well as 32 concert trips to Japan. He tutored several young trumpet players who became successful performers and studio musicians. He died on April 12, 2009 at the age of 93.

Early Columbia Record Advertisements in Canada 1915-1922

Posted in Records in Canada with tags , , , , on April 25, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

The following newspaper advertisements for Columbia records were found in copies of the Ottawa Citizen, ranging from 1915-1922.


-columbia records september 1920 ottawa citizen -columbia records feb 10 1921 ottawa citizen -columbia records-1922 -Columbia Records 1915 -columbia records august 1920 ottawa citizen

Metropolitan Stores and Domino Records

Posted in Records in Canada with tags , , , , , , on April 25, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Metropolitan Stores and Domino Records

The Metropolitan Stores, a Canadian chain of department stores launched in 1924, with a head office in London, Ontario, placed this advertisement in the Ottawa Citizen in 1928. The Compo Company, which produced a brown waxed budget label by the name “Domino” supplied the chain with its latest releases. This is the only advertisement I have come across.

Don Stovall

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Don Stovall

From Wikipedia

Don Stovall (December 12, 1913 – November 20, 1970) was an American jazz alto saxophonist.

Stovall began playing violin as a child before settling on alto. He played in St. Louis, Missouri with Dewey Jackson and Fate Marable on riverboats in the 1920s, and then played withEddie Johnson‘s Crackerjacks in 1932-33. In the 1930s he lived in Buffalo, New York, where he led his own ensemble and played with Lil Armstrong. He moved to New York City in 1939, and played there with Sammy PriceEddie Durham, and Cootie Williams. Following this he recorded extensively with Red Allen, remaining with him until 1950. He also recorded with Pete Johnson and Snub Mosley over the course of his career, though he never recorded as a leader.

Stovall retired from music in 1950 and spent the remainder of his life working for a telephone company.

Sidney De Paris

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Sidney De Paris

From Wikipedia
Sidney De Paris, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, N.Y., ca. July 1947 (William P. Gottlieb 01991).jpg

Sidney De Paris (May 30, 1905 CrawfordsvilleIndiana – September 13, 1967 New York City) was an American jazz trumpeter.

He was the son of Sidney G. and Fannie (Hyatt) Paris and the brother of Wilbur de Paris.

He worked with Charlie Johnson’s Paradise Ten (1926–1931), Don Redman (1932–1936 and 1939), Zutty Singleton (1939–1941), Benny Carter (1940–41), and Art Hodes (1941). Further, he recorded on the famed Panassie sessions (1938) and with Jelly Roll Morton (1939) and Sidney Bechet (1940).

Partial discography

Sammy Price

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Sammy Price

From Wikipedia
Sammy Price
Wilbur De Paris, Sammy Price, Sidney De Paris, Eddie Barefield, and Charlie Traeger, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, ca. July 1947 (William P. Gottlieb 02031).jpg
Price (background) with Wilbur De Paris (left),Sidney De ParisEddie Barefield and Charlie Traeger, Jimmy Ryan’s (Club), New York, ca. July 1947. Photograph by William P. Gottlieb.
Background information
Born October 6, 1908
Honey GroveTexasUnited States
Died April 14, 1992 (aged 83)
New York City, United States
Genres Jazzjump blues
Occupations Pianistsingerdancer
Instruments Piano
Associated acts Henry “Red” Allen

Sammy Price (October 6, 1908 – April 14, 1992)  was an American jazzboogie-woogie and jump blues pianist and bandleader. He was born Samuel Blythe Price, in Honey GroveTexasUnited States.  Price was most noteworthy for his work on Decca Records with his own band, known as the Texas Bluesicians, that included fellow musicians Don Stovall and Emmett Berry.  Theartist was equally notable for his decade-long partnership with Henry “Red” Allen.

During his early career, Price was a singer and dancer  in local venues in the Dallas area. Price lived and played jazz in Kansas City,Chicago and Detroit. In 1938 he was hired by Decca Records as a session sideman on piano, assisting singers such as Trixie Smithand Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Later in his life, he partnered with the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, and was the headline entertainment at the Crawdaddy Restaurant, a New Orleans themed restaurant in New York in the mid 1970s. Both Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich played with Price at this venue. in the 1980s he switched to playing in the bar of Boston‘s Copley Plaza.

He died in April 1992, in New York, at the age of 83.

Pathephone Phonographs and Pathe Records in Canada

Posted in Phonographs That Played 78 rpm records, Records in Canada with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

The French Pathephone phonograph and Pathe Records were French imports primarily targeted at the largely French speaking Quebec audience, although their advertisements referred to their head office as being in Toronto, Ontario, which is English speaking. Here are some examples of the advertisements that were inserted into various newspapers circa 1918.


-Pathephone and Pathe Records 1918-2 -Pathephone 1918 -Pathephone and Pathe Records 1918 -pathe 1917 -pathe phonographs and records 1921 -pathe 2 -pathe 3 1918 -Pathephone and Pathe Records 1921

American Race Record Newspaper Advertisements

Posted in 78 RPM Label Discography, Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, The History of Jazz and Blues Recordings with tags , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Here is a cross section of Race Record advertisements that ran between 1922 and 1931 for Paramount, Okeh, Victor, and Vocalion records.


-vocalion race records 1927 -race records vocalion 1927 -victor race records 1930 -paramount 1923-2 -okeh race records 1927-2 -okeh race records 1928 -okeh race records 1923 -okeh race records 1927 -okeh race records 1922 -vocalion race records 1927-2

Billy Butterfield

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Billy Butterfield

From Wikipedia
Billy Butterfield
Billy Butterfield in Second Chorus.jpg
Billy Butterfield in the Artie Shaw band, 1940
Background information
Birth name Billy Butterfield
Born January 14, 1917
Died March 18, 1988 (aged 71)
Genres Swingbig band
Occupations Musician
Instruments TrumpetFlugelhornCornet

Billy Butterfield (January 14, 1917 in Middleton, Ohio – March 18, 1988) was a band leader, jazz trumpeterflugelhornist andcornetist.

He studied cornet with Frank Simons, but later switched to studying medicine. He did not give up on music and quit medicine after finding success as a trumpeter. Early in his career he played in the band of Austin Wylie. He gained attention working with Bob Crosby(1937–1940), and later worked with Artie ShawLes Brown, and Benny Goodman. On October 7, 1940, during his brief stay with Artie Shaw’s orchestra, he performed what has been described as a “legendary trumpet solo” on the hit song “Stardust.” Between 1943 and 1947, taking a break to serve in Uncle Sam’s army, Billy led his own orchestra. On September 20, 1944, Capitol recorded the jazz standard “Moonlight In Vermont“, which featured a vocal by Margaret Whiting and a trumpet solo by Billy. The liner notes from the CDCapitol From The Vaults, Volume 2, “Vine Street Divas” indicate that, although ‘Billy Butterfield & His Orchestra’ were credited with the song, it was really the Les Brown band recording under the name of Billy Butterfield because Brown was under contract to another label at the time. He recorded two albums with Ray Conniff in the 1950s (“Conniff meets Butterfield”) and 1960s (“Just Kiddin’ Around”). Later in the 1960s he recorded two albums with his own orchestra for Columbia Records. Billy was a member of the World’s Greatest Jazz Band led by Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart from the late 1960s until his death in 1988. He also freelanced as a guest star with many bands all over the world, and performed at many jazz festivals, including the Manassas Jazz Festival and Dick Gibson’s Bash in Colorado.

Cutty Cutshall

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Cutty Cutshall

From Wikipedia

Robert Dewees “Cutty” Cutshall (December 29, 1911 – August 16, 1968) was an American jazz trombonist.

Cutshall played in Pittsburgh early in his career, making his first major tour in 1934 with Charley Dornberger. He joined Jan Savitt‘s orchestra in 1938, then played with Benny Goodman in the early 1940s. Later in the decade he worked frequently with Billy Butterfield and did some freelance work in New York City. He started working with Eddie Condon in 1949, an association which would last over a decade. Cutshall was touring with Condon in 1968 at the time of his death, which occurred in a hotel room.

Cutshall’s credits include work with Peanuts HuckoBob CrosbyElla Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong.

George Wettling

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

George Wettling

From Wikipedia


Ernie CaceresBobby HackettFreddie Ohms, and George Wettling, Nick’s, NYC, 1940s.
Photography by William P. Gottlieb.

George Wettling (November 28, 1907 – June 6, 1968) was an American jazz drummer.

He was one of the young white Chicagoans who fell in love with jazz as a result of hearing King Oliver‘s band (with Louis Armstrong on second cornet) at the Lincoln Gardens in Chicago in the early 1920s. Oliver’s drummer, Baby Dodds, made a particular and lasting impression upon Wettling.

Wettling went on to work with the big bands of Artie ShawBunny BeriganRed NorvoPaul Whiteman, and even Harpo Marx: but he was at his best on (and will be best remembered for) his work in small ‘hot’ bands led by Eddie CondonMuggsy Spanier, and himself. In these small bands, Wettling was able to demonstrate the arts of dynamics and responding to a particular soloist that he had learned from Baby Dodds.

Wettling was a member of some of Condon’s classic line-ups, which included, among others, Wild Bill DavisonBilly ButterfieldEdmond HallPeanuts HuckoPee Wee RussellCutty CutshallGene SchroederRalph Sutton, and Walter Page, and in 1957 toured Britain with a Condon band including Davison, Cutshall, and Schroeder.

Towards the end of his life, Wettling (like his friend the clarinetist Pee Wee Russell), took up painting, and was much influenced by the American cubist Stuart Davis. He has been quoted as remarking that “jazz drumming and abstract painting seemed different from him only from the point of view of craftsmanship: in both fields he felt rhythm to be decisive”.

Jack Lesberg

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Jack Lesberg

From Wikipedia
Jack Lesberg
Jack Lesberg, Max Kaminsky, Peanuts Hucko (Gottlieb 05581).jpg
Jack Lesberg, Max Kaminsky, and Peanuts Hucko, Eddie Condon’s, New York, N.Y., ca. May 1947. Image: Gottlieb
Background information
Birth name Jack Lesberg
Born February 14, 1920
Died September 17, 2005 (aged 85)
Genres SwingBig band
Occupations Musician
Instruments Double bass

Jack Lesberg (February 14, 1920 – September 17, 2005) was a jazz double-bassist.

He performed with many famous jazz musicians, including Louis ArmstrongSarah Vaughan, and Benny Goodman.

Lesberg had the misfortune of playing in the Cocoanut Grove on the night in 1942 when 492 people lost their lives in a fire. His escape was memorialized by fellow bassist Charles Mingus in an unpublished section of Mingus’s autobiography “Beneath the Underdog”; this passage was read by rapper Chuck D. on the Mingus tribute album “Weird Nightmare”. According to Mingus’s telling, Lesberg used his double bass to “make a door” inside the club which aided in his escape.

Lesberg continued to tour in the 1980s and was interviewed for KCEA radio in 1984 following a performance in Menlo Park, CA. During the taped interview Jack spoke of the many bands and performers he worked with and expressed his feelings that he felt blessed to be a musician.

Peanuts Hucko

Posted in Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Peanuts Hucko

From Wikipedia
Peanuts Hucko
Peanuts Hucko, Famous Door, New York, between 1946 and 1948 (William P. Gottlieb 04341).jpg
Peanuts Hucko, Famous Door, New York
Background information
Birth name Michael Andrew Hucko
Also known as “Peanuts”
Born April 7, 1918
Origin United States Syracuse, New YorkUSA
Died June 19, 2003 (aged 85)
Genres Dixieland
Occupations Bandleader
Instruments Clarinet
Years active 1940s – 1990s
Associated acts The Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band
Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
Eddie Condon and His All-Stars
Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band
Louis Armstrong and His All-Stars
Ray McKinley Orchestra
Peanuts Hucko and His All Stars
Peanuts Hucko and His Pied Piper Quintet

Michael Andrew “Peanuts” Hucko (April 7, 1918 – June 19, 2003) was an American big band musician. His primary instrument was the clarinet.

Early life and education

He was born in Syracuse, New York, and moved to New York City in 1939; he played tenor saxophone with Will Bradley, Tommy Reynolds  and Joe Marsala until 1940. After a brief time with Charlie Spivak, he joined the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band in which he served in Europe during World War II. During this time, Peanuts (the nickname comes from a childhood love of them) began to concentrate on the clarinet “because we did a lot of marching in sand, which was awkward with the tenor.” With Miller’s Uptown Hall Gang, he was featured in a hard-driving version of Stealin’ Apples.

Post-war period

During the post-war period, Peanuts played in the bands of Benny GoodmanRay McKinleyEddie Condon  and Jack Teagarden. From 1950 to 1955, he was busy in New York as a studio musician for CBS and ABC. This was followed by more work with Goodman and Teagarden, after which he joined the Louis Armstrong All-Stars from 1958 to 1960. When he visited TokyoJapan, as the lead alto saxophone player of Benny Goodman’s Orchestra in January, 1951, he listened to Japanese famous jazz clarinet player Shoji Suzukiand his Rhythm Aces playing. Teaming with Suzuki and his band, they recorded some tunes after a few days, one of them was “Suzukake No Michi”, which broke the record of jazz record sales in Japan. He also led his own group at Eddie Condon‘s Club from 1964 to 1966.

Jack LesbergMax Kaminsky and Peanuts Hucko. Photo: Gottlieb

From 1966, he was featured regularly at Dick Gibson‘s Colorado jazz parties where he appeared with the Ten Greats of Jazz, later the World’s Greatest Jazz Band. In the 1970s he led the Glenn Miller Orchestra and toured with them across the US and abroad.

Peanuts is perhaps best known to the public for his appearances with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra on national TV during the early 1970s. These TV shows are being re-run on PBS to this day.

In 1964, he opened his own nightclub in DenverPeanuts Hucko’s Navarre, featuring his singer wife Louise Tobin (formerly Mrs. Harry James) and Ralph Sutton.

The 1980s brought renewed success with a busy concert and touring schedule as a soloist and with his award-winning Pied Piper quintet. He and Tobin later settled into semi-retirement in Denton, Texas. His last recording was 1992’s Swing That Music (Star Line)featuring Tobin, trumpeter Randy Sandke, and pianist Johnny Varro.

He died 2003 in Fort Worth, Texas at the age of 85, after a lengthy illness.  He is buried at Roselawn Memorial Park, Denton, Texas.[4]

Max Kaminsky

Posted in Recording Artist's of the 1920's and 1930's, Recording Artists of the 1930's and 1940's with tags , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by the78rpmrecordspins

Max Kaminsky

From Wikipedia
Jack Lesberg
Jack Lesberg, Max Kaminsky, Peanuts Hucko (Gottlieb 05581).jpg
Jack LesbergMax Kaminsky, and Peanuts Hucko at Eddie Condon’s, New York, N.Y., ca. May 1947. Image: Gottlieb
Background information
Born September 7, 1908
Origin Brockton, Massachusetts
Died September 6, 1994 (aged 85)
Genres SwingBig band
Occupations Musician
Instruments trumpet

Max Kaminsky (September 7, 1908 – September 6, 1994) was a jazz trumpeter and bandleader of his own orchestra (The Max Kaminsky Orchestra).


Kaminsky was born in Brockton, Massachusetts. He started his career in Boston in 1924 and by 1928 worked in Chicago with George Wettling and Frank Teschemacher at the Cinderella Ballroom and in New York for a brief period in 1929 with Red Nichols. He was primarily known for Dixieland.  At one time he played for the Original Dixieland Jass Band.

For the next five years he worked in commercially oriented dance bands, at the same time recording with Eddie Condon and Benny Carter‘s Chocolate Dandies (1933) and with Mezz Mezzrow (1933–34). He played with Tommy Dorsey (1936, 1938)and Artie Shaw(briefly in 1938), performed and recorded with Bud Freeman (1939–40) and worked again with Shaw (1941–43), who led a navy band with which Kaminsky toured the South Pacific.

From 1942 he took part in important concerts in New York that were organized by Condon at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall, and from the following year he played Dixieland with various groups. He also worked in the 1940s with Sidney BechetGeorge BrunisArt Hodes,Joe MarsalaWillie “The Lion” Smith, and Jack Teagarden.

He went on to work in television, and led Jackie Gleason‘s personal band for several seasons, toured Europe with Teagarden’s and Earl Hines‘ All Stars (1957), and performed at the Metropole and Ryan’s in New York (at intervals from the late 1960s to 1983, the Newport Jazz Festival and the New York World’s Fair (1964–5). In 1963 he published My Life in Jazz with V. E. Hughes. In 1975–76 he made recordings as a leader that well illustrate his style, which is full-toned, economical and swinging in the manner of King OliverFreddy Keppard and Louis Armstrong.

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