A Photo of Red Nichols with Henry Halstead's Band

by Albert Haim

Thanks to Linda for sending this wonderful photo of the Henry Halstead band.

[linked image]

Linda identifies the following guys, Red Nichols is 3rd from left. Ted Schilling is 4th from left and Phil Harris is standing 3rd from right just behind the guy in the hat.

I looked up the Henry Halstead discography in Rust's ADBD. Red recorded with Halstead on May 10 and 12, 1926 acccording to Rust.  Red made recordings in with the Broadway Bell-Hops on May 6 and June 17, 1926. All this from Rust. Based on the discographical information, one would guess the photo is from around May 1926. But there is a huge problem. Could Red be in New York on May 6 and in Los Angeles a few days later, on May 10? How long was a train trip from NY to LA in the 1920s?

There is a possible solution to this puzzle. According to

http://nfo.net/usa/h1.html  (Linda's photo is also given in the nfo.net site, copy and paste nfo.net/images/HalsteadOrch4sm.jpg)

"Hollywood actor Lew Ayres (B. Dec. 28, 1908, Minneapolis, MN, USA, d. Dec. 30, 1996, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Age: 88) was also discovered while playing in Halstead's 1927 band. Ayres later wrote: "I was a member of Henry Halstead's orchestra in 1927 at the Mission Beach Ballroom, San Diego, Calif....summer. My instruments were tenor banjo, long-neck banjo and guitar. After a hiatus, I rejoined Mr. Halstead with a new group, including Phil Harris, on New Years Eve the same year for the opening night of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel... a memorable occasion." Red Nichols played trumpet in that band."

Could the photo have been taken in Dec 1927? According to Lord, Red recorded in New York on Nov 11, 1927 and on Jan 7, 1928. That would give Red enough time to go form New York to LA and back.

Steve, can you help?

Finally a question for the horn experts. What model of horn is Red Nichols holding? Is the photo sufficiently clear that the experts can tell?


This message has been edited by ahaim on Mar 3, 2010 5:11 PM

Posted on Mar 3, 2010, 4:31 PM

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