Hayton, Tram, Robison - but mostly Hayton

by Coscannon

[QUOTE] Sep 20, 1928. Frank Trumbauer and his orchestra.
According to Evans and Kiner, the Trumbauer ledgers show a payment of $50 to Hayton. Using the only other copy of Tram's diary with payments (the Jubilee page), I believe that instruments were not listed (makes no sense that instruments be listed) and that only musicians participating in the recording session are listed. This is confirmed by the following quote from the Foreword to Evans and Kiner: "The major find in the 1928 diary was that Frank noted the personnel on each of his OKeh recording dates and how much he paid each musician." [/QUOTE]

The tote boards from Tram were only one aspect of his notes to himself. These pages sometimes served as grab bags of accounting details as well as unrelated reflections.

Since these notes were intended only as personal reminders, I agree there was no need or no consistent need for Tram to list instruments. But Evans and Kiner were a bit misleading in that quote from the Foreword. Tram didn't "note the personnel on each of his OKeh recording dates and how much he paid each musician." For some sessions, he provided no data at all on musicians or payments. For others, such as April 3 and April 10, he named and supplied payment data for only three musicians when several more were part of the mix. As E & K themselves write for April 3, and essentially similarly for April 10: "Payments for the full band aren't shown". This statement conflicts with the quote from the Foreword and tends to limit our ability to draw some conclusions with a high degree of certainty.

As I've stated before, some figures represent a cumulative total for previous sessions without reference to the session on the date shown. Roy Bargy didn't play on Oct. 5 but his name is there with a $30 payment crossed out. Bargy was paid for having played on the Sept. 20 session, not for participating on Oct. 5.

You ask of Nick (appropriately), rather than me:
[QUOTE] As to Hayton being the second pianist for Sep 21: just for a tiny section in Louisiana? And paid $50? I only hear one pianist in the three numbers waxed on Sep 21, except for the tiny section in Louisiana. [/QUOTE]

I realize you are presenting a case for Hayton to have been the drummer on Sept. 21 and hence on all three recording dates. I butt in merely to point out that the Sept. 21 Bix and his Gang session wouldn't figure into Tram's accounting. We don't know what Hayton would have been paid by Bix for Sept. 21.

Your point about Robison is well-taken and worth introducing -- though I'm not sure it's a complete parallel to Hayton as arranger. After all, we don't know what terms Robison set for his arrangements. He might have been a Payment On Delivery man. Delivery and payment could have been settled and resolved back in 1927 and not figure into Frank's personal calculations in January 1928. Still, it's an interesting, even intriguing comparison. If we had Tram's diary and payment details for 1929, we might have an even closer one, with that cluster of arrangements from Matty Malneck who also played on those recording dates.

Posted on Sep 1, 2015, 10:26 PM

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