Let's straighten this out. (just like a pretzel!)

by James E. Parten

I think we can discount the idea of the Rollickers being made up of Bert Dixon, Arthur Fields and Jack Kaufman. This combination of names is a result of mis-reading of a discography's collective listing of vocalists.
Dixon, Fields and Kaufamn each had done vocal refrains with many bands--especially the latter two. A listing that says "Bert Dixon-Arthur Fields-Jack Kaufman-The Rollickers=v" can confuse even the best of us.

Dixon is not known to have done any ensemble work on records. Fields and Kaufman had done some duet work around 1919, mainly for Columbia and Edison. (They had even been two of the "Three Kaulfields"--the third being Irving Kaufman.)

From all that we've gleaned, we see that the Rollickers got a good deal of radio work into 1929 and 1930--which often took them away from current popular songs towards "standard" repertoire (as it was called at the time), bordering on the art song.

What's more, Columbia was turning to another quartet with a similar sounding name for their concerted vocal refrains: the Rondoliers. And thereby hangs another of those mysteries that leave serious record collectors with fingernail marks on their pates.
The liners for "The big Broadcast, Volume 5" give personnel for the Rondoliers as Royal Halle, Earl Palmer, Artells Dickinson, and Kenneth Schon--presumably the two tenors, baritone and bass, respectively.
Could "Royal Halle" also be the Roy Halle who worked for Terrytoons cartoons in the 1940's and 1950's? Halee was the singing voice of "Mighty Mouse" in many cartoon shorts.

Posted on Jul 1, 2017, 8:57 AM

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