A vehicle for Bixophiles and other interested individuals to ask questions, make comments and exchange information about Bix Beiderbecke and related subjects.
Any views expressed in the Bixography Forum represent solely the opinions of those expressing them and are not necessarily endorsed or opposed by Albert Haim unless he has signed the message.
- The musicians in the band are identified. I noted a discrepancy in the spelling of Harold Moulding. Rust gives Al Mauling. Another: the spelling of McNiel in Rust is McNeill. I wonder what are the correct spellings.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Aug 28, 2013 3:50 PM
In the 1930s, Gibson made a number of banjos for sale by other companies, including mail-order houses such as Montgomery Ward. These banjos were labeled with a variety of brand names and normally bore no Gibson markings even though they were made at the Kalamazoo factory and in many cases were very similar to Gibson catalog models. Some banjos made by Gibson for Montgomery Ward bore the brand name "Recording King"; this example is an original five-string Recording King model 1584. Rather than the Recording King logo, however, the peghead features the name "Charles McNeil", a popular player of the time who originally ordered this banjo.
In 2004, Charles McNeil was inducted in the National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame for "Instruction and Education."
Among these old newspaper accounts, it was interesting to see the NBC radio broadcast schedule article from 1928, describing an upcoming radio presentation by Frank Black's Orch of an orchestrated version of Beiderbecke's "In A Mist."
Are there many other examples known of "In A Mist" being arranged for orchestral presentation, back during the Jazz Age?
The Titan of the Tuba and Me (Me, being Brian Nalepka).
Yesterday evening, the Banjo Rascals - Gerri Rhee, Jim Rheel and Brian Nalepka - with Randy Reinhardt added, came to the Stony Brook Village and had a concert on the green. The weather was perfect and the music terrific. During the intermission I introduced myself to Brian. We had a friendly conversation that included Bix, Joe Tarto and Vince Giordano. Brian leads the Nighthawks when Vince has other commitments.
Brian has a very interesting and informative article about Joe Tarto in the Fall 2009 issue of the Frisco Cricket, the official publication of the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation. Bix is mentioned in the article. Here is the link
I thank David for sending me scans of the letters and for his permission to upoad them to the Bixography website.
I am particularly fascinated by the behind the scenes information regarding Bill's efforts to produce an album of his Goldkette arrangements. Perhaps, the point I found most interesting is Bill's statement: "I would like to do such a documentary of the Goldkette band material from which most of the Bix/Tram recordings were made in small band form - in most cases without Steve Brown, Quicksell, Willcox, "Doc Ryker, Farrar and Lodwig all of whom were important members of the band."
Fortunately. Bill's efforts came to fruition with the publication of the magnificent album "Bill Challis' The Goldkette Project." However, the album was not recorded until 10 years after Bill's letters to David. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks with several guest musicians recorded the album in 1986 for Circle CLP-118. It is now available on CD from amazon.com among others. I have both the LP and the CD.
1. Ostrich Walk
2. The Blue Room
3. Clarinet Marmalade
4. Medley: A Lane in Spain/Slow River/Hoosier Sweetheart
5. Proud of a Baby Like You
6. I'm Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now
7. Singin' the Blues (Till My Daddy Comes Home)
8. My Pretty Girl
9. Riverboat Shuffle
10. Sometimes I'm Happy
11. I've Found a New Baby
12. Medley: I'd Rather Be the Girl in Your Arms (Than the Girl in Your ...)
Since last we looked in on Bill Challis in his aerie at Harveys Lake, Pa., the Goldkette Project has come to fruition in Greater Challisland.
As a consequence, the heart of this remote musical empire has been removed to a storefront on E. Market Street in nearby Wilkes-Barre, next door to the yarn shop presided over by Bill's sister-in-law. The other half of the double storefront shelters the world headquarters of the Graystone Society, which so far isn't much to look at because it is primarily a workplace.
The Graystone may be the world's smallest record society, having produced but a single recording in its brief history. The album is appropriately titled ''Bill Challis' the Goldkette Project." Since October, Bill and his brother Evan have shipped well over 500 copies to England, Sweden, Italy, "an awful lot to California" and practically everyplace else on earth where more than two jazz fans gather - but "not so much in Pennsylvania." I guess it figures.
The Challises borrowed the name Graystone from the famous Detroit ballroom that was home base for the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, an outfit much admired by musicians and aficionados for its sophistication, its collective derring-do and the class of its talent.
When the Goldkette band expired of fiscal exhaustion in 1927, the nucleus of extraordinary musicians thus liberated clambered aboard the Paul Whiteman organization. They included Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer and an innovative young arranger from upstate Pennsylvania named Bill Challis. Buttressed by Whiteman's resources and his great fund of popular acceptance, they became legendary figures in the music of America.
Though Goldkette, a French-born, Russian-trained concert pianist and entrepreneur whose greatest gift was ferreting out superior sidemen for his several Graystone dance bands (some of his other finds were the Dorsey brothers, Pee Wee Russell, Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti), had had a recording contract with Victor, some of his best arrangements never made it to wax.
"Bands like Whiteman and Roger Wolfe Kahn could pick out anything they wanted to record," Challis explained the other day, "but we, being from Detroit, had to take what we could get. If we wanted to record something like 'Blue Room,' Kahn already had done it."
Now a well-preserved 84, Bill Challis was rediscovered about a decade and a half ago in the Whiteman revival sparked by Richard Sudhalter and other musical archivists, and since then he had quietly plotted to revive the Goldkette genre.
There were obstacles. The charts he wrote for Goldkette had utterly vanished in the 1927 breakup. Some of them Challis had reworked from memory for Whiteman, adding embellishments to fit the larger orchestra. When he exhumed the latter product in recent years from the Whiteman archive at Williams College, he had to reverse the process and denude them to the point where they were Goldkette charts once more.
In the meantime, Challis made two connections that were to be vital to the Goldkette Project. He met Vince Giordano, a young New York bandleader-arranger who has embraced the music of the '20s and '30s with much dedication. And then there was George H. Buck Jr., an independent record producer from the South. Buck already had produced two LPs of Challis arrangements that in 1936 had been recorded for commercial radio transcription discs.
Buck agreed to issue an album of the reconstituted Goldkette charts on his Circle label. Giordano, using his Nighthawks combo as a nucleus, was more than willing to set up the session and recruit the best available musicians to round out the 14-player configuration of the Goldkette band (three reeds, three trumpets, two trombones and four rhythm, plus the violin-guitar duo Goldkette used when recording). The Jean Goldkette Orchestra came alive again on Dec. 5 and 6, 1986, in New York City, and one of its original members, trombonist Newell "Spiegle" Willcox, was seated in the brass section.
I have heard the result, and it is fascinating. Little wonder that Giordano brought in the likes of Bob Wilber, Dan Barrett and the late Dick Wellstood, for the charts are not simple, and my admiration for the original players is increased a dozenfold.
I found the Challis creations uniformly charming, nonetheless, and after several playings they have become virtual house pets: so musicianly, so caringly performed, so quintessentially 1920s. Dated, yes; look, these fragile abstractions are nearly 65 years old, and the lucubrations of jazz today are a far cry therefrom. My only real cavil is the trumpeter assigned to the Bix role, who, while technically impeccable, is as bland as head lettuce.
Whither now, the Graystone Society? There may be a Whiteman Project, or a Casa Loma Project (Challis, of course, wrote for them, too). "It depends largely on our experience with The Goldkette Project," says Evan Challis. ''At this point we're very upbeat about the whole thing."
Lady Be Good! - California Ramblers (with Adrian Rollini & Jimmy Dorsey)
I've found this rendition of "Lady Be Good!" written on 1924 by George Gershwin & made by the California Ramblers on January 28 from 1925 according to Rust's American Dance Band Discography.
On this recording, the 3rd chorus is a saxophone section soli that quotes "Dippermouth Blues (aka Sugar Foot Stomp)" written on 1923 by King Oliver & Louis Armstrong from 1:41 minutes to 2:21 minutes. And i had to say it, but the 4th & last chorus includes Adrian Rollini playing the 16 bar xylophone solo.
The personnel is: Frank Cush, Bill "Jazz" Moore (tp), Lloyd "Ole" Olsen (tb), Jimmy Dorsey, Arnold Brilhart (cl,as), Freddy Cusick (cl,ts), Adrian Rollini (bsx,xyl), Irving Brodsky (p,arr), Tommy Fellini (bjo) & Stan King (d).
This recording was issued on American Columbia 293-D with the flag label design.
With roots in jazz that went back through her husband Jimmy McPartland, who got his first fame replacing Bix with the Wolverines, Marian's long and active life in music made her one of the giants of jazz. She was one of a kind and will be missed.
Happy Birthday to trombonist Jack Teagarden! When Jack went to NYC in the 1920s, he became the talked about musician in town. A big break for Jack was getting the call to fill a vacancy in the Roger Wolfe Kahn Orchestra for a Victor record date. To the guys in the band, Jack was an unknown quantity. By the end of the session Tea had left a lasting impression on Kahn's band members.
Jack takes a whole chorus on "She's a Great, Great, Girl," a 1928 pop tune. Being allotted a 32-bar solo speaks volumes to the impression he made that day - a time when even seasoned jazz players were lucky to get eight or 16 bars. He's totally in command of his instrument, and his solo seems more influenced by Bix than other trombonists of that time. It's an impressive entry to a career that spanned more than three decades.
The career of Roger Wolfe Kahn has a certain similarity to Bix's: Both were born into well-to-do families (Bix's moderately so; Roger's fabulously so), and each pursued a life in the world of professional popular music, when that was considered a declassé choice for a young man of means. We know that Bix's genius led him inexorably in that direction. What about Kahn?
His Wikipedia article states: "Kahn is said to have learned to play 18 musical instruments before starting to lead his own orchestra in 1923, aged only 16. In 1925, Kahn appeared in a short film made in Lee De Forest's Phonofilm sound-on-film process. Kahn hired famous jazz musicians of the day to play in his band, especially during recording sessions, for example Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Artie Shaw, Jack Teagarden, Red Nichols, and Gene Krupa. ... Kahn always had fun leading and conducting his orchestra. Reportedly, when the band was playing especially well he used to throw himself onto the floor and wave his legs in the air. However, in the mid-1930s, he lost interest in his orchestra and disbanded it."
... which of course makes him sound like a spoiled rich dilettante. He has the air of one in many of his photos. But his many Victor / Brunswick / Columbia records reveal a band that held to the highest professional standards, and could rise to a level of artistry that rivalled the best. The record of "She's a Great Great Girl" is wonderful, not only because of the solos by Tea and Venuti, but also the terrific ensemble spirit of the whole band. This seems like a lot more than the result of (even a talented) rich kid who threw money at good musicians, who dutifully obliged him. This was a band that played with commitment and verve, and Kahn kept it going for thirteen years (1923-36) before he switched to a career in aviation (similar to a certain C-melody sax player we know about) in which he also excelled.
What kind of a bandleader was Roger Wolfe Kahn? How "down" was he with his crew? Besides paying them handsomely, how did he earn their respect? Was it grudging or genuine? The records seem to indicate the latter.
P.S. By way of contrast, I have a twelve-inch Brunswick "Personal" record by rich kid Jack Warner, Jr. and 'his' orchestra from 1931. They give a sorry performance of "I Surrender Dear." It was recorded on Daddy Jack Sr.'s WB sound stage, and even with assistance from "Uncle Leo" (Forbstein), they don't cut the mustard.
It would be interesting to hear Jack Warner, Jr.'s record even if it's as bad as you say it is! The post reminded me of another Warner whiz kid, Jack Jr.'s cousin (Harry Warner's son) Lewis Warner, who at 23 in 1931 of an impacted wisdom tooth that got infected. Lewis had been in charge of Warners diversification into music publishing, book publishing, radio and records. While the music publishing continued and was a success, the brothers bailed out of the ancillary businesses after Lewiss death. Given that, thanks to Lewis's diversification strategy, Warner Bros. OWNED Brunswick Records in 1931, it's not surprising Jack, Jr.'s flyer into bandleading was for that label, even if it was only a commercially unreleased "personal" record.
Thanks, Brad, for sending the mp3 file of the recording by Jack Warner, Jr. and the Beverly Ramblers. Recorded Feb 28, 1931. "I Surrender Dear" "I Bring a Love Song" "Personal" 1002, made by Brunswick.
Thanks, Brad, for the chance to hear this curious record. It's really not that bad; it's true that there isn't a hint of jazz feeling or flavor at all, and the bass drum is WAY over-recorded, but these are perfectly acceptable early-1930's dance performances that would have worked in a swanky hotel ballroom with men and women politely dancing with each other in evening dress. Indeed, the arrangement of "I Surrender, Dear" here is a good deal more tasteful than the bizarre one Bing Crosby recorded with Gus Arnheim's band for Victor, with its rapid-fire tempo changes reminiscent of Whiteman at his worst, though Warner's singer, Jack Phelps, is a typically nerdy tenor of the period miles away from Bing's taste, musicality, talent and feel for jazz.
About Jack Warner, Jr. / R. W. Kahn's "Rhythm of the Day"
Jack Warner, Jr. was born March 16, 1916, making him a couple weeks short of his fifteenth birthday at the time of the recording. It's a safe bet that everyone in the band is about his age, too. Therefore, this record is a laudable effort by determined youngsters, and Jack Jr. himself is an ambitious, talented lad, to be commended for putting it together. Of course, it helped a little that the sound stages, Brunswick recording gear, Music Department personnel and song copyrights of Warner Bros. / First National were at young Jack's disposal. But at the beginning of each side, he speaks (or squeaks!) with the pride of one who knows he has done something grand.
So on "I Surrender, Dear" and "I Bring a Love Song" we forgive the Ramblers' lumpy, leaden, out-of-tune-high-school-marching-band quality, and the out-of-control tempo, which in their youthful enthusiasm, increases by about 20 per cent over the course of each side - - defects which would have been unthinkable in a professional unit of mature, seasoned musicians. Given enough time and practice, one hopes, Master Warner and his Beverly Hills Ramblers would have improved at their craft.
Let me contrast this with the record about to be posted below: "Rhythm of the Day" by Roger Wolfe Kahn and his Orchestra, recorded December 15, 1925, freshly transferred from a vinyl test in my collection, otherwise unissued on 78. This was about ten months into the band's existence; Kahn would have been 17 when they started - not much older than Jack Warner, Jr. - making Roger surely the youngest leader ever of a major New York dance orchestra.
The music sparkles brightly. A challenging Don Lindley composition, brilliantly arranged, the band handles it without a bead of perspiration. Every hair in place, tempo rock-solid, pitch-perfect, gorgeous, copasetic, danceable ensemble playing, and probing, masterful hot solos by Arthur Schutt and Joe Venuti. This Kahn band could go toe-to-toe with any orchestra in the country. A delightful record. I can't imagine why Victor never issued it.
What I want to know: How DID Roger Wolfe Kahn, this BABY, the spoiled scion of unbridled wealth, with a yen to make music, manage to lead this absolutely top-shelf organization and keep it going at that level for several years? You can't just BUY the toughest take-no-prisoners musicians and automatically get great results from them. You must EARN their respect or they won't give their best, which going by the records, they always did. Was Roger only the preening, foppish Prince Regent, with the actual organizing power in other, more mature, capable hands; or did he truly command the attention and the high regard of his men with precocious but real leadership and musicianly know-how?
Roger had several things going for him by the time he recorded "Rhythm of the Day.".
- First, he was a talented musician.
- He had purchased Arthur Lange's band in 1923. So he had a ready-made band to begin with. Some of the musicans in Lange's band were still with Roger at the end of 1925 when "Rhythm of the Day" was recorded: Tommy Gott, Owen Bartlett, Arthur Campbell.
- According to the redhotjazz archive, "After rehearsing his twelve piece band for a year in the music studio in the Kahn family mansion on 5th Avenue in New York the band made its debut at the Bohemian Cabaret in New York City in 1924."
- By the time "Rhythm of the Day" was recorded, Roger had added the following cream of the cream 1920s musicians: Miff Mole, Arnold Brilhart, Joe Venuti, Arthur Schutt and Vic Berton (all of these with connections to Bix!).
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to take away from Kahn his musical talent and dedication. But the comparison of a well-rehearsed, professional band (Roger Wolfe Kahn's) with a bunch of presumably young kids (Jack Warner's gang) may be a bit unfair.
The vital statistics for the recordidng from EDVR:
Matrix BVE-34147. Rhythm of the day / Roger Wolfe Kahn Orchestra
- Brad, the vinyl test you have must be from take 3.
-Note that the Victor ledgers specify "From Earl Carroll's 'Vanities'." Here is the version played by Ross Gorman with Red and Miff (see my article in the latest issue of the IAJRC Journal), the band in the Broadway production. Get a load of Miff's and Red's solos!
Actually, Albert, I think the Warner / Kahn comparison is apt: Here are two youths in their middle teens, each from a powerful and wealthy family, each in love with music and the idea of leading a band. Each makes use of the unlimited resources at his (or his father's) command to realize this dream.
Jack Warner Jr. assembles an orchestra of his peers for a short-lived journeyman effort. He goes on to a career at his Dad's movie studio.
Roger Wolfe Kahn BUYS an already accomplished professional dance band, rehearses them for a year, upgrading the personnel as he goes, gets plum gigs in New York and a Victor record deal, and maintains the band for a period of years before switching to a career in aviation.
You see, I've made up my mind: Warner at 15 was a dilettante, destined for the family business. His music making was a lark, documented on this one, possibly unique record (I got it from the Warner family). Kahn at 15 was a serious musician, hell-bent on having the best band in New York. His leadership skill speaks for itself on his band's many records. His ear for jazz talent was remarkable, as he instinctively wooed and won Mole, Venuti, Lang, Schutt, Teagarden, (later) Artie Shaw et cetera and so on. He must have had Bix in the cross-hairs too, but couldn't bag him.
It's harder in certain ways for a rich scion to make his way in the professional world than it is for a poor kid. I define a "rich" person as one with options. Bix had options. From his family perch in Davenport, he could have taken any path the world had to offer, starting with his dad's lumber business. Cole Porter had SERIOUS options. He could have been an international playboy his whole life, composing for fun. Louis Armstrong had NO options. Born into the extremest poverty, he had only his horn and his talent and one way to go, or die. It takes nothing from Louis and the other rags-to-riches guys to assert that Bix and Cole Porter and Roger Wolfe Kahn are all the more remarkable for the paths they chose and stayed with.
P. S. Yes, the Victor vinyl test of "Rhythm of the Day" is take -3. It's oversized (10-1/2 inch), has two test grooves at the rim (no signal in them, unfortunately), and no label. It's just an unprepossessing naked black slab of articulated vinylite. ALL the engineer info is etched into the center: "BVE-34147 / Dec. 15 - 1925 / 3 [i.e., take 3] / 42 / 580A51 / Rhythm of the Day, / Roger Kahn's Orch. / +4.33 L2." Does anyone know what the odd numbers signify?
I guess the two rich kids had completely different interests,
Roger was into music from his childhood. Jack graduated from USC (my alma mater) and went on to a career in the film industry. His adventure making a recording was probably just a teenager's stunt, not a manifestation of his great interest in pursuing a career in music. As a stunt, it could have been worse.
Thanks to Nick's generosity, here is Rhythm Of The Day by Bert Firman's Dance Orchestra, Zonophone 2777, recorded at Hayes, Middlesex on June 24th, 1926 and featuring Max Goldberg on trumpet, Arthur Lally on baritone sax and Ted Heath on trombone. Indeed, modernistic. [Note 1]
Imagination. Miff Mole and His Little Molers. 1927. The New Twister. Miff Mole and His Little Molers. 1927. Peg Leg Stomp. Hal Kemp and His Orchestra. 1926. Blue Rhythm. Hal Kemp and His Orchestra. 1926. Special Feature. My Favorite record of the week. I Lost My Heart in Dixieland. Original Dixieland Jazz Band. 1920. Soliloquy. Rube Bloom. Paino solo. 1926. In A Mist. Bix Beiderbecke. Piano solo. 1927. Dixie. Fred Elizalde and His Anglo-American Band. 1928. Sugar Step. Fred Elizalde and His Anglo-American Band. 1928. Play Red. The Little Ramblers. 1927. Swamp Blues. The Little Ramblers. 1927.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Aug 29, 2013 6:38 AM
Again, thanks to Nick's legendary generosity. Rhythm of the Day played by the Georgia Melodians, recorded on April 9th, 1926 (their very last recording session) and released on Edison 51730. I believe the prominent trumpet player is Mickey Bloom. The trombonist is probably Herb Winfield - nice solo.
Victor Records chose not to issue any of the 4 takes that Roger Wolfe Kahn made of trumpeter Donald Lindleys modernistic Rhythm Of The Day. Why is a mystery, at least judging by take 3 presented here. Kahns star studded personnel turn in in a fine interpretation of this interesting piece highlighted by Joe Venutis characteristic solo.
I was with you through "Every hair in place, tempo rock-solid, pitch-perfect, gorgeous, copasetic, danceable ensemble playing..." but I would have to draw the line when it comes to "hot." This song just does NOT swing, although the band seems tempted in the passage following 1:25. This particular arrangement is just too mannered to slip into a groove for more than a second or so at a time. The band is too precise, too metronomic, to make anyone want to stomp or sway along. Schutt and Venuti are professional about it all, but not "hot" in their usual way.
This is a very interesting record. Kahn could swing, but he didn't choose to on this particular day.
Actually, Glenda, I don't think the idea was to be Fletcher Henderson / King Oliver "hot" on this one - it's a modernistic piece, very advanced harmonically for 1925 with whole tones, etc. etc. - showing real up-to-date harmony and a high degree of musicianship. A good description of the Kahn band as a whole, though - and his hottest record is probably "She's a Great, Great Girl", showcasing the TRULY hot trombone of Jack Teagarden - making that side immortal.
The solos on the Kahn are quite good, though, and the ones on the Gorman possibly even better and more imaginative (Miff and Nichols - or is it Lindley? - are great on the Gorman!)
John, you're right. I agreed with Brad Kay's string of adjectives that were saying exactly what you're saying. It was a complex arrangement, well performed, which was "peppy," but not jazzy. Compared to "She's A Great, Great Girl," which is both hot and a fine arrangement that sets off the hot soloing beautifully, it's not very moving to me. Nothing wrong with peppy, but I guess I just wouldn't want to hear those "just peppy" recordings more than once or twice. Emotionally, I just don't feel that magic. "She's A Great, Great Girl" I could listen to over and over. "Some like it hot," I guess.
Brad, thanks so much for posting these. The Warner record (33 1/3, I presume?) bears a great deal in common with a private Columbia issue I have from 1931 by the Hotchkiss School Dance Orchestra (all teenage prepsters attending the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut) - they play "San" (hilariously inept! - but with an excellent piano and banjo; the drummer keeping time via a HEAVY bass drum exactly a la this Warner recording), and "Love For Sale" (which was amazingly reissued about 10 years ago on a Columbia Legacy CD "Can't Help Loving That Man").
Have to admit that the Warner family name definitely helped in getting this Jack Warner Jr. item recorded (very good sound quality, too).
The Kahn item is outstanding and wonderful. Yes - WHY wasn't it issued? Too advanced for Eddie King, I suppose! There's another item by Kahn unissued (a Schutt original called - I think - "Bluin' On the Black Keys", which was probably a terrific Schutt showcase. Where is it??) - but this item sparkles with originality. It's really a treat!
The "Beverly Hills Ramblers with Jack Warner Jr." record is not a 33, but a regular double-sided heavy 12-inch 78, with a black & gold label label reading "Personal Record" instead of "Brunswick," but otherwise the familiar design. It has catalogue numbers "L-1001" and "L-1002," which suggests it is the one and only such Brunswick "Personal" ever produced. This is possibly the only copy.
About ten years ago, I did professional audio transfers for a Warner family member, who over a period of months brought over all kinds of exotic studio transcriptions, air checks and home recordings of the fabled clan for me to digitize. I was paid nicely for each session, but when this record turned up, I very politely asked if I could possibly have it in lieu of money. (Grovelled and begged is more like it.) To my great surprise, my client readily agreed. It has been a much prized item on my shelf ever since.
Thanks for pointing out the subtle differences between "Modernistic" and "Swinging." To me, "Rhythm of the Day" is all of a piece with the whole "Symphonic Jazz" movement in which Whiteman, Bix, Nichols, Mole, Fud, Gershwin etc. etc. were so deeply involved. It "Swings" in its own special way. The Kahn record is exemplary, and was made quite early in the game. It WAS produced by Eddie King. Note the crash cymbal. That's Mr. King's pet, mandatory house crash cymbal, which was used on virtually every Victor dance record from about 1922 to late '26. Didn't matter what kind of cymbal a band's drummer preferred. Eddie King decreed that ONLY this one recorded properly, to the exclusion of all others. One could date Mr. King's demise at Victor to the last recorded use of this cymbal, which must have been around October of '26.
I'd like to hear the Hotchkiss kids massacre of "San."
Would love to see a scan of that label, if you can. I'm sure you're correct in assuming it's the only copy in the world. Did the Warner family have any unique tests of vaudevillians or early talkie stars, either singing or comedy skits?
Aha - so Eddie King DID produce the Kahn date! I felt that was the case, and the reason for the reject on "Rhythm Of the Day". Not quite up Eddie's alley (much less Allen's Alley)...
If I can get an MP3 made of that Hotchkiss "San", I'll certainly upload it. Not able to do so from home at the moment, but I won't forget about it!
Connections of Roger Wolfe Kahn and Bix. "I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me."
I don't agree with your assertion about the similarity between Roger Wolfe Kahn's and Bix's careers. There were more differences than similarities. and the differences are huge. First, Kahn was a New Yorker, independently wealthy and his father gave him anything he wanted, whereas Bix was from the middle west, of slightly upper middle class background and earned his living. Roger marrried several times, Bix died a bachelor. Certainly, Roger loved music and had a talent for it, but eventually abandoned it for other hobbies. Bix was totally devoted to music, and never abandoned it. Roger led his band in various clubs and venues; Bix only in recordings. I could go on, but I think the point is clear.
Connections between Roger and Bix.
- So many musicians recorded or played with both Roger and Bix: Joe Venuti, Arthur Schutt, Irving Brodsky, Eddie Lang, Miff Mole, Stan King, Vic Berton, Jack Teagarden, Joe Tarto, Jimmy Dorsey.
- In Aug 1927, Kahn and Bix with Rollini were expected to be in the ex-Cinderella Ballroom. See this ad in Variety, Aug 24, 1927.
Looking for something else, I found an article in the Utica Daily Press, Apr 18, 1960. I highlight two sentences in this article:
- "The altoist-clarinetist [Billy Pierce] joined Roger Wolfe Kahn then the chief rival of Jean Goldkette's big band in 1927." The comparison of Kahn with Goldkette sounds reasonable to me: both large dance bands with the cream of the cream of white musicians
- "I [Billy Pierce] knew Bix (Beiderbecke, the legendary trumpet star). He was so far ahead of his time, it was fantastic."
Here is one of my favorite RWK recordings. A composition by Gatskill and McHugh.
Frank tells me that this is perhaps the Victor Young Orchestra using the pseudonym of Val York. There is circumstancial evidence to support Frank's suggestion. In March 1935, Fats Waller made a number of recordings for Associated Music Publishers, Inc.; these were issued on the label "Associated Recorded Program Service" with matrix numbers A-268 to A-274 and record numbers between 253 and 270. All these were issued under the pseudonym of "Flip Wallace." Note Fats Waller/Flip Wallace both FW. Note also that "Sweet Sue" has matrix number A-172 and record number 313 and is by Val Yorke (VY). Could this be Victor Young, as Frank pointed out to me?
In 1935, Associated Music Publishers recorded hundreds of hours for their "wireless wired radio" project with the company "Wired Radio, Inc." a way of sending radio via wires. Associated Music Publishers and Wired Radio, Inc. were subsidiaries of the North American Corporation, and electric light and power company ("wired radio or "wired wireless" was going to be transmitted via the power lines of North American Corporation). While the project was being developed, Associated Music Publishers provided recordings from its library as radio (regular, wireless) fillers.
I am guessing that "Sweet Sue" was part of the Associated Music Publishers Library offered to radio stations as fillers.
One caveat: I saw several radio listings in the second half of the 1930s by a Val Yorke Orch. Maybe a real person, but maybe a pseudonym for Victor Young?
This copy of Bix's solo in Sweet Sue adds to previous ones I discussed in my lectures entitled "Copying Bix" and to another example we have discussed in the forum. Frank wonders if the Bix emulator could be Bunny Berigan or Sterling Bose, both members of the Victor Young orchestra in the mid 30s and both Bix admirers.
I have also seen a reference to a recording of Sweet Sue as follows: 4/16/38 Connee Boswell with Harry Sosnik and his Orchestra, Los Angeles DLA1221 Sweet Sue, Just You 2:50 (Young-Harris) Decca 1885a, [M&R](credits Victor Young Orch.) (Not listed in Rust's Jazz Records) Supposedly, Andy Secrest pays a tribute to Bix. Does anyone know anything about this recording?
I'm willing to go along with Victor Young as the orchestra leader for this side (it's a lush and gorgeous arrangement with a full string section, a foretaste of Young's later career in Hollywood) - but as to the trumpeter taking Bix' solo, I haven't a clue. Sterling Bose was known to have played with Young in the '33 / '35 period, but that's not Bose. Maybe Russ Case (another NY studio trumpeter in 1935) but who can tell, really? I just can't place the vibrato.
Behind this copy of Bix's solo, is a copy of the celesta obbligato to Jack Fulton's vocal on the same Whiteman record. Once attributed to Bix, it's really by Lennie Hayton. So here we have a copy of Lennie Hayton copying Bix.
The label scan indicates the disc was "made for Associated Recorded Program Service by Electrical Research Products, Inc." Electrical Research Products, Inc. was a subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) which invented the electrical recording system in general use from 1925 to the end of the 78 rpm era, and also invented the Vitaphone sound system for motion pictures.
An Oddity: An mp3 of "Ma Cherie Amour," a piano roll ....
.... by Stevie Wonder was kindly sent by Brad Kay. He writes, "Stevie Wonder and Piano Rolls go together like a Star Ship and a Model T. Right? Or so it seemed to me until this roll of "Ma Cherie Amour" turned up at a garage sale today. Check it out."
Thanks very much, Brad. I never thought I would have a posting about Stevie Wonder in the Bixography!! Has a bit of a bossa nova sound.
I noticed that there was considerable variation in the volume of this tune while it was playing. After a cursory search, I determined that volume is controlled by the amount of air flowing through the holes on the roll. In a non-foot-pedal-operated player piano, what is the mechanism that determines how much air is forced through the holes while the tune is playing?
The piano I used for this recording is a 1910 Langham-Hupfeld upright, which is powered exclusively by foot pedals. ALL the dynamic control comes from pedalling. The harder you push, the faster the air flows and the louder it is. This instrument has terrific dynamic range, and it turns on a dime. I can go from FF to pp and back instantly. It's as much a wind instrument as a string/percussion instrument. It helps me to have a mental image of the air column as I pedal, exactly the same as the air column inside one's body while blowing a horn. Every aspect of tone, attack, and volume emanates directly from how I hit those pedals.
Player rolls are an interactive medium. You do not simply "set it and forget it." Back in the day, the "pianolist" was expected to interpret a roll, imparting to the performance all the subtleties of good music. Some companies sold instruction rolls that teach you how to do that. If a player piano sounds jangly and mechanical, it simply is being misused - which, unfortunately, is MOST of the time.
Player pianos fitted with electric motors instead of pedals are an abomination. The air flows through the holes at only ONE velocity. You get NO dynamics, plus it sounds like someone is vacuuming the floor. The sophisticated, electrically-powered Duo-Art, Ampico, Welte, and other "expression" pianos are something else again - the performance subtleties are built into the instrument and the rolls it uses.
But with standard 88-note rolls, such as "Ma Cherie Amour," it's completely up to the person at the pedals and the other controls to make of it a truly musical experience.
When these instruments were most popular (1900-1930) the descriptor most often used in ads for the "software" was not "Piano Rolls," but "Music Rolls," which speaks directly to their intended use.
The "Pianist" was Walter Reddick, a QRS staffer. I put "Pianist" in quotes, because the roll probably isn't a recording of a live performance, but an arrangement punched out by Mr. Reddick. And of course the lyrics are included so one may sing along. The "Word Roll" tradition goes back to 1918. BK
You'd be surprised at the songs that have turned up on player piano rolls. In the 1980's I remember hearing a roll of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are." The QRS roll company stayed in business a long time and one of the things they did was continue to supply rolls of current songs.
The Correspondence Between Richard Dean-Myatt and Nick LaRocca About Bix's Letter to Nick.
Phil Evans first book about Bix started as a collaboration with collector Robert Mantler, continued with historian William Dean-Myatt, and came to fruition with writer/historian/musician Richard Sudhalter.
Here is correspondence between Dean-Myatt and LaRocca from the Hogan archives. Bix's letter to LaRocca was published in p. 83 of "Man and Legend" by Sudhalter and Evans.
Glenda Currence was the first person in Davenport to play the piano once the piano was tuned. Below is her account of that special day.
Playing Bixs Piano by Glennda Currence
Early 70s: The first Bix Jazz Festival1971-- I was there.Wow, I thought to myself , I hope they have this every year.This music is so much fun.
Attending the festivals was a learning experience.I never missed one.My love of jazz---all kindsand admiration for what Bix gave the music world had begun its journey.
Its 1977.I have begun my career as a music teacher at Eisenhower Elementary.
Okay class, this week we are going study the Roaring 20s and a famous musician who was born in Davenport and played his music during that eraa man that changed the world of JazzBix Beiderbecke!!
I began every school year with my students immersed in the history of a Local Hometown Hero!
Now keep in mind, this was before CDs and fancy laptops, and projectors.I went every summer to the Public Library downtown and checked out records of Bix and his Music, as well as books about the 1920s.The kids were fascinated by this man called Bix---his music.the look and history of the 20s.They argued over the books.I had to keep rechecking them out.They loved it.At the end of the unit I gave them extra credit homework choices:Write a report about Bix, Go find the Bix statue on the levy and describe where it is and what it says, Go to his house on Grand Avenue and describe and/or draw it, Go to the Oakdale Cemetery where he is buried and describe what you see, Illustrate your favorite Bix song(most kids chose Mississippi Mud) .Most all of my students completed the homework!---one of them even doing a gravestone rubbing.
ALL my students knew who Bix was and what he contributed to this world of jazz music!
So when Mrs. Gerri Bowers asked me in June to be the first Hometown Girl to play Bixs piano upon its arrival at the Adler in Bixs Hometown?I was beside myself.
My response was Really?YES!!!!!!
I was honored---excited---thrilled---nervous.
In the weeks before the pianos arrival at the theatre I must have played Bixs piano compositions 100 times each.
They have to sound perfect.As I practiced I imagined Bix sitting at his baby grand piano---playing, composing, dreaming...I wondered: What was he thinking?How was he feeling?What was going on in his lifeas his compositions held such unique harmonies, diversions, rhythmic patterns, and yet at times haunting melodies.
I kept thinking: I cant believe I am going to play Bixs last piano.After all these years of admiring from a distance.
Finally.the day arrived.Gerri called me and said: Can you be at the Adler tomorrow at 1:30?.YES!
I watched the piano being taken from the truck, carefully set and assembled, tuned to precision by John Duda. .
Oh my gosh---now its my turn. Play this beautiful instrument.
As I sat down at the piano I had goosebumps.I closed my eyes---took a deep breath---everyone in the room became invisible to me. It truly felt like Bixs spirit was in that room.I started to play Flashesthen In The Darkthen Candlelights.then Davenport Blues.I didnt want to stop.Oh my gosh---I cant describe what it felt like.
Unbelievable, exciting, thrilling, surreal, are just some of the words that describe the emotions behind that unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
My sincerestthanks to Gerri Bowers and Laura Hozak for making it possible for me to play Bixs historic piano---an endeavor to honor the spirit of his music. What an unforgettable memory!
Re: Chord Production on Brass. Specially for Musicologists
by Frank van Nus
Yes, this is correct (as far as I can see). I lack sufficient technical knowledge on this subject, but as I understand it, the phenomenon is known as the Tartini tone:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tartini_tone
I don't think there's any evidence of Bix using this particular technique. But I do suspect that he was able to use the notes played by the musicians surrounding him to produce these overtones.
Brass players can produce this effect as described (by singing an additional note whilst playing) but they can also produce it by playing together with others, pitching their notes very carefully against each other: one plus one equals three! Played by two or more wind players, this effect has an aura-like quality, in which the sound appears to be everywhere at once. Hard to describe, but wonderful to experience.
Helped by his highly developed perfect pitch, I believe this may have been how Bix managed to stand out from his musical surroundings without actually playing loudly.
Chet Hazlett, the King of the Subtone Clarinet. An ad in England in 1926 and Find A Grave.
Chester Hazlett was born on Nov 7, 1891 in Park County, IN. He died Apr 11, 1974 in Althol MA. Hazlett played with several bands before joining Whiteman, among them the Arthur Pryor and Paul Ash Orchestras. Hazlett joined Whiteman in May 1925 as a replacement of Ross Gorman and stayed in the orchestra until 1931.
Hazlett gave this explanation of the subtone clarinet to Down Beat. "I subdue the vibration of the red with the tongue. This intensifies the tone, giving it sort of a hollow sound. It is played so softly that the tone holes of the clarinet must be within a few inches of the mike. The trick is to get an even tone through the register of the clarinet and not just play in the low register, as most reed players do, as this will cause a blast in the mike when all the finger holes are covered."
Paul Whiteman and his orchestra spent several weeks in England in April and May 1926. The June 1926 issue of Melody Maker carried the following ad.
true, there's no real way of muting a sax....but if you put something in the bell, it will mute the sax a bit. It "kills" some of the overtones. No wonder none of these mutes survived...probably not too many were bought...musicians figured it out without buying a mute !
See what Paul Tremaine does to mute his sax @aprox 3:13...he puts a handkerchief down his bell !
In 1926-1927, Paul Tremaine was hanging around in Joplin MO. Here are two ads.
In July 1927 he was in Wisconsin. Here are two ads.
You won't be able to read the names of the musicians. They are from top to bottom left side - Charles Bagby, Ted Brewer, Morris Bramsohn, John Baldwin, Laurie Minthinton. righ side - Marion Dougherty, Wallace Kewon, Arthur Debus, Robert Tremaine (manager and Paul's brother), Eddie Kilauoski [sic; correct spelling Kilanoski].
Looking for biographical information. More in the next few days, if I find significant material. Before I leave, it turns out that Lonely Acres, composed by Willard Robison, was the theme song of Paul Tremaine's orchestra.
They do survive in some numbers. One populare one was the Crown Tone Modulator - basically a thick felt donut with a brass bracket over the hole, so you could handle it. But as you said, they aren't much use to change the sound of the sax, and you also lose the lowest few notes on the horn. I only ever used my Modulator occasionally, when having to play VERY quietly!
The attached review of the British Brunswick reissue of Bix and His Rhythm Jugglers' "Davenport Blues" was published in the April 1936 edition of "Swing Music" magazine.
The final paragraph explains why the British Brunswick of "Davenport Blues" was issued on Br 02206 while "Toddlin' Blues" was issued on Br 02501.
Bearing in mind that the reissue was a dub, one might have assumed that the original 78 would have been processed in London. However, perhaps at this date there were no decent copies of the Gennett available in the UK and so the dubbing and subsequent processing had to be carried out in the USA.
The derision of Red Nichols in the review demonstrates that even at this early date he was already something of a musical pariah, constantly judged against Bix, unfairly so in my view.
The critic was John Goldman. His review of Davenport Blues was part of a more extensive review of Brunswick's "Classic Swing" series of reissues, which included The Wolverines, The Sioux City Six and King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band.
Goldman seems to have adopted a rather intransigent position as a reviewer, witness the following remark that appeared on the previous page of the magazine (which contained Goldman's review of six Wolverine Orchestra recordings):-
"Editor's Note: This review was written before we received the article on Bix by Vic Moore (published in the March issue). When I told John Goldman that Mr. Moore had said that it was Jimmy McPartland and not Bix that played in "Royal Garden Blues," he refused to believe it. In spite of the fact that Vic Moore's statement appeared to be unassailably accurate, Goldman maintained that the cornet playing in this record was the very essence of Bix and could not be McPartland."
One does not need to read too far between the lines to detect the annoyance of the editor of Swing Music magazine, Leonard Hibbs, at Goldman's somewhat stubbornly opinionated stance!
"Limehouse Blues" , 5-24-1928 , Chicago IL , Vocalion 15708
as extraneous sound, in a few spots during the first 40 seconds or so.
Sometimes the choice of playing stylus can introduce extraneous noise not present in the original recording, I understand generally from reading a little on this subject. Maybe that is entirely what I hear in this "Limehouse." But I'm curious about others' aural interpretation here.
The first two seconds of this 'Limehouse' are silent recording, with the band starting play around the 2 second point. During these couple silent seconds, does anyone else hear a higher (female?) voice exclaim something like "You ain't finished talkin' to me here..."... and as band hits it's into notes, a deeper (male?) voice further back within the sound shouts something in response to the initial voice? The sound of the initial voice flickers again, seconds 7 to 9, and seconds 13 to 15, maybe.
Does anyone else hear anything like this in this audio file? Argument in the control room, 1928, maybe? Or all my imagination - Fred's variations on extraneous surface noise?
I hear it, too! And it's not on the Sager CD. It would be good to hear from Dave Sager about what he heard and what his thinking was about its source or about cutting it out of his restoration. I'm not saying he should have left it in there, as it very much sounds like a woman, and no woman was intended to be on that recording at the time. Those unintended snatches are intriguing, though, especially one that sounds like a disgruntled girlfriend who just won't stop talking, even when the red light comes on!
Of course, Sager's issue on this and the following recording "Dear Old Southland" was his belief that the clarinetist was Teschemacher on these, not Bercov as formerly postulated.
the voice/voices you are hearing are sounds produced when the owner of this record [or mp3] attempted to "fix" this track with a modern computer music program...and ruined it !!!
folks don't realize...the pure sound of a mint 78 played with the RIGHT needle does NOT need 2013 tampering by someone who doesn't know what they are doing !
there are a good handful of [small label] commercially made cds that came out with wonderful 1920s material that were also ruined by folks who tampered to much with the original music and made it sound like you were listening via Sputnik
Granted..there are some fine folks who do some minimum sound restoration with good taste...
hese folks that I've just spoken of do not have knowledge , taste or talent to mess with this...they are clueless !.
This what I wrote in my IAJRC Journal review of David Sager's "The Complete Wolverines."
Transfers of acoustic 78 rpm records present a challenge for the audio engineer. Doug Benson is a minimalist. His approach is to start with original 78s in the best possible condition and process them as little as possible so as to allow the listeners brain to ultimately sort out the music from the noise. I favor such a philosophy. I advocate transfers that utilize the minimum amount of processing. I want to hear every bit of sound that was embedded in the grooves created on the wax by the cutting needle. I dont like over-processed restorations that sound perfectly clean. I am not impressed with the artificial (I would call it metallic, cold) sound associated with a so-called perfect digital transfer that removes every click, every bit of noise and introduces sounds that were not engraved in the grooves of the original record.
I have a copy of the original 78 of Limehouse Blues. There are no voices anywhere on the record - not in the grooves before the music, during the music or after it. The voices heard on the redhotjazz transfer must have been added on, I presume by mistake. The other transfer you give a link to must be a copy of the redhotjazz file, and has been further "processed" (very badly!).
By the way, the intro and coda of this side remind me slightly of those hot Ben Pollack Victors from 1926/1927. Compare the intro on "Limehouse Blues" with that on "He's The Last Word" and the coda with "Waitin' For Katie", for instance. Not exactly the same of course, but a similar idea.
To be fair to John Goldman, it's clear from his review that he heard Bix's recording of "Davenport Blues" after he was already familiar with the Nichols versions and he regarded Bix's superior "artistry, balance, phrasing, emphasis and tone" as a revelation. In the writing about jazz in the late 1930's and early 1940's there's quite a lot of this judgmentalism, this quasi-prophetic pronouncements about who "is" and "isn't" a jazz musician, but one doesn't have to slam Red Nichols the way Goldman did to hear that Bix was considerably more imaginative. Bix doesn't come out on top on every tune both he and Nichols recorded (the July 1930 Nichols "China Boy" is both more dynamic than the Whiteman-Bix version and has strong solos by Nichols, Benny Goodman and especially Jack Teagarden that make it my all-time favorite record of the song) but he does on "Davenport Blues."
What I find odd about the post is Swing Music editor Leonard Hibbs using Vic Moore as a source to attack his own critic and regarding it as "unassailably accurate" that Jimmy McPartland, not Bix, played on the Wolverines' "Royal Garden Blues." Now we know not only that Bix DID play on "Royal Garden Blues," but Vic Moore didn't; it was from the Wolverines session on which Vic Berton sat in on drums!
I realized my mistake as soon as I looked up the redhotjazz.com link on one of the other posts on this thread and saw the label scan for "Royal Garden Blues" by the "Original Wolverines" -- a 1927 record on which no one has ever seriously doubted the participation of either Jimmy McPartland or Vic Moore.
"The final paragraph explains why the British Brunswick of "Davenport Blues" was issued on Br 02206 while "Toddlin' Blues" was issued on Br 02501.
Bearing in mind that the reissue was a dub, one might have assumed that the original 78 would have been processed in London. However, perhaps at this date there were no decent copies of the Gennett available in the UK and so the dubbing and subsequent processing had to be carried out in the USA."
These dubs were done at the Decca Chicago studios (prefix C), and are part of a group of dubs of Wolverines, NORK, O'Hare, Bix, Hitch, Bailey's Lucky 7 and Oliver Gennetts. Matrix numbers within range C-90360 (Copenhagen; dubbed 14 Oct 1935) - C-90486 (Tiger Rag; 27 Nov 1935). Possibly these dubs had been ordered by UK Brunswick.
At the same time Decca also recorded Jess Stacy (mxs 90445-47, the 15 Nov 35 piano solos of Bix tunes) and Meade Lux Lewis (90469; Honky Tonk Train Blues recorded 21 Nov 35) for release on UK Parlophone.
And there were a lot of custom recordings (clothing commercials, a.o.).
These details from Charles Garrod, "Decca Chicago Master Numbers", Joyce Record Club Publ."
Thanks for the interesting information, Han.
Even more information and scans of record labels from Han in
A puzzle. Rust's American Dance Band Disco gives Red Nichols, c; recorded Oct 5, 1925. However, Rust in the Jazz Disco writes, "The following personnel for Lou Gold's orchestra applies to the next seven sessions (Oct 5, 1925-Jan 7, 1926). Phil Hart, t." Does the horn player in Better Get Acquainted sound like Red to you? My guess would be Red. I listened to other recordings of Phil Hart with Lou Gold: for example, Sweet and Low Down (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rajzU28MW7Q) ; he does not sound like Red Nichols to me.
At the same session, Lou Gold recorded Let's Wander Away. Lou Gold recorded the same tune earlier, on Aug 11 1925 with Roy Johnston on trumpet, according to the Dance Band disco. I could not find the Oct 5 recording, but the Aug 11 recording is available on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpslpduKcDI It sounds like Roy Johnston to me.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Aug 13, 2013 4:41 AM
I was asked to post the article(s) of Red with Lou Gold that were published in Shellac Stack. Luckily they are already scanned. (With the reorganization of the house my scanner is not hooked up and I do have to go online and reload the driver.)
Albert HaimSteve, I find it interesting that you were asked to post this. Earlier today, I had a post in the bixography forum where I discussed some of these recordings. - Better Get Acquainted. Oct 5, 1925. Sounded like Red to me in agreement with the article you posted.. - Sweet and Lowdown. Jan 7, 1926. Rust gives Phil Hart on trumpet. The article you cited gives both Red and Phil There are two solos in the recording. Who plays them? I did not think it was Red. What is your opinion? - Let's Wander Away. Aug 11, 1925. Rust gives Roy Johnston. The article you cited gives Red Nichols. Sounded like Roy Johnston to me. The youtube video also assigns it to Roy Johnston. What is your opinion?
Stephen HesterLet's Wander Away and Better Get Acquainted are from the same session. Red verified his presence on all the Lou Gold records listed here. Dad and Woody sent him (and several others) tapes of thousands of records to listen to and evaluate. I remember Red does solo on Keep Your Skirts Down, Mary Ann from the Sweet And Lowdown session. Unfortunately at the moment I can not pull the record to listen to it. I still haven't been able to uncrate any of dad's records. I do not have the shelves ready, yet. I really do not know where Rust got the personnels he listed for the "dance band" records. Dad had worked up several Lou Gold lps (with and without Red) to issue, but we never issued them.
Stephen HesterOur friend, Paul Burgess, published the articles in his Shellac Stack. He published...Red Nichols On Edison, Red Nichols with Sam Lanin, and Red Nichols with Lou Gold. Dad had sent him copies of ALL the session worksheets from the 20s. They both had planned on publishing the entire output of Red's activities of the 20s. The exact date of the Gold articles, at this time I do not know until I uncrate them.
Albert HaimThanks, Steve. There were two recordings of Let's Wander Away by Lou Gold. One on Oct 5, 1925 (the same day as Better Get Acquainted) and one on Aug 11, 1925. I only heard the Aug 11, 1925 recording, the one where Rust gives Roy Johnston. In my posting to the bixography forum, I give links to all three recordings under discussion.
Stephen HesterThe personnels on the "dance band" records are very subjective and I doubt they will ever be 100% complete or accurate. Even though Red, Woody, Dad and I want that for the Nichols book...I doubt too that will happen.
Stephen HesterI did just notice that dad did not (*) solos on the Pathe/Perfect session of Let's Wander Away. I wish I could get to the session worksheets and check it out...or even the records. I told both dad and Woody that I do plan on re-evaluated everything when I prepare the book.
Albert HaimThanks for pointing out the significance of the *. The fact that there is no * in the Aug 11, 1925 recording of "Let's Wander Away" means that Red did not play the solo. So now we agree in my assignment of soloists in two of the three recordings that I cited in my forum posting.
- Better Get Acquainted. Oct 5, 1925. Solo by Red. - Let's Wander Away. Aug 11, 1925. Red does not play the solo (no * in the listing). If we accept that Rust's roster is correct, the soloist is Roy Johnston, as I suggested..
That leaves Sweet and Low Down. I assigned the solo to Phil Hart. In the article, you give the horn players as Red and Phil Hart. Since there is a * in the listing, you assign the solo to Red. I assigned it to Phil Hart. I listened to the recording again. I am somewhat uncertain. It could be Red. Maybe other members of the group would express their opinions?
Pauline Rivelli wrote an article entitled "Bix at Lake Forest Academy" in Jazz, Vol 5, issue 3, 1966. She reproduced several pages from The Caxy, 1922. Here is one of them. It will be seen that Bix did not waste any time: by Oct 29, 1921,just over a month after arriving at LFA, he had organized a dance band.
- Here are Vince and the Nighthawks in action at about 7:30 pm.
When you see the band playing smoothly, effortlessly, you don't realize the enormous amount of preparation needed to bring the music to the audience. Here are Carol and Vince at about 5:45 pm on the stage.
They open boxes, bring out microphones, music stands, the Nighthawks bannners, all of Vince's huge instruments, etc. And this is the tip of the iceberg. Carol and Vince had to leave Brooklyn much earlier to drive the nearly 30 miles (rush hour!!) to Westbury with all the instruments, equipment, etc. And there is much more: preparing the arrangements, rehearsing, practicing, making sure that the ten musicians are notified, getting substitutes if some of the regulars can't make it, etc, etc. As a chemist I am used to chemical magic, but this is much more complicated: I will call it musical magic. Thanks to Vince and all the Nighthawks for the magic they create everytime they have a public appearance and bring incredible pleasure to their audiences. The music is from the 1920s or 1930s, but it is as fresh when played by Vince and the Nighthawks as when it was first played almost a century ago.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Aug 16, 2013 3:19 PM
From Tulane University Theses and Dissertations Archive A Musical Analysis and History of Eddie 'Snoozer' Quinn, Pioneering Jazz Guitarist by Kathryn Damaris Hobgood, April 2013.
Mentions of Bix:
- What is known about Quinn is that for a brief period of time he performed with some of the biggest names in early jazzsuch as Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Jack Teagarden, Paul Whiteman, and the Dorsey brothers.
- Adding to the problem of evaluating his legacy, solo recordings Quinn made for Victor Records were never released to the public and have been lost, as has a Columbia session with Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer.
- Quinn has been discussed briefly in biographies of other musicians such as Paul Whiteman, Bix Beiderbecke, and Frank Trumbauer, usually to mention his ancillary rolein the Whiteman Orchestra or to speculate about his presence on certain recordings.
- Tor Magnusson and Don Peak published discographical research in 1992 called The Recordings of Snoozer Quinn, Legendary Guitar Player. Written for The Jazz Archivist, the authors address Quinn's recording career, covering possible sessionswith Frank Trumbauer, Bix Beiderbecke, Bee Palmer, Bing Crosby, Tommy Weir, and Jimmie Davis, as well as the hospital session with Johnny Wiggs.
- Growing up, Eddie [Snoozy] played piano, violin, mandolin, guitar, and banjoas well as anything else from which he could coax a musical sound, including wind instruments. (According to his brother, He could take atrumpet and play Bix Biederbeckes [sic]chorus on I Cant Get Started so it sounded justlike Bix, but then his lip would give out halfway through. (NB. !!!!That was Bunny Berigan)
- According to Wiggs, Snoozer said: "I was with Peck a good while and I have played with a lot of other topnotch musicians. I can say that I got more pleasure out of hearing Peck play, more inspiration, than from any other musicians. Not that I havent gotten a terrific amount of pleasure from Louis, Bix and others, but Peck Kelley was the top.
- The significance of Quinns hiring by Whiteman cannot be overstated. Whiteman was perhaps the most famous and well-respected bandleader in American at this time. He had the distinction of commissioning George Gershwins jazz concerto Rhapsody in Blue which premiered in Aeolian Hall in New York in 1924, an event that is considered a defining moment of the Jazz Age. That Whiteman hired Quinn underscores Quinns immense talent. On Saturday, December 8, 1928, Quinn left Louisiana to join the Whiteman Orchestra in New York City. He received a wire from Mr. Whiteman on the Friday before, ordering him to report to New York Monday morning.to begin rehearsing at once for Victor records.(In fact, at this time Whiteman was working for Columbia records.) Reporting to friends back home, Quinn was well received upon his arrival in New York. Interestingly, a recording session may have occurred sometime between December 10 and 20 in which Quinn himself was the featured act. According to the Bogalusa Enterprise: Records reproducing the steady strumming of a guitar in the hands of Eddie Quinn, local boy who recently joined Paul Whitemans orchestra in New York City, will soon be on sale in Bogalusa. This is according to a letter Quinn has written to H.E. Rester, of the Rester Motor Company, stating five of his guitar selections have been reproduced on records since he arrived in New York City. Quinn says he is receiving treatment befitting a king by other members of Paul Whitemans orchestra, and that he is having the time of his life in Gotham. The details of this session are a mystery. Since it was not documented in the Columbia logs, it could have been an impromptu session organized by the musicians themselves. Such events were called wildcat recordings, in which the band members would record (sometimes for other labels) using pseudonyms since they were usually violating the terms of their contracts. This session could have been the one described by Quinn later to his friend Johnny Wiggs. According to Wiggs, Quinn told him that he had recorded some sides with Beiderbecke and Trumbauer: Beiderbecke, Trumbauer and the others decided that they must have a recording session without delay. Snoozer had been singing along in his peculiar sort of way, a humming accompaniment to his guitar playing somewhat in the fashion of the later-day Slam Stewart, and they wanted to put that on wax. Snoozers memory is not exact, but he believes thesession was arranged for Columbia. He recalls that four sides were made, including Singin the Blues.On each side he did a humming chorus,but he remembers none of the other titles. And he remembers only Bix and Trumbauer among the other musicians who took part. The records were never released. [NB. This could well be the recording session with Bee Palmer.]
- One of Quinns biggest fans was Bee Palmer. Palmer was a chorus girl in the Ziegfeld Follies who also had a notable solo career. Called the Shimmy Queen, and for a time associated with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Palmer was well-known for her sensual and naughty performances, her famous dance, and her unusual voice. She regularly hosted parties and jam sessions in her New York apartment. Wiggs told the story of a late night jam session at Palmers apartment where she was so impressed by Quinns abilities that she told the other musicians to stop playing, including Bix and Tram.
- Quinn appears on a Bee Palmer recording session that took place for Columbia on January 10, 1929.Songs recorded were Dont Leave Me Daddy and Singin the Blues. Other Whiteman personnel included Bill Rank, Irving Friedman, Frankie Trumbauer, Charles Strickfaden, Lennie Hayton, Min Leibrook, George Marsh, and BixBiederbecke.Though these sessions were never issued by Columbia, in recent years test pressings were discovered and have been released.
I've unfortunately been in public spaces where they've actually played things like this, and believe me that this isn't turning anyone on to the old bands at all, much less the great, high spirited Gene Kardos band. It's just morphing a soundbite or lick from the record and turning it into something to dance to while you're high on... something. The creators seem to be saying: "Oh, look how clever we are, turning something old and silly into something NEWWWWW!"
I say "EWWW".
Poor Gene Kardos; it's a good thing he never lived to experience this.
A very interesting interpretation of "Idolizing" by Ross Gorman's Orchestra.
Ross Gorman recorded "Idolizing" twice in November 1926, the first time on Nov 3 issued as Edison 51876- and again later in November issued as Cameo 1063 and Romeo 323. Here are the images of the record labels thanks to the generosity of Steve Hester.
These are not listed in Rust's or Mitchell's discographies.
Now I've always loved Goldkette's hit of "Idolizing" but I think DD 51876-R "Idolizing" performed by Ross Gorman And His Orch is the best recording of it that I've ever heard! Who were the personnel on this recording? It really has that New York sound I think it's called. I can't help but think of the young Dorseys, Miff Mole, Mezzrow and that lot.
Anyone have any other favorite recordings of "Idolizing"?
Eddie Lang's specialist Mike Peters gives
Ross Gorman and His Orchestra
ca November 1926
Cameo Record Co,., New York City
Orchestra including Eddie Lang, guitar.
2193 Idolizing - Cameo 1063 (solo - 32, break) Note: same arrangement as Nov 3, 1926 Ross Gorman Edison recording.
I find it somewhat sunusual. At times it sounds dated, at times state of the art in late 1926. The solos are quite advanced. The ensemble work seems in several instances from an earlier era. Eddie Lang on guitar. The clarinet solos are by Ross Gorman. Who is the trombonist? Miff Mole as "neophone" suggests? Opinions?
The Edison's by Gorman - actually ANY Gorman from the '26 / '27 period - are very interesting. For the most part what's listed in Rust for the personnel is almost completely at odds with what we're actually hearing on the records themselves -the cream of NY studio musicians, including Eddie Lang on guitar, and even Jimmy Dorsey (who can be heard on the Edison of "You're Burning Me Up (Turning Me Down)"; on the flip, "Hawaiian Rose", he imitated a Hawaiian guitar on his alto sax solo, and there are Eddie Lang guitar solos on both "...Burning" and "Hawaiian Rose").
However, having said that, the trombonist on the Edison of "Idolizing" is not Miff Mole; this trombonist has ideas that just aren't fluid, not at all in the way that Miff could interpret. Frankly, I haven't a clue!
I just learned about another of Goldkette's activities. From a 1928 issue of Radio Digest:
The capable and successful broadcast station of today is a four square institution with one face on a par with the o t h e r . It must have an a r t i s t i c f r o nt and a social f r o n t ; it must have a technically efficient front and a business front. With all four fronts well established it is a f o u r s q u a r e success, and W J R is a four s q u a r e station.
On the a r t i s t i c f r o n t stands Jean Goldkette, musical director of the station. Mr. Goldkette enjoys national fame for his genius both as a d i r e c t o r and concert pianist. His name heads a dozen orchestras playing in Detroit, Chicago and Kansas City. Goldkette orchestra Victor records are in big demand. I t would be hard to find a more able and talented person t o supervise the a r t i s t i c front of WJR.
Maybe I will take a look at the credits at the end of the video.
BIX: AIN'T NONE OF THEM PLAY LIKE HIM YET / Brigitte Berman [motion picture]
BIX: AIN'T NONE OF THEM PLAY LIKE HIM YET [motion picture]
Place of Publication/Creation
Information from: "Jazz on the Screen" by David Meeker. Used with permission.
Feature film (over 60 minutes).
Dramatised documentary charting the life and music of Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke, narrated by Richard Basehart, which took four years to make and eventually premiered in New York on 6th August 1981, exactly 50 years to the day of Bix's untimely death.
(recorded) "Jazz me blues" by Tom Delaney; "Royal Garden blues" by Clarence Williams, Spencer Williams; "Tiger rag" by Harry Da Costa, Edwin B. Edwards, Nick La Rocca, Tony Spargo, Larry Shields; "Cloudy", "In a mist", "Davenport blues" by Bix Beiderbecke; "I didn't know" by Williams, Jones; "My pretty girl" by Fulcher; "I'm coming Virginia" by Will Marion Cook, Donald Heywood; "Idolizing" by Sam Messenheimer, Abrahamson, West; "Clementine" by Henry Creamer, Harry Warren; "Singin' the blues" by Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young, Con Conrad, J. Russell Robinson; "Riverboat shuffle" by Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Mills; "Krazy cat" by Chauncey Morehouse, Frank Trumbauer; "Sorry" by Howard Quicksell; "Changes" by Walter Donaldson; "From Monday on" by Bing Crosby, Harry Barris; "Sweet Sue" by Will J. Harris, Victor Young; "Coquette" by Gus Kahn, Carmen Lombardo, John Green; "Lonely melody" by Sam Coslow, Benny Meroff, Hal Dyson; "Gipsy" by Matty Malneck, Signorelli, Gilbert; "That's my weakness now" by Bud Green, Sam H. Stept; "China boy" by Dick Winfree, Phil Boutelje; "Waiting at the end of the road" by Irving Berlin; "I'll be a friend with pleasure" by Maceo Pinkard.
Personnel on Camera
Interviewees:- Mary Louise Shoemaker (Bix's sister), Hoagy Carmichael, Bill Challis (arranger), Esten Spurrier (cornet), Vera Korn (girlfriend), Mrs Bettendorf (school colleague), Fritz Putzier (school friend), Charlie Davis (pianist), Reagen Carey (sax player), James Regester (Indiana student), Spiegle Willcox (trombone player), Dave Wilborn (bjo player), Jess Stacy, Fred Bergin (pianist), Doc Cheatham, Matty Malneck (violinist), Al Rinker (vocalist), Izzy Friedman (clarinetist), Kurt Dieterle (violinist), Jack Fulton (trombone player), Roy Maier (sax player), Artie Shaw, Squirrel Ashcraft (pianist), Herb Weill (drummer), Al Duffy (violinist), Paul Mertz (pianist), with the voice of Louis Armstrong.
Background instrumentals: Richard Williams, cornet; Dill Jones, Earl French, piano.
A great photo of Wrixon's Capitol Harmony Kings. A generous gift from Bix aficionado ....
.... Frank Hagenbuch. Thanks very much, Frank.
On Jul 6, 1921, Bix joined the Doc Wrixon band aboard the Capitol steamship.
Doc Wrixon's band was billed as "Ten Capitol Harmony Syncopaters [sic]". Take a look at the ad for an excursion in the Jun 17, 1921 issue of the La Crosse Tribune and Leader-Press.
The band played for the Moonlight Dancing Trip. According to Sudhalter and Evans, "Bix: Man and Legend,", "the old stern-wheeler worked the river from Hannibal, Missouri, deep in Huck Finn country, all the way up to Winona, Minnesota, east of Rochester. Most of the trade was in 24-hour charter jobs." When the Capitol docked in Davenport on July 15, the musicians union officials had Bix removed from the band because he did not have a union card.
Albert " Doc " Wrixon and his band-(Steamer " Capitol ", Jun 1921)--Johnny Watson-(Tb)/ Bud Shepherd-(Pn) / Happy Conger-(Bj) / Omer Van Speybroeck-(Tnsx) / George Byron Webb-(Asx) / Vic Sells-(Cnt) /Grant Harris-(Cl) /Albert " Doc " Wrixon-(Lead-Drums).
Here is Frank's photo:
Several postings about Doc Wrixon's band in the forum.
This just in: Good News for Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks! Following the sad demise of their 5-year engagement at Sofia's next week, Vince and the gang with be starting right up again just a few short blocks away at Iguana Restaurant and Dance Lounge! Their opening night will be Monday, September 9th, and they will be in residence every Monday and Tuesday! Now, that IS good news! Thank you SO much, Iguana for letting the music continue.
I've signed the petition "BBC Radio 2: Reverse their decision to drop the Russell Davies Song Show Sunday 9pm" and need your help to get it off the ground. Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:
Although the Russell Davies Song Show could be seen as a 'niche' programme, I know it has a very loyal and devoted fan-base, both here in the UK and abroad. It is one of very few national radio programmes which features popular songs of the highest quality written with care for rhyme, style and sophistication of content in what might be called the Golden Age of Song, approximately1910-1970, and primarily in USA. It is sometimes called the Great American Songbook and individual songs are often referred to as standards. Russell Davies is extemely knowledgeable and his programmes are consistently entertaining, informative and often amusing. He is erudite and his show stands out amongst what is becoming an increasingly anodyne and bland radio station. I can see no good reason for his show to be discontinued and ask the 'powers-that-be at Radio 2 to reconsider their short-sighted decision to drop it from their schedules.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Aug 7, 2013 7:16 AM
Thank you, both to Barry and Prof. Albert, for this support. My Song Show on BBC Radio 2 from London has run nearly 600 editions without having to repeat itself, and although I have to operate a vocal-records-only rule, which cuts out some of the best of instrumental Bix, I have been able to include a lot of Bix/Bing/Whiteman material, Trumbauer recordings with vocals both acceptable and dire, plus the late Carmichael and Beiderbecke Orch. items, the Chicago Loopers, and so forth. And it has always been a pleasure to trace the continuing Bix influence, both in instrumental playing and the phrasing of vocalists, some of whom probably didn't realise they were using Bix cadences.
The writer Hilaire Belloc once said "It is the best of all trades to make songs, and the second best to sing them." The point of my radio show is to emphasise the truth of this (though as a musician, I would say "sing and/or play them"). Anybody who has similar feelings would be doing music a favor by responding to Barry's request -- which incidentally is his own initiative, not mine. But I do thank him for taking this trouble.