The Playlist • Fletcher Henderson & his Orchestra (1923–1924)

MSP_regal-9658A

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FLETCHER HENDERSON & HIS ORCHESTRA: Charleston Crazy

New York: November 30, 1923
Vocalion 14726 (mx. 12376)

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FLETCHER HENDERSON & HIS ORCHESTRA: He’s the Hottest Man in Town

New York: September 8, 1924
Columbia 209-D (mx. 81981 – 3)

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FLETCHER HENDERSON & HIS SAWIN’ SIX: Lonesome Journey Blues

New York: c. December 14–23, 1923
Ajax 17016 (mx. 31023 – 2)

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FLETCHER HENDERSON’S DANCE ORCHESTRA: Feeling the Way I Do

New York: May 1924
Regal 9658 (mx. 5497 – 1)

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The Playlist • Melquiades Rodríguez, the Blind Fiddler (San Antonio, 1935)

Two selections from Bluebird’s B-2400 Spanish-language series that would not have sounded out-of-place in the country-music list (a fact not lost on RCA, which also issued  them in Bluebird’s domestic B-6000 series, with label credits in English to “The Blind Fiddler.” Ethnic Music on Records shows English credits on the corresponding Montgomery Ward issues as well, but copies inspected thus far are in Spanish:

MSP_MW-M4870B_rodriguez

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MELQUIADES RODRÍGUEZ (violin; probably with Enrique Morales, guitar): Paulita — Polka

Texas Hotel, San Antonio: August 15, 1935
..(Eli Oberstein, recording director)
Montgomery Ward M-4870 ( as “El Ciego Melqiuades”)
Mx. BS 94589 – 1 (reissue of Bluebird B-2411)

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MELQUIADES RODRÍGUEZ (violin; probably with Enrique Morales, guitar): Delgadita — Polka

Texas Hotel, San Antonio: August 15, 1935
..(Eli Oberstein, recording director)
Montgomery Ward M-4870 ( as “El Ciego Melqiuades”)
Mx. BS 94591 – 1 (reissue of Bluebird B-2411)

Eli Oberstein is not credited in the RCA files, but photographs exist of him on the August 1935 San Antonio trip. Morales is not credited in the RCA files for these particular titles; however, the adjacent masters, recorded at the same session, are guitar duets by Rodríguez and Morales.

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The Playlist • Feodor Chaliapin: Highlights from “Boris Godunov” (Electrical Versions, 1925–1931)

Note: Acoustically recorded versions (1910–1922) are also posted.

MSP_HMV-DB934

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FEODOR CHALIAPIN (Albert Coates, cond.):
Boris Godunov — Coronation Scene

Hayes, Middlesex: November 26, 1925
HMV D.B.900 (mxs. Cc 7064 – 3 / Cc 7066 – 1)

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FEODOR CHALIAPIN (Rosario Bourdon, cond.): Boris Godunov — Varlaam’s Song (In the Town of Kazan)

Church studio, Camden, NJ: March 16, 1927
Victor 1237 (mx. BVE 26100 – 4)

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FEODOR CHALIAPIN (with London Symphony Orchestra, Max Steinmann, cond.): Boris Godunov — I Have Attained the Highest Power

Small Queen’s Hall, London: June 6, 1931
HMV D.B.1532 (mx. 2B 577 – 3)

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FEODOR CHALIAPIN (with London Symphony Orchestra, Max Steinmann, cond.): Boris Godunov — Clock Scene

Small Queen’s Hall, London: June 6, 1931
HMV D.B.1532 (mx. 2B 578 – 2)

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FEODOR CHALIAPIN, ANGELO BADA (with ROYAL OPERA CHORUS & ORCHESTRA, Vincenzo Belleza, cond.): Boris Godunov — Duet, Boris and Shuisky (Part 1)

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London: July 4, 1928 (live performance)
HMV test (mx. CR 2312 – 1)

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FEODOR CHALIAPIN: Boris Godunov — Farewell and Death of Boris

HMV D.B.934 (mxs. CR 375 – 1 / Cc 10938 – 3)
Part 1 — Small Queen’s Hall, London (relayed to Gloucester House): May 21, 1926 (Eugene Goosens, cond.) / Part 2 — Studio C, Small Queen’s Hall, London: June 13, 1927 (Lawrance Collingwood, cond.)

The Playlist • Jimmie Lunceford & the Chickasaw Syncopators (1927 / 1930)

MSP_COL-14301D_145374

The evolution of a band, from two 1927 sides by a group that Manassas [Tennessee] High School instructor Jimmie Lunceford cobbled together from his students, to its blossoming under his leadership in the early 1930s. Moses Allen was one of only two or possibly three original members still present on the 1930 sides. Interesting to hear how his  “preaching” routine, originally offered up as a novelty bit on “Chickasaw Stomp,” evolved into the very different “In Dat Mornin’.”

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CHICKASAW SYNCOPATORS: Memphis Rag

Memphis: December 13, 1927
Regional release March 1928
Columbia 14301-D (mx. W 145374 – 3)

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CHICKASAW SYNCOPATORS (preaching by Moses Allen): Chickasaw Stomp

Memphis: December 13, 1927
Regional release March 1928
Columbia 14301-D (mx. W 145373 – 2)

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JIMMIE LUNCEFORD & HIS CHICKASAW SYNCOPATORS
(preaching by Moses Allen): In Dat Mornin’

Memphis Auditorium: June 6, 1930
Released August 15, 1930
Victor V-38141 (mx. BVE 62599 – 2)

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JIMMIE LUNCEFORD & HIS CHICKASAW SYNCOPATORS: Sweet Rhythm

Memphis Auditorium: June 6, 1930
Released August 15, 1930
Victor V-38141 (mx. BVE 62600 – 1)

 

 

The Playlist / Discographical Update: Correct Date and Personnel for George E. Lee’s Meritt 2206

MSP_lee-wonder-orch

George E. Lee’s Singing Novelty Orchestra, with Julia Lee (piano)
and George E. Lee (saxophone)

 

Another update to the Meritt label data: Rust’s Jazz Records and derivative works date George E. Lee’s very rare Meritt 2206 as “c. 1927,” which puts them in the right general vicinity — But with help from one of Dave Peyton’s weekly columns in The Chicago Defender (“The Musical Bunch,” April 30, 1927, p. 6), we can narrow that down a bit:

MSP_CD-04-30-1927-p6_lee-me

Based on our ongoing study of the Defender’s own record-release reports vs. confirmed company-reported release dates on other labels, we know that the Defender new-release reports during this period generally lagged the actual release dates by 3–4 weeks, making early April 1927 the most likely release date for Meritt 2206. Subtract the usual 4–6 weeks for master processing, pressing, and shipping, and we have a likely recording date of late February or early March 1927.

According to Winston Holmes’ widow, in her interview with John Randolph, the recordings were made in Holmes’ own Kansas City studio. The exact address is uncertain; Mrs. Holmes recalled that the store moved from 1636 E. 18th Street to 1704 E. 18th Street at some point in 1927, but she did not give a specific date. (In the same interview, Mrs. Holmes also reported that some unissued George E. Lee masters had been stolen from her several years earlier — In case anyone’s seen these…)

Which brings us to the dreaded “Who Says?” Department. The late Brian Rust, up to and including the latest edition of Jazz Records, credited Jesse Stone as pianist and arranger on these sides, with no source cited (nor master numbers, for some reason). However, after a thorough search of the Defender and other period publications, we’ve found no mention of Stone (who had his own band at this time) working with Lee in the spring of 1927; as far as we’ve been able to establish with any degree of certainty, Stone did not join the Lee band until 1929. Then there are the primitive “arrangements” (if they can even be called that), which certainly don’t suggest the work that Stone was doing with his own band.

The current consensus is that Julia Lee, not Stone, is the likely pianist on this session. If anyone out there has credible, primary-source documentation that proves otherwise, please be sure send us the evidence (anyone citing Lords, Wikipedia, and the like will be awarded a digital dunce-cap).
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MSP_meritt-2206A

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GEORGE E. LEE & HIS NOVELTY SINGING ORCHESTRA (George E. Lee
& Julia Lee, vocals):
Down Home Syncopated Blues

Winston Holmes Music Co., Kansas City: c. Late February — Early March 1927
Meritt 2206 (mx. 578)

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GEORGE E. LEE & HIS NOVELTY SINGING ORCHESTRA: Meritt Stomp

Winston Holmes Music Co.: Kansas City: c. Late February — Early March 1927
Meritt 2206 (mx. 579)

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