Collector’s Corner • More March 2020 Finds — Johnson’s Crackerjacks, Tiny Parham, Bennie Moten, Red Allen

Collector’s Corner
More March 2020 Finds — Johnson’s Crackerjacks, Tiny Parham,
Bennie Moten, Red Allen

 

A few more favorite new additions to the jazz collection, a little something to distract from the stay-at-home blues, we hope!

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HENRY (RED) ALLEN & HIS ORCHESTRA: Swing Out  (EE+)

New York: July 17, 1929
Victor V-38080  (mx. BVE 53930 – 2)

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TINY PARHAM & HIS MUSICIANS: Voodoo  (EE–)

Chicago: February 1, 1929
Victor V-38054  (mx. BVE 48844 – 2)

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TINY PARHAM & HIS MUSICIANS: Skag-a-Lag  (EE–)

Chicago: February 1, 1929
Victor V-38054  (mx. BVE 48845 – 2)

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BENNIE & BUSTER MOTEN (et al.): Loose Like a Goose  (EE+)

Chicago: July 18, 1929
Victor (Argentina) V-38123  (mx. BVE 55428 – 2)
c. 1930 Buenos Aires pressing, roughly contemporaneous with the U.S. release. Both the U.S. and Argentinian labels credit only Bennie and Buster Moten (pianos) by name, although clarinetist Woody Walder dominates the side.

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BENNIE MOTEN y SU ORQUESTA: Dentro de Poco (It Won’t Be Long)  (E)

Chicago: July 17, 1929
Victor (Argentina) V-38123  (mx. BVE 55427 – 3)
c. 1930 Buenos Aires pressing, roughly contemporaneous with the U.S. release.

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EDDIE JOHNSON’S CRACKERJACKS (Benny Jackson, vocal): The Duck’s Yas Yas  (E)

Atlanta (Egleston Auditorium): February 25, 1932
Bluebird B-6278  (mx. BVE 71625 – 1)
1936 original-stamper reissue of Victor 23329.
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Newest Free Download: The Victor Discography — Blue, Green, and Purple Labels by John R. Bolig (A $1,935.89 Book for Free)

Newest Free Download

The Victor Discography: Blue, Green, and Purple Labels
(1910 – 1926)
By John R. Bolig

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A couple of days ago, we posted that two Amazon.com dealers are offering this book for $1,935.89 (plus tax and shipping). Well, no need to whip out the Visa card — Here it is, complete and free of charge as a searchable PDF download, the latest addition to Mainspring Press’ Free Online Reference Library. Enjoy it on us!

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In February 1910, Victor flooded the market with fifteen new recordings by Harry Lauder, setting off a shouting match with Edison over who had exclusive rights to the comedian. Victor had previously issued some of Lauder’s British recordings on its standard black label, but these new releases were different — recorded in the U.S., and issued on a striking new royal-purple label.

Over the next few months, it became apparent that the new purple-label discs were not reserved for Lauder alone. Victor Herbert’s popular orchestra was lured away from an already-peeved Edison, and selections began to appear by some of Broadway’s top stars (many of them previously unrecorded). For budget-conscious classical enthusiasts, there were well-known concert artists deemed not quite worthy of Red Seal status, but still perfectly respectable. For the adventure-minded, Ernest Shackleton and Robert Peary recounted their polar expeditions.

Several months after the purples were launched, Victor introduced yet another line, the double-sided blue-label series. At first, it served only as a reissue vehicle for imported operatic recordings licensed from The Gramophone Company, along with some Arabic selections (now incredibly rare) recorded in Cairo and Beirut. But in February 1913, the blue label was recast as a double-sided companion to the single-sided purples, and the latter were slowly phased out.

The blue-label line was one of Victor’s most diverse, running the gamut from comedy monologues and Broadway hits to opera (grand, light, and in-between), classical (from the usual lollipops to complete extended works), the premier recording of Rhapsody in Blue, cantorials, exotic imports from around the globe, bird imitations, exercise records by boxer Gene Tunney — and, of course, copious helpings of Harry Lauder’s interminable ruminating.

The obscure green-label series was an “educational” line, best known for its vocal-instruction series produced under the supervision of Oscar Saenger. But perhaps its most intriguing offering was the “American Speech” series (issued at first on the Red Seal label, then transferred to green, and later to brown), which captured a wide range of American dialects, some of which have since vanished or evolved nearly beyond recognition.

It’s all here, carefully transcribed from the original Victor files. We think you’ll be amazed by the scope and diversity of these under-studied and often under-appreciated records.

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Download File for Personal Use (print-restricted) (pdf , ~2mb)
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The Victor Light Opera Company is the latest addition to Mainspring’s rapidly growing Free Online Reference Library. As with all titles in the Library, this is a copyrighted publication and is offered for personal, non-commercial use only. You can help ensure that we continue to offer these free titles (and protect yourself from potential legal problems) by honoring our terms of use, as outlined at the beginning of each file.

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Victor monthly supplement excerpts courtesy of John Bolig

Coming This Week — Get a $1,935.89 Book for Free!

No joke, sadly — This is a current listing on Amazon.com. (Actually, it’s  one of two listings for the same book, from two different vendors who just happened to have come up with exactly the same bizarre price; hmmm….)

Now, we’re not opposed to anyone making a fair profit, but unbridled greed is a different ballgame (not that we expect they’ll have any takers, even with a sucker being born every second). But since there’s no law against being a schmuck, we’re taking a more direct approach to the problem:

This coming week, thanks to John’s generosity, we’ll be posting a free PDF of the very same Victor Discography: Green. Blue, and Purple Labels (1910–1926) in its complete, original form. You’re welcome to download it, pass along the link to all your collector friends, and enjoy the heck out of of it, on us — knowing you’ve saved $1,935.89.

Check back in a few days, and cheers!

— Mainspring Press

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Latest Free Download • The Victor Light Opera Company Discography (John R. Bolig)

Latest Free Download

The Victor Light Opera Company Discography
(1909–1930)
By John R. Bolig
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Victor’s “Gems from…” discs were among the first records many of us encountered as budding young collectors. Like them or not,  they were still seemingly everywhere. Even now, you’re bound to run across them if you scrounge enough estate sales, junk shops, and !!RARE !!L@@K!! eBay listings.

They had been tremendous sellers, capitalizing on a popular American phenomenon of the day — grand opera sung in English by troupes of competent, if not-quite-stellar, artists. As the twentieth century began, countless small civic and private opera companies were making the glories of Verdi and Puccini accessible to the far-flung general public at affordable prices and in a language most could understand, just as the “Gems from…” series would do.

But Victor went a step farther, adding medleys from the latest hit Broadway shows that the average American was unlikely to be able to attend in person. In the process, the good folks at Victor  unwittingly preserved many now-forgotten songs (albeit it in abridged versions, and sometimes taken at break-neck tempos) that otherwise went unrecorded. The company had no qualms about using stage shots from the actual productions, picturing the actual stars (who almost never performed on the records), in advertising new “Gems” releases.

The Victor Light Opera Company was a fiction, of course. It never staged any live productions, and it never appeared in public. Its “cast” members — mainly Victor’s studio work-horses — changed from one recording session to another and (with one notable exception) were not credited on the labels. But their names are preserved in the Victor ledgers and, thanks to John Bolig’s expert sleuthing and generosity in sharing his work, are now available to you in this unique publication. Enjoy!

 

The Victor Light Opera Company is the latest addition to Mainspring’s rapidly growing Free Online Reference Library. As with all titles in the Library, this is a copyrighted publication and is offered for personal, non-commercial use only. You can help ensure that we continue to offer these free titles (and protect yourself from potential legal problems) by honoring our terms of use, as outlined at the beginning of each file.

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Download File for Personal Use (print-restricted) (pdf , ~1mb)

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Victor monthly supplement excerpts, courtesy of John Bolig

 

Collector’s Corner • Some March 2020 Finds: Theodore Shaw, Oliver Naylor, Duke Ellington, Bumble Bee Slim & Memphis Minnie, Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five without Louis

Collector’s Corner • Some March 2020 Finds
Theodore Shaw, Oliver Naylor, Duke Ellington,
Bumble Bee Slim & Memphis Minnie,
Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five sans Louis

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A few favorite new additions to the collection for March (so far), for your enjoyment in case you’re stuck at home and being driven up the wall by the endless coverage of Covid-19. (It has a real name, and it’s not “China Virus.” Anyone who thinks calling it “China Virus” is clever or appropriate is invited to go get their free music elsewhere. Enough with the childish shit, and with the sorry losers who perpetuate it.)

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THEODORE SHAW: Hold ’Er Newt (They’re After Us)
(V+)

Richmond, IN: April 17, 1924
Vaughan 825 (Gennett mx. 11831 – B)
Shown in error as mx. 11881 in Brian Rust’s Jazz Records (Sixth Edition). Shaw’s first name is not shown on the labels but is listed in the Gennett files. This was one of James D. Vaughan’s Ku Klux Klan records, with Shaw accompanying the Vaughan Quartet’s “Wake Up America and Kluck, Kluck, Kluck” on the reverse side.

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OLIVER NAYLOR’S SEVEN ACES: Ain’t That Hateful
(V++)

New York: February 22, 1924
Gennett 5393 (mx. 8748 – A)
“They have that distinctive New Orleans rhythm that can only be developed by living in the South…” — Gennett Record Gazette I:3 (see the full article at the end of this post)

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NEW ORLEANS WANDERERS: Perdido Street Blues
(EE–)

Chicago: July 13, 1926
Columbia 698-D (mx. W 142426 – 1)

The band is Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five, with George Mitchell subbing for Armstrong (who was exclusive to Okeh at the time and had recently been apprehended and chastised after he was caught recording  surreptitiously for Vocalion).

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DUKE ELLINGTON & HIS ORCHESTRA (as ­Joe Turner & his Memphis Men): Mississippi Moan  (E––)

New York: April 24, 1929
Columbia 1813-D (mx. W 148172 – 3)

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BUMBLE BEE SLIM & MEMPHIS MINNIE: New Orleans Stop Time  (E–)

Chicago: February 6, 1936
Vocalion 03197 (mx. C 1227 – 2)

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Latest Free Download • U-S Everlasting Cylinders – Complete Issues (New Revised Edition)

Latest Free Download

U-S EVERLASTING CYLINDERS:
Complete Issues

 

New Revised Edition by Allan Sutton
Data Compiled by William R. Bryant and
The Record Research Associates

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Introducing the latest edition of Mainspring Press’ 2011 U-S Everlasting cylinderography (now out of print), fully revised using data from William R. Bryant’s and the Record Research group’s extensive research collections (a part of the Mainspring Press archive). In addition to the complete popular/standard catalog, this edition covers the Foreign, Grand Opera, Medicophone, and Singaphone series.

U-S Everlasting Cylinders is the latest addition to Mainspring’s rapidly growing Free Online Reference Library. As with all titles in the Library, this is a copyrighted publication and is offered for personal, non-commercial use only. You can help ensure that we continue to offer these free titles (and protect yourself from potential legal problems) by honoring our terms of use, as outlined at the beginning of each file.

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Download File for Personal Use (print-restricted) (pdf , ~1mb)

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Suspending All Sales and Shipping Outside of USA

Mainspring Press has suspended all sales and shipping outside of the U.S. due to delays and stoppages in foreign postal and customs services. Unfortunately, we will have to cancel any order placed for foreign delivery until further notice.

U.S. customers may continue to order as usual, provided delivery is to a U.S. ZIP code. Please note that at this time, all titles except American Records Companies and Producers, 1888-1950 (of which only a few copies remain) have sold out and will not be restocked.

We’re exiting the book business after twenty successful years, but you can continue to enjoy Mainspring Press discographies thanks to our rapidly growing Online Reference Library. Titles are free to download for your personal use and include new editions of some favorite out-of-print publications, plus exciting new offerings.

Latest Free Download • Indestructible Cylinders, 1907–1921 (New Revised Edition)

Latest Free Download

INDESTRUCTIBLE CYLINDERS:
The Complete American and
British Issues, 1907–1921

 

New Revised Edition by Allan Sutton
Data Compiled by William R. Bryant and
The Record Research Associates

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Introducing the latest edition of Mainspring Press’ 2011 Indestructible cylinderography (now out of print), fully revised using data from William R. Bryant’s and the Record Research group’s extensive research collections (a part of the Mainspring Press archive).

Indestructible Cylinders is the latest addition to Mainspring’s rapidly growing Free Online Reference Library. As with all titles in the Library, this is a copyrighted publication and is offered for personal, non-commercial use only. You can help ensure that we continue to offer these free titles (and protect yourself from potential legal problems) by honoring our terms of use, as outlined at the beginning of each file.

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Download File for Personal Use (print-restricted) (.pdf, ~1mb)

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