The Playlist • Some May – June 2022 Additions
(Free MP3 Transfers)
Some favorite new arrivals to the collection, for your listening pleasure.
We’re always looking to acquire top-quality 1920s jazz records in top condition; your lists of disposables — with ruthlessly honest grading and all defects (especially any graininess) noted, along with your asking prices — are always welcome.
JELLY ROLL MORTON & HIS ORCHESTRA: Pretty Lil (EE+)
Camden, NJ: July 9, 1929
Victor V-38078 (mx. BVE 49454 – 2)
KING OLIVER & HIS ORCHESTRA: The Trumpet’s Prayer (EE+)
New York: February 1, 1929 Victor V-38039 (mx. BVE 48334 – 1) Oliver present as director, per the Victor files.
CLARENCE WILLIAMS’ ORCHESTRA: Lazy Mama (E+)
New York: June 23, 1928 Okeh 8592 (mx. W 400818 – B)
NEW ORLEANS OWLS: Piccadilly (E)
New Orleans: April 14, 1926 Columbia 1158-D (mx. W 142019 – 3)
CLIFF CARLISLE: That Nasty Swing (EE–)
Charlotte, NC (Southern Radio Building): June 16, 1936 Bluebird B-6631 (mx. BS 102651 -1) Cliff Carlisle (steel guitar); other accompanists unlisted in RCA files.
TED BROUGHTON & ROY RODGERS (as The Hawaiian Songbirds): Happy Hawaiian Blues (V++ to E–)
Dallas: October 1928 Perfect 11342 (Brunswick mx. DAL 697 – A)
SOL HOOPII’S NOVELTY TRIO: Alekoki (E+)
Los Angeles: March 24, 1928 Columbia 1368-D (mx. W 145908 – 4)
The Playlist • Some October Additions to the Collection
A few of this month’s new favorite finds, for your enjoyment. Always looking to acquire similar material in fine condition (true E– minimum, with exceptions made only for real rarities). You are welcome to email your lists of disposables. Please be brutally honest in your assessment of condition, and use standard VJM grading; note all defects, including grainy surfaces and any label discoloration or damage; and state your asking price (no trade offers, please).
REV. A. W. NIX & CONGREGATION: Pay Your Honest Debts (EE+)
Chicago: c. January 1930
Vocalion 1470 (mx. C 5197 – ) The take selected is not shown in the pressing, and the surviving Brunswick documentation for this period is largely missing or incomplete.
JIM JACKSON: Bootlegging Blues (EE+)
Memphis Auditorium: February 14, 1928
Unissued Victor mx. BVE 41904 – 1 (test pressing) This take is unlisted in Blues and Gospel Records (Dixon, Godrich & Rye), although it is documented in the Victor files. Take 2 was issued on Victor 21268 in April 1928.
MEMPHIS MINNIE: New Caught Me Wrong Again (E)
Chicago: June 22, 1937
Vocalion 03966 (mx. C 2056 – 1) Accompanying personnel are unlisted in the surviving American Record Corporation documentation. Blues and Gospel Records suggests Blind John Davis as the probable pianist but doesn’t hazard a guess on the bassist.
CAROLINA TAR HEELS: Shanghai in China (E+)
Charlotte NC: August 11, 1927
Victor 20941 (mx. BVE 39795 – 2) Contains racist lyrics, but an otherwise great record. Personnel per Victor ledger: Gwen Foster (vocal, guitar, harmonica); Dock Walsh (vocal, banjo). Victor’s dealer-stock tag describes this as a clarinet polka!
CARROLL DICKERSON’S SAVOY ORCHESTRA: Black Maria (EE+)
Chicago: May 25, 1928
Brunswick 3990 (mx. C 1977 – A)
RED NICHOLS & HIS FIVE PENNIES: Back Beats (E)
New York: March 3, 1927
Brunswick 3490 (mx. E 21721 – 2)
HOPI INDIAN CHANTERS (GROUP OF M. W. BILLINGSLEY):
Chant of the Snake Dance (E+)
New York: March 30, 1926
Victor 20043 (mx. BVE 35252 – 2)
The first additions and revisions to the newly posted International Record Company Discography have already arrived, from Scott Vaughan, thanks to whom we can remove Excelsior [X] 2060 from the “untraced” list. The selection is “If Mister Boston Lawson Has His Way” (from George H. Cohan’s “Little Johnny Jones”), shortened on the label to simply “Boston Lawson.” There is no artist credit, but Billy Murray is readily recognizable:
Excelsior [X] 2060 BILLY MURRAY: If Mr. Boston Lawson Has His Way
Image and MP3s courtesy of Scott Vaughan
Other additions and an important revision from Scott, all confirmed from his submitted scans and/or MP3 files:
340 — The correct selection is actually “My Maryland,” a march composed by W. S. Mygrant, despite labels that read “Maryland, My Maryland.” (The latter is the state song of Maryland, which uses the melody to “O Tannenbaum,” a.k.a. “Oh Christmas Tree,” and which is interpolated midway through Mygrant’s piece): .
1576 — A copy of Central 1576 labeled for this title actually uses Excelsior 340 (see comments above).
3148 — Also on Excelsior 3148, credited to Wm. Fredericks on the label. (Other inspected labels by this artist spell the name Frederichs. Does anyone know who this was, and which is the correct spelling?)
3175 — Also on Excelsior 3175
3207 — Also on Excelsior 3207
These revisions will be added to the permanent discography the next time we update the file, probably within the next month or two. Verifiable additions and corrections to all of our online discographies are always welcome and can be e-mailed to:
Collector’s Corner • Some New Record Arrivals for October – November
A few favorite new additions to the jazz collection, for your listening pleasure. (Opera fans, we’ve not forgotten about you. In a few weeks, we’ll be posting some interesting Fonotipia and Russian Amour recordings that were recently added to the collection.)
WILL EZELL: West Coast Rag (V++)
Chicago (Marsh Laboratories): c. September 1927
Paramount 12549 (mx. 4787 – 2)
GEORGE H. TREMER: Spirit of ’49 Rag (EE–)
Birmingham (Starr Piano Co. store): August , 1927
Gennett 6242 (mx. GEX 779 – A) Take A was received at the Richmond, Indiana, plant on August 6, 1927 (the rejected plain take followed on August 8).
SAVOY BEARCATS: Bearcat Stomp (E)
New York: August 23, 1926
Victor 20307 (mx. BVE 36060 – 3) January 1927 Race release, deleted in 1928. Don Redman’s name is misspelled “Radman” on the labels and in the Victor files.
FESS WILLIAMS’ ROYAL FLUSH ORCHESTRA: Alligator Crawl (EE+)
New York: June 15, 1927
Brunswick 3589 (mx. E 23633) Originally marked as a Race release in the recording ledger, which was subsequently crossed-out.
JIMMIE NOONE’S APEX CLUB ORCHESTRA: Apex Blues (E–)
Chicago: August 23, 1928
Vocalion 1207 (mx. C 2258 – B)
GEORGE E. LEE & HIS ORCHESTRA: Ruff Scufflin’ (EE+)
Kansas City: November 6, 1929
Brunswick 4684 (mx. KC 585 -A or B) The selected take is not indicated in the Brunswick files or on the pressing.
Why don’t we list personnel?
Simple. The 1920s band personnel listed in works like Brian Rust’s or Tom Lords’ discographies generally are not from the original company recording files or other reliable primary-source documentation. Just where they are from is a question to which we rarely get an answer. When we do, all too often it turns out to be anecdotal or speculative (or just plain bat-shit crazy).
Most record companies didn’t start regularly documenting personnel until the later 1930s, when new union regulations made that necessary. Exactly where most of those 1920s and early 1930s personnel listings in the discographies came from — who knows? They rarely cite sources (which, according to Rust associate Malcolm Shaw, was sometimes just friends getting together over pints and playing “I hear so-and-so.”) That’s a shame, because some of the information in those books probably is from reliable sources; but without citations, there’s no way to separate the good from the bad.
Unfortunately, even when Rust had access to reliable primary-source materials, like Ed Kirkeby’s California Ramblers ledgers, he couldn’t resist meddling with the facts — for example, stating that Tommy Dorsey or Glenn Miller were present on sessions for which Kirkeby’s files clearly show they were not. So, take it all with the proverbial gain of salt. We certainly do.