The earliest known personnel listing for the Louisville Jug Band, 1914. “Colvin” presumably is a typo for Ben Calvin, who worked on-and-off with McDonald for many years; could “John Smith” be a typo for Cal Smith, a long-time McDonald associate? (Louisville Courier-Journal, October 20, 1914)
A 1918 iteration of the Louisville Jug Band, interrupting their Chicago engagement for a week’s appearance at the Antler cabaret in Dayton, Ohio. Can anyone identify the members? (Dayton Daily News, April 14, 1918)
McDonald and company fared far better than most race-record artists during the early Depression years, thanks to their popular “Ballard Chefs” broadcasts. Originating in Louisville, the program aired in many major cities. (What’s on the Air, April 1930)
Earl McDonald entertains at the University Kentucky. (Louisville Courier-Journal, February 15, 1948)
(Louisville Courier-Journal, April 29, 1949)
SARA MARTIN & HER JUG BAND: I’m Gonna Be a Lovin’ Old Soul
New York: September 1924
Okeh 8211 (mx. S 72837-b)
Clifford Hayes, violin; Curtis Hayes, banjo; Earl McDonald, jug
We’re pleased to announce that Race Records and the American Recording Industry, 1919–1945 (Allan Sutton, Mainspring Press) has been nominated for a 2017 Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded-Sound Research by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. Winners will be announced later this year.
Race Records is available from Mainspring Press and many major libraries. Here’s a peek inside the book, at some of our favorite race-record ads:
New York: February 1921
Okeh 4295 (mx. S 7788 – B) The February 21 recording date shown in some discographies is speculative and not from the Okeh recording files (which do not exist for this period).
KING OLIVER’S JAZZ BAND: Dipper Mouth Blues
Chicago (Consolidated Talking Machine Co. offices): June 23, 1923
Okeh 4918 (mx. 8402 – A)
BENNIE MOTEN’S KANSAS CITY ORCHESTRA: 18th Street Strut
Kansas City, MO: May 1925
Okeh 8242 (mx. 9123 – A)
The May 14 recording date shown in some discographies is speculative and not from the Okeh recording files (which do not exist for this Kansas City series).
CLIFFORD [HAYES]’ LOUISVILLE JUG BAND: Struttin’ the Blues
Chicago: May 1925
Okeh 8238 (mx. 9143 – A)
The May 20 recording date shown in some discographies is speculative and not from the Okeh recording files (which do not exist for this session), but probably is fairly accurate, as the preceding session (consisting of Polish vocals) is dated May 19 in the Okeh files.
WHISTLER [BRUFORD THRELKELD] & HIS JUG BAND: Pig Meat Blues
St. Louis: April 30, 1927
Okeh 8816 (mx. W 80799 – ) From a tape dubbing supplied by the late Mike Stewart.
NAP HAYES & MATTHEW PRATER: Nothin’ Doin’
Memphis: February 15, 1928
Okeh 45231 (mx. W 400243 – B) Issued in the white country-music series, although Hayes and Prater were African American. Lonnie Johnson performed with them on the first four titles from this eight-title session.
JESSE STONE & HIS BLUE SERENADERS: Starvation Blues
St. Louis: April 27, 1927
Okeh 8471 (mx. W 80761 – C)
ARIZONA DRANES (vocal and piano): I Shall Wear a Crown
Chicago: July 3, 1928
Okeh 8600 (mx. W 400980 – ) From a tape dubbing supplied by the late Mike Stewart. The accompanying vocalists and mandolin player are unidentified on the labels and in the Okeh files.
JOSEPH C. SMITH’S ORCHESTRA, Featuring HARRY RADERMAN & HIS LAUGHING TROMBONE: Yellow Dog Blues — Medley Fox Trot, introducing “Hooking Cow Blues”
New York: October 1, 1919 — Released December 1919 (Deleted 1926)
Victor 18618 (mx. B 23282 – 1)
BESSIE SMITH (acc: Fletcher Henderson’s Hot Six):
Yellow Dog Blues
New York: May 6, 1925
Columbia 14075-D (mx. W 140586 – 1)
DUKE ELLINGTON & HIS ORCHESTRA: Yellow Dog Blues
New York: June 25, 1928
Brunswick 3987 (mx. E 27771 – A or B) The selected take (of two made) is not indicated in the Brunswick files or on inspected pressings.
MEMPHIS JUG BAND: Rukus Juice and Chittlin’
Chicago: November 8, 1934
Okeh mx. C 801 – 1 From a c. 1960s vinyl pressing from the original stamper. This recording was issued commercially on Okeh 8955, as part of the final group of Okeh race releases made before the 8000 series was scuttled.