Current Selections
Updated October 1998

All selections are in streaming Real Audio.  To listen you will need the free Real Audio player.  Click on the icon to download yours.
To Listen To An Individual Selection, Simply Click 
On The Title.
Special Options
To listen to all 30 selections played in the order they appear, click here.
To listen to selections 1-15 played in the order they appear, click here.
To listen to selections 15-30 played in the order they appear, click here.
Freeze OutNew!(Audio file updated 10/5/03)
Clarence Williams and His Jazz Kings                                   1929
Not only was Williams a bandleader, he was also a noted pianist, song writer, music publisher and served as business manager for other black entertainers.   From 1923 to 1928, he was also the artist and repertoire director of Okeh Records.  This particular record is quite rare.

Lucky Strike Presents: I Love To WhistleNew!(Audio file updated 10/5/03)
Kay Kyser & His Orchestra;  Sully Mason, vocal                   1938
This is from a short radio broadcast sponsored by the makers of Lucky Strike Cigarettes.  More so than the music, what I think is most interesting about this selection is the testimonial Mason gives afterwards about how good the cigarettes are for one's throat!  Not a claim that is likely to be heard today.  In fact, this broadcast would actually be illegal today as cigarette ads have been banned from radio since the 1970s.

I Know WhyNew!(Audio file updated 10/5/03)
Roy Collins' Dance Orchestra                                                  1927
This is another example of a song that I cannot decide whether it is happy or sad.  It is extremely upbeat and cheerful but, at the same time, has a certain haunting quality.  My understanding is that the Roy Collins Dance Orchestra was a recording pseudonym used by the Nathan Glantz  and Joseph Samuels bands - and perhaps some others.  The use of such pseudonyms was extremely common in the '20s and '30s.

Left My Gal In The MountainsNew!(Audio file updated 10/5/03)
Gene Kardos and his Orchestra                                               1933
The words on this one are thoroughly depressing and dismal - but the band is upbeat and "hot."  I especially enjoy the musical "duel" near the end.  This selection is from the Electradisk record pictured at the top of the page.  Electradisk was a low-priced label produced by RCA from 1932-1934.  Today Electradisk records are rather hard to find.

Something To Remember You ByNew!(Audio file updated 10/5/03)
Sam Lanin's Dance Ensemble;  Paul Small, vocal                  1931
This one is from a cardboard Hit Of The Week Record.  The inexpensive one-sided records were sold through newsstands in an ill-fated attempt to induce a Depression strapped public to once again buy records.  I think this is a very beautiful song that would make an excellent closing theme.

Top HatNew!(Audio file updated 10/07/03)
Ray Noble and His Orchestra; 
Al Bowlly and The Freshmen, vocals                                   1935
This song is usually associated with Fred Astaire, but I like this version better.  Noble was an extremely successful British bandleader who moved to the USA where his success  continued.  Noble was also popular on network radio - during the 1940s  he was part of the cast of "The Burns and Allen Show" (one of Dismuke's favorites, by the way) as well as "The Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy Show."  Bowlly was England's most popular male vocalist in the 1930s.  He was killed in a London air raid during the Blitz.  Someone once told me that the cause of death was fright and not injuries sustained as a result of the bomb blast - and that is what I originally noted here.  A visitor to the site, however, has provided me with evidence to the contrary.  Bowlly was asleep in bed when the bomb struck his apartment building.

I've Got You On My MindNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Leo Reisman and His Orchestra;   Fred Astaire, vocal                    1932
Speaking of Fred Astaire, here's a recording he made before he achieved the film success he is today remembered for.  At the time of the recording, Astaire was already a star of the musical stage.  A year later, however, when he made his first screen test, Hollywood was not so impressed.  The response: "Can't act. Can't sing. Can dance a little."  He sure showed them, didn't he?

SundayNew!(Audio file updated 10/07/03)
Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
The Keller Sisters and Lynch, vocals                                          1926
You couldn't ask for a more stereotypical 1920's  selection than this.  It's got everything: jazz, flappers, a ukulele solo and even some "vo-do-do-de-do!"

Sweet Georgia BrownNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Isham Jones' Orchestra;  Bing Crosby, vocal                                1932
While Jones was active as a bandleader  from 1919 until after World War II,  I think his recordings from the early '30s were his best.  Unfortunately, they are the ones I have the hardest time finding.  This one is nice and jazzy - as is Crosby's vocal.

Smoke Gets In Your EyesNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra                                              1937
Here is a tune that is still around and occasionally performed - and deservedly so.  Over the years, this song has been recorded in a wide variety of styles.  I think this particular version deserves to be considered a classic in its own right.

Wrappin' It UpNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra                                          1934
Fletcher Henderson was one of the major influences behind what is now known as "swing music."  Unfortunately for him, he shared little in its financial success.  The year after this was recorded, Henderson was forced to disband and go to work as an arranger for Benny Goodman.  It was on the strength of Fletcher Henderson arrangements that Goodman caught the nation's attention and became known as the "King of Swing."

Take It EasyNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Orville Knapp and His Orchestra; Edith Caldwell, vocal               1935
Knapp was the brother of movie star Evelyn Knapp.  His band, though definitely on the "sweet" side,  featured an interesting style and some rather unusual musical effects.  It was rapidly on its way to  national fame when Knapp was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1936.  His theme song "Accent On Youth" is an incredibly beautiful recording and is near the top of my want list.  As soon as I can locate a copy, I will feature it here.

Where The Shy Little Violets GrowNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Campus Boys;   Ralph Haines, vocal                                        1928
Don't be misled by the song's hokey title;  this is a really snappy number.   None of my reference material has any  information as to which band the "Campus Boys" was a pseudonym for.   To venture a guess, I would say that this recording sounds a lot like one of Harry Reser's.  Perhaps one of the visitors to this site will be able to confirm this one way or another. 

RhumbolaNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Abe Lyman and His California Orchestra                                  1935
I enjoy a lot of the Latin American styled recordings from the 1930s and will occasionally feature some.  Lyman's was a mainstream band and not primarily Latin, though he is credited as the composer of this tune.

Old PlaymateNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Ted Lewis and His Band;  Ted Lewis, vocal                             1931
Billed as "The High Hat Tragedian of Song"  Ted Lewis fronted an organization that was as much a vaudeville act as it was a dance band.  Though the critics  usually trash  Lewis as "corny"  I consider myself a fan.  His band was often quite jazzy and employed several musicians who would later be considered as "greats."

Jungle FeverNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Glen Gray and The Casa Loma Orchestra                                   1934
This band, which enjoyed continual popularity throughout the '30s and 40's, recorded both "hot" and "sweet" numbers.  This selection is typical of their early '30s jazz recordings.  The Casa Loma's jazz efforts had a unique stiff, staccato  style.

I'm An Old CowhandNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Charlie Barnett and His Glen Island Casino Orchestra                  1936

We Can't Use Each Other Any MoreNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Lew Bray, vocal
Sunny Clapp & His Band O' Sunshine                                       1929
This is the only Lew Bray record that I presently have.  I don't know anything about him other than the fact that he was from Texas and did not make very many records.  Too bad because, if this selection is any indication, he had a nice style.  I really like the band that plays in the background on this.  One would think, however, that they could have come up with a better name for themselves!  I sure hope that Sunny Clapp was the leader's real name as I can not imagine why anyone would choose it!  Then again, with a name like Dismuke, who am I to talk!

If I Could Be With YouNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Hotel Pennsylvania Music; Billy Coty, vocal                                   1930
This group appeared on the different Columbia subsidiary labels.  I assume that the name refers to New York's famous Hotel Pennsylvania - the largest in the world in its day - whose phone number Glenn Miller would immortalize a decade later.

The Lonesome RoadNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra                                                   1931
This is an unusual recording to say the least!   Nevertheless, the band - and, of course, Armstrong's playing -  is great.  The comedy routine has its moments as well.

ShineNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Ella Fitzgerald and Her Savoy Eight                                               1936

Send For MeNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Fred Rich and His Orchestra                                                          1930

Mixed SaladNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
The New Orleans Bootblacks                                                        1926
This is an extremely rare recording.  The band was run by Louis Armstrong's wife, Lil.

Keep A Song In Your SoulNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra                                                   1930

London RhythmNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Mills Brothers, vocal                                                                   1936
Recently, I acquired several 1930s Mills Brothers records and am starting to develop an appreciation for them.  One novel feature of their recordings from this period is the fact that they used their voices to mimic the sounds of musical instruments.  In fact, the label for this record sub-titles the group's name as "Four Boys and a Guitar" and emphasizes "No Musical Instrument or mechanical devices used on this recording other than one Guitar." (capitalization Decca Records' -  not mine)  An additional interesting  fact is this recording was actually made in the song title's city when the group was on a trip to England.

On The Sunny Side Of The StreetNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra                                                 1937

I'm Needing YouNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Ben Hammond and His Orchestra                                                  1937
This is from an old Crown Record -  a 9 inch disc  (as opposed to the more standard 10 inch ones) that was manufactured for and sold through F.W. Woolworth Company's British stores.  As my knowledge about the British bands is still rather limited, I have no information on this group - but this particular recording has a nice "big band" style.

What Do We Do On A Dew-Dew-Dewy DayNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Nat Shilkret and The Victor Orchestra;  Johnny Marvin, vocal          1927
Here is another upbeat "Roaring Twenties" selection.  Johnny Marvin was a very popular vocalist in the '20s .  On a 1928 trip to London, Marvin became friends with the Prince of Wales and reportedly taught the prince how to play the ukulele.  I have a whole bunch of his records and I'm sure I  will eventually get around to including some more.

Following The Sun AroundNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Carl Fenton's Orchestra                                                                1927
This song is from the Ziegfeld Production "Rio Rita."  The really catchy tune you hear after the vocal chorus is another song from the same show called "The Kinkajou."  

Butch The Beach BoyNew!(Audio file updated 10/12/03)
Frankie Masters and His Orchestra                                               1939
This is a novelty tune about a Hollywood success story gone bust.

Archive Of Previous Updates
Volume III             Originally Posted June 1998            22 Recordings
Featuring:  Clarence Williams , Benny Goodman, Leo Reisman, Ted Weems, Smith Ballew, "Fats"
Waller, Joe Venuti, Xavier Cugat, Bunny Berigan, and more 

Volume II              Originally Posted April 1998            15 Recordings
Featuring:  Bing Crosby with the Ipana Troubadours,  a recalled recording of Ella Fitzgerald performing with Benny Goodman's band,  McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Fred Rich, Johnny Hamp, Vaughn DeLeath and more

Volume I                Originally Posted March 1998         14 Recordings

Featuring:  Annette Hanshaw,  Paul Whiteman, Ted Lewis,  Red Nichols, Harry Reser, Bob Crosby, Artie Shaw, Howard Lanin, Gus Arnheim and more

Don't forget to visit my Acoustical Recording section which features selections from 1900-1925.  The music includes ragtime, operatic and light classical selections, patriotic songs from World War I and early jazz.


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