Happy Music From The Depression – 1930s Crown Label


“The One Man Band”
The High Steppers
1931 (Crown 3064 A mx 1151)
The One Man Band – The High Steppers

“Hey Young Fella”
Dick Robertson & His Orchestra;  Dick Robertson, vocal
1933 (Crown 3440 A mx 1964)
Hey Young Fella – Dick Robertson & His Orchestra

“I Thank You Mr Moon”
Russ Carlson & His Orchestra
1932 (Crown 3259 A mx 1612)
I Thank You Mr Moon – Russ Carleson & His Orch

“Two Buck Tim From Timbucktoo”
Tommy Tucker & His Californians;  Tommy Tucker, vocal
1933 (Crown 3479 A mx 2034)
Two Buck Tim From Timbucktoo – Tommy Tucker & His Californians

“When Kentucky Bids The World Good Morning”
The High Steppers
1930 (Crown 3031 A mx 1070)
When Kentucky Bids The World Good Morning – The High Steppers


These selections come courtesy of guest contributor Matt From College Station (Now From Florida).   When Matt returned for a visit to Texas over the Christmas holidays he brought along a large stack of records for the Radio Dismuke New Year’s broadcast as well as others for me to digitize.

All of these recordings are from the Crown label, a budget priced label sold through the F.W. Woolworth dime store chain.  The label began in late 1930 and ceased operations by the end of summer 1933.

“One Man Band” was composed by bandleaders Ted Weems and Phil Baxter and was first introduced by the Ted Weems Orchestra.   The song was a follow-up on a couple of other highly successful Weems-Baxter compositions “Piccolo Pete” and “Harmonica Harry.”   Whoever originally owned this particular copy must have loved this recording as much as I do  – it is very worn and was obviously played many times with the heavy tone arm and steel needles of the era’s wind-up phonographs.   Happily my  equipment was able to clean the transfer up far better than I had expected given the condition of the record.

“Hey Young Fellow” was introduced in the 1933 Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Clark Gable film Dancing Ladyan early musical talkie that is actually worth watching for more than just the musical numbers.  In the film the song is performed only very briefly by a chorus of burlesque dancers.   This version is a charming Depression era “cheer up” song – and Dick Robertson was a perfect choice for the vocal.

“Two Buck Tim From Timbucktoo” was recorded by a number of bands in both the US and the UK.  This Crown version has some nice hot jazz solos preceding the vocal.

I digitized many more records on both Crown and other labels when Matt visited and will include some in future updates.

This entry was posted in 1930s, 1930s Popular Music, American Recordings, Electrical Recordings. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Happy Music From The Depression – 1930s Crown Label

  1. Don says:

    Who were The High Steppers? Just some generic studio name or what? I see the 78discography.com numerical listing for the Crown label has Hollywood DO as the artist for The One Man Band and in other recordings refers to them as Adrian Schubert & His Orch.

    Also who is the vocalist on The One Man Band selection? The 78discography list a BC+2.

    Really appreciate your time and effort in restoring these great pieces for our 21st
    century ears. I’m really amazed at the sound quality that these old shellacs can still


  2. dismuke says:

    Don – There is an error on the 78discography.com site. The flip side of the record features “Buddy Blue And His Texans” (pseudonym for Smith Ballew) “I’m Happy When You’re Happy.” But the 78discography lists it as by The High Steppers. And the “One Man Band” side it incorrectly lists as the Hollywood Dance Orchestra when the label on the record says The High Steppers. Now, some Crown sides were issued in the UK on the Imperial label under the pseudonym of the Hollywood Dance Orchestra. So perhaps whoever updated that section of the 78 discography based the entry on having a British Imperial label with a Crown matrix number and just assumed that it was issued in the US under the same pseudonym. But that is just a guess – I have no way of knowing if, in fact, “One Man Band” was issued on the UK Imperial label or not.

    As to the vocalist – I don’t know who it is. Both sides of that recording are missing from Brian Rust’ American Dance Band Discography. The High Steppers was a pseudonym for Crown’s in-house studio band. Adrian Schubert was Crown’s music director and led most of the in-house sessions which were issued under pseudonyms such as the High Steppers, Russ Carlson and His Orchestra and Harold Van Emberg And His Orchestra. Russ Carlson and Harold Van Emberg were real people – but the band’s weren’t theirs. Carlson was Schubert’s pianist and Van Emberg was a vocalist.

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