Zez Confrey And His Orchestra

Victor 21845


“Jack In The Box”
Zez Confrey And His Orchestra
1929 (Victor 21845 B)Zez Confrey And His Orchestra – Jack In The Box]

“Jumping Jack”
Zez Confrey And His Orchestra
1928 (Victor 21845 A)
Zez Confrey And His Orchestra – Jumping Jack]


Here is a record that I am very fond of.  I picked it up two years ago at the Vintage Music Company in Minneapolis which I stopped at while on a road trip through Minnesota.  If you collect records and find yourself anywhere near that part of the country, it would definitely be worth your while to check them out.  It is the only brick and mortar record store I have ever visited that deals only in 78 rpm records.  They also sell and restore vintage record players from the windup era through the multi speed vacuum tube machines of the late 78 rpm and early LP era.   And, unlike most record stores, their entire inventory is alphabetized so it is  quick and easy to see whether they have what  you are searching for.    So even if you don’t find yourself in that part of the world,  if there is a particular record you have been unable to find elsewhere, you might want to send them an email to see if they have a copy available for sale.

Both of these selections fall into the genre of novelty ragtime – of which Zez Confrey was a pioneering composer.   Novelty rags were briefly popular in the United States during the 1920s and enjoyed greater popularity in Germany during the early 1930s (for an example, see my July 31 posting on Jack Bund And His Bravour Dance Orchestra).

While both of these recordings were issued under Confrey’s name,  he did not participate in the recording session and the musicians were members of Nat Shilkret’s in-house Victor studio band.  Apparently Confrey’s only contribution to the session was as composer of “Jack In The Box.”

“Jumping Jack” was recorded by Shilkret’s band with Leonard Joy directing on December 17, 1928.   A take of “Jack In The Box” from that recording session was rejected and not issued.   Shilkret was back in front of the band on January 3, 1929 when this issued take of “Jack In The Box” was recorded.


This entry was posted in 1920s, 1920s Popular Music, American Recordings, Electrical Recordings, Ragtime. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Zez Confrey And His Orchestra

  1. Koshka says:

    These are great! No matter what he worked on, from classical to pop, Shilkret always managed to produce something classy and refined. He is extremely underrated. Thanks for these.

  2. Dennis Kurk says:

    Iam really enjoying your new format. Songs come fast. I live in St. Paul MN and have been to the Vintage Music Store a number of times. Thanks for providing the good music. Dennis Kurk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *