Lewis James – 1927


“Good Night Little Girl Good Night”
Lewis James, vocal
December 1, 1927 (Columbia 1437 D mx 145267)
Good Night Little Girl Good Night

Lewis James, vocal
December 1, 1927 (Columbia 1437 D mx 145266)


Here are two ballads from the late 1890s as performed nearly three decades later by Lewis James, a vocalist who was a prolific recording artist on Victor, Columbia, Edison and other labels from 1917 through the 1930s.

In addition to solo vocals, James also recorded as a member of the Shannon Four harmony vocal quartette which later changed its name to The Revelers.  The success of The Revelers extended beyond records to include regular appearances on radio, in vaudeville and even a European tour.  It was 78 rpm records of The Revelers that inspired the formation of the famous German vocal group, the Comedian Harmonists.   I will dig out some Revelers recordings to include in future updates.

“Good Night Little Girl Good Night” was composed by James Cartwright Macy with words by Julia M Hays.  It was published in 1898.

“Absent” was published in 1899.  It was composed by John W. Metcalf with lyrics by Catherine Young Glen.

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Stuff Smith & His Onyx Club Boys – 1937


“Where Is The Sun”
Stuff Smith And His Onyx Club Boys; Stuff Smith, vocal
May 4, 1937  ( Decca 1287 A mx 62173)
Where Is The Sun

Stuff Smith And His Onyx Club Boys
May 4, 1937 (Decca 1287 B mx 62174)


Here are a couple of recordings by jazz violinist Stuff Smith along with his sextette which was a regular fixture at New York’s Onyx Club.

“Where Is The Sun” is from The Cotton Club Parade of 1937 where it was performed by Ethel WatersThe Cotton Club Parade was the name of the elaborate all-black cast musical revues that  The Cotton Club staged each year.

“Upstairs” is one of Stuff Smith’s own compositions.

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“Slidus Trombonus” Leo Zimmerman 1917



“Slidus Trombonus”
Leo Zimmerman
September 21, 1917 (Columbia A2429 mx 77357)
Slidus Trombonus


Here is a ragtime era novelty song that I think is fun.

The original sheet music for “Slidus Trombonus” included a subtitle “A Trombone Comedy” which will make sense when you listen.  The song was composed by Mayhew Lester Lake.

Leo Zimmerman was, for many years, the first trombonist in John Philip Sousa’s band.

Posted in 1910s, 1910s Popular Music, Acoustic Recordings, American Recordings, Ragtime | Leave a comment

Marek Weber and His Orchestra – 1930


“Recollections Of Marie” (“Marien-Klänge“)
Marek Weber And His Orchestra
1930 (Victor 24354 A)
Recollections Of Marie

“Summer Evening” (“Soirée d’été”/”Ein Sommerabend“)
Marek Weber And His Orchestra
1930 (Victor 24354 B)
Summer Evening


Here are a couple of waltzes performed by Marek Weber’s orchestra.  The orchestra performed everything from the classics to popular music and jazz and achieved international fame through its recordings.   For many years it was a regular feature at Berlin’s top notch Hotel Adlon.  Weber was one of many Jewish performers who were banned from performing and had to flee Germany when the National Socialists came to power in 1933.

“Recollections Of Marie” (“Marien-Klänge“) was composed in 1867 by Josef Strauss and was dedicated to Marie, Princess of Liechtenstein (1835-1905) who was the patron of the ball at which it was first performed.

“Summer Evening” (“Soirée d’été”/”Ein Sommerabend”) was composed in 1883 by Emile Waldteufel.

My copy is an American pressing on Victor.  Both sides were recorded in Germany in 1930 but did not make their way into the Victor catalog until 1933.

I have featured Marek Weber’s orchestra in previous postings:  September 28, 2011, June 3, 2013 and, most recently on May 25, 2015.


Posted in 1930s, Classical, Electrical Recordings, German Recordings, Salon Music | Leave a comment

Kitty O’Connor – 1927


“I Ain’t That Kind Of A Baby”
Kitty O’Connor
June 22, 1927 (Columbia 1069 D mx 144390)
I Ain’t That Kind Of A Baby

“Lazy Weather”
Kitty O’Connor
June 22, 1927  (Columbia 1069 D mx 144389 )
Lazy Weather


Kitty O’Connor enjoyed brief popularity on the vaudeville and Broadway stage during the 1920s.  She was billed as “The Girl Baritone” for reasons you will hear on these recordings.   A very odd sounding voice – but she could certainly belt out a song.   I especially enjoy the “hot jazz” studio band that accompanies her.


Posted in 1920s, 1920s Popular Music, American Recordings, Electrical Recordings | 1 Comment

Victor Military Band – 1916


“In The Park March”
Victor Military Band
March 21, 1916 (Victor 18017-B)
In The Park March

“Tenth Regiment March”
Victor Military Band
March 21, 1916 (Victor 18017-A)
Tenth Regiment March


Here are two recordings by the Victor Military Band from 1916.   Walter B. Rogers was the conductor on both of these.

“In The Park March” was composed by Carl Dorn and originally published by the Boston based Oliver Ditson Company in 1903.

Because I think the song is very catchy, I became curious to know more about Dorn. Google searches for that name turned up only limited information.   I was able to find reference to a few other songs he composed in the 1870s – all of them published in Boston. Sheet music of one of his 1878 compositions “Trũme der Jugend Waltzes” on the Library of Congress website includes a dedication “to my brother William Dorn.”   This proved to be the key to my solving my little mystery as to who Carl Dorn was.

A search on Ancestry.com found a William Dorn who was a Boston area violinist during the 1870s and 1880s.  Census records indicate that he had a brother, Charles J Dorn  (1838 – 1909) who was listed as a piano tuner in federal Census records and in Boston City Directories from the 1870s through the early 1900s.   Charles Dorn had two children – Frederick Hugo Dorn and Elizabeth Dorn – who, according to the Catalog of Copyright Entries renewed the rights to one of his arrangements of “In The Park March” in 1948.  Mr. Dorn died November 30, 1909 on a passenger train just before it pulled into the train station in Orange, Massachusetts.

Charles J Dorn was well-known in the Boston area as a guitar player and as a composer of guitar music.   It appears that he might have published under the name “Charles J. Dorn” on the compositions and arrangements that he wrote for guitar and under the name “Carl Dorn” for his other compositions.

Fortunately, information about the other selection featured here, “Tenth Regiment March,” did not require as much digging.   It was composed in 1895 by Robert Browne Hall.  This march is better known by its alternative title “Death Or Glory.”

Posted in 1910s, Acoustic Recordings, American Recordings, Military Band | 1 Comment

The Radiolites (Ben Selvin Orchestra) – 1928


“One Step To Heaven”
The Radiolites
July 5, 1928 (Columbia 1468-D mx 146624)
One Step To Heaven

The Radiolites
July 5, 1928 (Columbia 1468-D mx 146612)


Here are two songs from the 1928 Broadway production Say When as played by the Ben Selvin Orchestra recording under the pseudonym of “The Radiolites.”

Say When opened at New York’s Morosco Theater on June 26, 1928.  The production only ran for 15 performances and closed on July 7, 1928 just two days after these recordings were made.


Posted in 1920s, 1920s Popular Music, American Recordings, Broadway, Electrical Recordings | 1 Comment

Carlos Molina And His Orchestra – 1940


“Cui Cui”
Carlos Molina And His Orchestra
December 1939 (Philharmonic FR 49 mx 1117)
Cui Cui

Carlos Molina And His Orchestra
January 1940 (Philharmonic FR 49 mx US1218)

“Pobre Sebastian”
Carlos Molina And His Orchestra
January 1940 (Philharmonic FR 52 mx 1215)
Pobre Sebastian

“Make Love With A Guitar”
Carlos Molina And His Orchestra
January 1940 (Philharmonic FR 52 mx 1216)
Make Love With A Guitar


Here are some recordings by Puerto Rican born Carlos Molina (1899 – 1982) who led one of the more popular USA based Latin bands from the 1930s through the 1950s.

These selections were recorded by Eli Oberstein’s short-lived United States Record Corporation which was founded in 1939 and folded in 1940.   All of these recordings appeared on multiple labels.  For example, they appeared on Royale which was one of the USRC’s flagship labels. They also appeared on the Montgomery Ward label which was, for a period, pressed by USRC and sold though Ward’s retail stores and catalogs.  They were also sold in Puerto Rico on the Fragoso label.

My pressings are on the Philharmonic label which was distributed by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company.   While Firestone is known today for tires and its auto repair shops, for many decades the company had a network of independently owned Firestone Home & Auto Supply stores in small-towns across America which sold an array of Firestone private-label merchandise ranging from appliances to radios and phonographs to bicycles to sporting goods and, of course, auto supplies.  For content, the Philharmonic label drew from both USRC material as well as from Columbia.  If you look at the bottom rim of the label image above, you can make out the Firestone logo.

I have not been able to locate any information as to who the vocalists on these recordings were.

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Ray Kinney with Dick McIntire & His Harmony Hawaiians – 1936


“Uheuhene (Hawaiian Shouting Song)”
Ray Kinney with Dick McIntire And His Harmony Hawaiians
May 27, 1936 (Decca 856 A mx DLA 374)
Uheuhene (Hawaiian Shouting Song)

“If Your Aloha Means I Love you (Then I’m Happy)”
Ray Kinney with Dick McIntire And His Harmony Hawaiians
May 27, 1936 (Decca 856 A mx DLA 373)
If Your Aloha Means I Love you (Then I’m Happy)


Here is a record featuring a combination that I really enjoy – vocalist Ray Kinney backed up by the steel guitar playing of Dick McIntire along with his band.  I think this is fun music  – especially “Uheuhene”

If you enjoy these selections, you might want to check out my June 8, 2013 posting in which I featured another nice Decca record by Kinney and McIntire.


Posted in 1930s, 1930s Popular Music, American Recordings, Electrical Recordings, Ethnic Recordings | 2 Comments

Jimmy Leach And His New Organolians 1948


“Dream Girl”
Jimmy Leach And His New Organolians; Alan Dean, vocal
1948 (Columbia FB 3432 mx CA 20845)
Dream Girl

“The Chapel Over The Hill”
Jimmy Leach And His New Organolians; Alan Dean, vocal
1948 (Columbia FB 3432 mx CA 20846)
The Chapel Over The Hill


Here’s a record I from postwar Britain by a group that has a rather unique but pleasant style.  I especially enjoy the “Dream Girl” side.

Pianist and organist Jimmy Leach was a regular fixture on BBC broadcasts from the 1940s through the 1960s, including the long running Music While You Work program which I wrote about in my August 30, 2011 posting.

Vocalist Alan Dean was consistently voted as Britain’s most popular male singer in Melody Maker newspaper popularity polls from 1949-1952.

“Dream Girl” was the title song from the 1948 Paramount film Dream Girl which starred Betty Hutton.

“The Chapel Over The Hill” was one of Jimmy Leach’s own compositions – on this he shared composer credit with Gerry Mason.

Posted in 1940s, 1940s Popular Music, British Recordings, Electrical Recordings, Postwar Recordings | Leave a comment