Radio Dismuke - Click to visit

Dismuke's Hit Of The Week
Previous Selections
April 2007




April 19

This week's Hit of the Week is brought to you by

Click on image for larger view

Lincoln Motor Company
(from 1927 ad)



 
 

 
Note: I am very pleased to welcome back guest contributor Eddie The Collector.  Eddie will be providing both the main update as well as the "Extra."  The  records and commentary are Eddie's - my only contribution was to transfer and digitalize the recordings.   You may read more about Eddie as well as view his photo and contact information by clicking here
 
 
 

Bogalousa StrutClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Sam Morgans Jazz Band                        1927
(Columbia 14351 D mx 145001)

Short Dress GalClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Sam Morgans Jazz Band
Sam Morgan, vocal                                1927
(Columbia 14351 D mx 145000)
 
 
 

Sam Morgan's Jazz Band was one of the bands which worked on the riverboats out of New Orleans and was one of only about six New Orleans territory bands.  The excursion trade became important for many of the city's black bands because they had to file their contracts with the Mobile, Alabama chapter (the closest black local), which was well over 100 miles away.  Having been denied membership into the Musicians Protected Union No. 174, Morgan and others petitioned to establish a local chapter (496) of the American Federation of Musicians in 1926, which was ultimately chartered in Gulfport, Mississippi, because you couldn't have two unions in the same state. 

All eight of Sam Morgan's Columbia recordings were made on two days in 1927 - either April 14 or, as was the case with this week's selections, October 22.    With the exception of three traditional melodies, the remaining five, including the two featured here,  were Morgan compositions. 

Sam played the trumpet along with another brother, Isaiah, while a third brother, Andrew, played clarinet and tenor saxophone.   Sadly, Sam Morgan lived a relatively short life - 1895-1936 - but during the 1920's,  he contributed 8 sides regarded as some of the best New Orleans classic jazz of the decade.

One has to simply listen to these recordings to appreciate their full magnificance - the energy they produce could light a small city, or even a medium sized one.  Morgan himself sings the vocal on "Short Dress Gal."  Its primitiveness - and I don't mean that in a derogatory sense - only adds to its appeal.  Of course, short dresses were the thing in the '20s and this song capitalizes on that trend.
 

- Eddie The Collector
 
 

EXTRA






This section will  present 78 rpm recordings that do not fall within the range of the vintage pop and jazz  fare that I usually  present.  Here I will feature recordings from a wide variety of eras, musical genres and nationalities as well as occasional spoken word recordings.
 
 

1924 Columbia flag label
Image courtesy Eddie The Collector




LazyClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Blossom Seeley, vocal
The Georgians, Frank Guarente director                   1924
(Columbia 114 D mx 81653)

Don't Mind The RainClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Blossom Seeley, vocal
The Georgians, Frank Guarente director                   1924
(Columbia 114 D mx 81652)
 
 

Blossom Seeley (1891-1974) was one of the greatest Vaudeville singers, an equal in talent to Nora Bayes or Sophie Tucker. 

Blossom began as a child performer and worked San Francisco's Barbary Coast as a ragtime singer.   Her strutting, finger-snapping, syncopated rhythms gave distinction to her act and she was enticed eastward to New York, the center of big-time Vaudeville and musical revues.  She worked solo in Vaudeville and with her husbands - Joe Kane was one, and Rube Marquard, the top-flight pitcher for the New York Giants, was another.  Benny Fields came next and they became partners in life and career and were the ultimate professionals.  They always delivered an incredibly polished performance as finely tuned and timed as a clockwork mechanism, but never seeming anything but fresh, immediate and vital. 

While Seeley made a couple of films and appeared on radio and TV, she seemed to be content to fade away in tune and time with Vaudeville.  After Benny Fields's early death in 1959, Blossom tried a comeback, appearing on the Ed Sullivan show.  Although she could still sing well in her seventies and eighties, and was still a captivating performer, her era and her audience were gone (they're back now -  at least the audience!).

On these recordings, Seeley is accompanied by The Georgians which was a subset of the Paul Specht Orchestra.  Specht had a gig at the Hotel Alamac in New York City in 1920 - the orchestra played music for dancing in the ballroom and afterwards a smaller group that went by the name Georgians played in the cocktail lounge.  The star and leader of the group was trumpet player Frank Guarente.  In 1922, the Georgians went to Europe and stayed until 1924, then rejoined Specht's orchestra.  The Georgian's stay in Europe was quite influential and gave Europeans their first taste of a real American jazz band.  Guarente formed his own band called The New Georgians which recorded in Switzerland under the name Frank Guarente's World Known Georgians.  Guarente played in Europe until 1927, when he joined the Savoy Orpheans in London.  He returned to America in 1928 and rejoined Specht's orchestra for two years.  In the 1930's, he did studio work and played in a variety of bands including the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra.
 

I became aware of this version of this Irving Berlin tune "Lazy" by listening to the three  LP  reissue set called The Original Sound of the Twenties, released by Columbia in the late '60s or early '70s in response to Victor's successful Vintage series.  I had always tended to ignore vocal recordings, preferring the fuller-sounding Fox Trot orchestra versions.  However, everytime I listened to this record, I liked it better.  The accompanying liner notes described it something like this: "...Blossom belts out the words with verve and enthusiasm, making you feel like you were right there with her with that 'valise full of books to read when it's peaceful, killin' time!, killin' time!, bein' Lazy!'"  Those notes are exactly right.  Her singing, interspersed with the the Georgian's jazzy accompaniment just enhances an already fun song and makes it bubble with joy and good cheer. Only in the 20s!  I was finally able to get a 78 rpm version of this record about five years ago.  I always especially liked the relatively short-lived "flag label" used on Columbias between the early 20's blue label and mid-20's and on black label--the gold background and the pretty flags are so evocative of the wonderful music you get to hear on these records.

"Don't Mind The Raid" is another popular song of the day, full of optimism and uplift.
 

- Eddie The Collector
 



 
April 12
 
 

This week's Hit of the Week is brought to you by
1933 Burpee Seeds Ad
Burpee's Guaranteed Seeds
(from 1933 ad)



 

Note - I am very please to welcome back guest contributor Matt From College Station  as he shares some more recordings from his excellent collection of 1920s and 1930s jazz and dance band 78 rpm records. 

All recordings and commentary in this update, both the regular and the "Extra" sections, are from Matt.  My only contribution was to transfer and digitalize the recordings. 

You can learn more about Matt and find his contact information by clicking here
 
 

The Gold Diggersí SongClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Jack Berger And His Hotel Astor Orchestra
Ted Holt, vocal                                                       1933
(Bluebird B 5054 A)

My First Love To LastClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Jack Berger And His Hotel Astor Orchestra
Ted Holt, vocal                                                       1933
(Bluebird B 5054 B)

The Very Thought Of YouClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Red Nichols And His World Famous Pennies
King Harvey, vocal                                                  1934
(Bluebird B 5548 A)
 
 

This week's selections by Jack Berger's Hotel Astor Orchestra, are a bit of a mystery to me due to the fact that no information is available about the band. They recorded six sides for Bluebird in 1933, six sides for ARC in 1931 and two sides for Crown in 1932. 

The vocalist with the band was variable, but several sides featured Ted Holt - as do the ones featured here.   The first selection is "The Golddiggers Song" by Harry Warren and Al Dubin from the movie, Golddiggers of 1933. It is a peppy, semi-sweet dance number although it has some jazzy moments. This is my favorite version of the song besides Leo Reisman's. 

Next we hear the George Marion and Richard Whiting song "My First Love To Last" which was featured in the 1933 Fox Film Adorable, starring Janet Gaynor. This sweet song is very well arranged and played melodically. 

Finally we get to hear Red Nichols and his World Famous Pennies play a Ray Noble composition, "The Very Thought Of You."  Red Nichols led a hot and jazzy band throughout the 1920's, but adapted changing times in the 1930s.   While a good number of their recordings were sweet in the 1930's, some of their recordings were still pretty jazzy. They seem to be a band that could play in any style. Red Nichols' band had a huge recorded output and even starred in several Vitaphone shorts. They were without a doubt one of the more popular bands of the 1920s. They were also the pit orchestra for two George Gershwin Broadway musicals in 1929-1931 - Strike Up The Band and Girl Crazy.  A biographical film was made about the Nichols band in 1959. 
 

- Matt From College Station
 
 


EXTRA







This section will  present 78 rpm recordings that do not fall within the range of the vintage pop and jazz  fare that I usually  present.  Here I will feature recordings from a wide variety of eras, musical genres and nationalities as well as occasional spoken word recordings.
 
 

1933 RCA-Victor Program Transcription label







Popular Selections: 
Iím Sorry Dear, Old Playmate, Good Night SweeheartClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Paul Whiteman And His Orchestra
Mildred Bailey, Jack Fulton, The Romancers, vocal              1933
(Victor Program Transcription L 16002)
 
 

Here I will present a very rare RCA-Victor Program Transcription. These long playing records were introduced by RCA as a way to entice the Depression era record buying public. They played at 33 1/3 rpm.  Sadly, RCA stopped production of them in 1933, but kept back issues in the catalog for quite some time. More information can be found about these unique discs in the October 26, 2006 update.
 

This one-sided Paul Whiteman disc plays for over eight minutes and features Mildred Bailey, Jack Fulton, and the Romancers performing three songs which were popular in 1933
 

- Matt From College Station


 
 

Learn More about Hit of the Week Records

Return To Dismuke's Hit of the Week

Return To Dismuke's Virtual Talking Machine

dismuke.org