Discographical Ramblings

  by Ate van Delden

Thank you, all of you who produced items for this column. And if you didn't, then please check your 78s for oddities, surprises and mysteries. Let VJM's readers enjoy them! Like the following:


Pete Whelan (US) writes that JR6 lists the Moonlight Revellers' Baby Knows How on Radiex 952 by the as by Five Hot Chocolates. Whelan has it on another Grey Gull issue, Radiex 1767 which is in fact as by the Moonlight Revellers with mx 3608B and mistitled Baby Know How. Pete notes that "there’s a certain pleasure in the ”grammatical error". He thinks that the trumpet on these sides is Louis Metcalf (and it's not George James on alto, see this column in VJM 152)


Ralph Wondrascheck carefully checking early periodicals. In the Morning Telegraph of 21 January 1923 he found a picture of Al Siegel's Ring Side Orchestra at the Ring Side in New York. Sadly the picture is very low quality but the good thing is that its caption gives the names of the band members. Assuming that they are listed as on the photo and from left to right: Oren Ross, trombone, Howard McElroy, trumpet, Pat Ryan, drums, Maurice Wiley, reeds, Anthony Reno, violin, and Harry Brown, banjo (instrumentation guessed by AvD). New names and none in JR. Does anyone know if they are in the New York musicians directory? The Greenwich Village Orch. recorded Ringside Blues around Nov. 1923. Presumably this was Al Siegel's Orchestra which recorded under Siegel's real name in Jan 1924, all this for Paramount in NY. (I checked the 1929 American Federation of Musicians Local 802 Directory – none of the musicians are listed, which points to them being out of towners. Can anyone check the International Musician for transfers? Ed)


Lars Walter wonders if Irving Fazola (as Pancho Villa) really is in the personnel of  Seger Ellis Choirs Of Brass Orch which recorded in Los Angeles on 11 March 1937. Neither Dec 1322 nor 1350 mention any ”Pancho Villa”. Both Lars's Deccas are ”sunburst” issues and have clarinet solos. Is Villa identified on Dec 1275 Shivery Stomp as soloist?..


One more from Lars. He hears two trumpets on Mildred Bailey's 'T Ain´t What You Do of 28 Feb 1939 - one (muted) behind Red Norvo and a different one (open) backing Buster Bailey. Comments please.


Björn Englund reports that on 24 Feb 1927 the Hal Kemp Orchestra (9 men according to the files) made a test recording for Vocalion of Harry Barris' Brown Sugar. The three takes were numbered E4592W/E4593W/E4594W. On 3 March it was decided to issue the title on Br and Br masters E21734-21736 were assigned. E21734 was issued on Brunswick 3486 in June 1927.  That same month Brown Sugar was also issued on Voc 15544 (as Southland Syncopators). For this issue the title had been renumbered again (on March 27) in the Vocalion series: E4751W/E4752W/E4753W. JR, ADBORAF as well as Ross Laird's Brunswick discography claim  that all American and British issues use E4751W (= E21734). JR6 adds that German Brunswick A415 has both E4751W and E4752W. Björn once owned A415 and his copy had E4752W handwritten under the label, an alternate take. Two questions: does E4751W really exist on Br A415 and which take is on Vocalion 15544, E4751W or E4752W?


Nick Dellow (UK) notes Benny Carter's fine arrangement of Love's Serenade for Henry Hall's BBC Dance Orch. This was recorded as mx 15642 on 29 Feb 1936, as mx 15642 and issued on Col FB1341 (2 takes known, only take 1 heard, anyone has take 2?). Nick thinks that Carter does not solo (alto breaks) but that he wrote out the trumpet solo for  someone in Hall's band to play (Carter's vibrato was much more pronounced. Dellow adds that he read that Carter wasn't allowed to play on any Henry Hall sides because of the terms of the MU/AFM dispute, which was in full force by 1936.  


For many years your rambler has owned 2 copies of Br 2937 which have audibly different takes for both tunes, Milenberg Joys and If You Hadn't Gone Away. A copy of the Cliftophone issue shows the takes as listed in JR, 16191 respectively 16195 And now Mark confirms alternate takes of both titles and adds his thoughts for a correct personnel.. Since 3 takes were recorded of Milenberg… and 4 of If You Hadn’t…, the alternate takes cannot be identified yet. The file card does not help but  it only names Harry Reser as banjoist for this session. Its personnel was initially considered to include Red Nichols  and Frankie Trumbauer, but this is plainly not the case -the trumpet clearly is doubling on mellophone (there is a piano bridge on Milenberg to give time to swap instruments) and is undoubtedly Mickey Bloom, with whose playing both the trumpet and mellophone are consistent. The saxophone, doubling clarinet, is plainly not Tram but shows his influence; comparison with Lanin’s Red Heads’ version of If You Hadn’t Gone Away shows that the same musician is responsible, and that comparison with the Charleston Chasers’ first session reveals it to be Dick Johnson, their first leader. So Mark suggests the following personnel:- Mickey Bloom, t/mel; Miff Mole, tb; Dick Johnson, cl/as; Rube Bloom, p; Harry Reser, bj; Joe Tarto, bb; Ray Bauduc, d. 


The British Br 1000 series started in 1927 (with Elizalde). It quickly changed to a 100 series (more Elizalde) and then returned to the 1000 series which later became the  01000 series. JR numbers the British series as 01000, even though earlier issues were never given the extra 0. This Br 1000 series should not be confused with the the elusive French Br 1000 series, which is now being sorted out by Han Enderman (NL), Han has identified about 40 issues in the range 1002-1096. Most of the jazz is in JR6, but not 1016 The Jungle Band (Ellington Br 4309); Br 1018 (Lew Leslie's Blackbirds Orch. as Orchestre Leslie Blackbirds Br 4030), Br 1023 (Red Nichols Br 4456) and Br 1085 (The Jungle Band, Ellington's Br 4705). Han's article in Names & Numbers of Oct. 2019.


Stephen Paget (UK) owns a copy of the rare Parlophone CO149 by a band called the Californian Ramblers Dance Band. It is a British band. It's definitely not Ed Kirkeby's Cal. Ramblers who were called Californian instead of California by error on a few issues by Columbia, Grafton, Imperial and Vocalion.

Comments (and please refer to the relevant VJM issue!) and new information to me at my new email address - a.vandelden@onsmail.nl Thanks