Discographical Ramblings

  by Ate van Delden


In late November and early December 1924 Harry Reser participated in four New York recording sessions with Vic Meyers’ Seattle-based band. Among the titles recorded were two fine performances issued on Vocalion, Nay, Dearie, Nay and Three O’Clock Blues. Recently the Editor came across a copy of Lollypop by the Tuxedo Orchestra on Vocalion 14988 (also on English Vocalion X-9645), which is mainly a banjo solo by Harry Reser with orchestra accompaniment (mx. 458/9/60, rec. 26 Feb 1925). However he was surprised at the quality of the accompanying band, which sounds like the Vic Meyers orchestra, with lively solos by trumpeter Bill Zimmerman and alto saxophonist Art Kenton! The file cards provide no details about the band, other than it comprised twelve musicians plus Reser and violinists Ruben Greenberg and Maurice Milcke (the latter shown in ADBORAF as Milcke, unknown instrument, but his name and instrument is verified in the 1929 AFM Local 802 Directory). Mark says that due to the fine solo work this should be listed in Jazz Records. The reveres of the US issue, Florida (same date, same session, is of no jazz interest And can anyone put dates to the Vic Meyers Orchestra sojourn out east? Note: add Nay, Dearie, Nay on Guardsman 1831 as by Carnival Dance Band.


Morton’s Shreveport Stomp exists in 2 takes on Vic 21658, take 1 being the rare take. I have seen 2 copies of take 1, both as a West Coast pressing (as is mine - Ed), as shown by the small “o” to the left of the HMV dog mark. This suggests that this take only exists as a West Coast pressing. Laurie Wright’s discography Mr. Jelly Roll does not mention West Coast but gives take 1 & 2 on Vi/C 21658, suggesting that take 1 was issued on Canadian Victor too. Can anyone confirm take 1 on a non-West Coast pressing or on a Canadian pressing? Or take 2 on a West Coast pressing or on a Canada Victor?


In VJM #174 the Editor and Björn Englund wrote about the ODJB UK Columbias. Combining this with Storyville’s Fabulous Fives, we come to four titles of which two takes were allegedly issued:

* ‘Lasses Candy: take 1, 2nd reserve and issued; take 2, issued; take 3, 1st reserve but unissued;

* I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles: take 1 rejected, “destroy”, but issued, take 2 issued.

* Mammy O’Mine: takes 1 and 2 issued.

* Alice Blue Gown: take 1 rejected, “destroy”, but issued, take 2 issued.

Various LPs and CDs have been checked (Col 33S1087, MFP 1106 & 5007, Living Era, World Records SH220, Retrieval RTR790033, EMI 252716-2), but all of these use the same take of each of these 4 titles with the exception of World Records SH220 which has an alternate of Mammy O’Mine: the two takes of this title can be distinguisged by the coda: the common take (1?) has a one bar ‘dixieland tag’ by band, while the alternate take (2?) has 1, four bar coda by the clarinet, joined in the last half a bar by band. Where are the other three alternates? And how can they be identified? (The Editor writes: In 40+ years of owning multiple copies of these I can state that I have never seen the alleged alternate take of ‘Lasses Candy, despite at least five copies passing through my hands. As for the two waltzes, I possess two takes of each but, due to their tight construction, the differences are minimal, being mainly in Emile Christian’s phrasing. Neither of these have been reissued. Visually, it is virtually impossible to identify takes as this information rarely appears on English Columbias of the pre-electric period - Ed)



George Olsen recorded issued versions of He’s the Hottest Man in Town and Sally Lou on 16 May 1924. But the band had previouslyrecorded both titles at a test session (no matrix numbers assigned) on 18 April 1924 with an 8-piece group (only one tb and 2 saxes).

Wingy Mannone (as he was spelled at the time) recorded two titles on 17 December 1928 with vocals by himself (issued on Voc 15797). However there were also non-vocal versions (C2682-G/C 2683-G) not listed and never issued.

Richard M. Jones’s Jazz Wizards (as Wally Coulter and his band) recorded 2 titles for Gennett in Dec. 1927, Good Stuff and Hollywood Shuffle. They were issued on Gnt 6369 and in Gennett’s Spanish series as well (with Spanish titles Bueno Cosa and Las De Hollywood). JR6 says that they were on two different issues in that series, but your Ramblers saw a note that they are both on Gnt 40114. Someone can send me an mp3?

And a British one: orchestra leader Claude Bampton used four saxes, not three, on his final Decca session (29 Sep. 1936). The fourth is Harry Hunter (bar) (as reviewed in Rhythm Nov. 1936).


On 2 Oct 1929 Duke Ellington recorded three titles. The third title, Slow Motion, his own composition was rejected. It had been planned for issue backed by Jolly Wog, probably as Brunswick 4705. The original record card shows that the tune was retitled to Jungle Rhythm, but the record’s issue number was effectively crossed out. Instead Brunswick 4705 was issued coupling Jolly Wog with Jazz Convulsions, the other two tunes recorded that day.

  Ellington recorded the tune Maori several times, the first was on 21 February 1930 as matrix 32210, which was rejected. On 20 March the tune was re-recorded as matrix 32448 of which takes A and B were issued. All this according to JR6. Bernhard Behncke (G) discussed this with Laurie Wright (who wrote about it in Storyville 156). Now Bernhard has sent me three different versions:

1) mx. E-32210 (?) from Br 4776

2) mx. E-32448-A  from BrE 02671(it has 4776 in the dead wax)

3) mx. E-32448-B  from a Br master pressing (JRTD)

The arrangement and sound of version 1 lead me to believe that it is not from the March session. In fact Maori from the February session may have been with us for all those years on Br 4776.


Howard Rye (UK) is working on a new edition of the Blues & Gospel discography. He adds the National catalog number to Lucille Hegamin’s Paramount: it’s National 12108 (VJM #177).

  Your Rambler noted that the infamous Dan McGrew, whose sad story can be heard on Victor 55218, is mentioned in the text of Hula Lou, sung by Sophie Tucker on OKeh 40068. On the Victor issue Leroy Shield accompanies on piano, playing Maple Leaf Rag (VJM #176).


ADBORAF lists several Cleartone issues by the California Ramblers in the range C143to C196. These  catalog numbers seem to be derived from corresponding Arto and Bell numbers, but no actual copy is known, the highest Cleartone issue number seen so far being C105. A similar question for Hytone: ADBORAF gives a K191, while the highest number seen is K141. Does anybody know of a higher Cleartone or Hytone number?

My request for help with the personnels for Red Nichols’ recordings with Adrian Rollini did not yield a single reaction. So it is repeated here. Anyone willing to listen again to these titles with the idea that existing dicographies can be improved? I made a comparison table which I will gladly send to anyone interested.

The Joe Venuti session of 7 May 1930 has been corrected by Han Enderman and Björn Englund: it should be Od 236122 for both sides, not 238122 and Od A189635 should probably be Od A189365.



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