Discographical Ramblings

  by Ate van Delden

It may surprise the uninformed but discographical discoveries are still being made daily. Please keep me informed of yours!



While the Paul Whiteman orchestra was in London in 1926 fourteen titles from their April 11, 1926 Royal Albert Hall concert were recorded by HMV, possibly the earliest live recording anywhere (wrong - Colonel Charles Gouraud recorded part of Handel’s Israel In Egypt sung by 4000 voices at Crystal Palace, London, on June 26, 1888, 38 years earlier! Ed). Björn Englund (Sweden) noted that four of these were intended for issue by HMV in June 1926 in the Dance Band B5000 series and the 12” Popular C101 series and assigned “face numbers” = side numbers. (C1-C97 were private issues, C98-C100 were not used). HMV stored masters in the pressing plant using these numbers rather than the matrix numbers.

BR 262-1           Tiger Rag                       9-935 (10”)

BR 270-1           Nola                               9-936 (10”)

CR 264-1           Castle In The Air            4-0839 (12”)

CR 272-1           Yes, Sir! That’s My Baby / If You Knew Susie  / Kitten On The Keys     4-0840 (12”)

All fourteen masters were destroyed, but at least two titles survive as test pressings. Don Rayno in his Whiteman book (p. 558) mentions Nola (BR270-1) and also the last recorded title exists, an untitled banjo solo by Mike Pingitore. This is owned by Nick Dellow and it can be heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdfye96fU28 which confirms that it is Linger Awhile as suggested by Rayno. Now who has Tiger Rag BR 262, or Rhapsody In Blue (CR 268 & CR 269)?



Bernhard Behncke (Germany) noted that JR6 only shows part of the titles on Col 2439-D. The file cards give:

151455-1           I’m Left With The Blues In My Heart

151456-1           Minnie, The Moocher (The Ho De Ho Song)

The file cards give ‘Dick Rogers’ as vocalist, JR6 gives Dick Robertson. But comparing the vocals of both sides Bernhard feels that two different men are singing. On Blues In My Heart it is the familiar voice of Dick Robertson, a white singer, whom we know from many records. The lead instruments on this side are rather straight and correspond to Robertson’s soft singing. However the vocal on the other seems to be a black voice, accompanied by a growl lead trumpet in the style of Miley or Cootie Williams. Who is this trumpet?



Ralph Wondraschek (Germany) checked the New York Morning Telegraph of 12 Nov. 1925 and found personnels for Perry Bradford’s Jazz Phools (“...have just made their first record for the Brunswick Company”) and for the Original Jazz Hounds (“...have been resigned to record blues for the Columbia Graphophone Company”). The  Phools are named (all spellings verbatim): Phil Worde at the piano; Donald Redmon, saxophonist; George Bailey, clarionetist; Ted Nixon, trombonist; Lou Armstrong, cornetist. The Jazz Hounds are Dorner Brown, cornetist; George Gilmore, banjoist; Thomas Paris, trombone; Williams Elliott, saxophonist. Bradford is the owner of the band and does all the vocal work. After correcting spellings, several differences with JR6 here! The same newspaper mentions the first recording by the Blue Rhythm Orchestra organised by Clarence Williams.



The Editor spotted on eBay a snapshot photograph of Willie Jones & his Orch., taken in 1925 in Saginaw, Mich. It adds some personnel names: sax players are Vernon Bassett (not V. Bassett) and Saunders Richardson (not S.Richardson), bassist is Clifford Peters (not Clifford Peterson), pianist is Harold Seldon (not H. Seldon), banjoist is Willie J, Warfield (not W. Warfield). Confirmed names are Willie Jones, drums, Leonard Gay, reeds and Edward White, trumpet. The trombonist on the photo is indistinct but appears to be Stanford Seirs (not Sam Searce). Joseph Flemming’s instrument is unknown but presumably trumpet.



In Storyville 29 (p. 171, 1970) John R.T. Davies and Laurie Wright wrote that Louis Armstrong and Henry Allen soloed on Butterbeans And Susie’s What It Takes To Bring You Back. Jos Willems’ more recent Louis Armstrong discography includes this title but expresses doubt, saying that “Arthur Williams [..] played in the ensemble and that Henry “Red” Allen took the – very Louis-like – trumpet solo, while the beautiful obligato might be by Louis”. Bernhard Behncke (Germany) adds his voice saying that the solo is by Charlie Gaines (“Gaines regularly plays a series of the same note”). It is known that Gaines replaced Ed Allen with Clarence Williams at the time of this recording.



The Editor notes that the July 7, 1937 session by Rex Stewart’s 52nd street Stompers had some titles changed between the actual session and the time of issue, noting that Love In My Heart was actually originally entitles Swing, Baby, Swing. To add to this he notes that a shellac test he owns of the unissued take 2 of Sugar Hill Shim Sham shows the original handwritten title as You Ain’t In Harlem Now. (See item 270 on my auction list - Ed).



The Editor owns photocopies of Brunswick/Vocalion and microfilms of Columbia/OKeh file cards that were used by Brian Rust for researching Jazz Records. However Rust did not use all the data shown so it’s worthwhile to check again. Also there are gaps in the continuity of the microfilms. The films were digitized by Ralph Wondraschek (Germany) and file names were given by the computer. For easy reference they were then renumbered to the catalog number or the matrix number by myself. Here are a few examples from the Brunswick catalog numbers:-

King Oliver: Br 3245, 3361 and 3373 were all entered on the cards as Savannah Syncopators, maybe in order not to compete with Vocalion which issued same under Oliver’s name. Interestingly 3361 was first entered as Savannah Serenaders, which was crossed out.

Charles Elgar: JR6 misses Br 3404 for Nightmare and has the master numbers for this and for Brotherly Love wrong.  These titles were recorded for Vocalion in September 1926 as E3834/35  and E3836/37 respectively. When they were transferred to Brunswick on 16 December 1926, they were given Br master numbers 20981/82 and 209879/80. Two takes exist of Nightmare. My copy of Br 3404 shows Vocalion master digits 36 (is this standard for all copies?). I heard this title from Voc 15478 and from German Brunswick A356. Both differ from Br 3404 and use the same take E3837.

Johnny Dodds: Weary Blues and New Orleans Stomp were originally planned for Brunswick 3568, but became Vocalion 15632, an ultra-rare record. Br 3568 became Come on And Stomp, Stomp, Stomp / After You’ve Gone instead. The 3568 file card only mentions the non-vocal take C-1241, not the vocal take C-1239 which also appeared on Br 3568.

Original Wolverines: JR6 gives C-1303 for A Good Man Is Hard To Find on Brunswick 3706, (as well as on the three German issues Br A-7616, A-7852, A-81001) and C-1305 on Br 4000 (and Voc and CMS). Br 3706 remained unissued, but the Germans were. This suggests that two different takes may actually exist. However the file card for 3708 gives matrix C-1305 for A Good Man Is Hard To Find. So no alternate take issued here? (German collectors please?)



Jelly Roll Morton’s Shreveport Stomp (VJM #178): I received one report that take 1 was found on an East coast Victor. The owner of this Victor admits that he made a mistake, so take 1 is only known on the West coast Victor issue.

Mills Hotsy Totsy Gang (VJM #173): Don’t Mess Around With Me on a recently acquired copy of Br 3878 (UK) differs from my East coast Br 4044 and plays the same take as my Canada Br 4044.



Work on the Rollini biography is all but complete, but the discography may never be. For example, help with personnel identification is still badly needed. Volunteers?


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