Discographical Ramblings

  by Ate van Delden

As I write this it’s the first week of 2017 and I wish you good health and lots of shellac luck!


Tony Baldwin (France) notes that  That’s My Hap-Hap-Happiness by Jack Pettis (Plaza mx 7106) exists on Paramount 20514 and Broadway 1072 as by The Badgers (take unknown). The flip of Pm 20514 is 7162 I’ll Always Remember You by Fred Rich, also as “The Badgers”.

  Tom Bertino (USA) has Lucille Hegamin’s I’ve Got The Wonder.../He May Be Your Man (Pm matrices 996-3/997-2) on National (cat. number?).



The Editor noted unlisted tests by Sophie Tucker’s backing group in the online Victor Discography. In the years 1917-1922 the group included some very well known names - Richard Himber, Dave Klein, Al Siegel, Danny Alvin, Julius Berkin and Frank Lhotak, to name but a few. The following sessions may be of jazz interest - if any copies survive! A possible personnel of these instrumental recordings might be: Eddie Richmond, c; Bobby Jones, as; Irving Rothschild, vn; Jules Buffano, p/dir; Danny Alvin, d.

New York, 27 February 1920.

Koo’bella (Jules Buffano)                        Vic ’Trial’ (1 take)

New York, 5 March 1920.

Sweet Papa, Mamma’s Getting Mad       Vic ‘Trial’

The latter title may well be a mis-written version of Sweet Mamma, Papa’s Getting Mad.



As noted by the Editor, when Ajax advertised its record by Bubber Miley and Arthur Ray, the illustration showed Ray playing an accordeon, but they recorded the same two titles for two more labels (Pathe & Brunswick) and the Brunswick/Vocalion file card shows the instrument as ‘organ’. In all probability Ray was using a portable reed organ like the ones manufactured by the Bilhorn Folding Organ Company of Chicago. These were very popular with evangelical churches and revival meetings in the late 19th and early 20th century due to their portability, and were even being marketed to band arrangers in newspaper advertisements in the 1930s! Here’s a link to one being played, to compare with Miley/Ray:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5eoHHkVF5Y and there is a useful history at www.reedsoc.org/articlearchive/bilhorn.htm

  Brunswick recorded three takes of each title (13878/9/80 for Down In The Mouth Blues and 13881/2/3 for Lenox Avenue Shuffle).  When they were re-assigned to Vocalion, they were given master numbers 13832 and 18834 respectively, though which tallies with the Brunswick masters is open to question. 



Jack Mitchell (Australia) corrects the personnels of the Ballyhooligans sessions of October 8 and 15, 1936 and The Swingtimers session of October 20 1936 (all in London). A photograph and personnel were found in the Australian Music Maker for December, 1936, no doubt provided by Ern Pettifer who selected the band himself. The personnel was Pettifer clarinet, Abe Walters and Mike Devine, pianos, Vic Cook, bass, and Peter Hanson, drums. This personnel was also found in Melody Maker for October 1936 with Mike Devine’s name given as  “Mink”, a misreading.

 Pettifer also organised the Swingtimers session, with himself and Walters (both Australians) present. JR6 gives Norman Payne on trumpet and mellophone, but Australian trumpeter Sammy Sharp said that he played on the Swingtimers session. Sharp also played both instruments. Jack believes it is indeed he on the session. Nick Dellow supports this, as he doubts the presence of Payne on aural grounds.

 As Pettifer organised both bands and it’s only 5 days between the second Ballyhooligans session and the Swingtimers session, Nick Dellow and Jack believe that the personnel of the Swingtimers is: Sammy Sharp, t/mel; Abe Walters, tb/p; Ern Pettifer cl/as/v on Sweet Georgia Brown; Mike Devine, p; unknown, g; Vic Cook, sb; Peter Hanson, d; Sam Costa, v.



Your Rambler noted a 1933 Ted Lewis personnel in Mississippi Rag of May 1992. It quoted The Musician’s Blue Book for December 1933, seemingly a monthly magazine and quite rare. It gives: Dave Klein, Muggsy Spanier, Freddie Goodman, trumpet, Sam Blank, Nat Lobofsky,  trombone, Hank Boyer, Al Weinstein, Robert Vaught, reeds, Sol Klein, Sam Shapiro, violin, Jack Aaronson, piano,Tony Girardi, guitar, Harry Barth, bass, Jack Scharff, drums. Could this be a clue to the soloists on the mysterious Ten Thousand Years Ago, from Lewis’ final Columbia session?

Bjorn Englund (Sweden) found an ad for the Three Bits of Rhythm in the Billboard 1943 Music Yearbook who recorded for Decca in 1941. It gave the personnel as Rudolph bass, vibes, Sol, electric guitar, Bruce electric, hawaiian and steel guitars, bass. NBC and CBS broadcasts.


Bjorn noted that Jay Wilbur’s Temptation Rag has take F 1286 on British Rex 8485 but a different take  on German and Swedish Kristall, respectively Kr 21867 and Kr 245, take F 1286-2.



Brunswick takes (VJM #173). Han Enderman (NL) and Lars Walter (SW) reacted to the Rambling on Br 4044 by Irving Mills Hotsy Totsy Gang (Don’t Mess Aroun’ With Me). But the question remains: how can different takes be identified from the 78 itself. Han tried a variation of John R.T. Davies’ suggestion in Storyville 54, but it did not end the confusion.


Hoagy Carmichael 1929 tests (VJM #176): John Wilby owns several of these tests:

Rockin’ Chair: John’s copy is the test used for IAJRC 34.  Previous owner Keith Miller noted on the sleeve that it is take 1, but the label is heavily damaged and John cannot see the “1” at 9 o’clock. 

Walkin’ The Dog: John has three tests which are all different. His Keepnews copy clearly shows take 1.  It is aurally the same as -1 on IAJRC 34. His Grauer copy clearly shows take 2.  It is aurally different from -1 and -3. His third copy is a shellac test which clearly shows take 3.  It is aurally the same as the one used on JSP 918.

Sittin’ And Whittlin’: John’s Grauer copy which clearly shows take 3.  It is aurally the same as -3 per Timeless CBC1-011.



Joe Venuti’s Put And Take (2 takes on OK 41432, with Adrian Rollini) has been issued on many labels and catalog numbers. According to JR6, one of these is Odeon A189635. Han Enderman (NL) believes that this is a mistake and probably should have been A-189365, no other Odeons being known in the range A189400-A189700. Od A189900 numbers do exist for Spain. Can anyone confirm/correct?


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