|| THE INTERNATIONAL|
DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
04/3 December 2004 - March 2005
26th Year of Publication
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
HONORARY MEMBER: FATHER JOHN GARCIA GENSEL
EDITOR: SJEF HOEFSMIT
ASSISTED BY: ROGER BOYES
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
ADDITIONS - CORRECTIONS
When did Harry Carney join the band?
See DEMS 04/1, 31 page 1449.
Carney apparently gave two different dates in interviews. Jan
Bruér (DEMS 80/1-1) notes he "made an interview with Carney
where he claimed this date to be June 16, 1927."
According to DEMS 04/1-31 p1449, "Harry Carney joined the band on
26Jun27, not on 16Jun27. He made this statement in an interview with
Bob Davis at the University of Northern Illinois, probably on
20Mar74. See also Frank Dutton in Storyville #91 p10" who wrote
"Harry Carney stated that he joined Duke on a permanent basis on 16
June, and that his first date was a one-nighter (the
Nuttings-on-the-Charles booking. FHD.) [Source: Bulletin du Hot Club
de France 212]. However , since this took place in New England,
either Carney's joining date or the starting date of Duke's tour (20
June) must be in error or could a printing error be involved,
with Carney starting on 26 June? It is generally agreed that the
occasion took place during the last week in June, and establishment
of the Nutting date would settle the matter."
In "Ellington: The Early Years," Mark Tucker presents (on page 203)
an itinerary of the Washingtonians' summer 1927 tour of New England.
The tour began with an engagement on 20Jun27 at Nuttings-on-the
Charles, Massachusetts, which Tucker confirmed by reference to
listings in the Boston Post. On 26Jun27, the band played the
Olympia Theater in Lynn, Massachusetts, an engagement Tucker
confirmed through the Lynn Daily Evening Item.
With the above in mind, here are some other quotes attributed to
Carney that bearing on the question of when Harry joined the band:
down beat, 5Nov52, p16 (byline: Len [sic]): "Harry
remembers the first night he played with Duke, at
Nuttings-on-Charles, Mass. It happened to be a first night also for
his high school colleague, Toots Mondello, who was debuting with Mal
Hallett's orchestra, playing opposite Duke in a battle of music."
down beat, 27Nov58, p19 (no byline): "Carney, at 17, was a
professional musician in the jazz heart of the world. He worked [with
Henri Saparo and his Bamboo Inn Orchestra] at the Bamboo Inn until it
burned down." The Bamboo Inn, located at Seventh Avenue & 139th
Street, advertised itself as the "largest and finest Chinese and
American restaurant in Harlem" with "good food" at "popular prices"
and "no cover charge" (per Amsterdam News, 1Feb28, p9). "Then
he just gigged around town, hearing the sounds and being dazzled by
them. 'One day, I bumped into Duke on the street,' he said. 'He had
been in and heard the band. He asked if I'd like to go to New England
with him. He was a name to me then. I had seen him before I left
Boston....Our first date was at Nuttings, opposite Mal Hallett's
band. He had Toots Mondello and Gene Krupa...a heluva hand. We played
a battle of music. It was the first time I ever worked with Tricky
Sam and Bubber Miley and it was my greatest thrill.'"
Jazz Journal, Jun61, p5 (reprinted on pages 72-73 of the
"World of Duke Ellington"; quotes are from Carney; byline Stanley
Dance): "Duke was working at the Kentucky Club and on his night off
he would come to the Bamboo Inn. The food was good, I was told, but I
couldn't afford it, of course." According to the 1Feb28 Amsterdam
News ad. just mentioned, "Special Sunday Dinner" at the Bamboo Inn
was a whole dollar. "We thought we had a very good band and I worked
there three months until the place burned down. Shortly after that, I
bumped into Duke one afternoon on Seventh Avenue and he asked what I
was doing. I told him I was just jobbing around and he asked me if I
would like to go with him on a trip up to Boston. Of course. Boston
was my hometown and I'd been away three months--three months away
from homecooking and listening to my mother give me the devil--and I
was a bit homesick. To return with Ellington, already famous, was
something to look forward to, so I didn't hesitate to say 'yes.'
That's how I joined the band, and we played up there during the
summer for the Shribman brothers, Charlie and Sy, who gave and lent
so much to up-and-coming bands at that time."
down beat, 7Jun62, p20 (byline Dom DeMichael): "While Carney
was at the Bamboo Inn, Ellington often came in on his nights off to
dine and listen to the band. After Carney had been at the restaurant
for about three months, the place burned down. But he evidently had
made an impression on Ellington. 'One day I bumped into Duke on the
street,' Carney said. 'He inquired as to what I was doing. I told him
I was jobbing around, gigging. That's when he made me the offer to
join him. He was taking a band up to New England, which was my
stomping ground. I'd been away from home long enough to be homesick,
and it didn't take much for him to influence me to go back.' Still an
altoist, Carney added baritone saxophone to his doubles during his
first week with the band."
Le Point de Jazz #4, Mar71 (byline Georges Debroe): "Extrait
d'une conversation avec [Harry Carney et] J. [Johnny] Simmen
(BHCF)...'il s'agit d'un orchestre régulier (Joe Steele) que
j'avais quitté en 1927 pour entrer chez Duke...L. Feather me
fait entrer chez Duke en 1926, mais (et il rit) cette fois, je SAIS
que c'est LUI qui se trompe.'"
The various quotes by Carney together with Mark Tucker's itinerary
research lead me to believe that on 16Jun27 Harry Carney accepted
Duke Ellington's invitation to join his band; Carney's first
engagement with Ellington, a battle of the bands versus Mal Hallett
at Nuttings-on-the-Charles, Massachusetts, took place on 20Jun27.
When did Ben Webster join the band?
See DEMS 03/2-29 p1502
I am reading Heinz Baumeister's contribution to The New DESOR
corrections from DEMS 03/2-29. Heinz gives Ben's start date as
26Jan40 at the Roseland State Ballroom, and says " I found the date
of 26Jan40 in several publications." I am curious what these
publications are. Downbeat is ambiguous as to Ben's start date, and
Jazz Information's story had a by-line dated 22Jan40.
Here is what I know and found out about the date when Ben Webster
Webster was with Teddy Wilson's Big Band from 19oct39 till 20Jan40 at
Golden Gate Million Dollar Ballroom, New York City. The band had a
recording date for Columbia, mx.nos.26435-38, in NYC on 18Jan1940 (CD
Classics 620). On 21Jan40 Duke Ellington had a booking just for one
night only at the Savoy Ballroom in New York. The next booking in
Boston was first on 26Jan at the Roseland State Ballroom (see a.o.
Klaus Stratemann: Duke Ellington Day by Day and Film by Film, or Ken
Vail:Duke's Diary 1927-1950)
Ben was contacted by Ellington's valet, Jonesy, most probably on
21Jan, asking him to meet Ellington at the Savoy about the upcoming
job. It has sometime been stated that Webster joined Ellington at
Roseland Ballroom (understood as that in New York), but this is by
all means a mistake as Ellington did not play that ballroom while
Webster was in the orchestra.
I am aware that there still are some speculations about the exact
date, but all sources say that Ben joined Ellington at the Roseland
State Ballroom in Boston - i.e. 26Jan40.
Thank you for this information. I agree that Ben Webster joined Duke
Ellington's Orchestra following Teddy Wilson's closing at the Golden
Gate Ballroom in New York.
1. Do you have any documentation on the closing date of Wilson's big
band at the Golden Gate? I have thoroughly checked both the New York
Age and the New York Amsterdam News, and have found no clear-cut
documentation of the closing date. We do know, though, that Webster
recorded with Wilson on 18Jan.
2. Duke Ellington and His Orchestra were in Boston at the RKO Theatre
on 21Jan40, as advertised in that day's Boston Post, not at the Savoy
Ballroom in New York. They performed in Portland, Maine on 22Jan. The
next documented Ellington gig is the 26Jan date at the Roseland State
Ballroom in Boston, where Heinz believes Webster to have joined the
band. I don't understand what Heinz' sources are that say that
Webster joined on 26Jan.
I suppose we all should accept the fact that with the information and
documentation we now have, we will not be able to present proof of
any exact date when Ben Webster joined Duke Ellington in January
1940. We should concentrate upon what could be most likely.
Now back to the facts:
1) Yes, I have found documentation for Teddy Wilson's stay at the
Golden Gate Ballroom: The Pittsburgh Courier (N.Y.) has a note on
13Jan40 on Golden Gate Ballroom, saying: "Andy Kirk will leave as one
of the house bands, Teddy Wilson remaining".
The band had a recording date on 18Jan in NYC, therefore it is my
opinion that the band was there at least until 20Jan, as normally the
gigs ended on Saturdays (20Jan was a Saturday).
2) Duke Ellington was at the Southland in Boston from 8Jan to 20Jan.
I cannot imagine that Duke did send Jonesy from Boston to New York
asking Ben to meet Duke in Boston. You may believe it, I do not.
3) Now to the crucial date of 21Jan. If you believe everything that
is printed, Ellington performed this day in three different
a) RKO Boston (Boston Herald)
b) Savoy Ballroom NYC (Stratemann + Vail)
c) Golden Gate Ballroom - one-nighters on 7Jan and 21Jan (Pittsburgh
Courier N.Y. 13Jan)
To me it sounds more likely that Duke actually contacted Ben in NYC
and not in Boston, which leads me to 21Jan as the date, but of course
I may be wrong, as possibly the Wilson Band had moved to Boston
starting at an unidentified location from 21Jan. The NY Amsterdam
News has a note about Wilson on 20Jan on a forthcoming Boston
It has been said in several sources that Ben joined Duke in Boston,
but, do we have any proof of this? Anyway all sources say that Ben
joined in Jan40, so we can nearly safely say that this happened
between 22Jan and 26Jan.
Another unanswered question: Did Ben actually perform with Ellington
in public directly from the start, or where there possibly some days
between for rehearsing etc.? We all know that Duke had no written
parts for tenor sax in the books, which of course made it very
difficult for Ben in the very beginning. Therefore my vote is still
for 26Jan, but of course I cannot prove it and I may be wrong.
Thanks very much for your correspondence. Heinz has been looking at
the same sources I have. I agree, we have no proof yet of the exact
date in 1940 that Ben Webster joined, or should we say, rejoined,
Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra.
First, my comments on the facts:
1) The actual ending date of Teddy Wilson's run at the Golden Gate is
still not documented. The 20th is Heinz' best guess. I have reviewed
both the New York Amsterdam News and the New York Age, and the only
indication I found was Bill Chase's 13Jan40 column in the NY
Amsterdam News indicating that Teddy Wilson "leaves for the road
January 11." But since Webster recorded with Wilson on 18Jan,
evidently Webster stayed with Wilson, and in New York, until at least
the 18th, a Thursday.
2) Yes, the 20Jan closing date for the Southland engagement is
certain. I have only indirectly heard Ben Webster's recollection of
Jonesy coming to get him, as quoted in J. de Valk's "Ben
Webster - His Life and Music" which cites the movie, "Big Ben" as his
source. I find oral history to be suspect, but sometimes it is all we
have. Webster does recall that, "After Jonesy came to get me, I went
to see Ellington in the dressing room of the theatre where he was
playing at the time. He said, 'Why don't you come to the rehearsal
3) I am convinced that the DEO was in Boston on Sunday, 21Jan40 at
the RKO Theatre in Boston. There are advertisements and articles in
the Boston Post, Boston Herald and Boston Globe on both 20 and
21Jan40. The Golden Gate location for 21Jan comes from a 6Jan40
Billboard article about that ballroom, two weeks earlier. Many gigs
listed in Billboard and Variety were either in error, or had never
materialized. I don't understand why Stratemann listed Ellington at
the Savoy for this date. I have found absolutely no mention in the
contemporary press of Ellington at the Savoy on 21Jan. Possibly this
is confusion with the 28Jan gig that indeed did occur.
In the 26Jan40 issue of Jazz Information, an article with a Boston
byline dated "Jan.22," states that "Ben Webster ... has joined Duke
Ellington's orchestra, which is playing at one-nighters around New
England this week after packing them in at the Southland here." The
article is frustratingly ambiguous as to when and where Webster
joined, but definitely by 22Jan.
If Ben Webster's recollection is correct that he met with Duke in a
dressing room at a theatre, perhaps that occurred on 21Jan at the RKO
Boston (the only theatre date verified in that time span). The
Southland was a dinner club.
It would have been possible for Jonesy to catch a train to New York
(about a 4 hour trip) to call for Webster, and get him outfitted for
the band. Webster also could have left New York with or without
Wilson (as Heinz mentions Wilson was slated for Boston engagements,
which I have not found in the Boston press), and connected with
Jonesy and Duke in Boston.
I think we can place Webster's arrival in Ellington's orchestra
between 19-21Jan. The traditional sources state Webster joined the
band at the Southland which would be on 19 or 20Jan. I hope we'll
find more information. There were dozens of newspapers in the area
that could be checked. We also haven't found where the orchestra was
23-25Jan, perhaps in one-nighters in New England as suggested in Jazz
Information, and possibly at one of the numerous colleges in the
Boston area, and possibly as Heinz suggested, in rehearsal, working
in the new tenor player. More research is needed.
We all agree this marked the beginning of a great era in music.
Heinz Baumeister has sent us a clipping from the NY Amsterdam News of
20Jan40 (p21) in which it says: "Teddy who closed at the Golden Gate
Saturday nite soon goes on tour (please contact this dept., Teddy)."
20Jan was a Saturday.
When did Ray Nance join the band?
See DEMS 2000/1-11/2
This is an article in the 2Nov40 Chicago Defender entitled, "Ray
Nance Gets Spot In Ellington's Band."
"Ray Nance, for years one of Chicago's leading trumpeters and a band
leader of note, will replace 'Cootie' Williams in the Duke Ellington
Orchestra it was learned on Monday. Duke, who has been looking around
for someone to take the place of Williams who leaves tojoin Benny
Goodman next week, admitted the new man is Nance. Nance comes into
the band on trial and should he fit into the strange Ellington style
will be retained."
Monday was October 28th. The orchestra played a dance on the South
Side of Chicago (The Parkway Ballroom), and Ellington also attended
the "Mayor of Bronzeville Ball" at the Grand Terrrace Cafe that same
Unfortunately, the Defender does not mention which day Nance joined.
It is already four years ago since Bill Morton convinced me that
Ray Nance was already in the band on 6Nov40 and not for the first
time at Fargo on 7Nov as claimed in the New DESOR on page 1482. The
fact that Ray was going to join the band was known a few days earlier
as documented in Ken Steiner's contribution. Maybe Ray was already in
the band on 3Nov40, the day after Cootie left.
Duke's Brass, 1937-38.
See DEMS 04/2-55
Even if I hate to admit it, AFM Local 802 finally proved that Danny
Baker was a phantom after all. But I will not give up on Shorty Baker
on these 1938 recordings!
Local 802 has been contacted by many researchers over the years .
They told you they have no records of Danny Baker, because they don't
even have a copy of their 1938 roster. Lasker has constantly
requested in DEMS for anyone with a Local 802 roster from that era to
speak up. I repeat the request.
Graham Peacock wrote:
"I know John Chilton. I contacted him with regards to Steven Lasker's
article "Duke's Brass, 1937-38" which challenges the assertion in
Chilton's "Who's Who of Jazz" that Harold Baker was briefly with the
Ellington band in 1938.
I now enclose John's reply, accompanied by two articles from "Melody
Maker," the first of which dated 13Nov37 was quoted by Steven,
although he only dwells on Freddy Jenkins' illness and fails to
follow through with the speculation regarding Harold Baker as a
likely successor in the trumpet section. Otherwise, John's answer
speaks for itself. He is currently selling his collection of "Melody
Maker", and if any DEMS members are interested and would care to
write to me [through DEMS] I will gladly pass their letters on to
From the "Melody Maker" of 13Nov37 p3. In an article titled "Duke
Bereaved: Three Men Seriously Ill" [Nanton, Jenkins and Whetsel] Al
Brackman wrote: "There is much speculation concerning Ellington's
choice for the first trumpet chair with selection pointing to Harold
Baker, former Don Redman brassman, whose solos on Redman's recent
Sunny Side of the Street and Exactly Like You platters
drew special plaudits from record reviewers. It is expected that the
band will go its normal course by the end of the week, at which time
Ellington will announce his choice."
John Chilton wrote: "The first mention of Harold Baker possibly
joining Duke occurs in the 13Nov37 "Melody Maker" [see above]. I was
never able to ascertain exactly when he became a member but Leonard
Feather in "The New Edition of the Encyclopaedia of Jazz" (Bonanza
Books, New York 1960) says on page 109: "On and off with Duke
Ellington January-April 1938". This information could well have come
straight from 'Shorty'. "Musica Jazz" from August 1967 gives the stay
as February-April 1938. Prior to Feather's book, Charles Delaunay's
"New Hot Discography" (Criterion, New York 1948) lists 'Shorty' in
the band for the sessions of 13Jan, 2 and 24Feb, 3Mar and 11Apr38.
However, he was not listed in the personnel given in "Melody Maker"
of 7May38 for Duke's broadcast from the Cotton Club, New York,
transmitted 29Apr38. The three listed in the sections are: Wallace
Jones, Cootie Williams and Rex Stewart."
John Chilton, Oct04
There was some discussion in DEMS, about the 1937-1938 brass section,
including the recording session that brought us Dusk on the
Desert and others.
I would just like to point out that the evidence of the manuscripts
suggests that it is in fact Cootie Williams soloing on Dusk on the
Desert, not Whetsel. I was in communication with Steven Lasker
about this a short while ago, and he was of the opinion that it was
likely to be Whetsel. Well, to bring further evidence to the
discussion, I discovered the rest of the score and parts to Dusk
on the Desert during my visit to the Smithsonian last week. I
found scores entitled Jamming and Jiving. Because this is an
alternative title to Dusk on the Desert (see DEMS 03/1-3), I
had a look at them. It's all there, and the score and parts clearly
indicate Cootie as the soloist. As with other scores from that period
there are four trumpets indicated, with parts named for Rex, Wetz,
Cootie and Freddy (Jenkins). Regardless of what Timner and the New
DESOR say, there are definitely four trumpets present in the
recordings of that session, not just three. There are also the usual
three trombones, though some sources previously suggested only
Can we therefore conclude that it actually is Cootie Williams stating
the melody in the recording of Dusk on the Desert, or not?
25oct04, Michael Kilpatrick**
I don't suppose we can conclude it. But it does seem likely
doesn't it, given that Cootie's name appears on the solo part, and
that he and Rex were the regulars in the autumn of 1937, in the sense
that they didn't have the health problems which beset Jenkins and
Whetsel. The inference is that Duke intends Cootie to take the solo.
On the other hand it might be that he was hedging his bets because of
Whetsel's illness, and that when Art made the recording date he
swapped the parts for the recording because Art's was the sound he
was really looking for at this time when it was looking as though Art
might not be available.
Someone mentioned Eddie Lambert in the course of the discussion on
this particular track.
You might be interested to know that, when I first met Eddie circa
1965, he played me Dusk on the Desert (which, as a callow
youth, I'd never heard of at that point). Knowing I was a musician,
he canvassed my opinion on an idea someone had come up with, that the
theme was played by Juan Tizol in a very high register. I didn't
believe it then, and I don't believe it now. And this isn't mentioned
in order to denigrate Eddie, by the way, but perhaps to illustrate
that when mysteries like this surface (in music history or more
scientific areas of research) people sometimes go to outlandish
lengths to find a solution. We should be grateful for their efforts,
even if they don't always get it right.
However, it has only occurred to me today that I read somewhere about
Cootie playing the mellophone (as well as trombone and probably other
instruments). Could this be the source of the rather strange sound on
Dusk on the Desert ?
Before anyone else points it out, the main problem with this idea is
that the mellophone is not a B-flat instrument (like the trumpet) so,
if this was planned for the instrument, the part copied by Tizol
would have to be in a different transposition. But I take it that
Michael K. was only talking about the score, not about individual
parts - is that correct?
That's interesting. When I first heard the piece I thought for half a
second that that might be the case, but I quickly realised it was a
trumpet. Further to this you may be interested to know that Tizol is
playing within the saxophone ensemble in the first chorus of Dusk
on the Desert to make a 5-part section, so he couldn't possibly
be the soloist anyway! Similarly the other brass (3tpt,2tbn) make up
a 5-part muted section, with the remaining trumpeter playing the
solo. At first I wasn't sure if it was Tizol as there are other
pieces with a trombonist playing within the reed section - but not
I have copies of the entire score and all parts except bass and
Hodges. No mellophone part has turned up and both score and parts
clearly show Cootie as the intended soloist and playing 2nd Bb
trumpet in the ensemble passages. Furthermore you can hear, if you
listen to the 8-bar intro, that the soloist is playing 2nd trumpet
within the 4-part section because he is not playing with the same
mute as the others. This suggests that the soloist is not reading the
solo over someone else's shoulder, but is playing from that part all
the way through the piece.
Now, another thing I should point out is that Whetsel is indicated as
being the brass ensemble leader throughout the piece. Bear in mind
that Ellington often gave the lead part to different musicians - for
example on that same day Harmony in Harlem has Whetsel and
Cootie leading the brass ensemble in different passages, and other
scores such as Sherman Shuffle have similar part-swaps. Yet
Whetsel's health was said to be uncertain, wasn't it? If he could
play the lead part (high notes with a tight, resistive mute), why
couldn't he play the solo, given that people here have suggested it
may have been intended for his tonal colour in the first place? Does
that further suggest he wasn't there at all that day, and that
Wallace Jones or a mystery man was there, playing Cootie's part -
whilst a fit Cootie took the lead part - because Ellington found he
had that day a trumpeter with tone that better matched what he had
really wanted all along - Whetsel? I don't know. I suppose we have no
way of telling exactly when the piece was written. Such timing,
relating to Whetsel's health, might have told us something more. At
the time of writing Ellington may have believed Cootie was the closer
match. But for all we know it could have been written just the day
before that recording session.
I took these messages from the Duke-LYM list. There were many more.
Some of them suggest or claim that the solo was played by Wallace
Jones. The claim originates from Stanley Dance's liner-notes for
which he acknowledged the writings of Benny Aasland, Hugues
Panassié and Barry Ulanov. Also Eddie Lambert is convinced
that it was Wallace Jones. Others think it was Rex Stewart and they
refer to Peter Gammond's discography (p230), who by the way only
lists two trumpets and to the New DESOR in which three trumpets are
listed and in which a correction has been made, published in the
December Bulletin of 2002 (02/3-27) replacing Rex Stewart by Arthur
Whetsel for the opening solo part.
However if one thing is certain, it is that Wallace Jones was not in
the band during the session of 20Sep37. Steven Lasker already
mentioned two sources: Melody Maker of 12Mar38 and Down Beat of
Apr38. I found in Ken Vail's first volume a newspaper clipping titled
"Whetsol is forced to leave Duke", written by Billy Howe, dated 3Mar,
referring to Whetsel's most recent shock from his prolonged illness
during the band's engagement at Rutger's [sic] University "Saturday
Night". (That gig was on Saturday 19Feb38.) The article concludes
with: Whetsel will be replaced by Wallace Jones. I found still
another source: John Chilton. Wallace Leon Jones, with Duke Ellington
from March 1938 until March 1944.
I am unable to say who played the solo in Dusk on the Desert.
But I think there is enough evidence that it could not have been
Wallace Jones. I feel most comfortable with Roger Boyes' theory.
I am happy with the confirmation by Michael Kilpatrick of Steven
Lasker's statement that there were four trumpets in the 20Sep37
session and that Steven had the names right. That is discographically
an important fact. The one who wrote on page 221 of MIMM that Harold
Baker gave in 1942 the band its first trumpet section of four was
Un-dubbed tracks from "A Drum Is a Woman"
I grew up with the mono 45 rpm [Columbia B-9511 EP] that had
Hey Buddy Bolden and What Else Can You Do With a Drum?
on one side and You Better Know It and Pomegranate on
the other side. What might be of interest to some is that, unlike on
the LP, the 4 tracks had no superimposed music or narration at their
beginnings nor endings. In other words, for example, Ray Nance's
opening solo on Hey Buddy Bolden can be heard un-dubbed
and uninterrupted, and it sounds great! (The 45 rpm version of
Hey Buddy Bolden faded out much earlier than the LP
version though.) My hope is that Sony will eventually re-release
these tracks on their own, in un-dubbed fashion whenever they get
around to re-issuing them since the tracks stand quite well on their
own (as well as in the final mixed versions of the LP).
Does anyone know what has happened to the Legacy reissue of "A Drum
Is a Woman" that was supposed to be released around the same time as
the other 1999 Phil Schaap reissues as CK 65567? I assume that stereo
tapes must exist for some or all of the tracks since all of the 1999
"Such Sweet Thunder" issue is in stereo and the dates are similar.
I was surprised to see that you credited Ray Nance for the opening
solo of Hey Buddy Bolden. Clark Terry has repeatedly testified
that he played the opening solo. The version of Hey Buddy
Bolden as you have it on your 45 rpm was recorded on 25Sep56. On
the LP and on the telecast for US Steel Hour, it was preceded by a
solo by Clark Terry which was recorded on 28Sep56 and combined with
Duke's narration, which was recorded on 22oct56. If you go on your LP
as far as Duke saying "and here they come" you will hear the
beginning of the recording of 25Sep56, which does indeed run on your
LP indeed slightly longer than it does on your 45 rpm. That is the
only difference (apart of the narration).
I have not found any difference between What Else Can You Do With
a Drum? and You Better Know It as on your 45 rpm compared
with the same titles on the LP (version 2, see DEMS 03/2-18).
Pomegranate on your 45 rpm is the same as later was released
on the LP CBS 26306. On this LP it was without narration and without
bongos at the end. The version on your EP has no narration, but it
has bongos at the end. The version used for the US Steel telecast has
both, narration and bongos. All three versions used the same
recording of 7May57.
All this doesn't seem enough for a re-release, although there is a
wealth of un-released recordings made on these recording sessions,
waiting to be issued!
There is no news about the prepared re-release of "A Drum Is a Woman"
by Phil Schaap.
A Drum Is a Woman
Now if we true blue (sic) Ellingtonians can get Sony Columbia
Legacy to get off their asses and issue CK 65567, A Drum Is a Woman,
we will have truly accomplished something. I don't understand why the
Ellington clubs and societies don't pester SCL until they reissue the
CD they advertised in 1999. There's a story going around that Phil
Schaap had it scheduled as a two CD album, but that is belied as CK
65567 indicates a single disc. Phil played it for TDES in Oct99, so
why don't they complain about its "cancellation" that Ehrenzeller
wrote about not long ago. I queried him about that statement but he
didn't care to answer either my letter or in the newsletter. BMG RCA
has done it right by assigning Ellington to its Classics Department,
serious stuff. Legacy is still trying to market The Duke as 1950s
popular LPs. Nuts. You are very respected. Perhaps you can stir the
I guess that Phil must have played his tape for TDES, not a sample of
the CD in question. I have approached SONY (no answer) and Phil
Schaap (answer: "I cannot do anything"). I share your frustration!
I'm Checking out Goom-Bye
I've looked again at 03/3-7, item 22 and I agree with Steven's
'proverbial dart' comment about the spelling of Goombye/Goom-bye/Goom
Of the three, I am least happy with Goom Bye (two words), since the parent
word Goodbye is spelled as one word. But I can go with it.
However, any punctuation mark between out and Goom+ (whatever you
prefer) must surely be either a comma (out, Goom+) or a dash (out -
Goom+) and certainly not a hyphen (out-Goom+). A hyphen would suggest
a composite word out-Goom, which of course is nonsense, there's no
such word. Nothing at all between out and Goom+ would be preferable
The same key is used on the keyboard to type a dash as a hyphen. The
distinction is made by spacing the key when typing it as a dash, and
leaving it unspaced, i.e. continuous with the words around it, when
typing it as a hyphen. I have noticed that when I use this key to
type a dash in Word, the system will automatically lengthen it after
I have typed it. But it doesn't always do this. In handwriting the
dash would be spaced and lengthened, compared to the unspaced,
I have checked the text on page 7 of 03/3 about this title. There are
errors in that text. The Columbia 35208, released 8Sep39, has I'm
Checkin' out Go'om-bye. The ASCAP, MIMM and the New DESOR
spelling is I'm Checking OutGoom Bye.
Adolphus J. Alsbrook
See DEMS 03/1-8/1 and 04/2-10 (Ken Steiner presentation)
This is the letter DEMS received on 27Nov03.
My name is Darryl Scott Alsbrook. I am the one and only child of
Adolphus Alsbrook. I live in a small town not too far from Victoria,
British Columbia in Canada. The town is called Youbou, B.C.
Just yesterday I happen by chance to see my father's name on Yahoo on
my computer. I clicked on and arrived at The international DEMS
BULLETIN Duke Ellington Music Society - 03/1 April-July 2003, Part 3
Discussions - Additions - Corrections. Subtitled - Another little
known Ellingtonian (03/1 DEMS 8/1). And there before my eyes was all
this information about my father, three pages of it. I was a little
bit in shock, needless to say. Anyone who knew my father knows that
he was very modest; modest to a fault some would say. And therefore,
I have only minimal information about my dad's professional
I would very much appreciate to be able to e-mail or talk to any of
the people quoted in the above-mentioned article. If you would be so
kind as to pass their e-mail addresses to me. Or if you would rather,
pass mine on to them. I have some published information about my dad
from Charlie Mingus' book called "Beneath The Underdog". As well as
Stanley Dance's book called "The World of Count Basie". If you know
of any other printed information I could find, please pass that
information on to me that I might also find it; I would be eternally
I thank you very much for the information that I have just received
about my dad. I hope that I will hear from you soon that I might know
more about Adolphus. Although I met my dad some 15 years before his
death, as I mentioned before, my information about his professional
career is sadly lacking. He did not like to "blow his own horn", but
I know he was a remarkable man with many accomplishments, and I would
like to know the whole story. Or as much of the story as possible to
know at this late date. Once again, let me thank you in advance for
anything you might be able to do to pass that information on to
With warmest regards.
Darryl Scott Alsbrook
I had a very nice conversation with Darryl Alsbrook. As far as
Ellington is concerned, Darryl said his father told him that the
reason he left Duke was that he could make more money arranging, that
his father deeply regretted leaving Duke, and the only time he ever
saw his father cry was when Duke died.
Duke's spoken intro on the Fairmont LP
See DEMS 04/2-33
Are you really sure that the 12" LP on SESAC - Ellington Moods - does
have the spoken intro as per SESAC AD-43? In that brief intro, the
Duke only discusses the 4 titles which are found on AD-43!
The LP used for copying "Duke's Comments" was Fairmont Records, 1974,
Santa Monica, California USA. The portion of the photo copy I have of
the back of the sleeve does not contain the catalogue number, which I
have taken as F-107 (reference - The Directory of Duke Ellington's
Recordings, Jerry Valburn, 1986 p5-29)
It contains all the tracks as on SESAC N 2701/02 and CD Freshsounds
As you correctly mention, Duke's comments refer only to four tunes,
Night Stick, Fat Mouth, Frou-Frou and Lullaby for
I hope this is sufficient information to answer your query.
The Fairmont LP has indeed number 107. The sequence of the titles is
different from the SESAC 12" LP 2701/02 as mentioned in the New DESOR
p1415. The sequence of the titles on the 12" LP Al Creative World
AL-7085 is the same as on SESAC but it does not have the 48 sec.
spoken introduction by Duke, which is at the start of side 1 of the
Fairmont LP. This introduction must have been made especially for the
7" 45 rpm EP SESAC AD 43. Duke invited us to "listen to this
special". The title of the EP is "Duke's DJ Special". It contains the
four titles as mentioned in the introduction.
Checking my 2 LPs (Fairmont and Al-7085), I found that on both LPs
the title Fat Mouth has been applied to Little John's
Tune and vice versa.
There have been many different releases in the past. Jazz Legacy
JLA-61 (79/5-4); Big Band Landmarks (80/4-4); Jazz Vault JV-101
(81/2-1); SESAC N-2701/N-2702 (84/3-10). Vogue CD 670.208 has only 5
selections from SESAC (88/5-7). Of all these other releases, I have
only the Vogue CD. Here the position of the titles Fat Mouth
and Little John's Tune is in accordance with the listing. I
wonder what the position is on the original SESAC N-2701/02 and on
the CD Fresh Sound 141. If (as I believe) the titles are exchanged,
it should be noted in the New DESOR p1415 as it was once noted for
the AL LP in the old Desor Volume 11 pXXIV and erroneously not
mentioned for Fairmont on pXXX. Comparison of two audio-sources is
not required. Fat Mouth is a blues and it starts with a piano
intro by Duke. Little John's Tune has a 32 bar AABA structure
and no piano introduction.
Fat Mouth on track 1 and Little John's Tune on track 3
of the original SESAC LP are as you described them.
Just to remind you that SESAC N - 2701/02 is not the same as Fairmont
F-107: - SESAC N - 2701/02 does not contain the interview. - The
interview appeared for the first time on the "Repertory Recording"
label (a subsidiary of the "Sesac Transcribed Library") as EP
SESAC N - 2701/02 is mono, Fairmont F-107 is stereo.
By the way, I do not understand why DESOR omits to publish a known
recording when the recording date is unknown. It should be included
under the heading of "circa 1959" for instance. This should lead to
Tishomingo Blues on RCA?
In your report of Steven Lasker's presentation at the Stockholm
Conference (04/2-10), you suggest that Tishomingo Blues was an
You are right. It was a Brunswick recording. Steven would have put it
on the 3 CD set GRP Records 3-640 if he had had the recording in time
to do so, and obviously not on the 24 CD RCA box. This is purely my
error. Steven clearly mentioned the GRP box.
Blue Belles of Harlem
See DEMS 04-2-23
Going through the Paul Whiteman collection at Williams College in
Williamstown I examined the music manuscript for this item. On the
score it reads Blue Belle of Harlem. Belle meaning a female
Newly released 1924 Wilbur Sweatman Edison recording
I've just recently discovered the DEMS newsletters [say better
Bulletins] on-line, and while I haven't had time to read through all
of them thoroughly, I want to applaud your very thorough efforts.
Having read the discussion concerning the recently released Wilbur
Sweatman Gennet recording of Battleship Kate [DEMS 02/1-16/3]
along with Steven Lasker's assertion that in "no way" can it be Duke
[DEMS 02/2-17/2] to which I can only say "could you be certain
of Duke's piano presence on Choo Choo or Rainy Nights
if we didn't know they were his compositions? For that matter, how
can we ever be sure it is a definite negative (or a definite
positive)? While I have not heard this track yet, I prefer to be
precautionary about ever saying anything is 100% negative or positive
when so little is really known about the recording. Surely, it is as
plausible as not that it's Duke sight-reading the parts, no?
At any rate, to add confusion to the mix, I will call your attention
to a previously unissued (and to my knowledge unknown) Sweatman
recording, also from 1924, but recorded for the Edison label
called It Makes No Difference Now as by "Wilbur Sweatman's
Brownies". Again, I have not heard this track, but the scant details
I found are at <http://edison-project.50megs.com/bios.htm>
and it has been released on CD by American Sound Archives:
Jazz & Blues on Edison Records (1920-29): A magnificent
collection of recordings from the 1920's! Fascinating musical
artefacts (some of which were not known to exist) appear alongside
some previously released and unissued Edison Diamond Discs.
Selections: Dixieland (Lopez & Hamilton-The
Kings of Harmony)/Baby's Got the Blues (Genevieve
Jordon)/St. Louis Gal (Original Memphis Five)/You're Gonna
Wake Some Morning (Ethel Finney)/Hot Tamale Baby (Andy
Razaf)/Hard Hearted Hannah (Marjorie
Royer)/Tempermental Papa (Josie Miles)/It Makes No
Difference Now (Wilbur Sweatman's Brownies)/Undertakers
Blues (Helen Gross with the Kansas City Five)/Memphis
Bound (Viola McCoy)/Dont Advertise Your Man (Rosa
Henderson)/Broken Busted Blues (Noble Sissle and Eubie
Blake)/Loud Speakin' Papa (Elsie Clark)/Everybody
Stomp! (Bud Lincoln's Orch.)/Ive Found a New Baby
(Georgia Melodians)/Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down
(Winegar's Penn Boys)/Come on Home (Clarence Williams Orch.
with Eva Taylor)/Wang Wang Blues (Mal Hallet's Orch.).
$12.75 (Order#: ASA-1001)
This can all be found at <http://edison-project.50megs.com/new.htm>
While no mention of Duke's participation is even suggested, the DEMS
folks may want to get a hold of a copy just to see if the pianist
sounds anything like Duke.
I do not believe that Ellington played with Wilbur Sweatman during
the year 1924. All sources put him only in Sweatman's company during
On page 185 of Mark Tucker's "Ellington The Early Years", there
is a quote from the Haverhill Evening Gazette dated 26Jan25
mentioning that the Washingtonians "during the past year they have
been featured by the Triangle and Blue Disc Record Company". What is
"Triangle" records? Is it the same company as Blue Disc or is it
different? If it is different, has anybody looked into any Duke
recordings on Triangle? Given the early 1925 date of this quote,
these would certainly be contenders for the earliest Duke tracks, yet
Mark Tucker makes no further comment on Triangle. Any thoughts?
Triangle was indeed the name of a United States record label. I found
it in Benny Aasland's "The Wax Works of Duke Ellington" (1954).
Rainy Nights fromNov24 was released on Triangle 11437. It was
also released with the same number (11437) on the US labels Baldwin,
Broadway, Bury, Mitchell, Puritan, Puretone and with a slightly
different number (1437) on the US Label Pennington. It is not known
(to me) which non-Ellington recording was put on the flip-side. This
Triangle release is also confirmed in Delaunay. I have not found
other Triangle releases with Ellington recordings. I have found some
Bury releases though.
The releases on Triangle, Baldwin, Broadway, Bury, Mitchell, Puritan,
Puretone and Pennington have been confirmed in Jerry Valburn's
Directory of Duke Ellington's Recordings. All carry the indication
that the recording originates from Blu-Disc.
See for an in-depth study of this matter Steven Lasker's article at
Regarding 1920's recordings of Jig Walk by Duke, I have
read a rather convincing article reaffirming that the "piano roll" 78
transcription is not Duke. (I have actually never heard this track
either so I cannot comment.) However, there is still a couple of
confusing issues around this.
a) In Mark Tucker's Ellington Reader, there are reprints of 2
articles with passing mentions of a Duke recording of Jig
Walk: one from Alec Wilder's 28Aug48 Saturday Review article
(p259 in Tucker); the other from Rex Stewart's 8Sep66 Downbeat
profile of Bigard (p479 in Tucker);
b) a long time ago, I recall reading the 1946 Ulanov Duke bio at a
library and I seem to recall that the book's discography also listed
Jig Walk, albeit with scant details. The curious thing is that
I think 1946 predates the Wurlitzer piano roll recording, and of
course the 1938 and 1940 air check Jig Walk transcriptions
were presumably unknown to anyone until the 1960s or 70s. Your
Indeed. It seems that there is no recording of Jig Walk by
Duke in the 20ties.
Barry Ulanov (1946) has in 1926 a recording by the whole band (12
pieces) of Jig Walk and Alabama Bound. If these
recordings ever existed, they have never been found anyway.
Charles Delaunay (1948) has no mention of Jig Walk (by
Benny Aasland (1954) has with an unknown date with matrix number 607
on the label and 610 in the wax a Paramount release 14024 with the
indication that this is a V Disc. It is a Nickelodeon
The old Desor (Volume 1, 1966) has copied from Aasland's disco
Paramount 14204, unknown date, matrix 606. They added as a more
recent release the LP For Discriminate Collector FDC-1003. This is
found on the sleeve in the liner-notes: "Jig Walk is certainly
a dull piece, none could expect Duke's future, great, style
developments. It is however, the first recorded piano solo by
Ellington, therefore here enclosed (in view of its rarity). The
original 78-rpm record was a dubbing from piano roll: the exact date
of the piano roll cutting is unknown, while the record was released
Dick Bakker (1977) has copied from Desor: Paramount 14024, NYC, Mid
1926, 607. He added the BYG releases.
Willie Timner has dropped in his 4th edition (1996) the Paramount 607
nickelodeon transcription from Feb/Mar26, which was in his 3rd
We have on the LP Up to Date 2004 (a recording by "The OKeh
Syncopators", unknown personnel, name usually used by Harry Reser
groups) a recording of Jig Walk from 20Feb26. The original
issue with matrix S-74019-B was on OKeh 40614.
On the CD Masters of Jazz MJCD 8 the piano-roll Jig Walk is
included and recognised as a genuine Ellington recording. It was not
included on the Classics CD, but it was accepted by Neatwork and
included on RP-2009.
In DEMS 97/2-23/3 is an extensive discussion about Jig Walk on
More specific answers to your questions: I think that Alec Wilder,
writing his article in 1948, consulted the discographical listing in
Barry Ulanov's 1946 "Duke Ellington" and found there the wrong (or
never discovered) recording claimed to be from 1926 and mentioned as
first recording in a long list. The fact that Rex Stewart wrote (in
1966) about Duke coming out with a record of his tune Jig
Walk, which became a hit in Harlem, makes me believe that either
we should not give up hope of finding a record as described by Barry
Ulanov (with the full band) or that Rex was mistaken and referred to
one of the many recordings, made by other groups of Duke's tune from
"Chocolate Kiddies" like the one by "The OKeh Syncopaters". (See for
many more recordings of Jig Walk Mark Tucker's "Ellington
The Early Years" p135.)
The airchecks of 22May38 and 21Sep40 have as far as I'm concerned
nothing to do with the piano-roll Jig Walk. They share the
same melody, which is quite different from Jig Walk and which
has more similarity to Lightnin'. The 22May38 recording is
actually very clearly announced as Jig Walk but that doesn't
make it the same tune. There are however three recordings of the
original (piano-roll-type) Jig Walk later in Duke's
discography: 15Nov69, concert in Geneva as part of the Medley;
18Jun71, dance date in Paramus; and 20oct71, the first concert in
Bournemouth as the opening selection of the Medley.
I have listened again to three of the recordings of Jig Walk
which I have. They are the piano roll from the 20ties, the 1940
Sherman performance by Ellington and the 1941
I feel that the Sherman performance is of a score developed out of
the piece printed as Example 20 of Mark Tucker's book (pp128-30) and
offered in a simple repetitive version on the piano roll. The Pee Wee
Russell - Joe Sullivan trio is also based on this piece so I imagine
it is a fair conjecture that, as a stride pianist, Joe Sullivan was
acquainted with the piano roll.
A small puzzle
I noticed on page 9 of the New DESOR that: 2905a,b,f carry all
three the catalogue number (Vi V38053). The titles being
Dicty Glide and Stevedore Stomp. I looked in Jerry
Valburn's "The Directory of Duke Ellington Recordings" (1986) on
pages 1-27 and 1-30 and I found that this is the case on both the
Argentine and USA issues.
2905c,d,e, also carry the same catalogue number (Vi V-38065) but the
reason for this is clarified by Jerry on page 1-30. The number is
used on two different USA issues, both having the same take of Hot
Feet, and each having a different take of Sloppy Joe.
The same number is also used for an Argentine issue where an unknown
take of Sloppy Joe was combined with the title Pies
Alegres, which means Hot Feet in Spanish.
As was the case with the USA release of Vi V-38065, two different
takes of Dicty Glide were also released with the same label
number (this time Vi V-38053), a fact apparently unknown to Jerry
Valburn when he wrote his directory.
It has happened many times that alternate takes have popped up with
the same label number. This is due to the fact that the records
themselves were often produced at different locations. Instead of
making a dub from the first chosen take for production elsewhere, it
sometimes happened that an alternate take was sent, if the quality
made hardly any difference.
See DEMS 04/2-39
Am I right in thinking that the DESOR reference number for The
B.O. of Traffic (B.O. Man) is 6742f?
The B.O. of Traffic on track 17 is DESOR 6742h.
B.O. Man (which is the same as The B.O. of Traffic) on
track 22 is DESOR 6742aa.
A Correction on Klaus Stratemann's "Day by Day
Film by Film"
I´m checking page 247 of Dr. Stratemann's book, on the first
line of this page he lists Jimmy Grissom as "one of the departed men"
from Ellington´s orchestra.
Surely he meant to write Jimmy Britton.
The Auckland Concert of 10Feb70
See DEMS 04/2-14
Dr Klaus Stratemann (p595) says that Ellington left New Zealand on
the 10th, the day of the concert. I know it is possible to have a
performance and fly out in the same day, but isn't it highly
improbable? He was performing in New York on the 13th.
I agree. I believe Klaus was wrong. He found this "fact" in the Duke
Ellington Itinerary from Joe Igo where it says: "10 thru 12 - DEO
flew from New Zealand to Los Angeles to New York and then to Buffalo
NY." Duke played the Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo on 13Feb70
(Buffalo Courier-Express 12 Feb 70). In Ralph Gleason's "Celebrating
the Duke" p239 it says (under 22Feb70): "Last week he arrived at the
Los Angeles airport from Australia and immediately took a plane to
Buffalo, New York, where he conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic Friday
night." If we presume that Duke did not leave Australia (i.e. New
Zealand) on the 10th, but one day later, there is still no
discrepancy with anything else that we know about these days.
It is perfectly possible for the Ellington Orchestra to fly out of
Auckland on the afternoon of 11 February and to arrive in Los Angeles
on the morning of 11 February, even with an overnight stop at Tahiti
(as our plane did, or Hawaii or some other place). If it was still
the 11th when they crossed the International Date Line, the date then
became the 10th. If the date had moved on to the 12th by the time
they crossed the Line, it goes back to the 11th at that point. In
either case, given an afternoon departure from Auckland on the 11th.,
they arrive in LA on the morning of the 11th.
I Can't Give You Anything but Love
by the Mills Brothers
See DEMS 04/2-36
The 78 rpm Br(E) 01520-A/-B has on one side
Br 12781 = Diga Diga Doo by the Mills Brothers and DE&HFO
and on the flip side
Br 12782 = I Can't Give You Anything but Love by the Mills Brothers.
On 12782 no musical instruments or mechanical devices have been used
on this recording other than one guitar.
This recording of I Can't Give You Anything but Love clearly
does not qualify to be included in an Ellington discography.
Fraternity House, Madison
Through the courtesy of American reissue producer and collector
Ben Young, I've been able to hear the recording of Duke playing for
students at a fraternity party in Madison, dated 1951(?).
I don't know if this has been the subject of discussion before, but I
think Duke plays more than he's credited with in my copy of Nielsen
(p113). I'm prepared to believe the first pianist (who doesn't find
the right chords for Deep Purple) could be Jimmy Hamilton, but
Duke himself takes over during Deep Purple, and he also plays
the next two pieces (Falling Like a Raindrop and
Sophisticated Lady). Strayhorn only performs the three titles for
which he's shown (Unknown Title at the last chord of which
he's verbally identified, followed by You Go to My Head and
Lush Life). Then Duke returns to play the remaining five
titles and to give a spoken message at the end.
The unknown Strayhorn piece (an unconventional 12-bar blues) is
familiar but I can't put a name to it at the moment. The date too is
vague, but I notice at one point (very much off-mike) Duke's voice
saying the words "Willie Cook", perhaps in answer to a question about
his new trumpeter (who came in the band in Nov51).
This session is documented in the New DESOR as 5331 probably from
Fall 1953. DESOR credits Duke for the same selections as you do and
even for the first attempt at Deep Purple. I agree with that.
Although I do not have a sample of Jimmy Hamilton's piano-playing,
listening over and over again convinced me that DESOR is right.
Billy Strayhorn played an unidentified title followed by Drawing
Room Blues, You Go to My Head and Lush Life.
Fall 1953 coincides very well with the (unique) commercial
recording-date of Falling Like a Raindrop on 17Jan54. Another
probable date is 23May53. Thats when Duke was in Madison.
I think I understood that the host was Timme Rosenkrantz and that the
hostess went early to bed.
The six important Columbia/Legacy re-releases with
Columbia/Legacy COL 512915 2
Duke Ellington - Blues in Orbit
See DEMS 04/2-31
The titles and matrix-numbers have been mentioned in DEMS 03/2-21/1.
There are some mistakes in this listing, which was supplied to DEMS
by Michael Cuscuna and which was used for the liner-notes of this CD
There are three released studio recordings of Blues in Orbit.
Take -1 of 4Feb58 is on track 7 of this CD (512915) and has been
previously released on the Columbia LP "Blues in Orbit" which was
re-released on the Columbia (Jazz Masterpieces) CD CK-44051 with the
same title (see DEMS 88/3-5 and 88/5-4). Take -1 was also included in
the CD Giants of Jazz 53066 (DEMS 91/2-3).
Blues in Orbit take -2 has been recorded on 12Feb58 and
released on the Columbia/Legacy CD CK 65566 titled "Black, Brown and
Beige" (see DEMS 99/4-18/1). Take -2 is on this CD (512915) on track
Blues in Orbit take -6 has also been recorded on 12Feb58. It
was released on the 7 inch 45 rpm single Columbia Co 4-41689 and has
not yet been re-released on CD (see DEMS 99/4-18/1). Take -6 is
definitely not on this CD (512915) as claimed in the liner-notes,
neither is Blues in Orbit on track 18 previously unissued.
The original liner-notes by Teo Macero have been reproduced but they
were not corrected. Since we have access to the recording reports we
know that Smada was not recorded on 2Dec but on 3Dec59; that
there were six and not five great numbers on tape at the end of the
2Dec59 session; that the last number on the second day (The
Swinger's Jump, properly sub-titled Last Minute Blues)
came not after eight but after ten other selections. On the original
LP back cover it is said that Blues in Blueprint and Villes
Ville Is the Place, Man were not recorded at the same time as the
other compositions. This is true if we read Blues in Orbit
instead of Blues in Blueprint. Liner-notes can be very
confusing for discographers without the support of Steven Lasker who
supplied many recording reports to us and to "our Italian
Track 19 is properly identified in DEMS 03/2-21/1 as being take -15
and previously released on Franklin Mint. This will be corrected in
the New DESOR on page 247 or correction-sheet 1007 and on page
The liner-notes by Patricia Willard are informative as always and a
great asset to this new re-release. We have only one question: as far
as we know from Klaus Stratemann p418, Booty Wood joined the band on
7Sep59 (and not on 7Jul59) to replace John Sanders. Booty Wood did
not take part in the recordings for "Festival Session" on 8Sep59.
John Sanders stayed until 10Sep59 and he played on 8Sep59 as
correctly claimed in the liner-notes of the recently re-released
"Festival Session", Columbia/Legacy 512916 2 (see DEMS 04/2-30).
Columbia/Legacy COL 512919 2
Duke Ellington Piano in the Background
See DEMS 04/2-31
The titles, the matrix-numbers and (the correct) take-numbers have
been mentioned in DEMS 03/2-22/2. Track 12, Dreamy Sort of
Thing has take number -5 and not -6.
Being a retired printer, I can tell you what can go wrong between the
written copy for a printing job and the final result. I suspect that
one of the sentences on page 3 of the booklet (the page with
discographical details) was different on the original. I think it was
like this: "Billy Strayhorn plays piano on Dreamy Sort of Thing.
It Don't Mean a Thing and I'm Beginning To See the Light
are arranged by Bill Mathieu." I think that the first
period was replaced by a comma and that the word "are" had been
deleted and replaced by another comma. I do believe that Billy
Strayhorn played in Dreamy Sort of Thing (confirmed by
Patricia Willard in her liner-notes), although he is not
credited in the reports, but I cannot believe that he played on
2Jun60 in It Don't Mean a Thing and on 22Jun60 in Main
Stem. I am convinced that Duke was at the keyboard. This
is also confirmed in the liner-notes of the original album. (The text
on the back of the CD box even asks us to believe that Duke played on
each of the 14 tracks of this new CD but that seems a bit too much.)
My guess is that Billy was present on most of the recording sessions
in Jun60 because of the recordings made for the "Nutcracker Suite"
and the "Peer Gynt Suites". But on 22Jun60 he wasn't there, because
according to the Artist Job Sheet of 16Jun60, there was a telephone
call on 22Jun60 with Billy Strayhorn who gave instructions to change
the title of Waltz of the Flowers into Danse [sic]
of the Floreadores and the title Dance of the Sugar-Plum
Fairy into Sugar Rum Cherry.
Billy mostly played on his own compositions and there is little doubt
about him being the composer of Dreamy Sort of Thing. It is
obviously the same composer as the one who wrote Love, the
first part of "The Perfume Suite". It is peculiar that Dreamy Sort
of Thing is not mentioned in Walter van de Leur's "Something To
Live For". It seems that it belongs to the "Asphalt Jungle"
compositions. It is called in the contracts of The American
Federation of Musicians: Pretty Girl - Angello Theme.
The same two titles appear on the Artist Job Sheet from the studio
with the hand-written remark: "From Asphalt Jungle" and with the
type-written names of Ellington and Strayhorn as composers followed
by a remark between parentheses: "Don't contact publisher". Is that
the reason that we cannot find it on the ASCAP list? It is different
from the Rick Henderson originals Pretty Girl and Dreaming
by the Fire from 6May71. We have a tape with five selections,
together being (as claimed) the West Coast Recordings for "Asphalt
Jungle". This session starts with an unknown piece by the full band
ending in a long wailing solo by Paul Gonsalves (Blues for Asphalt
Jungle, recorded 25Apr60). It is followed by an exact copy of
Dreamy Sort of Thing, RHCO 46677 from 20Jun60 and the three
parts belonging together to make up "Asphalt Jungle": Wild
Car, RHCO 46717; Cops, 46718 and Robbers, 46719 and
all three recorded on 1Jul60. In the Cue sheet for "Asphalt Jungle"
item 20 is named "Angela" (see DEMS 95/1-2).
I have a problem in believing that Billy co-composed Happy Go
Lucky Local. Walter van de Leur wrote on page 47 that this
composition is co-credited to Billy, but there is no proof in his
book that this credit is correct. I believe that this credit is
caused by Billy's hand-written name after Ellington's type-written
name on the Artist Job Sheet. The fact that Billy's name is provided
with a "1" in a circle and Duke's name with a "2" in a circle may
have inspired the producer of the original LP to mention Billy first.
I know that Billy was co-credited in the ASCAP listing for several
parts of "The Deep South Suite" as there are: Hearsay; There Was
Nobody Looking and Magnolias Dripping with Honey [sic].
But Happy Go Lucky Local is explicitly only credited to
According to the Columbia Recording Report and the Phonograph
Recording Contract of the American Federation of Musicians, Juan
Tizol was present at and paid for the session of 3Mar61.
One of the non-Ellington compositions that Duke liked to play was
Lullaby of Birdland. Both takes on this release start with 3
complete choruses by Duke as a soloist. These two takes of 20Jun60
are now for the first time on CD. Duke had been struggling with this
piano introduction earlier in the Columbia recording session of
24Apr58, when he started the tune 7 times. The second attempt has
been released on the LP Up to Date 2007 and a combination of the 6th
and 7th take has been used for the LP Franklin Mint 4002 and for the
French (blue) CBD LP 88653 but none of it has been re-released on CD.
There is still a lot of work to do by Sony!
Patricia Willard's liner-notes are again a welcome source of
background information. I have only two remarks to make. Jimmy
Forrest started in the Ellington band on 20May49 and not in Aug49. He
replaced Ben Webster who left 17May49.
Only Willie Timner claimed that Al McKibbon played in the last track,
Harlem Air-Shaft. If Al McKibbon's memory (in 2003) is correct
about not having recorded with Ellington, we should also correct
other discographies. The New DESOR (6103) has him playing (and
recording) in Where in the World and in Tulip or Turnip
and being replaced by Aaron Bell for Song from "Moulin Rouge"
and for Harlem Air-Shaft. This is in accordance to the
liner-notes of the French CBS LPs 26306 and 88654 (from the blue
three volume - five LP set "duke 56/62"). The Recording Report does
indeed only say: "Al McKibbon, bass session of 3/3 only",
however on a special added page to the Contract of the American
Federation of Musicians is stated: "McKibbon, Alfred, bass, called in
for first part of session when regular bass player was detained."
Both bass-players received full payment, according to this
What we read in Patricia Willard's liner-notes can lead to two
different conclusions: Either Al McKibbon stated that he did not
record with Duke at all, which means that Aaron Bell was back before
the first actual take of Where in the World; or he means that
Aaron arrived before the actual take of Harlem Air-Shaft,
which means that he (McKibbon) recorded the three titles Where
in the World; Tulip or Turnip and Song from "Moulin
Rouge". Who is going to ask him?
Columbia/Legacy COL 512920 2
Duke Ellington Piano in the Foreground
See DEMS 04/2-31
The titles, the matrix-numbers and the take-numbers have been
mentioned in DEMS 03/2-21/2.
According to Patricia Willard's liner-notes, Aaron Bell believed that
track 8, A Hundred Dreams Ago is a variation of Victor Young's
melody A Hundred Years from Today. That second title sounds
very familiar to me, but that is probably because Duke used that
phrase for his announcement of Basin Street Blues by Money
Johnson. I have no recording of Victor Young's tune to compare. A
Hundred Dreams Ago has been copyrighted in 1963 on Duke's name by
Tempo Music. The New DESOR (p716) claims that it is the same as A
Hundred Dreams from Now, which was copyrighted in 1958 with the
sub-title Champagne Oasis, with the names of Duke Ellington
and Johnny Burke by Vernon Music Corp.
There is some confusion about the title of track 10. We now all agree
that the earlier title on the (11 title) LP release, Yearning for
Love was wrong. On the (12 title) re-release on CD CBS 465638 2,
see DEMS 90/1-2, the title was Peadin' for Love. The New DESOR
has named this recording Pleadin' without a sub-title. We have
found in the ASCAP list Pleadin' (not Pleading),
copyrighted on Duke's name in 1958 by Vernon Music Corp and
Searchin' (not Searching), copyrighted on Duke's name
and the name of Steve Allen in 1964 by the same Corporation. The
title Pleading for Love could not be found. Without being able
to read music and without both lead-sheets I am not able to figure
out if Pleadin' and Searchin' are indeed titles for the
same melody. We know that what we hear on track 10 is the same as
part three of the "Fragmented Suite for Piano and Bass" which is
copyrighted on the names of Duke and Ray Brown in 1976 by what we
believe to have deciphered as Unickaypall Mus. ?. Chappell & Co.
Inc. On the album "This One's for Blanton" the whole suite is
credited to Ellington and Brown by the Pablito Publishing Co.
Another non-Ellington composition that Duke liked to play was All
the Things You Are. Most of you will recognise track 14, the so
called take -2. It was previously issued on the (LP and CD)
album "Ellington Indigos". For collectors from the CD era, it must be
a pleasure to hear the earlier take which was Duke's first attempt to
find a solution for arranging this tune as he later found in the
fourth part of the second chorus of the well-known version, now
called take -2.
The correct numbering of the Piano Improvisations is another
point of discussion. The New DESOR has accepted the take-numbers as
given in DEMS 85/1-8 but not the part numbers from DEMS. These take
numbers indicate at least properly the correct sequence of the
improvisations. What now is indicated as take-4 was called in the
studio "take-2". The New DESOR has given its correct title to the
last improvisation: Bitches Ball. This is the title of the
piano interlude in "Beige" as played in Jan43 in NYC and in Boston as
mentioned in Mark Tucker's "Duke Ellington The Early Years"
Here is an overview of the different releases:
Take numbers from the New DESOR -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6
LP Up to Date 2007 1 2
LP CBS 88653 (French CBS blue set) 1 2 3 4
LP CBS 88219 (World of DE Vol 2) 1 2 3
DEMS 85/1-8 Part number: 1 1 2 2 3 6
CD Columbia/Legacy 512920: 1 2 3 4
A Hundred Years from Today is a good song, and is mentioned
in Alec Wilder's American Popular Song, 1900-1950, p481. It is
strongly associated with Jack Teagarden (who recorded the song on
11Nov33), though I recall a wonderful version sung by Lee Wiley which
I heard years ago. Wilder draws attention to it in his book. The song
dates from 1933, and so there's an earlier link to Ellington than the
Money Johnson one Sjef mentioned. At the turn of 1932 and 1933 Duke
recorded two pieces on which both Victor Young and Lee Wiley are
named as composers, Any Time, Any Day, Any Where, and Eerie
Quality competition ASV RCA Dreyfus
DEMS wrote in the review of ASV 5310 (DEMS 99/4-22/1): It must be
said that Alun Morgan was very happy with the perfect sound quality:
"some of the early 1940s tracks sound better than the BMG CDs forming
the Blanton-Webster band package." It would be interesting to have
these tracks compared with the 24 CD box. We found a serious
comparison on the Duke-Lym list:
I just acquired Dreyfus 36732 "Take the A Train" (DEMS
02/1-17/8) and wished to compare it to the ASV 5310 "Stomp, Look and
Listen". It turns out that this is a bit difficult, as the 2 releases
only have 3 songs in common: Perdido, Chelsea Bridge
and Stomp, Look and Listen. The ASV was mastered in 1999, the
Dreyfus in 2001.
One other caveat in comparing the two is the fact that the Dreyfus is
significantly louder then the ASV; not by a small amount. I'm
uncertain if the ASV was mastered too low or if the Dreyfus is using
lots of compression to lift the perceived level. When I have a
chance, I'll check them both on a digital meter to see, as I'm
curious on that point. If I was going to hazard a guess, it would be
some of each.
Here's what I found:
1. Perdido - both masterings are enjoyable and both are miles
beyond RCA's 24 CD box. This was the only one of the 3 comparisons I
found close. The ASV has more detail while the Dreyfus has an all
around more pleasing tonal balance. A toss up depending on your
preference. I'm not certain which I prefer.
2. Chelsea Bridge - Dreyfus wins this one easily. ASV used
either a warped or off center 78. While the Dreyfus also has a bit of
pitch inconsistency, it's much more stable then the ASV.
3. Stomp, Look and Listen - I prefer both the tonal balance
and the detail of the ASV on this one. At similar volume, the ASV
just sounds more realistic. Both versions have more reverb then I'd
like; it's more apparent on the Dreyfus. Again, both versions trounce
RCA's 24 CD box.
As far as the ASV and the Dreyfus go, if you buy them both you get 41
unique songs from Duke's 40's RCA period (the Dreyfus also has a
couple late 30's CBS recordings) between them in best sound ever - so
I recommend them both!
Earlier complaints about the Blanton/Webster 3 CD set were mentioned
in DEMS 97/4-10/6. The transfers on the 24 CD set were much better
but according to Geff Ratcheson still not on the level of ASV and
Dreyfus. Speaking of the 24 CD set he wrote: "I'm not real fond of
the sound of the 40's material on it."
A more recent ASV release (with a remarkable good quality) is
mentioned in this Bulletin, 04/3-44.
I recently bought two Swiss HMV 78's from which I noted an
interesting oddity. The records are:
HMV (Sw) JK 2536 - Black and Tan Fantasy/Jubilee Stomp
HMV (Sw) JK 2634 - Blues I Love To Sing/Hot Feet
The odd thing with these records is the fact that they have an
imprint in the shellac under the label which is fully readable
because the label is sunk into the imprint. In the case of BaTF the
imprint gives "Matrix #, a few other numbers like 26/27 and 247, Duke
Ellington Orch, +2/16 H6 (colored)". It is of course the last word
that causes the interest from my side. I know that in the old days
the record companies made a difference between white and colored
artists. I guess the imprint was made in the original matrix.
However, when looking at the original Victor release (21137) no such
imprint can be found. The same goes for the other record mentioned.
On other Swiss HMV's in my collection there are no such imprints to
My own assumption is that HMV Switzerland by mistake used the entire
matrix area when pressing their copy whereas Victor deleted that area
from the stamper.
Am I right ?
DEMS has forwarded Bo Haufman's question to Steven Lasker, who has
sent us the following article. (Black and Tan Fantasy and
The Blues I Love To Sing are from 26oct27, Jubilee Stomp
is from 26Mar28 and Hot Feet is from 7Mar29.)
In the years before 1932, Victor's engineer's marked the central area
of their wax master recordings with various notations, such as
Haufman reports finding on his Swiss HMVs. These markings are visible
on original master parts, many test pressings and some "flush label"
foreign pressings (including many Swiss HMVs and Australian HMVs, and
some French Disque Grammophones and German Electrolas). Most other 78
rpm issues, including all American Victors, Canadian Victors, and
English HMVs, were pressed from stampers from which centers had been
excised and replaced, at the time of pressing, by dies or rings that
produce what collectors refer to as "sunken label pressings."
(Haufman wonders if the appearance of such information on his Swiss
78s is the result of a mistake. Victor's pressmen in Camden, New
Jersey would probably have adjudged it to be sloppy work by their
Typically noted in the wax: master number (found above the center
hole), take number (read just to the left of the center hole, in the
9:00 position), artist, the first two or three words of the title and
equipment settings (also found on Victor's recording sheets; the
sheet for Ellington's session of 26oct27 establishes that for BaTF,
the amp setting was +2, the filter setting 15, while the level was
As Haufman suspects, "Colored" means that black talent was used. The
term is found on masters recorded by black artists for Victor in 1926
and 1927; it appears less frequently during 1928 and 1929, when the
word "race" was substituted with increasing frequency. (That the
terms were interchangeable is demonstrated by reference to Swiss HMV
pressings of two recordings made at Jelly Roll Morton's Victor
session of 9Jul29: mx. BVE-49452-2 was marked "colored" while
BVE-49454 was marked "race.") During 1929-30, "R" was substituted for
"race" with increasing frequency.
Since Haufman finds the subject of interest, here is an overview of
Victor's race recording activity from the beginning until the early
African American talent appeared on Victor from the year of its
founding, 1901, when Bert Williams and George Walker recorded
together and singly. Other pioneer black artists who recorded the
company include the Dinwiddie Colored Quartet (1902); [Jim] Europe's
Society Orchestra (1913-14); Fisk Jubilee Singers (various years);
Creole Jass Band (one rejected title, 1917). A complete list of every
artist of color who recorded for Victor between the label's first
appearance in 1901 and 1920 would, sadly, not be very much longer
that the one just given; the total number of released sides by black
artists not from the West Indies in the period 1900-20 was small,
perhaps fewer than 100. Considering that in those same 20 years the
company waxed more than 24000 titles in total, the overall percentage
of performances by black musicians is minuscule. The same neglect of
black talent wasn't limited to Victor; it was pervasive among all
American recording companies, which meant that the flowering of
ragtime and blues and the birth of jazz went largely unrecorded
during their formative years.
On 10Aug20, Mamie Smith recorded Crazy Blues for OKeh which
became a huge hit for the company and a wake up call to the rest of
the industry that demand existed for records of vernacular black
music performed by authentic black talent.
Between mid-1920 when Mamie Smith had her first great success and
mid-1926, all of the major companies except Victor and Edison began
to record black artists extensively. In those years Victor recorded a
total of some 11,000 titles, but nearly all were performed by white
talent. Released recordings by black talent totalled only 28 or so
sides (not counting the few sides where black singers were backed by
white musicians). Artists: Eubie Blake and his Shuffle Along
Orchestra (1921); Ford Dabney and his Orchestra (two rejected titles,
1921); Piron's New Orleans Orchestra (1923-25); Arthur Gibbs and his
Gang (1923); James P. Johnson (1923); Rosa Henderson (1923); Edna
Hicks (1923); Lizzie Miles (1923); Emma Lewis (1923); Ethel Ridley
(1923); Snowden's Nov. Orch. (Ellington's first recording, rejected,
1923); Sissle and Blake (1923-24).
So why did the Victor Talking Machine Company, the largest record
company in the land, pass up sales opportunities by basically
ignoring vernacular African American music, which appealed not only
to African Americans but also some white Americans? Before invoking
the specter of racism, however, a dash of context: Victor (as well as
Edison) were to more or less equal degree also ignoring the
vernacular musical sounds of rural white America that were finding
expression in hillbilly music.
I can't prove it (and doubt anyone ever will) but I suspect the
explanation may lie with a conscious effort by Victor to market their
brand as the most prestigious with the most expensive records, the
most prestigious artists, and the most refined and genteel retail
outlets where the snootiest customers would feel comfortable, and
where African Americans with highbrow tastes weren't necessarily
excluded (I have heard considerable anecdotal evidence that at least
some African American homes in the early 20th Century boasted
Victrolas and classical "Red Seal" records by Caruso and other famous
Victor artists). I imagine the company's thinking might have gone
like this: How comfortable will our affluent clientele be if they
have to rub elbows with lower-class types looking for race or
hillbilly records? But absent evidence, we can only speculate-- and
be genuinely grateful that Victor did finally wake up to the
realization that a substantial audience existed for records of
vernacular American music played by African Americans and rural
Ralph Peer, who had directed field recording activity for OKeh, in
mid-1926 undertook to institute a race and hillbilly program at
Victor. His pay, researcher Dick Spottswood informs, was a dollar a
year. Why so little? He made his money--a small fortune,
eventually--by, whenever possible, acquiring publishing rights for
his own company. His robust program of recordings by race artists
began 9Jul26. Recordings by Victor of hillbilly artists began in
earnest after field trips Peer supervised to Bristol, Tennessee and
Charlotte, North Carolina in July and August 1927 that saw the first
recordings of the Carter Family and other future country stars.
Just as we find "colored" or "race" etched in the central area of
master recordings intended for the African American market, so
"hillbilly" is found etched in the central area of master recordings
intended for the hillbilly market.
No equivalent marking is encountered on popular records intended for
the domestic catalog, or on 'Red Seal' (classical) records.
Discographers I have spoken with strongly suspect that ethnic records
are marked "Foreign," "German," "Italian," "Mexican" and so on
depending on artist and intended market, but we've not been able to
locate any tests or pressings with visible markings to confirm the
Striking new sleeves for Victor's minority series records appeared in
the fall of 1928. The front of each sleeve bore woodblock cuts
showing eight different scenes depicting eight different musical
groups. The ethnic sleeve was printed in orange ink, the hillbilly in
brown, the race sleeve in blue; each of the three types of sleeves
bear different designs. (The classifications 'race,' 'hillbilly, or
'foreign' weren't mentioned. The only text on the front, besides the
catalog number of the eight scenes depicted, was "Victor Records You
Will Like. Hear These Records on Your Next Visit to our Store.")
At the beginning of 1929, coincident with the acquisition of Victor
by RCA, releases by minority (hillbilly, race and ethnic) artists
that had formerly appeared in the regular domestic 20000-21000 series
now began appearing in various series prefixed with the letter "V"
followed by a dash. Hillbilly records would thenceforth be released
in the V-40000 series, race records in the V-38000 series, foreign
series records in a bewildering array of series so numerous that
rather than cite them I direct the interested reader's attention
instead to the introduction to Dick Spottswood's "Ethnic Music on
Records" Volume 1 (University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago,
1990) where the many series are listed.
The hillbilly and race series stayed in the V-series during 1929 and
1930. At a record sales committee meeting held 12Nov30, it was
recommended that "beginning with the January listing we abandon the
practice of listing race and hillbilly records in the "V" series.
Beginning with this issue the hillbilly records will be numbered
23500 etc. and the race records 23250 etc. It was further decided
that when the domestic listings have reached the 23000 series that
the next listing will appear in the 24000 series."
The "V" series prefix was used exclusively for ethnic series records
until 1942, when Victor entirely revamped their numbering system for
A brief overview of various hot dance, race and hillbilly series
records released by Victor between 1929 and 1934 follows. Much of the
data found here first appeared in 1990 in an article written by Dick
Spottswood for 78 Quarterly #5 (pages 64-65), and is supplemented
with data supplied by BMG archivist Vince Giordano.
Victor Race Records (using 98% black talent): Catalog numbers V-38000
to V-38050, released between 8Jan29 and 17May29; V-38500 to V-38631,
released between 5Apr29 and 21Dec30; 23250 to 23424, released between
2Jan31 and 24Jan34. Victor released a total of 357 race issues over a
five-year period. (Race-series issues recorded by integrated bands:
V-38046 by Eddie [Condon]'s Hot Shots; V-38050 by Fats Waller and his
Buddies; V-38576 by Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight. Race-series
records by white artists: V-38044 by Slim and his Hot Boys; 23371 by
Memphis Stompers; 23377 by Dickson's Harlem Orchestra.)
Victor Red Hot Dance Tunes (using black, white and integrated bands):
Catalog numbers V-38051 through V-38146 were released between 21Jun29
and 15Aug30; the series continued with issues numbered 23000 to 23041
which were released between 12Sep30 and 10Apr31. Thus, Victor
released 138 Red Hot Dance Tune issues in a 22-month period. Red Hot
Dance Tune releases begin appearing in the regular domestic series
beginning with 22628 by McKinney's Cotton Pickers and 22629 by Snooks
and his Memphis Ramblers, released 23Mar31 and 10Apr31, respectively.
Unlike race records (few of which were by white artists) Red Hot
Dance Tune releases often coupled sides by black artists with sides
by white ones.
Old Familiar Tunes & Novelties (hillbilly records): Catalog
numbers V-40000 through V-40335 were released between Jan29 and
Dec30; 23500 through 23859 were released between 2Jan31 and either
Dec33 or Jan34.
Interestingly, while the term "race" was routinely used to categorize
vernacular African American music in the 1930s, Victor in the 1920s
didn't use the term in any of their advertising or supplements that I
can recall. The most extensive Victor race catalog I've seen,
published in July 1930, instead promotes the following categories on
its covers (punctuation added): "Vocal Blues; Religious; Spirituals;
Red Hot Dance Tunes; Sermons; Novelties."
Returning to the subject raised by Haufman of the categorizations
implicit in the wax markings, some of Victor's engineer's and ledger
keepers apparently took an ironic view of the practice; the ledger
sheet for the integrated (4 white, 3 black) 8Feb29 session by Eddie's
Hot Shots [Eddie Condon, that is] shows the group as "U.S.F. Race"
("U.S.F." meaning "United States Foreign")! The ledger sheets for the
Mound City Blues Blowers integrated sessions of 25Sep29 and 14Nov29,
as well as the sheet for the 16Dec29 session by The McCravy Brothers
(hillbilly artists) describe the music recorded as "Native American
Melodies." Similarly, my test pressing of Bix Beiderbecke's Deep
Down South (8Sep30) is marked "(N.A.)"; the corresponding ledger
sheet is silent as to what that means.
In 1931 and 1932, Victor phased out the practice of marking their
waxes in the central area, opting instead to notate such data as
master number and take elsewhere on their waxes, near the outer
Acknowledgements: Dick Spottswood, Vince Giordano, Richard Nevins,
Seth Winner, Larry Holdridge, James Parten.
Steven Lasker, Nov04.**