Discographical Ramblings

  by Ate van Delden

Another batch from the usual suspects. Come on, every collector makes discoveries! Send ‘em in!



In a recent email exchange with the Editor, Dave Hignett (Japan) remarked that he’d recently been in touch with an old friend with whom he used to hang out at the celebrated Jazz Man Record Shop in Hollywood back in the 1970s, who said that there was a third, non-vocal take of Curtis Mosby’s Dixieland Blue Blowers’ In My Dreams, and that it was only sold at Solomon’s Penny Dance Hall in Los Angeles, where the Mosby band played. Dave says that both Don Brown and Don Gray of the Jazz Man Record Shop had copies, which apparently had the normal Columbia issue label (1192-D) and that his friend had a taped transfer ‘somewhere’.

  All very interesting as an anecdote but is it true? The Columbia file card reproduced below clearly shows that three takes were made, take three being 1st choice, take 1 being 2nd choice and take 2 rejected, and clearly shows that Henry Starr sings on all three takes. It may well be that there are copies mispressed, or specially pressed that uses take 2, and that take 2 doesn’t have Starr vocalising, but can anyone vouch for this? Another possibility is that some one lucky enough to own the rare Sonny Clay Vocalion version of In My Dreams - which is non-vocal - has mixed up their versions! Comments please…

Mosby card



One from Björn Englund, with a Swedish flavour. He refers to Allan Sutton’s book Cakewalks, Rags And Novelties. This book says that Chatterbox Rag, a composition by Charles Botsford was recorded by Hartvig Christoffersen, accordion, in London in 1920 and issued on Bulldog 685 (British). Actually this was recorded in Kristiania (Oslo) in 1919 by the accordion duo of Hartvig Kristoffersen and Chr. Liebak and issued on Vikes’s Special 124 (Norway) and Bulldog 685 (UK).



We found some remarkable ramblings in Mark Berresford’s copies of the Brunswick file cards. Here are two more.


  A coupling by (Mills) Hotsy Totsy Gang was planned of Dardanella with Since You Went Away for which no issue number was assigned. Also a coupling was planned of Duke Ellington’s The Mooche and Memphis Wail, this as Brunswick 4122. Then Dardanella and Memphis Wail were both rejected and the company decided to issue the other two titles, Since You Went Away and The Mooche as Br 4122. Dardanella was eventually issued as Vocalion 15763.


  Another case of moving titles around is the coupling of Jabbo Smith with Walter Barnes on Br 4244. Brunswick recorded Jazz Battle by Jabbo Smith & his Rhythm Aces but without a planned coupling. This was solved when Beau-Koo- Jack, recorded by Walter Barnes’ Royal Creolians had to be cancelled. It had been planned for Brunswick 4244, coupled with Barnes’ It’s Tight Like That. Jabbo’s recording took the open place.


In March 1931 Brunswick recorded Cab Calloway doing a song called Poor Minnie, but when this was issued as Br 6074 it had been retitled and became a mega hit: Minnie The Moocher.



Around 1960 Riverside/London reissued the two titles that were recorded by Charles Matson Creole Serenaders for Edison in July 1923, Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do and I Just Want A Daddy. They sounded like a territory band and its personnel remained a mystery, even Armand Piron’s band being suggested. Ralph Wondrascheck (Germany) is exploring vintage American magazines that apparently have been largely neglected by jazz researchers. Recently he went through the New York Clipper of 2 May 1923 and to his surprise it lists a complete personnel of , what is here called, Chas. A. Matson’s Serenaders, and described as “Ten Jazz Players”. By further digging Ralph found the instruments of nearly all men: Charles Matson, piano/leader; Thomas E. “Petey” Hilleary, cornet; Levi Bush, trombone; Carlos Daugherty, cl/sax; Charles (Chas.) O. Moseley – sax/cl; Julian Arthur – violin and/or sax (?); Leroy Parker, violin (if used at the Edison session); William ‘Splif’ Escoffery, banjo; William “Bill” Benford, tuba; Curtis Moseley, drums. But for Parker and Benford, none of these men made any known records and that may be the reason why their Edisons became mysterious.


  Edison recorded three takes of each title. All 3 takes were issued of “Business”, while takes B and C are known of  “Daddy”. Anyone has take A?



Here’s another discovery from Ralph. Circa 5 August 1924 Harold Oxley and his Post Lodge Orchestra recorded an excellent version of I Don’t Know Why, issued as OKeh 40180. The Metronome Band Monthly of 24 July 1924 magazine provided a personnel (published in ADBORAF) and adds that the band toured “all over the south for the past five years”. This may explain why the above OKeh recording has a typical territory sound, unlike the Perfect title that Oxley recorded about a week later. In June 1924 they had recorded two more titles for OKeh. Are they any good?



The very last title by Julie Wintz is After You’ve Gone from 16 April 1930, issued on Har 1169-H. Many years ago I wrote in my copy of Jazz Records that it was excellent, so I was pleased to find the record at the latest Doctor Jazz Day. My notes also said that Eddie Miller is on reeds and Horace Diaz on piano, both men from New Orleans. The third name I have is trombone player Chuck Preble, who worked with Harry James, but is mentioned nowhere in JR. The title features solos by tenor, trumpet, clarinet, trombone and piano. Miller did not play tenor yet at the time and may be the clarinet player. One other title that I heard from this date, has a vocal by Arthur Fields and no jazz value. Can anyone shed light on this interesting recording?



Bernhard Behncke (Germany) had a fresh listen to Dave Nelson’s Victors and Timely Tunes sides, in particular the vocals. This certainly is Nelson himself, and Bernhard believes that Nelson is also one  of the Keep Shufflin’ Trio with James P. Johnson’s Orchestra (Victor)



Ralph Wondrascheck has Brunswick 4000 and A81001 by the Original Wolverines and confirms that they are the same takes (VJM #180).



The Editor writes that the 1929 Metropole recording of After The Sun Kissed The World Goodbye/ If Anything Happened To You by a star-studded Fred Elizalde group including Adrian Rollini, Norman Payne, Bobby Davis and vocalist Al Bowlly is mythically rare. No more than half a dozen known copies are known (the Editor found one 15 minutes from his home!). Still rarer is the Octacros issue, made for use as incidental music in cinemas and theatres and not for general public sale, of which there are zero reported copies. This is odd, since Mark recently acquired a number of Octacros catalogues and supplements, and the Elizalde issue, Octacros 367, is still listed in the 1937 catalogue, eight years after it was made! Even stranger is that the 1934/5 General Catalogue credits the hot side After The Sun Kissed The World Goodbye as being played by Allan Selby and His Band, and the reverse as by Elizalde, probably a typo in the catalogue, but there is a slim possibility that some copies are so labelled. Also JR4 and later editions wrongly show the Octacros issues as no. 307, earlier editions correctly as 367.  Incidentally, Decca acquired Octacros’ parent company, Synchrophone Ltd, in 1937, included in the deal being the Octacros and earlier Metropole metal masters, which is why a number of vinyl Decca pressings of both sides exist, far outnumbering the known Metropole and Octacros issues. Anyone care to admit owning or even seeing the Octacros?

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