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Chicago JazzA Cultural History, 1904-1930$

William Howland Kenney

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195092608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195092608.001.0001

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(p.173) Appendix

(p.173) Appendix

Source:
Chicago Jazz
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

THE FOLLOWING LISTS summarize the chronology of recording activity either in Chicago itself or elsewhere of groups closely associated with the midwestern city. They should be seen as suggestive and illustrative rather than definitive. In some cases, record collectors, music scholars, and jazz writers disagree about which records do and do not present jazz music. Although most jazz criticism has exmphasized African-American jazz, some now argue that many more records by white dance bands should be included in jazz discographies; others would disagree. Until such time as scholarship produces more definitive discographies of jazz records, I have followed the distinctions established by discographer Brian Rust between jazz and dance band records. Although Rust remained vague about his reasons for including and excluding records from his discographies, the data I gathered on the different cultural contexts within which jazz and dance groups functioned support his basic distinctions between jazz records and “American Dance Music” record. Therefore I have included as “jazz records” those sides by major white dance orchestras included by Rust in Jazz Records. The records by white dance orchestras that Rust excluded from his jazz discography have been similarly omitted from list A.

Ambiguities also cloud a few decisions about whether or not a lesser known recording group deserves to be included as a Chicago band. These (p.174) lists focus upon instrumental recordings made in Chicago, Richmond, Ind., Camden, N. J., Grafton, Wise., and New York City before 1931 by musicians with some association with Chicago beyond the occasional or isolated Chicago recording session. When in doubt about some of the more obscure groups, however, I have usually included them.

In order to retain the focus on groups involved in Chicago night life, the many records made in Chicago by groups like the Detroit-based McKinney's Cotton Pickers have been excluded because neither the individual musicians nor the orchestra worked extensively in Chicago clubs or dance halls during the 19205 and because such orchestras recorded more often in other cities. So too, when a leader such as Jelly Roll Morton moved to New York and continued to record, but with a substantially different group of musicians, I have omitted those New York records in spite of the fact that they appeared under the same Morton Red Hot Peppers trademark. If, as in the case of several bands, important Chicago musicians remained in what otherwise became a New York recording band, I have included such recordings. The same desire to highlight Chicago night-life led to the inclusion of the Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra that started in Kansas City and employed Kansas City musicians but moved to Chicago for lengthy jobs at the Congress Hotel and Blackhawk Cafe.

Jazz recording chronology can be traced through the first date in the left-hand column. In each of the two lists, that date represents the first recording session by a given group that produced jazz as defined by discographer Brian Rust. The second date in the left-hand column indicates the last “jazz” recording session by that same group in the period considered in this book.

The right-hand column indicates the number of jazz sides (individual recorded performances) made by each group and the company labels involved. Repeated takes of the same number are included, but rejected takes are excluded. The abbreviations of recording company labels are as follows:

Vic

=

Victor Recording Company;

Ok

=

Okeh;

Bp

=

Black Patti;

Oly

=

Olympic;

Bwy

=

Broadway;

Od

=

Odeon;

Br

=

Brunswick;

Pm

=

Paramount;

Chg

=

Challenge;

Auto

=

Autograph;

Col

=

Columbia;

Cx

=

Claxtonola;

Ed

=

Edison Diamond Disc;

Sil

=

Silvertone (American);

Gnt

=

Gennett;

Spr

=

Superior;

Her

=

Herwin (American);

Spt

=

Supertone (American);

Horn

=

Homochord;

Sw

=

Swaggie;

Mt

=

Melotone (American);

Uhca

=

United Hot Clubs of America.

(p.175)

Despite the hazy musical distinctions between jazz and dance band music, taken together these lists survey the general order in which jazz groups recorded in Chicago. The first and last dates of recording activity suggest the relative length of time during which any given group was considered ready to record jazz oriented material. One can also see which ones were most active in the field as well as their relatively longer or shorter periods of recording activity.

A. Chicago Jazz Records: White Bands

First—Last

No. Sides

Recording Dates

Recording Group

& Labels

4–11–21—5–23–25

The Benson Orch.

34 Vic

8–P–21

Lindsay McPhail

2 Oly

2–?–22—5–15–30

Isham Jones Orch.

32 Br

3–9–22—3–10–22

O'Hare's Super Orchestra

6 Gnt, Voc

6–?–22—9–23–26

Russo h Fiorito's Oriole Orchestra

22 Br, Vic

8–18–22—3–6–24

Frank Westphal Orchestra

16 Col

8–29–22—3–26–25

New Orleans Rhythm Kings1

33 Gnt

8–31–22—3–18–24

Roy Bargy

6 Vic

3–?–23—5–?–23

Albert E. Short's Tivoli Syncopators

5 Voc

4–2–23

Original Memphis Melody Boys

4 Gnt

4–P–23

Guyon's Paradise Orchestra

3 Ok

5–30–23

Chicago Blues Dance Orchestra

2 Col

6–1–23—7–13–23

Art Landry & the Call of the North

9 Gnt

6–P–23—8–25–28

Charley Straight and Orchestra

44 Pm, Br

7–10–23—11–12–23

Porter's Blue Devils

10 Gnt

8–P–23—9–13–28

Paul Ash Orchestra

12 Br, Col

10–16–23—6–27–27

Art Kahn Orchestra

14 Col

10–18–23—12–5–23

Midway Garden Dance Orchestra

7 Col, Pm

12–P–27

Axel Christensen

2 Pm

2–18–24—12–12–24

Wolverine Orch. (Beiderbecke)

18 Gnt

2–23–24—11–14–29

Mound City Blue Blowers

18 Br, Col Vic

2–25–24

Bucktown Five

7 Gnt

3–10–24—11–27–28

Guy Lombardo Royal Canadians

11 Gnt, Col

4–3–24

Paul Biese Orch.

3 Vic

4–5–24—12–12–29

Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk

66 Vic

Orchestra

4–?–24—c.5–?–24

Boyd Senter

10 Auto, Pa

7–P–24

Chicago DeLuxe Orchestra

2 Auto

9–?–24—3–2–26

Merritt Brumes Friars Inn Orch.

15 Auto, Ok

10–?–24—6–26–26

Al Turk

10 Oly, Ok

11–?–24—l–P–25

Dell Lampe Orch.

8 Auto

11–7–24—12–17–25

Jack Chapman Drake Hotel

3 Vic

Orchestra

11–7–24—12–16–25

Ralph Williams Rainbo Orchestra

7 Vic

12–5–24

Frankie Quartell Orchestra

4 Ok, Br

1–26–25—9–8–30

Bix Beiderbecke Groups

20 Gnt, Ok Vic

7–?–28—12–P–28

Bill Haid Groups

25 Pm, Auto

3–?–25—7–P–25

Super Syncopators

4 Auto

4–30–25—12–17–25

Fred Hamm Orchestra

6 Vic, Br

5–P–25

Voltaire De Faut

1 Auto

6–P–25

Dixie Boys

2 Auto

c.7–?–25

Stomp Six

2 Auto

8–3–25—11–14–27

Don Bestor Orch.

5 Vic

8–8–25—1–?–30

Benny Meroff Orch.

4 Ok, Br

11–23–25

Bob Deikman Orch.

3 Gnt

12–9–26—6–23–30

Ben Pollack Orch.

52 Vic

5–12–27—12–15–27

Sol Wagner Orch.

5 Ok

10–2–27—12–21–29

Ray Miller Orch.

18 Br

10–12–27—3–25–29

Original Wolverines

17 Br, Voc

10–28–27—11–20–30

Hoagy Carmichael

14 Gnt

12–8–27—12–16–27

McKenzie & Condon's Chicagoans

4 Ok

1–10–28

Husk O'Hare's Wolverines

2 Voc

1–23–28—8–13–29

Benny Goodman Groups

10 Br, Voc

2–?–28—4–?–28

Charles Pierce & Orchestra

7 Pm

3–29–28—9–27–28

Thelma Terry's Playboys

6 Col

4–4–28—4–28–28

Chicago Rythm Kings /Jungle Kings

6 Br, Voc, Pm

4–P–28—11–9–28

Arnold Johnson Orchestra

5 Br

4–28–28

Frank Teschemacher's Chicagoans

1 Uhca

7–5–28

Frankie Masters Orch.

1 Vic

7–28–28—2–8–29

Eddie Condon Groups

8 Par, Ok, Vic

7–?–28—8–P–28

Midnight Serenaders

2 Voc

9–4–28—9–19–30

Wingy Manone Groups

10 Ok, Col, Voc

10–22–28

Danny Altier Orch.

2 Voc

12–3–28

Bud Freeman & Orch.

2 Ok

10–2–29

Syd Valentine Patent Leather Kids

4 Gnt

10–18–29

Elmer Schoebel & Friars Society Orch.

2 Br

2–12–29—4–11–30

Frank Melrose Groups

12 Pm, Gnt

1–24–30

The Cellar Boys

3 Voc

2–?–30

Louis Panico Orch.

2 Br

(1) This group first recorded on August 29, 1922, under the name “Friars Society Orchestra.” A very similar, if smaller, group of musicians subsequently recorded as the “New Orleans Rhythm Kings” beginning on March 12, 1923. jelly Roll Morton played on five recordings (three different tunes, five takes) at NORK's July 17, 1923, recording session so that one session qualifies as “racially integrated”; whites otherwise dominated the group's personnel.

(p.176) (p.177)

B. Chicago Race Records: Jazz

(p.178)

First—Last2

No. of Sides

Recording Dates

Recording Group

& Labels

l–?–23—12–P–28

Clarence M. Jones

9 Auto, Pm

4–6–23—4–27–27

King Oliver Bands

66 Gnt, Col,

Ok, Voc

6–1–23—2–8–29

Richard M. Jones Jazz Wizzards

26 Ok, Gnt, Voc

6–?–23—6–10–27

Jelly Roll Morton Groups

70 Gnt, Vic,

Pm, Ok, Voc

6–23–23—5–28–26

Erskine Tate Vendome Orch.

4 Ok, Voc

9–P–23—1–14–25

Ollie Powers Harmony Syncopators

8 Cx, Pm

10–3–23—11–6–23

Lois Deppe

6 Gnt

10-P-23—11–P–23

Young's Creole Jazz Band

4 Pm

1l–P–23—8–P–24

Sammy Williams

4 Auto

12–P–23—10–10–28

Jimmy Wade Orch.

7 Pm, Gnt, Voc

1–21–24—3–30–28

Doc Cook Groups

21 Gnt, Col, Ok

4–J–24—4–1–28

Jimmy Blythe Groups

27 Gnt, Voc,

Pm

8–?–24—10–4–28

Sammy Stewart Orch.

7 Pm, Voc

ll–r–24—1–?–26

Jimmie O'Bryant

27 Pm

ll–P–24—8–P–26

Lovie Austin Blues Serenaders

16 Pm

2–22–25—6–P–25

Hersal Thomas

4 Ok

2–?–25

Original Midnight Ramblers

2 Auto

4–6–25—2–24–26

Hociel Thomas

15 Gnt, Ok

5–?–25

Jones' Paramount Charleston Four

2 Pm

11–12–25—12–12–28

Louis Armstrong Groups

63 Ok, Col

2–?–26

Austin's Musical Ambassadors

1 Pm

2–?–26

Chicago Hottentots

2 Voc

3–10–26—11–17–26

Luis Russell Bands

6 Voc, Ok

5–28–26

'Lill's Hot Shots

3 Voc

5–29–26–4–25–29

Jimmy Bertrand's Washboard

12 Voc

Wizzards

6–21–26

Art Sims Creole Roof Orchestra

3 Ok

6–25–26—10–9–28

Albert Wynn Groups

6 Ok, Voc

7–13–26—7–14–26

New Orleans Wanderers/Bootblacks

8 Col

7–25–26

Birmingham Bluetette

1 Her

8–?–26—10–24–29

Junie Cobb Groups

9 Pm, Voc

8–?–26—8–28–29

Vance Dixon Groups

7 Pm

9–?–26

Preston Jackson Uptown Band

4 Pm

9–P–26

Keppard's Jazz Cardinals

3 Pm

9–P–26

Elgar's Creole Orchestra

6 Voc, Br

12–P–26

Pickett-Parham Apollo Syncopators

2 Pm

12–10–26—6–7–27

Dixieland Jug Blowers

24 Vic

1–P–27—6–29–28

Jasper Taylor Groups

4 Pm, Voc

1–P–27—6–22–29

Charles "Cow Cow" Davenport

25 Pm, Voc, Br,

Gnt

3–30–27

Vicksburg Blowers

4 Gnt, Ch

3–?–27—2–7–29

Johnny Dodds Groups

40 Pm, Vic

6–?–27—9–?–27

Nelson's Paramount Serenaders

4 Pm

7–19–27—7–24–27

(King) Brady's Clarinet Band

2 Gnt

7–20–27

Hightower's Night Hawks

2 Bp

8–12–27—7–19–28

State Street Ramblers3

22 Gnt, Ch

8–P–27—12–P–27

Dixie-Land Thumpers

5 Pm

9–P–27—9–20–29

Will Ezell

14 Pm

12–2–27—3–12–29

Eddie South Alabamians

7 Vic, Hmv

12–?–27—11–11–30

Tiny Parham Groups

46 Vic, Pm

12–P–27

Meade Lux Lewis

1 Pm

12–3–27—7–4–28

Chicago Footwarmers

10 Ok

1–21–28

Levee Serenaders

2 Voc

4–1–28—6–7–29

W.E. Burton

6 Pm, Gnt

4–3–28

Fess Williams Joy Boys

2 Voc

5–16–28—10–30–30

Jimmie Noone Apex Club Orchestra

63 Voc

5–25–28—7–5–28

Carroll Dickerson Groups

4 Br, Od

6–P–28

Dixie Four

4 Pm

6–?–28

Tub Jug Washboard Band

3 Pm

7–?–28

Clarence Black Savoy Trio

2 Pm

9–22–28

Lil Hardaway's Orchestra

1 Voc

10–9–28

Midnight Rounders

2 Voc

12–8–28—10–25–29

Earl Hines

25 Ok, Vic

12–10–28

E.C. Cobb & His Corn Eaters

2 Vic

12–12–28—7–25–29

Walter Barnes' Royal Creolians

8 Br

12–P–28

Beverly Synocopators

1 Pm

1–29–29—8–22–29

Jabbo Smith Rhythm Aces

19 Br

1–4–29—3–8–29

Ikey Robinson Bands

9 Br

2–P–29

Paramount Pickers

2 Pm

2–12–29

King Mutt & His Tennessee

7 Gnt, Ch

Thumpers

Spt

3–11–29

Thomas' Devils

2 Br

3–21–29

Bill Johnson's Louisiana Jug Band

2 Br

3–30–29—2–8

Alex Hill

7 Voc

4–?–29

Windy Rhythm Kings4

2 Pm

4–15–29—7–24–29

Tampa Red [Jug Bands]

9 Voc

5–9–29

Ike Rogers Biddle Street Boys

1 Br

5–22–29—10–1–29

Reuben Reeves Orch.

15 Voc

7–2–29—3–15–29

Kansas City Stompers

4 Br

7–24–29

Beale Street Washboard Band

3 Voc

8–21–29—9–11–29

Omer Simeon

2 Br

8–28–29

Harlem House Rent Stompers

1 Br

9–23–29

Dixie Rhythm Kings

4 Br

10–28–29

Kentucky Jazz Babies

2 Vic

12–20–29—2–8–30

Alex Hill Groups

5 Voc, Sw

12–P–29

Bob Call

1 Br

2–4–30—11–P–30

Bob Robinson

4 Ch, Pm

5–15–30–11–19–30

Harry Dial Blusicians

6 Voc

7–?–30–11–20–30

Lloyd Smith's Gut-Bucketeers

5 Voc

11–12–30

Frankie Franko Louisianians

2 Mt

(2) This list surveys instrumental music and does not include the hundreds of vocal blues records which more properly belong to the closely related but still separate history of the blues in Chicago.

(3) An “unknown white teenager” played alto saxophone on the July 18, 1928, recording session by this group, so that six of their sides were “racially integrated.”

(4) This black group led by the Cobb brothers may have included Frank Melrose on piano and thus would qualify as a racially integrated session.

(p.179) (p.180)