Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's April First! (No worms allowed!)

Shaw 'nuff...Ron identified Attleboro native Ray Conniff's trombone work on the mystery cut. Here's the label and a properly-identified credit:

071710-1 Needlenose Artie Shaw Orchestra Victor 27860
NYC 21 January 1942: Artie Shaw, clarinet and leader; Lee Castle, Max Kaminsky, Steve Lipkins, Hot Lips Page, trumpets; Jack Jenney, Morey Samuel, Ray Conniff, trombones; Charlie diMaggio, Les Robinson, alto saxes; Gergie Auld, Mickey Folus, tenor saxes; large string section; Johnny Guarnieri, piano; Mike Bryan, guitar; Eddie McKimmey, bass; Dave Tough, drums.
The "needle nardle noo" I mentioned last time (as a little clue to the title of the mystery piece) was one of many catchphrases used on BBC Radio's The Goon Show. More to be found here: and lots more info here: . I've been listening a lot to the Goons lately...their lunacy keeps me sane.

It's April 1, so if that nasty worm hasn't invaded your hard drive, maybe you'd like to listen to some fun fare...Let's start with an old favorite of mine:

This was one of the first jazz records I had ever heard...I had it as part of the RCA Victor Encyclopedia of Jazz set of ten-inch LPs (Volume 2, to be exact). It introduced me to Bix Beiderbecke when I was eight or nine years old.

Those old ten-inchers were available through supermarkets, which explains why they're so common...especially the first couple of volumes. But the original 78 of Barnacle Bill took me a long time to snag...over twenty years.

Anyhoooooo......this is a stock arrangement of the tune...but with some space for solos added. The first verse is pleasant enough, and the answering verse is all right too. Notice that the fiddle plays through the first two repetitions of the title...but on the third one, the fiddle stops and a new voice joins the chorus. That's Joe Venuti. More about his infamous contribution to this record in the next paragraph.

After a blazing Bix solo, Carson Robison and friends go through the second verse. Pay close attention to the answering verse this time around...Mr. Venuti can be heard above the others singing "Barnacle Bill, the sh#thead!" He sings it on all three repetitions this time around (it probably wasn't all that audible in 1930, but it's fairly plain on newer equipment).
62301-1 Barnacle Bill, The Sailor Hoagy Carmichael Orchestra Victor V-38139
NYC 21 March 1930: Hoagy Carmichael, vocal and leader; Bix Beiderbecke, cornet; Bubber Miley, trumpet; Tommy Dorsey, trombone; Benny Goodman, clarinet; Bud Freeman, tenor sax; Joe Venuti, violin & supplemental vocal; Irving Brodsky, piano; Eddie Lang, guitar; Harry Goodman, tuba; Gene Krupa, drums; Carson Robison, vocal.
59800-2 Rockin' Chair Hoagy Carmichael Orchestra Victor V-38139
Same date and personnel, but Robison is out and Irving Brodsky's voice is heard.

Nice early version of Rockin' Chair (the first, I believe)...Bubber Miley's growling trumpet is more prominent on this side, although Bix takes a bow towards the end.

Astute collectors out there may notice the huge gap in matrix numbers...59801 through 62300 were allocated for field recordings (used mostly in Chicago, Memphis, Hollywood, and Atlanta).


Carson Robison, who composed Barnacle Bill with his regular partner, Frank Luther (they recorded three versions of the song under the names Bud and Joe Billings), recorded one of the strangest entries in the Victor V-38000 "Hot Dance Tunes" series...both novelty fox trots. Stuff seems to be a variant of Frankie and Johnny, and Nonsense is clearly a relative of Tiger Rag.

53969-2 Stuff Carson Robison Kansas Jack-rabbits Victor V-38074
53970-3 Nonsense Carson Robison Kansas Jack-rabbits Victor V-38074
NYC 31 July 1929: Earl Oliver, trumpet; probably Sam Lewis, trombone; probably Larry Binyon, alto sax; Murray Kellner, violin; probably Bill Wirges, piano; Carson Robison, guitar; Andy Sannella, slide guitar; unknown, drums. Rust doesn't list who played the oboe at the beginning of was probably Binyon.

Another weird thing...Victor used their "squeezed" font (usually reserved for minor words on the labels like "by" and "and") for the band's credit. They didn't capitalize "rabbits" either.

Here's one of the funniest sides ever recorded by Rudy's also pretty darned hot too!

147906-2 Outside Rudy Vallee Connecticut Yankees Diva 2857-G
NYC, 31 January 1929: Rudy Vallee, clarinet, alto sax & vocal; probably Don Moore, trumpet; probably Hal Matthews, trombone; Joe Miller, tenor sax; Manny Lowy, Jules deVorzon, violins; Cliff Burwell, piano; Charles Peterson, banjo; Harry Patent, tuba; Ray Toland, drums.

Of course, this side (like most of Diva's material) was also issued on Harmony and VelvetTone. All three (and Clarion, which rolled in within a year or so) were Columbia's cheaper "dime store" labels. Vallee moved to Victor just after this session.
A few years ago, I found a copy of this record for a quarter or so:

I expected to hear Dalhart sing a moralistic fable. About halfway through A Warning To Boys, I realized that not only was this fable a parody, it was essentially the same song that W. C. Fields sang in his short film, The Fatal Glass Of Beer (you can see it here and the song starts around 2:10). Eventually I found that this song and its mate A Warning To Girls, were written by Charley Case in 1907.
146912 A Warning To Boys Vernon Dalhart Diva 2729-G
146913 A Warning To Girls Vernon Dalhart Diva 2729-G
NYC 28 August 1928: Vernon Dalhart, vocal; unknown, harmonium.


A long while back (June 2007, to be exact), I remarked that I had an unusual Spike Jones record that I'd like to 'tis:

Spike Jones Describes The "Musical" Instruments Used In "Dance Of The Hours" Spike Jones RCA promo, unnumbered
1949: Spike Jones & Dick Morgan, speech; samples of their record of Dance Of The Hours.
Jones's speaking voice was rather pleasant...and guitarist Dick Morgan's voice is just plain goofy.

The other side of this special promo issue is the song itself:
Dance Of The Hours Spike Jones and his City Slickers Victor 20-3516
1949: Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones, leader; large troupe of nuts; featuring Doodles Weaver, commentary.

Jim Henson's Muppet pianist, Rowlf, used to sing a really strange song called You and I and George: .
This, of course, wasn't the first recording of George...I recall an earlier version on a live Stan Kenton album somewhere. But, any time I hear the song, it's usually played for laughs.

Here's a straight, deadpan version:

ZSP 34850 George Dolores Hawkins Epic 5-9089
1955 or so: Dolores Hawkins, vocal; Don Costa Orchestra.

It seems that someone named Maxwell was the composer.
I don't know how Ms. Hawkins was able to do this song as well as she did...her tongue had to have been firmly lodged in her cheek.

Here's a party record...the only info is the title on the label. The singer is instantly recognizable to people who collect the old's Ukulele Ike!
(LO-340) Behind Nick's Counter Anonymous white label party record 5003
Hollywood, October 1936: Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards, vocal & ukulele; others unknown.

The first issue of this title (on the Hollywood Hot Shots label) was called Down Behind the Counter at Nick's. This is a later dubbing of it. Oh...I'm not responsible if you suddenly have When You Wish Upon A Star stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Ike does that to people sometimes.

Here's the flip side...also issued anonymously. Can't say I recognize this guy, though (beware! The language here is a bit rough)...

Singing Reporter Anonymous white label party record 5003


And now some records that deal with rude noises and/or the bodily functions that cause them...

Here's the side that Ed Reynolds usually plays any time there's a new person at the listening session:

068074-1 Serenade To A Maid (A Bronx Serenade) Teddy Powell Orch
Bluebird B-11373
NYC 4 November 1941: Teddy Powell, large orchestra.


This is the granddaddy of all fart records, the infamous Crepitation Contest, recorded after hours at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. There's a good article about it here:

The Crepitation Contest Brown & Lipton issued many, many times...
1942: Sydney Summers Brown, voice, Jules Lipton (CBC Producer), production & sound effects.

This may be the first recorded song about, well, wind...

17306-1 Jim's Windy Mule Sweet Violet Boys Vocalion 03587
NYC, 16 April 1935: Tex Atchison, vocal & fiddle; Chick Hurt, vocal, speech & mandola; Salty Holmes, vocal & guitar; James Taylor, vocal, speech & bass; unidentified,

This is actually the Prairie Ramblers...many of their novelty records were issued under the Sweet Violet Boys name (and they usually backed up Patsy Montana without label credit too). It was recorded in 1935, but it sat in the can for almost two years before it was finally issued as the flip side of their Sweet Violets No. 3. I've seen it reissued as a red-label Columbia, so it must have sold fairly well.
Here's another side by the boys:

C-1888-4 There's A Man Who Comes To Our House Sweet Violet Boys Vocalion 03766
Chicago, 7 October 1937: same personnel, add Bill Thall, clarinet; Ken Houchens,
guitar & vocal.

And that should be enough for now...I have to go milk the elk.


To Visit My said...

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ZorchMan said...

Isn't she pretty? Pretty poison, actually.

"To Visit My" is some idiot who is trying to get you to look at her profile and click on the link that will take you to a porn site.

Do yourself a favor. Ignore her. Don't click on anything she offers. You don't know where it's been.

I'm keeping her comment here, if only to serve as a warning to others (besides, she is rather cute!).

However, this clown has been reported to Blogger Central. Let's see how long it takes before something happens.

Bruce Bergeron said...

Wonderful stuff... I missed a few items when I initially viewed this... Glad to have helped out with the scanning... The Munch

Harlan Taylor said...


Let me first say that I really really enjoy the site and want to thank you for all of the great music you share. I am a 78 collector as well (mostly hillbilly) and think that if the music is not shared it will go away. That is not a good result.

This particular post is exceptional for the Barnacle Bill the Sailor and Carson Robison 38000 Victor sides. Had the former, had never heard the latter. So thanks.

I also wanted to see if you may have a song to share that I have been looking for for a mighty long time. Hoagy Carmichael's Mighty River on Victor 24123.

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. And thanks again!