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this page first published by John Wright, 7 July 1997
last update 26 March firstname.lastname@example.org
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20 Nov 1999
Ted Heath's first recordings?
|Reading early instalments of Bert Firman's autobiography I'm intrigued by the suggestion there that Ted Heath first recorded back in 1923-24.
In his autobiography Bert recreates his first conversation with Ted
Heath which took place early 1924. Here's an extract:
One of the "novelty orchestras" included a rarity for those days, a trombonist with a good jazz style and an even better technique. It was not easy to track him down, because the record companies were hazy about individual musicians ... I finally found him in a tea room, where he was filling in for a week. I spoke to him in his break.
"I admire your playing very much, you have a great sound."
He smiled jovially. "You must be joking, I'm sitting in for a saxophonist!"
"No not here, I've heard you playing on a record. I would very much like you to join my orchestra at the Metropole Hotel."
Now assuming Bert's dialogue is accurate what record might that have been? Brian Rust's BDB suggests that Heath may have played on the Broadway Five recordings made at Columbia/Regal late 1922-early 1923, and I can't find any other recordings listed involving Ted Heath before the start of Firman's recordings (April 1924).
I only have Regal G7976 which doesn't feature enough trombone. Has anyone heard other Broadway Five recordings which sound like Ted Heath was actually in that band? In interviews did Ted ever say he was on any records before he worked with Bert Firman?
Elmer Goodwin's Renowned Saxophone Band
|Arthur Thurn wrote: Many years ago I purchased an old picture of a band called Elmer Goodwin's Renowned Saxophone Band. It is a wonderful photo and has become one of my dearest possessions. I've never been able to find anything about the band. Have you ever heard of them? Any help would be appreciated, contact Arthur Thurn|
Al Bowlly films viewed
|Some news on Al Bowlly films. Myself and Ray Pallett visited the British Film Institute in
London 27/9/99 and we sat through two films The Chance Of A Night
Time and A Night Like This.
Regarding The Chance Of A Night Time we can confirm that Al is seen singing AND acting in this film. Two songs are featured. Leave The Rest To Nature and I'm So Used To You Now.
A Night Like This, in this film the Roy Fox band is seen on stage with Al, performing Considering. Al is also heard singing In London On A Night Like This and If Anything Happened To You. There are also VERY SHORT glimpses of Lew Stone playing piano and Al singing through a megaphone.
Full details can be found at Al Bowlly Films in 1931-32
Jack Payne's vocals on his band records
|Members of the british-dancebands-egroup had a discussion on the merits of Jack's vocals. Quite divided opinions, and I personally had always disregarded jack as a singer, so I said
I'd listen to most of my Jack Payne collection of 78's. I have to admit there were some surprises! Here's the results:
This list isn't a top 20, just those titles that were worth a comment (good or bad!), There may be some never re-issued that you can seek out at record fairs. And there ARE some good Payne vocals !
Col 5074 Sweet Sue , nice arrangement. Out Of The Dawn, well played and a good but short tr break. Sorry but this Payne vocal is a pain!
Col CB9 Happy Days Are Here Again, starts off very brightly and there are cl breaks, but the Payne vocal is weak. Lucky Me Loveable You is rather straight, no vocal.
Col CB62 Moonshine Is Better Than Sunshine goes straight into a rather shaky Payne vocal, but the arrangement is pleasant enough, with a tr break.
Col CB84 Exactly Like You, is nicely arranged, but Jack starts singing with a crack or frog in his voice, then some nice piano and the band runs along, then a slow ending. Blues In The Night this one is played fast and very well! Payne vocal still a struggle.
Col CB101 High Society medley. I'm In The Market For You, this is also played quite fast, the band is excellent, nice tr and asx breaks, and this time Jack Payne's vocal is rather good! As it is on Just Like In A Story Book
Col CB107 aha! a new singer, With My Guitar And You, and Shoo The Hoodoo Away. Not great recordings, Rust says it's Jack Plant vocals.
Col CB208 I Want A Little Girl is really well played, and the vocal is good, very confidently delivered. Is it Jack Payne? I wonder if it's Val Rosing. Okay Baby is played straight, but played very well, vocal trio apparently includes Val Rosing.
Col CB221 I'm Tickled Pink With A Blue-eyed Baby features another good vocal apparently Jack Payne, excellent, and the tune is really well played with a good trumpet break. The other side is comedy.
Col CB232 Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea has a nice tr intro, but the vocal is rather poor. The other side is comedy.
Col CB236 not impressed by Val Rosing in Hurt and Bathing In The Sunshine.
Col CB240 Say It With Music is well played and Jack sounds OK
Col CB241 When You're Hair Has Turned To Silver, only comment to make is that there's a trio singing, not just JP and VR
Col CB275 Come And Have A Cuddle In The Common, is interesting for the great violin playing, and after Jack Payne's vocal there's a bit of scat singing from Jack Jackson.
Col CB356 not impressed by Billy Scott Coomber on Just One More Chance. And on Today I Feel So Happy I think Jack Payne is supposed to be funny... but there are some short tr licks from Jack Jackson.
Col CB370 there is a great bouncy sound from the band on I Like A Little Girl Like That. Jack Payne sings really well, and there's a great tr solo from Jackson. Vocal trio sounds good on Heartaches.
Imperial 2665 a very pleasant vocal on Now That You're Gone, is apparently Les Allen. And Blues In My Heart has some good licks from I guess Poggy Pogson, Eric Siday and Jack Jackson. The vocal by Billy Scott Coomber is accompanied also by a duo.
The rest of my Imperials are no great shakes.
On the Rex label I can mention Rex 8122 Over On The Sunnyside which is played well, and there's a vocal duo as well as BSC. Rex 8227 has Over My Shoulder, announced by Jack Payne, neat piano solos, and the vocal trio features a good sounding Ronnie Genarder.
So there was a lot there that I enjoyed, some of Jack Payne's vocals ARE good, especially the up-tempo songs. I also have several of Jack Payne on cassette mainly well known titles from Alan Dell and Malcolm Laycock radio shows, and recently bought three Jack payne CD's that were released by the Vocalion label.
Al Bowlly and Les Allen
|Al Bowlly is featured on many of Harry Hudson's dance records often duetting with Les Allen. There is a particularly
interesting recording from a March 1931 session which is not listed in all the published Al Bowlly discographies.
The session included two titles issued on an 8" Edison Bell radio record:
THE RADIO MELODY BOYS, directed by Harry Hudson.
London, late March 1931
90079-2 Maybe It's Love EBR 1478
90080-2 Beyond The Blue Horizon EBR 1478
Maybe It's Love is a very pleasant tune featuring the two singers with Al Bowlly harmonising. Beyond The Blue Horizon features Les Allen singing with Al Bowlly humming a harmony line, quite dufficult to hear but he is certainly there. Rust/Forbes listed the recording as featuring the two singers but it was not listed in Ray Pallett's biography.
Although Al Bowlly only hums on the record I think it must be included in all discography revisions, after all Al only hums on Roy Fox's Love For Sale (Decca F-2404) and that recording is listed in all discographies. (the lyrics to Love For Sale were banned in 1931.
My copy of EBR 1478 features take -2 on both sides (small triangle symbol).
extract from files of http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Bowlly/
Note: I don't keep all the sound-bites on this discussion page, to keep down the size of the website, but any one of the sound-bites can be made available for listening.
|Matt Morgan contacted me asking for information on Sonny Clay and his recordings. Clay made several recordings 1923-1931 using various band names. The information here is straight out of several sections of Brian Rust's 'Jazz Records' discography,
an example of just how excellent Brian's work is:
Sonny Clay's recordings
Castle Farms Serenaders (This discussion began in the 78-L)
|Randy Skretvedt wanted to hear 'Tennessee Lazy' from the US 78 Broadway 1227, credited to the Castle Farms Serenaders as he believed it to be a Coon-Sanders unit. The recording does sound like Coon-Sanders Nighthawks, and the tune was composed by Sanders. The highlight of the recording for me is the end section where Bob Pope delivers some rather Bix-like trumpet phrases. Let me know if you want to hear part of 'Tennessee Lazy'.|
Phil Arnold (This discussion began in the 78-L, see below)
|Mickey Clark is an American with an interest in the British vocalists of the 20's and 30's, and he contacted me about the vocalist Phil Arnold.
Most of the 'with vocal chorus' with the more popular 20's bands were identified for the last edition of Rust & Forbes's 'British Dance Bands on Record' (1989, over 1400 pages). Some lesser known singers are now known to have been quite prolific, making records under their own name or under a pseudonym and records with many dance bands. One such singer was the American entertainer Phil Arnold. I don't know much about Mr Arnold's career but listening to him sing he comes across as a very bright, cheerful and confident singer. He made records under his own name and also many as vocalist with bands such as Harry Bidgood, Jay Wilbur, Debroy Somers, Harry Hudson, New Mayfair Dance Orchestra. Of course there is always debate about vocalists's identities on records but, as an example, it's generally believed that it is Phil Arnold singing 'Stay Out Of The South' with Ciro's Club Dance Band (Debroy Somers), recorded July 1928, issued in UK on Broadcast 273.