Sunday, October 05, 2014

Vintage Recordings and the Bolden Repertory

Daniel Hardie

In 2010 David Sager addressed the Conference of the  Association for Recorded Sound Collections in New Orleans  on the subject of the Bolden Repertory. He suggested that there might be  much to learn about early jazz performance from contemporary recordings and illustrated his talk with  early recorded performances by legitimate orchestras.
My own experience with preparing  for performances by the  Buddy Bolden Revival Orchestra suggests that the repertoire itself has a considerable influence on performance practice and I sought to put together a listing of recordings by popular performers of the time. 
This task has been facilitated by the growth of   access to historical collections like the National Jukebox Collection of the Library of Congress and commercial catalogues via the internet and the appearance of many early recordings of popular performers on Youtube.
The Bolden Repertoire established for our concerts largely based on research published by Ingemar Wagerman was outlined in The Birth of Jazz: Reviving the Music of the Bolden Era. Significantly it contained almost equal numbers of popular tunes (many of them first performed in Vaudeville) published as piano realizations or light orchestral arrangements and dance songs from the Afro American vernacular.
Interestingly it proved much easier to find early vintage recorded performances of contemporary  popular hits and coon songs  than the latter group although it soon became apparent that  a number of these had passed into the recorded repertoire of early jazz and blues performers. For this reason recordings were sought that could be considered representative of the genre were included though the performance style might be more representative of a later period. This appears to be reasonable in relation to blues that had appeared around 1890/1900 but first recorded in the 1920’s. Some of the vernacular tunes were I believe more appropriately represented by revivalist oral history recordings by Jelly Roll Morton and Bunk Johnson than later jazz performances. 
There are two items from the repertoire of which no performance was located even though I had been able to find a copy of the piano version these were:
                Sammy Sampson’s Senegambian Band
                Shoo Skeeter Shoo
It is to be hoped that performances of these publications may appear. Better vintage performances of some of the more conventional popular songs may appear as more recordings are identified and published on the internet.
This list is very much a work in progress and I would appreciate comments and suggestions for its improvement.

Early  Recorded Performances of Tunes identified as forming part of Buddy Bolden’s Repertoire 

Popular Songs

Any Rags (1902 Thos. Allen) - 1904 Edison record 8525 Arthur Collins vocal. 
Don’t Go Way Nobody  (1905 Percy Cahill / "P.A.G.T.") - 2007 Stomp Off Records CD 1351 Music of the Bolden Era Imperial Serenaders.
Home Sweet Home (1821 Henry Bishop) - 1904 Naxos Historical Record 8.110738 Nellie Melba: London.
Ida (1903 Eddie Leonard)  - 1917 Columbia Record 2905 Earl Fuller Novelty Orchestra.
Idaho (1906 H Von Tilzer) - 1907 Edison Gold Moulded Record 9520 Billy Murray and Edison Male Quartette.
If the Man in the Moon Were a Coon (1906 Fred Fischer) - 1907 Victor recordings B4631 and E4631  Ada Jones. 
Lazy Moon (1903 Bob Cole)  - 1906 Edison Gold Record 920  Billy Murray.
Mr Johnson Turn Me Loose  (1895 Ben Harney) - 1903 Victor Monarch Record 3355 Silas Leachman (Library of Congress Jukebox).

On Emancipation Day (1902 W. Marion Cook) - 1902 Victor 1710 Len Spencer Voc Vess Ossman Bjo (Library of Congress Jukebox).
Sammy Sampson’s Senegambian Band (1903 Dave Reed Jr.). Piano version at
Shoo Skeeter Shoo (1905 Percy Cahill/Sebastien Lutz) - piano realisation based on piano score courtesy Dr. Jack Stewart at:
Under the Bamboo Tree* (1902 Bob Cole and J.Rosamond Johnson)  - 1903 Edison Gold Moulded Cylinder Record 2951 Frank Hopkins. Hear also 1906 Arhoolie CD # 7032 Orquesta Tipica Pablo Valanzuela - La Patti Negra second part.
Wait ‘til the Sun Shines Nellie (1905 H. Von Tilzer and Andrew Sterling) -1905 Victor Record 4551 Harry Tally Library of Congress Collection.

Traditional Dance Tunes

La Praline (Quadrille) (Anon) 1938 Jelly Roll Morton Library of Congress recording 1648B,1649A - Rounder CD 1091. Transcription in Appendix of Shining Trumpets R. Blesh 1945. 
Moonwinks (Three Step Mazurka) (1904 George Stevens) 1909 Cylinder disc 64kb  Indestructible Record 1122 A. Schmell.
Over the Waves (Waltz)* (1891Juventino Rosas,) 1906 Edison Blue Amberol Disc. 513 Black Wax New York Military Band.
Sweet Adeline (Schottische)* (1903 Richard Gerard and HarryArmstrong) 1906 Victor 2934 Haydn Quartet, with vocal.
In High Society – (Slow March to the supper table)* (1901 Porter Steele) 1910 Regimental American Odeon 030659-2 Band of the Republic 
Jazz Archives CD No120.
The Washington Post March (Two Step)* (1899  J.P.Sousa)  1912 Victor record 17302 Sousa’s Band conductor Arthur Prior. Library of Congress Jukebox.

Piano Ragtime

Bowery Buck (1899 Tom Turpin) played by  Mark Pedigo at: 
Frog Legs Rag  (1906 James Scott) 1960 Riverside OJCD7706 Love-Jiles Orchestra Record (Red Back Book Arrangement ) Available on internet at:
Maple Leaf Rag  (1899 Scott Joplin) 1909 Victor record B 3887-3  US Marine Corps  Band. 
Palm Leaf Rag  (1903 Scott Joplin) 1993 Laserlight label CD Complete Works of Scott Joplin Vol 2 Richard Zimmerman Piano.
Panama Rag  (1904 Seymour, C.) 1905 Edison Gold Record 8959 Edison Symphony Orchestra.

Dance Songs/Jump Ups

All the Whores Like the Way I Ride (aka The Girls go Crazy About the Way I Walk) (Trad) American Music Record 1944 Bunk Johnson with the Yerba Buena Jazz Band AMCD 4. 
Funky Butt (Trad) 1903 Barney and Seymour aka Theron Bennet as the St Louis Tickle) 1905 Cylinder record Columbia 32843 St. Louis Tickle Princes Band.
Get Out of Here (Trad)   1944 Good Time Jazz GTJCD12022-2 Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band.
If You Don’t Shake You Get No Cake (Trad) 1938 Library of Congress 1648B2  Rounder CD1094 Jelly Roll Morton.  
Makin’ Runs (Attrib Bolden) 1942 American Music LP643 Bunk Johnson Talking Record demonstration of Bolden Style  now on American Music AMCD 135.
My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It (Trad Attr Clarence Williams) 1960 Vanguard Classics 3024 “Happy Birthday Louis” Louis Armstrong and His All Stars.
The Old Cow Died (And Old Brock Cried) (Trad) aka The Tune The Old Cow Died On 1939 Library Of Congress Warde Ford, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Central Valley, California on September 4, 1939.


Careless Love Blues (Trad attr Handy) 1925 Columbia CD 4678767 Bessie Smith. 
Take Your Big Fat Leg Off Me  (Boiusseau) 1959 Smithsonian Folkways CD FW02464/204 ‘Music Of New Orleans’ H.J Boiusseau piano.
If You Don’t Like My Potatoes Why Do You Dig so Deep? (Trad) 1924 Document Records DOCD5339 Monette Moore.
Make Me a Pallet on the Floor (Trad) 1926 CD “Stormy Weather” Ethel Waters Classic Records 2010.
Salty Dog (Trad. Attr. Jackson) 1926 Paramount 2653-1, 2653-2 Fred Keppard’s Jazz Cardinals Voc Papa Charlie Jackson.
2/19 Blues (Mamie Desdunes)1938 Jelly Roll Morton Library Of Congress 1688a Rounder CD1094.


Go Down Moses (Trad published 1867 R.W. Lockwood) 1924 Victor 19370-A Marian Anderson - Library Of Congress National Jukebox.
Ride On King Jesus (Trad published 1867 A.Ware and Lucy McKim-Garrison) 1993 Pro Arte CD 2331 Leontyne Price Live at the Opening of the Ordway Theatre  Leontyne Price.
Run Nigger (Strumpet) Run aka Run Mary Run (Trad) 1927 DOCD 8056 The Skillet Lickers.

*Not in original list- added by author to improve representativeness of dance types