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RAY TEIJilEH S Burn! making a record at Brighton in 192.** Above: A photograph appearing in Australasian Dance and Brass Band News
Kilda Palais until November, 1926.
These were the two West Coast groups that had the earliest and greatest influence on Australian musicians â and not only just by example. Ray Tellier, for one, also gave lessons, one of his pupils being Keith Cerche.
It is unfortunate that the Australian recording industry was only just beginning at this time and few discs remain to illustrate how these groups sounded. The first disc records of which we have knowledge were made in Melbourne by the World Record Co. (also known as Wocord) whose labels were Austral and Condor. Both the Ralton and Tellier groups were recorded by this small but if the Ellis band went to the studios the results were probably unissued. Even ihe issued products of this firm are extremely rare, and I have only heard (by courtesy of
Mike Sutcliffe) two of the Tellier titles. These reveal a fine well drilled dance band that obviously knew something about jazz â Pingitoreâs banjo is particularly well recorded and is most impressive â he sounds in no way inferior to his brother Mike, long with Paul Whiteman.
Twelve months later the Tellier crew recorded six titles for Columbia whilst on the way back to the States. Four of these sides, electrically recorded, were issued and show that this band really could swing â did you note the use of this word in the May, 1925 advertisement?
In May, 1928, Tellier returned to the Palais de Danse with a new personnel which included Joe Watson, tpt; Charles Richardson, sbs/bbs; and E. Walthen, P. Bodley, R. Furnas, L. Kohle and Ted Walters. Some
SAM WOODINGâS PARLOPHONS
Australians are also thought to have been in this group. The band is not known to have recorded in Australia, but they may have done, since only last year a Melbourne collector turned up a copy of Vocalion XA-18054 recorded in Melbourne about April
1928 by Harvey Ball and his Virginians, who had opened at the Sydney Palais Royal on 7th May, 1927 and transferred to the St. Kilda site on November 21st, sharing the bill with Ruth Varin and her Maryland Maids.
The personnel of the Ball band was Leroy Keller, L. Carmack, tpts; Tom Wright, tbn; Eddie Pratt, Lee Stall, Otto Kittleson, reeds; Irving Reilly, pno; Ball, bjo; Beau Lee, dms.
Another U.S. group to play in Australia, following Tellier into the Palais in November
1926, was Carol Loughnerâs Palm Grove Orchestra with Loughner (sometimes spelt Lofner) on piano; Chuck Moll, clt/alt, Frank Ramby, bjo; Charles Richardson, sbs; Phil Harris, dms; with five Australians, including two of the Coughlans, added. Harris later became a top band leader and film star, and is still remembered locally as the personality of the group.
Most of the other names mentioned above are practically unknown in jazz history, and whilst they loom larger on the Australian scene than in their home country, there is no reason to believe they were second raters in California. Ellis had a band that recorded in Los Angeles for Columbia in 1927, Lofner was at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco and recorded for Victor in 1931. Walter Beban became MD of NBC in San Francisco in the early âthirties, as well as
leading their radio orchestra. Tellier became MD of the Matson (Steamship) Line and visited Australia a number of times in that capacity. In 1935 he was vice president of Local No. 6 of the AFM.
Eugene Pingitore stayed in Melbourne and worked with the top dance and swing groups. He recorded banjo and guitar solos for Vocalion in 1929, and EPs and LPs in the âfifties. Joe Watson too stayed on after Tellierâs second stint, leading the band at the Green Mill and recording for the Vocalion labels in 1929. Melbourne sax man Billy Williams says Watson had a style reminiscent of Wingy Manone. although this is certainly not apparent from his issued recordings.
One other recording that must be mentioned is the Columbia coupling by the Palais Royal Californians. This is an acoustic recording dating from July/August 1926 and it enables us to hear Beban, Rago, Kruze and Hogan from the original Ellis group as well as star Australians Frank Coughlan and Em Pettifer. This would be a worthy item in any collection, particularly for the Milenberg Joys side, although That Certain Party contains an interesting chase chorus in the Mole/Rollini tradition by Coughlan and Pettifer.
The report that the Original Creole Orchestra (Freddie Keppard, Dink Johnson, etc.) played in Sydney in 1914 is unverified, so the first all-Negro orchestra to play in Australia seems to have been Sonny Clayâs Plantation Orchestra, also from California. This visit deserves an article to itself, which Iâll get around to ....so youâll have to wait.
Sam Wooding's Parlophons
by Bjorn Englund
For many years there has been great confusion regarding the recording date and identity of the trumpeters on Sam Woodingâs
1929 Spanish recordings. One would think
that on aural evidence Tommy Ladnierâs participation would have been ruled out, for if he was present, why did he not solo? As for the recording date, all anyone needed to
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