Dance Band Diaries Volume 3 1928 0004
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ï»¿Dance Band Diary/February 1928 3.
consider that 90% of the so-called music perpetrated under the name of dance music is vulgar, because the sole object of the composer seems to be to sweep the country and clean up the board instead of writing a tune for the sake of achieving something musical. These people fondly imagine that if they fill up their 'songs' with a lot of sentimental balderdash and spend thousands of pounds on publicity, they are entitled to call themselves musicians and regard themselves The World's Greatest". Writing about his introduction to music, bandleader Debroy Somers recollects : "In 1905 when I was a bold boyo of 15 in Dublin I formed a small orchestra and collected some of the old Edison Bell cylinder discs. On these we made our first records. Later on in London I was one of the bunch who made Bulldog records, three dozen of them at 7s 6d each! It was a case of one test and off you go! I played the piano, oboe, xylophone and all kinds of musical instruments short of the sackbut and psaltery! Our leader received the cash and we shared it out in the nearest pub. Those rough and ready methods have long been superseded and nowadays our dance band musicians roll up regularly every month in their noiseless Minerva cars and retire from their labours with the comfortable rate of 5 gns and upwards a session, a fair average output being four dance tunes per session of anything from two to four hours". Bandleader-composer-arranger and musical theorist A1 Davison is critically ill with a fractured skull and brain injuries after his car skidded and hit a tramcar in South London. Pianist-arranger Cecil Norman, who until recently co-operated with his saxist brother Leslie in running the Carlton Hotel Dance Band, which has lately been doing some excellent recordings for Edison Bell, is at present on a visit to the States exploring opportunities for his own compositions and scores. At last the MM has found elusive bandleader Jack Howard, who mysteriously walked off the stand and went missing towards the end of his summer season at the Villa Marina, Douglas, Isle of Man, in September 1927. A tip from a correspondent in America reveals that he is associated with a small band playing in Chicago. Rumours that he committed suicide by walking into the sea after a collapsed love affair would therefore appear to be false! Alfredo and his Orchestra, currently resident at the New Prince's Restaurant, appeared for a week at the Holborn Empire starting on January 2. Agnes Rogers, who directs her sister Gwen's Romany Players at Buxton Gardens Ballroom, has married a well-known North Country cattle breeder named Pennington. Their sister Edna married prominent arranger Leighton Lucas a few months ago. The London Billiken Dance Band is appearing in Archie Pitt's revue, Too Many Cooks. The Savoy Orpheans, jointly directed by Carroll Gibbons and Teddy Sinclair, are playing in Berlin, following the end of their engagement at the Savoy Hotel. Bill Browne's Band, which originally belonged to Jack Howard, has been retained on an extended contract at the Westover Ballroom, in Bournemouth, owing to excellent business. The Metro Five, based on the style of the Five Pennies, and led by Ronald Rae (ex Kit Cat, Piccadilly Hotel and Blackpool Winter Gardens) , who opened on October 10 at the Cafe Dansant in Bedford, includes rising trumpeter-trombonist-arranger and eventual bandleader Paul Fenoulhet, who has played at the Kit Cat and the Piccadilly Hotel. Frank Dyer, ex-operatic clarinettist, who has played for the D'Oyly Carte and Carl Rosa opera companies, and now leads his Symphonic Dance Orchestra at Oxford's Carfax Galleries, plays a taragossa, a novelty Hungarian instrument which is a cross between a saxophone and a Cor Anglais, unique because it can produce quarter tones. Percy Kahn has been appointed MD at the Villa Marina Royal Hall and Gardens, at Douglas, Isle of Man, for the summer season, succeeding Jack Howard, who was resident there in 1926 and 1927. MM features a rare photograph of the legendary Red Nichols and his Five Pennies, comprising E. Loring (Red) Nichols (tpt), Jimmy Dorsey (sax, clt), Bill Haid, who deputised in the photo for Arthur Schutt (piano), Vic Berton (drs), Miff Mole (tmb) and Eddie Lang (gtr). They are currently recording for Brunswick. Charing Cross Road Astoria, which was built on the site of a pickle and jam factory, celebrates its first anniversary (opened 12/Jan/1927) with a special programme given by the two resident bands, led by Fred Kitchen (cinema) and Howard Baker (ballroom). Popular songs include : A Garden In The Rain, Short'nin'
Bread, Struttin' With Some Barbecue, Sugar, There's Everything Nice About You, She Don't Wanna.
Savoy Orpheans are a big success on their European tour, fronted by pianist Carroll Gibbons and managed by Teddy Sinclair. They opened on January 30, at the Europa Pavilioi in Berlin. "The best dance band we have ever heard", praised the Press. Jack Hylton and his Orchestra are chosen for the Royal Command Performance on March 1 at the Coliseum. MM offers free Spanish guitar tuition by top fretted instrumentalist Len Fillis. A feature entitled Just That Little Bit More describes the pampered life
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