Henry Thomas (Ragtime Texas) - Vocalion 1094 & 1138 (1927)

From wikipedia...

[Henry Thomas (1874–1930?) was an American country blues singer, songster and musician, who had a brief recording career in the late 1920s which has latterly been influential. He was often billed as "Ragtime Texas". His style is an early example of what later became known as Texas blues guitar.

Thomas was born into a family of freed slaves in Big Sandy, Texas in 1874. He began traveling the Texas railroad lines as a hobo after leaving home in his teens. He eventually earned his way as an itinerant songster, entertaining local populaces as well as railway employees.

He recorded 24 sides for Vocalion Records between 1927 and 1929, 23 of which were released. They include reels, gospel songs, minstrel songs, ragtime numbers, and blues. Besides guitar, Thomas accompanied himself on quills, a folk instrument fabricated from cane reeds whose sound is similar to the zampona played by musicians in Peru and Bolivia. His style of playing guitar was probably derived from banjo-picking styles.

His life and career after his last recordings in 1929 have not been chronicled. Although the blues researcher Mack McCormick stated that he saw a man in Houston in 1949 who met Thomas's description, most biographers indicate that Thomas died in 1930, when he would have been 55 or 56 years old.]

Henry Thomas v, g, reed pipes.

Recorded in Chicago in July & October of 1927.




Scat Man Crothers & The Red Callender Sextette - Hollywood 142 (1953)

Here's the multi talented Scat Man Crothers singing, what appears to be an answer song to Ruth Brown's Atlantic hit, Mama (He Treats Your Daughter Mean).

(And of course, everyone should recognize Crothers as the voice of Hong Kong Phooey)


Katherine Handy Acc. By Handy's Memphis Blues Orchestra - Paramount 12011 (1922)

Save for one track she recorded in 1932 with Fletcher Henderson, Katherine Handy, W. C. Handy's daughter, made this lone 78 accompanied by her father's band. She recorded a test each for Victor (1923) and Edison (1924) but neither were issued.

Not sure what the celebration might have been, but here's a photograph I just received from the estate of a jazz collector showing Katherine Henderson standing over her father, W. C. Handy.

Early Every Morn: Katherine Handy v and possibly on piano.

Loveless Love: Katherine Handy v / Handy's Memphis Blues Orchestra: probably including Johnny Dunn c / George Williams tb / James Osborne cl, as / Bobby Lee p.

Recorded in New York, January 1922.



The Missourians - Victor 38071 (1929)

Lockwood Lewis v, dir / R. Q. Dickerson, Lammar Wright t / De Priest Wheeler tb / unknown, George Scott cl, as / Andrew Brown cl, ts / Earres Prince p / Morris White bj / Jimmy Smith bb / Leroy Maxey d.

Recorded in New York on June 3, 1929.


Wilber C. Sweatman - Emerson 5166 (1916)

Wilbur Sweatman made his first recording, in Minneapolis, on cylinder just after the turn of the century. These were promotional items and apparently none have survived to the present day.

It would be over a decade later before he would record again. In December of 1916, he recorded two versions of My Hawaiian Sunshine for Emerson. The first of the recordings was issued on a five and a half inch disc while the second was on a seven inch.

Here we have the earliest Sweatman record.

Recorded in New York in December 1916.