¡Feliz Navidad! Mario Ortiz y su Orquesta - Borinquen 143 / José Antonio Salamán - Ansonia 5397 (1950's)

Just found this 45 over the weekend. Bought it because of the Puerto Rican label and the Christmas themed titles. I don't hear any jingly bells in the songs so I can't be too sure that they are indeed related to the holidays...guess I have to take my wife's word for it.



Hoy, mientras buscaba entre discos que tengo hace años (desde antes de conocer a mi esposa puertorriqueña) encontré este disco. Se lo puse a ella para que lo escuchara e inmediatamente reconoció la canción (Arbolito) y me dijo que era una canción navideña.  Investigamos un poco y averiguamos que José Antonio Salamán nació en Ponce, Puerto Rico.

¡Feliz Navidad!


Maple Leaf Rag / Terrible Blues ? (Edit: Lu Watters)

Just came across this record with plain white, typewritten labels...not unlike some party records...that I have had since I first started collecting in California over 15 years ago.

I do not have the ability like some who can recognize musicians by ear.

Does anyone have a clue as to who these sides might be by?

Maple Leaf Rag has imprinted in the dead wax..."JMS-1" while Terrible Blues has..."MLB-121."



Edit: Many thanks to Jim VanDrisse & Yves François for identifying the personnel:

Maple Leaf Rag: Lu Watters (tp) Turk Murphy (tb) Bob Helm (cl) Paul Lingle (p) Pat Patton (bj) San Francisco, CA., 1939

Terrible Blues: Lu Watters (tp) Bob Scobey (tp,vcl) Turk Murphy (tb) Ellis Horne (cl) Wally Rose (p) Clancy Hayes, Russ Bennett (bj) Squire Girsback (tu) Bill Dart (d)
San Francisco, March 29, 1942

Lil Armstrong & Her Swing Orchestra - Decca 1722 (1938)

Here we have the former Mrs. Louis Armstrong backed, interestingly enough, by an all white group of musicians.

Ralph Muzillo or Johnny McGee t / Al Philburn tb / Tony Zimmers cl, as / Frank Froeba p / Dave Barbour g / Haig Stephens sb / Lil Armstrong v.

Recorded in New York on February, 2, 1938


Click 'Read More' below for the flip side...

Andy Kirk & His Clouds Of Joy - Decca 3282 (1940)

I don't have any Andy Kirk Brunswicks but I do have a handful of his Deccas.

I just cleared out all of the 78s that were on the living room floor to make room for the Christmas tree and came across a stack of yet-to-be-cleaned-and-indexed blue Deccas. Might post a few more in a row before moving on to something else. Stay tuned.

Andy Kirk bsx, dir / Harry Lawson, Clarence Trice, Harold Baker t / Ted Donelly, Fred Robinson tb / John Harrington, cl, as, bar / Edward Inge cl, ts / Rudy Powell cl, as / Dick Wilson ts / Claude Williams vn / Mary Lou Williams p, a / Floyd Smith g, elg / Booker Collins sb / Ben Thigpen d / Les Johnakins a / June Richmond v.

Recorded in New York on June 25, 1940.


Claude Hopkins & His Orchestra - Decca 1153 (1937)

Claude Hopkins p, a, dir / Shirley Clay, Jabbo Smith, Lincoln Mills, t / Floyd Brady, Fred Norman, Vic Dickenson tb / Gene Johnson, Chauncey Haughton, Ben Smith as / Bobby Sands ts / Walter Jones g / Abe Bolar sb / Pete Jacobs d / Beverley 'Baby' White v.

Recorded in New York on Feruary 2, 1937.



Pete Johnson - Decca 03292 (1941)

Ever since Sam asked about British Deccas, I have been finding them all over the place.

Here we have a Boogie Woogie disc by Pete Johnson...one of the big three Boogie Woogie pianists of the era...with Al Hall on bass and A.G. Godley on drums.

Recorded in New York on May 8th (Basement Boogie) and 29th (Death Ray Boogie), 1941.

(Although, contrary to the nice shiny finish, there is quite a bit of surface noise)


Gene Gifford & His Orchestra - Bluebird 10704 (Originally Victor 25041) 1935

Here we have 2 of 4 sides cut by Gene Gifford as a leader. Gifford was chief arranger for The Casa Loma Orchestra throughout the '30s.

Nice lineup on these tracks...Bunny Berigan, Wingy Manone, Bud Freeman, etc.

Recorded on May 13, 1935.



Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt on RCA Victor 20-5502 (1953)

I've had this copy of Santa Baby for years but never spun it as there was never a shortage of airplay during the holidays.

Recently finding it, and the Holidays looming, I gave it a spin...to my surprise, it is probably the cleanest looking and sounding record I own.

Wish I had a deed to a Plat-I-Num mine!

By the way...Eartha was born a little bit south of North Carolina in North, South Carolina.


White Christmas - The Drifters on Atlantic 1048 (1954)

This side happened to be the first Drifters' tune to crossover to the mainstream Billboard charts...33 more would follow.

First vocal we hear is Bill Pinkney, a South Carolinian, a pitcher in the Negro Leagues and also the last original Drifter to pass away...in 2007.

Second lead will be by the great Clyde McPhatter. McPhatter was a fellow Tarheel from Durham, NC. After winning an Amateur Night at the Apollo, he joined Billy Ward's Dominoes and later was a founding member of the first incarnation of The Drifters.