Ben Bernie (May 30, 1891 – October 23, 1943), born Bernard
Anzelevitz, was an American jazz violinist and radio personality, often
introduced as The Old Maestro. He was noted for his showmanship and memorable
bits of snappy dialogue.
Bernie was born in Bayonne, New
. By the age of 15 he was teaching violin, but
this experience apparently diminished his interest in the violin for a time. He
returned to music doing vaudeville, appearing with Phil Baker as Baker and
Bernie, but he met with little success until 1922 when he joined his first
orchestra. Later, he had his own band, "The Lads," seen in the early
DeForest Phonofilm sound short, Ben Bernie and All the Lads (1924–1925),
featuring pianist Oscar Levant. He toured with Maurice Chevalier and also
toured in Europe
Bernie's orchestra recorded throughout the 1920s and 1930s;
Vocalion (1922–1925), Brunswick
(1936), and ARC (Vocalion and OKeh) (1939–1940). In 1925 Ben Bernie and his
orchestra did the first recording of Sweet Georgia Brown. Bernie was the
co-composer of this jazz standard, which became the theme song of the Harlem
Globetrotters. (His Vocalion and Brunswick
records were always listed as Ben Bernie and His Orchestra; only his Columbia
records used the moniker "Ben Bernie and All The Lads".)
Line up similar to: Donald Bryan, Bill Moore t / Frank Sarlo tb / Len kavash, Norman Ronemous cl, as / Jack Pettis cl, Cm, ts / Ben Bernie vn, ldr / Nick Gerlach vn / Al Goering p / Paul Nito bj, vn / Max Rosen bb / Sam Fink d / Scrappy Lambert, Billy Hillpot v.
Recorded in New York on November 10, 1927.
(Side A is pretty rough)