Big Bertha (Henderson) - Savoy 1119 (1953)

The only information I found on "Big" Bertha Henderson is that she was from New Orleans and besides these two sides, she recorded two others previously for the Chance label (#1143).

Recorded in New Orleans on November 22, 1953.

The Village Stompers - Epic 634 (1960s)

Found this one at the local record store...looked interesting.

From wikipedia

The Village Stompers was a U.S. dixieland music group with the hit "Washington Square" (written by Bobb Goldsteinn) in 1963. The band was known for its instrumental pieces.

The Village Stompers originated from Greenwich Village, New York. The group consisted of Dick Brady, Don Coates, Mitchell May, Ralph Casale, Frank Hubbell, Lenny Pogan, Al McManus and Joe Muranyi. They had instrumental hits on the Epic record label with "Washington Square" / "Turkish Delight" released in September 1963, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary Charts plus also reaching #1 on the Australian Charts in October of that year.

They also had hits with "From Russia With Love" / "The Bridge Of Budapest" in April 1964 (#81) and with "Fiddler On The Roof" / "Moonlight On The Ganges" in December 1964 (#97) and #19 Adult Contemporary Chart. Three other tracks made the Billboard Bubbling Under Chart being "The La-Dee-Song" / "Blue Grass" February 1964 #104, "Oh! Marie" / "Limehouse Blues" October 1964 #132 and "Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines" / "Sweet Water Bay" July 1965 #130 pop and #35 Adult Contemporary Chart.

Looks like they're still out there going strong.

Larry Funk & His Band Of A Thousand Melodies - Conqueror 8410 (1934)

Flipping through a stack that had been set in a corner for more than a year, I found this one and opened Rust to see if maybe there were any sidemen of interest. Other than the named vocalist (and trumpeter) from the label, no other personnel was listed.

Update: I have it from a most reliable source (His granddaughter, Sharon Miller) that William Joseph Knittle is on trombone.

Turns out that these are twenty three year old Vaughn Monroe's first two recordings.

Recorded in New York on September 19, 1934.

Buck Ram's All Stars - Savoy 572 (1944)

I've always associated Buck Ram's name with the Platters, writing their biggest hits...but searching information on him now, there is sooo much more to the man.

Here's just one excerpt from wikipedia...

Controversy has surrounded "I'll Be Home for Christmas," since it was first published. The label on Bing Crosby's recording of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" credits it to Kent, Gannon, and Ram. Later recordings usually credit only Kent and Gannon. The discrepancy arose from the fact that on December 21, 1942 Buck Ram copyrighted a song titled "I'll Be Home for Christmas (Tho' Just in Memory)" although that version bore little or no resemblance, other than its title, to the Crosby recording. A song titled "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was also copyrighted on August 24, 1943, by Walter Kent (music) and James "Kim" Gannon (words). Kent and Gannon revised and re-copyrighted their song on September 27, 1943, and it was this version that Bing Crosby made famous.

According to Ram and newspaper articles from the era, Ram wrote the lyrics to "I'll Be Home For Christmas" as a gift for his mother when he was a sixteen year old college student. In 1942, Ram's publisher chose to hold the song for release because they were going to release Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" first. Not completely satisfied with the song, Ram discussed his concerns with casual acquaintances, Kent and Gannon, in a bar. He left a copy of the song with them but never discussed it with them again. Both Ram and his publisher were shocked when the song was released. Ram's publisher sued and won.

Check out this "All Star" lineup!

Teddy Wilson p / Red Norvo Vb / Earl Bostic as / Don Byas ts / Ernie Casceras bsax / Remo Palmieri g / Shad Collins, Frankie Newton t / Slam Stewart sb / Cozy Cole d / Tyree Glenn tb.

Recorded on September 18, 1944.

Jimmy Wilson & His All-Stars - Big Town 101 (1953)

From Allmusic...

Jimmy Wilson (born 1921, Louisiana / died 1965, Dallas, TX) Wilson was singing in California with a gospel quartet when his distinctive, bluesy lead was noticed by impresario Bob Geddins, who recorded Wilson as the blues singer with his band, Bob Geddins’ Cavaliers, and in his own right, for his Cava Tone label, often in the company of legendary Bay Area guitarist Lafayette Thomas. Some of these tracks created enough of a stir for Aladdin Records to take an interest and purchase some of Wilson’s masters from Geddins, and later during 1952, Wilson began recording for Aladdin Records and its small subsidiary 7-11.

In 1953 Wilson again signed with Geddins to record for his new Big Town label, and the first release, ‘Tin Pan Alley’, although not a Wilson original, was a tremendous success and has since become synonymous with his name. Most of Wilson’s mid-50s output was issued on Big Town, although occasional releases appeared on Irma and Elko (the latter under guitarist Jimmy Nolan’s name), and four tracks were issued on the Chart label.

Later recordings did not match up to the doomy Bay Area sound of his Geddins tracks, despite a couple of attempts at the ‘Tin Pan Alley’ sound and a good local seller, ‘Please Accept My Love’ on Goldband, which was covered successfully by B.B. King.

Wilson died in 1965 of drink-related problems, virtually forgotten by the record-buying public.

From wikipedia…

Jerry ("Jeri") Lafayette Thomas (June 13, 1928 – May 20, 1977) was an American blues singer, and guitarist.

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Thomas first heard blues guitar from his uncle Jesse Thomas, but Lafayette Thomas did not play professionally until 1947, in San Francisco, California.

"Lafayette" Thomas was the famous guitarist of Jimmy McCracklin's Blues Blasters, which he joined in 1948 and recorded with right through the 1950s. He was influenced by Lightnin' Hopkins and T-Bone Walker and joined Bob Geddins and the Cavaliers in 1949. The bulk of his recordings were with Jimmy McCracklin in the 1950s, and for Modern in 1952-53. He soloed on his own "Standing in the Back Door Crying," recorded at a 1954 McCracklin session with Modern Records.

In 1958 he moved to New York, working with Sam Price and playing on Bluesville album dates by Memphis Slim and Little Brother Montgomery, but soon went back west, though he let his music lapse.

Late in 1968, he recorded his first sides for the World Pacific record label on Oakland Blues, a compilation album of artists from that city. He remained semi active in the early 1970s working with Sugar Pie DeSanto.

Thomas died from a heart attack, in Brisbane, California, at the age of 48. In his 1977 obituary Tom Mazzolini, producer of the San Francisco Blues Festival wrote: "Unquestionably the finest guitarist to emerge from the San Francisco-Oakland blues scene, there is hardly a guitarist around here today who doesn't owe a little something to Lafayette Thomas…"

Jimmy Wilson v, b? / Que Martyn ts / another ts? / King Solomon p / Lafayette Thomas g / d.

Recorded in Oakland, CA in 1953.

Calvin Boze & His All-Stars - Aladdin 3110 (1951)

From wikipedia…

Calvin Boze (October 15, 1916 – June 1970) was an American trumpeter and bandleader, best known for his recordings at the turn of the 1950s.

Born in Trinity County, Texas, Boze began playing in a high school band, which also featured Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, and singer Charles Brown. He went on to play in the bands of Marvin Johnson and then Milton Larkins, again with Jacquet and also Eddie Vinson.

After wartime service he settled in Los Angeles and, as singer and trumpet player, took part in the development of the jump blues style, heavily influenced by Louis Jordan. Boze first recorded in 1945, but his biggest successes came with Aladdin Records after 1949. In May 1950 he released "Safronia B", a classic if unsophisticated recording which, with its refrain of "I surrender! I surrender!", epitomised the sense of fun in the West Coast music scene just before the dawn of rock and roll. It made #9 on the Billboard R&B chart in June 1950, and has since been included on several anthologies of the period. The song was later recorded by The Manhattan Transfer.

He toured widely around this time, particularly with Dinah Washington. However, his later recordings, including "Looped" and an early version of "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", were less successful, and he did not record after 1952. He continued to play at jam sessions around Los Angeles, while also developing a career as a social worker and school teacher, before his death, aged 53, after prolonged ill health.

He died in Los Angeles, California in June 1970.

Recorded on October 23, 1951.