Search This Blog

Friday, September 3, 2010

More vocal harmony groups........Early Euro and US

The Revelers

From Wikipedia
The Revelers were an American quintet (four close harmony singers and a pianist) popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Revelers' recordings of "Dinah", "Old Man River", "Valencia", "Baby Face", "Blue Room", "The Birth of the Blues", "When Yuba Plays the Rumba on the Tuba", and many more, became popular in the United States and then Europe in the late 1920s.
All of the members had recorded individually or in various combinations, and formed a group in 1925. The original Revelers were tenors Franklyn Baur and Lewis James, baritone Elliot Shaw, bass Wilfred Glenn, and pianist Ed Smalle. Smalle was replaced by Frank Black in 1926. The group (with Black at the piano) appeared in a short movie musical, The Revelers (1927), filmed in the sound-on-disc Vitaphone process. This one-reel short film, recently restored by "The Vitaphone Project," shows the group performing "Mine", "Dinah", and "No Foolin'". A second short, filmed the same day with another three songs, awaits restoration.
Baur was replaced by Frank Luther and then James Melton (later a Metropolitan Opera tenor).

The Revelers were stars on radio and in vaudeville, as well as in the recording studio. On radio they were regulars on The Palmolive Hour (1927-31). Ring Lardner observed, "Under any name, they sound as sweet." Lardner outlined his "perfect radio program" for The New Yorker magazine, and found a place for The Revelers along with Paul Whiteman and Fanny Brice.
They had a recording contract with Victor (later RCA Victor) but made extra money by moonlighting under pseudonyms for other labels (such as "The Singing Sophomores" on Columbia Records and "The Merrymakers" on Brunswick Records). An example of what The Revelers sounded like is "I'm Gonna Charleston Back to Charleston" on the CD "The Roaring Twenties" (ABC 838 215-2) from the series "Robert Parker's The Golden Years." The German group The Comedian Harmonists formed in 1927 after hearing some records of The Revelers.

The Revelers were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.

Included here are several sides by the Revelers, The Singing Sophomores, and as a special treat.......two sides by the Two Jazzers.

The Two Jazzers


The Two Jazzers
These guys are just terrific!  And they cut literally hundreds of records.  Yet, I have only a tidbit of information about them.  Then again, that's why I have these Web pages -- to seek those who may have more information than I do.
"The Two Jazzers" were Lászlo Mocsányi and Tibor Lakos, both of whom were born in 1903 in Budapest, Hungary, and attended the same school in their youth.  At the age of 25, they made their first broadcast in Budapest.  In Autumn of 1928, they made their first records with Columbia.
They became quite well known in Vienna, Austria, and in February 1929 were engaged at the famous "Haller-Revue" in Berlin, followed by an engagement at the legendary "Kabarett der Komiker", also in Berlin.  In Germany, the fellows recorded for "Ultraphone," began appearing on the radio on March 19th, 1929, and were popular enough to attract the attention of Terra-Film.
At the end of 1930, they went back to Budapest.  Prior to this time, their performances had been accompanied by well known orchestras, but they now developed their own style, performing mostly in Hungarian.  In 1932, they organized the Harlem Melody Band and began recording on their own label "Radius and Weekend."
My sources have no mention of their activities after 1934, but it is estimated that they recorded something like 80-90 titles in German, a few in English, and up to several hundred in Hungarian and possibly other languages.
Tibor Lakos died in Budapest, in 1945, a young man barely in his forties.  Lászlo Mocsányi passed away December 24, 1982, at the age of 79.
The Recordings To the best of my knowledge there are no recordings by The Two Jazzers available on CD, except for a few titles on collections available in Europe.  Even on LP, we find only the barest appetizer:
Harlequin HQ 2015 Jazz and Hot Dance in Hungary
Volume 6 in Harlequin's "Jazz and Hot Dance" series is one of the two or three best in the whole 20 or more volumes.  Nearly every artist on it deserves more exposure.  Primary among these are "The Two Jazzers," who, the liner notes tell us, recorded more than 400 sides(!) in Berlin, Budapest, and Bucharest.  The one number on this LP, "Bimbambulla," recorded in Berlin in 1929, is falling-down great stuff, described on the liner notes as combining "attempts at scat singing and instrument imitation."  If this recording is any indication of the nature of these guys' other sides, a double-album "Best of" CD would be a dream come true for fans of this sort of thing.  Indeed, a collector in Germany reports that the fellows did record more "tonguebreakers" like "Bimbambulla."

EMI Electrola(Horzu Exclusiv) 1C 134-32 450/51 Jazz in Deutschland Vol. 2 (1928-1941)
EMI Electrola(Odean) 1C 134-46 443/44 Das Swing-ABC der 30er und 40er Jahre
These are two double LPs that I was fortunate enough to buy in a German record shop in New York City some years ago.  The same recording of "I'm Doing What I'm Doing For Love" is found on both of them.  Here we have the duo performing with a band led by the American clarinet player, Teddy Kline, recorded in 1929.  I'm not going to say that this single recording is worth the price of an imported LP, but it is another fine example of The Two Jazzers' talent and the other material on both of these sets provides a good example of German Jazz as it was played between the wars.

Read more:

Here are the tracks:

The Singing Sophomores-All I want to do is be with you
The Revelers- Beautiful
The Revelers-Birth of the blues
The Revelers-Blue shadows
The Revelers-Breezin' along
The Revelers-Collegiate
The Revelers-Dinah
The Revelers-Dream river
The Revelers-Dusky stevedore
The Revelers-Happy feet
Harlem Melody Band vocals: the Two Jazzers-Yo Yo
The Revelers-Honolulu moon
The Singing Sophomores-I'd rather be alone in the south
The Revelers-I know what you know
The Revelers-I'm in love again
The Revelers-I'm looking over a 4 leaf clover
The Revelers-Lucky day
The Revelers-Mammy is gone
The Revelers-Mary Lou
The Revelers-Moonlight on the Ganges
The Revelers-Oh, Miss Hannah
The Revelers-Nola
The Revelers-Sing something simple
The Revelers- So blue
Teddy Kline Orch. w/ The Two Jazzers-I'm doing what I'm doing for love
The Revelers-The blue room
The Revelers-Valencia
The Revelers-Was it a dream
The Revelers-When day is done
The Singing Sophomores-When the red red robin goes bob bob bobbin' along
The Revelers-Yankee Rose

No comments:

Post a Comment