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> Johnny Hamp, Seeking bio data, dates on Hamp and his group
Gart
post Jan 20 2009, 01:21 AM
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I've used a couple of search engines and can't find much on Johnny Hamp and His Kentucky Serenaders. I found out some info--like the guy who directed the band just walked off and Johnny stepped in, getting a vote of confidence from the band and putting his name on it. They were a New York band. Big hit -- Black Bottom in 1926. But when was he born? When did he die? Did he play any instrument.

Re Dismuke Hit of the Week. Whenever you post is fine with me, Dismuke. I've signed up for the e-mail alert, but I still check it all the time. We all know you are incredibly busy and will get to posts (with your friends' help) as soon as you can.

Best, Gart in Oakland
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gregoryagogo
post Jan 20 2009, 03:05 AM
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My Grandma had this book and I remember being quite thorough: "Who's Who In Jazz"

I Googled "Johnny Hamp", and the same plagiarized blurb comes up page after page!!! It's quite disappointing!!


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Gart
post Jan 20 2009, 06:17 AM
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Gregory,
Thanks for looking. Yes, it's surprising the same info you get, just packaged a little differently. Red Hot Jazz has some info and his songs, but no definitive information. Very surprising!

Thanks,

Gart
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Roseman
post Jan 20 2009, 01:48 PM
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Here are a couple links that may offer some additional data on the legendary Mr. Hamp. Two of your three inquiries are answered with this first link.

There seems to be no musical instrument attributed to him in any of the bios I found, so I guess one could assume that the absent of such could mean that he was strickly a bandleader. He supposely loved ballroom dancing and was at such event the night he filled in as leader of the Kentucky Serenaders. So maybe he was a dancer turned bandleader.


Grave Site

Bio via nfo net
Scroll down about 3/4 of the page to find short bio.


Don...

This post has been edited by Roseman: Jan 20 2009, 01:49 PM
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oskar78rpm
post Jan 20 2009, 06:57 PM
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Hi everyone!
Here's a little more on Mr. Hamp. I'm pretty certain he died in the early 1960's; I have his birth/death dates on file somewhere, and I'll post them as soon as I can find them.
His career began in the mid-1920's and lasted into the early 1940's. The band made a trip to England in 1930, and, according to Roger Kinkle in his "Complete Encyclopeadia of Popular Music and Jazz 1900-1950", the band featured two "outstanding" vocalists in the late-1930's, Johnny McAfee and Jayne Whitney.
I have seen discs credited to both "Johnny Hamp and his Kentucky Serenaders", and "Johnny Hamp and his Orchestra". I've heard of his band referrred to as Johnny Hamp and his Kentucky Kardinals, but haven't found that name on a disc. He seems to have recorded exclusively for Victor and, later, Bluebird, with the exception of a few sides done for Melotone around 1935. His theme song was "My Old Kentucky Home".
"I Can't Give You Anything But Love"/"Sweet Lorraine" from 1928 (Victor 21514) must have been a monster hit for him. I've probably stumbled upon at least 15 copies of this disc in my years of collecting-they just seem to turn up.
George T. Simon, in "The Big Bands", devotes only a few lines to him, referring to Hamp as, "a pudgy, nervous, agressive little man" (pure gold!).
I'll post more info as I find it.
Best, RonO


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The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench. A long plastic hallway where pimps and thieves run free and good men die like dogs. There is also a negative side. (Hunter S. Thompson)
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Gart
post Jan 20 2009, 09:52 PM
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Don, Oskar--

Thanks so much for the information! Perfect!!

Don, don't know how you do it. Love the grave site info and the other info I thought I had bookmarked but couldn't find. When you have a chance, would you post that site with all those band descriptions? I'll bookmark it again.

The Dismuke Message Board comes through again! Can't thank you enough, guys.

I should e-mail the woman who has all the gravesite info to join my group, Ghoul Pool, next Halloween. She might have some insight!

Best, Gart in Oakland
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Roseman
post Jan 20 2009, 10:08 PM
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Gart,

The current nfo.net site doesn't appear to have all the links it use to have. You may want to give the follwing link via the internet archives a try. It has the bios, but some of the audio/video links may be missing. Hope this is the one you want.

nfo net via wayback machine.

Don...

This post has been edited by Roseman: Jan 20 2009, 10:15 PM
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Gart
post Jan 21 2009, 01:35 AM
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Don,

Thanks again. That's the site I was looking for. I have now bookmarked it.

I wonder how much trouble it would be to write up Johnny Hamp for Wikipedia? There's a Brith Johnnie Hamp but nothing about our Johnny?

Thanks! Gart
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Victor C. Brunsw...
post Jan 22 2009, 08:16 PM
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QUOTE (oskar78rpm @ Jan 20 2009, 01:57 PM) *
George T. Simon, in "The Big Bands", devotes only a few lines to him, referring to Hamp as, "a pudgy, nervous, agressive little man" (pure gold!).


I believe that one's musical tastes and/or style often provides a window on the personality, not just in terms of recurring themes or lyrics but also the tempo. Many of Johnny Hamp's recordings are characterized by the energetic but precise arrangements which reflects the take-charge spirit that prompted him -- if the legend is true -- to rise to the occasion and lead the leaderless Kentucky Serenadors when their original leader left them in the lurch on that fateful night at the Hershey Ballroom. The following two selections best illustrate this leitmotif.

One O'Clock Baby (1927)

It All Belongs To Me (1927)





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hvickery
post Jan 24 2009, 02:45 AM
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My favorite Johnny Hamp recording is this one, possibly because it's the first one I ever heard. I found a pretty clean sounding recording (possibly from the Nipper 1920s CD) on YouTube:

If I Had a Talking Picture of You

Here's another nice one, also on YouTube: Keep You Sunny Side Up

Hamp's band wasn't exactly in the class of Jean Goldkette's recording band, but his recordings convey an energy and enthusiasm that is infectious. After reading the brief bio, I can see why.

I'm mainly a fan of early jazz, but I've always liked the dance bands that played on the hot side, like Hamp's and Coon-Sanders.



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