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> Who's No. 1?, Here's a thought to ponder....
Roseman
post Sep 8 2006, 01:40 AM
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Of the hundred's of professional bands of the 20's - 40's many were successful and many were not. With a few exceptions, most of these band leaders wanted to make money making music.

Irregardless of the style of "Jazz/Pop" they played, what band leaders do you think were the most successful at this?

No. 1 in my mind would be Paul Whiteman. In 1922 he already had an income of a million dollars. At one time he controlled 11 bands in New York, 17 on the road and had royalties from 40 other bands playing his arrangements.

No.2 would be Guy Lombardo. This man went on for 40+ years playing his style of music. I saw him in concert in 1966 and was instantly made a fan.


Thoughts.....



Roseman
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tferbe
post Sep 9 2006, 01:09 AM
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There must be a book with stats to verify who lasted the longest, who made the most recordings etc. It would be interesting to know.
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Roseman
post Sep 9 2006, 03:35 AM
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Yes, I'm sure there is one, but not in my collection.
Maybe someone will read the post of give us some more facts.
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Protose Vegetabl...
post Sep 9 2006, 03:52 PM
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Isham Jones got a royalty deal with Brunswick Records when they were a brand new label in 1920. This, along with his hit songwriting, made him a rich man before he was out of of his 20s. (I think his royalties totaled $500,000 by 1923.) He financed several short "retirements" out of this, but always came back to form new bands.

The retirements got longer and longer after the late '30s, especially after Ish moved to Colorado to start a country store and ranch. But he was still doing part-time band work as late as the early '50s. He died in 1956.

The bandleader with the most recordings, IIRC, would be Ben Selvin. At one point he claimed he'd waxed for "9 different labels under 9 different names." But his very best work came when he was house director at Columbia (1929-'33), and exclusive with them.


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victrolajazz
post Sep 9 2006, 09:17 PM
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I know the name "Harry Reser" is looked upon with disdain by some collectors, imagining his was only a novelty band--I wonder if he ever recorded a waltz--and he certainly doesn't have the historical name recognition enjoyed by Paul Whiteman and Guy Lombardo--I doubt that he ever made as much money as Whiteman or Lombardo, but I don't think that's a significant measure. However, if you take a look at the Red Hot Jazz Archive, someone has provided an exhaustive list ('tho many records are not playable) of the titles he recorded and all the pseudonyms he recorded under--and there are countless examples of him playing as side-man in many of the other popular orchestras, such was his talent. He must have recorded on every label that ever existed, and then some--he's someone whom I believe must have lived at the studio! Altho I associate him mostly with the 20's, he made recordings in the 30's--I don't know about the 40's, he was probably too peppy for that era--then made several "Roaring 20s" type LP albums into the '50s and early '60s. He's an example of someone who literally "died with his boots on", passing with a heart attack in 1965 when he was in his 70s, while tuning his guitar in the orchestra pit of "Fiddler on the Roof".

Eddie the Collector
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pictureroll
post Sep 9 2006, 10:23 PM
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Who was the band that all of the members had a different colored Auburn to drive in.
Jerry F Bacon-Dallas,Tx


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[font="Book Antiqua"][/font][size="2"][/size]Cheers From Dallas,Tx
Jerry F Bacon
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Roseman
post Sep 9 2006, 11:57 PM
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QUOTE
I know the name "Harry Reser" is looked upon with disdain by some collectors, imagining his was only a novelty band--I wonder if he ever recorded a waltz--and he certainly doesn't have the historical name recognition enjoyed by Paul Whiteman and Guy Lombardo--I doubt that he ever made as much money as Whiteman or Lombardo, but I don't think that's a significant measure.


Hello Eddie,

I'm sure you're right about Reser. A lot of these guys worked extremely hard and left us with a great legacy of music that we all can appreciate and enjoy. Money was not always the controlling factor.

A lot of Reser's recordings were done on a flat fee with no royalties. This could be why he recorded under so many pseudonyms and labels.

Here's a link to some Reser music and history.

http://www.jimmiejazzarchive.com/jimmiejazz02.php



Don the Roseman
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victrolajazz
post Sep 10 2006, 01:30 AM
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QUOTE(pictureroll @ Sep 9 2006, 04:23 PM)
Who was the band that all of the members had a different colored Auburn to drive in.
Jerry F Bacon-Dallas,Tx

Jerry,

That was Coon-Sanders.

Eddie the Collector
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victrolajazz
post Sep 10 2006, 02:48 PM
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QUOTE(Roseman @ Sep 9 2006, 05:57 PM)
A lot of Reser's recordings were done on a flat fee with no royalties.


I actually tho't that was the arrangement that prevailed for all band leaders until the ASCAP strike of 1942. If Paul Whiteman sold 10 copies or 1,000,000 of Whispering (I've heard it's the first million seller), they were paid for their performance and that was the end of it as far as they were concerned--all the remaining proceeds went to Victor. In the case of the really popular band leaders, I've tho't their wealth came from their performances around the country, radio programs and ensuing endorsements of commercial products, i.e. Reser/Clicquot Club Ginger Ale, Paul Whiteman/Lucky Strike Cigarettes, Irving Aaronson/Studebaker. From the little I've read, while the music we love is cheerful and uplifting, many of these band leaders were notoriously poor businessmen, always seeming to be in precarious financial situations. It's hard to believe that as lovely as Jean Goldkette's music was he ultimately had to declare bankruptcy. Vincent Lopez's marvelous Casa Lopez Club was ultimately the source of his bankruptcy--his dreams were simply greater than could be financially sustained.

Eddie the Collector
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Protose Vegetabl...
post Sep 10 2006, 06:04 PM
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QUOTE(victrolajazz)
From the little I've read, while the music we love is cheerful and uplifting, many of these band leaders were notoriously poor businessmen, always seeming to be in precarious financial situations. It's hard to believe that as lovely as Jean Goldkette's music was he ultimately had to declare bankruptcy. Vincent Lopez's marvelous Casa Lopez Club was ultimately the source of his bankruptcy--his dreams were simply greater than could be financially sustained.


It might have been poor business sense – even a popular leader who could give the people the music they want might not have been so good at managing money.

It might also have been the unpredictable nature of showbiz itself. You were often working for some pretty tough characters – you did business on their terms or not at all. You had to be a really big name to negotiate with them. And it was a lot bigger country in those days – tastes and reputations were more regional. If you fell behind in your territory, you might have to start from zero somewhere else where your name was "Who."

Finally, what do you do when it's the late 40s and what you've been doing for 20 or 25 years just doesn't work anymore? People's tastes are shifting and no clear "next big thing" is coming, musicians don't come so cheap, and you can't book a solid calendar of one-nighters and make back your nut? And as a rule, you're self-educated in the School of Hard Knox and have no civilian occupation to fall back on?


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Roseman
post Sep 10 2006, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE
From the little I've read, while the music we love is cheerful and uplifting, many of these band leaders were notoriously poor businessmen, always seeming to be in precarious financial situations. It's hard to


Hello Eddie,

Well said... The band leaders with business savy and how to use it added to their financial success.

Not only where these guys band leaders, they were in some cases, like Whiteman, a corporation. I read once where he could farm out combinations of musicians, in any size band required, to be shipped where requested. "Paul Whiteman's Orchestra" looked almost as good outside a cabaret, on ocean liners and cruise boasts, as the more significant announcement, "Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra."


Don the Roseman
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victrolajazz
post Sep 10 2006, 06:44 PM
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QUOTE(Protose Vegetable Meat @ Sep 10 2006, 12:04 PM)
Finally, what do you do when it's the late 40s and what you've been doing for 20 or 25 years just doesn't work anymore? People's tastes are shifting and no clear "next big thing" is coming, musicians don't come so cheap, and you can't book a solid calendar of one-nighters and make back your nut? And as a rule, you're self-educated in the School of Hard Knox and have no civilian occupation to fall back on?

You are exactly right--we often think of having been a 20's musician as a "bed of roses", but life continued on after those halcyon days were over. The only one I can think of right off that got a second wind that carried him the rest of his life was Louis Armstrong. By the mid- and late-40's, he seemed to have been pretty well washed up music-wise, being considered too old-school by the be-boppers and hep cats, then his career rivived around 1949 through what lucky circumstance I can't recall, it's been many years since I read his biography. Perhaps just the strength of his personality made him a tremendously popular stand-alone musician and entertainer after the day of the small bands was over--but he was supremely successful the rest of his life. It's also sad to recall that two highly revered names of the 20's took their own lives later on--Ben Pollack and Henry Thies.

Eddie the Collector
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birdible
post Sep 13 2006, 02:58 AM
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Hmm. Now this is going to bother me. I thought of the name of someone(a sax player) who ended up playing in the late 20's playing hot jazz, and was able to later succesfully play bop.

Overall I think bandleaders succesful at money making was Paul Whiteman, but that doesn't always mean great music for all those years. Benny Goodman was able to play well up into the 80's with decent success and lost o' cash.
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victrolajazz
post Sep 13 2006, 04:27 AM
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QUOTE(birdible @ Sep 12 2006, 08:58 PM)
Hmm.  Now this is going to bother me.  I thought of the name of someone(a sax player) who ended up playing in the late 20's playing hot jazz, and was able to later succesfully play bop.

Could it have been Coleman Hawkins? He seemed to be able to adapt to any style. I love to hear him in the 20's, but he's also masterful on what I call those more "tuneless" type solos they were playing by the late 30s.

Eddie the Collector
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honeybadger
post Sep 19 2006, 04:30 AM
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There was an interesting documentary on BBC Radio last week on the most successful British bands, none of which I knew much about at all, much less how huge they were. Ambrose and his Orchestra, Henry Hall, Harry Roy, "the King of Hotcha"...it's like a whole other universe of talent. My favorite is Jack Hylton-- have a listen to all these great songs!

http://www.petefaint.co.uk/jackhylton/music.htm
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