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Re: under intellectualising was over-intellectualizing

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  • David N. Lewis
    I did my own reconstruction of Bolden s music with my rock band Cointelpro, and some horn players and a banjo, at a show at the Jockey Club in Newport Ky in
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 1, 2006
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      I did my own reconstruction of Bolden's music with my rock band
      Cointelpro, and some horn players and a banjo, at a show at the Jockey
      Club in Newport Ky in late 1983. We jammed on "If You don't Shake You
      Don't Get No Cake" and in the middle I delivered a throrougly
      long-winded and pretentious monologue about the Bolden legend. No one
      "got" it, but I think I have a tape around around here of the
      performance. It was not a "serious" reconstruction, just me delving
      into what would have then been a hopelessly obscure topic for a
      captive audience. If you know anything about my work as an entertainer
      it makes total sense. Anyway...

      I can't find the reference, but here someone speculated about the
      Bolden cylinder as though it might have been made by a hobbyist. That
      isn't likely - at all. Private ownership of phonographs capable of
      recording is something that doesn't really get underway until about
      1900. Prior to that if you needed one (such as James Mooney's
      phonograph, purchase of which was underwritten by the Bureau of Indian
      affairs) you almost had to buy one from Thomas Edison himself. it was
      a problem of production - Edison products up to about 1908 (when the
      "Little Gem" was produced) were complex, heavy, had many moving parts
      and broke down a lot. That's why in the 90s the cylinder business was
      heavily invested in coin-operated machines placed in phonograph
      parlours or saloons, not to mention those used for business dictation.
      If they failed, which they did a lot, someone had to come out and fix
      it - if it was in a parlour then it could be fixed right away by the
      person on staff.

      The North American Phonograph Company, which was Edison's nationwide
      "trust" that controlled phonograph interests, divided the country into
      several regional districts. The New Orleans district was represented
      by the Louisiana Phonograph Company. The big studios in New York and
      Washington were equipped with enough phonographs to make 50 cylinders
      per performance - there was no mass duplication of cylinders in those
      days. The smaller, regional companies could only produce 5-6 cylinders
      per performance, and these locally made cylinders are rarer than hen's
      teeth - most went straight into a coin operated machine.

      I know of one surviving cylinder from the Louisiana Phonograph
      Company, and that is the Louis Vasnier performance used on the "Lost
      Sounds" compilation issued by Archeophone. So it is not altogether
      unrealistic that the Bolden cylinder, which may have been a march,
      could be found. But the climate in new Orleans is not kind to
      something like a wax cylinder - it is very moist and humid, conditions
      (along with mold) that are death to such fragile objects. North
      American went bankrupt in 1898, and while certain regional recrding
      companies re-organized and survived, most went under, some even before
      (Ohio Phonograph Company went into receivership before, in 1896.) Even
      by '96 it was getting to be impossible to get parts from Edison, and
      by that time you had to buy them outright.

      Gotta cut this short - wife is callin.

      Uncle Dave Lewis
      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, bongroika@... wrote:
      >
      > aw there aint nothin intellectualizing
      >
      > -------------- Original message --------------
      > From: "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
      > Pryor
      >
      > The early histories of Jazz proposed -- and does anybody know the
      source of
      > this whimsy -- Howard ? --- the existence of an actual cylinder
      recording
      > of Buddy Bolden which achieved mythic status but which has never been
      > discovered.
      >
      > I was implying that without such evidence nobody -- least of all the
      > ubiquitous and unctuous Marsalis -- can pontificate on his
      influence on
      > Louis or early jazz style. Speculation on his style is however
      possible and
      > valid and has been , over the years, attempted by various factions with
      > variable success.
      >
      > Patrice
      >
      > Smileys man ? Now why did Jane Austen never think of that ? But the
      best I
      > can do is parenthesis ( THIS IS IRONY ! ) -- no, no I don't mean
      THIS
      > is irony --or do I ? ( THIS IS IRONY ! ) ( AND SO WAS THAT
      PARENTHESIS !)
      > ( AND SO WAS THAT ! ) (ETC) however once irony has to be signposted
      it is
      > worthless and so I assume to be banished from this forum ?
      >
      > Jp
      >
      > The only value of the Burns was the archive footage well
      counterbalanced by
      > the spurious and simplistic 'history'.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
      >
      > Visit your group "RedHotJazz" on the web.
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > RedHotJazz-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • David N. Lewis
      To finish, if the Bolden cylinder survives in a private collection, then most likely it would belong to the descendants of someone who worked for Louisiana
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 1, 2006
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        To finish, if the Bolden cylinder survives in a private collection,
        then most likely it would belong to the descendants of someone who
        worked for Louisiana Phono and later moved away from the city. It may
        even already exist in an institutional collection, but it might be
        missing its box and/or slip, or the spoken introduction is audible, or
        is claimed by mold, a problem we don't know how to fix just yet.

        One thing that should be done is to identify the name of the band that
        would have recorded it. It probably won't be obvious, like "Bolden's
        Band," more likely a name like "The Eagle Band" or some such. I've
        never seen a comprehensive listing of records from Louisiana
        Phonograph, but if a printed catalogue could be found one could see
        what types of band selections the company was producing and deduce the
        most likely candidates. And as to the date, speculation about which is
        all over the map, I would say 1895 seems most likely, certainly not
        later than 1898, when North American broke up.

        Uncle Dave

        --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David N. Lewis" <udtv@...> wrote:
        >
        > I did my own reconstruction of Bolden's music with my rock band
        > Cointelpro, and some horn players and a banjo, at a show at the Jockey
        > Club in Newport Ky in late 1983. We jammed on "If You don't Shake You
        > Don't Get No Cake" and in the middle I delivered a throrougly
        > long-winded and pretentious monologue about the Bolden legend. No one
        > "got" it, but I think I have a tape around around here of the
        > performance. It was not a "serious" reconstruction, just me delving
        > into what would have then been a hopelessly obscure topic for a
        > captive audience. If you know anything about my work as an entertainer
        > it makes total sense. Anyway...
        >
        > I can't find the reference, but here someone speculated about the
        > Bolden cylinder as though it might have been made by a hobbyist. That
        > isn't likely - at all. Private ownership of phonographs capable of
        > recording is something that doesn't really get underway until about
        > 1900. Prior to that if you needed one (such as James Mooney's
        > phonograph, purchase of which was underwritten by the Bureau of Indian
        > affairs) you almost had to buy one from Thomas Edison himself. it was
        > a problem of production - Edison products up to about 1908 (when the
        > "Little Gem" was produced) were complex, heavy, had many moving parts
        > and broke down a lot. That's why in the 90s the cylinder business was
        > heavily invested in coin-operated machines placed in phonograph
        > parlours or saloons, not to mention those used for business dictation.
        > If they failed, which they did a lot, someone had to come out and fix
        > it - if it was in a parlour then it could be fixed right away by the
        > person on staff.
        >
        > The North American Phonograph Company, which was Edison's nationwide
        > "trust" that controlled phonograph interests, divided the country into
        > several regional districts. The New Orleans district was represented
        > by the Louisiana Phonograph Company. The big studios in New York and
        > Washington were equipped with enough phonographs to make 50 cylinders
        > per performance - there was no mass duplication of cylinders in those
        > days. The smaller, regional companies could only produce 5-6 cylinders
        > per performance, and these locally made cylinders are rarer than hen's
        > teeth - most went straight into a coin operated machine.
        >
        > I know of one surviving cylinder from the Louisiana Phonograph
        > Company, and that is the Louis Vasnier performance used on the "Lost
        > Sounds" compilation issued by Archeophone. So it is not altogether
        > unrealistic that the Bolden cylinder, which may have been a march,
        > could be found. But the climate in new Orleans is not kind to
        > something like a wax cylinder - it is very moist and humid, conditions
        > (along with mold) that are death to such fragile objects. North
        > American went bankrupt in 1898, and while certain regional recrding
        > companies re-organized and survived, most went under, some even before
        > (Ohio Phonograph Company went into receivership before, in 1896.) Even
        > by '96 it was getting to be impossible to get parts from Edison, and
        > by that time you had to buy them outright.
        >
        > Gotta cut this short - wife is callin.
        >
        > Uncle Dave Lewis
        > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, bongroika@ wrote:
        > >
        > > aw there aint nothin intellectualizing
        > >
        > > -------------- Original message --------------
        > > From: "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@>
        > > Pryor
        > >
        > > The early histories of Jazz proposed -- and does anybody know the
        > source of
        > > this whimsy -- Howard ? --- the existence of an actual cylinder
        > recording
        > > of Buddy Bolden which achieved mythic status but which has never been
        > > discovered.
        > >
        > > I was implying that without such evidence nobody -- least of all the
        > > ubiquitous and unctuous Marsalis -- can pontificate on his
        > influence on
        > > Louis or early jazz style. Speculation on his style is however
        > possible and
        > > valid and has been , over the years, attempted by various
        factions with
        > > variable success.
        > >
        > > Patrice
        > >
        > > Smileys man ? Now why did Jane Austen never think of that ? But the
        > best I
        > > can do is parenthesis ( THIS IS IRONY ! ) -- no, no I don't mean
        > THIS
        > > is irony --or do I ? ( THIS IS IRONY ! ) ( AND SO WAS THAT
        > PARENTHESIS !)
        > > ( AND SO WAS THAT ! ) (ETC) however once irony has to be signposted
        > it is
        > > worthless and so I assume to be banished from this forum ?
        > >
        > > Jp
        > >
        > > The only value of the Burns was the archive footage well
        > counterbalanced by
        > > the spurious and simplistic 'history'.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
        > >
        > > Visit your group "RedHotJazz" on the web.
        > >
        > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > > RedHotJazz-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
      • Howard Rye
        ... I certainly didn t mean to suggest it might have been made by a hobbyist, rather by some outfit like the Metropolitan Music Store in Minneapolis that made
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 1, 2006
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          on 1/4/06 16:51, David N. Lewis at udtv@... wrote:

          > I can't find the reference, but here someone speculated about the
          > Bolden cylinder as though it might have been made by a hobbyist. That
          > isn't likely - at all. Private ownership of phonographs capable of
          > recording is something that doesn't really get underway until about
          > 1900.

          I certainly didn't mean to suggest it might have been made by a hobbyist,
          rather by some outfit like the Metropolitan Music Store in Minneapolis that
          made Sweatman's 1903 cylinder.

          If anyone does locate the source of the Bolden cylinder story, please tell.
          So far, I've found several references but all in terms of it being a story
          which everyone already knows and is almost certainly false. It would be
          particularly interesting to know whether even an approximate date was
          attached to the original telling.

          Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
          howard@...
          Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
        • Howard Rye
          Actually the whole story is considered in Tim Brooks s Lost Sounds on pages 514/5. I did remember correctly that the original claim was made by Willy Cornish
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 1, 2006
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            Actually the whole story is considered in Tim Brooks's Lost Sounds on pages
            514/5. I did remember correctly that the original claim was made by Willy
            Cornish (to Charles Edward Smith) in 1939, and this would indicate a date
            before 1898 when Cornish left Bolden's band. However, citation is of an
            account by Smith as late as 1957.

            Apparently George Baquet, Alphonse Picou and Bob Lyons also claimed to have
            recorded with Bolden in about 1906, so we have actually claims for two
            Bolden cylinders, not one. However, the source for this is Al Rose's I
            Remember Jazz, p.126/7. This one comes even with a claim about the tunes
            recorded (Make Me A Pallet On The Floor & Turkey In the Straw). Oddly enough
            Tom Brooks only mentions the second title and I wonder why.

            Brooks concludes, "If Bolden did record it was probably a custom recording
            for a local dealer using one of the omnipresent cylinder machines of the
            day, most of which could record as well as play back."

            According to Tim, the Louisiana Phonograph Company only operated from 1891
            to 1893 so cannot have been involved.

            It's anybody's guess how much prompting generated by wishful thinking may
            have gone into the gathering of any of these claims!



            Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
            howard@...
            Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
          • David N. Lewis
            ... recording ... from 1891 ... thinking may ... I don t know when Tim wrote that part of his book, and have actually seen this citation. He probably got the
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 1, 2006
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              --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
              >

              > Brooks concludes, "If Bolden did record it was probably a custom
              recording
              > for a local dealer using one of the omnipresent cylinder machines of the
              > day, most of which could record as well as play back."
              >
              > According to Tim, the Louisiana Phonograph Company only operated
              from 1891
              > to 1893 so cannot have been involved.
              >
              > It's anybody's guess how much prompting generated by wishful
              thinking may
              > have gone into the gathering of any of these claims!

              I don't know when Tim wrote that part of his book, and have actually
              seen this citation. He probably got the 1891-1893 dates for Louisiana
              Phono from Raymond Wile's listing of the regional cylinder companies
              of the 90s. That's an excellent piece of detective work, but sometimes
              the dates, derived from Edison company files, need to be revised
              upward. Wile gives 1890-1893 for Ohio Phonograph, but researching it
              locally in Cincinnati we found that city directories placed the dates
              as 1889-1896. And the booklet for the "Lost Sounds" CD places the
              Vasnier cylinder in 1895.

              But if the first part of the statement above is true, then the (first
              prospective) Bolden cylinder probably wasn't made before 1900. Gus
              Cannon, incidentally, also claimed recording in New Orleans in 1901.
              After North American broke up in 1898 it was easier for a "local
              dealer" to own "one of the omnipresent machines of the day" because
              lots of different companies began to make them and they were, at last,
              omnipresent.

              UD
            • Howard Rye
              ... I think it s fair to say that Tim is not very impressed by the Willie Cornish claim, but in order to judge it we have to get a bit closer to what Cornish
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 2, 2006
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                on 2/4/06 6:41, David N. Lewis at udtv@... wrote:

                > But if the first part of the statement above is true, then the (first
                > prospective) Bolden cylinder probably wasn't made before 1900.

                I think it's fair to say that Tim is not very impressed by the Willie
                Cornish claim, but in order to judge it we have to get a bit closer to what
                Cornish actually said than Charles Edward Smith's recollections in 1957.

                Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                howard@...
                Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
              • jazzguy1927
                -- wrote: Actually the whole story is considered in Tim Brooks s Lost Sounds on pages 514/5. I did
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 5, 2006
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                  --< In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
                  Actually the whole story is considered in Tim Brooks's Lost Sounds on
                  pages 514/5. I did remember correctly that the original claim was made
                  by Willy Cornish (to Charles Edward Smith) in 1939, and this would
                  indicate a date before 1898 when Cornish left Bolden's band. However,
                  citation is of an account by Smith as late as 1957.>

                  On page 44 of Donald Marquis book, "In Search Of Buddy Bolden" -
                  Louisiana State University Press-1978, it confirms what you relate
                  above-In 1939 Willie Cornish told Charles Edward Smith that the
                  cylinder had been made before 1898.It also mentions that Smith along
                  with Orin Blackstone and Bill Russell began an extensive search for it
                  but their leads met frustrating dead ends.
                  This indicates these authors of the pioneering book, Jazzmen,along with
                  Orin Blackstone believed Cornish about the cylinder being made and its
                  possible existance that they actually searched for it in 1939 when
                  Cornish told them about it or sometime after 1939.Unfortunately they
                  were unsuccessful in locating it.
                  The search for the cylinder never died even after Smith's and Russell's
                  fruitless searches because in 1951 the Second Line magazine in New
                  Orleans, which was the magazine of the New Orleans Jazz Club,offered a
                  monetary reward of $100 for information but nothing turned up from that
                  effort either.

                  I met Frederick Ramsey in 1982 at Tulane University in New Orleans when
                  he was participating in a seminar on Jelly Roll Morton during the
                  Tulane Hot Jazz Classic.Bill Russell also was a member of the Morton
                  seminar panel.When i asked Ramsey about the cylinder then he said there
                  were many stories about who recorded the cylinder including a man who
                  owned a grocery store and recorded the band for his own amusement on a
                  cylinder machine that could record on wax blanks as well as
                  playback.Bill Russell then told me a story he had heard from a musician
                  that Bolden had given the cylinder as a present in about the year 1900
                  to a prostitute he knew who lived only a few blocks from his address on
                  First Street.He even got her name from the musician and tryed to locate
                  her in the 1940's but was unsuccessfull.-Tim
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