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Another myth?

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  • Mordechai Litzman
    The other day I decided to go to the GU research library to find out what the connection is between the first recording of a black N.O. jazz band and Sweden.
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 11 10:17 PM
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      The other day I decided to go to the GU research library to find out what the connection is between the first recording of a black N.O. jazz band and Sweden. As you all know Spike's Seven Pods of Peppers (Kid Ory's Original Creole Jazz Band) made a couple of recordings in Los Angeles/Santa Monica in July 1922 on the Nordskog label. Nordskog means North Forest in Swedish. So what is the connection? Only that an entrepreneur named Arne (Andrae) Nordskog, presumably of Swedish descent, made the first recording studio on the west (left) coast of the United States. Today his homemade recording machine is part of the Smithsonian collection in Washington, D.C.
      Since there was no record pressing plant in the west, the wax masters were sent to the Arto pressing plant in Orange, New Jersey, and it appears that a number of these wax masters melted in transport. To make matters worse, the Arto plant went bankrupt in 1923, and some 80 recordings were lost.
      According to some accounts, among those were recordings of Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver.
      However, in a well researched article on early California recordings by Allan Sutton, there is a footnote stating that some of the masters were returned and that they are in the possession of a Nordskog family member.
      Does anybody have any information about this, or is this just another myth?

      (On the RHJ site there is an unreleased test pressing from 1922 with Sonny Clay on piano and Camille Allen, vocal. Is this recording from those returned from Arto? And while you check this out, listen to "Punishing the Piano" with Clay from 1925 on the Triumph label; another "fingerbuster").




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    • john schott
      Fascinating post - thank you! ... From: Mordechai Litzman To: Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 10:17 PM
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 11 11:00 PM
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        Fascinating post - thank you!

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Mordechai Litzman" <folke613@...>
        To: <RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 10:17 PM
        Subject: [RedHotJazz] Another myth?


        > The other day I decided to go to the GU research library to find out what
        > the connection is between the first recording of a black N.O. jazz band
        > and Sweden. As you all know Spike's Seven Pods of Peppers (Kid Ory's
        > Original Creole Jazz Band) made a couple of recordings in Los
        > Angeles/Santa Monica in July 1922 on the Nordskog label. Nordskog means
        > North Forest in Swedish. So what is the connection? Only that an
        > entrepreneur named Arne (Andrae) Nordskog, presumably of Swedish descent,
        > made the first recording studio on the west (left) coast of the United
        > States. Today his homemade recording machine is part of the Smithsonian
        > collection in Washington, D.C.
        > Since there was no record pressing plant in the west, the wax masters were
        > sent to the Arto pressing plant in Orange, New Jersey, and it appears that
        > a number of these wax masters melted in transport. To make matters worse,
        > the Arto plant went bankrupt in 1923, and some 80 recordings were lost.
        > According to some accounts, among those were recordings of Jelly Roll
        > Morton and King Oliver.
        > However, in a well researched article on early California recordings by
        > Allan Sutton, there is a footnote stating that some of the masters were
        > returned and that they are in the possession of a Nordskog family member.
        > Does anybody have any information about this, or is this just another
        > myth?
        >
        > (On the RHJ site there is an unreleased test pressing from 1922 with Sonny
        > Clay on piano and Camille Allen, vocal. Is this recording from those
        > returned from Arto? And while you check this out, listen to "Punishing the
        > Piano" with Clay from 1925 on the Triumph label; another "fingerbuster").
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Talk is cheap. Use Yahoo! Messenger to make PC-to-Phone calls. Great
        > rates starting at 1¢/min.
        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        > (Yahoo! ID required)
        >
        > mailto:RedHotJazz-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
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        >
        >
      • Howard Rye
        ... The Camille Allen recording is believed to have been made for Sunset. This - and indeed the identification of the singer and the recording date - rests on
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 12 1:42 AM
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          on 12/9/06 6:17, Mordechai Litzman at folke613@... wrote:

          > (On the RHJ site there is an unreleased test pressing from 1922 with Sonny
          > Clay on piano and Camille Allen, vocal. Is this recording from those returned
          > from Arto? And while you check this out, listen to "Punishing the Piano" with
          > Clay from 1925 on the Triumph label; another "fingerbuster").

          The Camille Allen recording is believed to have been made for Sunset. This -
          and indeed the identification of the singer and the recording date - rests
          on information given by Sonny Clay, who also recalled a second title which
          does not appear to have survived.

          It is unreleased only on 78. It can be heard on LPs (Harlequin HQ2007,
          Fantasy SHN4033 - this latter is the correct number, there is a typo in B &
          G) and CD (Document DOCD5518).

          Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
          howard@...
          Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
        • spacelights
          ... Creole Jazz Band) made a couple of recordings in Los Angeles/Santa Monica in July 1922 on the Nordskog label [snip] ... masters were sent to the Arto
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 12 2:15 AM
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            --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Mordechai Litzman <folke613@...> wrote:
            >
            >As you all know Spike's Seven Pods of Peppers (Kid Ory's Original
            Creole Jazz Band) made a couple of recordings in Los Angeles/Santa
            Monica in July 1922 on the Nordskog label

            [snip]

            > Since there was no record pressing plant in the west, the wax
            masters were sent to the Arto pressing plant in Orange, New Jersey,
            and it appears that a number of these wax masters melted in transport.
            To make matters worse, the Arto plant went bankrupt in 1923, and some
            80 recordings were lost.
            > According to some accounts, among those were recordings of Jelly
            Roll Morton and King Oliver.
            > However, in a well researched article on early California recordings
            by Allan Sutton, there is a footnote stating that some of the masters
            were returned and that they are in the possession of a Nordskog family
            member.
            > Does anybody have any information about this, or is this just
            another myth?
            >
            > (On the RHJ site there is an unreleased test pressing from 1922 with
            Sonny Clay on piano and Camille Allen, vocal. Is this recording from
            those returned from Arto? And while you check this out, listen to
            "Punishing the Piano" with Clay from 1925 on the Triumph label;
            another "fingerbuster").


            Very intriguing stuff--notes for 'Sonny Clay - West Coast Jazz' (Frog
            DGF 53) state that the Camille Allen test was owned by Clay himself.
            "Punishing The Piano" is a showpiece, indeed...

            Clay also recorded for the Sunset label around this time, which
            reminded me of the mysterious 'Sunset Band' test of "Wolverine
            Stomp"/"Ivy" (issued on Frog DGF28). Might this be a California group
            after all? 'Storyville 2000-1' questions the assertion that it's
            Carroll Dickerson, and mentions:

            "...similar pressing characteristics between the test, various
            Rodeheaver pressings and a number of Paramount releases... Max
            [Vreede] concluded that the same pressing plant was probably
            responsible for all of these and this could account for the use of a
            Puritan label face down on the Sunset test..."

            Could this have been pressed by the Arto plant, as some sort of early
            test for the Sunset label? Is there any known connection between
            Sunshine (a label apparently reserved to paste on Ory's Nordskog
            records) and Sunset? Coincidence perhaps, but the one illustration of
            a Sunset record in Rust's 'The American Record Label Book' shows
            another Morton tune, "Milenburg [sic] Joys" on Sunset 1117.
          • Mordechai Litzman
            For a very interesting and detailed history of the early California labels, and the history of Sunset records, go to Google and look up California Record
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 12 9:10 AM
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              For a very interesting and detailed history of the early California labels, and the history of Sunset records, go to Google and look up "California Record Labels and Studios in the early 20's". In addition to the historical information, there are color pictures of all the labels.
              It appears that the Sunset records were pressed in Indiana at the Starr Piano Recording Co.

              spacelights <spacelights@...> wrote: --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Mordechai Litzman <folke613@...> wrote:
              >
              >As you all know Spike's Seven Pods of Peppers (Kid Ory's Original
              Creole Jazz Band) made a couple of recordings in Los Angeles/Santa
              Monica in July 1922 on the Nordskog label

              [snip]

              > Since there was no record pressing plant in the west, the wax
              masters were sent to the Arto pressing plant in Orange, New Jersey,
              and it appears that a number of these wax masters melted in transport.
              To make matters worse, the Arto plant went bankrupt in 1923, and some
              80 recordings were lost.
              > According to some accounts, among those were recordings of Jelly
              Roll Morton and King Oliver.
              > However, in a well researched article on early California recordings
              by Allan Sutton, there is a footnote stating that some of the masters
              were returned and that they are in the possession of a Nordskog family
              member.
              > Does anybody have any information about this, or is this just
              another myth?
              >
              > (On the RHJ site there is an unreleased test pressing from 1922 with
              Sonny Clay on piano and Camille Allen, vocal. Is this recording from
              those returned from Arto? And while you check this out, listen to
              "Punishing the Piano" with Clay from 1925 on the Triumph label;
              another "fingerbuster").

              Very intriguing stuff--notes for 'Sonny Clay - West Coast Jazz' (Frog
              DGF 53) state that the Camille Allen test was owned by Clay himself.
              "Punishing The Piano" is a showpiece, indeed...

              Clay also recorded for the Sunset label around this time, which
              reminded me of the mysterious 'Sunset Band' test of "Wolverine
              Stomp"/"Ivy" (issued on Frog DGF28). Might this be a California group
              after all? 'Storyville 2000-1' questions the assertion that it's
              Carroll Dickerson, and mentions:

              "...similar pressing characteristics between the test, various
              Rodeheaver pressings and a number of Paramount releases... Max
              [Vreede] concluded that the same pressing plant was probably
              responsible for all of these and this could account for the use of a
              Puritan label face down on the Sunset test..."

              Could this have been pressed by the Arto plant, as some sort of early
              test for the Sunset label? Is there any known connection between
              Sunshine (a label apparently reserved to paste on Ory's Nordskog
              records) and Sunset? Coincidence perhaps, but the one illustration of
              a Sunset record in Rust's 'The American Record Label Book' shows
              another Morton tune, "Milenburg [sic] Joys" on Sunset 1117.






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