1887: Happy 135th Birthday, Cryin’ Sam Collins! Born on August 11, 1887, Collins recorded “Do That Thing” on 8/27/1927 in Richmond. It appeared on Gennett 6307, Champion 15453, Silvertone 5131, and Superior 369. A royalty statement to Dennis Taylor indicated the Champion issue sold approx. 1,200 copies in 1928 .
1923: Shirley Mason recorded “Christmas in Hollywood” in NYC. It appeared on the special Christmas Greeting series Gennett 5237 and featured silent film star Mason (v).
1927: The Eva Quartette recorded “Nearer My God to Thee” in Birmingham. It appeared in Gennett 6420, Champion 15448, Challenge 339, Silvertone 5072 & 8169, and Supertone 9265 and featured W.J. Smith (organ). The royalty ledger indicated to Fred Morgan that the Champion issue sold 7,404 copies between 1928 and 1934.
1923: Homer Rodeheaver and The Wiseman Quartet recorded “The Gospel Train” in Richmond. It appeared on Rainbow 1092. Here Uncle Dave Lewis plays his pristine copy and gives some great details about this recording.
1927: J.T. Allison’s Sacred Harp Singers recorded “I’m a Long Time Traveling Away from Home in Birmingham. It appeared on Gennett 6255. John Bealle and Joyce Cauthen note that these recordings “are rare instances of the convergence of two important cultural movements of the southeastern U.S.-the emerging country music recording industry and the impressive tradition of singing religious folk music from shape-note tune books.”
1927: Frank Bunch and his Fuzzy Wuzzies recorded “Fuzzy Wuzzy” in Birmingham. It appeared on Gennett 6278 and Champion 15366 and featured Hunch Vines (tpt), Joe Britton (tb), Teddy Hill (ts/cl), Frank Bunch (pn), Ivory Johnson (bs), Carl Bunch (bjo), and unknown (d). The Champion issue sold 927 copies in 1927.
1936: Harry Gennett Jr and the Sound Effects team recorded “News Room (Continuous Noise – confusion of sounds, Typewriters, Teletypes, Voices, etc)” in Louisville. The recording appeared in Gennett Sound Effects 1204 and featured the newsroom of the Courier Journal and Louisville Times.
1923: Pie Plant Pete recorded “The Lightning Express” in Richmond. It appeared on Gennett 7289, Champion 16071, and Supertone 9701. The Champion issue sold over 4,000 copies between 1930 and 1932. Not only was Pete (Claude Moye) a star of WLS’s National Barn Dance, but his guitar playing was a major influence on Les Paul.
1925: Gennett ran an ad for their new recording, “Virgin Birth,” by William Jennings Bryan, as “The Great Defender of the Faith,” in the Chicago Defender. Gennett piggybacked on the notoriety Bryan gained defending God in the Scopes Monkey Trial.
1927: Rev. J.F. Forest recorded “I Am Running the Race – What Are You Running For?” in Birmingham. It appeared on Gennett 6308, Bell 1191, Silvertone 5145, and Superior 390. The recording card noted that Forest is joined by “Sistern and Breathern.”
1888: Happy 134th Birthday, Arthur Fields! Fields, born on August 6, 1888, was one of the most in demand vocalists in the first quarter century of the 1900s. He recorded “Let It Rain, Let It Pour” on January 29, 1925 and it appeared on Gennett 3034, Gennett 5657, Starr-Gennett 9622, and Claxtonola 40417.
1927: Dunk Rendleman and the Alabamians recorded “Me and My Shadow” in Birmingham. It appeared on Gennett 6233, Champion 15326 (2,317 copies sold), Challenge 365, Superior 365, and Silvertone 5052 & 25052 and featured Wallace Chambers (v), Bob Hamilton (t), Bill Aderholt (as/cl), Bob Percy (pn), Worth Roberts (bs), and Dunk Rendleman (bjo).
1931: Bix Beiderbecke passed away. “Jazz Me Blues” was his first recorded solo. Bix and the Wolverine Orchestra first recorded in Richmond on 2/18/1924. The band consisted of Bix Beiderbecke (c); Al Gandee (tb); Jimmy Hartwell (cl); George Johnson (ts); Dick Voynow (p); Bob Gillette (bj); Min Leibrook (tu); Vic Moore (d).
1936: The sound effects team recorded a German Cuckoo Clock in Richmond. It appeared on Gennett Sound Effects 1203.
1927: Jaybird Coleman recorded “Ah’m Sick and Tired of Tellin’ You (To Wiggle That Thing) in Birmingham. It appeared on Gennett 6276, Champion 15379, and Conqueror 7268 and featured Coleman (vox & harmonica). The Champion issue sold 1,455 copies in 1927 and 1928.
1927: Bertha Ross recorded “Lost Man Blues” in Birmingham. It appeared on Gennett 6243, Champion 15340, and Silvertone 5129 and featured Ross (vox) and Vance Patterson (pn). The Champion issue sold 1,058 copies between 1927 and 1933.
1930: Stan Stanley and His Orchestra recorded “You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me” in Richmond. It appeared on Gennett 7255, Champion 16063, and Supertone 9745. A royalty statement from the Champion issue to Stanley Bartowsky, noted sales of approx. 1,500 copies between 1930 and 1932. The recording features vocalist Alberta Haynes.
1890: Happy 132nd Birthday, Carson Robison! Robison was born on August 4, 1890 and recorded dozens of sides as a featured artist and sideman on Gennett and Champion. Here Robison recorded “Oh Dem Golden Slippers” with Vernon Dalhart. It appeared on Gennett 6512, Champion 15567, Champion 33005, Silvertone 8143, and Supertone 9230.
1901: Happy 121st Birthday Louis Armstrong! Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901. In 1923, he recorded twice in Richmond, Indiana as second cornet with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. Here is “Chimes Blues” from the April 6, 1923 session. It appeared on Gennett 5135.
1927: Les Backer “The Gennett Aristocrat” recorded “Sleep Baby Sleep” in Chicago. It appeared on Gennett 6317, Champion 15391 (~5,600 sold), and Silvertone 5165 and featured Backer (v) accompanied by Walter Anderson and his Golden Pheasant Hoodlums.
1927: The Harmony Four with Spencer Wilder recorded “You Can Hear Those Darkies Singing” in Birmingham. It appeared on Gennett 6285, Champion 15327 (2,933 copies sold), Supertone 9155, Challenge 348, 419, & 3036, Silvertone 5177 & 8257, and Angelus 3036 and featured Wilder (v).
1927: George H. Tremer recorded “Spirit of ’49 Rag” in Birmingham. It appeared on Gennett 6242, Champion 15436 (2,146 copies sold), and Decca 7137 and featured Tremer (pn).
1930: Gene Autry recorded “Hobo Bill’s Last Ride” in Richmond. It appeared on Gennett 7290, Champion 16073, Supertone 9702, and Superior 2769 and featured Autry’s singing and guitar-playing. The Champion issue sold over 7,000 copies between 1930 and 1932.
1936: The Sound Effects team recorded the sounds of Niagara Falls (American side) at both the base and the brink. It appeared on Gennett Sound Effects 1202. This is the A side from the base of the falls.
1927: Frankie ‘Half-Pint’ Jaxson recorded “Corrine” in Chicago. It appeared on Black Patti 8048 and featured Jaxson (v).
Sometime in August in Gennett History, 1931: The Dixie Serenaders recorded “Cho-King” in Los Angeles. It appeared on Champion 16365 & 40003, and Superior 2771. The ledger notes that Gennett purchased the Sonny Clay Orchestra track from Brunswick. The recording featured Doc Hart & James ‘King’ Porter (tpt), Leon White (tb), Sherman Williams & Leonard Davidson (as/cl), Carlton Wade (ts), Sonny Clay (pn), Bert Holliday (bs), Frank Watkins (bjo), and David Lewis (d).
1932: The Picaninny Jug Band recorded “You Got To Have That Thing” and “Bottle It Up and Go” in Richmond. The recordings appeared on Champion 16615 and Varsity 6025. A performers royalty accounting to J. L. Wooten, noted sales of 123 copies in 1933 and 1934. The recordings featured Charlie Burse (v & g), Vol Stevens (v & md.), Otto Gilmore (d), Will Shade (harmonica), and Jab Jones (jug).
Sometime in August in Gennett History, 1918: The Honey-Land Jazz Band recorded “Steve” in NYC. The recording appeared on Gennett 7645 and was eliminated from the catalog in 1919.
1927: Walter C. Peterson “The Kentucky Wonderbean” recorded “Pony Boy; Down in Jungle Town; The Old Gray Bonnet” in Chicago. It appeared on Gennett 6221, Champion 15357 (~1700 copies sold), Supertone 9199, and Silvertone 5124, 8207, & 25124 and featured Peterson (v, h, & g) who was a star of the WLS “National Barn Dance.”