September 18 in Gennett History…

1922: William B. Houchens recorded “Arkansas Traveller” and “Turkey in the Straw” in Richmond.  They appeared on Gennett 3262 & 4974, Champion 15084, Challenge 109, Starr-Gennett 9301, and several others.  Houchens is an interesting and under-appreciated  figure in the history of country music.  He recorded these traditional sides several months before the genre’s first commercial release by Fiddlin’ John Carson and the photo of him used in promotional materials made him look like he just descended from a mountain in Kentucky.  However, Houchens was a trained violinist who played with the Cincinnati Conservatory and had a violin school in Dayton.  His students recorded a personal record at Gennett a few years later.  There is also an interesting story about him being charged with kidnapping a young lady that lived with his family from a hospital. 

1924: The Wolverine Orchestra recorded “Lazy Daddy” in Richmond. The recording appeared on Gennett 5542, Claxtonola 40375, HRS 9, Poydras MJC-13, Tempo R-45, and Vinylite Jazz 8. It featured Bix Beiderbecke (c), George Brunies (tb), Jimmy Hartwell (cl), George Johnson (sax), Dick Voynow (p), Min Leibrook (bs), Bob Gillette (bjo), and Vic Moore (d). 

1924: Wilber Sweatman and his Acme Syncopators recorded “Battleship Kate” in NYC.  It appeared on Gennett 5584 and featured John Reeves (tb), Wilbur Sweatman (cl), Duke Ellington (pn), Mike Danzi (bjo), and Maceo White (d). Not a bad day in Gennett history as they recorded two titans of jazz Ellington and Beiderbecke!  

1925: The Original Indiana Five recorded “Siberia” in NYC.  It appeared on Gennett 3150 and Champion 15028 and featured James Christie (tpt), Charles Panelli (tb), Nick Vitalo (cl), Harry Ford (pn), Tony Colucci (bjo), and Tom Morton (d).  The Champion issue sold 487 copies in ’25 and ’26. 

1925: Red Sanders and his Orchestra recorded “What Could Be Sweeter Than You?” in NYC.  It appeared on Gennett 3147, Champion 15029, and Silvertone 3102 and featured James Teele (vox).

1930: Chick Bullock recorded “I Still Get a Thrill” in NYC.  It appeared on Gennett 7283, Champion 16089, Superior 2515, and Supertone 9760 and featured Bullock (vox). 

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