Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U. S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U. S. Decca labels was broken for several decades; the British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, France; the US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG. The name "Decca" was coined by Wilfred S. Samuel by merging the word "Mecca" with the initial D of their logo "Dulcet" or their trademark "Dulcephone". Samuel, a linguist, chose "Decca" as a brand name; the name dates back to a portable gramophone called the "Decca Dulcephone" patented in 1914 by musical instrument makers Barnett Samuel and Sons.
That company was renamed the Decca Gramophone Co. Ltd. and sold to former stockbroker Edward Lewis in 1929. Within years, Decca Records Ltd. was the second largest record label in the world, calling itself "The Supreme Record Company". Decca continued to run it under that name. In the 1950s the American Decca studios were located in the Pythian Temple in New York City. In classical music, Decca had a long way to go from its modest beginnings to catch up with the established HMV and Columbia labels; the pre-war classical repertoire on Decca was select. The 3-disc 1929 recording of Delius's Sea Drift, arising from the Delius Festival that year, suffered by being crammed onto six sides, being indifferently recorded and expensive. However, it won Decca the loyalty of the baritone Roy Henderson, who went on to record for them the first complete Dido and Aeneas of Purcell with Nancy Evans and the Boyd Neel ensemble. Heinrich Schlusnus made important pre-war lieder recordings for Decca. Decca's emergence as a major classical label may be attributed to three concurrent events: the emphasis on technical innovation, the introduction of the long-playing record, the recruitment of John Culshaw to Decca's London office.
Decca released the stereo recordings of Ernest Ansermet conducting L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, including, in 1959, the first stereo LP album of the complete Nutcracker, as well as Ansermet's only stereo version of Manuel de Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat, which the conductor had led at its first performance in 1919. John Culshaw, who joined Decca in 1946 in a junior post became a senior producer of classical recordings, he revolutionised recording -- in particular. Hitherto, the practice had been to put microphones in front of the performers and record what they performed. Culshaw was determined to make recordings that would be'a theatre of the mind', making the listener's experience at home not second best to being in the opera house, but a wholly different experience. To that end he got the singers to move about in the studio as they would onstage, used discreet sound effects and different acoustics, recorded in long continuous takes, his skill, coupled with Decca engineering, took Decca into the first flight of recording companies.
His pioneering recording of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Georg Solti was a huge artistic and commercial success. Solti recorded throughout his career for Decca, made more than 250 recordings, including 45 complete opera sets. Among the international honours given Solti for his recordings were 31 Grammy awards – more than any other recording artist, whether classical or popular. In the wake of Decca's lead, artists such as Herbert von Karajan, Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti were keen to join the company's roster. However, Culshaw was speaking, not the first to do this. In 1951, Columbia Records executive Goddard Lieberson partnered with Broadway conductor Lehman Engel to record a series of unrecorded Broadway musical scores for Columbia Masterworks, including what Engel, in his book The American Musical Theatre: A Consideration, termed "Broadway opera", in 1951, they released the most complete Porgy and Bess recorded up to that time. Far from being a mere rendering of the score, the 3-LP album set used sound effects to realistically recreate the production as if the listener were watching a stage performance of the work.
Until 1947, American Decca issued British Decca classical music recordings. Afterwards, British Decca took over distribution through its new American subsidiary London Records. American Decca re-entered the classical music field in 1950 with distribution deals from Deutsche Grammophon and Parlophone. American Decca began issuing its own classical music recordings in 1956 when Israel Horowitz joined Decca to head its classical music operations. To further American Decca's dedication to serious music, in August of 1950, Rackmill announced the release of a new series of disks to be known as the "Decca Gold Label Series", to be devoted to "symphonies, chamber music, opera and choral music." American and European arti
For Decca's Vocalion label, see Disques Vogue Vocalion Records is an American record company and label active for many years in the U. S. and the U. K. Vocalion was founded in 1916 by the Aeolian Piano Company of New York City, which introduced a retail line of phonographs at the same time; the name was derived from one of the Vocalion Organ Company. The label switched to double-sided. In 1920 it switched to the more common lateral-cut system. In 1925 the label was acquired by Brunswick Records. During the 1920s Vocalion began the 1000 race series, records recorded by and marketed to African Americans. In April 1930, Warner Bros. bought Brunswick Records and. In December 1931 Warner Bros. licensed the entire Brunswick and Vocalion operation to the American Record Corporation. ARC used Brunswick as Vocalion as one of their 35-cent labels. New signings contributed to the growing popularity of the label. Starting in about 1935, Vocalion became more popular with the signing of Billie Holiday, Mildred Bailey, Stuff Smith, Putney Dandridge, Red Allen.
Coupled with other short-term signings, including Fletcher Henderson, Phil Harris, Earl Hines, Isham Jones, their healthy Race and Country releases made Vocalion a powerhouse presence. In 1935, Vocalion started reissuing titles that were still selling from the discontinued OKeh label. In 1936 and 1937 Vocalion produced the only recordings by blues guitarist Robert Johnson. From 1935 through 1940, Vocalion was one of the most popular labels for small-group swing and country. After the short-lived Variety label was discontinued, many titles were reissued on Vocalion, the label continued to release new recordings made by Master/Variety artists through 1940; this added the Duke Ellington small groups-within-his-band to the label. ARC was purchased by CBS and Vocalion became a subsidiary of Columbia Records in 1938; the popular Vocalion label was discontinued in 1940. The discontinuance of Vocalion voided the lease arrangement Warner Bros. had made with ARC in late 1931. In a complicated move, Warner Bros. got the two labels back and promptly sold them to Decca, but CBS retained control of the post-1931 Brunswick and Vocalion masters.
The name Vocalion was resurrected in the late 1950s by Decca as a budget label for back-catalog reissues. This incarnation of Vocalion ceased operations in 1973. In 1975, MCA reissued five albums on the Vocalion label. In the UK, Decca used the Vocalion label to issue US artists, replacing its Vogue label, the rights to whose name had reverted to the French Disques Vogue. In 1997 the Vocalion brand was brought back for a new series of compact discs produced by Michael Dutton, of Dutton Laboratories, in Watford, England; this label specializes in sonic refurbishments of recordings made between the 1920s and the 1970s leasing master recordings made by Decca and EMI. "Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues" by Jim Jackson, Vocalion 1144 "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" by Pinetop Smith, Vocalion 1245 "How Long, How Long Blues" by Leroy Carr, Vocalion 1191 "Sensational Mood" by Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders with Victoria Spivey, Vocalion 1621 "Rising Sun Blues" by Clarence Ashley and Gwen Foster, Vocalion 2576 "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" by Patsy Montana, Vocalion 3010 "Let Yourself Go" by Bunny Berigan and His Boys, Vocalion 3178, recorded on February 24, 1936 "I Can't Get Started" by Bunny Berigan and His Boys, Vocalion 3225, recorded on April 13, 1936 "Did I Remember?" b/w "No Regrets" by Billie Holiday, Vocalion 3276, recorded on July 10, 1936 "Summertime" b/w "Billie's Blues" by Billie Holiday, Vocalion 3288, recorded on July 10, 1936 "A Fine Romance" by Billie Holiday, Vocalion 3333, recorded on September 29, 1936 "Cross Road Blues" by Robert Johnson, Vocalion 3519 "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" by Billie Holiday, Vocalion 3440, recorded on January 12, 1937 "Trust in Me" b/w "My Last Affair" by Mildred Bailey, Vocalion 3449 "Where Are You?" by Mildred Bailey, Vocalion 3456 "Doin' the Jive" b/w "Dipper Mouth Blues" by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, Vocalion 5131 "You Go To My Head" by Billie Holiday, Vocalion 4126, recorded on May 11, 1938 "So Help Me" by Mildred Bailey, Vocalion 4253 "The Very Thought of You" by Billie Holiday, Vocalion 4457, recorded on September 15, 1938 List of record labels History of Brunswick and Vocalion Vocalion album discography from BSN Pubs "Maybe it's obscure, but if it's good, we'll issue it."
Vocalion Records on the Internet Archive's Great 78 Project
George Robert Crosby was an American jazz singer and bandleader, best known for his group the Bob-Cats, which formed around 1935. The Bob-Cats was a New Orleans Dixieland-style jazz octet, he was the younger brother of actor Bing Crosby. Bob Crosby was a regular on The Jack Benny Program, he hosted his own afternoon variety show, The Bob Crosby Show, which aired from 1953 to 1957. Crosby received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960, for television and radio. Crosby was born in Spokane, Washington, to English-American bookkeeper Harry Lowe Crosby and Irish-American Catherine Harrigan, the daughter of a builder from County Mayo in Ireland; the couple had seven children: Larry, Ted, Catherine, Mary Rose, George Robert, popularly known as Bob. Crosby attended Gonzaga College. During World War II, he served in the U. S. Marines, leading a band for much of his time in service. Crosby began singing in the early 1930s with the Rhythm Boys, which included vocalist Ray Hendricks and guitarist Bill Pollard, with Anson Weeks and the Dorsey Brothers.
He led his first band in 1935 when the former members of Ben Pollack's band elected him their titular leader. In 1935 he recorded with the Clark Randall Orchestra led by Gil Rodin and featuring singer Frank Tennille, father of Toni of Captain and Tennille. Glenn Miller was a member of that orchestra, which recorded the Glenn Miller novelty composition "When Icky Morgan Plays the Organ" in 1935. Crosby's "band-within-the-band," the Bob-Cats, was a dixieland octet with soloists from the larger orchestra, many from New Orleans; the band included at various times Ray Bauduc, Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield, Charlie Spivak, Muggsy Spanier, Irving Fazola, Nappy Lamare, Jack Sperling, Joe Sullivan,Jess Stacy, Bob Haggart, Walt Yoder, Bob Zurke. In the spring of 1940, during a performance in Chicago, teenager Doris Day was hired as the band's vocalist. For its theme song the band chose George Gershwin's song "Summertime"; the band's hits included "South Rampart Street Parade", "March of the Bob Cats", "In a Little Gypsy Tea Room", "Whispers in the Dark", "Day In, Day Out", "Down Argentine Way", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "Dolores", "New San Antonio Rose".
A bass-and-drums duet between Haggart and Bauduc, "Big Noise from Winnetka", became a hit in 1938–39. There were reunions in the 1960s. Bob Haggart and Yank Lawson organized a band that combined dixieland and swing to try to carry on the legacy of Bob Crosby. From the late 1960s until the mid 1970s, the band was known as the World's Greatest Jazz Band, but when both became dissatisfied with the name they changed it to the Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band. During World War II, Bob Crosby spent 18 months in the Marines touring with bands in the Pacific, his radio variety series, The Bob Crosby Show, aired on NBC and CBS in different runs from July 18, 1943, to July 16, 1950. This was followed by Club Fifteen on CBS from 1947 through 1953 minus a brief interlude when he was replaced as host by singer Dick Haymes during parts of 1949 and 1950. During his stint on Club Fifteen, he was teamed with the ever-popular Andrews Sisters three nights per week, singing with them and engaging in comedy skits, he first met the trio in 1938 when his orchestra backed their Decca recording of "Begin the Beguine", their popular vocalization of Artie Shaw's big band hit.
One can't help when hearing these old Club Fifteen broadcasts how eerily similar Bob and the Andrews Sisters sound to the trio's frequent and hugely successful pairings with brother Bing Crosby on the Decca label. Bob and Patty scored a hit duet on Decca Records with their duet recording of the novelty "The Pussy Cat Song", which peaked at No. 12 on Billboard. A half-hour CBS daytime series, The Bob Crosby Show, followed from 1953 to 1957. Bob introduced the Canadian singer Gisele MacKenzie to American audiences and subsequently guest-starred in 1957 on her NBC television series, The Gisele MacKenzie Show. On September 14, 1952, Bob replaced Phil Harris as the bandleader on The Jack Benny Program, remaining until Benny retired the radio show in 1955 after 23 years. In joining the show, he became the leader of the same group of musicians who had played under Harris. According to Benny writer Milt Josefsberg, the issue was budget; because radio had strong competition from TV, the program budget had to be reduced, so Bob replaced Phil.
Prior to joining Benny on the radio, based on the east coast, would play with Benny during Benny's live New York appearances, he was seen throughout the 1950s on Benny's television series. As a performer, Crosby had tremendous wit combined with a laid-back persona, he was able to swap jokes competently with Benny, including humorous references to his brother Bing's wealth and his string of losing racehorses. An exchange during one of the popular Christmas programs ran thus: Crosby muses to Jack that he's bought gifts for everyone but band member Frank Remley; when Jack suggests "a cordial, like a bottle of Drambuie", Crosby counters that Drambuie is an after-dinner drink and adds, alluding to Remley's penchant for alcohol, that "Remley never quite makes it to after dinner". Bob Crosby guest-starred in the television series The Gisele MacKenzie Show, he starred in his own afternoon variety show, The Bob Crosby show, that aired from 1953 to 1957. He fronted a TV prog
Edward Ray Cochran was an American musician. Cochran's rockabilly songs, such as "Twenty Flight Rock", "Summertime Blues", "C'mon Everybody" and "Somethin' Else", captured teenage frustration and desire in the mid-1950s and early 1960s, he experimented with multitrack recording, distortion techniques, overdubbing on his earliest singles. He played the guitar, piano and drums, his image as a dressed and good-looking young man with a rebellious attitude epitomized the stance of the 1950s rocker, in death he achieved an iconic status. Cochran was involved with music from an early age, playing in the school band and teaching himself to play blues guitar. In 1954, he formed a duet with the guitarist Hank Cochran, when they split the following year, Eddie began a songwriting career with Jerry Capehart, his first success came when he performed the song "Twenty Flight Rock" in the film The Girl Can't Help It, starring Jayne Mansfield. Soon afterwards, he signed a recording contract with Liberty Records.
Cochran died at age 21 after a road accident, while travelling in a taxi in Chippenham, during his British tour in April 1960, having just performed at Bristol's Hippodrome theatre. Though his best-known songs were released during his lifetime, more of his songs were released posthumously. In 1987, Cochran was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his songs have been recorded by a wide variety of recording artists. Cochran was born October 3, 1938, in Albert Lea, Minnesota, to Alice and Frank R. Cochran, his parents were from Oklahoma, he always said in interviews that his parents had some roots in Oklahoma. He took music lessons in school but quit the band to play drums. Rather than taking piano lessons, he began learning guitar, playing country and other music he heard on the radio. Cochran's family moved to Bell Gardens, California, in 1952; as his guitar playing improved, he formed a band with two friends from his junior high school. He dropped out of Bell Gardens High School in his first year to become a professional musician.
During a show featuring many performers at an American Legion hall, he met Hank Cochran, a songwriter. Although they were not related, they recorded as the Cochran Brothers and began performing together, they recorded a few singles for Ekko Records that were successful and helped to establish them as a performing act. Eddie Cochran worked as a session musician and began writing songs, making a demo with Jerry Capehart, his future manager. In July 1956, Eddie Cochran's first "solo artist" single was released by Crest Records, it featured "Skinny Jim", now regarded as a rock-and-roll and rockabilly classic. In the spring of 1956, Boris Petroff asked Cochran if he would appear in the musical comedy film The Girl Can't Help It. Cochran agreed and performed the song "Twenty Flight Rock" in the movie. In 1957 Cochran starred in his second film, Untamed Youth, he had yet another hit, "Sittin' in the Balcony", one of the few songs he recorded, written by other songwriters. "Twenty Flight Rock" was written by AMI staff writer Ned Fairchild.
Fairchild, not a rock and roll performer provided the initial form of the song. In the Summer of 1957 Liberty Records issued Cochran's only studio album released during his lifetime, Singin' to My Baby; the album included "Sittin' in the Balcony". There were only a few rockers on this album, Liberty seemed to want to move Cochran away from Rock and Roll. In 1958, Cochran seemed to find his stride in the famous teenage anthem "Summertime Blues". With this song, Cochran was established as one of the most important influences on rock and roll in the 1950s, both lyrically and musically; the song, released by Liberty recording no. 55144, charted at number 8 in 1957. Cochran's brief career included a few more hits, such as "C'mon, Everybody", "Somethin' Else", "Teenage Heaven", his posthumous UK number one hit "Three Steps to Heaven", he remained popular in the US and UK through the late 1950s and early 1960s, more of his records were posthumous hits, such as "My Way", "Weekend", "Nervous Breakdown".
Another aspect of Cochran's short but brilliant career is his work as backup musician and producer. In 1959 he played lead for Skeets McDonald at Columbia's studios for "You Oughta See Grandma Rock" and "Heart Breaking Mama". In a session for Gene Vincent in March 1958 he contributed his trademark bass voice, as heard on "Summertime Blues"; the recordings were issued on the album A Gene Vincent Record Date. In early 1959, two of Cochran's friends, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, along with the Big Bopper, were killed in a plane crash while on tour. Cochran's friends and family said that he was badly shaken by their deaths, he developed a morbid premonition that he would die young, it was shortly after their deaths that he recorded a song in tribute to them, "Three Stars". He was anxious to give up life on the road and spend his time in the studio making music, thereby reducing the chance of suffering a similar fatal accident while touring. Financial responsibilities, required that he continue to perform live, that led to his acceptance of an offer to tour the United Kingdom in 1960.
On Saturday, April 16, 1960, at about 11.50 p.m. while on tour in the United Kingdom, 21-year-old Cochran was involved in a traffic accident in a taxi travelling through Chippenham, Wiltshire, on the A4. The speeding taxi blew a tire, the driver lost control, the vehicle crashed into a lamppost on Rowden Hill, where a plaque now marks the
Eric Hilliard Nelson was an American rock and roll star and singer-songwriter. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1957 he began a long and successful career as a popular recording artist; as one of the top "teen idols" of the 1950s his fame led to a motion picture role co-starring alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin in Howard Hawks's western feature film Rio Bravo. He placed 53 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, its predecessors, between 1957 and 1973, including "Poor Little Fool" in 1958, the first #1 song on Billboard magazine's then-newly created Hot 100 chart, he recorded 19 additional Top 10 hits and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 21, 1987. In 1996 Nelson was ranked #49 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Nelson began his entertainment career in 1949 playing himself in the radio sitcom series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1952, he appeared in his first feature film, Here Come the Nelsons.
In 1957, he recorded his first single, debuted as a singer on the television version of the sitcom, released the #1 album titled Ricky. In 1958, Nelson released his first #1 single, "Poor Little Fool", in 1959 received a Golden Globe nomination for "Most Promising Male Newcomer" after starring in Rio Bravo. A few films followed, when the television series was cancelled in 1966, Nelson made occasional appearances as a guest star on various television programs. Nelson and Sharon Kristin Harmon were married on April 20, 1963, divorced in December 1982, they had four children: Tracy Kristine, twin sons Gunnar Eric and Matthew Gray, Sam Hilliard. Nelson was born on May 8, 1940, in Teaneck, New Jersey, he was the second son of entertainment couple Harriet Hilliard Nelson and Ozzie Nelson. His father Ozzie was of half Swedish descent; the Nelsons' older son was actor David Nelson. Harriet the vocalist for Ozzie's band, remained in Englewood, New Jersey, with her newborn and toddler. Meanwhile, bandleader Ozzie toured with the Nelson orchestra.
The Nelsons bought a two-story colonial house in Tenafly, New Jersey, six months after the purchase, moved with son David to Hollywood, where Ozzie and Harriet were slated to appear in the 1941–42 season of Red Skelton's The Raleigh Cigarette Hour. In November 1941, the Nelsons bought what would become their permanent home: a green and white, two-story, Cape Cod colonial home at 1822 Camino Palmero in Los Angeles. Ricky joined his parents and brother in Los Angeles in 1942. Ricky was a small and insecure child who suffered from severe asthma. At night, his sleep was eased with a vaporizer emitting tincture of evergreen, he was described by Red Skelton's producer John Guedel as "an odd little kid," likable, introspective and inscrutable. When Skelton was drafted in 1944, Guedel crafted the radio sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet for Ricky's parents; the show debuted on Sunday, October 8, 1944, to favorable reviews. Ozzie became head writer for the show and based episodes on the fraternal exploits and enmity of his sons.
The Nelson boys were first played in the radio series by professional child actors until twelve-year-old Dave and eight-year-old Ricky joined the show on February 20, 1949, in the episode "Invitation to Dinner." In 1952, the Nelsons tested the waters for a television series with the theatrically released film Here Come the Nelsons. The film was a hit, Ozzie was convinced the family could make the transition from radio's airwaves to television's small screen. On October 3, 1952, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet made its television debut and was broadcast in first run until September 3, 1966, to become one of the longest-running sitcoms in television history. Nelson attended Gardner Street Public School, Bancroft Junior High, between 1954 and 1958, Hollywood High School, from which he graduated with a B average, he played football at Hollywood High and represented the school in interscholastic tennis matches. Twenty-five years Nelson told the Los Angeles Weekly he hated school because it "smelled of pencils" and he was forced to rise early in the morning to attend.
Ozzie Nelson was a Rutgers alumnus and keen on college education, but eighteen-year-old Ricky was in the 93 percent income-tax bracket and saw no reason to attend. At age thirteen, Ricky was making over $100,000 per annum, at sixteen he had a personal fortune of $500,000. Nelson's wealth was astutely managed by his parents, who channeled his earnings into trust funds. Although his parents permitted him a $50 allowance at the age of eighteen, Rick was strapped for cash and one evening collected and redeemed empty pop bottles to gain entrance to a movie theater for himself and a date. Nelson played clarinet and drums in his tweens and early teens, learned the rudimentary guitar chords, vocally imitated his favorite Sun Records rockabilly artists in the bathroom at home or in the showers at the Los Angeles Tennis Club, he was influenced by the music of Carl Perkins and once said he tried to emulate the sound and the tone of the guitar break in Perkins's March 1956 Top Ten hit "Blue Suede Shoes."At age sixteen, he wanted to impress his girlfriend of two years, Diana Osborn, an Elvis Presley fan and, although he had no record contract at the time, told her that he, was going to make a record.
With his father's help, he secured a one-record deal with Verve Records, an important jazz label looking for a young and popular personality who could sing or be taught to sing. On M
The Chocolate Watchband
The Chocolate Watchband is an American garage rock band that formed in 1965 in Los Altos, California. The band went through several lineup changes during its existence. Combining psychedelic and garage rock components, their sound was marked by David Aguilar's lead vocals, as well as proto-punk musical arrangements; the band's rebellious musical posture made them one of the harder-edged groups of the period. The Chocolate Watchband was signed to Tower Records in 1966 and released their first single, "Sweet Young Thing", in 1967. In the year, the band released their debut album, No Way Out. Though the album was nationally unsuccessful, the band became a frequent attraction in San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1968, their second album, The Inner Mystique, was released and included the band's most popular song, a cover version of "I'm Not Like Everybody Else". By 1969, the band released their final album, One Step Beyond, however it was not as regarded as their past work, the band broke up in 1970.
This band should not be confused with The Chocolate Watch Band, a London-based UK group that issued two singles on Decca Records in 1967. The Chocolate Watchband was formed in the summer of 1965 in Los Altos, California by Ned Torney and Mark Loomis, who had played guitar together in a local band known as The Chaparrals in the previous year; the two were joined by other local collegies Rick Young, Pete Curry, Jo Kemling, Danny Phay to form the first version of the Chocolate Watchband, a name, meant to be taken as a joke. All five musicians had a background rooted in rock and roll and blues, with each one having spent time on the local club circuit; the band garnered a local following, integrating cover versions of British Invasion groups The Who, into their live repertoire. Curry was soon replaced by a jazz drummer from Cupertino High School, they never recorded any commercial releases. The band was gaining popularity until Torney and Phay accepted an offer from a rival band, The Otherside, to join their group.
Kemling followed soon after dismantling the first incarnation of the band. With the first version of the Chocolate Watchband disbanded, Mark Loomis moved on to join The Shandels. Becoming disillusioned, he took the discarded name "Chocolate Watchband" and recruited The Shandels' bass player Bill'Flo' Flores and former Watchband drummer, Gary Andrijasevich. Next he convinced former Topsiders guitarist Dave "Sean" Tolby to enlist; the group recruited David Aguilar as the lead singer. Loomis asserted the role of leader during this initial time period, although the band never acknowledged it had a designated leader. Songs to cover were presented, shows were talked about, the band voted together on all decisions. Sean Tolby obtained the latest in Vox equipment while Loomis provided the space for nightly rehearsals. Within a week, the band began performing at local clubs in San Francisco's South Bay, playing a range of songs that included obscure British import tunes never released before in the States.
Unlike other local bands who were covering the latest hits from the top 10 on radio, the Chocolate Watchband played songs few people had heard before. Thus, in many instances, these songs became associated with the Chocolate Watchband and not the original artists. Six months after opening for the Mothers of Invention at the Fillmore Auditorium, Hollywood music producer Bill Graham urged the Chocolate Watchband to sign a management contract with him, he was opening up a new Fillmore East in New York City and wanted to shuttle the Chocolate Watchband, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane back and forth from coast to coast as his personal house bands. However, having signed a management contract with local promoter Ron Roupe a week earlier, their future followed a different path. Roupe, having secured a recording deal with Green Grass Productions in Los Angeles, introduced the band to producers Ed Cobb and Ray Harris; the band flew to Los Angeles and entered the recording studio. Cobb introduced the band to a song he had written a week earlier named "Sweet Young Thing".
Released in December 1966 by Tower Records, the B-side featured the group's cover of Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", another stage song the band played. However, unknown to the Watchband, Tower Records farmed the distribution of their recordings out to Uptown Records, a rhythm and blues label with predominantly black artists. Frontman Aguilar began writing material for the band, including originals like "Right By My Side", "Gone & Passes By", "Don't Need Your Lovin' Anymore", "No Way Out" and "Sitting There Standing." The band's second single was the more restrained track "Misty Lane", released with a sweet orchestrated ballad, "She Weaves a Tender Trap", as its B-side. During this period the band were featured in two Sam Katzman films: Riot on Sunset Strip and The Love-Ins; the latter film inspired the group's next single. The single was released with the B-side "No Way Out", an instrumental spawned from a studio warm-up with spontaneous Aguilar vocals that Cobb took credit for.
With Loomis gone, the band drifted apart in late 1967, shortly after the release of their first album, No Way Out. The band would reform with Sean Tolby, Billy Flores, Gary
Big Bill Broonzy
Big Bill Broonzy was an American blues singer and guitarist. His career began in the 1920s, when he played country blues to African-American audiences. Through the 1930s and 1940s he navigated a transition in style to a more urban blues sound popular with working-class African-American audiences. In the 1950s a return to his traditional folk-blues roots made him one of the leading figures of the emerging American folk music revival and an international star, his long and varied career marks him as one of the key figures in the development of blues music in the 20th century. Broonzy copyrighted more than 300 songs during his lifetime, including both adaptations of traditional folk songs and original blues songs; as a blues composer, he was unique in writing songs. Born Lee Conley Bradley, he was one of the seventeen children of Mittie Belcher; the date and place of his birth are disputed. Broonzy claimed to have been born in Scott, but a body of emerging research compiled by the blues historian Robert Reisman suggests that he was born in Jefferson County, Arkansas.
Broonzy claimed he was born in 1893, many sources report that year, but family records discovered after his death suggested that the year was 1903. Soon after his birth the family moved to an area near Pine Bluff, where Bill spent his youth, he began playing music at an early age. At the age of 10 he made himself a fiddle from a cigar box and learned how to play spirituals and folk songs from his uncle, Jerry Belcher, he and a friend, Louis Carter, who played a homemade guitar, began performing at social and church functions. These early performances included playing at "two-stages": picnics where whites and blacks danced at the same event, but with different stages for blacks and whites. On the understanding that he was born in 1898 rather than earlier or sources suggest that in 1915, 17-year-old Broonzy was married and working as a sharecropper, he had become a preacher. There is a story that he was offered $50 and a new violin if he would play for four days at a local venue. Before he could respond to the offer, his wife took the money and spent it, so he had to play.
In 1916 his crop and stock were wiped out by drought. Broonzy went to work locally until he was drafted into the Army in 1917, he served for two years in Europe during the First World War. After his discharge from the Army in 1919, he returned to the Pine Bluff area, where he is reported to have been called a racial epithet and told by a white man he knew before the war that he needed to "hurry up and get his soldier uniform off and put on some overalls." He left Pine Bluff and moved to the Little Rock area. A year in 1920, he moved north to Chicago in search of opportunity. After arriving in Chicago, Broonzy switched from fiddle to guitar, he learned to play the guitar from the veteran minstrel and medicine show performer Papa Charlie Jackson, who began recording for Paramount Records in 1924. Through the 1920s Broonzy worked at a string of odd jobs, including Pullman porter, foundry worker and custodian, to supplement his income, but his main interest was music, he played at rent parties and social gatherings improving his guitar playing.
During this time he wrote one of his signature tunes, a solo guitar piece called "Saturday Night Rub". Thanks to his association with Jackson, Broonzy was able to get an audition with Paramount executive J. Mayo Williams, his initial test recordings, made with his friend John Thomas on vocals, were rejected, but Broonzy persisted, his second try, a few months was more successful. His first record, "Big Bill's Blues", backed with "House Rent Stomp", credited to Big Bill and Thomps, was released in 1927. Although the recording was not well received, Paramount retained its new talent and in the next few years released more records by Big Bill and Thomps; the records sold poorly. Reviewers considered derivative. In 1930, Paramount for the first time used Broonzy's full name on a recording, "Station Blues" – albeit misspelled as "Big Bill Broomsley". Record sales continued to be poor, Broonzy was working at a grocery store, he was picked up by Lester Melrose, who produced musical acts for various labels, including Champion Records and Gennett Records.
Harum Scarums, a trio comprising Broonzy, Georgia Tom and Mozelle Alderson, recorded the two-part "Alabama Scratch" in Grafton, for Paramount Records in January 1931, it was reported that it sounded "as if it was a real party." Broonzy recorded several sides released in the spring of 1931 under the name Big Bill Johnson. In March 1932 he traveled to New York City and began recording for the American Record Corporation on their line of less expensive labels; these recordings sold better, Broonzy was becoming better known. Back in Chicago he was working in South Side clubs, he toured with Memphis Minnie. In 1934 Broonzy moved to RCA Victor's subsidiary Bluebird Records and began recording with the pianist Bob "Black Bob" Call, his fortunes soon improved. With Call his music was evolving to a stronger R&B sound, his singing sounded more assured and personal. In 1937, he began playing with the pianist Joshua Altheimer and performing with a small instrumental group, including "traps", double bass and one or more melody instruments.
In March 1938 he began recording for Vocalion Records. Broonzy's reputation grew. In 1938 he was asked to fill in for the deceased Robert Johnson at the "From Spirituals to Sw