[78-L] Discographical Follies

David Lewis uncledavelewis at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 15 09:10:01 PDT 2012

personnel as listed on a certain CD reissue of Mamie Smith, not the Columbia one:
1. That Thing Called Love 7275-E OK 4113 (A)
2. You Can't Keep a Good Man Down 7276-D-OK 4113 (A)
3. Crazy Blues 7529-C-OK 4169 (B)
4. It's Right There For You 7539-B-OK 4169 (B)
A: Mamie Smith, vcl; Rega Orchestra: Ed Cox, cnt; Dope Andrews, tb; Ernest Elliott, cl;
Leroy Parker, vln; Willie "The Lion" Smith, pno; unknown, bsx.
B: Mamie Smith, vcl; acc. Her Jazz Hounds: Aldington Major or Johnny Dunn, cnt; 
Dope Andrews, tb; Ernest Elliott, cl; Leroy Parker, vln; Willie "The Lion" Smith, pno.  Note "A" is listed as by the Rega Orchestra, yet the personnel listed is very close to thatof the Jazz Hounds under "B." The Rega Orchestra was the name of the house band ofOkeh, led by Fred Hager aka "Milo Rega." These musicians were certainly NOT membersof the Rega Orchestra, which was a straight record company band, though somewhat better than average around 1920. And the audio bears this out; Harry Raderman, not Dope Andrews, is the unmistakabletrombone of "You Can't Keep a Good Man Down." The accompaniment of "Crazy Blues,"in my opinion, is chaotic, made by a band that is not very experienced in making records,whereas the Rega accompaniment is everything it ought to be. And there shouldn't beany question as to whether Johnny Dunn is the trumpet on the "B" session, as on "It'sRight There For You" it's unquestionably Dunn, placed too close to the horn and blastingeverybody else out. There is not one fiddle on "Crazy Blues" but at least two and maybethree, and their ensemble dynamic is frankly a hot mess. The reason this offends me so is that the discographical listing ignores the obvious in order to draw up a hotter option for session A than existed in the real world. It's a credit to the Rega that they could deliver a credible backing for Mamie Smith, whereasby comparison the other accompaniments are inept. They would get better; and it isvaluable to know that the quality of the Jazz Hounds' accompaniments were to somedegree evolutionary, a point totally missed by this errant discographical entry.  
Here are links to tracks 2-4. I have declicked and repitched "You Can't Keep a Good Man Down," but not the others. You Can't Keep a Good Man Downhttps://www.box.com/s/b9d99c5e2e74e3adb492 Crazy Blueshttps://www.box.com/s/84bde2f5c9556dcf0b7f It's Right Here for Youhttps://www.box.com/s/30ec50a1acd1a16e41e4 
Uncle Dave Lewis
uncledavelewis at hotmail.com


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