[78-L] What is a Savannah Band?

Mark Bardenwerper citrogsa at charter.net.invalid
Wed Nov 29 19:56:35 PST 2017

On 11/29/2017 4:19 PM, Kristjan Saag wrote:
> On 2017-11-29 20:19, David Lennick wrote:
>> And what did Havana have to do with the Savoy Havana Band?
> Here's what (adding to John Wright's note):
> "In 1919, Bert Ralton an American Saxophonist, left Art Hickman's band
> in New York City, went to Havana, Cuba, and formed his own band. About
> 1920/1, he arrived in England, and, in March of 1922, his New York
> Havana Band played at London's Coliseum. A few months later they opened
> at the Savoy Hotel as the Savoy Havana Band. On April 23, 1922, they
> first broadcast from a BBC studio, and 5 months later became the first
> dance band to have regular, weekly broadcasts remoted from the Savoy Hotel"
> From:
> https://famoushotels.org/news/savoy-and-popular-music
> On the other hand: the Caribbean touch was very light in the Savoy
> Havana Band's repertoire. Andrew Homzy writes:
> "In their repertoire was both "Hard Hearted Havanna" and "Havana Nagila”
> Good joke. The first title was actually "Hard Hearted Hannah" and the
> second a tango called "Havana" by John Schonberger:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_wMTqVTn5A
> Definitely more Caribbean than "Hava Nagila". But that's about it: the
> rest of  Savoy Havana Band's repertoire was thing like "Don't Cry
> Swanee", "A Japanese Sunset" and "Farewell Blues".
> But the Caribbean/ Cuban craze hadn't really began. The habanera played
> a part in the development of jazz and popular music in the US in the
> early 1900's, but as a rhythm and a dance. Cuban music as such,
> introduced by Cuban musicians in the US, came about in the late 1920's.
> So even the The New York Havana Band seems to be more of an exotic name
> than referring to a musical trend or rumour.
> Still I'd like to know more about why Savannah was chosen as a symbol
> for "music from the south". New Orleans, yes, but Savannah? What
> happened in Savannah? Any Georgians around?
> Kristjan
So many bands included geographical connotation in their names purely to 
augment their reputations and to avoid contract conflicts. The Frisco 
Syncopaters come to mind.

Mark L. Bardenwerper, Sr.
Technology...responsibly, thoughtfully

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