[78-L] What is a Savannah Band?

David Lennick dlennick at sympatico.ca.invalid
Wed Nov 29 20:05:35 PST 2017

Even "New Prince's Toronto Band" must have sounded somewhat exotic in England. 
They certainly wouldn't have in Toronto though...


On 11/29/2017 10:56 PM, Mark Bardenwerper wrote:
> 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
> Specht's?
> 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.

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