[78-L] What is a Savannah Band?

Kristjan Saag saag at telia.com.invalid
Fri Dec 1 16:36:51 PST 2017

Thanks, David, Darrell, Andrew, John, Mark & Rodger for your help!
The last two posts, especially, managed to explain, in detail, what this 
southern craze was about and Savannah's part in it.

On 2017-12-01 18:32, Rodger Holtin wrote:
> -----Original Message----- From: 78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com 
> [mailto:78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com] On Behalf Of Kristjan 
> Saag Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:19 PM To: 78-L Mail List 
> Subject: Re: [78-L] What is a Savannah Band? ... 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 
> ===================================================================== 
> I avoid Georgia whenever possible, but allow a Tennessean to weigh in 
> here. Savannah is also a town in Tennessee, not far from me, on the 
> banks of the Tennessee River. More generically, a savanna(h) is a 
> grassy plain scattered with trees (eastern Africa sometimes cited), 
> and a not-uncommon girl's name, (used more lately, by my perception of 
> my surroundings.) The point goes to Dr. Lennick. Savannah as used in 
> the 78rpm dance band/retro band context is yet another simple 
> reference to the American South. In the early 20th Century such 
> references were legion, starting in the antebellum years with Stephen 
> Foster songs or thereabouts, the old South was seen as an idyllic 
> place and sung about in the most endearing terms. This even rebounded 
> after the Civil War and got a real shot in the arm about the time of 
> WWI [I credit the Original DIXIELAND Jass Band as the re-igniter, or 
> gasoline on the glowing ember, anyway] and was epidemic in the Roaring 
> Twenties. I have a list compiled from the Library of Congress 78rpm 
> records alone showing some 300 songs using southern state names. Dick 
> Sudhalter covers this phenomenon in his book Lost Chords, pp 274-276. 
> I used it as a basis for one of my radio programs a decade ago and 
> played all kinds of records that supported the theme. Looking at it 
> again last night, parts of the narrative read like an unpublished 
> thesis paper, but it came off OK. As usual, as soon as something "goes 
> to press," you always find things you missed, Savannah bands being one 
> of them for me. New Orleans was but just one town/area of the American 
> South to lend its name to jazz/pop music performers. It went on into 
> the Depression and eventually died there. [Had Elvis Presley been a 
> bandleader (Elvis and His Memphis Mob or something), it would have 
> fired up again in the Fifties, I am sure.] Here's an informal list: 
> Ace Brigode and his 14 Virginians Bennie's Louisville Rhythm Kings Bix 
> and His New Orleans Lucky Seven Cotton Pickers [OM5] Dave Macon, The 
> Dixie Dew Drop Dixie Jazz Band Dixie Marimba Players Dixie Rhythm 
> Kings Eddie South and His Alabamians Florida Four Gene Austin (The 
> Voice of the Southland) Henry Barth's Mississippians Jack Wynn's 
> Dallas Dandies Jazz Bo's Carolina Serenaders Joe Condulo's Everglades 
> Orch King Oliver's Dixie Syncopators Louisiana Rhythm Kings Lovin' Sam 
> (The Sheik of Alabam') Mason-Dixon Orchestra New Orleans Rhythm Kings 
> Original Dixieland Jazz Band Original Memphis Five Rube Bloom & His 
> Bayou Boys Singin' Sam from Alabam Kate Smith, the Song Bird of the 
> South and her Swanee Music Southern Serenaders Tennessee Happy Boys 
> The Tennessee Tooters Virginians Billy Cotton and his London Savannah 
> Band Hope this helps, Rodger Holtin Henderson, TN For best results use 
> Victor Needles _______________________________________________ 78-L 
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