Monday, May 11, 2015

Okeh Catalog Supplement, January, 1925

It's been a while since my last post. But, inspired by a new turntable, I've been madly spinning 78s, and have some new transfers to post soon. In the meantime, here is a complete scan of the Okeh records monthly catalog supplement from January, 1925. Plenty of forgettable stuff is listed, of course, but several of these new releases are of interest to record collectors. There are country discs by Fiddlin' John Carson and Henry Whitter, and hot jazz/dance sides by The Goofus Five (a California Ramblers sub-group), Red Nichols' Arkansaw Travelers, and the Arcadia Peacock Orchestra of St. Louis. But the winner in Okeh's releases for the month has to be "I'm a Little Blackbird"/"Mandy, Make Up Your Mind" by Clarence Williams' Blue Five. Any jazz collector would love to have an original copy of this record, which features the first two great soloists in jazz (excepting pianists), Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. "Mandy" even features a solo by Bechet played on the contrabass sarrusophone, rather than on his customary soprano saxophone. Most of these records were recorded in November and December, 1924, which tells you how quickly record companies got their products on the shelves in those days.

Although I love browsing through the various record labels' big annual catalogs, with their comprehensive listings, these monthly supplements have their pleasures. There are often short biographies of performers, or, as here, descriptions of the recordings. But the fact that they often have artist pictures not found in the annual catalogs is one of the most valuable aspects of these monthly supplements. I particularly like the washed-out photo of a dour-looking John Carson here.

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