My Find, Your Jukebox: Rare Midwestern Hot Dance Bands On Arcadia

Charlie SleepersI rarely upload entire albums but given the rarity of this music, its energy as well as its originality and the likelihood that the label is no longer in business (and that most if not all of the musicians are past collecting royalties), sharing this LP shouldn’t hurt anyone.

In fact this music can’t help but raise the room temperature even as it introduces some mysteries: who were these red hot, all White, syncopated dance bands of the Midwest, taking jazz from Chicago, New Orleans and New York and making it completely their own? Musical breeds from the big three cities are there but these bands’ beat as well as their balance between improvised and arranged material is its own animal.

priceA few highlights include the slashing, Red Nichols-inspired trumpeter on “Hot Lips,” the clarinet lead throughout “Hot Licks,” the dueling brass and clarinet trios on “Igloo Stomp” and the warm, date night atmosphere of “Leven-thirty Saturday Night.” Play that last one alongside Fess Williams’s recording of the same tune for an illustration of why music can be completely individual even without improvisation.

Please enjoy! Thanks to Electric Buddhas of Portland, ME for keeping this one in its bins. If you are having trouble listening to the above clips, just click on each title below.

1. “Hot Lips” — HENRY LANGE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
2. “Nobody’s Sweetheart” — CLARIE HULL AND HIS BOYS
3. “Hot Licks (aka That’s A Plenty)” — ORIGINAL ATLANTA FOOTWARMERS
4. “There Ain’t No Sweet Man” — HAL FRAZER AND HIS GEORGIANS
5. “Hot Coffee” — RUBY GREEN AND HIS MANHATTAN MADCAPS
6. “Louisiana Bo Bo” — LEW WEINER’S GOLD AND BLACK ACES
7. “The Merry Widow’s Got A Sweetie Now” — LEW WEINER’S GOLD AND BLACK ACES
8. “Igloo Stomp” — ART PAYNE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
9. “Blue Night” — ART PAYNE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
10. “Let’s Sit And Talk About You” — BOB MCGOWAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
11. “Don’t Hold Everything” — TOMMY MEYERS AND HIS GANG
12. “Things Look Wonderful Now” — TOMMY MEYERS AND HIS GANG
13. “If You LIke Me I Like You” — DUCKY YOUNTZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
14. “Eleven Thirty Saturday Night” — DICK COY AND HIS RACKETEERS
15. “Cheer Up” — DEXTER’S PENNSYLVANIANS
16. “What’s The Use” — DEXTER’S PENNSYLVANIANS

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16 thoughts on “My Find, Your Jukebox: Rare Midwestern Hot Dance Bands On Arcadia

  1. tronepone says:

    The Arcadia LPs were wonderful, especially at the time. Dick Raichelson’s annotations on some of them also incorporated his original research.

    Although not listed on the back of the album, that’s a mellophone on the Tommy Meyers performance of “Things Look Wonderful Now.”

    • On this one, he left some interesting notes among the personnel listings about some of the leaders and vocalists. I also need to update the file to include your note about that mellophone. Thanks!

  2. Albert Haim says:

    Rust lists Leroy Morris on cornet and Ambrose Barringer on trumpet. in Lange’s “Hot Lips.” Morris was responsible for the cornet solo in Marion McKay’s “Doo Wacka Doo” attributed by some to Bix. See
    http://www.ic.sunysb.edu/Faculty/alhaim/recordingsanalysis.htm#Doo-Wacka-Doo.

  3. jazzlives says:

    It looks like Charles Canine, Jazz Critic De Facto, has taken the album’s title very seriously.

  4. mcquaidjazz says:

    Thanks Andrew!

  5. pwlsax says:

    Too bad the depression killed off hot music in the Midwest even more thoroughly than nationwide. Frank Trumbauer’s Chicago band of 1932-’33 even outdrew Ellington and Weems according to one ballroom operator, but still, it couldn’t last with all that snappy tempo and sax virtuosity. Tram even made concessions to ricky-tick – all ensembles were played staccato, even at ballad tempos, and his own solos emphasized repetition over improvisation – but it all was just too hep somehow.

  6. pwlsax says:

    Ignore the “Longer Playing” medley, which is of Tram conducting most of the Whiteman orchestra, just before he left.

  7. John says:

    It looks awesome but I can’t get any of it to play. When I click on the upper list nothing happens, it moves from play to pause but no movement or sound! On the bottom list I get a screen that says the files are corrupted.

    • Ugh, the vagaries of WordPress’s audio system! I am sorry that you are unable to hear this music. Based on my past experience, I would try another web browser. Let me know how it turns out, and thanks for reading my blog.

  8. John says:

    That did the trick- thank you for sharing this great music! The album title and cover drawing are a bit bizarre, a “bag of sleepers” sounds like underworld slang for…well let’s leave it at that!

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