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Handy's Orchestra of Memphis

These are the first recordings made by W.C. Handy. He was forty-three years old at the time that these records were made in 1917. Handy performs “Livery Stable Blues” which is a cover version of the Original Dixieland Jass Band’s big hit record that was recorded just seven months earlier and is generally considered to have been the first Jazz record.

Handys Orchestra of Memphis
Handy’s Orchestra Of Memphis – 1918 – left to right – Sylvester Bevard?, Jasper Taylor?, unknown, W.C. Handy, Darnell Howard?, Henry Graves?, unknown.

Handy’s was probably the second African-American band to make jazz records. Wilbur Sweatman and his Jass Band recorded three records for the Pathe label in April of 1917.

discography

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
A Bunch O Blues
(H. Alf Kelly / J. Paul Wyer)
9-24-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2418
Columbia
2911
Fuzzy Wuzzy Rag
(Al Morton)
9-21-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2421
Columbia
2910
Livery Stable Blues
(Yellow Nuņez / Ray Lopez)
9-25-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2419
Columbia
2912
Moonlight Blues
(Deane)
9-22-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2418
Columbia
2914
Ole Miss Rag
(W.C. Handy)
9-22-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2420
Columbia
2913
Sweet Child
Introducing “Pallet On The Floor”

(1. J. Ewing / Stovall 3. Pace / W.C. Handy)
9-25-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2417
That “Jazz” Dance
(The Jazz Dance Everybody Is Crazy ‘Bout)

(W. Benton Overstreet)
9-22-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2419
Columbia
2912
The Hooking Cow Blues
(Douglas Williams)
9-24-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2420
Columbia
2913
The Old Town Pump
(Albert Von Tilzer)
9-22-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2417
Columbia
2911
The Snaky Blues
(Will Nash)
9-22-1917 New York, New York Columbia
A2421
Columbia
2910

Handy's Orchestra of Memphis

Artist Instrument
Edward Alexander Violin
Sylvester Bevard Trombone
Henry Graves Cello
W.C. Handy Cornet , Director
Charles Harris Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Charles Hillman Piano
Darnell Howard Violin
Nelson Kincaid Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Alex Poole Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Wilson Townes Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Jasper Taylor Drums, Xylophone
William Tyler Violin
Archie Walls Bass Brass, String Bass

 

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