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Harry Reser (1896-1965)
Harry Reser (1896-1965)Harry Reser (January 17, 1896 – September 27, 1965) was perhaps the greatest banjoist of the 1920s if not the greatest banjoist of all time. He got his start playing in dance bands in his home state of Ohio and in the Midwest, moved to Buffalo, New York in 1920 and then to New York City in 1921, where he soon became a sought-after session musician. Reser released a series of solo banjo records starting in 1921 which proved that the banjo was not just a rhythm instrument.

In 1925, he was picked to become the director and frontman for the Clicquot Club Eskimo Orchestra on the NBC radio network. This weekly half-hour show, sponsored by Clicquot Club ginger ale, made Reser quite well known and was on the air until 1935.

During the 1920s and 1930s, he also led MANY bands using an amazing number of pseudonyms. Reser continued to be quite active in music for the rest of his life, touring, leading television studio orchestras, playing in Broadway orchestras, recording and writing several popular banjo, guitar and ukulele instruction books. He died of a heart attack in 1965 while tuning up in the orchestra pit before a performance of the Broadway stage version of “Fiddler On The Roof”.Harry Reser (1896-1965)

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
An Island Made For Two
(w/ Frank Banta at the piano)
2-12-1926 New York, New York Brunswick
Bimini Bay
(w/ Rega Dance Orchestra)
10-1-1921 New York, New York Okeh
Boll Weevil Blues
(w/ Vernon Dalhart and Ed Smalle on kazoos)
7-1-1924 New York, New York Okeh
Bringing Home The Bacon
(w/ Thomas Griselle at the piano)
6-23-1924 New York, New York Gennett
Calling
(Piano by Bill Wirges)

(Klagan / Golden)
3-2-1927 New York, New York Brunswick
Collette
(w/ Bill Wirges at the piano)
3-2-1927 New York, New York Brunswick
Cracker Jack
(w/ piano accompaniment)

(Harry Reser)
10-28-1930 New York, New York Brunswick
Crazy Jo’
(w/ orchestra)

(Harry Reser)
8-1-1922 New York, New York Brunswick
Crazy Jo’
(w/ Ferde Grofe at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
4-1-1923 London, England Columbia
Crazy Joe
(Harry Reser)
1-1-1922 New York, New York Okeh
Don’t Say Good-Bye
(w/ Phil Ohman at the piano)
4-4-1922 New York, New York Columbia
Easy Goin’
(w/ piano accompaniment)

(Harry Reser)
11-1-1923 New York, New York Okeh
Easy Goin’
(w/ M. Scalzo at the piano)
5-1-1924 New York, New York Paramount
Everybody Step
(w/ Rega Dance Orchestra)
10-1-1921 New York, New York Okeh
Fair And Warmer
(w/ Milton J. Rettenberg at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
7-17-1928 New York, New York Columbia
Flapperette
(w/ piano accompaniment)

(Jesse Greer)
10-28-1930 New York, New York Brunswick
Frosted Chocolate
(w/ Wm. F. Wirges at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
5-3-1928 New York, New York Brunswick
Hard Hearted Hannah
(w/ Thomas Griselle at the piano)
6-23-1924 New York, New York Gennett
Heebe Jeebes
(w/ Bill Wirges at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
6-19-1925 New York, New York Columbia
Heebie Jeebies
(w/ Bill Wirges at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
10-15-1925 New York, New York Vocalion
Heebie Jeebies
(w/ Paul Rickenback at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
3-28-1927 New York, New York Edison
I Gave You Up Just Before You Threw Me Down
(w/ Phil Ohman at the piano)
4-4-1922 New York, New York Columbia
Jade
(w/ Russell Carlson at the piano)
7-11-1929 New York, New York Edison
Lolly Pops
(w/ piano accompaniment)

(Harry Reser)
11-1-1923 New York, New York Okeh
Lolly Pops (take 1)
(w/ M. Scalzo at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
5-1-1924 New York, New York Paramount / Triangle
Lolly Pops (take 2)
(w/ M. Scalzo at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
5-1-1924 New York, New York Paramount
Lolly Pops
(w/ Bill Wirges at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
10-19-1926 New York, New York Victor
20439-B
Lolly Pops
(w/ Paul Rickenback at the piano

(Harry Reser)
3-28-1927 New York, New York Edison
Oh ! Boy, What A Girl
(w/ Bill Wirges at the piano)
9-25-1925 New York, New York Vocalion
Page-Paderewski
(w/ Henry Lange at the piano)
7-1-1923 London, England Columbia
Pickin’s
(w/ orchestra)

(Harry Reser)
8-1-1922 New York, New York Brunswick
Pickin’s
(w/ Ferde Grofe at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
4-1-1923 London, England Columbia
Sugar Blues
(w/ Frank Banta at the piano)
2-1-1923 New York, New York Okeh
Symphanola
(w/ Henry Lange at the piano)
7-1-1923 London, England Columbia
Tamiami Trail
(w/ Frank Banta at the piano)
2-12-1926 New York, New York Brunswick
The Cat And The Dog
(w/ Milton J. Rettenberg at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
7-17-1928 New York, New York Columbia
The Clock And The Banjo
(w/ Bill Wirges at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
10-19-1926 New York, New York Victor
20439-A
The Clock And The Banjo
(w/ Paul Rickenback at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
1-1-1927 New York, New York Edison
The Old Town Pump
(w/ Paul Rickenback at the piano)

(Harry Reser)
1-1-1927 New York, New York Edison
Trainin’ The Fingers
(w/ Russell Carlson at the piano)
7-11-1929 New York, New York Edison
Turkey In The Straw
(w/ Frank Banta at the piano)
2-1-1923 New York, New York Okeh
Ukulele Lady
(w/ Bill Wirges at the piano)

(Whiting / Kahn)
6-19-1925 New York, New York Columbia
When The Robert E. Lee Comes To Town
(w/ Russell Carlson at the piano)
2-3-1928 New York, New York Brunswick

Harry Reser (1896-1965)

Ambassadors Dance Orchestra American Dance Orchestra
Apex Syncopators Ariel Dance Orchestra
Frank Arnold and His Orchestra Frank Auburn and His Orchestra
The Badgers The Blue Jays
The Blue Kittens The Blue Room Club Orchestra
The Bluebirds The Bostonians
Brenan’s Broadway Band Broadway Melody Makers
Broadway Music Masters Broadway Syncopators
George Brooks and His Syncopators The Caberet Dance Orchestra
The Campus Boys The Caroliners
Casino Dance Orchestra The Century Serenaders
Chicago Redheads The Clevelanders
The Clicquot Club Eskimos The Collegians
Jerome Conrad and His Orchestra Corona Dance Band
Cosmopolitan Players Matty Crawford’s Orchestra
Cuban Rumba Orchestra Curry’s Dance Orchestra
Bert Dalan’s Orchestra Denza Dance Band
Diplomat Orchestra Diplomat Novelty Orchestra
Dixie Daisies Dixie Jazz Band
Eldon’s Dance Orchestra Embassy Dance Band
Jerry Fenwyck and His Orchestra The Five Musical Blackbirds
Florida Harmony Kings The Four Minstrels
Frisco Syncopators Nathan Glantz and His Dance Orchestra
Lew Gold and His Orchestra Golden Gate Orchestra
Grafton Orchestra Grand Pree Novelty Band
Grand Pree Novelty Dance Orchestra Grand Pree Novelty Orchestra
Eden Hall and His Band Hannan Dance Band
Frank Harrison’s Banjo Band Billy Hays and His Orchestra
Fletcher Henderson’s Collegians Si Higgins and His Sodbusters
Hollywood Dance Orchestra Phil Hughes and His High Hatters
Imperial Dance Orchestra Al Jack and His Crackerjacks
Jack’s Fast Steppin’ Bell Hops The Jazz Band Pilots
The Jazz Pilots Jimmy Johnston’s Rebels
Rex King and His Sovereigns Sam Lanin U.S. Orchester
Sam Lanin’s Famous Players Chester Leighton and His Sophomores
Phil Lewis Joy Boys Los Angeles Ambassadors
Majestic Dance Orchestra Marlborough Orchestra
Earl Marlow’s Orchestra Martin’s Dance Orchestra
Maxsa Dance Orchestra Mayfield Dance Orchestra
Memphis Melody Boys Metropolitan Dance Orchestra
Midnight Ramblers Midnight Serenaders
Mills Merry Makers Mimosa Dance Orchestra
Missouri Jazz Band Monarch Orchestra
Jimmy Murray Melody Masters Sam Nash and His Orchestra
New Jersey Dance Orchestra The New York Syncopators
The New York Twelve Night Club Orchestra
Odeon Syncopators Okeh Syncopators
The Okeh Trio Earl Oliver’s Jazz Babies
Original Dixie Rag Pickers Palm Beach Serenaders
Park Lane Orchestra Parlophone Syncopators
Pavilion Players Pennington Orchestra
Will Perry and His Orchestra Pierrot Syncopators
The Plantation Players The Plaza Band
The Radio All Star Novelty Orchestra The Rambling Ragadors
Earl Randolf’s Orchestra Raymond Dance Orchestra
The Red Dandies The Red Hotters
Regal Dance Orchestra Regent Dance Orchestra
Rendezvous Cafe Orchestra Harry F. Reser’s Novelty Trio
Harry F. Reser’s Trio Harry Reser and His Eskimos
Harry Reser and His Jumping Jacks Harry Reser and His Orchestra
Harry Reser’s Banjo Boys Harry Reser’s Dance Orchestra
Harry Reser’s Orchestra Harry Reser’s Quartette
Harry Reser’s Radio Band Harry Reser’s Rounders
Harry Reser’s String Orchestra Harry Reser’s Syncopators
Harry Reser’s Radio Band Reser Trio
Reser’s Banjo Orchestra Reser’s Dance Orchestra
The Rhythmic Troubadours Harry Richards’ Orchestra
Rieser Trio Rio Trio
Tom Rock and His Orchestra The Rounders
The Roving Romeos Roxy Dance Orchestra
Al Royal Collegians The Royale Dance Orchestra
The Royale Dance Trio The Royale Trio
Eddie Russell’s Kings of Syncopation San Francisco Dance Orchestra
Savoy Dance Band Savoy Marimba Boys Orchestra
Savoy Sinkops Okiestra The Seven Blue Babies
The Seven Little Polar Bears Seven Rag Pickers
Seven Wild Men Sheridan Entertainers
The Six Hayseeds Six Jumping Jacks
Southern Dixie Syncopators Tom Stacks and His Minute Men
Tom Stacks and His Orchestra The Ten Freshmen
Tennessee Happy Boys The Tickle Toe Ten
The Troubadours Tuxedo Orchestra
University Boys University Jazzmasters
University Six and Their Orchestra The Vagabonds
Varsity Four The Victorian Syncopators
The Volunteer Firemen George Wells and His Orchestra
Ted White’s Collegians Jay Wilbur Orchestra
Windsor Orchestra Bill Wirges and his Orchestra
Will Wirges and his Orchestra Bill Wirgis and his Orchestra
Barney Zeeman’s Kentucky Cardinals

Harry Reser (1896-1965)

Title Director Year
Harry Reser and His Eskimos Roy Mack 1936

Harry Reser (1896-1965)

Title Author Year/Publisher
The Great Harry Reser W. W. (Bill) Triggs 1978, H. G. Waker

 

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