Letters to the Editor April 2020

Andy Anderson Noel Rockmore Presevation Hall
Andy Anderson, not Kid Shiek, By Noel Rockmore (1963)

To the Editor:
Enjoyed the March issue of Syncopated Times (as usual). Just want to point out a misidentification in New Orleans Music Observed: The Art of Noel Rockmore and Emilie Rhys

The “Oil canvas of Kid Sheik” is actually not Kid Sheik but trumpet player Andy Anderson (member of Olympia Brass Band). I’m very familiar with this painting as it is right next to the piano when I play at Preservation Hall. Andy Anderson was the first trumpet player in my New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra in the 1960s.

Lars Edegran
New Orleans, LA

Thank you for the correction! It does appear there was a mixup. The actual image of Kid Sheik by Noel Rockmore is now shown in the online version. – Ed.

To the Editor:
In his “Crazy Blues” article, Roger Kimmel Smith says, at the end of the second paragraph, “Smith was also the first African American female vocalist heard on a commercial record.” Mamie Smith in 1920 became, indeed, the first Black female blues singer to make a commercial recording.


In his definitive work Lost Sounds: Blacks And The Birth Of The Recording Industry 1890-1919, author Tim Brooks, on page 486, discusses “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen/Villanelle”, recorded in 1919 for the Broome Special Phonograph label by Florence Cole-Talbert, a black classical singer who had made her New York recital debut in 1918 at Aeolian Hall.

Also, on page 254, Brooks says that Daisy Tapley “may have been the first African American woman to record commercially in the United States.  … if Tapley was the first, it was on the basis of a single duet recording in which she did not take a solo line.”  The recording was a duet with baritone Carroll Clark of the hymn “I Surrender All”, recorded for Columbia in December 1910, “…neither taking any solo lines. Tapley’s voice is strong and clear …”.

Keep Swinging,
Nancy Wyndham

Thank you for the correction, the wording has been clarified in the online version. – Ed.


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