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Pianist Roy Bargy (July 31, 1894 – January 16, 1974) got his professional start accompanying films in silent movie houses in Toledo, Ohio

In 1919 he moved to Chicago and was hired by Charley Straight at the Imperial Piano Roll Company. Bargy’s job was to edit piano rolls and to write his own ragtime and novelty pieces for publication on piano roll.

Bargy made his first record with Charley Straight and Paul Biese in 1919 as the Imperial Three. In 1921 Bargy left Imperial and became the musical director of the Benson Orchestra of Chicago until 1922. He joined the Isham Jones and his Orchestra sometime after that.

Roy Bargy in king of jazz
Roy Bargy at the piano in Paul Whiteman‘s King of Jazz.

He took over the piano chair in the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in 1928 and eventually became second in command within the band. Bargy continued to work with Whiteman until 1940.

In 1940 Bargy was very active in radio as a conductor. He led bands for the studio orchestras of Lanny Ross, Xavier Cugat and Gerry Moore. In 1943 he was hired as Jimmy Durante’s musical director and stayed with Jimmy for the next twenty years.

sss band or session leader

Imperial ThreeBenson Orchestra of Chicago

TitleRecording DateRecording LocationCompany
Jim-Jams
(No. 7 from “Piano Syncopations”)

(Roy Bargy)
3-18-1924Camden, New JerseyVictor
19537-B
Justin-Tyme
(No. 2 from “Piano Syncopations”)

(Roy Bargy)
3-18-1924Camden, New JerseyVictor
19537-A
K’nice and K’nifty
(No. 6 from “Piano Syncopations”)

(Roy Bargy in collaboration with Charley Straight)
8-31-1922Camden, New JerseyVictor
18969-B
Pianoflage
(No. 4 from “Piano Syncopations”)

(Roy Bargy)
8-31-1922Camden, New JerseyVictor
18969-A
Rufenreddy
(Roy Bargy / Charley Straight)
3-18-1924Camden, New JerseyVictor
19320-B
Sunshine Capers
(Roy Bargy)
3-18-1924Camden, New JerseyVictor
19320-A

 

piano rolls

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TitleRecording DateRecording LocationCompany
Flapperette
(Jesse Greer)
Chicago, IllinoisAmpico
68421-E
In The Land Of Rice And Tea
(Charley Straight / Paul Biese)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
9999
Jim Jams
(Roy Bargy)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
Justin-Tyme
(Roy Bargy)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
Knice and Knifty
(Roy Bargy / Charley Straight)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
Knice and Knifty
(Roy Bargy / Charley Straight)
1922Chicago, IllinoisMelodee
Omeomy
(Roy Bargy)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
513980
Pianoflage
(Roy Bargy)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
Rufenreddy
(Roy Bargy / Charley Straight)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
Rufenreddy
(Roy Bargy / Charley Straight)
1922Chicago, IllinoisMelodee
Slipova
(Roy Bargy)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
Sunshine Capers
(Roy Bargy)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
Venetian Moon
(Magini / Goldberg)
1920Chicago, IllinoisImperial
91000
Wang Wang Blues
(Gus Meuller / Bert Johnson / Henry Busse)
1921Chicago, IllinoisImperial
91284

TitleDirectorYear
King Of JazzJohn Murray Anderson1930

 

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