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The Collegians
Prior to his stint with the great Jean Goldkette band, slide trombonist Speigle Willcox was with the Al Deisseroth Orchestra in 1920, and then with Tige Jewitt in 1922. He joined a band called the Big Four, later that year. The Big Four was actually an octet and they were based in Ithaca, New York. Paul Whiteman discovered the band in 1922, and changed the name of the group to The Collegians. He brought the group to New York City for gigs and recording dates.

Cornell Collegians
The Collegians. Standing, left to right – Charlie Dean, Spiegle Willcox, Red Ewald, Roy Johnston, and Fred Bellenger. Seated, left to right – Stub Washburn, Bob Causer, and Jimmy Lynch. (Courtesy of the Willcox Archive, SUNY Cortland)

Speigle remained with the Collegians until early 1925 and then joined the Jean Goldkette Orchestra in October 1925. Victor issued three sides by The Collegians. Speigel recalled that, “When we made those three Victor records, Paul Whiteman was nowhere to be seen, just The Collegians. There we were – this was prior to microphones – blowing into the big horn, with the same producer, Eddie King, as we recorded with later with the Goldkette Orchestra in that very same room in New York. —by Dennis Pereyra

ddd discography

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
I Cried For You
(Now It’s Your Turn To Cry Over Me)

(Freed / Arnheim / Lyman)
7-5-1923 New York, New York Victor
19093
Little Rover
(Don’t Forget To Come Back Home)
3-23-1923 New York, New York rejected
Little Rover
(Don’t Forget To Come Back Home)
3-30-1923 New York, New York rejected
Mad
(‘Cause You Threat Me This Way)
3-30-1923 New York, New York rejected
Papa, Better Watch Your Step
(Wells / Cooper)
7-5-1923 New York, New York Victor
19105
That Red-Head Girl
(Van Schenck / Lodge)
3-23-1923 New York, New York Victor
19049

The Collegians

Artist Instrument
Freddie Ballinger Tenor Saxophone
Bob Causer Drums
Charlie Dean Banjo
Red Ewald Violin
Roy Johnston Trumpet
Jimmy Lynch Piano
Spiegle Wilcox Trombone
Stub Washburn Alto Saxophone

 

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