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Syncopating Five
The Syncopating Five got their start playing dance music in hotels in Florida. Most of the band members were from Ohio and Indiana and they returned North and played gigs there until the winter when they returned to Florida and played in Georgia. In 1922 saxophonist Ray Stillson and the then unknown cornet player Red Nichols joined the band bringing the number of Syncopating Fives to seven. They jokingly billed themselves and the The Syncopating Five and their Orchestra, and recorded under the more logical name of The Syncopating Seven.

Syncopating Five

The Syncopating Five 1920 or 1921 Left to right: Otto Boone,Herb Hayworth, Russell Stubbs, Dusty Rhoades, Fritz Morris.

The band went north to Chicago where Red Nichols first encountered Bix Beiderbecke’s cornet playing while Bix sat in with the Friars Society Orchestra. After this Nichols started to model his playing after Bix’s style. The Syncopating Seven played Florida again in the wnter and then landed a prestigious gig at the Ambassador Hotel in Atlantic City, where Paul Whiteman rose to fame. They felt they needed a classier image and changed the band’s name to the Royal Palm Orchestra. The band was a flop and they hightailed it back to Indiana where the group broke up soon afterwards.

ddd discography

TitleRecording DateRecording LocationCompany
Lips10-27-1921Richmond, IndianaGennett

Maybe I’m Coming Back To You
(Lewis / Golden)
10-27-1921Richmond, IndianaGennett


Vernon “Mutt” HayesClarinet, Alto Saxophonet
Herb HayworthBanjo
Fritz MorrisViolin
Dusty RhoadesDrums
Russell StubbsPiano


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