TransAtlantic Radio

Jean Goldkette

Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra "Victor Recordings" (1924-1928) TR 0011 [CD] Features Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Steve Brown, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Sterling Bose, Volly de Faut, Chauncey Morehouse and Hoagy Carmichael. Digitally restored to compact disc by Bill Hebden. Liner notes by Jeff Hopkins. Order No. 32961

1. It's The Blues [Mar 27, 1924]
2. I Didn't Know [Nov 24, 1924]
3. After I Say I'm Sorry [Jan 28, 1926]
4. Dinah [Jan 28, 1926]
5. Roses [Apr 22, 1926]
6. Gimme A Little Kiss [Apr 23, 1926]
7. Lonesome And Sorry [Apr 23, 1926]
8. Idolizing [Oct 12, 1926]
9. Hush-A-Bye [Oct 12, 1926]
10. I'd Rather Be The Girl In Your Arms [Oct 15, 1926]
11. Sunday [Oct 15, 1926]
12. Cover Me Up With Sunshine [Oct 15, 1926]
13. Just One More Kiss [Oct 15, 1926]
14. Proud Of A Baby Like You [Jan 28, 1927]
15. I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover [Jan 28, 1927]
16. I'm Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now [Jan 31, 1927]
17. Hoosier Sweetheart [Jan 31, 1927]
18. Look At The World And Smile [Feb 1, 1927]
19. My Pretty Girl [Feb 1, 1927]
20. A Lane In Spain [Feb 3, 1927]
21. Slow River [May 6, 1927]
22. In My Merry Oldsmobile [May 23, 1927]
23. Blue River [Sep 15, 1927]
24. Clementine [Sep 15, 1927]
25. So Tired [Dec 12, 1927]
26. Just Imagine [Jul 12, 1928]

In 1915, Jean Goldkette was the pianist with the ensemble that walked out of Lamb's Cafe, in protest, when Tom Brown's "Band from Dixieland" began performing there. Later recalling that first encounter with jazz, he wrote that it made a "profound impression" on him. In fact, he credited the event as having "changed the entire destiny of [his] career." Indeed, it was not long, thereafter, that Goldkette set aside his ambition to become a concert pianist and began working for Edgar Benson, whose cadre of bandleaders, at that time, dominated Chicago's music scene. In 1921, Goldkette was dispatched, by Benson, to lead a band at the Detroit Athletic Club. Serving in this capacity, he began building his own operation, and by 1924, Goldkette was providing bands to venues throughout Detroit, including the Book-Cadillac Hotel. It was also, in 1924, that Goldkette organized a full-time band for his own Graystone Ballroom. This was the band that would be most identified with Jean Goldkette.

Of course, there would be other well-known Goldkette units, such as McKinney's Cotton Pickers and the Orange Blossoms (later known as the Casa Loma Orchestra), but during that pivotal period from 1924 to 1928, it was the band known as "Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra" that was first and perhaps most notable in bridging the gap between jazz and popular music. In so doing, Jean Goldkette became instrumental in popularizing jazz, while nurturing many of the idiom's most formidable talents, including Frankie Trumbauer, Bix Beiderbecke and pioneering bassist, Steve Brown.

The reputation of the Goldkette band, even among some of the biggest legends in jazz, survives in recollections of the band's live performances. One such performance took place at the Roseland Ballroom, in October 1926, during a "battle of the bands" with Fletcher Henderson's orchestra. Years later, while reflecting on that night, Rex Stewart wrote that "we simply could not compete with Jean Goldkette's Victor Recording Orchestra. Their arrangements were too imaginative, their rhythm too strong."

Given the abundance of such accolades, it would be interesting to hear how the Goldkette orchestra sounded, during their live performances. Of course, none of these performances was ever recorded. (In those days, few such performances ever were.) Nevertheless, we do have their studio recordings, and these, perhaps even more than any live recording, give us an important insight into the talent and creativity of the musicians and arrangers who made them. For it is not merely despite the limitations of the early recording industry, but because of them that so many of the Goldkette recordings are a delight to hear. To be sure, it is the true measure of talent that can take three minutes of Tin Pin Alley, turn them into something exciting and memorable, and still satisfy the discerning ear of a Victor recording executive.

While various versions of the Goldkette orchestra continued to record until 1929, the original Goldkette unit did its last live performance, on September 18, 1927. After the breakup of the band, many of its members -- including Bix, Tram, Bill Rank, Don Murray and Chauncey Morehouse -- joined Adrian Rollini and His New Yorkers. As for Jean Goldkette, his interest in organizing and booking bands gradually waned, through the 1930s, as he returned to his youthful ambition of becoming a concert pianist. This ambition was at least partially realized, as he made concert appearances into the 1950s, including solo performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Jean Goldkette was born March 18, 1893, in Patras, Greece. He died of a heart attack, on March 24, 1962.


With Bix Beiderbecke (cornet) * Sterling Bose (trumpet) * Fuzzy Farrar (trumpet) * Nat Natoli (trumpet) * Andy Secrest (trumpet) * Tex Brewster (trumpet) * Earl Baker (trumpet) * Joe Hooven (trumpet) * Ray Lodwig (trumpet, vocals) * Tommy Dorsey (trombone) * Spiegle Willcox (trombone) * Pee Wee Hunt (trombone) * Vernon Brown (trombone) * Bill Rank (trombone) * Lorin Schulz (trombone) * Red Ginsler (trombone) * Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet, saxophone) * Volly de Faut (clarinet, saxophone) * Don Murray (clarinet, saxophone) * Larry Tice (clarinet, saxophone) * Dale Skinner (clarinet, saxophone) * Danny Polo (clarinet, saxophone) * Bob Hutsell (clarinet, saxophone) * Reggie Byleth (clarinet, saxophone ) * Ray Porter (clarinet, saxophone) * George Williams (clarinet, saxophone) * Doc Ryker (clarinet, saxophone, vocals) * Frank Trumbauer (saxophone) * Joe Venuti (violin) * Eddie Sheasby (violin, arranger) * Myron Schulz (violin) * Howdy Quicksell (banjo, vocals) * Joe Galbraith (banjo) * George Rose (banjo, guitar) * Eddie Lang (guitar) * Hoagy Carmichael (piano, vocals) * Itzy Riskin (piano) * Art Gronwall (piano) * Harry Bason (piano) * Dewey Bergman (piano) * Paul Mertz (piano) * Lou Longo (piano) * Harold Stokes (accordion, arranger) * Steve Brown (string bass) * Harold George (bass brass) * Irish Henry (brass bass) * Chauncey Morehouse (drums) * Dee Orr (drums) * Charles Horvath (drums) * Mel Miller (drums) * Keller Sisters (vocals) * Al Lynch (vocals) * Billy Murray (vocals) * Frank Bessinger (vocals) * Carl Mathieu (vocals) * James Stanley (vocals) * Ray Muerer (vocals) * Lewis James (vocals) * Charles Harrison (vocals) * Elliott Shaw (vocals) * Wilfred Glenn (vocals) * Greta Woodson (vocals) * The Revelers (vocals) * Bill Challis (arranger) * Russ Morgan (arranger).

Ordering Information

To order this CD, visit Worlds Records at http://www.worldsrecords.com. Or call 1-800-742-6663. When ordering, refer to the order number below (in red). For online orders, this five-digit number can be copied and pasted into the text field for "itemcode" searches.

Order No. 32961

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LEON BEIDERBECKE ("BIX") * HOAGLUND CARMICHAEL ("HOAGY") * SALVATORE MASSARO (a.k.a. "EDDIE LANG") * NEWELL WILLCOX ("SPIEGLE") * FRED FARRAR ("FUZZY") * STANLEY RYKER ("DOC") * HOWARD QUICKSELL ("HOWDY") * IRVING RISKIN ("ITZY") * STIRLING BOSE (a.k.a. STERLING BOSE) * WALTER HUNT ("PEE WEE") * VOLTAIRE DE FAUT ("VOLLY") * VICTOR * CD * CDs * COMPACT DISC * COMPACT DISCS * 78 * 78s * 78's * 78 RPM * 78RPM * RECORD * RECORDS * RECORDING * RECORDINGS * TRANSCRIPTION * TRANSCRIPTIONS * EARLY JAZZ * HOT DANCE MUSIC * HOT JAZZ * CLASSIC JAZZ * TRADITIONAL JAZZ * DIXIELAND JAZZ * HISTORIC JAZZ * SWING * TERRITORY BAND * TERRITORY BANDS * VOCALIST * VOCALISTS * CHARLESTON * BLACK BOTTOM * FOX TROT * LINDY HOP * JITTERBUG * HOTEL DANCE BAND * HOTEL DANCE BANDS * POPULAR DANCE BAND * POPULAR DANCE BANDS * SWEET DANCE BAND * SWEET DANCE BANDS * 1920s * 1920's * 1924 * 1925 * 1926 * 1927 * 1928 * TRANSATLANTIC RADIO * TRANS ATLANTIC RADIO