28 August 2012

Orchestre Jazz Virginia


I'VE GOT A FEELING - 5066-PC  de "Waiting for that thing called happiness" (JOS. GEO GILBERT & HORATIO NICOLLS) (Arrangement par STAN BOWSHER) Fox-trot  Orchestre Jazz VIRGINIA ( photo courtesy: Henry Parsons)

 Thanks to Henry Parsons, I can point you to a rare flexible VIRGINIA record, played by the Virginia Jazz Orchestram a studio band with the tune The Crowning and I've Got a Feeling, the latter written by Jos. Geo Gilbert & Horatio Nicolls, which was in fact Lawrence Wright, whose copyright seal is glued on the label. Jos. Geo Gilbert was a music published in London. It is one of those numerous cheap dance band records that were released in the late 1920s.
Early 1930s the depression made the wealth and prosperity of the 1920s burst like a soap bubble .... a lot of musicians lost their jobs and had to look for gigs or incomes. Record companies tried to get their shares and scheduled recording sessions for musicians who were paid to play some stock arrangements and sold the recordings to other small record companies all over the world, who hoped to get a piece of the pie .....
These musicians often are nameless, as they sometimes had exclusive contracts for great record companies or orchestras. Virginia was one of those cheap record labels, published in France, with,like this example, some hot jazzy dance-band music, played by an anonymous studio orchestra, maybe American or English ...... If you love to identify the musicians on the record, you have to search for a needle in a haystack and identifying musicians by ear often is impossible as the musicians played stock arrangements, without any solos.
THE CROWNING - 5067-PC de "Cotton Queen" - (de J.P. LONG) ( Arrangement par STAN BOWSHER) Fox-trot Orchestra Jazz VIRGINIA ( photo courtesy Henry Parsons)

Each collector of jazz-related dance band music on 78rpm record knows that if he wants some more info about the band on the record he enters a maze of pseudonyms, labels and sub-labels, matrices and take numbers.
VIRGINIA, a white flexible record, produced in France, is one of those mysterious labels, which used originals from the Gennett label, Goodson or Vocalion labels, which also often used copies from major labels .......

Listen to I've Got a Feelin' by the so-called Orchestre Jazz Virginia ( Virginia Jazz Orchestra) - a tune which was a small hit in the fall of 1930.

Both tunes inform us about the arranger Stan Bowsher.
I didn't found much info about him except that he was active as a reed player and arranger in numerous British bands from the 1930s, like Howard Baker's ( 1934), Roy Fox (1931), Lew Stone (Durium) and Edgar Jackson (1932), Henry Hall (1932- 1938), Harry Roy (1932-1944), Bert Ambrose (1932) and Geraldo (1939). This could mean that the musicians of the Virginia Jazz Orchestra were British musicians ..... For a record collector who plays these rare flexible records, like Virginia, it could care less - its music sounds great ..... jazz influenced dance music, so typically for the early 1930s.

It seems that Virginia released at least more than 200 records, mostly original recorded by US and British record companies. Didier-Jean Doré Pétotéguy and Tony-Marc Gallez published a list. In a previous blog I introduced you to some more Virginia's, I have in my collection.
  Although an in-depth investigation didn't bring more info I hope visitors of this blog can help to date and identify the musicians on this record.  

Hans Koert

 flexible-records@live.nl

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