Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Paull Sisters - Stars of Radioland

A year ago I posted a contribution about the Paull Sisters. I had found its name on a Hit of the week cover released in the fall of 1931 and that was all info I could find. Thanks to Bill Schoerner I received some additional information and a few photos and advertisements in which the two girls were introduced. Bill Schoerner is fascinated by these vocal groups and posted a series of blogs concerning the William Sisters. Within a few months most living relatives of these William Sisters were located and a lot of unknown information could be traced. And now, it seems - history repeats itself ........ A few weeks ago I was contacted by Judye Talbot who happens to be the daughter of Julia. Julia was one of the Paull Sisters, together with her sister Ruth. Julia passed away last August 104 years old. Thanks to Judye I can show you some new photos and news paper clippings from Julia's scrap book and some new information, that was unknown up to now. The first part was titled: A forgotten Vocal Duo - the second part is published now: Stars of Radioland.

Advertisment for Julia and Ruth Paull ( sic)

I'm convinced that the Paull Sisters were involved in more Durium recordings. Mind that the Phil Spitalny band, or the anonymous Durium Orchestras were just studio bands directed by Phil Spitalny or Bert Hirsch.
This small cardboard record made by Durium was released in December 1931. The vocal group, singing Silent Night, could well be The Paull Sisters.
Advertisment for a concert on the 6th of May, 1931.

Phil Spitalny was also a sought after band leader for radio broadcasts like the daily broadcasts ( except in the weekends) titled Tea Dansante for NBC Network. Love to share with you the tune Bottoms Up by Phil Spitalny's Orchestra (September 1929). The title has to do with the prohibition. The bottles with booze were emptied.

What a great (almost forgotten style of) music !!

Around the same period they performed with the Paul Whiteman orchestra, labeled in the advertisement showed as Court Harmonizers, but I didn't found any records or transcriptions made with this famous band.

The Paull Sisters ( 1935) ( photo courtesy: Judye Talbot)
They must have performed on several radio shows with Paul Whiteman, but up to now I didn't found names of shows in which they participated; Paul Whiteman had dozens of radio programs during the 1930s like The Old Gold - Paul Whiteman Hour on CBS Network; programs on NBC Radio Network sponsored by Allied Quality Paints, GM-Pontiac division or Lucky Strike.

Paul Whiteman - NBC Radio artist. ( 1930s)

One of the vocal groups that attended Paul Whiteman were the Brox Sisters
( like on the 10th of December, 1929). Kathlyn, Dagmar and Lorraine Brox started their career in the early 1920s and are to be seen in the 1930 Paul Whiteman feature King of Jazz. I asked Judye if she knew why her mother and aunt named
On the left: Paul Whiteman. On the right: The Paull Sisters.
themselves the Paull Sisters and not the Brock Sisters. I'm not sure why they chose "Paull Sisters" because they were using that name when the sang with Phil Spitalny and that was before Paul Whiteman. I do know that there was early reference the singing as the Brock Sisters, but my mother said there was another singing group at that time known as the Brock Sisters and they didn't want to be confused with them. I'm sure that they used the double "L" in Paul to be sure it was considered a surname. That would have been my mother's flair. Well - Reading her explanation this must have been the vocal group her mother mentioned: Brox Sisters.
Paul Whiteman's Orchestra with the Paull Sisters ( photo courtesy: Judye Talbot)
When the Second World War started Julia and Ruth moved back to Chicago with their mother. In 1946 Julia married with a man who had been a soldier and drove stunt cars with Jimmy Lynch's Death Dodgers, one of the dozens of stunt cars shows, that toured the States in those days.

Jimmy Lynch's Death Dodgers ( late 1940s)
Ruth never married and passed away in 1971 - Julia passed away last August, 2009 - 104 years old.

THE PAULL SISTERS Edison DISCOGRAPHY
The PAULL SISTERS Durium DISCOGRAPHY
I love to thanks Judye for the stories and photos she sent me and I hope she'll share more remembrances of their musical careers - a story now told for the very first time.

Hans Koert
keepswinging@live.nl

In December 1929 the DURIUM PRODUCTS CORPORATION prepared the start of a new unbreakable record, made of cardboard. The well known weekly issues, called the Hit of the Week, were released in a weekly schedule, which started in February 1930. The Hit of the week blog and the Keepswinging blog will follow the development of these 80 years old records in an unique series of blogs. If you love to be informed about these contributions ask for the newsletter

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Paull Sisters - a Durium female vocal duo

A year ago I posted a contribution about the Paull Sisters. I had found its name on a Hit of the week cover released in the fall of 1931 and that was all info I could find. Thanks to Bill Schoerner I received some additional information and a few photos and advertisements in which the two girls were introduced. Bill Schoerner is fascinated by these vocal groups and posted a series of blogs concerning the William Sisters. Within a few months most living relatives of these William Sisters were located and a lot of unknown information could be traced. And now, it seems .....history repeats itself ........ A few weeks ago I was contacted by Judye Talbot who happens to be the daughter of Julia. Julia was one of the Paull Sisters, together with her sister Ruth. Julia passed away last August 104 years old. Thanks to Judye I can show you some new photos and news paper clippings from Julia's scrap book and some new information, that was unknown up to now. Today the first part about their cooperation with Phil Spitalny.
Sleeve: Guilty - Phil Spitalny's Music - vocal by the Paull Sisters ( Hit of the Week L-2 - October 1931) (source: Hit of the week Discography - Hans Koert)
Julia was born in 1905 in Conrad, Iowa as Julia Brock and her sister followed two years later named Ruth. They went to Chicago to study singing and soon they sung professionally with Phil(ip) Spitalny's Music as the Paull Sisters. It is weird that they were even labeled in advertisements as Julia Paull and Ruth Paull, although their real name was Brock.
The Paull Sisters - a popular harmonising team (advertisement - 1930s)
Phil Spitalny, born in Odessa Russia, October 1890 played the clarinet in his native country before he immigrated, after the Russian Revolution, to the States (Cleveland). Here he became known as a dance band leader. His first recordings were made in Cleveland, March 1924. He moved to New York City a year later and recorded two songs with the Paull Sisters for Edison on the 31st of May, 1929 followed by several other recording sessions in the summer of 1929. The Paull Sisters made several recordings for Edison with that band and in February 1930 he recorded for the new born cardboard Hit of the week label.
I'm Keepin' Company / I Wanna Sing About You - Jack Norman's Orchestra ( = Phil Spitalny) with Chick Bullock. The Paull Sisters sing on the first tune. ( durium EN-5) ( NYC October 1931) ( Source: Durium Discography - Hans Koert)
The first Durium session with the Paull Sisters and Phil Spitalny's Music was scheduled October 1931 and titled Guilty and Goodnight Sweetheart; the Eton Boys were a male vocal group also present on this session, responsible for the small extra tracks She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain and In The Shade of the Old Apple Tree. These Hit of the week records were promoted as "the five-minute Hit-of-the-Week with almost twice the playing time of the average record at your news-dealer's next Thursday". These small 1.5 minutes tracks were used to complete the extra playing time.

Page from the Julia Brock's scrap book ( photo courtesy: Judye Talbot)
It is likely that, during the same session, recordings for Durium were made for export to Europe together with Chick Bullock - the popular US crooner. To prevent problems with legal contracts and things like that ( Chick Bullock was under exclusively contract for ARC), Durium used the pseudonym Jack Norman and his Orchestra for the Phil Spitalny group. The names of the Paull Sisters and Chick Bullock were skipped on the US pressings ( DURIUM), but on the European pressings by durium ( small letters) and Sefono labels the names were mentioned. On a Swedish Veckans SKIVA sleeve nr. 6, I have in my collection, one of those recordings: I'm keepin' company" is described as: Foxtrot: I'm keepin' company "Jag följer med dig! ".
A nice promo picture from Paull Sisters the early 1930s. (photo courtesy: Judye Talbot)
In the liner notes ( mind I'm talking about a record sleeve from ca. 1934 !!) the Paull Sisters are labeled as a quartet: it reads: "Refrängsången utföres av en populär damkvartett - Paull Sisters - som utgör ett raffinerat inslag i schlagern" ( = The vocal refrain is performed by a popular female quartet - Paull Sisters, - a sophisticated sequence of the recording ). Mind that this sleeve was released in 1934 for a 1931 recording and there were no reasons anymore to suppress the names of the Paull Sisters and Chick Bullock but it is weird to learn that the Paull Sisters were labeled as a quartet.

The colorfull sleeve of the Swedish VECKANS skiva ( = Weekly record) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
I asked Judye why they called them selves the Paull Sisters. I'll inform you about that in the second part later in which I will spotlight the 1930s with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, titled: The Paull Sisters: The 1930s.

Thanks Judye for sharing the info and some photos from your mother's scrap book. Hope to publish more later at the Keep Swinging blog.. Thanks Jo for sharing your linguistic talent of the Swedish language.

THE PAULL SISTERS DISCOGRAPHY on the DURIUM RECORDS LABEL:
PHIL SPITALNY'S MUSIC Vocal by THE PAULL SISTERS (HOW L 2) // ORCHESTRE PHIL SPITALNY'S Refrain chanté par Paull Sisters (SEFONO L-2/?M-1) (DURAND-DUPONT L-2) // PHIL SPITALNY'S MUSIC (HOW M 1) [2tp-tb-2cl as-cl ts-2v-p-banj g-tu-dm-vo3(male)-vo2(female)]
personel:Phil Spitalny dir., Bob Effros tp, THE ETON BOYS vo4: (Jack Day bariton, Earl Smith 1st Tenor, Art Gentry 2nd Tenor, Chas. Day bass) , THE PAULL SISTERS (female)vo2: Julia and Ruth Brock vo
Recorded New York City, Oct. 1931
* GUILTY (Culpable) FOX TROT - L-2
Vocal by THE PAULL SISTERS Kahn Akst Whitling - PS vo2
released on: HOW L 2/IAJRC CS1002-4 / MUSIC BOX THEATRE 3
1. Guilty ( EST-CE UN PÉCHÉ DE VOUS AIMER ) Fox-step Kahn Akst Whiting - PS vo2
released on SEFONO L-2 / DURAND-DUPONT L-2
** GOOD NIGHT SWEETHEART (Buenas noches, amada) Fox Trot Noble Campbell Connelly Vallee - PS vo2
released on HOW M 1/MFC 19 / S.H. 2056/ AHG 006 / IAJRC CS1002-4
1.Good night sweetheart (BONSOIR CHÉRIE) Fox Noble Campbell Connelly Vallee - PS vo2
released as SEFONO M-1

PHIL SPITALNY'S MUSIC with CHICK BULLOCK (DURIUM EN 3) // Musique de PHIL SPITALNY'S (SEFONO EN-3) // ? PHIL SPITALNY’s Band (MP EN-3) // JACK NORMAN'S ORCHESTRA with CHICK BULLOCK (DURIUM EN 5) // ORCHESTRE JACK NORMAN'S (SEFONO EN-5 ) [2tp-tb-2cl as-cl ts-2v-p-banj g-tu-dm-(male)vo-(female)vo2]
personel: Phil Spitalny dir., ? Bob Effros tp, Chick Bullock vo, THE PAULL SISTERS vo2: Julia and Ruth Brock vo.
recorded New York City, c Oct. 1931
*IT'S THE GIRL FOX TROT Vocal PAULL SISTERS OPPENHEIM-BAER - PS vo2 released as DURIUM EN-3/durium EN 3 / MP EN-3
It's the girl ( C’EST ELLE ) Fox-trot chanté (Oppenheim Baer) - PS vo2
released as SEFONO EN-3
** I'M KEEPIN’ COMPANY FOX TROT Vocal PAULL SISTERS BENDER LAWNHURST DREYER - PS vo2
released as DURIUM EN-5/durium EN 5
I'm keeping Company (JE TE TIENDRAIS COMPAGNIE) Fox avec chant Bender Lawnhurst Dreyer - PS vo2
released as SEFONO EN-5

PHIL SPITALNY'S MUSIC with PAUL SMALL (DURIUM EN-2) // JACK NORMAN'S ORCHESTRA (durium EN-2) // ORCHESTRE JACK NORMAN'S (SEFONO EN-2)(ABC EN-2):
personel: Paul Small vo. PAULL SISTERS vo2: Julia and Ruth Brock vo.
recorded New York City, c Sep 1931
* LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND FOX TROT (PAULL SISTERS) KENNY-COOTS - PS vo2
released as DURIUM EN-2/durium EN-2
1. Love letters in the sand (TU AS OUBLIÉ TES SERMENTS) Fox-chant - PS vo2
released as SEFONO EN-2
Love letters in the sand (TU AS OUBLIÉ TES SERMENTS) Fox-chant - PS vo2 released as ABC EN-2
PHIL SPITALNY'S ORCHESTRA: Phil Spitalny dir, ? Paull Sisters 2vo: Julia and Ruth Brock vo
recorded New York City, c autumn 1931
* Merry Christmas Silent Night
released as a custom records


This contribution will also be published on the Keep Swinging blog as: The Paull Sisters - a forgotten vocal duo







Hans Koert



keepswinging@live.nl




In December 1929 the DURIUM PRODUCTS CORPORATION prepared the start of a new unbreakable record, made of cardboard. The well known weekly issues, called the Hit of the Week, were released in a weekly schedule, which started in February 1930. The Hit of the week blog and the Keepswinging blog will follow the development of these 80 years old records in an unique series of blogs. If you love to be informed about these contributions ask for the newsletter


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hit of the Week Orchestra - VOL.1 - No. 4

BACK IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD - HIT OF THE WEEK ORCHESTRA. Test Record ( VOL ! No. 4) - Recorded ca. December 1929

Played by HIT OF THE WEEK ORCHESTRA: No personal known.
Recorded New York City, ? 1929
BACK IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD Fox Trot
BILLY ROSE . DAVE DREYER AL JOLSON
HIT OF THE WEEK VOL . I NO . 4 / ARCH 3002
This is a very rare copy of a Durium like record - only two copies have survived. It is a one-sided cardboard record with on the reverse a dark coating of a shellac or lacquer-type substance. This might be a test record (with a matrix number between 1000 and 1015) for Durium from the period before the first regular issues were released. The “catalogue number” suggests that there are more records. It is to be found on only one reissue: The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings - volume 1 ( Archeophone 3002)
(source: Hit of the week Discography - Hans Koert )

The tune Back In Your Own Back Yard was orginally recorded by Ruth Etting, accompanied by Phil Schwartz at the piano ( 3rd of January, 1928), soon followed by a Fats Waller recording, sung by Andy Razaf. Soon all major dance bands recorded it, like the band from Paul Whiteman ( 28th of January, 1928), Sam Lanin, Gus Arnheim, Jan Garber ( February 1928 ), Ben Bernie and Eva Taylor ( acc by a group featuring Clarence Williams).
Paul Whiteman's version is well known. The Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra was directed by Bill Challis . It was recorded in Camden NJ for Victor. Enjoy it.

The version as sung by Russ Colombo accompanied by Gus Arnheim and his Orchestra ( April 1928) still sounds like the average dance band arrangment of the Roaring Twenties.

The version by Ben Bernie and his Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra from the 15th of February, 1928 ( Brunswick 3837) sounds more modern - more in the sweet and swing style that became popular in the 1930s.

n the mean time it was recorded in Europe too by Lud Gluskin et son Jazz ( July 1928). Al Jolson had this tune on his repertoire and recorded it in March 1928 for Brunswick with Bill Wirges and his Orchestra and made it a hit. The tune was written by Dave Dreyer and Billy Rose (lyrics) and often Al Jolson is credited too, but that seems to be wrong. It is unknown what musicians were responsable for the music in the version of the Hit of the Week Orchestra, but it could have been Don Voorhees with is orchestra, who was also responsable for another, probably later test recording. We are lucky that two copies exists and that the tune has been reissued on Archeophone 3002.
The tune is still popular in the traditonal jazz band repertoire - I love to share with you this nice version by Craig Robertson.


Hans Koert ( author of the Durium-Hit of the week Discographies)

keepswinging@live.nl

In December 1929 the DURIUM PRODUCTS CORPORATION prepared the start of a new unbreakable record, made of cardboard. The well known weekly issues, called the Hit of the Week, were released in a weekly schedule, which started in February 1930. The Hit of the week blog and the Keepswinging blog will follow the development of these 80 years old records in an unique series of blogs. If you love to be informed about these contributions ask for the newsletter

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Durium Records - 80 years old ( 1930 - 2010 )

In December 1929, now 80 years ago, a new record label, a novelty in its times, was released around New York City. The Durium Products Corporation, based at 460 West 34th Street, New York City, opened its offices and in December 1929 its first records were recorded and produced in the McGraw-Hill building on West 42nd Street - New York City.

The record itself was a novelty, as it was unbreakable, pliable and the sound was from a better quality compared to other flexible records like Goodson Record, Flexo and Filmophone ( to name some). The Flexible Record sites are dedicated to these other almost forgotten relics from the early 1930s.

It was a cardboard record with a Durium acetate surface in which the groove was pressed. Due to the fact that the production costs were only US $ 0.05 a record ( if printed in large quantaties ) and the time to produce a record in large numbers (300,000 up to 500,00 copies) was less then a week, made Durium a potentially strong competitor for the major record companies. I'M DOING WHAT I'M DOING FOR LOVE - THE CONNECTICUT COLLEGIANS ( = a Cecil and Leslie Norman band): Cecil Norman piano director arrangements - Sylvester Ahola - Lloyd Shakespeare trumpets - Ben Oakley trombone - Bill Rogers and Leslie Norman reeds, Emile Grimshaw banjo, Stanley nn tuba, Cavan O' Connor vocals. The names of an extra tenor player and violist remain unknown. Recorded at the Sessions House, Clerkenwell Road, London (GB) 25th of October, 1929 and released as WORLDECHO A-1004

It is said that the Durium acetate was developed in Europe during the First World War, to protect aeroplane noses agains dust, heat, cold and moist and it seems that after the war new uses were found - I saw once advertisements for rain coats and garden furniture made of Durium. During the 1920s it seems that Durium was used on records like Worldecho - a rather stiff cardboard layer with a Durium surface- produced in England - These records were produced for only six months and then it was withdraw from the market, as the records easily split into two halves if you dropped it.

Prof. Hal T. Beans demonstrates the flexibility of the new Durium record (early 1930s).
In the US Professor Hal T. Beans from the Columbia University discovered the flexible record based on a thin cardboard layer with a one sided Durium surface. These Durium records would be released as Durium Records; better known for its main weekly series, to be released between 1930 and 1932, the Hit of the Week.
A flexible cardboard Hit of the week record ( ALL OF ME by Nick Lucas and his Troubadours (January 1932))( HOW A-4-B-1) (source; Hit of the week Discography- Hans Koert)

As it is 80 years ago that the Durium Products Corporation started its activities making flexible cardboard records, I love to follow its history and releases next year at the Keep swinging blog and I'll follow the weekly releases of the Hit of the weeks at the Hit of the week blog - Hope you love to join me on that trip.


This small introduction to a rather extensive series of contributions about the Durium - Hit of the week cardboard records has been published too at the Keep Swinging blog and the Flexible Record blog.

In December 1929 the DURIUM PRODUCTS CORPORATION prepared the start of a new unbreakable record, made of cardboard. The well known weekly issues, called the Hit of the Week, were released in a weekly schedule, which started in February 1930. The Hit of the week blog and the Keepswinging blog will follow the development of these 80 years old records in an unique series of blogs. If you love to be informed about these contributions ask for the newsletter. Don't miss it !!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Nordisk cover

Thanks to René Aagaard, a Danish discographer, I can show you a rare NORDISK DURIUM cover used to mail one or two Durium records as samples.
The lilac stamps says: Tilladt son Vareprove af Generaldirektoratet for Post-og Telegrafvæsenet ( = Allowed as sample of the General Post Office on behalf of the Post- and Telegraph System.). The stamp is only 7 øre because it was mailed at reduced price when it contained samples. As far as I can tell, it's from 1932 and it would equal 50 US cents today. ( René A.)

NORDISK produced and released (SUPER) durium records in Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries from 1932 up to 1935. They released the DURIUM DANCE BAND OF LONDON recordings in the SUPER durium SC-series and recorded in Copenhagen bands like OTTO LINGTONS ORKESTER and the DURIUM DANSE ORKESTER.


Hans Koert



In December 1929 the DURIUM PRODUCTS CORPORATION prepared the start of a new unbreakable record, made of cardboard. The well known weekly issues, called the Hit of the Week, were released in a weekly schedule, which started in February 1930. The Hit of the week blog and the Keepswinging blog will follow the development of these 80 years old records in an unique series of blogs. If you love to be informed about these contributions ask for the newsletter. Don't miss it !!