Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bert Lown and his Hotel Biltmore Music - Through

BERT LOWN AND HIS HOTEL BILTMORE MUSIC: Frank Cush tp, Ed of Eddie Farley tp, Al Philburn tb, Lou Bode cl-as or Fletcher Hereford cl-as, Paul Mason cl-ts, Sherry McGhee cl-as (or Mace Irish cl-as), Buddy Falco v, (or Mac Ceppos v), Chauncey Gray p, Tommy Felline g, Ward Lay b, Adrian Rollini bs vib, Stan King dm, Smith Ballew vo.
"THROUGH" Fox Trot McCarthy Monaco
New York City, c Jan. 1930 1020 A -
Matrix number: 1020 A

Released (as the first regular Hit of the week): Thursday 13th of February, 1930 as HOW 1020 (Source: online Hit of the Week discography - Hans Koert)

Label of the Hit of the week 1020 ( collection: Hans Koert)

The first regular Hit of the week release appeared for sale at the news dealers in New York City only. Through was released on Thursday the 13th of February, 1930. We don't know if this first "Hit" was a "hit" already, fact is that it is now a collectors item. Isn't it weird that it wasn't even mentioned in the first Hit of the Week discography compiled by Howard Waters in 1960 or in Brian Rust's American Dance Band discography. It was, in fact, listed for the very first time in the (online) Hit of the week Discography.

Early Hit of the week display.

The label of "Through" has the blue - yellow - blue lettering. It was not sold in a cover, sleeve or envelope, but in a display. The photo shows what has left from one of these early displays - I hope to publish a more decent copy later.

Sheet music of ( How Can You Say We're) Through? by Joe McCarthy and Jimmy Monaco.

The tune was first recorded by Ted Lewis for Columbia in August 1929 and became a small hit in the fall of 1929 as (How Can You Say We're ) Through? During 1929 several versions of the tune were released, played by Roger Wolfe Kahn ( for Brunswick ), Jimmie Noone (Vocalion) and even Virginia Willrich and her Texas Rangers ( for Okeh). It was also a small hit in Europe thanks to bands like Lud Gluskin and Jack Hylton. It was also released on the short-lived card board label Worldecho, by Norman Sissel and his Rhythm Twisters ( rec. London, October 1929.) This label also used a kind of Durium acetate on its surface, but the thick card board layer easily split into two halves ...... . This short-lived "novelty-type" label seems to be known as a forerunner of the cardboard Durium record, or should I say as its European nephew ..... The Biltmore hotel in New York City

Bert Lown was one of those numerous dance band leader, now complete forgotten, who found a job playing dance music in hotels and clubs. He was born in June 1903 in White Plains NY and learned himself to play the piano. Thanks to Rudy Vallee, a popular crooner in those days, he came into the music business. He played in several bands, like Fred Hamm's, before he founded his own dance orchestra in which he played the violin. He got a job at the Biltmore-Hotel in New York City, which was stripped to the frame and turned into an office building about 30 years ago. Known members of the band were Miff Mole ( not on this rcord), drummer Stan King and Adrian Rollini who played the bass sax and vibraphone. He made a lot of recordings for Columbia, Harmony, Perfect, Victor, Bluebird and some for the Hit of the week label, but his music is now hard to find on reissues. During the mid-1930s he started as a booking office for bands. During the 1950s he became involded in CBS TV untill he passed away in Portland Or. November 1962.

Lounge of the Biltmore Hotel (NYC).
Enjoy the tune Through played by Bert Lown and his Hotel Biltmore Orchestra as recorded on the first Hit of the week released at the news dealers in the streets of New York City now 80 years ago. The vocal is by Smith Ballew.

Thanks Taylor Bowie ( Seattle) USA for your additions according the Hotel Biltmore Hotel.

Hans Koert
author of the online Hit of the Week-Durium Discography

Thursday the 6th of February, 1930:
"Tip-Toe Through The Tulips With Me" - Don Voorhees Orchestra ( HOW 1019).
Thursday the 13th of February, 1930:
"Through" - Bert Lown and his Hotel Biltmore Music ( HOW 1020)

Next week, at this blog, the next Hit of the Week to be sold in the New York news stands ............ 80 years ago !!

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, and you love to make a chance to receive an original Hit of the Week record, ask for the newsletter


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