Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hotel Pennsylvania Music - University of Maine Stein Song

HOTEL PENNSYLVANIA MUSIC [ 2tp-tb-2cl as-cl ts-2v-p-banj-tu-dm-vo4]: Phil Spitalny dir., Tommy Thunen tp, unknown male vo-quartet (with Scrappy Lambert).
Recorded in New York City ca. February, 1930
( prob. later then the 10th of February)
Matrix number: 1036 C
It was reissued on three contemporary albums ( source:
Online Hit of the Week discography - Hans Koert (2004-2010)
Label of the Hit of the Week 1036 ( with the regular blue-yellow-blue lettering) ( collection Hans Koert)
Released on Thursday the 10th of April 1930. It has the ( up to now) regular Hit of the Week label with the blue - yellow - blue lettering. Mind that it has, like all Hit of the Week labels in the first half of 1930, the manufacturers identification in two straight lines.
Label op the Hit of the Week 1036 ( with the green-yellow - green) lettering ( collection: Doug Benson)
This label has a green-yellow-green lettering, unusual for this period. The manufacturers identification is in a curve, which became regular somewhere in the fall of 1930. I think this record was reissued not earlier then October 1930 to complete the so-called Hit of the Week library in a period that the Hit of the Weeks were sold nation wide and also started its promotional campaign in Canada.

This Hit of the Week release is the first one with Phil Spitalny, who directed this Hotel Pennsylvania Music. Phil Spitalny (1890-1970) would become the most recorded band leader for Durium, together with Bert Hirsch. More information about Phil Spitalny, who became known for his all-women bands during the late 1930s and 1940s here and in future blogs. The name of this band, the Hotel Pennylvania Music refers to a well known New York hotel ( 7th avenue 32d. & 33d. ) a hotel which seemed to have been exclusively for the rich. In the early 1930s Jack Albin played here with his Hotel Pennsylvania Music. Brian Rust labels this Hit of the Week 1036 Hotel Pennsylvania Music as a Jack Albin band. The interior of the Hotel Pennsylvania
The tune University of Maine Stein Song is in fact a rather weird tune. In was originally composed in 1901 by E. A. Fenstad and ten years later Lincoln Colcord added the lyrics. It's a drink song ( a Stein is a German drinking vessel). In 1929 Rudy Vallee, a Maine alumnus himself, introduced the song in his popular the Fleischman Radio Hour on NBC and made this song to a hit in February 1930 : 350,000 copies of the sheet music were sold and half a million records. Mind that Durium releasing this Hit of the Week really had a "Hit of the Week" with this song and it must have been sold very well. That's why I suggested before that this Hit of the Week version was recorded after the 10th of February 1930.

I love to share his version of Stein Song, by Rudy Vallee and his Connecticut Yankees recorded on the 10th of February 1930 for Victor.

Isn't it strange that a drink song became a number one hit for eight weeks in the mids of the Prohibition period?
This University of Maine Stein Song became a standard for US swing bands all through the 1930s and it even became a hit in Europe, as played by Jack Hylton. Of course the British had never heard of the University of Maine so Hylton changed the lyrics a bit and filled the steins for Auld Lang Syne, which was a Scottish university.

Mind that another University of Maine Stein song was released on a Hit of the Week promo record as Hit of the Week 1040 played by the Statler Pennsylvanians, which was just another name for the same band. This record was a so-called Sample Record and will be discussed later ................
Hans Koert
author of the Hit of the Week discography ( 2004-2010)


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)
Thursday the 20th of February, 1930: "Hello Baby" - Bert Lown and his Hotel Biltmore Music (HOW 1021)
Thursday the 27th of February, 1930: "My Fate Is In Your Hands - Vincent Lopez Orchestra ( HOW 1022);
Thurday the 6th of March, 1930: My Sweeter Than Sweet - Vincent Lopez Orchestra ( HOW 1023-A)(HOW 1023-B)
Thursday the 13th of March, 1930: I'm Following You - Ben Pollack Orchestra ( HOW 1026)
Thursday the 20th of March, 1930: Cryin' For The Carolines - Ben Pollack's Orchestra
Thursday, the 3rd of April, 1930: Congratulations - Bert Lown and his Biltmore Music ( HOW 1032)
Thursday, the 10th of April, 1930: University of Maine Stein Song - Hotel Pennsylvania Music

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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