Sunday, July 01, 2012

The making of ..... loose ends

 Information needed: Miss LEOLA FELTON
Searching for a needle in a haysteck 
Hans Koert

In the summer of 2011 the final 2cd album of the Complete Hit of the Week Recordings has been released by Archeophone Records - the crowing glory of twenty years of collecting and research. Except the regular commercial Hit of the Week releases numerous custom or promo records must have been released - many have been listed, but a lot are l unknown. Often the information about musicians is very sparse or musician even stay anonymous .... without a face or identifcation!: searching for a needle in a haystack .... Thanks to the project we could trace the members of the Paull Sisters, but the unknown Leola Felton still needs a face ...........: The making of ..... Loose ends. 

A sleeve for a Hit of the Week record which features the Paull Sisters: But who were these Paull Sisters? ( archive: Hans Koert)
Twenty years ago I started to collect the Hit of the Week - Durium records and during those two decades the Hit of the Week - Durium Discographies were born. When the books were published in 2005 there were still some unanswered questions. I'm thinking about the one loose end I haven't tied up. In the May 2005 version I wrote: I'm anxious to know who are the members of the Paull Sisters or the Club Men Trio.
 Julia Brock and Ruth Brock ( aka: Julia Paull and Ruth Paull: The Paull Sisters) ( Hans Koert archive)
Well, , thanks to Bill Schoerner the members of the mystery vocal group The Paull Sisters got a name .....: Julia Paull and Ruth Paull.  A few months later  I got into contact with Julia's daughter Judye Talbot, who was Julia's daughter. She told me that her mother Julia recently passed away - 104 years old and she could offer me some photos of the vocal duo. Judye told me, that their own family name  was Brock, but that they didn't want to call them selves the Brocks Sisters as another vocal duo in those days was labeled as The Brox Sisters. The Paull Sisters, two L's, so that no-one would read it as a surname ...........
The labelless cardboard Durium record, prob. released for the Connie's Inn (NYC)or as a private record for Leola Felton. ( photo courtesy: Ross Shore) I received, years ago, a copy of a private or custom recording on a Durium cardboard record from Russ Shore, without any label information, which was part of a live recording, made in Connie's Inn (New York City) by a pianist Leola Felton. On the record a spoken introduction, which says: This is a Durium record. Again we bring you Leola Fenton from Connie’s Inn and this time she’s going to play for you her favorite number the St. Louis Blues. followed by a piano version of St. Louis Blues. As, in the early 1930s numerous radio programs were made from the club by WBC, it could be part of an airshot.   
 Connie's Inn  at the 2221 Seventh Avenue at West 131st Street - New York City ( photo:
The information suggests that this was a custom record, sold or given away at the Connie's Inn and, as the intro suggest, her second ones ........

Connie's Inn ( photo:
Who was Leola Felton? A search in my handbooks and on the internet didn't work and Leola became a mysterious and anonymous piano player. A few weeks ago I received a copy of the 1926 Trenton directory, a list of names of residents of the city of Trenton ( NJ) which reads: Leola Felton - pianist - a resident who lived in 1926 at the address 249 North Willow. Of course I know this is not the firm proof that's she is the recorded artist in the Connie's Inn, but it could be.  I found some more minor details, like that she must have had her own band, entitled the Troubadours ( Trenton Evening Times) and in another news paper ( Jersey Journal ) she is labeled as Miss Leola Felton, of Madison, accompanist.

Part of the 1926 Trenton directory ( Thanks to Chris Smiths)
  I hope to get into contact with record collectors or journalists, who can help me to learn more about this piano playing lady, Miss Leola Felton, her gigs in the Connie's Inn 1930 or early 1931, or more about her airshots for WBC radio maybe ......; that would be great, giving her a face by sending me a photo of her or her band .......... to solve the puzzle .....

Part of an article or advertisement in the Jersey Journal (Hans Koert archive) 
If you have more info about Leola Felton, her recordings, her first recording at the Connie's Inn ( other then the St. Louis Blues), feel free to share it with the visitors of this blog:

This blog will be published in Dutch too at the Keep (it) Swinging blog

Hans Koert
author of the Hit of the Week-Durium discographies
Twitter: #hitoftheweek  Facebook group Hit of the Week-Durium Project

While making the Hit of the Week-Durium discography a lot of unknown promo or custom records were found. Some clubs or holidays cruises offered their customers records of the artist they had heard, or offered those records for sale. One of those unknown promo records was made by Leola Felton, who was a piano player, who had a gig in the well known Connie's Inn in New York City - but ....Who was that miss Leola Felton? She seemed to be a 1926 resident of Trenton NJ, later she could have lived in Madison accompaning vocalists ...... and she might have had her own band: the Troubadours.  Can any help me with additional information about this piano player? And it would be great if we could give her a face .........
Retrospect Keep Swinging (old) Oscar Aleman Choro Music Flexible Records Hit of the Week-Durium Friends of the Keep Swinging blog Keep Swinging Contributions

Connie's Inn ( ca. 1930) ( photo:


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