rand’s esoteric otr

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Skinner’s Romancers - Pgm 2

August 12th, 2010

As my last post this week, I'd like to offer a selection that will have your toes tapping - a bit of "hot jazz" to get your weekend started.

I recently obtained two discs from the now-forgotten series "Skinner's Romancers", a music program sponsored by William Skinner & Sons.  Program 2 in the series includes "My Bluebird's Back Again", "As Time Goes By", "She Gives All Her Attention to Me" and "My Sweet Tooth Says I Wanna (But My Wisdom Tooth Says No)" (or, at least, I think those are the titles of the tunes).  The band isn't identified, but they're quite good - any jazz experts out there have a clue on who these guys might actually be?

transcription label

Skinner was a company specializing in silks, so we hear little short commercials in between the tunes encouraging women to make their own clothes with Skinner fabrics.  You can read a history of Skinner and see some photos of the factories at this online exhibit and also check out a vintage 1920s ad for their wares.

There were dozens, if not hundreds, of these little syndicated shows floating around in the early 1930s.  Everyone wanted to advertise on radio and syndicating shows to individual stations was a good way for a regional or second-tier national advertiser to promote their products.  This show sounds similar to some other 1931-era syndicated programs linked at otrcats (see the lower right sidebar), so I wonder if some of the same people worked on them.  The label of this disc notes that the "program was prepared by Lucia Hackley, New York City" - anyone know who Hackley was?

The show was transferred from an original single-sided Columbia Sound-on-Disc Division shellac transcription, matrix number 305130.  There's a "W" in a circle just before matrix number, probably indicating it was recorded on Western Electric equipment


  • Bob

    That third title is a 1931 Irving Berlin pop song called simply, “Me!” (with an exclamation mark).

    Aug 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm
  • Zorchman

    Your version of “Me!” is identical to the one issued on Columbia 2502-D by The Knickerbockers (mx 151695-3)…it’s the Ben Selvin Orchestra with Benny Goodman, clarinet / Tommy Dorsey, trombone / Dick Robertson, vocal…recorded 21 July 1931. My copy should appear in my blog (Zorch’s Inner Sanctum) some time in the near future (with a link to your show, of course).

    Your “Sweet Tooth” is probably Selvin again (under his own name) from 14 July 1931 (mx 151682-1, Columbia 2501-D), but I don’t have a copy to match yours with.

    Sep 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm
  • Dave Dawes

    1st Title - My Blackbird’s Back Again - Rec Oct. 22, 1931 by Lloyd Keating & His Music Harmony 1382-H

    2nd Title - As Time Goes By - Rec August 18, 1931 by Lloyd Keating & His Music Harmony 1367-H

    3rd Title - Me - Recorded July 21, 1931 by The Knickerbockers Columbia 2502-D

    4th Title - My Sweet Tooth - Rec July 31, 1931 by Lloyd Keating & His Music Harmony 1350-H

    Jan 5, 2011 at 2:55 am