Hooley talks about early radio broadcast

Hooley talks about early radio broadcast

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 20th, 2012, 6:40 pm #1


Nick writes, "Attached is an mp3 of an interview I conducted with Hooley in the 1980s in which he talks about a pioneering radio broadcast in Vermont. I have also attached some relevant photos." Thanks very much, Nick, for your generosity and continuous support of the Bixography Forum.

bixography.com/SylvesterAholaTalksAboutEarlyBroadcast.mp3





<strong>The First Commercial Broadcast.</strong>

In 1920, Westinghouse, one of the leading radio manufacturers, had an idea for selling more radios: It would offer programming. Radio began as a one-to-one method of communication, so this was a novel idea. Dr. Frank Conrad was a Pittsburgh area ham operator with lots of connections. He frequently played records over the airwaves for the benefit of his friends. This was just the sort of thing Westinghouse had in mind, and it asked Conrad to help set up a regularly transmitting station in Pittsburgh. On November 2, 1920, station KDKA made the nation's first commercial broadcast (a term coined by Conrad himself). They chose that date because it was election day, and the power of radio was proven when people could hear the results of the Harding-Cox presidential race before they read about it in the newspaper. KDKA was a huge hit, inspiring other companies to take up broadcasting. In four years there were 600 commercial stations around the country.

<strong>WLAK, the Station Mentioned by Hooley.</strong>
<div>September 4, 1922<strong></strong>WLAK, Vermont's first radio station, began broadcasting in Bellows Falls.  Charles Doe, the announcer, was on the air six hours a day, with weather, farming tips, and piano and gramophone music. The radio broadcasting statio was located in the grounds of the Vermont Farm Machine Company. The company went broke in 1925.</div><div> </div><div>Albert</div>
Quote
Like
Share

Ken Bristow
Ken Bristow

July 21st, 2012, 10:58 am #2

These interesting notes by Brian Rust come from a 1980 Halcyon LP sleeve of the first 1929 Ambrose Decca recordings.

Sylvester Ahola:
"The Bert Ambrose Orchestra of 1929 as Decca recording artists and resident dance orchestra at the Mayfair Hotel was a friendly group of excellent musicians who took pride in their work. There were no alcoholics, no tardiness on sessions or at the Hotel. It was quite a group of gentlemen in formal attire, wing collars and stiff shirts. The Decca studio (in the newly opened Chenil Galleries in Chelsea) was damped down with drape hangings making my trumpet playing a little more difficult as I recall. Jimmy Dorsey, in London with Ted Lewis, said we were the world's greatest dance orchestra. The Ambrose Band had the steadiest beat of any band I ever played for".

Brian Rust:
"For Christmas, 1929, I was given two special records. They looked special; they had magenta labels printed in gold, and they were played by Ambrose and his Orchestra at the Mayfair Hotel, London. I treasured them, but my portable gramophone, and its various successors through the next ten years or so, and the steel needles I perforce used at that time by no means shared my reverence for them, and the magnificent bass became a most unmusical snort, while the warm, clean brass section became blurred and muddy, and the saxophones were made to sound shrill or woolly. When the call for unwanted records came in 1942 to help the war effort, I gave my two old friends their marching orders along with a few hundred others. Never did it occur to me in happier times to come, I would have difficulty in replacing them with better copies. I never replaced them at all. They are as rare as that.
Banjoist Joe Brannelly was an American who had come to London in 1924 to play in the Savoy Hotel, and his compatriots in the 1929 Ambrose Band were trumpeter Sylvester Ahola from Gloucester, Massachusetts, and Danny Polo, a clarinetist and saxophonist from Clinton, Indiana. "Hooley" as his many friends call him to this day was and still is one of the most outstandingly gifted trumpet players of all. Able to play anything and everything from trumpet concertos to hot jazz, from straight accompaniments to outrageously funny parodies of Clyde McCoy and others, Sylvester Ahola played in many well known bands in America before coming to London to join the Savoy Orpheans. That was at the very end of 1927; the job in the Savoy lasted nine months, but Ambrose saw in Hooley exactly what he needed. A man who had worked in the bands of Ruby Newman, Paul Specht, the California Ramblers and Adrian Rollini, who had as a brass team mate no less a genius than Bix Beiderbecke, and whose capabilities seemed limitless, Sylvester Ahola was to play a large part in making a great band even greater.
The Golden Age of British Dance Bands is usually looked on as the thirties, broadly speaking. The tracks on this record illustrate the dawn of that Golden Age. They show that the Ambrose orchestra was as good as the best in America then or during the 1930's. Bert Ambrose himself is known to have said that these were the happiest days of his life. Well they might have been; with a band like this, playing to a world-wide audience on records and radio, who could ask for anything more?"
Sleeve notes by Brian Rust.
Quote
Share

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 21st, 2012, 1:08 pm #3


I Want to Be Bad  Sep 17, 1927  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw6r_o3GQE4

Button Up Your Overcoat  Sep 17, 1929  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM0sO1VOpqw Get a load of that coda

I wonder if this was one of the records Brian Rust got in Christmas 1929. The date is about right.

Albert


Forum Owner
Quote
Like
Share