Two New Scranton Sirens Photographs

Two New Scranton Sirens Photographs

Josh Duffee
Josh Duffee

April 16th, 2012, 3:52 am #1


Hi Albert,

This weekend I found two photographs of the Scranton Sirens from Russ Morgan's collection. His son, Jack, and I are very good friends, and I even played with Jack for the past 7 years with his orchestra before he stopped playing in 2011. Jack let me come over and take a look at what his dad had for photographs in his collection.

I contacted Vince when I was able to scan the photographs in when I got home, and I sent him the scans so he could check them out. Sure enough, the one photograph has Russ Morgan, Itzy Riskin, Mike Trafficante, and, yes, Eddie Lang in the photo! He said that he has never seen this photo.


I also found another photograph of a quintet of the Sirens, with Russ appearing to be the leader. It reminded me of Specht's Orchestra with Guarante leading The Georgians.



Speaking of Specht, one other photograph I have now is a 11x17 photograph of the Paul Specht Orchestra in the Congo Room at the Hotel Alamac, signed by Chauncey Morehouse! He had given this photo to Russ, and wrote on it, "To My Good Friend Russ, Sincerely, Chauncey Morehouse." One reason I know this is 100% authentic is because Chauncey drew an arrow pointing to himself, with the words "This is ME!!" written in the bass drum. As Susan Reed will point out, and Vince, Chauncey did this ALL the time with photographs and articles that he was in.

I found the quintet photograph to be interesting because the drummer is using a Barry Snare Drum, which were made in the Philly area. I have a photograph of Chauncey with the Specht Orchestra where he is holding a Barry Snare Drum in the photograph too. The Barry Drum Company must have had a deal with the local photography studios to use their drums with the bands being photographed in the area. It would be neat to look into this more, especially with checking out photographs of other groups in the 20's from the Philly area.

I'll send the two photos in another e-mail, and you can attach them to this message. It still shows that there are items still out there today from so many years ago, and you never know when you will stumble upon them. Rich Johnson was always like that here in the Quad Cities with his Bix research. He always knew there was still something out there about Bix to be found, and he was always right!

Take care,

Josh Duffee
Last edited by ahaim on April 16th, 2012, 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 16th, 2012, 1:52 pm #2

Last edited by ahaim on April 16th, 2012, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 16th, 2012, 2:25 pm #3


Violinist Henry "Hank" Biagini was one of Goldkette's musicians. He fronted the Orange Blossoms, the band that became the Casa Loma Orchestra in 1929. I believe he left the Casa Loma Orchesra in late 1931 or early 1932.

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

April 16th, 2012, 3:29 pm #4

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

April 16th, 2012, 3:54 pm #5

Violinist Henry "Hank" Biagini was one of Goldkette's musicians. He fronted the Orange Blossoms, the band that became the Casa Loma Orchestra in 1929. I believe he left the Casa Loma Orchesra in late 1931 or early 1932.

Albert
Courtesy of drummer Hal Smith. Thanks very much, Hal, very generous of you. Terrific photos. Hank is the guy in front in both photos.





See more photos of the Orange Blossoms in the forum. Search for Orange Blossoms (no quotation marks).

Albert
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Russell Davies
Russell Davies

April 18th, 2012, 4:16 pm #6

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vince giordano
vince giordano

April 18th, 2012, 5:13 pm #7

Hi Albert,

This weekend I found two photographs of the Scranton Sirens from Russ Morgan's collection. His son, Jack, and I are very good friends, and I even played with Jack for the past 7 years with his orchestra before he stopped playing in 2011. Jack let me come over and take a look at what his dad had for photographs in his collection.

I contacted Vince when I was able to scan the photographs in when I got home, and I sent him the scans so he could check them out. Sure enough, the one photograph has Russ Morgan, Itzy Riskin, Mike Trafficante, and, yes, Eddie Lang in the photo! He said that he has never seen this photo.


I also found another photograph of a quintet of the Sirens, with Russ appearing to be the leader. It reminded me of Specht's Orchestra with Guarante leading The Georgians.



Speaking of Specht, one other photograph I have now is a 11x17 photograph of the Paul Specht Orchestra in the Congo Room at the Hotel Alamac, signed by Chauncey Morehouse! He had given this photo to Russ, and wrote on it, "To My Good Friend Russ, Sincerely, Chauncey Morehouse." One reason I know this is 100% authentic is because Chauncey drew an arrow pointing to himself, with the words "This is ME!!" written in the bass drum. As Susan Reed will point out, and Vince, Chauncey did this ALL the time with photographs and articles that he was in.

I found the quintet photograph to be interesting because the drummer is using a Barry Snare Drum, which were made in the Philly area. I have a photograph of Chauncey with the Specht Orchestra where he is holding a Barry Snare Drum in the photograph too. The Barry Drum Company must have had a deal with the local photography studios to use their drums with the bands being photographed in the area. It would be neat to look into this more, especially with checking out photographs of other groups in the 20's from the Philly area.

I'll send the two photos in another e-mail, and you can attach them to this message. It still shows that there are items still out there today from so many years ago, and you never know when you will stumble upon them. Rich Johnson was always like that here in the Quad Cities with his Bix research. He always knew there was still something out there about Bix to be found, and he was always right!

Take care,

Josh Duffee
Thanks Josh for finding these "new" Scranton Sirens photos and sharing them with us ! Great finds !! Best wishes !
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Andrew Sordoni
Andrew Sordoni

April 18th, 2012, 8:10 pm #8

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

April 19th, 2012, 12:09 pm #9


.... thank you for posting.

A lot of talented musicians were members (or sat with) of the Scranton Sirens. There must be something special with the water in Pennsylvania.

Albert
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Alex Mendham
Alex Mendham

April 19th, 2012, 8:04 pm #10

Courtesy of drummer Hal Smith. Thanks very much, Hal, very generous of you. Terrific photos. Hank is the guy in front in both photos.





See more photos of the Orange Blossoms in the forum. Search for Orange Blossoms (no quotation marks).

Albert
Glen Gray in the back of the second photo? Later leader on the Casa Loma Orchestra.
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