Albert Haim wrote:
Enrico kindly sends this nice photo of the Ted Lewis Band on May 22, 1928 at the Orpheum.
Enrico recognizes Ted Lewis and George Brunies. He asks who are the other guys?
During the period March - July 1928, Lewis wass in New York and recorded, among other sides, "I Ain't Got Nobody," "A Jazz Holiday," and "Clarinet Marmalade." Rust gives Walter Kahn and Dave Klein, t; George Brunies, Harry Raderman, tb; Ted Lewis, Don Murray, reeds; Frank Ross, p; Sol Klein, vn; Tony Gerhardi, bj, g; Harry Barth, bb; Jack Lucas, d. I don't see Don Murray. There is a one to one correspondence between the names and the guys in the photo: 2 t, 2 tb, 1 p, 1 g, 1 bass, 1 d, 1 vn.
The quoted posts from April 28, 2008 predate my time here. If no one has since offered corrections or additions, I may be able to help and also raise some useful questions.
First, Mark Berresford's ID of the musicians is correct though the last name of the banjoist, who also played guitar is indeed Gerhardi. The same photo was later published in the Los Angeles Examiner on June 12, 1928 during Ted Lewis and the band's run at the Los Angeles Orpheum.
The absence of Don Murray does not mean the photo was taken prior to May 22, 1928 though I think it likely. In a post last year, I gave my reasons for believing Murray was not with Lewis in Los Angeles in 1928. In fact, though Ted Lewis toured extensively in April, May and June 1928, I doubt Don Murray was part of Lewis's traveling troupe during that time.
Around April 1, 1928, Lewis announced he had contracted to appear on the Orpheum circuit. After his last NYC recording date on April 3, (Murray again participating as he had in March), Lewis embarked on a vaudeville tour that took him to Kansas City, Minneapolis and Chicago. Allowing for an interval of a week or so, Lewis and his band were at the San Francisco Orpheum on the date supplied for the photo. Lewis and gang also appeared at the Orpheum in Oakland before heading to Los Angeles where they opened on June 10. I suggest that the above photo was taken just prior to or in early conjunction with Lewis's Orpheum tour.
And where was Don Murray? Most likely, New York. We know Murray recorded with Lewis in January, March and April 1928. He recorded with other NYC groups as well then and in the succeeding months. We also know Murray spent some time in the 1928 pit band of RAIN OR SHINE on Broadway. We've seen his signature in Joe Tarto's notebook, along with those of Don Voorhees (leader); Freddie Farrar; Mannie Klein; Charlie Butterfield; Dudley Fosdick; Joe Venuti; Joe Raymond; Henri Whiteman; Bob Gates; Theo. Fishberg; Albert Zifskin; Arnold Brilhart; Fud Livingston; Max Farle(y); Salvatore Massaro (Eddie Lang); Frank Signorelli and Chauncey Morehouse. I don't think Murray was in the band when the show first opened. He seems to have been part of a later wave, according to MELODY MAKER, along with Venuti, Farrar and Butterfield.
Joe Tarto told Woody Backensto that more than a few band members didn't remain with the show for its full run. But while there, they'd record with other bands. Several of Don Murray's records made during these months were with groups headed by fellow RAIN OR SHINE musician and longtime pal Joe Venuti.
Murray again recorded with Lewis when Lewis returned to New York in July. Ted was then appearing with his band at the Palace Theater. I doubt Murray was in Ted's Palace act either. A Billboard review of Ted's July 9, 1928 Palace appearance speaks of only "9 sparkling musicians". My hunch therefore is that Don Murray's first stage performance as one of Ted's "Musical Klowns" may well have been on the ship to Europe later in July.