Volume 1, 1920-1921
The Benson Orchestra of Chicago

The Benson Orchestra of Chicago: The Benson Orchestra of Chicago, 1920-1921
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Complete releases from sessions between September 1920 and September 1921 in Camden and Chicago; 26 tracks and over 79 minutes total. A packed 28-page booklet reveals previously unknown details about the life and business of impresario Edgar A. Benson, the man who controlled the dance-band scene in Chicago for many years. This is the band that popularized "stop-time" rhythm and launched the career of pianist and arranger Roy Bargy, later of Paul Whiteman's Orchestra.  List price: $16.49

OVERVIEW

  • Catalogue number: ARCH 6001
  • UPC: 777215105508
  • Original release date: October 4, 2003
  • Running length: 79:33 / 26 tracks
  • Notes & packaging: Includes a 28-page booklet
  • Tracks recorded: 1920-1921
  • In Archeophone's Jazz, Dance & Blues series
Tracks and Sound SamplesProduct DescriptionPackage DealsMore by this Artist
 Sample all tracks 
Tracklist
1. Railroad Blues The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1920
2. Chili Bean The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1920
3. Oh Gee! Oh Gosh! (My Feet Won’t Behave) The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1920
4. Fair One The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1920
5. I’d Love to Fall Asleep and Wake Up in My Mammy’s Arms The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1920
6. I Love You Sunday The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1920
7. Biddy The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1920
8. My Little Bimbo The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1920
9. Somebody The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1920
10. Toddle The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
11. Scandinavia The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
12. San The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
13. Ain’t We Got Fun The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
14. Crooning The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
15. I’ll Keep On Loving You The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
16. It Must Be Someone Like You The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
17. Na-Jo The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
18. Bimini Bay The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
19. One Kiss The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
20. My Sunny Tennessee The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
21. Wabash Blues The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
22. Ma! The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
23. Just Like a Rainbow The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
24. No One’s Fool The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
25. June Moon The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921
26. Tuck Me to Sleep in My Old ‘Tucky Home The Benson Orchestra of Chicago 1921

Welcome to the inaugural release in Archeophone’s Jazz, Dance, and Blues Series. Our CD of the Benson Orchestra of Chicago’s initial 26 releases is the first serious attempt at chronicling this important dance band’s contribution to the sound of 1920s American ballrooms. With pianist and arranger Roy Bargy leading a crack stable of sidemen, the Bensons were one of the top recording dance outfits of the early ’20s, and they will still make you want to dance today. This collection includes 26 tracks, over 79 minutes of playing time, and a detailed 24-page booklet featuring previously undiscovered facts about the life and business of impresario Edgar A. Benson, who founded and managed the band.

Song Hits Made into Dance Standards

The Benson Orchestra was given top material to record, and they held forth on some of the big hits of the day, which are now standards: “Ain’t We Got Fun,” “Chili Bean,” “My Little Bimbo,” and “My Sunny Tennessee,” for starters. These were the songs people of eight decades ago wanted to dance to, and you’ll notice the Bensons putting their stamp on all of it, stretching the material to its musical limits. Whether you’re a jazz afficionado or if you simply want some peppy music for your next cocktail party, this is the CD for you!

Virtuoso Performances

All the members of the Benson Orchestra were skilled players. At the same time they were doing the standard dance-hall fare, the Bensons were serving up hot portions on songs like “Railroad Blues.” The clarinet solo and orchestra accompaniment on “Na-Jo” may be the first example on record of stop-time rhythm. Note the saxophone solo on “I’d Love to Fall Asleep and Wake Up in My Mammy’s Arms” or the trumpet work on “Somebody.” This collection is full of tight ensemble work (such as “No One’s Fool”), highlighted by standout solo work (note the end of the sax part on “Oh Gee! Oh Gosh!”).

Top Performers

Except for Roy Bargy, who went on to work for many years with Paul Whiteman, many of the names are forgotten today. Most of these men had active careers in other orchestras after their tenure in the Benson.

  • Roy Bargy (piano, arranger, leader)
  • Matthew Amaturo (clarinet, alto sax, soprano sax)
  • Rick Adkins (trumpet)
  • Guy Carey (trombone)
  • Tom Thatcher (tenor sax)
  • Joe Baum (violin)
  • Joe Miller (banjo)
  • William Foeste (bass sax, tuba)
  • Albert Walthall (violin)
  • Arthur Layfield (drums)

This release has been removed from our package deals until it is back in stock.

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