Daily Archives: January 23, 2010


I have a problem.  Having posted an excerpt from the short film by Walt Roesner and the Capitolians, featuring every Hot soloist you can imagine, I followed the text that accompanied the video (as well as my own eyes) for the identification of the players.  And since I couldn’t take my eyes off of the drummer — identified as the very original Vic Berton.

Now I find from a reputable percussion authority and several colleagues that they think the drummer is NOT Vic Berton.

What to do?

Here are pictures (verified by drummer / scholar Hal Smith) of Vic Berton.

and, finally, everyone’s favorite Dionysian figure:

Now, if you would look back to the posting of the Vitaphone excerpt: TEARING IT UP (Vic Berton and Friends)

I’m usually stubborn about these things, but the drummer in the Vitaphone short is substantial, perhaps verging on the rotund, and he may have a mustache.  Vic seems slimmer in both body and face.

What do my readers think?  If the man in the short film IS Vic, explain; if not, who’s playing drums with the Capitolians?  He swings, whatever his name may be!