FROM THE McCONVILLE ARCHIVES (Part Three)

On your mark!  Get set!  Research!

Here’s Leo McConville with the Georgians:

and as a member (back right?) of a large orchestra with singers, everyone beautifully dressed, even for radio.  Nothing’s evaporated here:

Identifications, O Scholars?  More to come . . . .

25 responses to “FROM THE McCONVILLE ARCHIVES (Part Three)

  1. I am pretty sure that the guy with the guitar in the second photo is Carl Kress.
    According to Rust, Leo McConville had two recording sessions with the Georgians, Nov 18 and Nov 24, 1924. The other members of the Georgians for the two sessions were Charles Butterfield (tb), Frank Kilduff (as,bar), Henry Wade (cl,ss,ts), Arthur Schutt (p), Roy Smeck (bj), Ted Noyes (d).

  2. Hans Eekhoff

    Wonderful photos! If only they were scans….

  3. In the second photo, could the guy holding a trumpet on the right of the two trombonists be Fuzzy Farrar?

  4. How beautiful! How miticulously dressed everyone is. They cared. The carpeted stage in the top pic along with the back drop panels/decor is a study itself. In the bottom pic on the right: I’d like to know what the dark round object is on a stand, anything to do with sound pick-up(?) “Pet Milk” is still going. “Irradiated” indicates it was either (a) exposed to radiation or (b) emmission of radiant energy. My goodness! BTW- The Northeast Classic Car Museum (Norwich, NY) believes the car Jimmy Dorsey is sitting in (earlier post) is a mid-1920’s Packard, the center panel between the doors being an important indentification factor. Great stuff! Thanks for sharing such facinating pictoral history, Leo Jr. and MS. Looking forward to seeing more. yt/mb

  5. Hello west coast! Looking with the photo enlarged the round object to the right standing well away from everyone probably is a suspended chinese gong. The middle sax player with one hand resting on top of the other (?) I get a feeling it’s Jimmy Dorsey. Was he in the CBS Radio Band? Man, what photographs! That you have shared them with us this way is truly a musical blessing! (imo)- m

  6. May I suggest that this is a photo of the orchestra playing on CBS’s “Saturday Night Serenade” program? According to “On the air: the encyclopedia of old-time radio” by John Dunning, the program ran from 1936 to 1948. It was sponsored by Pet Milk.The orchestra was directed by Howard Barlow (1936-37) and then by Gus Haenschen. The program is described as having a chorus: Emil Cote with 14 mixed voices. Take a look at the left hand side of the photo and you will see a chorus of 8 men and 6 women!

  7. Dear Albert,
    Any suggestions from you are always welcome, and I agree that the guitarist (receding hairline of course) does resemble Kress. But I wonder if the fashion experts in the audience would say that this is from 1936 onwards. And if Leo Jr. is correct and his father is in the back row, then the date might be incorrect — Sr. had left the music business in 1934, I believe. Were there earlier programs on CBS sponsored by irradiated evaporated milk (good for what ails you)? Cheers, Michael

  8. Hans Eekhoff

    To me the photo has a distinct mid-30’s atmosphere. Notice the use of four microphones and the fact that they are 1930’s models. The one hanging down is most probably an RCA 77 which wasn’t really introduced until 1933. Pet Milk introduced irradiated evaporated milk in 1934 and that is probably the year that this picture was taken.

  9. Beginning in 1933, Pet Milk sponsored the Mary Lee Taylor show on CBS, a radio program dedicated to cooking. But there was no big band in this program.

  10. If one Googles “RCA Microphones” one can find ample pictures and dates to the mics we see in the CBS photograph. All indications seem to refer to them as RCA 44’s. There is one on a website with the CBS identification and it’s from ’33 or ’34. The capsule type, D77’s ala Larry King Live, came on the scene in the late 30’s- ’38 or so. I purchased 2 of them (77X) in the early 70’s (at Harvey Radio, NYC) to record the Adolphus “Doc” Cheatham album… in Jim Andrews’ living room. I still have them- they are in primo condition and worth a grand apiece according to a collector in Australia. The photo smacks of 1930’s- early. Have fun boys!

  11. For comparison, here is a photo of the Benny Goodman Orchestra in the Congress Hotel, Chicago, mid 1930s.

  12. Hans Eekhoff

    The microphone hanging from the ceiling is in all probability an RCA 77A and different from the 4 other ones on stands; but they too are post-1930 mikes. I repeat that the RCA 77A came on the scene in 1933. I also repeat that Pet Pet Milk introduced irradiated evaporated milk in 1934 and that therefore this picture was probably taken in that year. Indeed, have fun boys.

  13. Agustín Pérez

    In the first photo, I’m pretty sure the pianist is Arthur Schutt (his ears and nose are very recognizable).

    As Albert Haim mentioned in his post on those November 1924 sessions, and except for Schutt, no trace of the original Georgians with Frank Guarente (tp, the real star of the group, who had left for Europe on May 1924), Ray Stilwell and later Russ Morgan and Archie Jones (tb), Johnny O’Donnell and Harold Saliers (reeds), Russell Deppe (banjo) or Joe Tarto (bb).

    Regards,
    Agustín

  14. Hans- I humbly yeild to your 77A reference. For sport– I see a total of 4 mics in the photo. L to r is a 44 on a stand in front of the announcer/commercial voices, etc… next comes the 77A (barely visable) on a stand in front of the violins… then another 44 suspended from the ceiling to pick up audience applause… and another 44 on a stand in front of the vocal group. Here’s the scoop on the 77A from a website when I Googled “RCA Ribbon Microphones” and then clicked on “RCA Type 77A”– “This is the RCA Type 77-A, forerunner of the 77-DX. Grand-daddy of the ribbon microphone, the 77-A is among the rarest of the RCA ribbon mics. Designed by Dr. Harry F. Olson, RCA’s lifelong resident audio genius during the late 20s and early 30s, the 77-A set the performance benchmarks for all RCA ribbons to follow for the next four decades. It is rumored that proto­types actually existed in 1929 and 1930; however, the 77-A wasn’t announced until 1932. It featured two vertical in-line ribbons and an acoustic labyrinth inside the case, which enabled it to be uni-directional. The 77-A is a huge microphone resembling a cannon shell with a large perforated windscreen on the top portion. It is gimballed at its center of gravity in a U-shaped fork.” Somewhere in this research is a side by side photo of the “Grand-daddy” 77A and the following much smaller 77’s illustrating the difference in size. I was not aware of the 77A’s existence so I am indebted to you for teaching me that. Which proves- You can teach an old dog… been fun! Sincerely, Mike

  15. Hans Eekhoff

    With having to enlarge the picture and go back again, I made a mistake about which is the RCA 77A mike. Yes there are 4 mikes in total and you’re right, the 77A is the one high-up on the stand in the middle and not the one hanging from the ceiling which is indeed probably a model 44. Still, the fact remains that the presence of the model 77A proves that this was taken after 1932/33 and the fact that Pet Milk did not introduce irradiated evaporated milk until 1934 clinches the matter – the picture was taken in or after that year. As McConville left the music business in 1934, according to Michael, the picture must have been taken in that year and might even be the last of Leo McConville as a professional musician.

  16. In addition to the 14-mixed voice chorus, the “Saturday Night Serenade” program featured a soprano and a tenor, Mary Eastman and Bill Perry. On the left-hand side of the photograph, you see a guy with a flower on his tuxedo lapel and a lady in a two-piece formal dress, presumably the tenor and soprano, respectively. So the orchestra in the photo has all of the features described for the program. Moreover, the photo clearly demonstrates that we are dealing with an elaborate production, compatible with a CBS coast ot coast, prime time broadcast of a “Saturday Night Serenade.”
    Incidentally, all that can be inferred from the fact that irradiation of the milk by ultraviolet ligth (to increase its vitamin D content) was introduced in 1934, is that the photo was taken, at the earliest, in 1934. My guess is ca 1936.

  17. Hans Eekhoff

    So according to Mr. Haim Leo McConville did NOT leave the music business in 1934.

  18. Gentlemen . . . this thread might very well be at an end, by Order of the Management. Play nice, boys?

  19. Hans Eekhoff

    What is not nice about this? I am genuinely interested in the question whether Leo McConville quit the music business in 1934 (as you said) or if he continued after that year (as Mr. Haim implied).

  20. Dear Hans,
    I checked Chilton, who is reliable, and he says that Leo continued to do session work until the mid-Thirties, so it is possible that Mr. Haim’s supposition about the picture being in 1936 is correct. But I would rather that my readers admire these beauties in serenity, not acrimony. No offense meant, but the discussion is now closed unless other issues arise.

  21. No offense meant, but the discussion is now closed unless other issues arise.
    +++
    Damn shame cause I really long to know what the hell was “irradiated pet milk”?

    Milk for irradiated pets, how timely.

    Everything old is new again, eh?

  22. I recognize Gus Haenschen standing to just to right of the first row of players. He took over the Saturday Night Serenade from Howard Barlow in 1937, per that encyclopedia doohickey whose name I forget just now.

    Besides Carl Kress, other faces in the crowd include Will Bradley, left trombone, and Verlye Mills Brilhart, harpist (and thus probably her husband Arnold Brilhart on lead alto sax).

  23. A pity that the owner of the photograph did not make a decent scan; it would have made identification so much easier and more reliable.

  24. Leo McConville, Jr.

    Dear Hans,
    I have started to scan some of these pictures. I do not have a large enough scanner but I’ve since taken some to Staples. Mark Beresford requested some scanned for an article he is working on. I will have to get together with Michael Steinman to discuss.
    Michael – Sorry we have not touched base lately!!!
    Leo McConville Jr.

  25. Hans Eekhoff

    Thanks Leo – it would be great to have these wonderful pictures properly scanned in high resolution.
    Kind regards, Hans Eekhoff

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