Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Jazz Performance - "Down In Honky Tonky Town" - The Rent Party Revelers

Here is a great jazz performance from yesteryear! Yesteryear being November of 1992. The Rent Party Revelers is a group of musicians led by cornetist Tex Wyndham. The group is usually made up of musicians who happen to be available and their CDs have many different artists from one album to the next.

One thing that each of their albums are is lively and this 1992 performance of Chris Smith and Charles McCarron's Down in Honky Tonky Town filmed at the 13th Annual San Diego Thanksgiving Jazz Festival in San Diego, California, is a great example of the band in their prime.

The music for Down in Honky Tonky Town came out about 1916. It was written and composed by Charles McCarron and Chris Smith.

McCarron was born in 1891 and is considered a Tin Pan Alley composer. He was responsible for the lyrics on this tune. He died only a few years after it's release in 1919.

Chris Smith
Smith was a prolific black American composer. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1879. Smith started out as a performer in medicine shows and moved into the minstrel shows and vaudeville. He worked closely with the star comedian, Bert Williams and would eventually move to New York perminently where he wrote music for such entertainers as Jimmy Durante and Fanny Brice.

His first piano rag to be published was Monkey Rag in 1911. Then he had a mega hit in 1913 with Ballin' the Jack in which Jim Burrus wrote the lyrics. Smith died on October 4, 1949 after having had a long career in composing some great American music which is still popular with jazz bands today.

In the following performance Tex Wyndham is on cornet, Ray Heitger is on clarinet, Jim Riley sings and is on banjo, while Noel Kaletsky plays sax, Dave Oswald plays the tuba, Roger Munnell is on trombone, with Ed Metz at the piano and Ted les Plantes on drums.

The Rent Party Revelers playing Down in Honky Tonky Town
 at the 13th Annual San Diego Thanksgiving Jazz Festival
in San Diego, California in November 1992.

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