Labels of Gennett 5397.
Streaming Real Audio files of Gennett 5397.
The Circumstances Surrounding the
Recording of "Foolin' Me."
recorded c. May 30, 1924 according to Brian
Rust, "Jazz and Ragtime Records (1897-1942), "Mainspring Press, 2002.
Matrix number and record number are the same as in Ross Laird's
discography, but Laird has a June 1924 date. According to the listings
Williams - Clarence Williams, Vol. 2: 1923-1925, Jazz
Archives, No. 171) Miss Englin is accompanied by
Clarence Williams on piano. However, according to the Sidney Bechet
discography http://www.sidneybechet.org/sbr.pdf, the pianist is Art
From "Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz" by
John Chilton, Oxford University Press, USA (February
"In 1924 there was a gap in Bechet's
activities, and for a period of ten months he made no recordings at all
with Clarence Williams. His only session during this hiatus produced a
curio. It is a recording of one of his compositions sung by a white
vaudeville artiste, Maureen Englin, who reminisced about the session in
1962. Whilst visiting a New York publisher, she heard "soft beautiful
saxophone music." She asked who was playing and was told Sidney Bechet.
After the two had been introduced, Maureen Englin said: "That was a
beautiful tune you were playing. Is it new? I am looking for new songs
for my act." Bechet told her it was his own composition 'Foolin' Me.'
Englin took a copy of the song away so she could use it for a recording
date she was contracted to do the next day.
She asked Bechet if he would join
pianist Art Sorenson in accompanying her for the recording and he
readily agreed. Next day Bechet turned up at the studio on east 52nd
Street and played some unobtrusive, mellow phrases behind the singer;
the results were first issued on the Pathe label.
The publishing house referred to by
Englin belonged to Fred Fisher who issued several songs of Sidney
Bechet in 1924 including 'Foolin' Me,' 'Do That Thing' (which was
recorded by Fletcher Henderson), and 'Pleasure Mad', a big early hit
for Sidney which was recorded in the mid-1920s by Charlie Creath, Ethel
Waters, Benny Krueger, Whitey Kaufman, and others."
To listen to a clip of "Foolin' Me," go to http://tinyurl.com/yogyh9
and click on the link.
Remembered by Maureen Englin. From
June 1974 issue of Music Journal.
The cover of the
sheet music of "That Old Gang of Mine."
Mentions of Maureen Englin in
Newspapers. (Courtesy of Terry Moore)
Democrat and Leader for 20 November 1927.
"Comedy is the keynote at the
Fort Armstrong Theatre today when Casey Jones and the Jazz Jesters will
present comedy capers. Featured in the new show is Maureen Englin,
former Rock Island girl who has just returned from a very successful
tour of Europe. "
Here is some information about the Fort Armstrong Theater.
Opened in 1921, the
Fort Armstrong Theater was designed by architect
Benjimin Horn of the Cervin & Horn practice, associate architect
was W.T. Braun. The architectural style is Native Indian and it had a
seating capacity of 1623.
The Fort, also known as
the Fort Armstrong, is another classic theater
that started off with silent pictures/vaudeville and then switched
exclusively to movies.
The theater was decorated
with a Western theme that was in keeping with its pioneer past,
including teepee chandeliers.
In the late 70's, Dennis
Hitchcock purchased the theatre, terraced the
main floor, installed tables, and renamed it the 'Circa 21 Dinner
Playhouse'. Mr. Hitchcock otherwise left the theater's color and style
as they were
Terry Moore. "Maureen Englin performed in London, at least, as the
Variety bill at the Palladium Theatre for week commencing 6 June 1927 -
Nellie Wallace, Little Tich, Maureen Englin, Dollie and Billie, Nixon
Grey, Ambrose and his Mayfair Orchestra. Englin appeared for the whole
She also appeared on radio on the BBC London 2LO service, at 9.35 on 2
July 1927 in the variety hour, with Clapham and Dwyer, Sydney Nesbit
and Kel Keech, Ivan Firth and Phyliss Scott, billed as, 'light ballads
at the piano by Maureen Englin'."
The London Palladium was, according to
the place where "everyone who was anyone played there." It is a huge
theater with a capacity for over 2000 patrons. And here is the link to
Bix. Bing performed at the Palladium Sep 26 - Oct 8, 1977. The last
performance was four days before he died.
Daily Tribune, (North Dakota), for 31 March 1911 - ' the
Orpheum should be packed for the week......... Maureen Englin in her
dramatic soprano and pianologue act is the best ever seen here and was
Crosse Tribune, (Wisconsin), for 20 October 1921 -
Advertisement for the Majestic cinema then playing the film, 'A Kiss In
Time', ad has at bottom, 'also, vaudeville, the Monroe Brothers in
Bouncing Babies and Maureen Englin, the Scintilating Song Bird,
tonight, friday and saturday'. Another ad for 22 October confirms her
Post Crescent, (Wisconsin), for 18 November 1921 -
'Maureen Englin a 'songbird', headlines the vaudeville bill at Appleton Theatre, the last half of the
State Journal for 16/17 November 1922 - Advertisement appears on each
day for the Orpheum Theatre, (in Madison) with a bill
including, 'Maureen Englin, Scintalating Songbird'. In the pit,
Erny Holmgren and his Band. The Capital Times, (Wisconsin), also for 16 November, notes
the bill at the Orpheum, including Englin, had appeared the week before
at the State Lake Theatre
in Chicago. It goes on to say, 'A dash of
class will be added to the week-day bill, (at the Orphean), by the
appearance of Maureen Englin, the scintilating songstress who has the
exceptional ability to sing an aria from grand opera, as well as the
jazziest of jazz songs'.
Indianapolis Star (Indiana) for 26 June 1923 - Vaudeville at
the Palace, 'Maureen Englin halted the show twice. She is billed as the
Scintilating Songstress and for once the program has not exaggerated.
Her repertory is composed for the most part of clever parodies on
Bridgeport Telegram, (Bridgeport,
Connecticut) for 17 October 1923 - Advertisement for Palace Theatre has
Maureen Englin on bill.
Davenport Democrat and Leader (Iowa) for 7 January 1924 - In the
'Social Happenings', column, 'Miss Maureen Englin weds well known hotel
man of Philadelphia. 'Announcement has come to Tri-city friends of the
marriage of Miss Maureen Englin, formerly of Davenport and Rock
Island, to Sidney Mitchell, a well known Philadelphia hotel man, the
ceremony being a holiday affair in the east. Many frinds will
recall the bride as the sweet voiced singer at the Harper Hotel, Rock
island, in the days when cabaret singing was so much the rage. She was
very popular with a host of friends for her sweet voice and personal
charm, which later took her into the Orpheaum circuit, in which she
made quite a success, returning here for a weeks showing at the
Columbia Theatre. The new home will be in Philadelphia'.
Indianapolis Star for 7 July 1924 -
Advertisement, Englin appearing in vaudeville at the Lyric. Billed as
Ogden Standard - Examiner (Utah) for 20 November 1924 - Advertisement,
Englin appearing in Pantages Vaudeville at the Orpheum.
Mansfield News, Mansfield (Ohio) for 2 December 1925 - Advertisement,
Englin appearing in vaudeville at the Opera House.
Davenport Democrat and Leader for 2 May 1926 - Advertisement, Englin
appearing in vaudeville at
Fort Armstrong Theatre, 'the scintilating songstress in new songs'. A
reviewer also notes, 'Rock Island's own vaudeville star, is the feature
stage attraction for the first half. Miss Englin returns from a
successful tour of Famous Players and public theatres with a brand new
cycle of songs. Famous Players theatres were a cinema circuit in
Davenport Democrat and Leader for 20 November 1927 - 'Maureen Englin
former Rock Island girl has just returned from a very successful tour
Evening Times (New York) for 27 January 1928 - Advertisement for the
Palace Theatre where Englin is appearing. 'The Scintilating Songstress.
She'll tickle you pink with her deliciously delightful cycle of the
latest and gayest song successes'.
Appleton Post - Crescent, Appleton (Wisconsin) for 24 September 1932 -
Notes her appearance at the Fox Theatre in vaudeville, ' Maureen
Englin, nationally popular star of radio station WCFL Chicago is one of the many fine
performers. Miss Englin has been thrilling radio audiences throughout
the country with her beautiful voice and happens to be one of those
lucky performers whose personality is just as pleasing as her voice'.
Independent Press -Telegram, Long Beach, California, 20 December
This page was uploaded on March 23, 2007. Modified on April 6, 2007.
I am grateful to Rob Rothberg for the scans of the
discography pages and of the record labels of Gennett 5397, to
calling my attention to the information about Maureen Englin in the
biography of Sidney Bechet, to
Terry Moore for the information about Maureen Englin in newpapers
articles, and to Han Endeman for the scan of the label of "Foolin' Me."