Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#652 (Week of 2/13/10 - 2/19/10)

"One Of Those Dreams That Fell Thru"
by Four Kings And A Queen
on Comet 1304A
released in 1945

"That's How Much I Love You"
by The Five Kings
on Manor 1062-B
released in 1947

THE INFORMATION ABOUT ORVAL HARDIMON AND HIS VARIOUS "KINGS"
GROUPS WAS RESEARCHED AND COMPILED BY MARV GOLDBERG
(UPDATED BY MARV ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2014)


His real name was Orval Hardimon. He called himself "Orville Hardiman," probably just to keep it easy. His nickname is sometimes spelled "Baggy" and sometimes "Baggie."

An obituary listing in the Kokomo (Indiana) Tribune gave his dates as 5/25/13 - 3/31/99 (he was 85). Note that Social Security has his date of death as March 15, 1999. They gave his name as Orval C. "Baggie" Hardimon.

CHRONOLOGICAL:
02/24/38 First mention of Baggie Hardiman's Colored Swingster Band.

10/18/41 Three Kings And A Queen - Margaretta Winston, Jake McKinney (tenor vocalist), Henry Clark (bassist), Baggie Hardimon (Spanish guitar and manager). At Dinty's Terrace Gardens in New York. They're in their eighth week.

03/28/42 Three Kings And A Queen add another member (unnamed) and will go into the Apollo.

04/17/42 Four Kings And A Queen - headlined the Apollo and were, basically, booed off the stage. They were cancelled after two performances.

06/01/42 Four Kings And A Queen - begin an indefinite engagement at the Silver Grill of the Hotel Henry in Pittsburgh. This is a different group, called Marty Schramm and the Four Kings And A Queen. The Queen is Arlene Day. Also see 04/01/43.

07/xx/42 Four Kings And A Queen - per the item on 02/13/43, the group had been called the Four Kings And A Queen. The Queen was Virginia Wooden. Presumably the other members were: Orville "Baggy" Hardiman (guitar), Jake McKinney (tipple), Henry Clark (bass), Danny Turner (piano and alto sax). [Those were the members listed on 2/13/43.] By August 1942, Virginia had left and they called themselves the Four Kings Of Jive.

10/03/42 Four Kings Of Jive - just finished at Chin's Cocktail Lounge in Cleveland on 9/13/42.

10/24/42 Four Kings - a Chicago white group.

12/05/42 Four Kings Of Jive - at Tony's Merry-Go-Bar-Round in Philadelphia.

02/13/43 Four Kings Of Jive - at the Hotel Majestic Musical Bar in Philadelphia. "Formerly billed as the Four Kings And A Queen, lads have lately revised their lines with the dropping of the fem decor and replacing the spots where army had first call." Members were: Orville "Baggy" Hardiman (guitar), Jake McKinney (tipple), Henry Clark (bass), Danny Turner (piano and alto sax).

03/13/43 Four Kings Of Jive - at Betty's Cafe, in Camden, New Jersey.

03/27/43 Four Kings Of Jive - at the Apollo Theater the week of 4/9/43.

04/01/43 Four Kings And A Queen - have been playing at the Silver Grill in Pittsburgh for three months. Will be held over until May 22. The vocalist is Arlene Day. This totally contradicts the last few entries and is probably a different group. She left them in December 1943, when they were still at the Silver Grill.

05/01/43 Four Kings Of Jive - going to the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood.

05/29/43 Four Kings Of Jive - Charles "Slim" Lee is the new bassist, replacing army-bound Hank Clark.

08/14/43 Four Kings - changed their name from the Four Kings Of Jive, probably because they changed from Jolly Joyce Agency to Eddie Suez Agency. Opened at Dick McClain's Alpine Music Bar.

09/11/43 Four Kings Of Jive - at the Pelican, Bethlehem, Pa. The reversion to the older name may have been because a press release had been sent out earlier. (The prior article has them becoming the Four Kings.)

10/16/43 Four Kings - at Frank Palumbo's in Philadelphia.

10/16/43 Four Kings - with Baggy Hardiman managed by Eddie Suez Theatrical Agency in Phila. They handle cocktail units and small bands.

11/13/43 Four Kings And A Queen - revived at The Cove in Philadelphia. Virginia Wooden, the original Queen, had returned. Pianist/vocalist Billy Austin joined. The group had been on the Mutual Network. It looks like they started at The Cove as the Four Kings Of Jive, then became the Four Kings, and finally the Four Kings And A Queen. Not sure if this is the same Billy Austin who wrote "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" or had the Billy Austin Trio in 1949, or who recorded for Apollo.

NOTE: At the same time this Four Kings And A Queen were in Philadelphia, there was another group, probably white, with the same name across the state in Pittsburgh.

11/20/43 Four Kings And A Queen - Jake McKinney drafted.

12/18/43 Four Kings And A Queen - open at the Music Bar in Cleveland on 12/8.

02/05/44 Four Kings And A Queen - at Shangri-La in Philadelphia.

03/11/44 Five Kings - Hank Clark, group's bassist, gets married. Group is described as "Philadelphia cocktail combo".

03/18/44 Four Kings And A Queen - threatened by the drafting of Baggy Hardiman by the end of the month. Booking agent Eddie Suez plans to have the group continue on.

04/08/44 Five Kings - signed by Comet Records. Appearing at the Alpine Musical Bar in Philadelphia. Note that they kept going after Hardiman and McKinney were drafted. The recordings had to have been made prior to April, since Hardiman had been drafted as of the end of March.

05/20/44 Five Kings - "Orville Hardiman, leader of the Five Kings, Philadelphia unit, scored as a potential apprentice seaman."

07/01/44 Five Kings - at the Haddington Club, Philadelphia.

10/21/44 Five Kings - at Cat And Fiddle Inn, Waterford, NJ.

12/04/44 Five Kings - at Club Casino, Oakland, Pa (near Pittsburgh). Had just been at Zanzibar in NYC. Called a "mixed quintet". May not be them.

05/26/45 Five Kings Of Jive - Baggy Hardiman's unit to Chin's Cocktail Lounge in Cleveland. They'd just added Earl Barnes (tenor sax), formerly with Snookum Russell.

06/09/45 Five Kings - at the Ohio State Automatic Electric Phonograph Owners Assocation (jukebox operators). Others appearing were Spike Jones, Phil Brito, Mickey Kats, Kay Ballad, and many others.

08/11/45 Five Kings currently at Kelly's Stable on 52 Street (Manhattan).

10/13/45 Five Kings Of Rhythm - open at Maggie's in Philadelphia.

12/29/45 Five Kings - at Casablanca, in Brooklyn.

02/02/46 Five Kings - Iceland Restaurant in NYC (still there on 3/23). "Inked to a National recording paper" (indicates that they were signed by National Records, but if so, never any releases - but see under 03/--/46).

03/02/46 Five Kings - review of show at Iceland Restaurant in New York. "Five Kings, voice and instrument (piano, bass, guitar) are in a tough spot following the skaters [The Four Whirlwinds, whom the crowd loved]. Voices and routine are not strong enough to hold a spot. Negro lads blend pipes well enough but are too taken up trying to sell personalities so work suffers. Kids dressed in tails, look good, but need some biff-bang rhythm tunes. Numbers like 'Symphony' are not for them." The show also had comic Alan King (who told jokes too rapidly for the audience to follow), the Four Whirlwinds (skaters), Eileen Deneen (mezzo-soprano), Ted Taft & Debutantes (dance act), and Art Waner Orchestra.

03/19/46 Four Kings And A Queen - appearing at the Colonial Club in San Jose, Ca. Presumably a different group. Ad said "Direct from Hollywood".

03/--/46 Five Kings at Casablanca Club in Brooklyn. First Sepia aggregation to play the Iceland Restaurant. Just completed a 3-month engagement at the House Of Schibe (also seen as "Schieb" and "Shibe") in Greenwich Village. The blurb talked about their signing at National Records - they were used to back up Buddy Boylan ("ex-G.I. baritone") on "Simple Things" and "Every Night," recorded some time in February and released as National 7017. There were two other Boylan tunes recorded in February; I suppose they're on them: "If I Could Be With You" and "If I Had Only Known" (National 9071). Neither record was reviewed.

07/20/46 Five Kings - listed as an act that will appear at the Paradise Cafe in Atlantic City over the summer (also Buck & Bubbles, Billy Daniels, Evelyn White, and the Sabby Lewis Ork.)

09/21/46 Five Kings - at the Haddington Club in Philadelphia. Will sign with Joe Glaser and have a session with RCA Victor (which never seems to have happened).

11/23/46 Five Kings - Will be at Ciro's in Philadelphia, along with the King Cole Trio.

12/07/46 Five Kings - at the Blue Mirror, Camden, NJ.

12/14/46 Five Kings - at the Cove (Philadelphia) around Christmastime.

04/05/47 Five Kings - at the Club Del Rio in Philadelphia. They're recording behind Savannah Churchill "as the Sentimentalists" for Manor.

04/--/47 At Henry Armstrong's Melody Room in Harlem. Their latest song is "Meet You Any Place, AT NO PARTICULAR TIME" (sic). "They're the boys behind sultry Savannah Churchill, whose tallow talent [love that phrase] keeps the juke box crowd throwing nickels her way."

08/02/47 Savannah Churchill & Five Kings - Manor 1066 is mentioned (I'm Too Shy/Sincerely Yours).

08/25/47 Five Kings on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. They sang "Meet Me At No Special Place And I'll Be There At No Particular Time." "... fast becoming a juke box favorite." No reporting of how they did.

04/10/48 Five Kings - Pianist Charles Ridgely joins.

01/31/48 Five Kings - at the Astoria Musical Bar in Baltimore.

04/10/48 Five Kings - Pianist Charles Ridgely joins.

04/15/50 Five Kings kept playing while a fire next door almost destroyed Ciro's (Montreal). They played until all the patrons had evacuated, keeping them orderly.

06/12/48 Five Kings - Baggy Hardiman and a reorganized unit - open at Jack Farrell's in Chester, Pa.

07/17/48 Five Kings - alternating with Louis Armstrong at Jack Diamond's Martinique Cafe in Wildwood, NJ. They'd be there until 7/31, when the Red Caps and the Ravens came in.

09/11/48 Five Kings - Baggy Hardiman reports that Stanley Gaines (bassist) replaced Hank Clark, who returned home to Saginaw, Michigan.

09/11/48 Five Kings - Mercury purchases 8 sides from somewhere (probably Algene Records) by Baggy Hardiman and the Five Kings.

09/18/48 Baggy Hardiman And His Kings - Algene Records has purchased four sides from Baggy Hardiman and His Kings, vocal-instrumental combo who backed some of Savannah Churchill's manor waxings unbilled. Marv's guess is that these recordings were sold to Mercury. Songs were purchased by Mercury from an unnamed source around this time. Seven of them turn up on Mercury's books. Two were released. Nothing ever came out on Algene.

10/23/48 Orval (Baggy) Hardiman (note spelling) - marries Theresa Shelton in Elkton, Maryland (on September 29).

10/28/50 Baggy Hardiman And His Kings - pianist Danny Turner returns to the Kings. They're at Carver's Bar in Philadelphia. One blurb said they were at the Click in Philly.

12/09/50 Orville Baggie Hardiman and His Four Kings - last with Mercury Records, back in Philadelphia - at Spider Kelly's.

08/21/51 Orville Hardiman - "Orville (Baggy) Hardiman, who had his own Five Kings unit for many years and once provided the instrumental backing for Savannah Churchill on wax, left Philadelphia with his guitar to join the Lynn Hope combo at the Ebony Club, Cleveland."

Late 60s - Baggie began playing in the officers' club of Grissom Air Force Base in Peru, Indiana. He was still there in December 1971, when they gave him an award for it. His name, on a sign, was spelled "Baggie Hardimon".

People associated with the Kings:
(there are probably many others)
       Orville "Baggie" Hardiman (guitar)
       Hank Clark (bassist)
       Charles "Slim" Lee (bassist)
       Stanley Gaines (bassist) [Stanley Gaines Trio in 1946;
       was with Cats & Fiddle in 1950]
       Charles Biddle (bassist) [late 40s]
       Jake McKinney (tipple)
       Danny Turner (piano and alto sax) [was there in 1943; died 4/15/95]
       Billy Austin (piano) [there was a Billy Austin Trio in 1949]
       Charles Ridgely (piano)
       Leroy Lovett (piano)
       Virginia Wooden - (original "Queen")
       Jeannie Clark
       Joann Jones (lead on "Great Day")

(PHOTO is from 12/2/71 Jet Magazine, Baggie is at left. Note the spelling
of his name on sign.)


Above Right Photo shows Baggie receiving an award for having played at the the Grissom Air Force Base Officers' Club (Peru, Indiana) longer than any other musician. He'd been there around three years at the time this photo was taken in November 1971.

GENERAL:
I (Marv) would say that Hardiman was a resident of Philadelphia, but that at some point he moved to Kokomo, Indiana (for all I know, he might have been born there). In 1987, there was an incredibly amateurish movie about terrorists, called "Terror Squad." It starred Chuck Connors and, because it was mostly filmed in Kokomo, it used many residents of the city as extras. Baggie Hardiman actually appears in the credits, although his character isn't named. This would explain why the only obituary for him was in a Kokomo newspaper.

DISCOGRPHY:    [Special Thanks to Ferdie Gonzalez]
Four Kings & A Queen
         Comet 1301-A     All I Need Is A Lucky Break     [ca. 5/44]
         Comet 1301-B     Shoo Shoo Baby

         Comet 1302-A     King's Boogie (I)     [44]
         Comet 1302-B     Lost My Sugar In Salt Lake City

         Comet 1304-A     One Of Those Dreams That Fell Thru     [45]
         Comet 1304-B     Ration Blues

         Comet 1304-A     One Of Those Dreams That Fell Thru     [45]
         Comet 1302-A     King's Boogie

Five Kings
         Manor 1062-A     Meet Me At No Special Place     [3/47]
         Manor 1062-B     That's How Much I Love You

Savannah Churchill & Five Kings
         Manor 1061-A     I Can't Get Up The Nerve To Kiss You     [3/47]
         Manor 1061-B     Let's Call A Spade A Spade

         Manor 1066-A     Sincerely Yours     [4/47]
         Manor 1066-B     I'm Too Shy

Four Kings & A Queen
         King 4199     Hands Across The Table     [12/47]
         King 4199     How Could We Ever Have Been Strangers

Orville "Baggie" Hardiman & His Kings
         Mercury 8108     Diane     [11/48]
         Mercury 8108     Great Day (v: Joann Jones)

Mercury unreleased
         I've Got A Feeling For You
         Judy
         Seems Like A Dream
         Boogie
         I Can't Get You Off My Mind




(Kokomo Tribune 2/24/38)


(Kokomo Morning Times 4/3/65)

(Close-up)


(Kokomo Tribune 10/31/67)

(Kokomo Tribune 4/6/72)


(Kokomo Tribune 2/20/75)



[Above photo courtesy of Paul Ressler.]
Above: Photo of The Four Kings Of Jive from the 1940's. Baggie is on the left (with guitar).


Above: Photo of The Five Kings from the 1940's. Baggie is on the far right.


Above: Label images of Comet 1304A and Manor 1062-B. The personnel on Comet were Orval Hardiman, Henry Clark, Jeannie Clark, Jake McKinney, and Danny Turner. Note the label shows Orval "Baggie" Hardimon.

Listen to this week's selections:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

     A. Stream RealAudio...
 
          1. One Of Those Dreams That Fell Thru - Four Kings And A Queen - Comet 1304A - 1945
          2. That's How Much I Love You - The Five Kings - Manor 1062-B - 1947
 
          BOTH played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
 
          1. One Of Those Dreams That Fell Thru - Four Kings And A Queen - Comet 1304A - 1945
          2. That's How Much I Love You - The Five Kings - Manor 1062-B - 1947

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
 
          1. One Of Those Dreams That Fell Thru - Four Kings And A Queen - Comet 1304A - 1945
          2. That's How Much I Love You - The Five Kings - Manor 1062-B - 1947

           [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]


Back


This site is non-commercial. All information displayed is provided to further the general public's knowledge of RnB vocal group harmony.