#852 (12/5/15 - 12/18/15)

[Including Fourteen Audio Selections]

"It Must Be Jelly
('Cause Jam Don't Shake That Way)"
The Hipp Cats
on Decca 7518 A
released in 1938

"Chippin' Rock Blues"
The Hipp Cats
With Norris
on Decca 7518 B
released in 1938

"Romance In The Dark"/
"Darling, You Can't Have Fifty"
The 4 Blackamoors
on Decca 8512 A/B
released in 1941

Above: The "Tampa In The 1940s" website claims the above 1941 picture is The Hipp Cats that recorded "It Must Be Jelly" on the Decca label. There are thirty-five people making up this aggregation!

The flip side label (see below) shows "The Hipp Cats With Norris" and "Norris" as composer. This song "Chippin' Rock Blues" is the same song as "Chipping The Rock Of Blues" by The Blue Chips in 1936. Norridge Mayhams was associated with The Blue Chips and was known professionally as "Norris, The Troubadour."

An article from the African-American newspaper dated 7/5/41 states "NEW YORK—Five kids with harmonicas appeared on a New York-to-Britain broadcast recently...and scored a smash hit. Appearing as the Little Blue Chips All American Harmonica Quintette, the youngsters were trained by their father, Norridge B. Mayhams, well-known entertainer. ....Norridge Mayhams, the father, known professionally as Norris, the Troubadour, a native of Georgetown, S.C., is a nightly feature at Alexander's Cocktail Lounge, swanky spot in Westchester County. For some time, he has been a ranking favorite throughout the country...."

Listen to "Chipping The Rock Of Blues" - The Blue Chips - Melotone 6-09-55 - 1936 (Windows Media Player).

Above: Label image of Decca 7518 recorded on August 13, 1938 and released in late 1938. This is the only record by the The Hipp Cats on Decca. The matrix numbers indicate there was at least one more song recorded by them for Decca, but not released.

Note that this 1938 version of "It Must Be Jelly" is shown as composed by Harold Boyce. Boyce recorded for Decca with three records by Harold Boyce And His Harlem Indians (from a 1939 session) and two by Boyce's Harlem Serenaders (from a 1941 session). Was Boyce involved with The Hipp Cats? Later versions of the song did not credit Boyce as composer. The Glenn Miller/Modernaires' 1942 record shows "George Williams-J.C. MacGregor" as composers and Woody Herman's 1944 record shows "MacGregor-J. Chalmers-Sunny Skylar."


(Above: Co-Ed 105-J Label)

LISTEN TO: (Windows Media Player)
"From Hopewell Junction"
The Ministers Of Melody/Carl Bostic Orch.
Released in 1944 or 1945*

(Below: Norridge B. Mayhams 1942)

A. New York Age, June 17, 1933: SURPRISE SOCIAL CLUB—A number of surprises await all those who attend the annual spring dansante sponsered by the social club at the Oriental Rosebud Studio, 146 West 136th street on Sunday evening, June 8. Norridge Mayhams and his Four Blue Chips have been secured to dish out as much as you can take in the line of musical strains.


Giving up the leadership of his Blue Chips Orchestra, Norridge B. Mayhams has followed his profession since as a guitarist and vocalist, entertaining nightly as a feature at Westchester's swanky Alexander’s Cocktail Lounge, New Rochelle.

And it is while playing before different educational institutions that he got the germ of an idea which has since blossomed forth and resulted in his formation of the Sorority and Fraternity Record and Recording Co., which features original collegiate recordings.

Talking about his venture last week, Mr. Mayhams said that for singing engagements he had made an extensive study of college songs and received so many requests for music for the lyrics which he sang that he tried to interest several of the large Broadway publishers in publishing the songs in book form.

Unsuccessful, he decided to do something about it himself and called on his attorney to work on his idea—the registration of a trade mark, a specially designed record label featuring a boy and girl under the Co-Ed label name. After almost a year’s work, on February l6th—the celebration of his 16th wedding anniversary—he announced that his Sorority Fraternity Record Co. was releasing its first Co-Ed records to purchasers at over 1,154 educational institutions.

That first release was such a success, that he received honorable mention in the Collegian Press and co-ed schools cooperative store manager pledged their support of his venture.

With each record is included the Co-Ed song pamphlet with lyrics of the songs recorded so that the listener can sing with the artist on the record. His first record featured the Little Blue Chips All-American Harmonica Quintet Band, vocal and instrumental group composed of Mayhams' own children whom he coached over a period of four years.

Arrangements are being made by Mayhams to record other junior vocal groups, also a novelty instrumental and singing senior group supplemented by Mayhams himself.

Last month, with Dr. Harry Patouhas, prominent young pharmacist and composer of New Rochelle, the Patouhas and Mayhams Music Publishing Co. was formed with the publication of two songs, "Mister Franklin D and Mister Winston C" and "We'll Build A Bungalow." The first song is based on the historical meeting at sea of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill.

Mayhams conducts his business at present from 12 West 117th street, but is expecting to move into larger quarters in the near future.

C. New York Age, November 7, 1942 (Goes with the picture of Mayhams at left): GETS GOVERNMENT PERMISSION TO MAKE PATRIOTIC RECORDS—Norridge B. Mayhams, president and general manager of the Sorority Fraternity Record Company, has been given the green light to go ahead and do his bit for the war effort. A member of BMI and operator of the successful company, Mayhams recently offered his services to the government, asking permission to make commercial recordings which carry announcements on the purchase of war stamps and bonds. A telegram received by Mayhams last week from R. D. Welch, Treasury Consultant, gave him a special rating which will enable the firm to get immediate pressings from the factory.

D. New York Age, November 5, 1949: MOSTLY 'BOUT THE MAYHAMS—There are a lot of families in the theatrical business that have made "names" for themselves. There are the Treniers, the Barrymores, etc. Then unsung, but still with a "name" are the Mayhams, the papa and the sons.

The Mayhams, who broke into print more than a decade and a half ago when the family group began making recordings, are still going strong. "Papa" Mayhams is Norridge, the president and manager of Sorority Fraternity Record and Publication Co., who is billed as Norris the Troubadour and has made patriotic records and played at leading Village and Upstate niteries.

Other members of the Mayhams clan have made names for themselves as recording artists, musicians, and, on the side, dancers. The Mayhams are carving for themselves a niche in the lineup of greats.

[*Co-Ed 105 is included in The Billboard Music Yearbook 1945-1946 as a new release between September 1944 and September 1945.]

(From The Billboard dated 5/20/44)

(From The Billboard dated 11/10/45)

(From The Billboard dated 5/21/47)

(From The Billboard dated 7/29/50)

Above: Label image of Decca 8512 recorded on 12/12/40 and released in April 1941. The 4 Blackamoors had four releases (seven sides), all on Decca, all in 1941. These are from two sessions, 12/12/40 and 7/23/41. See below for extra audio from their other records.

"Romance In The Dark" was a hit in 1940 by Lil Green on the Bluebird label. Composers are Lil Green and Willie Broonzy (aka Big Bill Broonzy). It was also done by The Diamonds on the Atlantic label in 1953 and The Johnny Otis Show on Capitol in 1957, among others.

EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

Listen to "Break It Up Charlie" - The 4 Blackamoors - Decca 7850 - 1941.

Listen to "Search Your Heart And See" - Mabel Robinson With The 4 Blackamoors - Decca 8568 - 1941.

Listen to "You Don't Know My Mind" - Mabel Robinson With The 4 Blackamoors - Decca 8580 - 1941.

Listen to "Take It Easy" - Swanee Swingers - Decca 1022 - 1936.

This side was recorded on 3/31/36. It is their only record under this name. However, "Swanee Swingers" is a pseudonym for "Isham Jones Juniors," an ensemble derived from the Isham Jones Orchestra. The vocalist on this side is Woody Herman, who would take over Jones' band as his own later in 1936. Prior to that, the Isham Jones Juniors had several records released on Decca (1934-36) under their own name.

        (L-R: Isham Jones, Woody Herman 1936)

Listen to "I'm For It" - Boone's Jumping Jacks - Decca 8590 - 1941.

Listen to "Messy" - Boone's Jumping Jacks - Decca 9644 - 1942.

Their personnel was Chester Boone, Lloyd Phillips, Buster Smith, Shadrack Anderson, Chauncey Graham, Vernon King, and George Johnson. They had two releases on Decca from the same 10/16/41 session.

Prior to these records was Lloyd Phillips' Jumping Jacks, who had one record released from a 4/9/41 session....

Listen to "Sally Long" - Lloyd Phillips' Jumping Jacks - Decca 7860 - 1941.

Listen to "Boggy Bottom Blues" - Lloyd Phillips' Jumping Jacks - Decca 7860 - 1941.

Listen to this week's selections featuring the The Hipp Cats and The 4 Blackamoors:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

          1. It Must Be Jelly - The Hipp Cats
          2. Chippin' Rock Blues - The Hipp Cats With Norris
          3. Romance In The Dark - The 4 Blackamoors
          4. Darling, You Can't Have Fifty - The 4 Blackamoors
          ALL FOUR played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
          1. It Must Be Jelly - The Hipp Cats
          2. Chippin' Rock Blues - The Hipp Cats With Norris
          3. Romance In The Dark - The 4 Blackamoors
          4. Darling, You Can't Have Fifty - The 4 Blackamoors

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
          1. It Must Be Jelly - The Hipp Cats
          2. Chippin' Rock Blues - The Hipp Cats With Norris
          3. Romance In The Dark - The 4 Blackamoors
          4. Darling, You Can't Have Fifty - The 4 Blackamoors

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

(Above link will open in a separate window)


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