4/14/17

International Sweethearts of Rhythm

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was the greatest all-woman band of the swing era. Formed as a high school band in Mississippi in 1937, by the early 40s they had begun to tour extensively and were able to recruit top female jazz musicians from different parts of the country. Despite their great popularity and success – they toured with Fletcher Henderson and played at the Apollo Theater and the Savoy Ballroom in New York – they were not offered to make records until the mid-40s. They went on to record five(?) 78s for Guild, Manor, and RCA Victor in c. 1945–1946. (The jazz discographies are – quite typically – lacking accurate information about this and other all-woman bands.)

The Rosetta LP featured here offers two of the Guild studio sides (probably) recorded in 1945: 'Jump Children' and 'Slightly Frantic'. The former has star trumpeter Tiny Davis on vocals. The LP also features two of the RCA Victor studio sides, 12 live recordings from two 1945 AFRS Jubilee radio shows, 25 photos and a detailed, five-page essay by Rosetta Reitz. It has never been officially reissued on CD, which is a shame.

Discographical data from the LP liner notes and The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord:

International Sweethearts Of Rhythm: Tiny Davis (tp,vcl) Johnnie Mae Stansbury, Nora Lee McGhee, Flo Dryer (tp) Helen Jones, Ina Belle Byrd, Jean Travis (tb) Vi Burnside, Willie Mae Wong, Colleen Murray, Myrtle Young, Jacqueline Dexter (reeds) Jackie King (p) Carline Ray (g) Edna Smith (b) Pauline Braddy (d) Anne Mae Winburn (ldr) Julian Dash (ts-2) replaces Burnside

New York, c. May–June 1945
    Jump Children (td vcl)       Guild 141
    Slightly Frantic (2)                     -

LP source: International Sweethearts of Rhythm (Rosetta Records 1312)




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