Luckey Roberts

Charles Luckyth Roberts (August 7, 1887 – February 5, 1968), better known as Luckey Roberts, was an American composer and stride pianist who worked in the jazz, ragtime, and blues styles.

==Biography== Luckey Roberts was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, and was playing piano and acting professionally with traveling Negro minstrel shows in his childhood. He settled in New York City about 1910 and became one of the leading pianists in Harlem, and started publishing some of his original rags.

Roberts toured France and the UK with James Reese Europe during World War I, then returned to New York where he wrote music for various shows and recorded piano rolls.

With James P. Johnson, Roberts developed the stride piano style of playing about 1919. Roberts' reach on the keyboard was unusually large (he could reach a fourteenth), leading to a rumor that he had the webbing between his fingers surgically cut, which those who knew him and saw him play live denounce as false; Roberts simply had naturally large hands with wide finger spread.

In the 1920s, Roberts teamed up with lyricist Alex C. Rogers and co-wrote three Broadway musicals, Go-Go (1923), Sharlee (1923) and My Magnolia (1926), the later which starred Adelaide Hall, a major black revue star.

Luckey Roberts noted compositions include "Junk Man Rag", "Moonlight Cocktail", "Pork and Beans", and "Railroad Blues". "Moonlight Cocktail" was recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and was the best selling record in the United States for ten weeks in 1942.

An astute businessman, Roberts became a millionaire twice through real estate dealings. He died in New York City and is buried at the Frederick Douglass Memorial Gardens in Bay Terrace on Staten Island, New York.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 7, 1887 (Philadelphia), Died February 5, 1968 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1913 - 1942

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, piano, songwriter

Notes: Name also spelled Lucky Roberts.

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 50 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-14042 10-in. 11/6/1913 The junk-man rag Victor Military Band Band composer  
Victor C-15455 12-in. 12/3/1914 The music box rag Victor Military Band Band composer  
Victor B-16310 10-in. 8/3/1915 Bon ton one-step Conway's Band Band composer  
Victor B-16414 10-in. 8/27/1915 Junk man rag Lionel Belasco Piano solo composer  
Victor B-24483 10-in. 9/20/1920 Railroad blues Roy Bargy ; Benson Orchestra of Chicago Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-26700 10-in. 7/19/1922 Entangled, part 1 Alex Rogers ; Tennessee Four Monologue, with male vocal quartet and piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor B-26701 10-in. 7/19/1922 Entangled, part 2 Alex Rogers ; Tennessee Four Monologue, with male vocal quartet and piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor B-28008 10-in. 5/15/1923 Rosetime and you Zez Confrey Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-28419 10-in. 7/25/1923 Complainin' (It's human nature to complain) Eddie Hunter Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-28420 10-in. 7/25/1923 I got Eddie Hunter Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-28897 10-in. 11/16/1923 Hard times Eddie Hunter Male vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor B-28898 10-in. 11/16/1923 Mamie Eddie Hunter Male vocal solo, with piano composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-28899 10-in. 11/16/1923 I'm done Eddie Hunter ; Alex Rogers Male vocal duet, with piano composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-29010 10-in. 11/16/1923 Bootleggers' ball Eddie Hunter ; Alex Rogers Comic dialogue and male vocal solo, with piano composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-39674 10-in. 7/19/1927 Baby wants Eddie Hunter ; Alex Rogers Male vocal duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-39675 10-in. 7/19/1927 Gallopin' dominoes Eddie Hunter ; Alex Rogers Male vocal duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-39676 10-in. 7/19/1927 Peace of mind Eddie Hunter ; Alex Rogers Male vocal duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-39677 10-in. 7/19/1927 Gravy Eddie Hunter ; Alex Rogers Male vocal duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-39678 10-in. 7/19/1927 Up in my sweetie's suite Eddie Hunter ; Alex Rogers Male vocal duet, with piano composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor G-181 10-in. 9/16/1914 The junk man Lionel Belasco Piano solo composer  
Victor BS-068456 10-in. 12/8/1941 Moonlight cocktail Ray Eberle ; Glenn Miller Orchestra ; Modernaires Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and male vocal quartet composer  
Victor BS-071781 10-in. 2/9/1942 Moonlight cocktail Joe Reichman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-074798 10-in. 7/31/1942 Massachussetts Tony Pastor Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor [Trial 1924-03-12-01] 10-in. 3/12/1924 Baby wants Eddie Hunter ; Alex Rogers Male vocal duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor [Trial 1924-03-12-02] 10-in. 3/12/1924 Satin finish Eddie Hunter ; Alex Rogers Male vocal duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
(Results 1-25 of 50 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Roberts, Luckey," accessed May 27, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100075.

Roberts, Luckey. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100075.

"Roberts, Luckey." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 27 May 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100075

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