Original Memphis Five
The Original Memphis Five was an early jazz quintet founded in 1917 by trumpeter Phil Napoleon and pianist Frank Signorelli. Jimmy Lytell was a member from 1922 to 1925. The group made many recordings between 1921 and 1931, sometimes under different names, including Ladd's Black Aces and The Cotton Pickers. Richard Cook and Brian Morton, writing for The Penguin Guide to Jazz, refer to the group as "one of the key small groups of the '20s".
The group formed around 1917. The name Original Memphis Five was first used in 1920, and applied to small groups of white musicians throughout the decade. The Ladd's Black Aces name was used from 1921 until 1924. Cook and Morton identify Jimmy Lytell and Miff Mole as standout musicians in the group. Jimmy Durante played piano with Ladd's Black Aces, while both Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey were members of the Original Memphis Five. Occasional vocalists were Anna Meyers, Annette Hanshaw and Vernon Dalhart (as George White).
Both Red Nichols and Miff Mole later led their own groups named Original Memphis Five. Phil Napoleon, however, would continue using the group name into the 1980s.
Birth and Death Data: Born Founded 1917
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1922 - 1931
Roles Represented in DAHR: Musical group
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Columbia||81394||10-in.||12/4/1923||Shufflin' Mose||Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance band||Musical group|
|Columbia||81886||10-in.||7/25/1924||Sioux City Sue||Joseph A. Griffith ; Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||Musical group|
|Columbia||W151889||10-in.||11/24/1931||Anything||Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance band||Musical group|
|Edison||9077||10-in.||7/16/1923||The great white way blues||Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance band||Musical group|
|Edison||9078||10-in.||7/16/1923||Shufflin' Mose||Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance band||Musical group|
|Edison||9253||10-in.||11/20/1923||Back o' town blues||Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance band||Musical group|
|Edison||9254||10-in.||11/20/1923||St. Louis gal||Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance band||Musical group|
|Arto||[Arto Cat 9153B]||10-in.||6/14/1922||Pacific coast blues||Hollywood Syncopators||Jazz/dance band||Musical group|
|Arto||20170||10-in.||6/14/1922||I wish I could shimmie like my sister Kate||Hollywood Syncopators||Jazz/dance band||Musical group|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Original Memphis Five," accessed November 29, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100145.
Original Memphis Five. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100145.
"Original Memphis Five." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 29 November 2023.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
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