Benny Meroff

Benny Meroff (1899-1973) was an American dance bandleader active in the swing jazz era. He also played violin, clarinet, and saxophone.

Meroff started his career in vaudeville, and put together his own ensemble in the middle of the 1920s. His sidemen included Wild Bill Davison, Al King, Vernon Brown, Frank Teschemacher, and Santo Pecora. He was principally active in Chicago in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and also played in New York into the 1940s. Meroff was noted for his showmanship as a bandleader; big band historian Leo Walker described Meroff as "a capable emcee, equally at home either conducting the band for dancing or directing a complicated stage show." He recorded for Columbia Records, Okeh Records, and Victor Records, especially at the height of his career in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Meroff disbanded his orchestra around the end of World War II and left music as a profession.

Benny Meroff and His Orchestra recorded songs including "There's A Trick In Pickin' A Chick-Chick-Chicken," "Smiling Skies," "Me And The Man In The Moon," "Happy Days Are Here Again," and "The Talk of the Town."

It has been suggested that Okeh Records #40912 was issued with Benny Meroff's name rather than that of the Frank Trumbauer Augmented Orchestra (featuring Bix Beiderbecke, Eddie Lang, Adrian Rollini, and Joe Venuti) for, perhaps, contractual reasons.


Birth and Death Data: Born 1899, Died 1973

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1947

Roles Represented in DAHR: songwriter, leader, composer, vocalist, lyricist

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-33412 10-in. 8/8/1925 Eccentric Benny Merloff's High Hatters ; Benny Meroff Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-41295 10-in. 1/4/1928 Lonely melody Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band lyricist  
Victor BRC-69941 10-in. 6/16/1931 That little boy of mine Bert Lown Hotel Biltmore Orchestra ; Elmer Feldkamp Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BS-75464 10-in. 4/26/1933 That little boy of mine The Vagabonds Male vocal trio, with guitar songwriter  
Victor BS-75471 10-in. 4/26/1933 That little boy of mine The Vagabonds Male vocal trio, with guitar songwriter  
Victor BS-75499 10-in. 5/3/1933 That little boy of mine Smilin' Ed McConnell Male vocal solo, with piano songwriter  
Victor BS-75813 10-in. 5/3/1933 That little boy of mine Smilin' Ed. McConnell Male vocal solo, with piano songwriter  
Victor D7VB-0272 10-in. 4/18/1947 I want a man Lil Green ; Lil Green Orchestra Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble songwriter  
Victor [Trial 1925-08-08-01] 10-in. 8/8/1925 Lady of the Nile Benny Merloff's High Hatters ; Benny Meroff Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 143610 10-in. 3/9/1927 Wherever you go whatever you do (I want you to know I love you) Arthur Fields ; Manhattan Dance Makers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W143729 10-in. 3/30/1927 Wherever you go—whatever you do (I want you to know I love you) Ipana Troubadours ; Charles Kaley ; Sam Lanin Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W144350 10-in. 6/18/1927 That's Dolly Charles Kaley Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Columbia W151467 10-in. 3/26/1931 That little boy of mine The Melodiers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W151483 10-in. 4/3/1931 That little boy of mine Lanin’s Famous Players Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
OKeh W80878 10-in. 5/14/1927 There's a trick in pickin' a chick-chick-chicken Benny Meroff Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
OKeh W80879 10-in. 5/14/1927 That's Dolly Benny Meroff Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, composer  
OKeh W81040 10-in. 6/22/1927 That's Dolly Benny Meroff Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
OKeh W402202 10-in. 12/9/1928 Smiling skies Benny Meroff Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, vocalist  
OKeh W402203 10-in. 12/9/1928 Me and the man in the moon Benny Meroff Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, vocalist  
Brunswick C2180 10-in. 8/2/1928 Waiting and dreaming Charley Straight Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio; without vocal (take G) songwriter  
Brunswick C2269 10-in. 8/24/1928 Waiting and dreaming Charley Straight Orchestra ; The Vagabonds Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio songwriter  
Brunswick C5021½ 10-in. 12/12/1929 Happy days are here again (Felices dias han vuelto) Benny Meroff Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G) leader  
Brunswick C5022 10-in. 12/12/1929 It’s the talk of the town Benny Meroff Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G) leader  
Brunswick C5194 10-in. Jan. 1930 [Unknown title(s)] Benny Meroff Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with vocal; without vocal (take G) leader  
Brunswick C5195 10-in. Jan. 1930 The talk of the town Benny Meroff Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with vocal; without vocal (take G) leader  
Brunswick C7640-C7641 10-in. 4/2/1931 That little boy of mine Ben Bernie Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G) songwriter  
Brunswick E36215 10-in. 3/4/1931 That little boy of mine Will Osborne and his Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Brunswick E25877-E25879 10-in. 1/7/1928 Lonely melody Bernie Cummins Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio; without vocal (E25879) lyricist  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Meroff, Benny," accessed July 25, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108207.

Meroff, Benny. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 25, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108207.

"Meroff, Benny." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 25 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108207

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