Mound City Blue Blowers

The Mound City Blue Blowers were an American novelty jazz ensemble, formed in St. Louis, Missouri and given its nickname. It was co-founded by Red McKenzie and Jack Bland and performed from 1923 to 1936.

First assembled in 1923, the group's original members were Red McKenzie playing comb and tissue paper, Dick Slevin on kazoo, and Jack Bland on banjo. The band also included, in lieu of a drum kit, a traveler's suitcase played with foot and whisk brooms by Frank "Josh" Billings. Their debut recording, the 1924 release "Arkansas Blues" b/w "Blue Blues", was a hit in the Midwest. They recorded twelve tunes in 1924 and 1925; Frankie Trumbauer and Eddie Lang played on some of the tracks.

After 1925, McKenzie recorded under his own name as a vocalist, but returned to the Mound City name in 1929 for several sessions with jazz stars including Jack Teagarden, Coleman Hawkins, Glenn Miller, and Pee Wee Russell. In 1931, the group recorded with McKenzie, Hawkins, Muggsy Spanier, and Jimmy Dorsey. The last recordings to bear the Mound City name, 25 songs from 1935–1936, included appearances from Nappy Lamare, Spooky Dickenson, Billy Wilson, Bunny Berigan, Yank Lawson, and Eddie Miller.

In 1929–1931 the group also made at least two short performance films: The Opry House (1929) and Nine O'Clock Folks (1931), which included "I Ain't Got Nobody", "Let Me Call You Sweetheart", "My Gal Sal", and "St. Louis Blues".

Birth and Death Data: Born 1923

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1924 - 1936

Roles Represented in DAHR: Musical group

Notes: Also listed as Red McKenzie's Celestial Beings and Red McKenzie and the Celestial Beings.

See Also: Mystery Orchestra, The

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 58 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-50517 10-in. 2/23/1929 Arkansas blues The Mystery Orchestra [i.e., Mound City Blue Blowers] Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-50518 10-in. 2/23/1929 Never had a reason to believe in you The Mystery Orchestra [i.e., Mound City Blue Blowers] Instrumental ensemble Musical group  
Victor BVE-56151 10-in. 9/25/1929 Tailspin blues Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal chorus Musical group  
Victor BVE-56152 10-in. 9/25/1929 Never had a reason to believe in you Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-57145 10-in. 11/14/1929 Hello Lola Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-57146 10-in. 11/14/1929 One hour Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia W148895 10-in. 8/19/1929 Indiana Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Columbia W148896 10-in. 8/19/1929 Fire house blues Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia W351051 10-in. 6/30/1931 Georgia on my mind Red McKenzie ; Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Columbia W351049 10-in. 6/30/1931 I can't believe that you're in love with me Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Columbia W351052 10-in. 6/30/1931 Darktown Strutters' Ball Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Columbia W365050 10-in. 6/30/1931 You rascal you Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet Musical group  
Brunswick 13491-13493 10-in. 7/9/1924 Barb wire blues Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Brunswick 13501-13503 10-in. 7/10/1924 You ain’t got nothin’ I want Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Brunswick 14436-14438 10-in. 12/10/1924 Tiger rag Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance quartet Musical group  
Brunswick 14439-14441 10-in. 12/10/1924 Deep Second Street blues Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance quartet Musical group  
Brunswick 14468-14470 10-in. 12/12/1924 When my sugar walks down the street Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance quartet Musical group  
Brunswick 14471-14473 10-in. 12/12/1924 Panama Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance quartet Musical group  
Brunswick 14730-14732 10-in. 1/26/1925 Best black Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Brunswick 14733-14735 10-in. 1/26/1925 Stretch it boy Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Brunswick 14806-14807 10-in. 2/4/1925 Play me slow Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Brunswick 14872-14874 10-in. 2/9/1925 Gettin’ told Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Brunswick 14875-14876 10-in. 2/9/1925 Play me slow Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Brunswick [E16554a] 10/8/1925 [Unknown title(s)] Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Brunswick E16302-E16304 10-in. 9/1/1925 Hot honey Mound City Blue Blowers Jazz/dance band Musical group  
(Results 1-25 of 58 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Mound City Blue Blowers," accessed October 28, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108435.

Mound City Blue Blowers. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 28, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108435.

"Mound City Blue Blowers." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 28 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108435

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