California Ramblers

The California Ramblers were an American jazz group that recorded hundreds of songs for many different record labels throughout the 1920s. Four members of the band – Red Nichols, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, and Adrian Rollini – went on to front big bands in later decades.

The band was formed in 1921 by banjoist Ray Kitchenman. Its members were from Ohio but chose the name California Ramblers. The band was instantly successful and were one of the most prolific recording groups in the 1920s.

In late 1924 the Ramblers signed a contract with Columbia Records and then, in conjunction with their manager Ed Kirkeby, agreed to waive all royalties to Columbia for the right to record for other companies under pseudonyms. They recorded for nearly every independent label in the U.S., Canada, and the UK, using over 100 unique aliases, Including The Golden Gate Orchestra, Varsity Eight, Stokers of Hades, and The Goofus Washboards.

Birth and Death Data: Born Founded 1920

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1921 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: Musical group

Notes: Known as the Merry Melody Men prior to 1921. Name frequently appears as Golden Gate Orchestra; other pseudonyms include Jerry Mason and his Californians, the Little Ramblers, the University Six, and the Louisiana Collegians.

See Also: Golden Gate Orchestra; California Ramblers; University Six and the California Rambler

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

Recordings (Results 501-507 of 507 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Edison N-1161 10-in. 9/26/1929 Hard to get Golden Gate Orchestra [California Ramblers] Jazz/dance band, with vocal Musical group  
Edison N-1162 10-in. 9/26/1929 Love ain't nothin' but the blues Golden Gate Orchestra [California Ramblers] Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Edison N-1193 10-in. 10/9/1929 Lady luck California Ramblers Jazz/dance band, with vocal trio Musical group  
Edison N-1194 10-in. 10/9/1929 I'm a dreamer (Aren't we all?) California Ramblers Jazz/dance band, with vocal trio Musical group  
Arto [Arto Cat 9147A] 10-in. 5/4/1922 Stumbling Catalina Social Seven Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Arto [Arto Cat 9148B] 10-in. 5/4/1922 Swanee bluebird Catalina Social Seven Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Gennett 8999 10-in. 7/9/1924 Put away a little ray of golden sunshine Paul Sanderson and His Orchestra Jazz/dance band Musical group  
(Results 501-507 of 507 records)


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "California Ramblers," accessed June 19, 2024,

California Ramblers. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from

"California Ramblers." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 19 June 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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