Vic Berton

Vic Berton (May 7, 1896 - December 26, 1951), was an American jazz drummer.

Berton was born, Victor Cohen, in Chicago. His father was a violinist and began his son on string instruments around age five. He was hired as a percussionist at the Alhambra Theater in Milwaukee in 1903 when he was only seven years old. By age 16 he was playing with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While serving in World War I he played drums for John Philip Sousa's Navy band.

Early in the 1920s Berton played in various Chicago bands, including those of Art Kahn, Paul Beise, and Arnold Johnson. He led his own ensemble as well, which played at the Merry Gardens club. In 1924 he became the manager of The Wolverines, and occasionally played alongside Bix Beiderbecke in the ensemble. Later in the 1920s he played with Roger Wolfe Kahn, Don Voorhees, and Red Nichols, and worked extensively as a session musician. In 1927 he played with Paul Whiteman, and then moved to Los Angeles later that year.

In Los Angeles Berton played with Abe Lyman and played in the studios for film soundtracks. He served as director of Paramount Films's music division for a time, and worked in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. In the 1940s he worked as a percussionist in the studios for 20th Century Fox. He died in Hollywood from lung cancer.

Berton's brother Ralph Berton also became a jazz drummer, in addition to his writings on jazz.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 7th, 1896 (Chicago), Died Hollywood

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1923 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: drums, songwriter, composer

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 41 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-28432 10-in. 8/17/1923 Sobbin' blues Benson Orchestra of Chicago ; Don Bestor Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor B-28886 10-in. 11/7/1923 That lullaby strain Benson Orchestra of Chicago ; Don Bestor Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-29828 10-in. 4/3/1924 Blue evening blues Paul Biese Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor PBS-09934 10-in. 1/13/1938 The one I love Allan Jones ; Nathaniel Shilkret Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra instrumentalist, drums  
Victor PBS-09935 10-in. 1/13/1938 The donkey serenade Allan Jones ; Nathaniel Shilkret Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra instrumentalist, drums  
Victor PBS-09936 10-in. 1/13/1938 Giannina mia Allan Jones ; Nathaniel Shilkret Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra instrumentalist, drums  
Victor PBS-09937 10-in. 1/13/1938 Cosi cosa Allan Jones ; Nathaniel Shilkret Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra instrumentalist, drums  
Victor BS-023276 10-in. 5/24/1938 Sobbin' blues Art Kassel ; Kassels-in-the-Air Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor BS-028340 10-in. 10/28/1938 Sobbin' blues Les Brown Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor BS-028793 10-in. 10/29/1938 Sobbin' blues Vernon Geyer Electric organ solo songwriter  
Victor BS-030300 10-in. 11/22/1938 Sobbin' blues Bunny Berigan Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Columbia 81306 10-in. 10/16/1923 Sobbin' blues Art Kahn Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Columbia 81390 10-in. 12/7/1923 Blue evening blues Art Kahn Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia 81615 10-in. 3/6/1924 That lullaby strain Frank Westphal Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W150490 10-in. 4/24/1930 Sobbin' blues Ted Lewis and his Band Jazz/dance band songwriter  
OKeh 8394 10-in. June 1923 Sobbin' blues King Oliver’s Jazz Band Jazz/dance band composer  
OKeh S-73449 10-in. June 1925 Sobbin' blues Fred Hall ; Sugar Babies Jazz/dance band songwriter  
OKeh W80338 10-in. 1/26/1927 Alexander's ragtime band Miff Mole's Molers Jazz/dance quintet instrumentalist, drums  
OKeh W80339 10-in. 1/26/1927 Some sweet day Miff Mole's Molers Jazz/dance quintet instrumentalist, drums  
OKeh W80340 10-in. 1/26/1927 Hurricane Miff Mole's Molers Jazz/dance quartet instrumentalist, drums  
OKeh W81296 10-in. 8/30/1927 Imagination Little Molers ; Miff Mole Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, drums  
OKeh W81297 10-in. 8/30/1927 Feelin' no pain Little Molers ; Miff Mole Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, drums  
OKeh W81298 10-in. 8/30/1927 Original Dixieland one-step Little Molers ; Miff Mole Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, drums  
OKeh W81413 10-in. 9/1/1927 My gal Sal Little Molers Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, drums  
OKeh W81414 10-in. 9/1/1927 Honolulu blues Little Molers ; Miff Mole Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, drums  
(Results 1-25 of 41 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Berton, Vic," accessed October 29, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111079.

Berton, Vic. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111079.

"Berton, Vic." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 29 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111079

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