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 7, 1896 (Chicago), Died December 26, 1951 (Hollywood)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1923 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: drums, composer, songwriter

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

Recordings

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 ; Miff Mole Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, drums  
OKeh W81414 10-in. 9/1/1927 Honolulu blues Little Molers ; Miff Mole Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, drums  
OKeh W81415 10-in. 9/1/1927 The new twister Little Molers ; Miff Mole Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, drums  
Brunswick 15001-15002 10-in. 2/19/1925 Blue evening blues Harry M. Snodgrass Piano solo composer  
Brunswick E6655-E6657 10-in. 10/13/1927 Sobbin’ blues Dixie Syncopators ; King Oliver Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Brunswick E6810-E6811 10-in. 11/18/1927 Sobbin’ blues Dixie Syncopators ; King Oliver Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Brunswick 1Ch-3Ch 10-in. 1/16/1924 Sobbin’ blues Oriole Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick Ch65-Ch67 10-in. 2/22/1924 Blue evening blues Isham Jones Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick Ch88-Ch91 10-in. 2/26/1924 That lullaby strain Oriole Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Edison 9710 10-in. 9/15/1924 Blue evening blues Million Dollar Pier Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Decca DLA 270 10-in. 11/20/1935 When Hollywood goes black and tan Cleo Brown instrumentalist, drums  
Decca DLA 271 10-in. 11/20/1935 When Cleo Brown instrumentalist, drums  
Decca DLA 272 10-in. 11/20/1935 You're my fever Cleo Brown instrumentalist, drums  
Decca DLA 273 10-in. 11/20/1935 Breakin' in a pair of shoes Cleo Brown instrumentalist, drums  
Decca DLA 337 10-in. 4/4/1936 Latch on Cleo Brown instrumentalist, drums  
Decca DLA 338 10-in. 4/4/1936 Slow poke Cleo Brown instrumentalist, drums  
Decca DLA 339 10-in. 4/4/1936 Love in the first degree Cleo Brown instrumentalist, drums  
Decca DLA 340 10-in. 4/4/1936 My gal mezzanine Cleo Brown instrumentalist, drums  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Berton, Vic," accessed September 30, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111079.

Berton, Vic. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111079.

"Berton, Vic." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 30 September 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.