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 (Results 26-41 of 41 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
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  
(Results 26-41 of 41 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Berton, Vic," accessed December 5, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111079.

Berton, Vic. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111079.

"Berton, Vic." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 5 December 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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