Kentucky Serenaders

Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders was a US jazz and dance band, active from the late 1910s through the 1920s. The group was known simply as The Serenaders until Johnny Hamp became the band leader. Johnny Hamp was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and should not be confused with British television producer Johnnie Hamp. According to some sources, he became the leader by chance when the band was performing at the Hershey Ballroom in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The band leader at the time had an argument with the players and walked out. Hamp, who never played a musical instrument in spite of being a jazz fan and had no experience as a conductor (in addition, he only sang whenever the chorus was performed by a vocal ensemble or the whole band), volunteered to lead them for the rest of the evening and they accepted. After the performance, the band asked him to stay on as leader. The "Kentucky" in the name appears to be related to the band's use of "My Old Kentucky Home" as a theme song, rather than any connection to the U.S. state of Kentucky.

The group toured in the eastern United States and toured England in 1930. In 1931, the group was renamed Johnny Hamp and His Orchestra.

The group made most of its recordings in New York City on the Victor label. Their biggest hit was "Black Bottom" recorded in 1926, which led to a dance fad; see Black Bottom (dance).

Hamp continued to record for Victor until April, 1932. The next session was in August, 1935 for ARC (Melotone, Perfect, Romeo, Oriole). In December, 1936, Hamp was back with Victor recording for their Bluebird label for only two sessions (the second in February, 1937), which turned out to be their last session.

Band members at different times included:

  • Howard Bartlett on clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, vocals
  • William Benedict on trombone
  • Lester Brewer on trumpet
  • Charles Buckwalter on piano, vocals and as arranger
  • Franklyn Baur on vocals
  • Joe Cassidy on clarinet, alto saxophone, vocals
  • Roy Cropper on vocals
  • Charles Dale on clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone
  • Cliff Gamet on alto saxophone, vocals
  • Carl Grayson (r.n.: Graub) on violin, vocals
  • Elwood Groff on bass brass, vocals
  • Irwin Hood on piano
  • Lewis James on vocals
  • Johnny Marvin on vocals
  • Johnny McAfee on saxophone, vocals
  • Frank Masterson on banjo, vocals
  • Frank Munn on vocals
  • Billy Murray on vocals
  • Walter Pontius on vocals
  • Elliot Shaw on vocals
  • Charles Socci on guitar, vocals
  • Ray Stillson on clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone
  • John Strouse on drums
  • Clayton Tewkesbury on trumpet
  • Hal White on violin, vocals
  • Jayne Whitney on vocals
  • Melvin Watkins playing clarinet and saxophone

Johnny Hamp led other bands in the 1930s and early 1940s ending up as a hotel house band leader in Chicago.

Birth and Death Data: Died 1937

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1920 - 1929

Roles Represented in DAHR: Musical group

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-33265 10-in. 9/10/1925 I want you all for me Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-33266 10-in. 9/10/1925 Nobody but Fanny Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-33306 10-in. 8/13/1925 Cecilia Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-33307 10-in. 8/13/1925 The promenade walk Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-33342 10-in. 8/25/1925 When the dear old summer goes Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet Musical group  
Victor BVE-33343 10-in. 8/25/1925 So that's the kind of girl you are Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-33419 10-in. 9/19/1925 Oh say! Can I see you to-night Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-33420 10-in. 9/19/1925 Angry Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-33421 10-in. 9/19/1925 When you see that aunt of mine Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-35366 10-in. 5/4/1926 Honeybunch Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-35367 10-in. 5/4/1926 I found a round-a-bout way to Heaven Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-35687 10-in. 6/15/1926 As long as I have you Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-35688 10-in. 6/15/1926 Roses remind me of you Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-35724 10-in. 6/28/1926 Black bottom Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-35745 10-in. 7/7/1926 That's why I love you Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-35746 10-in. 7/7/1926 Who wouldn't Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-35767 10-in. 7/14/1926 New moon Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-35768 10-in. 7/14/1926 I'll never miss you again Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-35788 10-in. 7/20/1926 I can't get over a girl like you (Loving a boy like me) Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-35789 10-in. 7/20/1926 Tenderly Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-36086 10-in. 9/1/1926 Turkish towel Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-36087 10-in. 9/1/1926 Pretty Cinderella Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-36184 10-in. 9/16/1926 The two of us Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet Musical group  
Victor BVE-36185 10-in. 9/16/1926 Gone again gal Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet Musical group  
Victor BVE-38722 10-in. 5/4/1927 One o'clock baby Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-38723 10-in. 5/4/1927 I haven't told her, she hasn't told me (But we know it just the same) Franklyn Baur ; Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-38847 10-in. 5/27/1927 Just an ivy covered shack Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio (takes 1, 2, and 4); unaccompanied (take 3); with male vocal solo (takes 5-8) Musical group  
Victor BVE-38848 10-in. 5/27/1927 Gorgeous Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-39103 10-in. 8/23/1927 It all belongs to me Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-39104 10-in. 8/23/1927 Someday you'll say O. K. Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-39148 10-in. 9/2/1927 Dawning Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and humming Musical group  
Victor BVE-39149 10-in. 9/2/1927 I fell head over heels in love Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-39609 10-in. 6/29/1927 It is possible? (That she loves me) Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-39904 10-in. 7/26/1927 I'm afraid you sing that song to somebody else Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-39905 10-in. 7/26/1927 Meet me in the moonlight Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-40834 10-in. 11/9/1927 What'll you do? Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders ; Hal White Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-40835 10-in. 11/9/1927 The sunrise (Will bring another day for you) Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-40972 10-in. 11/29/1927 Oh! Look at that baby Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-40973 10-in. 11/29/1927 Oh gee, Jenny Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-41336 10-in. 12/6/1927 To-morrow Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-41337 10-in. 12/6/1927 The waltz of love Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-43990 10-in. 5/17/1928 I can't give you anything but love Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-43991 10-in. 5/17/1928 Japansy waltz Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio Musical group  
Victor BVE-45594 10-in. 6/18/1928 If you don't love me Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-45595 10-in. 6/18/1928 Out-o'-town gal Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-45659 10-in. 6/27/1928 C-O-N-S-T-A-N-T-I-N-O-P-L-E Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal chorus Musical group  
Victor BVE-45660 10-in. 6/27/1928 Blue grass Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-46363 10-in. 8/14/1928 Half-way to heaven Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-46364 10-in. 8/14/1928 What d'ya say Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-46680 10-in. 8/10/1928 Blue shadows Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-46681 10-in. 8/10/1928 Two lips (to kiss my cares away) Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-48614 10-in. 11/22/1928 'Round evening Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-48615 10-in. 11/22/1928 Where is the song of songs for me? Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-48630 10-in. 11/28/1928 Mia bella Rosa Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-48631 10-in. 11/28/1928 Please let me dream in your arms Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-48743 10-in. 12/13/1928 Avalon town Roy Cropper ; Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-48744 10-in. 12/13/1928 My arms are open Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-48802 10-in. 1/17/1929 We'll find our shelter (before the rain) Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-48803 10-in. 1/17/1929 Remember I love you Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-50507 10-in. 2/21/1929 I promise Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-50508 10-in. 2/21/1929 I'll be a pal to your boy (If you'll be a pal to mine) Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-55687 10-in. 9/13/1929 Sunny side up Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders ; Frank Luther Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-55688 10-in. 9/13/1929 Nobody cares if I'm blue Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-55689 10-in. 9/13/1929 If I had a talking picture of you Johnny Hamp ; Don Howard ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-55690 10-in. 9/13/1929 Lady luck Johnny Hamp ; Don Howard ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-55691 10-in. 9/13/1929 La rosita Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-57433 10-in. 11/20/1929 My pals Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-57434 10-in. 11/20/1929 Your love is all that I crave Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BVE-57446 10-in. 11/22/1929 Never say die Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Columbia 78970 10-in. 2/11/1920 Venetian moon Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia 79007 10-in. 3/1/1920 Rose of Washington Square Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band Musical group  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Kentucky Serenaders," accessed June 18, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/112318.

Kentucky Serenaders. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 18, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/112318.

"Kentucky Serenaders." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 18 June 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/112318

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