Blue Steele

Eugene Staples, better known by the stage name Blue Steele (March 11, 1893 – July 1, 1971) was an American jazz singer, trombonist and bandleader. He also played mellophone.

Staples was born in Arkansas and played in a hot jazz group called Watson's Bell Hops in the early 1920s. He put together an orchestra in the middle of the decade in Atlanta, and had his first engagement in Tarpon Springs, Florida soon after. The group became a popular territory band in Florida and the American South, later touring in the Midwest as well. Steele recorded around 20 songs for Victor Records during the period 1927-1930. His sidemen included Frank Martinez, Pat Davis, Joe Hall, Sammy Goble, Gene Gifford, and Kenny Sargent, all of whom later joined the Casa Loma Orchestra. Singers for the group included Kay Austin, Mabel Batson, Clyde Davis, George Marks, and Bob Nolan.

Staples had a notoriously bad temper and was regarded by his bandmates as difficult to work with; big band historian Leo Walker wrote, "musicians, anxious to depart the Steele orchestra, had sometimes...been physically beaten by the bandleader." His popularity waned over the course of the 1930s, and by 1941 he was conducting a radio orchestra on Mexico City's XEW and leading smaller ensembles. In the 1950s he led a dixieland revival group known as the Rhythm Rebels, which included Elmer Schoebel as a sideman.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 11th, 1893 (Arkansas), Died July 7th, 1971

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1927 - 1930

Roles Represented in DAHR: director, composer, tenor vocal, trombone, songwriter

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 36 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-39851 10-in. 8/26/1927 Girl of my dreams, I love you Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
Victor BVE-39852 10-in. 8/26/1927 Sugar babe, I'm leavin'! Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio director, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Victor BVE-40353 10-in. 10/26/1927 Down-hearted blues Blue Steele Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, tenor vocal  
Victor BVE-40354 10-in. 10/26/1927 Let's forgive and forget Blue Steele Orchestra ; Bob Nolan Jazz/dance band, with trombone solo and male vocal solo instrumentalist, trombone, director  
Victor BVE-40355 10-in. 10/26/1927 Betty Jean Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, composer, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Victor BVE-40356 10-in. 10/26/1927 I'm drifting back to dreamland Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
Victor BVE-40357 10-in. 10/26/1927 I've been saving for a rainy day Blue Steele Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, tenor vocal  
Victor BVE-41828 10-in. 2/2/1928 Though you went away (You can come back to me) Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
Victor BVE-41829 10-in. 2/2/1928 Beyond the sunset Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio director  
Victor BVE-41862 10-in. 2/7/1928 Virginia Lee (Come back to me) Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, composer, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Victor BVE-41865 10-in. 2/8/1928 Be my baby Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
Victor BVE-41871 10-in. 2/9/1928 Thoughts Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, trombone  
Victor BVE-41872 10-in. 2/9/1928 I knew I'd miss you Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, trombone  
Victor BVE-41877 10-in. 2/10/1928 Because you are my dream girl Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with trombone solo and male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, trombone  
Victor BVE-41892 10-in. 2/13/1928 Washington & Lee swing Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal chorus director  
Victor BVE-41893 10-in. 2/13/1928 Where has my old gang gone? Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio director  
Victor BVE-55526 10-in. 9/16/1929 Mistakes Blue Steele Orchestra ; George Marks Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
Victor BVE-55532 10-in. 9/17/1929 Rock me to sleep in your arms Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
Victor BVE-55533 10-in. 9/17/1929 Shadows of love Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, songwriter  
Victor BVE-55538 10-in. 9/18/1929 Searching Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, composer  
Victor BVE-55539 10-in. 9/18/1929 Tennessee memories Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, songwriter  
Victor BVE-55544 10-in. 9/18/1929 Coronado (Brings memories of you) Blue Steele Orchestra ; George Marks Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, composer  
Victor BVE-55549 10-in. 9/19/1929 Another night of happiness Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, songwriter  
Victor BVE-55550 10-in. 9/19/1929 Freddy's fog Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, composer  
Victor BVE-55551 10-in. 9/19/1929 Are you lonesome? Blue Steele Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, songwriter  
(Results 1-25 of 36 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Steele, Blue," accessed January 26, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113047.

Steele, Blue. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113047.

"Steele, Blue." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 26 January 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113047

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