Charley Straight

Charles Theodore "Charley" Straight (January 16, 1891 – September 22, 1940) was an American pianist, bandleader and composer. He started his career in 1909 accompanying singer Gene Greene in Vaudeville. In 1916, he began working at the Imperial Piano Roll Company in Chicago, where he recorded dozens of piano rolls. He became a popular bandleader in Chicago during the 1920s. His band, the Charley Straight Orchestra, had a long term engagement at the Rendezvous Café from 1922 to 1925 and recorded for Paramount Records and Brunswick Records in the 1920s.

During the 1920s Straight worked with Roy Bargy on the latter's eight Piano Syncopations. In describing "Rufenreddy", the fifth in the series, the ragtime historian "Perfessor" Bill Edwards stated:

The actual parentage of this piece will likely remain obscured to some degree, since Bargy's collaborator, Charley Straight, more or less may have let Bargy take credit when the piano rolls of the Eight Piano Syncopations were transcribed into sheet music form. It is likely that Straight wrote the bulk of the composition in 1918, and Bargy added many of his individual touches to it in the performance, the end result being that there is some of each of them within.

Straight died in Chicago on the evening of September 22, 1940, after being struck by a car. At the time, Straight was working as a sanitary inspector for the city of Chicago, and was emerging from a manhole in the street.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 16th, 1891 (Chicago), Died September 21st, 1940 (Chicago)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1911 - 1930

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, leader, songwriter, piano

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 114 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-10211 10-in. 4/18/1911 King of the bungaloos Gene Greene Male vocal solo, with orchestra songwriter  
Victor B-12525 10-in. 10/22/1912 Mocking bird rag American Quartet Male vocal quartet composer  
Victor B-13894 10-in. 10/2/1913 You went away Charles Harrison Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-15121 10-in. 8/5/1914 Humpty-Dumpty Conway's Band Band composer  
Victor C-15274 12-in. 10/13/1914 Humpty Dumpty fox trot Victor Military Band Band composer  
Victor B-24489 10-in. 9/22/1920 I love you Sunday Roy Bargy ; Benson Orchestra of Chicago Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-25154 10-in. 4/12/1921 Baby curls Roy Bargy ; Benson Orchestra of Chicago Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-25155 10-in. 4/13/1921 It must be someone like you Roy Bargy ; Benson Orchestra of Chicago Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-25167 10-in. 4/15/1921 June moon Roy Bargy ; Benson Orchestra of Chicago Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-25707 10-in. 9/30/1921 Tuck me to sleep in my old 'Tucky home Roy Bargy ; Benson Orchestra of Chicago Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-25985 10-in. 1/31/1922 Ten little fingers and ten little toes Roy Bargy ; Benson Orchestra of Chicago Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-25987 10-in. 1/31/1922 Little thoughts Roy Bargy ; Benson Orchestra of Chicago Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-26854 10-in. 8/31/1922 Knice and knifty Roy Bargy Piano solo composer  
Victor B-26856 10-in. 8/31/1922 Rufenready Roy Bargy Piano solo composer  
Victor B-30779 10-in. 9/8/1924 Forsaken blues Benson Orchestra of Chicago ; Don Bestor Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-32711 10-in. 5/21/1925 The whole world is dreaming of love Benson Orchestra of Chicago ; Don Bestor Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-35520 10-in. 6/1/1926 Kiss your little baby good-night Pennsylvanians ; Fred Waring Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-36435 10-in. 9/29/1926 Kiss your little baby, good-night! Charles J. Correll ; Freeman F. Gosden Male vocal duet, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-37286 10-in. 12/22/1926 Pretty lips Paul Whiteman Orchestra Orchestra, with male vocal duet composer  
Victor BVE-38124 10-in. 2/28/1927 Pretty lips Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet composer  
Victor BVE-48625 10-in. 11/27/1928 Smiling skies Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-57235 10-in. 12/7/1929 Funny, dear, what love can do Elmo Tanner ; Wayne King Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and vocal chorus composer  
Victor [Trial 1919-11-24-01] Not documented 11/24/1919 In the land of rice and tea Imperial Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Victor [Trial 1919-11-24-02] Not documented 11/24/1919 Oh Imperial Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 19243 10-in. 2/17/1911 King of the bungaloos Gene Greene Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 1-25 of 114 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Straight, Charley," accessed September 17, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116836.

Straight, Charley. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116836.

"Straight, Charley." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 17 September 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116836

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