The Original Memphis Five

The Original Memphis Five was an early jazz quintet founded in 1917 by trumpeter Phil Napoleon and pianist Frank Signorelli. Jimmy Lytell was a member from 1922 to 1925. The group made many recordings between 1921 and 1931, sometimes under different names, including Ladd's Black Aces and The Cotton Pickers. Richard Cook and Brian Morton, writing for The Penguin Guide to Jazz, refer to the group as "one of the key small groups of the '20s".

The group formed around 1917. The name Original Memphis Five was first used in 1920, and applied to small groups of white musicians throughout the decade. The Ladd's Black Aces name was used from 1921 until 1924. Cook and Morton identify Jimmy Lytell and Miff Mole as standout musicians in the group. Jimmy Durante played piano with Ladd's Black Aces, while both Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey were members of the Original Memphis Five. Occasional vocalists were Anna Meyers, Annette Hanshaw and Vernon Dalhart (as George White).

Both Red Nichols and Miff Mole later led their own groups named Original Memphis Five. Phil Napoleon, however, would continue using the group name into the 1980s.

Birth and Death Data: Born Founded 1917

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1923 - 1931

Roles Represented in DAHR: Musical group

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

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 63 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-27669 10-in. 3/22/1923 Snakes hips The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor B-27670 10-in. 3/22/1923 Who's sorry now? The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor B-28717 10-in. 10/4/1923 I've got a song for sale (That my sweetie turned down) The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor B-28718 10-in. 10/4/1923 Tin roof blues The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor B-28911 10-in. 11/6/1923 Treat 'em rough The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor B-30876 10-in. 10/1/1924 How come you do me like you do? The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor B-30877 10-in. 10/1/1924 Meanest blues The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor B-31912 10-in. 2/4/1925 When my sugar walks down the street (All the birdies go tweet, tweet) The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor B-31913 10-in. 2/4/1925 Throw down blues The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor B-31941 10-in. 2/12/1925 Sob sister Sadie The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-33388 10-in. 9/17/1925 Bass ale blues The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-33389 10-in. 9/17/1925 Military Mike The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-33546 10-in. 10/7/1925 Lookin' for blues The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-33803 10-in. 10/22/1925 Loud speakin' papa (You'd better speak easy to me) The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-33894 10-in. 11/24/1925 Washboard blues The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-34623 10-in. 2/16/1926 Bell hoppin' blues The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-35324 10-in. 4/16/1926 Static strut The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-35325 10-in. 4/16/1926 Tampeekoe The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-37188 10-in. 12/28/1926 A blues serenade The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-37189 10-in. 12/28/1926 Off to Buffalo The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor BVE-37190 10-in. 12/28/1926 Tiger rag The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia 81035 10-in. 5/25/1923 Yes! We have no bananas The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia 81036 10-in. 5/25/1923 Pickles The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia 81242 10-in. 9/27/1923 Walk, Jenny, walk! Billy Jones ; The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Columbia 81243 10-in. 9/27/1923 Last night on the back porch Billy Jones ; The Original Memphis Five Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
(Results 1-25 of 63 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Original Memphis Five, The," accessed December 9, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/334996.

Original Memphis Five, The. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 9, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/334996.

"Original Memphis Five, The." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 9 December 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/334996

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

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.