Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Revelers

Lately I have been in touch with a fellow who is a doctoral candidate in music performance at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The focus of his doctoral dissertation is on male quartets of the 1920s and the transition from the acoustic recording process to the electrical process.

We have been having a wonderful time exchanging information, photos and recordings of The Revelers.

Here is the latest photograph he sent (from the University of Texas-Austin historic photo archives). It is one I have not seen. 

The Revelers were born in 1925 from an older group called the Shannon Quartet, so named because Irish songs were very popular 1918 when they first came together to make recordings for the Victor Company. Until 1925, they were only heard in recordings and on the radio, but in the summer of that year they started making concert tours, including one to Great Britain where they sang for the Prince of Wales and Princess Mary. The original group consisted of Lewis James and Charles Hart (tenors), Elliott Shaw (baritone) and Wilfred Glenn (bass). In 1925, Charles Hart left the group, and was replaced by Franklyn Bauer. In due time he too left to pursue a solo career, and the quartet went in search of another tenor. In 1927, Dr. Frank Black became their accompanist and arranger. And they hired James Melton as first tenor.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Motorsport Mystery

Last week I had an email from a fellow in the UK. He recently bought, at an auction in Wales, a group of motorsports memorabilia, amongst which is a trophy awarded to the winner of the "James Melton Museum Sprint Race 1949." He is trying to track down information on the trophy and contacted me.

Where was the sprint race? And why was the trophy named after the museum and not simply James Melton?  Was it to publicize the museum? Could the race possibly have been at the museum property (unlikely)? Evidently sprint races were held at the Thompson Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut, which is not too far from the museum's location in Norwalk, Connecticut. I am not aware that my father had any particular association with that racetrack, but who knows?

At any rate, I’m hoping that someone out there can shed some light on this mystery.