[Dixielandjazz] Preacher Rollo

Patrick Cooke patcooke@cox.net
Mon, 23 Sep 2002 13:01:33 -0500

When I was in Miami, I played with Preacher Rollo on a few 'steady' gigs and
a number of club dates.  Most everybody had something bad to say about
Preacher, but he always paid me promptly, and treated me as fairly.
His real name was Rollo Laylan. He kept a pretty good beat in spite of his
physical handicap, and he always managed to put a good band together.
     When I started with Preacher, Marie Marcus was on piano...a very fine
player, a joy to play bass with.  Last I heard she was working around Cape
Cod.  Other players varied, but were always good.
      I have a book about Big Bands and the swing era, showing a picture of
Whiteman's band with Rollo in it.
There's also an interesting page from Whiteman's payroll book.  It listed
for the week ending Jan 28, 1928 salaries as follows:
   Bix Biederbecke $200, Henry Busse $350, Bing Crosby $150, Jimmy Dorsey
$200, Ferde Grofe $375, Matty Malneck $150, Frankie Trambauer $200.
   That was 1928, the boom era that preceded the big crash.   Name-band
sidemen in the forties weren't doing any better.  Lesser sidemen were
getting $90/week, and featured players up to about $200.
     Pat Cooke

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dan Augustine" <ds.augustine@mail.utexas.edu>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2002 4:01 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Preacher Rollo

> Folks--
>      OK, here's something perhaps appropriate for a quiet Sunday: a
> couple of weeks ago i drove down to San Antonio to go to a rare-LP's
> store called Alamo Records and Sheet Music, run by Will Day in the
> basement of an antiques store called Echoes from the Past (517 E.
> Houston St.).  He has thousands of old vinyl records, including jazz.
>      I came back with a number of dixieland records, including a
> ten-inch record without the cardboard jacket.  It was Dixieland
> Favorites by Preacher Rollo and the Five Saints (MGM E95). It turned
> out to be pretty interesting, but i didn't know who Preacher Rollo
> was (never heard of him before), so i went sniffing onto the web and
> found out a little about him on the American Big Bands Biographies
> (  Does anyone know who actually
> played on this particular recording, and/or anything else about this
> band?  I was especially intrigued by one song they did called
> "Tronbonium", which sounds almost exactly like the rendition that the
> Assunto Dukes of Dixieland do on one of their later albums.
>      I also picked up another ten-inch record without a jacket by
> George Girard and His New Orleans Five (side 1) paired with Jack
> Delaney and His New Orleans Jazz Babies (Southland S-LP-201), which
> is also pretty good, especially Delaney's trombone style.  I think i
> can hear Freddy Assunto echoing it later.
>      Other records i got included Santo and His New Orleans Rhythm
> Kings on Southland S-LP 213, Midnight on Bourbon Street by Sharkey
> and His Kings of Dixieland (Capitol T367) with Lizzie Miles, and an
> LP by a group (wearing red-and-white striped jackets and straw hats)
> called The Southern Comforts--don't ask; the uniform should have told
> me what they sound like.
>      Anyway, does anyone know any more about Preacher Rollo?  Thanks.
> Dan
> --
> **--------------------------------------------------------------------**
> **  Dan Augustine    Austin, Texas   ds.augustine@mail.utexas.edu     **
> **      "Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen."    **
> **            -- Ambrose Bierce in _The Devil's Dictionary_           **
> **--------------------------------------------------------------------**
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