[Dixielandjazz] "The Cat"

Burt Wilson futurecon at earthlink.net
Wed May 14 17:50:07 PDT 2003

Dear listmates--

One of those "Cat" cartoons in the Record Changer (circa 1948) depicted the cat showing off a 78 RPM record which was in a glass case on a pedestal. He was remarking to his friend, "This is my original copy of my favorite band, The Happy Brass Deceivers. I can't wait 'til they reissue it so I can hear what it sounds like.

Now why do I remember that?

In 1951 I recorded two sides with Sam Charters. Our band included Don Van Palta and John Robinson. Sam liked the cartoon so much that we called ourselves "The Happy Brass Deceivers," which we all thought was a great name for a jazz band. We played "Big Chief Battle Axe" or that side. One the other side we recorded "Saints" and I played jug and we called ourselves the "Home Town Memphis Dixie Jug Band Five."

I guess Sam had a thing with names because when we played in a roadhouse near Lake Tahoe all summer in 1950, he called the band, "King Goodtime Pleasure Rag and the Front Stree Levee Loungers."

Obviously the most fun we had was in making up names. No, the music was good, too.

BTW, we debuted our record in the first Tower Records Store in Sacramento and Russ Soloman was the salesman. We were all somewhat mortified when it began showing up in second-hand stores after six months.

Burt Wilson
Silver Dollar Jazz Band

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