Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music



A family of labels located in New Orleans and trading as the GHB Jazz Foundation. The original Jazzology was formed in 1949 by George Herman Buck (b 1 February 1928; d 11 December 2013) and issued sessions by clarinettist Tony Parenti. The GHB label was formed in 1954; Circle in '46 by Rudi Blesh and Harriet Janis, issuing Blesh's radio broadcasts 'This Is Jazz', also the first label to issue Jelly Roll Morton's Library of Congress recordings, and was sold to Jazzology mid-'60s. The legendary Black Swan label was formed in 1921 by Harry Pace, who had earlier been W.C. Handy's partner in music publishing, the first black-owned and operated label (Fletcher Henderson was the house pianist): there was a business relationship with Paramount; John Steiner revived the Paramount name and sold it to Jazzology '70. Meanwhile Jazzology had been located in Columbia SC, then Atlanta GA, and suffered a blow when RCA's custom-pressing division destroyed Jazzology masters.

Audiophile was formed by engineer E.D. Nunn '47, released superb albums by Doc Evans, Knocky Parker etc, was then owned by bandleaders Jim Cullum Sr (clarinettist) and Jim Cullum Jr (cornettist) in San Antonio '66 and sold to Jazzology mid-'70s. (The Cullums' jazz band performed on public raio and on the San Antonio Riverwalk for many years; Jim Cullum Jr. d 12 August 2019 aged 77.) The Jazzology group acquired Art Hodes's Jazz Record label c.1980, the Lang-Worth radio transcription catalogue '81, Bob Wilber's Bodeswell '83, Gus Statiras's Progressive '84, Monmouth-Evergreen '85. Bill Russell (b 26 February 1905, Canton MO; d 9 August 1992, New Orleans) was an important and much admired pioneer in the field who had been recording since '42, including Bunk Johnson, George Lewis etc; he formed American Music '44 (some releases appeared on Storyville), and later became part of the Jazzology group. This large catalogue of American culture became a non-profit foundation in 1986 and ended up fittingly in New Orleans the following year, where Buck opened the Palm Court Jazz Cafe with the labels upstairs until they needed more room.

Jazzology is dedicated to Chicago-style (see Jazz), including Wild Bill Davison, Bill Coleman, Jack Teagarden, Doc Evans, Lawson/Haggart, Hodes, Wilber, Edmond Hall, Ben Pollack, Doc Cheatham, Barney Bigard, a series of ten two-CD sets of Eddie Condon's famous Town Hall concerts, much more. Buck believed very strongly that the New Orleans tradition is a living one and used GHB to preserve recordings by George Lewis, Captain John Handy, Kid Ory, Turk Murphy, Lu Watters, British trads Chris Barber and Ken Colyer, many more including younger local people who are carrying on the tradition. American Music preserves authentic original recordings of Handy, Lewis, Mutt Carey, Billie and Dee Dee Pierce, Kid Thomas Valentine, Punch Miller etc. Solo Art had been formed by Dan Qualey '39 to record piano solos; the Foundation uses it in that tradition: Max Morath, Wally Rose, Luckey Roberts, Knocky Parker, Jelly Roll Morton, Ralph Sutton, Don Ewell, Dick Wellstood, Jimmy Yancey and others.

Audiophile was turned into a classy repository of American pop, a treasurehouse of great singing by Lee Wiley, Helen Forrest, Margaret Whiting, Marlene Ver Planck, Teddi King, Carol Sloane, Barbara Lea, Chris Connor, Jackie and Roy, Shirley Horn, Maxine Sullivan, Jackie Paris, Dick Haymes, Hugh Shannon, Johnny Hartman, Julius LaRosa and more, in many cases virtually the only recordings available by these artists. Buck recorded a great many of these singers with the trio of arranger, pianist and superb accompanist Loonis McGlohon (d 26 January 2002 aged 80 in Charlotte NC). There was also some instrumental work by Yank Lawson and Warren Vaché on Audiophile, as well as Ian Whitcomb's ragtime re-creations.

Circle preserves new and old recordings from the Swing Era, many from the Lang-Worth catalogue, superbly recorded for broadcast and sounding better than ever, e.g. the famous 'Bill Dodge' Benny Goodman '34 sessions, Bill Challis, Boyd Raeburn, a series of five Duke Ellington CDs '43-5, scores more including virtually all the great bands, and The Goldkette Project '88: Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks re-creating Challis's charts with Wellstood, Wilber, Spiegle Willcox and others. Black Swan has compiled the complete Paramount recordings of Charley Patton and Ma Rainey, and compilations Suitcase Full Of Blues and The Paramount Piano Blues (three volumes). Southland has reissued Sunnyland Slim and Little Brother Montgomery, Big Bill Broonzy, Montana Taylor and Chippie Hill, Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Live In 1960) and others, and e.g. Lorenzo Holden's instrumental Cry Of The Wounded Jukebox, with Holden on tenor, Ernie Freeman on keyboards, the likes of Red Callender and Joe Comfort on bass. Progressive offers items by Lee Konitz, Ben Webster, Buddy DeFranco, Arnett Cobb, Al Haig, Roland Hanna, Claude Williams, Joel Futterman and many others. Jazzology acquired the World's Greatest Jazz Band recordings (see Yank Lawson) from Barker Hickson's World Jazz Records '97.

The company long had a large stock of vinyl. $5 to the GHB Jazz Foundation (1206 Decatur Street, New Orleans LA 70116, or bought a membership in the Collector's Record Club, the magazine Jazzbeat and a discount on CDs (membership was perpetual if you ordered one a year).