FEATURED ARTIST / S
|The Piccadilly Players|
Genres: Jazz, Dance Band
Booklet notes by Gary Atkinson
During the 1920s and 30s recording companies found themselves catering for the record buying public’s insatiable demand for dance music. It was the jazz era and the music had become popular to a wide audience, transcending race and class.
The workhorse used to satisfy this demand was the record label house bands. Among the many that were created for the labels were The New York Syncopaters and Ted Wallace & His Campus Boys, both recording for Columbia. The Jazzpators and The High Society Seven represented Grey Gull and among Victor’s in house bands was Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orchestra.
Edison’s house band was the Piccadilly Players. The band was led by Melville Morris who had become a part of Paul Whiteman’s office staff in 1923, his post being the booking agent for all the bands spotted and subsequently managed by Whiteman.
The earliest reference we have of the Piccadilly Players was that they were booked by Morris on 10th May, 1926 to play at The Beau Rivage, Sheepherd Bay. It may have been that this band formed the nucleus of the Edison house band for in the following year on December 13th it recorded it’s first sessions for Edison and continued to record for the company until its closure in October 1929.