THE BRONZEMEN: The Bronzemen are a little known acapella male quartet and these recordings were intended solely for radio broadcast, recorded in April and September 1939.
If you are in your 50s, you might remember music like this broadcast by the BBC. The Bronzemen's audience was (in all probability) largely white and their repertoire a kind of Spirituals And Gospel Songs Greatest Hits.
The Bronzemen (of whom nothing is known) offer beautiful, harmonically dense versions of songs like "Standing In The Need Of Prayer", "Down By The Riverside" and "Deep River").
A number of the songs here were earlier recorded by the Fisk University Jubilee Singers and the versions here are rich and thoroughly recommended to anyone looking for the "old spirituals."
CLYDE McCOY AND HIS SUGAR BLUES ORCHESTRA: With his theme song, "Sugar Blues," trumpet player Clyde McCoy's career spanned almost seven decades. McCoy could make his trumpet talk and cough in ways which few other artists could equal, and his distinctive "wah-wah'" sound thrilled audiences around the country, turning him into a popular star. Though McCoy found his niche in Dixieland he was an extremely talented musician capable of much greater accomplishments.
At age 14, Clyde found work as a musician on the riverboats and in 1920 he assembled his own band for a two-week residency at a popular Knoxville, Tennessee resort.
McCoy's outfit slowly worked their way to the Big Apple. Though they found steady employment on the East Coast, in 1924 McCoy relocated the group to California.
After spending a few years in the Los Angeles area the band began to tour. By that time McCoy had started to use a trumpet mute to produce the "wah-wah" that became his signature.
Radio broadcasts of his hit song "Sugar Blues" brought national approval, and McCoy soon signed with the Columbia label, for whom his recording of that number sold several million copies in early 1931.
McCoy's stage show featured a full-fledged vaudeville act, and he often arranged "battle of bands" against other top name groups, all of which ended as friendly ties.
In 1942, McCoy and his orchestra enlisted en masse into the Navy, where they toured naval bases and hospitals throughout the war.
In 1955 he scrapped his band, and he and his wife opened a supper club in Denver, where they often performed. In the late 1970s, McCoy semi-retired to Memphis and taught music and continued to perform until the mid-1980s, working with small Dixieland combos.
His last performance was in 1985, and he passed away in 1990.
McCoy also co-founded Downbeat magazine in 1935.