Aliases Abound

AMP Recording Session

AMP Recording Session

Our research of Muzak recording sessions through the ‘30s and ‘40s found many of the musicians and bands using aliases.  One of Muzak’s most frequent recording artists was Louis Katzman, who recorded for Muzak as:  Atlantic Dance Orchestra, The Biltmore Club Orchestra, The Castillians, Jazz-O-Harmonists, Louis Katzman Colonial Orchestra, and Whittall’s Anglo-Persians.  Muzak’s executive producer and recording artist Ben Selvin recorded under nearly 25 different orchestra names himself.

Here are a few more aliases we found in our archives thanks to Jan Turner, Roberta Keener and our research team…

Artist Alias
Bernard Levitow Orchestra Bernard Lewison
Bert Shefter – pianist Bert Shay
Carson Robison And His Buckaroos Bud Buckingham and His Buckaroos
Enric Madriguera Dance Orchestra Emilio Moreno
Fabien Sevitzky and Concert String Orchestra Associated String Orchestra
Frank Luther Quintets Bud Billings
George Shackley Moonbeams Ensemble George Shelley
Green Brothers Novelty Orchestra Gordon Brothers
Green Brothers Trio Chapel Chimer
Jack Parker – vocalist John Powell
Jack Shilkret And His Orchestra Jack Shaw
Mary Hopple – vocalist Margaret Hembee
Morton Gould – pianist Morton Glenn
Muriel Wilson – vocalist Mary Wheeler
National Fascist Militia Band Pan American Brass Band
Norman Cordon Nat Cromwell
Orpheus Male Chorus Associated Male Glee Club
The Modern Symphonic Choir The Manhattan Choristers
Tom Griselle Orchestra Thomas Greenow
Veronica Wiggins – vocalist Virginia Wayne
Walter Preston – vocalist/director Wallace Paine
Willard Robinson’s Deep River Orchestra William Randolph and his Bayou Orchestra

Most of these musicians had contracts with record labels.  In order to make a little more money during the Great Depression years, they found themselves recording for other entities and using various aliases to disguise their real identity.  Other times the labels wanted to give the impression that there were new bands on the market, so they’d give the old ones a new name.  Sponsors and venues would pay bands to change their names to feature their product or location.  And sometimes it was simply because of the name’s appeal (or lack of it).  The “National Fascist Militia Band,” on tour in The States during the summer of 1934, was Mussolini’s own national band from Italy.  I’d have to say giving that band the alias “Pan American Brass Band” was a good move on the part of Muzak, wouldn’t you?

Contributed by Bruce McKagan

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Tagged as: 30s music, alias, aliases, Archives, Bruce McKagan, dance orchestras, music expert, Muzak, Muzak Archives, Old Music

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