Happy-Rose Orchestra: Get Happy
The Happy-Rose Orchestra
The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings, Volume 1 (Archeopohone 3002)
Tommy Dorsey (trombone),
unidentified leader, 13 musicians and vocal trio.
Composed by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler.
Recorded: New York, ca. May 1930
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
Hit of the Week was a flexible one-sided record sold at newsstands for 15¢ beginning in early 1930. By summer, sales were over 500,000 units a week, an amazing success at a time when such major labels as Columbia, Victor and Brunswick were hardly moving any records. Most of the HOW fare consisted of new songs chosen by committee, and performed by popular dance bands led by Vincent Lopez, Bert Lown and Donald Vorhees. In its first year of operation, HOW also recorded such jazz bands as Ben Pollack and Duke Ellington, but the track under consideration was perhaps the hottest in the company's history. It was made to advertise an orchestra for hire, was never offered for sale, and the band's personnel is unknown (although it is generally agreed that Tommy Dorsey is the hot trombonist). It certainly deserves to be heard.
The disc raises several questions: Who was the leader? Who are the musicians besides Dorsey? (Red Nichols, Mannie Klein and Bunny Berigan have been suggested as the trumpet soloist; my vote is for Klein.) Is this a pickup group or a regular working band on the recording? These questions and others remain unanswered and are not likely to be so at this late date. It doesn't make the recording any less exciting or enjoyable.
Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof