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Harry James' pre Parduba mouthpiece



 
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dixiedaveb
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Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: So. California

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:56 am    Post subject: Harry James' pre Parduba mouthpiece Reply with quote

The Parduba double cup came out in 1935. What mouthpiece did Harry use before the Pardubas?
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dave belknap
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:18 am    Post subject: Harry James pre Parduba..... Reply with quote

He once told me that he had used a King Equa-True. I have no idea whether or not there were others.

Dave Belknap
Trumpet
Local #47 American Federation of Musicians
Hollywood, CA
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plankowner110
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,
You may have the answer to a question I have about early HJ. In the "Harry James Trumpet Method" book published by Robbins Music in 1941, there are several photos of HJ holding a trumpet with bell braces in the actual shape of an "S" plus the tuning slide brace is also a larger "S".

There is a lot of engraving on the bell but I can't make out a name. The trumpet has a first valve trigger, and the finger buttons look similar to those on the Selmer he played in the 40s. (This instrument is not a Selmer balanced or K-modified model, however it could be an earlier model Selmer.) Do you happen to know what brand this old trumpet might be? Just curious.
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StevenPSparks
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that I knew of him playing a (I forget the exact name), but it was the predecessor to the K-mod, with the cool S braces. I see them on eBay from time to time.
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Preparing for oral surgery & braces; Trumpet playing is almost but a memory at this point......
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dave belknap
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:07 pm    Post subject: Harry Jame's trumpets Reply with quote

Plankowner:

Prior to Harry's use of Selmer Paris Trumpets., he played King Liberty models. After his falling out with Selmer, he returned to King and played specials which were custom built for him. He remained with those King specials (a balanced model, generally based upon King's dual bore Symphony models). He never used a Selmer Paris K-Modified trumpet. He didn't care for the K-Modified, at all. The horn which you have described sounds very much like a Selmer Signet, ie "S" shaped braces, though I don't believe that the Selmer Signet line existed at the time when that photo would have been taken. I have never seen the cover of the book, hence your guess is as good as mine. Mayhap, you might send along a photo of the cover.

Dave Belknap
Trumpet
Local #47 American Federation of Musicians
Hollywood, CA
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plankowner110
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies about the trumpet HJ is holding in his trumpet method book (co-authored by his father.) He is very young in the photos and I wish I could include the pictures here, but I don't have a working scanner.
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Conn 1FR "Vintage One" flugelhorn
Bach 3C mouthpieces
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dixiedaveb
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Joined: 14 May 2005
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Location: So. California

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 8:47 am    Post subject: S braced horn Reply with quote

I haven't seen the picture of Harry in his method book. I have seen a couple of American Selmer trumpets with the S brace.

Does anyone know what the falling out was between James and Paris Selmer?
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dave belknap
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 am    Post subject: Harry James vs. Selmer Reply with quote

The Selmer Signet line ("S" braces) of trumpets were built in the U.S.

When Selmer (Paris) came out with the K-Modified, they, for reasons unknown to me, informed Harry that there would be no more balanced 25A models and no more (special) .472 bores. They did build a few more balanced Model 19A horns for Louis Armstrong. Harry tried and dismissed the K-Modified horns. In his opinion, an opinion shared by many of us, the horns had too little resistance. Mrs. White, the chairperson at The H.N. White Company (King) got together with Clem Frak, an official at H.N. White. They ordered the building of a balanced model of their dual bore Symphony Model. Initially, there were no markings on the instrument......no engraving, etc. It was gold plated. Harry made his usual yearly appearance at the Aragon Ballroom, on West 25th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. Mrs. White and Mr. Frak were there and informed Harry that they were aware of his dislike for what was going to be known as the K-Modified trumpet in the Selmer Paris line. They talked Harry into trying this "special" that they had prepared for him. He liked it. Hence began the business relationship betwixt Harry James and King, that would last for the remainder of Harry's life. Over the years, Harry specified several changes in those King specials. Anyone interested in those changes, may contact me through this article.

Please.....before anyone asks........no, I never worked for King. Other than in an advisory capacity, I've never worked for any maker. I'm quite simply, a trumpet player. Many builders have attempted to reproduce the fabulous Selmer Paris Balanced Models. Most of the attempts have failed. The exception to this is Roy Lawler. His balanced models are right on the money. The design, the blow and the workmanship are, in my opinion, perfect. There are a few cosmetic differences, but cosmetic touches don't have any bearing on the manner in which the instrument plays.

The old Selmer Paris trumpets, like Harry James, had no equal.

Dave Belknap
Trumpet
Local #47 American Federation of Musicians
Hollywood, CA
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textr
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Joined: 10 May 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave B

Thank you for your most interesting post about H J and the horns
he played. When I was a kid , one evening my Dad told me to get
dressed up real nice because we were going to go somewhere ,
although he did not tell me where we were going.
As it turned out Harry James was playing in town that night and that
is where we went. We went to the ballroom early and my Dad was
taking pictures , and as a result I have pictures of me ( a skinny
high school kid) and Harry James.
I vividly remember the trumpets he was playing that night, he had
a pair of King Balanced models in a double case. when I asked him
about his horns he very graciously talked to me about his particular
model of trumpets . He let me hold one of his horns while he held
the other and my Dad took pictures. ALSO that night Buddy Rich was
playing drums with Harry's band and I have pictures of me and Buddy
also. Although I must say Buddy was not as gracious a Harry was .
One thing I remember about H J's horn case was the fact that the
horns laid flat in the case, not vertical as the double cases of today,
I have very fond memoriaes of that night , meeting two world class
musicians. The band was incredible. What a great experience for a
young trumpet player. This would have been about 1965 or 66.
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dave belknap
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:37 am    Post subject: Harry James' horns, case and photos Reply with quote

You were fortunate to get the photos with Harry. He could be a bit tough as a photo subject.

I owned that double case and two of the King specials, circa 1972. You might have noticed two closed compartments on either side of the horns. Those little gems just happened to neatly hold a fifth of vodka each, from time to time. A bit later on, King built Harry, a little miniature of that case. It was designed to hold a single fifth of vodka.

When a person posed with Buddy Rich, the person generally received a "charming" monologue from "Mr. Humble" of the drum world. Personality traits aside, Buddy was one hell of a drummer. In terms of "kicking a band", Buddy's only equals, in my opinion, were Sonny Payne, Jack Sperling, Ed Shaughnessy, Nick Fatool, Frankie Capp and Butch Miles. In terms of technique, Buddy has yet to be equalled.

Mayhap I should write a book???

Dave Belknap
Trumpet
Local #47 American Federation of Musicians
Hollywood, CA
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