The Music Jazz -- America's music. Born in New Orleans in the late 1890s.
Moved to Chicago later, when the notorious Storyville section was shut
down so as to redirect the attention of US Navy personnel toward the
winning of World War I and away from the various definitions of "jass".
New Orleans was a progressive, cosmopolitan city where
"people of color" were allowed more means of expression than in most
places. That environment welcomed the combination of African
polyrhythms and European song structure. In a word -- Jazz.
Almost simultaneously, jazz bands sprang up everywhere and
became the forefront of popular music. Their music became the roar of
the roaring 20s.
There is no question that New Orleans was a major factor. The
first jazz record was made there by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in
1917. Jelly Roll Morton (who claimed to have invented jazz) was a native
of New Orleans. Other New Orleans musicians, especially Louis
Armstrong, moved up river to Chicago and beyond. New Orleans jazz
You will hear many of these early influences on this recording.
With respect to the originators' talents, we offer echoes of their jazz.
The Band Since 1958, the Smugtown Stompers have been preserving the
heritage of early jazz. Named for hometown Rochester, NY (Smugtown, USA,
according to the name of a book about Rochester society), the band performs
blues, ragtime, dixieland, and pop tunes from the 1890 - 1930 period.
The band was formed by the late Rochester cornetist and interna-
tionally known record collector, Bob Fertig. His massive record collection and
many friends in the jazz scene are the sources of the band's music. This
recording is a tribute to Bob and the band's co-founder Dave Sweet for their
three decades of vision and leadership -- a legacy we continue to this day.
Music history has entwined the band's story. One of the most
prestigious events for the band was its 1984 performance at the induction
ceremony for Bessie Smith into the National Women's Hall of Fame, teaming
with singer Margaret Wilson in a concert honoring Bessie, "Empress of the
Blues." Previously, Bob Fertig had supplied Columbia Records with the only
complete collection of Bessie Smith records in existence, after Columbia's
archives yielded only 55 of the 160 recordings she had made. The effort was
called "the single most important re-issue project in Columbia's history."
Today's band continues that tradition: The International Ragtime-
Jasstime Festival, the Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Bash, the International
Dixieland Festival and many others are on the Stompers' yearly schedule.
The goal of the band is to build a wider public enthusiasm for America's
early jazz and ragtime heritage. The tunes are associated with many musical
innovators of the 1890- 1930's period.
Traditional jazz is fun music which is rediscovered every few decades
by young people listening to records in a collector's attic. The Smugtown
Stompers can still be heard, bringing this music out of the attic and in front of
appreciative audiences. This recording is largely a response to many friends of
the band who have clamored for a permanent sound portrait.
The Players Most of today's band members played when founder Bob Fertig
was leader and cornetist. They bring to this music a wide variety of experience
, and at the same time, keep an ear tuned for the sounds of the players
who preceded them.
Doug Sinclair (first played with band in 1962) clarinet, sax: Doug
came from Boston, where he developed his enthusiasm for traditional jazz
from clarinetist Stan McDonald, who leads the Blue Horizon Jazz Band and
played with the New Black Eagle Jazz Band at its inception. Doug moved to
Rochester to earn his Doctorate and teach at the University of Rochester's
Institute of Optics. He now heads his own business, which provides optical
Bud Taylor (1963) tuba: Bud is an engineer/inventor for Kodak in
the field of three dimensional imaging. He began playing tuba in the Newfane,
NY, school band when its director declared that there were one too many
trumpets and one too few tubas. Bud played in the Wright's Corners Fireman's
Band under the direction of Herb Ludwig, a principal Metropolitan Opera
cornetist who decided instead to guide high school musicians in Barker, NY.
Continuing at the University of Rochester, and then many local marching
bands, Bud grew weary of the marching regimen. He heard the Stompers at
the Last Chance Saloon in 1963, volunteered his services, and has been a
mainstay of the band ever since.
Walt Fullerton (1966) cornet: A Kodak retiree (marketing and
advertising). A multi-instrumental player with the Stompers (trombone, piano,
cornet, arranger), his musical background includes the USAF Band, University
of Maine Band and Orchestra, and a local folk singing group. Walt has tran-
scribed many of the band arrangements from original recordings.
Dave Sturmer (1970) trombone, leader: Originally from Portland,
Oregon, home of the Castle Jazz Band. In high school, Dave played with the
TV Band, a jazz-swing ensemble featured on bi-weekly local broadcasts. He
is a graduate of Stanford University, where he led a dixieland band. Two
universities later with doctorate in hand, he moved to Rochester and had a
successful career as a research chemist at Kodak, specializing in advancing
the company's chemical patent portfolio. Dave took over the leadership of the
band in 1990 and is dedicated to maintaining the legacy.
Bob Worden (1986) banjo: Bob came to the Stompers after a notable
term playing tenor banjo in the Upstate String Band. He is the director of
business research at Eastman Kodak. As a youngster, he listened to his dad's
dixieland records and began banjo lessons with Lloyd Hagadorn, a versatile
vaudevillian who played during the 1920s and '30s. Bob eventually teamed
with Lloyd at Happyland in Wayland, NY, a place which once featured a little
known country singer -- Hank Williams.
Al Santillo (1987) drums, banjo: another multi-instrumentalist, Al also
played banjo in the Upstate String Band and with the Stompers. As the need
for a drummer came up, he admitted to having played drums in a rock & roll
band some years before and has become the sparkplug of the Stompers'
rhythm section. Retired from Kodak, he now operates his own remodeling
business. His early music training came from his father, Al Sr., who played on
the Keith vaudeville circuit and in several regional bands.
Bob Fuller (1991) piano: Bob has devoted his life to music from the
age of seven and progressed to the achievement of a Masters degree in
Music Education from Ithaca College. He taught music in the Rochester
Public Schools for 34 years and now has a private teaching practice. Bob has
discovered a new love for ragtime and dixieland. At every concert the
Stompers play, Bob provides the piano as the heart of the rhythm section,
and you'll hear him featured on several ragtime songs.
Carol Mulligan (1992) vocalist: Carol sings. Folk, religious, Irish,
pop, and now traditional jazz. She sings them all -- to the delight of her
audiences. Back in her Pittsburgh days, she started singing at Holy Family
Church. Moving to Rochester, she joined a folksinging group at Our Lady of
Mercy church. (At that time, the group raised some eyebrows as being quite
progressive.) In 1975, she formed Mulligan Stew, a group popular into the
1980s. She also developed an interest in Irish music with the trio, Mulligan,
Dolan & Parnell. Carol joined the Stompers in 1992 and provides the band
with a fine jazz singer with great audience rapport.
The Songs Of the 175 tunes in the band's active book (and an equal number
in the drawer waiting to be played some day), only sixteen could be squeezed
onto this recording. Even so, we are excited to share these with you.
1. Panama (1900, Tyers). An ensemble tune associated with New Orleans'
marching society; features Doug Sinclair's fine clarinet in the middle.
2. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home (19l9, Williams-Warfield). A Bessie
Smith classic. We all love the way Carol Mulligan puts this across.
3. Come Back, Sweet Papa (1926, Barbarin-Russell). From a Louis
Armstrong Hot 5 recording; we've always had fun with their tunes.
4. I'm Stepping Out (With A Memory Tonight) (1940, Wrubel-Magidson). A
cabaret number. Our sheet music from 1940 notes: "Originally introduced by
Kate Smith". Carol makes it equally popular.
5. Oriental Strut (1926, St. Cyr). Written during America's era of fascination
with the Far East, this is a great Hot 5 tune by Johnny St. Cyr, the talented
banjoist for King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band and Louis Armstrong's Hot 5.
Years ago, Bob Fertig traded his cornet solo for Bud Taylor's tuba solo (to
keep peace in the band). We still do it the same way. Plus a stop-chorus for
6. Black and Blue (What did I do to be so) (1929, Wailer-Brooks-Razaf).
A vocal often done by Louis Armstrong. Arrangement by our cornetist Walt
Fullerton was written especially for the band and Carol.
7. The Wolverines (Wolverine Blues) (1923, Morton-Spikes-Spikes). Written
and recorded by "Jelly Roll" Morton, named for a Detroit barbershop (The
Wolverine) run by one of his good friends. Banjoist Bob Worden and
Drummer Al Santillo are featured.
8. You've Got To See Mamma Ev'ry Night (1922, Conrad-Rose). Listen
carefully! Some good advice in Carol Mulligan's version of this fun song.
9. Creole Belles (1900, Lampe-Sidney). An early cakewalk, one of the more
jazz-adaptable compositions by parlor piano arranger J. Bodewalt Lampe.
Relaxed clarinet solo by Doug Sinclair; a nice tuba break by Bud Taylor leads
into the final chorus.
10. Oh Daddy (1921, Russell-Herbert). Bessie Smith recorded this one in
1923. A great fit with Carol Mulligan's style.
11. Original Dixieland Onestep (1917, LaRocca-Robinson-Crandall). From
the first recorded Original Dixieland Jass Band (New Orleans, 1917). We've
sidestepped the vocal on this one. A fun instrumental to play.
12. Singin' the Blues (Till My Daddy Comes Home) (1920, Conrad-
Robinson-Lewis -- Young). Reminder of the great Bix Beiderbecke legacy, from
when Bix played with the Goldkette/Whiteman/Trumbauer Orchestras. The
classic solo played lyrically on the soprano sax by Doug Sinclair.
13. Harlem Rag (1897, Turpin). Tom Turpin was a successful St. Louis tavern
owner. This is the first published rag by a black composer. Pianist Bob Fuller
gets the honors; the band chips in. Arrangement by Walt Fullerton.
14. Buddy Bolden's Blues (I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say)
(1915, Morton). Celebrates early cornetist and legendary New Orleans
bandleader Buddy Bolden. We've always liked this one.
15. Tishomingo Blues (1917, Williams). Named for a town (and county) in
Mississippi. A great, much recorded standard. The solo clarinet line
begins this fine interpretative musical selection featuring Doug Sinclair.
16. Cakewalking Babies (From Home) (1924, Smith-Troy-Williams).
Bessie Smith made this number popular in 1925. Carol has folks on
their feet and marching around the room with her energetic version.
Acknowledgments A hearty thanks to the many alumni of the Stompers
without whom no band would exist today to carry on the tradition.
And we especially thank our spouses, families, fans and friends who have
supported this project. May the echoes go on forever.
Dancing Girl/Smugtown Stompers: drawing and lettering on bass drum
head was a gift (that has become our signature trademark)
in the mid-60s to the band and drummer Dick Westburg.
Caricature (front cover): Tim Akin, Niagara Falls, NY, 1993
Band Photograph (back): Bill Symmons, photographer; a recent picture at the
Ragtime-Jasstime Festival in Alexandria Bay, New York. Used by permission of
The Grand International Ragtime-Jasstime Foundation, Scarborough, ON, Canada
Smugtown Stompers registered, Monroe County Clerk's Office, Rochester, NY
Smugtown, U.S.A., by Curt Gerling (Plaza Publishers, Webster, NY 1957)
Recorded live at Dynamic Recording, Rochester, NY
www.dynrec.com/smugtown All rights reserved.
CD 16 Tracks, 74 Minutes ~ 17.70 (includes S&H)
Cassette 16 Tracks, 74 Minutes ~ 11.50 (includes S&H)