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For my own reference.

Benson Orchestra of Chicago.
According to George T. Simon, the Benson Orchestra of Chicago, led by Don Bestor, was: "... one of the best bands of the twenties.. Its music was rhythmic, crisp and clean." Simon mentions that (later) during the Big Band Era, Bestor "fronted a less impressive outfit", but doe snot mentin if this went by the Benson Orchestra name, nor whether it recorded or not. As the tunes  were on the Zonophone label, we can assume that these were the ‘original' 1920s Benson Orchestra of Chicago. The orchestra initially recorded for Victor and Zonophone in 1921. Bestor appears on record only during and  after 1923. [Simon, The Big Bands, p496; Rust, Jazz Records, p120].

Ada Crossley. 
She was an Australian contralto, and on 30 April 1903, recorded the first disc for Victor's Red Seal label, designated for ‘celebrity issues'. Ada Crossley lived in Tarraville near Yarram and her name is commemorated by an elderly care facility, Crossley House. 

Jim Davidson and His A.B.C. Dance Orchestra. 
Australian Jazz on Record (Mitchell), lists this band but not the three records that I list in the Orchestra category. This appears to be the orchestra he led (as director) from 1938 to 1940. His previous orchestra was Jim Davidson & His New Palais Royal Orchestra, which recorded between June 1933 and May 1938. Recordings under the A.B.C. name commenced in June 1938 till March 1940. All recordings were made in Sydney. 

Disc sizes. 
The first discs were released way way back in 1890. The Berliner discs were made for children by a company called Kammerer and Reinhardt and were 5 inches in diameter giving about one minute playing time, and 3 inches. Discs of 3  inch were used in talking dolls. It was nearly a decade later, in 1898, that Emile Berliner founded the German branch of The Gramophone Company, and pruduced 6¾ inch discs giving about 2 minutes playing time. In 1903 Victor in the USA released the 10-inch disc with a  playing time of three minutes. In 1903 the first 12 inch discs were released, by Victor, who had also released before this the 7 inch disc (1901-03), which they soon abandoned. An 8 inch disc was discontinued in 1908. There were also a numbr of other odd sizes released by various companies: 8 inch, 9, 10¾, 11, 13¾, and 20 inch. In 1924, HMV produced a 1  inch record containing a brief version of God Save the King. I don't know why. 

Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville, a Parisian typesetter and tinkerer, developed what he called the Phonautograph , and on 9 April 1860 made what is arguably the first sound recording - rivaling Edison's claim. The 10-second recording of a singer crooning the folk song ‘Au Clair de la Lune', was recorded on the Phonautograph by etching the sound waves onto a sheet of paper blackened by smoke from an oil lamp. The ‘recording' howver could not be played back. On 27 March 2008, the New York Times announced that scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, led by David Giovannoni,  had used optical imaging to extract sound from the patterns inscribed on the paper nearly one and a half centuries old. Scott's 1860 phonautogra, was made seventeen years before Edison received a paatent for the phonograph, and twenty-eight years before an Edison associate captured a snippet of a Handel oratorio on a wax cylinder. The Scott recording was made available on the internet. I heard it but could not made out anything intelligible. But then, I'm going deaf! 

First jazz record.
To state when the first jazz record was released would require a definitive statement on just what is jazz. A ‘ragtime' recording was made in London on 4 May 1899 called Rice's Ragtime Opera, played on guitar and mandolin, but that is stretching the credibility to suggest that it was true ragtime a la Scott Joplin. On 18 Septembeer 1899, You Got to Play Ragtime, was recorded on Berliner disc, played by the United States Marine Band; then a banjoist named Richard L. Weaver recorded Ragtime Dance on 14 December 1899. Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag was recorded on disc in 1906. It appears that the first true jazz recoding so accepted as that was by the Original Dizieland Jazz Band, recorded on 26 February 1917, made by Victor (USA). The record, consisting of Dixieland Jass Band One-Step, and  Livery Stable Blues, sold over 8 million copies over the following eight years. Columbia had actually recorded them a month before, with Darktown Strutter's Ball, and Indiana, but the recordings were attrocious due to Columbia's inexperience in recording the five jazz instruments; Columbia decided not to issue the record,and  the ODJB went to Victor who released their recording. It is stated that Columbia ‘reversed their decision' but whether their ODJB record was ever released I am not sure. The first big band was that of Art Hickman and His Orchestra at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco in September 1919, for Columbia. Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra made his forst recording in November 1920, for Victor. The tunes: Whispering and The Japanese Sandman which sold over a million records in five years. 

Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra.
Jenkins was a pianist, and arranger for Isham Jones, and later for Woody herman and others, who formed a ‘commercial' orchestra. He wrote the somewhat mournful ballad ‘Goodbye', popularised by Benny Goodman. I am tempted to record this myself playing clarinet so it can be played back at my funeral but it is best that I go out to the sounds of BG - why submit  the mourners, if there be any, to further distress! 

Lateral and Vertical Recording.
Lateral: The recording stylus vibrates from side to side in a groove of constant depth. The recording pickup is a sharp needle which follows the meanderings of the recorded track. These were known in the early days when vertical recording was still around, as, wait for it - needle recordings. ‘Modern' 78rpm records have lateral recording. 
Vertical recording: Also called hill-and-dale recording, the recording stylus moved up and down when making the groove. Thus the groove profile was of constant width but varying depth depending on the intensity of the vibration. Playback was by means of a rounded sapphire stylus. The thick Edison discs, and Pathe records,  were vertically cut.  [From The Illustrated History of Phonographs]. 

Mickey Mouse Bands.
Another term raised by Simon in The Big Bands; appears to refer to the quality of musicianship of the band rather than the type of music they played - but generally refering to dance bands of forgettable quality. Even so, some ‘Mickey Mouse Bands' weaned musicians who went on to personal fame in the Big Band Era because of the quality of their playing. I get the impression that invariably these bands played seet or dance music - in other words they did not swing due to "... the sectrion's inherent conservatism, bands that phrased in an old-fashioned way and blazed few new trails", but were readily accepted, particuarly in the (USA) mid-west. Simon, in The Big Bands, does not put them down, and recognises their place in the dance band world, listing nine leaders of such bands. [Simon, The big Bands, p491] Max Kaminsky in his My Life in Jazz also refers to society bands and Mickey Mouse bands. 

Phonograph, Graphophone, Gramophone.  All quite confusing really. Firstly, it was Edison who used the word ‘phonograph', which played a brass cylinder and wqs marketed by the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company, New York, which was founded in 1878. A prime use was in talking dolls , and in the office for disctation; music was not considered. On 20 October 1881, Alexander Graham Bell, his cousin Chichester Bell,  and Charles Sumner Tainter presented their Graphophone'  to the Smithsonian Institution in Wshington. This could be seen as ian improvement on Edison's cylinder playing machine in that it used wax cylinders. (There were other differences - for example, the Edison Phonograph had a fixed stylus with the cylinder moving laterally, whilst the Graphophone had a (laterally) fixed cylinder with the stylus moving laterally. The Bells and Tainter approached Edison to amalgamate resources but Edison rejected them. Rebuffed, they sold their machine to a group who formed The American Graphophone Company, in Washington. The battle was on. The U.S. Gramophone Company was founded in Washington in 1893 by Emile Berliner, to manufacture and market the disc records that he had patented, with the first discs going on sale the following year. The National Gramophone Co was formed in 1896 to market Gramophone machines and disc records. A remarkable fallout and legal squabbles led to Beliner unable to sell his own product in the USA. The Gramophone Co was founded in London in 1897. This became The Gramophone and Typewriter Company Ltd (G&T) in 1900 to produce and market the machines and records made in London, Paris, Moscow and St.Petersburg. The His Master's Voice trademark with Nipper the dog, was established in 1899, but not used in the UK till 1909, when the HMV label was first introduced. (Previously the ‘recordinging angel' logo was used). After many mergers and buy-outs, G&T led to the establishment of the formidable Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI) in April 1931. 

Record formats.
Cylinders: First pre-recorded cylinders for private use made by the North American Phonograph Company, released 1 April 1892. Edisons wax Amberol cylinders released October 1908, and the Blue Amberols in 1912. Columbia however ceased cylinder production in 1912. 
1890 Berliner's discs for kids.
1901. First 10 inch disc, 78rpm released, by Victor. The 10 inch ‘78' remained in production till 1959 when EMI called it quits in the UK in favour of the microgroove. Its demise however commenced not long after the LP was introduced, but there were still recordings of pop stars such as Elvis and Little Richard in the mid-1950s. 
1903. 12 inch disc released.
1905. First double-sided discs. 
1912. Edison released the Diamond Disc. 
1925: Electrical recording introduced. 
1948: LP discs at 33  rpm introduced, by Columbia. 
1949: 45rpm 7-inch disc intriduced, by RCA Victor. 
Early 1960s: The 10inch LP abandoned, leaving only the 12 inch 33 rpm, and 1o inch 45 rpm records as standard.

Run-in grooves.
We take it for granted that when a neddle is placed at the start of a record, ie, at the outer edge of (most) records, it will ‘automatically' take up the groove and commence ‘playing'. Observation of most ‘modern' 78s, and indeed all microgroove recoerds, show one or two widely spaced ‘tracks', ie a groove widely spaced, prior to the densely packed tracks of the record proper. These are ‘lead-in' tracks that ‘pick up' the stylus and ‘carries' it onward to the music groove. But this has not always been so. Up until 1930, the needle relied on the mechanical pull of the needle toward the centre due to friction between the needle and record material, thus bringing it in to the start of the music groove.  Thuws there was a smooth ‘ring' around the music ‘tracks'. Indeed, some early records even had a lip on the outer circumference of the record just in case the laws of physics did not co-operate and the arm with stylus wanted to slide off the record. By 1936, all records had lead-in tracks. 

Society Music.
What was it? I cannot find a formal definition. It is refered to frequently by George T. Simon in The Big Bands, and appears to refer to those large hotel (ball)room bands that played sweet dance music to the upper echelons of city society. [Simon, The big Bands]

Cylinder Speed. 
Cylinders turned at either 80 or 160 rpm. The early yellow wax cylinders (and dictation cylinders) turned at 80 rpm, whilst the black moulded, and Amberols were played at 160 rpm. Disc rotation varied, with the hill and dale records being played anywhere from 80 to 120 rpm - it was generally stated on the label at what spped they should be played. 

Record speed.
The more ‘modern' 78s were supposed to rotate at that speed but it could vary from 75 to 84 rpm. The Diamond Disc was required to spin at 80 rpm, and some specific labels require a speed of up to 80rpm - usually this was noted on the label. But the question is often raised - why 78 rpm - and 45 rpm, and 33   rpm. Firstly, considering the early accoustic reproduction of sound by means of vibration alone, the speed of the needles along the track is important. If too slow, the sound reproduction is compromised, becoming poor as the speed slows. The setting for this has to consider the inner tracks of the record which has a slower linear speed than the other tracks. If the speed is too fast, the needle can ‘zip' along and glide over the track without vibrating to its optimum. Also, faster speeds mean longer tracks, which cuts down the duration of the tune over the fixed size of say a ten inch disc. By trial and error the industry determined that aan optimum speed was around 80 rpm. This standard could have been adopted, and certainly can be reproduced on a wind-up player. But consideration neded to be given to the electrical recording equipment, and it was this equipment which set the speed. It has to do with the advent of the synchronised electric motor (not sure of the date - early 1900s I presume). A synchronised motor rotates at a speed relative to the frequency of the AC power it uses. In the USA, AC power was of 60 hertz, ie 60 cycles per second. This is 3600 cycles per minute. My understaning is that a synchronised motor rotates at a speed relative to the hertz of the current, thus a synchronised more would rotate at 3600 revolutions per minute. The recording cutter needed to rotate at the same speed as the player, and at a much less rotational speed, so gearing was required. To give a rotational speed of the optimum of around 80, the gearing would need to be 3600/80 = 45:1. Oops! Gears are best manufactured with an  even number of cogs, so lets see what, say, a ration of 46:1 would bring - this is 78.26 rpm. Round it off, and there is your answer. As for the other ‘microgroove' speeds, the ratio calculations still apply as synchronised motors were used: divide 3600/108 and you get  33   rpm, divide 3600/80 and you get 45 rpm. But arn't these speeds too slow, according to the criteria for linear speed mentioned previously? No, because technology resulted in electronic amplification allowing a smaller needle (point) that did not need to ‘vibrate' so vigorously to provide an audible sound, and technology and material (vinyl) provided the ability to have ‘narrower' width tracks to allow more ‘grooves' per inch and hence more recorded sound per record. All very interesting!

 Sy Oliver and His Orchestra.
Oliver was initially an arranger for Jimmie Lunceford and Tommy Dorsey, but did not form a big band until after the Big Band Era was virtually over. The band did not last, but Oliver went on to arrangeing and conducting for the likes of Frank Sinatra, and also led a nine-piece group which featured on the popular Jackie Gleeson show. 

Pseudonyms & Group Names
Deuville Dance Orchestra   Ben Pollack's Orchestra.   On Winner label.  [R] 
Regent Orchestra   Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra. On Winner label.  [R]
Midnight Stompers   Devine's Wisconsin Roof Orchestra. On Winner Winner label. 
Shoeless Joe Jackson  Benny Goodman. According to Hammond, occasionally used by BG when     recording with Columbia as a sideman whilst cotracted with Columbia. BG     recordedmfor Irving Mills on the Columbia label till 1934 (when he switched to     Victor).
The ChocolateDandies  Led by alto-saxophonist Benny Carter. Recorded on Columbia.