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Harry Franklin Reser
(January 17th 1896 - September 27th 1965)
This recording was produced in New York City on October 28th 1930 featuring Harry Reser banjo, accompanied by Bill Wirgis at the piano.
Born in Piqua, Ohio on January 17th 1896, Harry Franklin Reser grew up in Dayton, Ohio where his father moved the family when he was two.
Found to be a child music prodigy blessed with the gift of perfect pitch his parents bought him a small guitar from which he continued his musical pursuits on piano, violin and cello.
Reser was initially attracted to the banjo because of its strong presence in dance groups and after becoming proficient on the instrument in the Summer of 1920 he played in a Dayton dance band led by Paul Goss.
Later that year Harry Reser moved to Buffalo, New York where he remained only briefly before relocating once again to The Big Apple. -There he found work playing in the band's of Ben Selvin, Sam Lanin, Bennie Krueger, and Nathan Glantz.
In 1922, Reser signed a contract with Okeh marking the formation of his very first band the "Okeh Syncopators".
Harry Reser became a household name virtually over night in 1925 when he became the leader of NBC's "Clicquot Club Eskimo Orchestra" broadcasting a weekly half-hour radio spot.
The band continued to promote Clicquot Club Ginger Ale via the air waves until 1935 during which time Reser established himself as favorite persona and led more groups simultaneously than any other musician in history.
Celebrated banjoist Harry Reser died from a heart attack while he was a member of the pit orchestra for a Broadway stage production of "Fiddler on the Roof" at Manhattan's Imperial Theater on September 20th 1965.
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