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Night Hawk Blues

Original Nighthawk Orchestra


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"Coon-Sanders' Debut"


This recording was made in Chicago on April 5th 1924 featuring Joe Richolson and Bob Pope trumpets, Rex Downing trombone, Harold Thiell, Joe Thiell, and Floyd Estep saxophones, Joe Sanders piano & vocals, Russ Stout banjo, "Pop" Estep tuba, and Carleton Coon drums & vocals. -To Flip Over The Record Click Here.

*"Night Hawk Blues" was composed by Joe L. Sanders.

The song includes the lines: "Tune right in on the radio, Grab a telegram and say 'Hello'" in reference to the events of the "Coon-Sanders Nighthawks'" radio request show.

Organized by drummer Carleton Coon and pianist Joe Sanders in Kansas City, Missouri in 1919 the "Coon-Sanders Orchestra" were the very first Kansas City jazz assembly to achieve National recognition. In 1922 the band organized their own weekly radio show broadcast live over clear channel radio throughout the U.S. from the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City on station WDAF. Held between the hours of 11:30 pm and 1:00 am it was for these late-night radio broadcasts that the group would come to be dubbed the "Coon-Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra".

Aside from their obvious talent the Orchestra's tremendous radio success can also be attributed to their early implementation of a request line over which the listening audience were encouraged to send in song requests by letter, telephone or telegram. This revolutionary idea became so popular that Western Union set up a ticker tape machine between Joe Sanders' piano and Carleton Coon's drums so that the telegrams could be acknowledged and read during the broadcast. With the aide of this new instant request system the band achieved National fame and by 1924 the "Coon-Sanders Fan Club" was reported to have 37,000 members.

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