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Sonny Clay & His Orchestra
"Sonny Clay's Colored Idea"
Recorded in Los Angeles, California on January 12th 1928 featuring Ernest Coycault and Archie Lancaster trumpets, Luther Graven trombone, Leonard Davidson clarinet & alto sax, Louis Dodd alto sax, William Griffin tenor sax, Sonny Clay piano & leader, Rupert Jordan banjo, Herman Hoy bass brass, and David Lewis drums.
*"Devil's Serenade" was composed by William 'Sonny' Clay.
In January of 1928 right after this record was made Sonny and the band set sail for Sydney, Australia and into the history books aboard the S.S. Sierra for the opening of his all black musical revue "Sonny Clay's Colored Idea" becoming the first black band to perform in the country. In spite of being a sensational success initially, two months later the show was raided by police and angry protesters under the pretenses of improper conduct by some of its musicians. Brought up on a string of trumped-up charges the entire band were forced to re-board their ship and depart. It would seem that many local musicians who felt they had suffered a substantial loss in wages since the hit musical opened were responsible for having it shut down. Another black jazz band did not perform in Australia again for more than twenty-five years. -Matt Chauvin
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