Irving Mills and his Hotsy Totsy Gang

The First 24 Sides

Price: € 12.50
Format: CD
Label: Retrieval
UPC: 0608917908220
Catnr: RTR 79082
Release date: 02 June 2017
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 12.50
Catalogue number
RTR 79082
Release date
02 June 2017

About the album

Irving Mills and his Hotsy Totsy Gang - The First 24 Sides, is again a great release by Retrieval Records, a division of Challenge Records. Retrieval is one of the finest examples of a record label offering some historical rereleases. For this release the label collected music by Irving Mills and his Hotsy Totsy Gang as recorded in 1928 and 1929.

Irving Mills (1894-1985) was a jazz music publisher, also known by the name of Joe Primrose. He owned Mills Music with his brother Jack between 1919-1965. When they sold Mills Music, they had become the largest independent music publisher in the world. Beside music publisher, Irving was also a singer, lyricist, songwriter, A&R man and manager of several bands that included Cab Calloway, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson, Mills Blue Rhythm Band and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which he managed from 1926 to 1939.

Although not a musician himself (he did sing, however), Irving decided to put together his own studio recording group. His Irving Mills and his Hotsy Totsy Gang had as sidemen a.o. Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Arnold Brillhardt, Arthur Schutt, and Manny Klein. Other variations of his bands featured Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Red Nichols.

One of his innovations was the “band within a band”. He started this in 1928 by arranging for members of Ben Pollack’s band to record hot small group sides for the various dime store labels, out of the main orchestra and printing “small orchestrations” transcribed off the record, so that non-professional musicians could see how great solos were constructed.

The Hotsy-Totsy Gang recordings, done between 1928 and 1930, assembled some of the greatest white Jazz musicians of the era and often produced spectacular results. Sometimes Mills sang on the records, other times he just arranged the record dates and selected the musicians.

Many recordings to be heard on this album by the Hotsy Totsy Gang were "so hot that the music had to be written on sheets of asbestos”!

Irving Mills and his Hotsy Totsy Gang – The First 24 Sides (1928 – 1929) ist eine weitere starke Veröffentlichung von Retrieval Records, einer Sparte von Challenge Records und eine wunderbare Abteilung, die einige historische Aufnahmen bietet. Für diese Sammlung hat das Label Musik von Irving Mills und seiner Hotsy Totsy Gang zusammengetragen, die in den Jahren 1928 und 1929 aufgenommen wurde.

Irving Mills (1894-1985) war ein Jazz-Verleger, auch unter dem Namen Joe Primrose bekannt, und, zusammen mit seinem Bruder Jack, von 1919 bis 1965 Eigentümer von Mills Music. Als die beiden Mills Music verkauften, war die Firma zum größten unabhängigen Musikverlag der Welt herangewachsen. Neben seiner Tätigkeit als Verleger war Mills auch Sänger, Texter, Songwriter, zuständig für Künstler und Repertoire sowie Manager zahlreicher Bands, einschließlich Cab Calloway, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson, Mills Blue Rhythm Band und des Duke Ellington Orchestra, welches er zwischen 1926 und 1939 managte.

Obwohl er selbst kein Musiker war (wenngleich er sang), entschloss Irving sich, seine eigene Band für Studioaufnahmen zusammenzustellen. So zählten zu Irving Mills and his Hotsy Totsy Gang Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Arnold Brillhardt, Arthur Schutt und Manny Klein.

Die Aufnahmen der Hotsy Totsy Gang, die zwischen 1929 und 1930 entstanden, versammelten einige der besten weißen Jazzmusiker der Zeit, oft mit spektakulären Ergebnissen. Manchmal sang Mills auf diesen Aufnahmen, manchmal arrangierte er lediglich die Aufnahmetage und wählte die Musiker aus.

Viele der Aufnahmen, die man auf diesem Album der Hotsy Totsy Gang hört, sind „so heiß, dass die Musik auf Blättern aus Asbest niedergeschrieben werden musste“!


Irving Harold Mills (né Isadore Minsky; 16 January 1894 Odessa, Ukraine – 21 April 1985 Palm Springs, California) was an American music publisher, musician, lyricist, and jazz artist promoter. He sometimes used the pseudonyms Goody Goodwin and Joe Primrose.

Mills was born in Odessa, Ukraine, although some biographies state that he was born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. His father, Hyman Minsky (1868–1905), was a hat maker who had immigrated from Odessa to the United States with his wife Sofia (née Sophia Schifre; born 1869). His father, Hyman, died in 1905, forcing Irving and his brother, Jacob (aka "Jack"; 1891–1979), to work odd jobs including bussing at restaurants, selling wallpaper, and working in the garment industry. By 1910, Mills was listed as a telephone operator. Mills married Beatrice ("Bessie") Wilensky (maiden; 1898–1976) in 1911 and they subsequently moved to Philadelphia. By 1918 Mills was working for publisher Leo Feist. His brother, Jack, was working as a manager for McCarthy and Fisher, the music publishing firm of lyricist Joseph McCarthy (1883–1943) and songwriter Fred Fisher (1875–1942). Founding of Jack Mills Music In July 1919, Irving Mills and his brother, Jack, founded Jack Mills, Inc., which was renamed Mills Music Inc. in 1928.

Source: Wikipedia



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