A rare 78 rpm recording by the great Tarrant Bailey Junior

Here is a real treat for Classic Banjoists or those looking into the style.

I have recently purchased “The Dear Old Home Songs”, an EXTREMELY RARE and MINT condition 78RPM recording made by Tarrant Bailey Junior in February 1933. I believe that the vocalist on the recording was Cavan O’Connor.



Imperial Records was formed in 1920 and was the second United Kingdom-based label of that name. It was owned by the Crystalate Gramophone Record Manufacturing Company Ltd. of Tonbridge, Kent, England. The company's main recording studio was in London.


Most Imperial recordings were of popular songs, music hall tunes, and dance music of the time. The label went out of business in February 1934.


I have lost track of the number of times that I have said that Classic style was characterised by strong attack to the notes and dynamic drive. This drive is heard in most of Fred Van Eps’ recordings but no more so than in the playing of the UK’s greatest ever player, Tarrant Bailey Junior.






Views: 118

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I am searching   for this tune  , extremely RARE , too

Now that is a RARE one!

Sorry Marc, I just sat down on my only copy and it broke into 1000 pieces.  If you get a copy please let me know.


Marc, there is an explanation for the armrest position.  TBJ told my friend Eli Kaufman that he (TBJ) had really sweaty hands when he played on stage.  He put the armrest there because when he took a bow after playing he would put his arm across the banjo and that kept his wet hand off of the skin head.

Thanks for the recording Ian, I can't wait to listen to it this evening.

marc dalmasso said:

I am searching   for this tune  , extremely RARE , too

thanks Joël ; but i don 't really understand

Actually, neither do I.  I understand protecting a vellum from sweat. But why not simply refrain from putting your arm across the banjo head when bowing?  There are so many ways the banjo can be held during a bow, ways that do not require an armrest. Meanwhile during actual playing TBJ's right hand fingers are all over the vellum. He has a shirt and a jacket over the arm so that will absorb any sweat from the lower arm.  I suppose maybe his palms were sweaty but not his fingers?  Anything is possible. Maybe avoiding getting sweat on the part of the vellum near the rim is more likely to cause a split than sweat near the center of the head?    I'm with Marc. I still don't get it. 

marc dalmasso said:

thanks Joël ; but i don 't really understand

I must say, these recordings are indeed a delight! The clarity TBjnr gets is exceptional...helps that this is a very clear recording.

I think TBjnr put that armrest there because he tended to nervously chew the top edge of his banjo before going on stage... ;-)

I don't know the logic behind it.  All I have done is relay the explanation that was given by TBJ himself.

Reply to Discussion


© 2018   Created by thereallyniceman.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service