We have at last completed a biography for Bert Bassett.  It can be found in Player Biographies.  It is based on an obituary writted by Clifford Essex for BMG in 1937, with some corrections, clarifications and additions.

For those of you who would like to download a version of the bio, I have attached a .pdf file.

If anyone has any additional information or comments, let me know and we will ammend accordingly.

Tony

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Nice work!

Does anyone have the recording of Bert playing Goblin Gambols, a kinda weird solo?

Thanks, Joel, glad you like it.

For all that Bert Bassett made about two dozen recordings on the Jumbo label, very few of them are included in published collections.  Neovox (Concert No3) has Halimar and Dream Dance.  On this site we have A Georgian Breeze, Darktown Dandies and The Kilties.  Given that BB lived and worked during the heyday of the commercialisation of the banjo and by all accounts managed to make his mark on it, it's a shame we can't give people better evidence of his work.  I would like to hear Patagonian Picnic, since this seems to be the only one of his own compositions that he recorded - that would have to be definitive.  So, can I join with Joel in asking for anyone out there with copies of Bert Bassett recordings to make them available to add to our archives? 

Regards.  Tony

Nicely done Tony.

Small point, but towards the end, among the Jumbo recordings, "A Gay Gossoon" has the long-standing but incorrect composer credit to Ossman. The composer was Edwin F. Kendall.

Go here, scroll to last paragraph :

https://classic-banjo.ning.com/forum/topics/ossman-plays-a-gay-gossoon

Thanks for the correction, Shawn.  I’ll include it in the next edition of the bio, along with all the other corrections submitted by the members.  

For the sake of accuracy, I should point out that what you read in the bio is the label wording on the Jumbo disc - that’s what you would enter if you were looking it up in a discography.  So, rather than change the Ossman reference, we’ll add a note to the effect that Kendall was the composer.  That should satisfy all parties - I hope!

Regards.  Tony

And "Dreamy Eyes" is by J.B. Lampe.

Here's "Goblin" and most of 'Patagonian", minus an irreparable audio gap.

Goblin%20Gambols%20-B%20Bassett.mp3

Patagonian%20Picnic%2C%20A%20-B%20Bassett.mp3

A lot more hiss on the playback files here than when played on my PC. Sorry.

Thanks, Shawn.  Corrections noted.  In the CE catalogue "Dreamy Eyes" is listed as an arrangement by Charlie Rogers, but "as played by Vess Ossman".  No mention of any composer, least of all poor old J. B.  "Gay Gossoon" is interesting as the Ossman recording on Victor credits Kendall as composer, while CE is clear that Ossman was the man. 

Thanks also for the recordings.  Even allowing for the possible speeding of the recording, BB's speed was phenominal.  Tarrant Bailey comments that BB's contemporaries all thought he played too fast but were jealous of his ability to do so. 

Worth noting that Bert Bassett was about 18 years old when he made all these recordings.  CE had already dubbed the aforementioned Charlie Rogers as "The Boy Wonder".  He must have run out of hyperbole when Bert walked in. 

Regards.  Tony

Both Basssett recordings have been set at or very near score pitch and thus should be at or near original tempo. The incredibly fast, accurate playing makes it easy to see why CE was so supportive of Bert. 

Gay Gossoon is not an isolated case. Whether knowingly or not, CE misrepresented several of his published Ossman arrangements as Ossman compositions.

Today I was cleaning and clearing some shelves and found a DVD of audio recordings sent to me by Hal Allert containing MP3s of all the recordings he borrowed from me plus more. And amongst them is Bert Bassett playing Halimar and Dream Dance. I'm having trouble playing them using the usual applications but maybe I can import them here.

 Hmmm... not working.  Stay tuned. Let's see if I can get this to work. 

I managed to get an mp3 of Halimar into an email message to Ian/Really Nice Man.  When I tried to post it here it turned into a spurious link to a non-existent location.  Dream Dance is unplayable. Sorry. 

Jody Stecher said:

Today I was cleaning and clearing some shelves and found a DVD of audio recordings sent to me by Hal Allert containing MP3s of all the recordings he borrowed from me plus more. And amongst them is Bert Bassett playing Halimar and Dream Dance. I'm having trouble playing them using the usual applications but maybe I can import them here.

 Hmmm... not working.  Stay tuned. Let's see if I can get this to work. 

Thank you Shawn, I’ve listened to Goblin a ton now.  I visit this solo on occasion but have never heard it played by anyone but me.

This file was kindly sent by Jody.

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Thanks, Ian!  I hope it finds its way to Original Recordings.   It's a strange little piece of music. It's supposed to be "oriental" in mood. I'm not detecting that.  The first part could easily be an accompaniment to We Wish You A Merry Christmas. As for the banjo playing, we can see why Bassett was considered the Fastest Banjo in the West. 

thereallyniceman said:

This file was kindly sent by Jody.

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