OKeh Phonograph Corporation

Early to Mid Twenties

Purple Line

OKE: Like the Edison and French Pathe' records, OKeh originally started out pressing vertical "hill & dale" records, but unlike Tom, they saw the writing on the wall and switched to the more popular, (and easier to manufacture) lateral technique. The first of these proudly proclaimed that right on the lable, in larger type than the artist! When the industry went electric, OKeh followed suit, and like their rivals, proudly displayed this new fact, complete with lightning bolts. The basic "OKeh" script logo remained, even after the company was aquired by Columbia in the early 1930s.

As for the artist, we have Mr. Bix Beiderbecke. Now famous for his innovative "hot" cornet solos, Bix was first and foremost an outstanding pianist. He started plunking out tunes perfectly at age four after hearing them only once. This record, sadly, is his ONLY recorded solo, although he can be heard ticking the ivories on several of his earlier tunes.

"In A Mist" was recorded in OKeh's New York City studio 9/9/27. This was take two, the first one ran over the alotted time for ten inch 78s (no tape in those days!). On the second take, c-melody saxophonist Frank Trumbauer, who had talked him into the solo date in the first place, tapped him on the shoulder 15 seconds before the end. When asked by the OKeh folks what the title was, Bix said that he felt in a fog, and couldn't think of anything. So they named it "In a Mist." This was later changed on subsiquent 78 issues to "Bixology," and changed back again for the CD reissue!

Aside from this one, Bix published as sheet music two other solo piano pieces; "In the Dark" and "Candle Lights." If anyone knows of ANY copies of these two other pieces, PLEASE leave me eMail! Purple Line

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