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Rhythmic Troubadours (Stan Greening and his Orchestra) - Piccolo Pete (1929)

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Uploaded on Jan 15, 2012

William Stanley Greening (march 1,1888 Kensington - ? 1971 Clapham)

In September 1901 he entered the Royal Academy of Music having won an Ada Lewis Scholarship and studied cello with Herbert Walenn. He also studied piano and composition at the Academy. Between 1907 and 1912 he was first cello under Jimmy Glover at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane also playing principal cello for the Bridlington Municipal Symphony Orchestra just before the Great War. In 1919 he played for Adrian Boult for a season of the Diaghilev Ballet at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square. It was probably around this time that he saw potential opportunities in the field of popular music and took up playing the banjo and by 1923 becoming a bandleader and provider.

In the early Summer of 1924 he became a provider for recordings being made by the Crystalate Company for their Imperial and Mimosa labels, a position he maintained until the early 1930s, though latterly he was providing accompaniments only. Around the same time, he worked for Parlophone and is likely to have organised the sessions issued as by "The Marlborough Dance Orchestra". Much the same musicians made recordings for Winner as "Edison Bell Dance Orchestra". It has never been discovered who provided the band, but Stan Greening must be the prime candidate.

At the start of 1925, Stan began working for Columbia, providing studio dance bands and accompaniments for the Columbia and Regal labels. In this capacity he replaced English music composer Albert Ketelbey, whose interest in dance music was almost non existent. Greening's recordings were issued on Regal as "Corona Dance Orchestra", the name Regal had been using to cover any dance music, whatever the source. Prior to Greening's appointment, almost all of the Corona items recorded in Britain had be made by musicians from the Savoy Hotel, usually the Savoy Havana Band. On Columbia, the general purpose pseudonym was "Hannan Dance Band", but oddly enough, with only a couple of exceptions, the Hannan sides recorded in Britain were made by members of Jack Hylton's band; Hylton even sang on one title!

Other record companies which made use of Stan's services were Brunswick and Duophone, though it seems he had a hard time getting payment from Duophone and had to pay the band out of his own pocket when the company went into liquidation. He also provided bands for HMV during 1926 - 1928, prior to Carroll Gibbons' appointment.

Greenings system was simple, he gathered together a group of musicians that were confident sight readers who would pay a retainer in exchange for regular work for which they received payment in the region of £2-£3 each per recording session. Failure to provide an adequate deputy would result in the loss of the retainer. Greening used a regular group of musicians over a period of almost ten years. Some worked with him in theatre orchestras as their regular work, others played in regular dance bands at supper-clubs and West End hotels. The same pool of musicians was drawn upon by two other studio providers namely Nat Star at British Homophone and Wag Abbey (Pathe records).


Rhythmic Troubadours (Stan Greening and his Orchestra) - Piccolo Pete (1929)

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