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Published on Jan 24, 2010
"Tuxedo Junction", performed by Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra, on RCA Victor Bluebird Label. This record is being played on my 1946 Capitol Phonograph (Model No. D-17).
Erskine Hawkins' most successful and well known chart topper was Tuxedo Junction. Erskine Hawkins, nicknamed The 20th Century Gabriel, was a great jazz trumpet player, band leader, and songwriter who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Glenn Miller recording of "Tuxedo Junction" made it to the number 1 Billboard Magazine spot in 1940. Erskine Hawkins recording made it to Billboards Number 7 spot in 1940 as well. Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra began performing in 1934 and by 1938 were quite successful. The Erskine Hawkins Orchestra stayed together until 1953. The jazz and blues nightclub which helped inspire the writing of the song, known as the Nixon building (built in 1922), still stands today in Ensley which is now a part of Birmingham.
This phonograph was purchased by my Dad from Gabberts, a tire and appliance store in downtown Minneapolis in 1946 or 1947 (Gabberts would later change to a general home furnishings shop seven years later). This phonograph was one of my Dads first major appliance purchases after having served with the Marine Corps in World War II. My Dad gave this phonograph to his parents a few years later, which helped serve to entertain them into the mid 1970s on their farm in Hinckley, Minnesota. I remember listening to it often as a child when my family would visit my grandparents.
The phonograph retains all of its original cabinetry and original finish. The only necessary repairs or improvements I have made include a complete electronic recapping of the 108 watt amplifier, new vacuum tubes, new idler wheel, modern ceramic phono cartridge (to replace the original Astatic crystal cartridge which held steel needles), and a new grille cloth. The phonograph still retains the original untouched 7-inch Jenson speaker.