Early Banjo Groundbreakers
The most popular band was the Ossman-Dudley Trio (with Audley Dudley,
mandolin, Roy Butin, Harp-guitar; its recording of "St Louis Tickle"
(1906, Vic.) ,as particularly successful. After 1910 Ossman preferred
to travel with his groups a distance from eastern recording centers,
and made extended stays in both Indianapolis and Dayton Ohio. He
consequently recorded less frequently - his last disk was made in 1917
and his position in the recording world then passed to Fred Van Eps.
Ossman however, was the leading ragtime banjoist at a time when the
five string banjo was preferred to the piano for recording purposes.
He had an especially clean technique and a flare for syncopation,
emphasizing strong two-step rythyms in his playing. One sf his last
and best recordings, his arrangement of Tom Turpin's "Buffalo Rag"
(1906), remained in the Victor Catalog until 1925.
(Real Player Is needed for his file)
In the 20th century Americas first and by far the most prestigious banjo player of his time
was Vess Ossman.|
Ossman, Vess [Sylvester] Louis (born Hudson NY 21 August 1868; Died
Fairmount MN, 7 December 1923). American Ragtime Banjoist. He began
studing the banjo at age twelve and by 1896 was recording for Victor.
Columbia, Berliner and Edison. He extended his popularity by
accompaning Arthur Collins, a leading popular singer.
concert tours of England in 1900 and 1903, when he played for King
Edward the VII; he also preformed for President Theodore Roosevelt.
Ossman formed various recording groups, usually consisting of banjo,
mandolin and harp guitar
Be sure to check out the link on Fred Van Eps name
for a good bio on him, a new window will open for that.
U. Walsh: "Sylvester Louis Ossman the Banjo King, Hobbies Magazine
(1948), Sept 32-3; (1948), Oct. 36-39, Nov. 31-32, (1949) Jan. 31-32,
D.A. Jasen: Disc notes, Kings of Ragtime Banjo Yazoo 1044
D.A. Jansen: Recorded Ragtime, 1897-1958 (Hamden CT, 1973)
Grove Dictionary sf Music and Musicians second edition No. 18 (2001)
1 sound disc: analog, 62-76 rpm, 10 in.
Type of Material
Place of Publication
New York, NY
E. Berliner's Gramophone
Patriotic music--United States.
Whistling Rufus 1899