jazz typography

Recently saved from clearout: a battered & desiccated copy of my dad’s 1938 ‘Hot Discography’ (second edition). Cover missing, most pages loose (some marked with comp. slips), much of it almost dust. A Jazz-nerd and typophile treat, an encyclopædic list of recordings available at the time. The legends are all there, as are less familiar dance-oriented acts whose names alone are a joy: Barney Bigard & his JazzopatersCootie Williams & his Rug Cutters. I know nothing of Bubber Miley’s Mileage Makers but they must have done some serious touringWho would not like to meet Sharkey Bonano, Cow Cow Davenport or Putney Dandridge (with or without his Orchestra)? I fear the worst for Charlie Spond whose defiantly downbeat name (his own surely) seems now lost to history. Below are some of the spreads, snapped in haste before they deteriorate further (apologies for quality / size):


I think the West London Rhythm Club was run by my dad’s mate Geoff. Percy Pring remains a mystery.



Chu Berry & his Stompy Stevedores testify to Jazz’s little-known association with dancing dockers.


Miff Mole’s Molers — and jolly 1930s racism — among the delights here.


Jazz typography exhibiting refreshing disregard for consistency and readability.





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