The Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - episode 253

Decca Sepia Series

Just a few weeks ago I promised you, listeners, that I would restart my series on the 7000 'Race' series of Decca. But I had another series on the label running too, that is, the 8500 'Sepia' series, designated to African-American musicians that had the potential to be of interest to the general public. It came with a better promotion budget - and the music on it, generally, was a bit more on the popular side.

Today's set brings a famous song on the New York subway line that takes you straight into the heart of Harlem. The route of the 'A' train has changed since, but it still stops on 145 Street, on Sugar Hill, the place where the upper class African Americans lived, those who'd made it during the Harlem Renaissance. A lot of businessmen, but Sugar Hill also was home to Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway.



  1. Skeets Tolbert & His Gentlemen Of Swing - Jumpin' In The Numbers (Decca 8565)
  2. Sam Price - I Know How To Do It (8566)
  3. Bon Bon & His Buddies - Blow, Gabriel, Blow (8567)
  4. Mabel Robinson - Don't Give Up The Old Love (8568)
  5. Erskine Butterfield - You Should Live so Long (8569)
  6. Jay McShann - Vine Street Boogie (8570)
  7. Nat King Cole - This Will Make You Laugh (8571)
  8. Three Bits Of Rhythm - I Am Lonesome (8572)
  9. Buddy Johnson - I'm my baby's baby (8573)
  10. Sam Price - Boogie Woogie Man (8575)
  11. Art Tatum - Rock Me Mama (8577)
  12. The Delta Rhythm Boys - Take the 'A' Train (8578)
  13. Skeets Tolbert & His Gentlemen Of Swing - Big Fat Butterfly (8579)
  14. Mabel Robinson - You Don't Know My Mind (8580)
  15. Louis Jordan - Boogie Woogie Came To Town (8581)
  16. Pete Johnson - Pete's Mixture (8582)
  17. Jay McShann - Hold 'Em Hootie (8583)


  • Wild Bill Moore Sextette - Bongo Bounce
The following music served as background music during the spoken parts:
  • Kirk Kirkland - The Saxaphone Rag
  • Jay McShann - Swingmatism (Decca 8570)
  • Nat King Cole - Hit The Ramp (8571)
  • Skeets Tolbert & His Gentlemen Of Swing - Uncle Eph's Dream (8579)
  • Jay McShann - Dexter Blues (8583)