August 13 marks the birthday of actor, jazz musician, and occasional bandleader Charles “Buddy” Rogers, known for a period as “America’s Boyfriend.” Though his main claim to fame was as an actor, Rogers made a fair number of records throughout the 1930s, of which this one was the first.
Charles Edward Rogers was born in Kansas on August 13, 1904. After attending the University of Kansas, “Buddy” wound up in Hollywood by the middle part of the 1920s, where he began his acting career. His greatest fame came in 1927, only shortly after his career had begun, when he appeared in Wings, with Richard Arlen and Clara Bow, the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Also in 1927, Rogers had a success with Mary Pickford in My Best Girl, which marked the beginning of a relationship that saw Rogers and Pickford marry ten years later, after her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks fell apart. The two remained married until Pickford’s death in 1979, and the couple adopted two children. The peak of Rogers’ popularity coincided with the rise of talkies, and he was most prolific from 1928 through 1933, making only sporadic film appearances into the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to his acting, Rogers played a number of instruments, primarily trombone, and in the 1930s made a series of phonograph records, starting in 1930 with four songs he recorded for Columbia, with a hot accompaniment. In 1932, he fronted a dance band, the “California Cavaliers”, for Victor, and led a swing band in 1938, recording for the American Record Corporation. In the second World War, Rogers served as a flight instructor for the United States Navy. Following Mary Pickford’s death in 1979, Rogers married real estate agent philanthropist Beverly Ricondo in 1981. Buddy Rogers died in 1999 at the age 94.
Columbia 2183-D was recorded in New York City on February 27 and March 4, 1930. Buddy Rogers’ outstanding accompaniment includes Tommy Dorsey on trumpet, Charlie Butterfield on trombone, Jimmy Dorsey on clarinet and alto sax, Adrian Rollini on bass sax, Bruce Yantis on violin, Frank Signorelli on piano, Carl Kress on guitar, and Stan King on drums on the first side. On the second side, the band is made up of Bob Effros on trumpet, Tommy Dorsey on trombone, possibly Pete Pumiglio on alto sax, Ben Selvin on violin, possibly Frank Signorelli on piano Carl Kress on guitar, and possibly Joe Tarto on string bass. Both songs are from the motion picture Safety in Numbers.
First, Buddy Rogers sings the rather humorous “(I’d Like to Be) A Bee in Your Boudoir”, with a hot accompaniment.
On the reverse, he introduces “My Future Just Passed”, which would become something of a standard, its own popularity most certainly outstripping that of the movie from which it originated.
Thanks for posting these sweet, swinging songs of Buddy Rogers! My Grandpa Bob Effros is on trumpet performing with his early jazz buddies: Ben Selvin, Joe Tarto, Jimmy Dorsey and other jazz greats you list. Great site too!
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