P0769. JESSE CRAWFORD (Wurlitzer Organ): 24 Jesse Crawford favorites. (Germany) Truesound Transfers 3004, recorded 1926-30. Transfers by Christian Zwarg.
“Jesse Crawford was one of the most popular organists of the first half of the 20th century. Originally, he was a pianist in a dance band, but he changed his instrument in 1911, choosing to play organ instead. That year, he played a concert at the Spokane Gem Theater, which set him on a circuit of concerts in theaters. In 1918, he became the first organist to play Los Angeles’ Grauman’s Theater. Crawford continued to perform throughout the ’20s, landing a regular job at New York’s Paramount Theater in 1926, where he would occasionally perform organ duets with his wife Helen. In 1925, Jesse Crawford signed with Victor, which resulted in several hit records - including ‘Rose Marie’, ‘Russian Lullaby’, ‘At Dawning’, ‘Valencia’, and ‘Roses of Picardy’ - between 1925-27. For the rest of the ’20s, he peformed a series of popular concerts and played background music for radio plays. During the ’30s, he led a dance orchestra, in addition to playing his regular concerts. Crawford continued to record and perform throughout the ’40s and ’50s.”
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com
“[Truesound] transfers have been an absolute revelation to me….Amazingly, Christian Zwarg has managed to unlock the sound of these recordings in such a way as to present [voices] such as I have never heard before. Here the sound has a sheen and glow which is quite beautiful. It is as if an old masterpiece painting has been cleaned and restored, allowing rays of brilliant light to emerge….”
- Davyd Booth, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2012