Joseph Samuels

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Joseph Samuels (possibly died in July 1953; see below) was an American musician and bandleader, who is today virtually only known through his record.

The mysterious Joseph Samuels

Practically nothing seems to be known about Joseph Samuels as a person, and the dates of his birth and death have long remained unknown to jazz historians. However, recent information in the "Bixography Discussion group" suggests that Samuels might have died in July 1953. An article published in May 1919 indicates he was born in Tennessee, studied under Campanari at the College of Music of Cincinnati, and was concert master for Henry W. Savage. His name indicates that he, as well as many other musicians of the New York scene at the time, may have been of Jewish origin. He was mainly a reed player (playing clarinet, alto saxophone, and bass saxophone), but also played violin and made records as a soloist on the latter instrument accompanied by pianist Frank Banta.

Recording career

What is known beyond doubts about Samuels is that he was an extremely prolific musician during the years 1919 to 1925, at least on records. In his work The American Dance Band Discography 1917-1942 noted discographer Brian Rust devotes 19 pages to the nearly 400 recordings made by Samuels and his dance orchestra.

Samuels' recording debut seems to have been with Pathé in January 1919. After this he went on to record for several other companies, beginning with......
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