9 years ago217 views
The Carl Fenton Orchestra (aka "Carl Fenton's Orchestra") was a title given to Brunswick Records studio bands through the 1920s. The name was invented by Brunswick music director Walter Gustave "Gus" Haenschen. Brunswick Records released many "Carl Fenton" records, with various line-ups of musicians. The band was typically led by Haenschen in the studio, but was led by studio musician/conductor Reuben "Rudy" Greenberg during their occasional concerts. He has composed several songs, one of which was the sensation of the 1914 (Ziegfeld) Follies, where it was known as 'Underneath the Japanese Moon'. Gus Haenschen used the Carl Fenton name as billing on the enormous number of records he led for Brunswick as musical director up until he resigned from the company on July 1, 1927. In 1929, the Carl Fenton Orchestra popped up on the Brunswick once again for about 13 titles, and it is believed that Greenberg led these dates. Another name that Greenberg used sometimes in place of "Carl Fenton" is "the New Yorkers," and one of the last Edison dance records, credited to that name, is also likely the work of Greenberg. The Carl Fenton Orchestra breathed its last gasp in the jazz age with six titles made for the QRS label in Long Island City in early 1930.In 1932, Greenberg had his name legally changed to Carl Fenton. He continued to work as a music director for radio and theaters till his death in January, 1942. Indeed, "Carl Fenton" seems to have enjoyed life after death; three sides recorded for the Master Records label on March 24, 1937 are credited to him. Ultimately issued on Variety, these are probably neither the work of Haenschen nor Greenberg, but may be Red Nichols, this time using the name as a gag. As for this lovely record, it was made in 1927. I could identify neither the vocalist or the instrumentists.