International Novelty Orchestra

Profile:
The International Novelty Quartet and The International Novelty Orchestra started appearing in record catalogues from 1922 to the 1930's, becoming extremely popular with a string of best-selling discs. No one seems to have seriously studied the different groups that were formed solely as studio units to make records, always with the xylophone and clever arrangements as a special feature. They brought together some of the best musicians in England and the United States. Information on the participants is scant. These 'house bands' released discs in Europe under the these names also.

In the United States, The International Novelty Orchestra was a pseudonym for the Victor house band conducted by Victor's musical director Nathaniel Shilkret in the Victor studios. The pseudonym was first used in March 1922. Brian Rust published the session data for US recordings in his 'American Dance Band Discography'. Between 1922 and 1927, a total of 135 tracks were recorded; 36 of these were rejected and 99 were released on Victor in the USA. Seventeen different vocalists were used but many tracks had no vocals.

English domestic studio recordings of the same variety of music as that released in the USA also employed the names The International Novelty Quartet and The International Novelty Orchestra. The titles recorded in England seemed to be of 'foreign' material, thus giving the 'international' look. Based on unpublished data from Brian Rust's journals, some early sessions (1929-1930) [e.g., Zon T-5489 The Dickey Bird Hop] were recorded by The Bert and John Firman Orchestra. The 'Choristers Waltz', recorded on 27 January 1930, featured Sylvester Ahola (trumpet), clarinet, alto sax, Bert Read (piano), Rudy Starita (drums-vibraphone-xylophone) and was directed by John Firman. George Scott Wood directed many later recordings. Both Rudy Starita and Harry Robbins seem likely xylophonists. George Scott Wood probably played piano and/or accordion on the discs that he directed. Harry Leader may have been involved in the mid-1930s. Few vocalists have been identified, except for two tracks sung by Sam Browne on Regal Zonophone in 1932 and another two with Ronnie Hill in 1937.

In Australia, recordings by these studio bands were released on Zonophone, His Master's Voice, and Regal Zonophone. The earliest disc listed in the 1946 EMI Australian catalogue is 'Cuckoo and Lena' on Zonophone EE67 by The International Novelty Quartet [originally released in 1926 in the USA, matrix 8472 & 8473]. The first listed for The International Novelty Orchestra is 'Amoureuse and Jolly Fellows' on Zonophone EF27. Not all their recordings were still listed in this 1946 edition. Probably the most-prized vocal recording remembered is 'Silver Bell' on Regal Zonophone G-22050, recorded by The International Novelty Quartet on 22 January 1934. This track features 2 trumpets, trombone, piccolo, 2 pianos, string bass, drums/xylophone, and a vocal duet. It was classified as 'The Quartet'!
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Artist

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Singles & EPs

73366 Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers / Twinkling Star — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers / Twinkling Star Victor 73366 US 1922 Sell This Version
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18882 Swanee River Moon / Do It Again! — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / Paul Whiteman And His Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / Paul Whiteman And His Orchestra - Swanee River Moon / Do It Again! Victor 18882 Canada 1922 Sell This Version
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35716 Popular Songs Of Yesterday — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra Popular Songs Of Yesterday Victor 35716 US 1922 Sell This Version
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73400 Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers / El Sonriente San Pedro  — International Novelty Orchestra Orquesta Internacional (3) = International Novelty Orchestra / Orquesta Victor* = Victor Orchestra* Orquesta Internacional (3) = International Novelty Orchestra / Orquesta Victor* = Victor Orchestra* - Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers / El Sonriente San Pedro (Shellac, 10") Victor 73400 US 1922 Sell This Version
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73487 Love's Lament / Gold And Silver — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra Love's Lament / Gold And Silver(Shellac, 10") Victor 73487 US 1922 Sell This Version
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B 1389 Swanee River Moon / Robinson Crusoe’s Isle — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / Queen's Dance Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / Queen's Dance Orchestra - Swanee River Moon / Robinson Crusoe’s Isle(Shellac, 10") His Master's Voice B 1389 UK 1922 Sell This Version
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18979 'Twas In The Month Of May-Katinka / Chinese Billikens — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra 'Twas In The Month Of May-Katinka / Chinese Billikens(Shellac, 10") Victor 18979 US 1922 Sell This Version
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19002 La Paloma / O Solo Mio — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra La Paloma / O Solo Mio Victor 19002 US 1923 Sell This Version
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19063 Little Rover (Don't Forget To Come Back Home) (El Andorrero) /  Runnin' Wild! (Delirios) — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / The Great White Way Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / The Great White Way Orchestra - Little Rover (Don't Forget To Come Back Home) (El Andorrero) / Runnin' Wild! (Delirios) Victor 19063 US 1923 Sell This Version
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19121 I Love Me / No No Nora — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / The Benson Orchestra Of Chicago International Novelty Orchestra / The Benson Orchestra Of Chicago - I Love Me / No No Nora Victor 19121 US 1923 Sell This Version
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19096 Cigarette / The Cup Of Sorrow — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra Cigarette / The Cup Of Sorrow Victor 19096 US 1923 Sell This Version
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19069 When Will The Sun Shine for me? / Gone — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / The Great White Way Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / The Great White Way Orchestra - When Will The Sun Shine for me? / Gone(Shellac, 10") Victor 19069 US 1923 Sell This Version
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19128 The Gold-Digger / Chick-A-Dee — International Novelty Orchestra Charles Dornberger And His Orchestra* / International Novelty Orchestra Charles Dornberger And His Orchestra* / International Novelty Orchestra - The Gold-Digger / Chick-A-Dee(Shellac, 10") Victor 19128 US 1923 Sell This Version
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19137 The Frivolous Girl / Love-Longing — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra The Frivolous Girl / Love-Longing(Shellac, 10") Victor 19137 US 1923 Sell This Version
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73731 Maldito Tango / Fox Japonés — International Novelty Orchestra Orquestra Internacional* Maldito Tango / Fox Japonés(Shellac, 10") Victor 73731 US 1923 Sell This Version
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35723 University Lancers — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra University Lancers(Shellac, 12") Victor 35723 Canada 1923 Sell This Version
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19179 Moonlight Kisses / Music Of Love — International Novelty Orchestra Joe Raymond And His Orchestra / International Novelty Orchestra Joe Raymond And His Orchestra / International Novelty Orchestra - Moonlight Kisses / Music Of Love(Shellac, 10") Victor 19179 US 1923 Sell This Version
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18995 My Buddy / When Winter Comes — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / The Great White Way Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / The Great White Way Orchestra - My Buddy / When Winter Comes(Shellac, 10") Victor 18995 US 1923 Sell This Version
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19393  My Beautiful Brunette / Love Me - Tango  — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra My Beautiful Brunette / Love Me - Tango Victor 19393 Canada 1924 Sell This Version
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19421 It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo' / Hayseed Rag — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / The Dizzy Trio* International Novelty Orchestra / The Dizzy Trio* - It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo' / Hayseed Rag Victor 19421 US 1924 Sell This Version
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19332 Jealous / Waitin' Around — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / Garber-Davis Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / Garber-Davis Orchestra - Jealous / Waitin' Around Victor 19332 US 1924 Sell This Version
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19380 June Night / Only You — International Novelty Orchestra Waring's Pennsylvanians* / International Novelty Orchestra Waring's Pennsylvanians* / International Novelty Orchestra - June Night / Only You Victor 19380 Canada 1924 Sell This Version
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19017 Honeymoon Chimes / Waltzing The Blues — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / Victor Arden, Phil Ohman And Their Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra / Victor Arden, Phil Ohman And Their Orchestra - Honeymoon Chimes / Waltzing The Blues His Master's Voice 19017 Canada 1923 Sell This Version
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19288 Innocent Eyes / Say It Again — International Novelty Orchestra International Novelty Orchestra Innocent Eyes / Say It Again Victor 19288 Canada 1924 Sell This Version
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19509 Sax-o-phun / Hey! Hey! and Hee! Hee! — International Novelty Orchestra George Olsen And His Music* / International Novelty Orchestra George Olsen And His Music* / International Novelty Orchestra - Sax-o-phun / Hey! Hey! and Hee! Hee! Victor 19509 Canada 1924 Sell This Version