Harry A. Yerkes

Jazzarimba Orchestra
Jacobs' Orchestra Monthly (August 1919)
Gerhardt Collection

In 1902, Columbia began issuing both seven-inch and ten-inch one-sided discs. Among the earliest releases were xylophone solos by Charles P. Lowe, followed a few years later by Thomas Mills, Edward F. Rubsam on bells, and Harry A. Yerkes' “Happy Heinie” March & Two Step, for xylophone and orchestra (#3348, c. 1905). The same title, recorded in February 1906 on a two-minute Columbia cylinder (#32879), is included in the Gerhardt Collection.

Harry Yerkes recorded six titles as the Yerkes Jazzarimba Orchestra on Edison Blue Amberol cylinders during 1918 and in January 1919. Yerkes ensembles recorded and performed under many names: Harry A. Yerkes’ Jazarimba Orchestra/Band, Yerkes Marimba Band, Yerkes Marimbaphone Band, Harry A. Yerkes Marimba Band, Yerkes S. S. Flotilla Orchestra, Yerkes Famous Flotilla Orchestra, and Harry A. Yerkes Dance Orchestra. George Hamilton and Joseph Green are frequently heard on recordings by these groups.

This information is taken from William Cahn, The Xylophone in Acoustic Recordings (1877 to 1929). Bloomfield, NY: Cahn Publishing, 1996.

Listen to the Cylinder:

“Happy Heinie” March & Two Step, xylophone and orchestra. Columbia cylinder 32879 (2 minutes). Recorded February 1906. Yerkes also recorded this title on a Columbia disc (3348) in c. 1905 (p. 82).