This article is interesting for many reasons. It recounts the formation of the first jazz band to play at the famed Canidrome Ballroom in Shanghai. It mentions that the band played at the coronation of the Japanese Emperor (Hirohito)--something that I need to do further research on, but if that's the case, that is fascinating! It also mentions that the band made some recordings in Japan (also something to follow up on). Above all, it continues telling the story of Teddy Weatherford, Asia's great jazz ambassador, filling in some gaps in his record.
Bob Hill's Orchestra, Greatest Aggregation Of Jazz Artists, To Play At Canidrome Ballroom
(The China Press 23, 1929)
Headed by Mr. Bob Hill and boasting such widely known artists as Teddy Weatherford, "the piano jazz king,” and James Carson, saxophone player extraordinary, the new Canidrome Ballroom orchestra will open on next Saturday night and will offer to patrons the latest music, songs and dances.
In the opinion of the ballroom management, the new orchestra, composed of American negroes and versatile Hawaiian artists, is the greatest jazz dance aggregation ever to appear in the Orient. In conjunction with the coming of this band the Canidrome ballroom has been tastefully decorated and considerably improved in every respect.
No expense has been spared by the management in bringing this band to this city to provide for dance and music lovers the finest talent obtainable. The band includes three Hawaiian artists who were imported from Honolulu, where they have been headlining at a leading hotel there, the Moana. All three are former members of Mr. Hill’s band, which is known on the West Coast of America as Bob Hill's Exalted Syncopators, and which comes to this city with an excellent reputation.
This orchestra was selected by the Japanese Government to play for the ceremonies at the coronation of the Emperor of Japan, and was selected from among 104 other American orchestras who made a bid for the engagement. The band incidentally, was the only foreign band to play at the coronation.
Teddy Weatherford needs no introduction to residents of Shanghai, he will be well recalled as the outstanding artist of Jack Carter’s popular dance orchestra and is rated as the best jazz pianist the Orient has ever heard. He will be a feature of the new Canidrome orchestra. Carson is also another artist who is known to Shanghai. He also was a member of Jack Carter’s orchestra.
The other members of the orchestra are all artists of reputation, some of whem are known in this city. Three members, including the crack Weatherford, were brought to Shanghai from Java especially to join the Canidrome orchestra.
In addition to this talented band, the management of the Canidrome ballroom is planning other high- class features, announcement of which will be made later.
It is expected that a record crowd will be on hand on Saturday for the opening of the new band, in view of the wide popularity of many of the members of the organization. The management announces that there will be no cover charge and no increase in prices.
Hill's orchestra has recorded many numbers for the Columbia Company, one of the outstanding hits being “Red Lips,” which was one of the biggest sellers of the past year. The band recently recorded a number of songs and dance numbers for a leading Japanese phonograph company.