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A Bibliography of Clef Magazine

Michael Fitzgerald

Introduction

One of the eternal challenges in scholarship is finding information. The field of jazz research has evolved from a recreational activity to one with academic standing. Despite many modern technological wonders, there are still nuggets of valuable information that remain buried. While microfilm editions of several of the early amateur-published jazz magazines were produced in the 1970s, no guide to their contents exists. At the time of their publication, these were not indexed and the larger retrospective indexing projects in the field of music have so far ignored these tiny specialist magazines.

Clef magazine was a short-lived publication from Santa Monica, CA, which existed from March to September of 1946 and was edited by Albert S. Otto (1915–2006). Partner Ben Marble was the advertising manager, later art director. Clef published reviews, essays, discographies, and short biographical and historical pieces. It was marketed to general jazz fans and record collectors. Noted contributors included Ralph Venables, Nesuhi Ertegun and his wife Marili, as well as Otis Rene. A number of pieces were written under pseudonyms (further research needed on this subject). Of particular value are the pieces on California bands and events and Clef also gave special attention to English artists. Interested in the business side of music, the magazine also presented features on radio disc jockeys and on record labels and the manufacturing process. Although its primary focus was jazz, Clef’s record reviews touched on all styles and the magazine included such diverse articles as a feature on Arabic music and another on Frederic Delius. There is mention that the magazine was hampered by paper shortages in this period just after World War II. Issues of Clef ranged in length from sixteen to thirty-six pages.

Otto was born in Mount Vernon, NY but grew up in California. From 1945 to 1955 he served in the U.S. military but continued to contribute to The Record Changer with articles appearing in 1947 and 1949. From the mid-1950s Otto was actively interested in spirituality. He wrote eighteen books on this subject and eventually founded his own church and became an ordained minister. He later lived in California and Oregon. Throughout his life, Otto maintained a focus on pre-1950 jazz. In the 1970s and 1980s, as A. Stuart Otto, he wrote a series of articles for NAJE Journal titled “Reminiscing in Tempo” and gave lectures on jazz history. [1]

All issues were reproduced on microfilm in 1977 by Greenwood Press, but without any tools to help locate articles. Therefore, it is hoped that this full accounting of its contents will assist researchers in locating useful items.

Below is an article-by-article listing of the full contents of the entire seven-issue run of the magazine.

  • Otto, Albert S. “Where We Stand.” Clef 1:1 (March 1946) : 0,16–17.
  • “Looking at the Esky Poll.” Clef 1:1 (March 1946) : 2–3,12–13,15.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Charlie Barnet.” Clef 1:1 (March 1946): 3,14.
  • “What Did Ory Say?.” Clef 1:1 (March 1946): 4–5,14.
  • Spinner [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records.” Clef 1:1 (March 1946): 6–7.
  • “The Facts About the Ray Noble European Band.” Clef 1:1 (March 1946): 8–12.
  • Otto, Albert S. “Alottomusic.” Clef 1:1 (March 1946): 13–14.

  • “Percussion and Repercussion [letters to the editor].” Clef 1:2 (April 1946): 0.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Bob Crosby.” Clef 1:2 (April 1946): 2.
  • “The Saga of Joe Yukl.” Clef 1:2 (April 1946): 3,21–25.
  • “Thumbnail Sketch: Benny Carter.” Clef 1:2 (April 1946): 4.
  • Turner, Tex. “Tips to New Collectors.” Clef 1:2 (April 1946) : 5,20–21.
  • “King of the Drums, Zutty Singleton.” Clef 1:2 (April 1946) : 6,19–20.
  • Spinner [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records.” Clef 1:2 (April 1946): 7–11.
  • “Riding on a Meteor: Gerald Wilson.” Clef 1:2 (April 1946) : 12–14.
  • Mall, Rita [pseudonym]. “Book Review: Duke Ellington, by Barry Ulanov.” Clef 1:2 (April 1946): 14–16.
  • Otto, Albert S. “Alottomusic.” Clef 1:2 (April 1946): 16–18.

  • “Percussion and Repercussion [letters to the editor].” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 0.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Lawrence Welk.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 2,31.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Ray Bauduc.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 2,31.
  • “Thumbnail Sketch: Count Basie.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 3.
  • Turner, Tex. “Tips to New Collectors.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946) : 4,32–33.
  • Ertegun, Nesuhi. “Annie Street Rock.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946) : 5–7,28–29.
  • The Old Timer [pseudonym]. “The Platters of Yesteryear.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 8,20.
  • “The Mad Monk: Friar of Hot Biscuits.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 9–10.
  • Lewerke, Jack. “The Anemograph.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 10.
  • Spinner [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Pops and Moderns.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 11–15.
  • Dunne, Peter. “Reviewing Recent Records: Jazz.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946) : 15,21–23.
  • “Through a Record Pressing Plant, with Pen and Camera.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 16–19.
  • “They Won’t Let It Die.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 20.
  • Deacon, Frank [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: Spirituals.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 23.
  • “Longhair Libretto.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 23–24.
  • “Disc’s Historical Discs.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 24.
  • “Ray Noble Discography.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 25–27.
  • “Jump Jumps Again.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 27.
  • “Ory Gets Nicholas.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 27.
  • Rene, Otis. “The Sepia Night Owl.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 29.
  • Otto, Albert S. “Alottomusic.” Clef 1:3 (May 1946): 30.

  • “Percussion and Repercussion [letters to the editor].” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 1.
  • Morris, Maine. “The Northwestern Picture.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946) : 3,31.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Sammy Kaye.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 4,22.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Earl Hines.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 4,26.
  • “Meet Al Jarvis.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 4.
  • Turner, Tex. “Tips to New Collectors.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946) : 6,31–32.
  • The Old Timer [pseudonym]. “The Platters of Yesteryear.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 7,29.
  • Ertegun, Nesuhi. “Clarinet a la Creole.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946) : 8–9,23–26.
  • Spinner [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Pops and Moderns.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 10–13.
  • Brooks, Cal [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: Western.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 13.
  • Gorini, Dan [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Latins.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 14.
  • Dunne, Peter. “Reviewing Recent Records: Jazz.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 14–15,20–21.
  • Cundall, Tom. “The Story of Fred Elizade.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946) : 16–19.
  • “Hawkins Hooks Harris.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 19.
  • Gripenwaldt, Raoul. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Classics.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 21–22.
  • “Beneke in the Mood.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 22.
  • Schopfer, Robert. “Longhair Libretto.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946) : 27–28.
  • Otto, Albert S. “Alottomusic.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 28.
  • “What the Vets Are Doing.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 29–30.
  • Lewerke, Jack. “The Anemograph.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 30.
  • “Avodon New Coast Nitery.” Clef 1:4 (June 1946): 31.

  • “Percussion and Repercussion [letters to the editor].” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 0.
  • Ertegun, Nesuhi. “In Memoriam: Tubby Hall.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946) : 2.
  • Venables, Ralph. “McPartland in England.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946) : 3,24.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Jan Garber.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 4,21.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Bobby Sherwood.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 4,27.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Sonny Dunham.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 4–5.
  • The Old Timer [pseudonym]. “The Platters of Yesteryear.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 6–7,26.
  • “March Of Time Depicts Niteries.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 7.
  • Shaikhaly, Mahmud. “Arabesque.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 8–9.
  • Byrnes, Gene. “The Music of Bert Ambrose.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946) : 10,28–30.
  • Spinner [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Pops and Moderns.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 11–14.
  • Brooks, Cal [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: Western.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 14–15.
  • Gorini, Dan [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Latins.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 15,18.
  • Ertegun, Nesuhi. “Ragtime Pioneer.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 16–18.
  • Dunne, Peter. “Reviewing Recent Records: Jazz.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 18–20.
  • Gripenwaldt, Raoul. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Classics.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 20–21.
  • “Jones Gets Birdbath.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 21.
  • Otto, Albert S. “Alottomusic.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 22–23.
  • “Wingy Mannone.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 25.
  • Lewerke, Jack. “The Anemograph.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 30–31.
  • “Thumbnail Sketch: Coleman Hawkins.” Clef 1:5 (July 1946): 32.

  • “Percussion and Repercussion [letter to the editor].” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 1.
  • “Half a Candle.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 4.
  • Ertegun, Marili. “Tips to New Collectors.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946) : 5,28–32.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Tommy Dorsey.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 6.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Benny Carter.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 6,23.
  • Bodeen, Charlie. “The Lowdown on Lewis.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946) : 7.
  • “At Your Favorite Spot.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 7.
  • The Old Timer [pseudonym]. “The Platters of Yesteryear.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 8,26–27.
  • Kreider, Bob. “Harlem Express.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946) : 9–10,20–21.
  • Gripenwaldt, Raoul. “Classic Corner: New Victor Classics.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 10.
  • Bodeen, Charlie. “Classic Corner: Disc Releases Overture.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 10.
  • Bodeen, Charlie. “B & O on ARA Wax.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946) : 10.
  • Spinner [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Pops and Moderns.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 11–14.
  • Lewerke, Jack. “Reviewing Recent Records: Collectors’ Reissues.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 14.
  • Gorini, Dan [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Latins.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 14.
  • Brooks, Cal [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: Western.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 15.
  • Eliot, Arthur. “Reviewing Recent Records: Jazz.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 15,22.
  • Cundall, Tom. “Jack’s Back.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 16–19.
  • “Comes Marching Home.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 19.
  • Bodeen, Charlie. “Off the Deep End.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 21.
  • “Monroe Gets Airer.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 21.
  • Gripenwaldt, Raoul. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Classics.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 22–23.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Frankie Carle.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 23–24.
  • “Thumbnail Sketch: Phil Brito.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 24.
  • Otto, Albert S. “Alottomusic.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 25.
  • “Berlin Tunes Waxed.” Clef 1:6 (August 1946): 27.

  • “Percussion and Repercussion [letters to the editor].” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 1.
  • “Clef Conducting Survey.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 4.
  • Stanton, Royal. “Classicomments.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 4.
  • Lohman, Frankie. “Broadway and Hollywood.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 5.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Woody Herman.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 6.
  • The Night Owl [pseudonym]. “Caught in the Act: Duke Ellington.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 6–8.
  • “At Your Favorite Spot.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 8.
  • Watson, Weir. “Streamlines.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 8–9.
  • Bodeen, Charlie. “A Trip Through a Label Plant.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 10–12.
  • “Regal Records Make Bow.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 12.
  • Bodeen, Charlie. “Off the Deep End.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946) : 12–13.
  • “Unknown Zurkes.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 13.
  • “Thumbnail Sketch: Chubby Silvers.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946) : 13.
  • Moore, John. “Where Is That English Jazz?.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 14.
  • Watson, Weir. “The Dope on Cope.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946) : 14–15.
  • Farries, Richard. “The Triumph of Frederic Delius.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 16–18.
  • Turner, Tex. “Tips to New Collectors.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946) : 19.
  • Spinner [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Pops and Moderns.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 20–27.
  • Eliot, Arthur. “Reviewing Recent Records: Dixieland.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 27–28.
  • Lewerke, Jack. “Reviewing Recent Records: Hybrid.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 28–29.
  • Brooks, Cal [pseudonym]. “Reviewing Recent Records: Western.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 29–30.
  • Gripenwaldt, Raoul. “Reviewing Recent Records: The Classics.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 30–31.
  • Otto, Albert S. “Alottomusic.” Clef 1:7 (September 1946): 31.

References

[1] “A. Stuart Otto.” North County Times, May 7, 2006. http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/05/07//obituaries/5_6_0621_04_12.txt

Author Information: 
Michael Fitzgerald, founding editor of Current Research in Jazz, is assistant professor in the Learning Resources Division of the University of the District of Columbia, home of the Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. He is author, with Noal Cohen, of the book, Rat Race Blues: The Musical Life of Gigi Gryce (Berkeley Hills Books, 2002), which received the 2003 Award for Excellence for best research in recorded jazz music from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) and is coordinator, with Steve Albin, of the website www.jazzdiscography.com.

Abstract: 
A bibliography of Clef magazine, a short-lived jazz publication from Santa Monica, CA, which existed from March to September of 1946 and was edited by Albert S. Otto.

Keywords:
Clef, jazz, magazine, bibliography, Albert S. Otto 

How to cite this article:

  • Chicago 15th ed.: Fitzgerald, Michael. “A bibliography of Clef magazine.” Current Research in Jazz 3, (2011).
  • MLA 6th ed.: Fitzgerald, Michael. “A bibliography of Clef magazine.” Current Research in Jazz 3 (2011).
  • APA 5th ed.: Fitzgerald, M. (2011). A bibliography of Clef magazine. Current Research in Jazz, 3

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