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 Post subject: Dr. Clarence Penney, Mysterious Marvelous Mandolinist
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 10:11 am 
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Victor O
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"Don't Deny Yourself the Sheer Joy of Orthophonic Music"
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:46 pm
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
Greetings everyone!

I have had these records in my collection for the better part of a decade, but this is the first time I am reaching out to fellow collectors regarding information about the elusive Dr. Clarence J. Penney, a ragtime mandolinist and composer who recorded three sides for Victor with Felix Arndt in 1914 and (sadly) never recorded again. His playing is delightfully spirited and quite complex for the era, pre-dating the instrument's role in jazz and ragtime by nearly a decade! Of course, the mandolin had been recorded before as a solo instrument (like Samuel Siegel's recordings), but those were mostly "folk" arrangements of popular tunes - Penney's recordings take the mandolin in a more "hot" direction and give more than a hint of the jazz era that followed WWI.

All I know for certain about him is that he was president of Columbia University's mandolin club during the 1920s (he also graduated there in 1901, presumably with a DMA or Ph.D. in Music) and wrote a few musicals for the University during the 1910s. Again, if anyone knows more information about Dr. Clarence Penney, please let me know! Thanks so much and enjoy the music!

https://youtu.be/90LK6A6nw44 ("Toots")

https://youtu.be/jTIZhRltE60 ("Indianola Patrol")

https://youtu.be/JIhOi1jP_-U ("Azalea Waltz")


Last edited by jmad7474 on Wed May 02, 2018 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dr. Clarence Penney, Mysterious Marvelous Mandolinist
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:05 am 
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Victor III
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I don't know anything about Dr. Penney, but I checked DAHR and it shows that there were 5 records made in 1914 on Victor and one test record.

http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.ph ... t_mandolin
-- Dan

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 Post subject: Re: Dr. Clarence Penney, Mysterious Marvelous Mandolinist
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 12:53 pm 
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Victor O
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"Don't Deny Yourself the Sheer Joy of Orthophonic Music"
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:46 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Minneapolis, MN
melvind wrote:
I don't know anything about Dr. Penney, but I checked DAHR and it shows that there were 5 records made in 1914 on Victor and one test record.

http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.ph ... t_mandolin


Thank you for sharing that! It appears that the masters of his other two recordings, "Le trousseau" and "Entr'acte gavotte", were destroyed. That is a shame - I have no doubt that his virtuosic and peppy arrangements would have carried over to those tunes quite well.


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