Friday, March 19, 2010

Video: All Star Trio "Fluffy Ruffles" (1919)

The All Star Trio. Image nicked from

Above, on the left, is George Hamilton Green (1893-1970), who began life as a successful musician -- and ended up being a cartoonist. A successful cartoonist, or so I am led to believe.

Before he became a full-time cartoonist, George composed and played music. He and his brothers provided the score for a couple of the first Mickey Mouse animated shorts, including "Steamboat Willy." He recorded thousands of pieces, before leaving the music scene shortly after the death of his older bother Joe Green (1892-1939) due to complications from an operation. He lived in Woodstock, NY, working as a full-time cartoonist, until his own death in 1970.

While I couldn't find any samples of his drawings online, I sure did like this old timey 1919 jazz piece he composed titled "Fluffy Ruffles." Here, he plays his signature xylophone with Wheeler Wadsworth (sax) and Victor Arden (piano). Together, they were the All Star Trio.

George Hamilton Green (1893 - 1970) composed many songs that he recorded as a solo artist and with others, including "Fluffy Ruffles." George and his younger brother, Joe played marimba, vibtraphone, harpaphone, bells, and chimes. In 1914, George entered vaudeville and within a year he earned such titles as "World's Fastest Xylophonist" and "Speed King of Xylophonists." By late 1916 he was a member of Earl Fuller's Rector's Novelty Orchestra as well as a vaudeville and concert artist. He began recording in 1916 and most of his early pieces were classical and semiclassical. In 1918 he joined pianist Victor Arden and saxophonist Wheeler Wadsworth to form the All Star Trio. In 1920 he joined his brother and formed the Green Brothers' Novelty Band which also recorded for Victor. Throughout the 1920s they made discs as the Green Brothers' Xylophone Orchestra, Xylophone Band, Novelty Orchestra, Marimba Orchestra, and even Mellorimba Orchestra. Later in life he wrote many musical instruction manuals on various percussion instruments but made his living as a cartoonist. In 1983 he was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame. He was an important ragtime composer and authored many pieces that remain standards for the instrument even today.


Ger Apeldoorn said...

Hamilton Green was quite a good cartoonist in fact. I come across his work all the time and will try and show a few pieces next Monday on my blog. as I remember it, he had a very controlled line, which made his work seem a bit old-fashioned, but on the other hand it was as unique as his signature, a very controlledly written italic version of his name.

Mike Lynch said...

Great news, Ger. Thanks in advance for sharing some of Green's cartoon work!