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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceMusic, Concerts and Recordings(Moderator: BGuttman) Question: Rockin' Trombones: The Iowa-Des Moines National Bank Rouser
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Author Topic: Question: Rockin' Trombones: The Iowa-Des Moines National Bank Rouser  (Read 203 times)
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Location: Arizona, USA
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« on: Nov 16, 2017, 03:35PM »

Hello all,

I have been collecting recordings that feature the trombone to include in a book chapter I am writing about the trombone in popular culture. Jazz will be covered in another chapter, but here, I am particularly interested in recordings that use the trombone that are used in other contexts.

I have recently acquired a copy of a curiosity, a 7” 33 1/3 rpm disc that consists of two versions of the song “Rocking’ Trombones.” The song was written for the Iowa-Des Moines National Bank and the recording was presumably made in late 1959 or 1960. The song was recorded in both vocal and instrumental versions and prominently features an ensemble of trombones with a rhythm section that includes banjo. The bank became part of Wells Fargo Bank in 2004 and the advertising agency that is listed in the notice of copyright went defunct in 2016.

You can hear this song here:


I’d very much like to know if anyone has any information about this song, its origins, and performers. I have reached out to trombone and band professors at Iowa State University and University of Iowa, but perhaps there is someone on TTF that might have particular insight about this.

Below are photos of the record's front and back covers, the disc, and the copyright entry from the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 13, Part 5, Number 2: Music, July-December 1959 (Washington D.C.: Copyright Office, The Library of Congress, 1960).

At very least, I hope it makes you smile (gotta love that banjo...).

With thanks,

-Douglas Yeo


Douglas Yeo   

Professor of Trombone, Arizona State University (2012-2016) - retired
Bass Trombonist, Boston Symphony Orchestra (1985-2012) - retired


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Location: KCMO
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 17, 2017, 10:03AM »


No idea but will research around. That's cool.

"Passion is born from earnestness.
Miracles have value precisely because you cause them."
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 17, 2017, 02:12PM »

I don't know about the piece "Rockin' Trombones", but the arranger was James "Red" McLeod, a Minnesota composer.  I have played a Dixie-land style concert band piece by him called "State Street Strut". 

Kendor Music has a number of rags arranged by McLeod for various small wind ensembles.

From the Kendor Music website:

"James 'Red' McLeod      Born:   June 12, 1912

Minnesota born and educated, his career included a rich diversity of activities. Red’s 19-year tenure as musical director and arranger for The Golden Strings serves as an invaluable reference in his preparation of editions for student performers. In addition, he has written hundreds of arrangements for radio programs, touring acts, ice shows and more, and was entertainment director for the Minnesota Vikings football team for 25 years."

It would make sense that he was arranging for an ad agency, possibly out of Minneapolis.  I believe that he was perhaps originally from northern Minnesota as some of the people in my community band mentioned that they had met McLeod.

The Golden Strings reference was probably to a jazz group in Minneapolis that started in the 60s.  See:  http://www.twincities.com/2014/04/05/jazz-master-cliff-brunzell-of-golden-strings-dies/
They (the Golden Strings) may still be around:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO-SIjEtjPk

-Jess Hartley

on edit: 

I checked Wikipedia and the Campbell-Methun ad-agency was a big one in Minneapolis starting in the 50s.   It morphed in the the McCann agency in 2016.
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