Fred Hall

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A decent pianist and a talented arranger, Fred Hall is most significant for his work as the leader of his Sugar Babies, a group that recorded many selections during 1925-30. Hall worked early on with…
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A decent pianist and a talented arranger, Fred Hall is most significant for his work as the leader of his Sugar Babies, a group that recorded many selections during 1925-30. Hall worked early on with publishing houses as a song plugger and a composer. He had a feel for what the dancing public wanted and with Arthur Fields often taking the vocal refrains, his band (usually a septet) symbolized the carefree attitude of the late 1920's. The music ranged from hot jazz to novelties and occasionally smoother dance music. During the five-year period, Hall's ensemble was not only known as The Sugar Babies but recorded under the pseudonyms of Fred Hall's Comedy Entertainers, The Hometowners, The Pennsylvania Melody Syncopators, as Arthur Fields and his Assassinators, Arthur Fields and the Noodlers, the Tin Pan Paraders and Billy James' Dance Orchestra! In all Hall's band recorded over 160 selections. The ensemble usually featured trumepter Jack Mollick (Mike Mosiello took over in 1929), trombonist Harry Blevins, Eddie Grosso on clarient and alto, banjoist Albert Russo, Al Morse on tuba, drummer Joseph Mayo and the remarkably versatile (if forgotten) Philip d'Arcy on violin, harmonica (one of the first in jazz) and second piano. Fred Hall himself rarely soloed. In the late 1920's, Fred Hall and Arthur Fields appeared regularly on a radio show ("The Sunday Driver") and wrote some songs of which "I Got A Code In By Dose" is best-known. With the rise of the Depression and the change in musical tastes, Hall and Fields broke up their musical partnership in 1932 (after recording six vocal duets). Although Fred Hall continued writing songs (joining ASCAP in 1939), very little is known of his later life. He died at the age of 56 in 1954.