Dave Kaplan

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This artist is most likely the first Dave Kaplan to receive credits in the recording industry; he should not be confused with the Dave Kaplan from a much later era who manages performers such as Brian…
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Artist Biography by

This artist is most likely the first Dave Kaplan to receive credits in the recording industry; he should not be confused with the Dave Kaplan from a much later era who manages performers such as Brian Setzer. The former Kaplan dates way, way back, writing arrangements for the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra in 1917 and turning out rafts of popular sheet-music arrangements for the parlor pianist through the subsequent decade. He led his own group known as Kaplan's Melodists and was also the piano accompanist for the extremely popular duo of Ernest Hare and Billy Jones -- otherwise known as the Happiness Boys.

Kaplan himself was in early on the chill-out, don't-worry-be-happy philosophy, a claim that can be backed up by the appearance of "What's Your Hurry?" by Kaplan's Melodists on an Edison Diamond Disc from 1923. Kaplan was both a studio arranger and music director for this firm. His efforts cannot always be tied to a laid-back philosophy, despite beginning his tenure with the Happiness Boys only a few years later. On this group's famed and brilliant recording of "Barney Google," Kaplan's final glissandos may represent the first historical example of recording studio distortion -- sorry to ruin Jeff Beck's day.