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The Wolverine Orchestra

Band, *1923 US
A.k.a. The Jazz Harmonizers

The Wolverines (also Wolverine Orchestra, Wolverines Orchestra, The Original Wolverines) were an American jazz band. They were one of the most successful territory bands of the American Midwest in the 1920s. The Wolverine Orchestra first played at the Stockton Club, a nightclub south of Hamilton, Ohio, in September 1923. Many of its players were transplanted Chicago musicians, and it was led by pianist Dudley Mecum. Cornetist Bix Beiderbecke joined the group toward the end of the year after the lead cornetist quit. Mecum named the group based on the fact that they so often performed the Jelly Roll Morton tune "Wolverine Blues". However, he quit at the end of 1923, and was replaced by Dick Voynow, from St. Louis. Wolverine members obviously recognized that Beiderbecke was the band's outstanding soloist--he is in the forefront on records. The others were competent on their respective instruments, at times elegant and imaginative. Few other bands at this time made records featuring so much improvisation. Yet the band was clearly well-rehearsed for sessions. Alternate takes of numbers establish that some musical ideas had been carefully worked out ahead of time.

PortraitBix Beiderbecke
cor, p 1903-1931 US
PortraitMin Leibrook
sax, b, tu 1903-1943 US
Vic Moore
Bob Gillette
Jimmy Hartwell
cl, as
Al Gande
PortraitDick Voynow
p 1900-1944 US
PortraitGeorge Johnson
ts, sax US
Popular Tracks   
Royal Garden Blues on Lost Chords: White Musicians and Their Contribution To Jazz by Various Artists
Copenhagen on The Song Hits of 1924 by Various Artists
Jazz Me Blues on Jazz Volume 6 Chicago Number 2 by Various Artists

Track list and 30sec audio provided by


Title Artist Year Type
The Wolverine Orchestra 1924 With Bix BeiderbeckeThe Wolverine Orchestra1981Compil.
The Complete Wolverines With Bix BeiderbeckeThe Wolverine Orchestra1977Compil.
A Boy Named BixBix Beiderbecke And The Wolverine Orchestra1976Compil.
The Legendary Bix BeiderbeckeBix Beiderbecke With The Wolverine Orchestra, Sioux City Six & Bix And His Rhythm Jugglers1974Compil.
Bix And The Wolverine Orchestra ChicagoBix Beiderbecke And The Wolverine Orchestra1974Compil.
Bix Beiderbecke Vol. 2Bix Beiderbecke With The Wolverine Orchestra1955Compil.
Maple Leaf Rag / CopenhagenNew Orleans Rhythm Kings / The Wolverine Orchestra1938Album
Oh! Baby / Toddlin' BluesThe Wolverine Orchestra / Bix And His Rhythm Jugglers1938Album
The Jazz Me Blues / Big BoyThe Wolverine Orchestra1936Album
Fidgety Feet / Royal Garden BluesThe Wolverine Orchestra1936Album
Oh Baby / CopenhagenThe Wolverine Orchestra1924Album
The Jazz-Me Blues / Big BoyThe Wolverine OrchestraAlbum
Copenhagen / Tiger RagThe Wolverine OrchestraAlbum
External Links
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To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership.
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