This Al Bowlly Discography is a compilation of various discographies and lists available on the internet and in various books. The information from these various sources sometimes conflicts, especially dates and personnel. On these occasions an educated guess is employed.
I'd like to thank the following people without whom this project would never have been possible. First and foremost, Ray Pallet. Terry Brown, Randy Skretvedt, Horst P. J. Bergmeier, Rainer E. Lotz, Brian Rust, Sandy Forbes, Clifford Harvey, Sid Colin, Tony Staveacre, John A.B. Wright, James Hess, Mike Hart & Bill Huntley and a whole lot more Bowlly fans. Please let me know if I have missed anyone out.
Adrian Jorgensen: A very special thank you for images of some very rare Australian pressings.
Mark Thompson: For corrections and help with lyrics. Thank you.
Fred Jobs: Thank you for some rare images and inspiration.
Sian: For proof reading and patience.
Using the discography:
Most of the mp3 audio files are from Randy Skretvedt's facebook downloads. These are low quality and often over-processed so they generally sound awful. I encourage everyone to buy quality CD's of Al Bowlly's music. Memory Lane CD's are of the highest quality and the tedious and skilled job of remastered the music from the original 78 RPM records to CD has been expertly and very professionally carried out by Dave Cooper. A labour of love. The back catalogue is extensive and covers CD's and DVD's of a whole host of artists from the 1930's.
The discography is a work in progress. Please help me make corrections and add any relevant information. Please contact me.
PAGINATION: By default the discography is set to show 10 entries per page, but you have the option to change it to show 10, 25, 50, 100 or ALL 1231 entries on one page.
DOWNLOAD: You can download the entire discography in JSON, XML, CSV, TXT, SQL or Ms-Excel. First paginate it to show ALL entries and then download.
TOGGLE VIEW: Changes the layout of the discography. The entire site is responsive but the toggle view is handy to view the discography on a mobile phone.
In the "Additional Information" column, I have tried to list the musicians. Often this information comes from conflicting and confusing sources. Corrections welcomed. Instead of listing musicians for each track and to save space, I have used "As Above" referring to the previous "Principal Artiste" by name.
The Al Bowlly Discography by Clifford Harvey and Brian Rust.
Black Music Research Journal: James Arthur Briggs -by Horst P. J. Bergmeier (bio) and Rainer E. Lotz (bio). An excellent downloadable article with excellent research on Arthur Briggs. Includes a section on Al Bowlly's early recordings with Briggs.
Randy Skretvedt's facebook page with almost all of Al Bowlly's recordings in MP3 format.
Arthur Briggs sessions: Most were also released on the Australian Polydor label. Twenty-two sides feature singer Al Bowlly who likely also played rhythm guitar on some of the numbers. Bowlly used to hang around at the Café am Zoo but was not a regular member of the Briggs band, as independently recalled by Edgar Adeler and Don Barrigo.
Polydor began pressing in Australia from imported masters in 1927. The seven Briggs records issued there were advertised in the March 1, 1928 issue of The Australian Musical News (Grossman 1980). “The Far Away Bells” (ma-trix 733bd) on Polydor (Australia) 21097 was only issued in Australia
The Little White House: Pol W-102 Australian pressing. Take 652bd exists with no Bowlly Vocals.
Matrix numbers and takes (Information from, Jazz & Ragtime Records by Brian Rust)
Recording dates are from various sources and where they have conflicted, I have used the logic of Matrix numbers to create a chronological layout.
As a rule, -1 or -A indicates the first attempt at recording a performance
Some companies employed no suffix for a first take, but -X shows a second take, -XX a third
British Edison Bell method, where take 1 was shown by an X in a circle, -2 by a triangle, -3 by a square, -4 a division sign (a dot on either side of a horizontal line), and -5 by a circle struck through by a horizontal line.