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Another moment of Humph at 100 Oxford St.

Here is another selection from March 16, 1953, the night I brought my tape recorder to 100 Oxford Street. As usual, Mack's Restaurant had put its tables aside, morphed into The Lyttelton Club, and opened its doors to an enthusiastic crowd of young people who moved not so rhythmically to the music. Farewell Blues, the evening's last performance, became a little jam session when Archie Sempel—from Freddy Randall's band—mounted the bandstand, clarinet in hand. Unfortunately, I was late starting the tape and it ran out before the number was brought to an end, but it's a wonder that any part of this tape is playable almost 60 years later. The balance is not good—Johnny Parker's piano is distant and Bruce Turner is obviously standing closest to my single, stationary microphone.

The tape does capture the atmosphere of this popular club at a time when trad was all the rage in some of Europe's capitals. There is more tape from Lyttelton's hiding in my closet, possibly on unmarked reels. I have Neva Raphaello singing—though not so well—with Mike McKenzie's trio and Humph sitting in, but there should be more with the band and I will share anything when and if I find it. In the meantime, you can ease into Farewell Blues


Here are links to other recordings from that evening: Shake It and Break It, Chicago Buzz.


  1. Many thanks Chris. Recently visited the place and it was really something seeing all those pictures on the wall, especially Jack Teagarden!

  2. Humph/Archie Semple - Thanks again for this Chris, - and for all the other good stuff on this site.

    Thanks very much and best wishes. J

  3. Thank you Ehsan and John. I am glad to finally be able to share some of the sounds and images that have been with me for so many years—not to mention some precious memories that linger in that amazing glob we call the human brain!