Kansas City Frank Melrose
Kansas City Frank Melrose
These were issued in Brunswick Records’ “race” series under the pseudonym of “Kansas City Frank”, and for some years were wrongly assumed to be the work of Morton. In the 1930s, Melrose continued to play piano in small clubs and bars, either solo or as part of a band, while occasionally working in a factory to support his family. He also recorded sporadically with Johnny Dodds and others. He played on his last recording session in 1941 with Bud Jacobson’s Jungle Kings. He died on Labor Day, 1941, being found dead in the road after apparently being killed in a fracas in a club in Hammond, Indiana. Pianist Frank Melrose was the younger brother of music publishers and agents Walter and Lester Melrose, who ran Melrose Brothers Music store in Chicago and were very involved in the business end of the Chicago Jazz and Blues scene in the 1920s and 1930s. Frank left home at age sixteen and drifted around, settling in St.
Louis and then Kansas City, where he played occasionally. Melrose was a big fan of Jelly Roll Morton who did business with his brothers. Morton and Frank were reputably friends and jammed together occasionally in clubs on the South Side of Chicago. Frank Melrose recorded sporadically appearing on a handful of records in the 1920s which included Wingy Manone’s Cellar Boys session, and with Johnny Dodds on the Beale Street Washboard Band session, with King Mutt and his Tennessee Thumpers, and on the E.C.
Cobb and his Corn Eaters record. In the 1930s, Melrose continued to play piano in small clubs and bars while also working in a factory. He played on his last recording session in 1941 with Bud Jacobson’s Jungle Kings. On Labor Day of 1941 Melrose died mysteriously.
He was found dead at the corner of 130th Street and Oglesby in Chicago. His face was mutilated beyond recognition. The cause of his death was uncertain, perhaps he was murdered or hit by a car. SOLO DISCOGRAPHY Title Recording Date Recording Location Company Distant Moan 4-11-1930 Chicago, Illinois Paramount Jelly Roll Stomp (Frank Melrose) 2-12-1929 Richmond, Indiana Gennett 6774-B Jelly Roll Stomp (Frank Melrose) 3-8-1929 Chicago,llinois Brunswick Market Street Jive 4-9-1930 Chicago,Illinois Paramount Piano Breakdown 4-10-1930 New York, New York Paramount Pass The Jug (Frank Melrose) 2-12-1929 Richmond, Indiana Gennett Pass The Jug (Frank Melrose) 3-8-1929 Chicago, Illinois Brunswick Rock My Soul 3-1929 Chicago, Illinois Paramount Whoopie Stomp 3-1929 Chicago, Illinois Paramount Whoopie Stomp 4-10-1930 New York, New York Paramount Read more on Last.fm.
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