Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Silver and Gold - University of Colorado (1938)

Scored a small stack of 1938 The Silver and Gold issues, the University of Colorado-Boulder student newspaper, at a recent estate sale. Of course, you know me, I immediately dug in to see if I could find anything music related.

As evident by the ads below, the popular music genre of 1938 was a new pre-WWII sound called swing. Tommy Dorsey, Rudy Vallee, Dolly Dawn, and later, former University of Colorado alumn, Glenn Miller would have been on most college campus turntables. As evident by these few papers, campus formals, with bandleader orchestras, were common. I've also added the #1 national Hit Parade magazine songs, of these particular weeks, to give you a feel of that time period:

(click on pictures, to enlarge)

January 7, 1938:
#1 Hit Parade Song "Once in a While" - Tommy Dorsey 

Bay & Nickols ("for Popular and Classical Music")
2017 12th Street
Apparently this was an early Boulder record store.
The location (12th and Pleasant) is now a parking lot.

The Buffalo Club
"Dance to the Music of Westerberg-Durnell"
Club was owned by James Marshall
The Buffalo Club was located on 13th Street, and was there through at least 1940 (later becoming the Anchorage). It's now home to the Fox Theatre.

January 11, 1938:

ASUC ("Associated Students University of Colorado") Dance
Music by the Emmett Ryder Orchestra (pictured below) and Robert Lee Holloway.


January 14, 1938

Pete Smythe and his Orchestra
Before Pete became a well-known Denver TV personality, he was a band leader. He graduated CU-Boulder, in 1934, and fronted the band the Whiz Bang Four, which morphed in the Pete Smythe Orchestra. Three years, after this particular concert (above) he went on to his first disc jockey job, as the host of "Meet The Boys in the Band," on KMYR.
The Canon Park Nite Club was located about a mile from the Boulder city limits (which was then a "dry" alcohol town, until 1967). 

1938 Junior Promenade
George Hamilton and his Music Box Machine
(George Hamilton was the father of the actor, George Hamilton)

January 18, 1938:
 #1 Hit Parade song: "Rosalie" - Sammy Kaye

Lewis Frazier Orchestra

Joe Cook and his Orchestra

(Postcard of the Joe Cook Orchestra - courtesy of the Longmont Museum)

February 11, 1938:

St. Valentine's Day Law School Formal
Matt Kramer and his Orchestra

Barb Formal
Robert Lee and his Swinging Violins

February 18, 1938:
#1 Hit Parade Song: "Bei Mir Bist Du Shon" - Andrews Sisters

Wally Wallace and Al Menke playing at the 
Engine Ball
 Al Menke was a popular big band band leader, from Minnesota. 

February 25, 1938:

Buffalo Club
Dance to the Music of Red Gray and Band


  1. My Dad played sax in the Emmett Ryder Orchestra and remained friends with Joe Cook and Bob Hanna for years. He went on to play for other bands. I have memorabilia I'm trying to organize for my 104 yr old mom and the family. I was looking for more info on the Ryder band...their duration, whether they ever went on the road outside of Colorado, member names. Do you have any more info?

  2. My father played trombone in this orchestra while at CU.