Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Broken Arrow and The Tomahawks

Broken Arrow and The Tomahawks

CP-6335 ~ I Get Rainy River Blues

Roger Smith

CP-6441 -  Land Of Liberty

Salamanca Records
515 Clinton St.,. Jamestown,. N,. Y.

" I Get Rainy River Blues " was also issued twice by Salamanca backed with "You're A Million Miles Away " (numbered CP-5674 on one issue and numbered CP-6336 on another).  It's possible that "You're A Million Miles Away" was previously released at an earlier date with a different flip, still to be discovered.  It is possible, as well, that "Land Of Liberty" was separately issued with a different flip, still to be discovered.  That would make FIVE different Salamanca releases. Hmmm?

Several speculations or false informations can be found at various internet places, but it's quite aurally clear that Broken Arrow is actually Roger Smith, a song poem singer who had a relatively extensive discography in that special branch of the music industry.

Salamanca Music Publishers were not exactly a newcomer in the music business. "SONG TITLES BRING FAME, FORTUNE - NO knowledge of music or poetry required.  Only story and song title " reads a small ad from 1943 from Salamanca Music.  by all appearances, exactly the the kind of ads the song-poems companies would place in any publication for which they perceive a large and credulous readership: movie mags, comic books, supermarket tabloids...

Behind this release is Stanley Johnson, a teacher, who was also a long-time associate of Salamanca founder Robert Formica who died in 1948.

Born in 1898,  Stanley W. Johnson was a graduate of the Lebanon Springs high school and studied at Albany, Cortland and the Buffalo State Teachers' college. He served 11 years as principal of the Tuscarora Indian Reservation school and, in 1937, was transferred in by the state department of education to the Allegany reservation.
Ardent student of progressive education, he saw the need of a business training for the children and organized a practical situation whereby the children could learn from real situations.  He had a real store and the boys and girls learned the true lessons of life.  They bought and sold. They learned the value of money.

In Salamanca, he organized an orchestra of  Seneca Indian school boys with such success that they not only reached their objective, the New York World's Fair, but were asked to appear on Dave Elman's nation-wide "Hobby-Lobby" broadcast program.

Throughout the winter months of 1939, they had been practising and earning money for the trip. By the time school was out they had $80 in the treasury. Then came the big opportunity to appear on the "Hobby-Lobby" program.

Most original part of the band was the drum section. The tops were removed from one quart and five quart discarded oil cans and replaced with tops made from inner-tubes. Enamelled and decorated with scenes from Indian life, these home-made instruments proved so successful, that an additional supply was made for tourists, to sell from 25 to 50 a piece.

Robert M. Formica (1895-1948) Born in Italy. Bob Formica immigrated to the US in 1902.  A music teacher, he was also the director of the Salamanca Legion Concert Band.  
Stan Johnson and Bob Formica wrote several songs together.  One of these songs was "Land of Liberty", from 1940, a patriotic song for which the lyrics were written by Stanley W. Johnson and the music by Prof. Robert M. Formica, song which is on the flip side of this Salamanca single.

No comments:

Post a Comment