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The Dixieland Jug Blowers

Active from: 1926.
Members: Clifford Hayes, Earl McDonald, Henry Clifford, Curtis Hayes, Prince LaVaughn, Lockwood Lewis.
Albums: Boodle-Am Shake, Louisville Stomp, The Jug Bands, Memphis Shake, Party Blues (Original Recording).
Record labels: TP4 Music, Suncoast Music, Frog, Most Wanted Recordings, Ultimate Legends.

The Dixieland Jug Blowers were a popular group of the 1920s. The group was a jug band, incorporating the usual jug, banjo, guitar and fiddle, but it was also considered as a jazz band due to its use of alto saxophone, trombone, piano, and clarinet (played by Johnny Dodds). With this wide variety of instruments, the Dixieland Jug Blowers became the most sophisticated of its time, and influenced other jug bands of the time such as the Memphis Jug Band.

The Dixieland Jug Band was created by the commingling of two separate groups run by jug player Earl McDonald, and fiddler Clifford Hayes. They were brought together in 1926 for a Victor Records recording session in Chicago, Illinois, and again in 1927. McDonald had been a musician for almost 30 years, and favored the earlier traditional and minstrel tunes. Hayes, on the other hand, favored a more straight ahead jazz styled approach, eventually dispensing with the jug altogether.


by Craig Harris
The Louisville, Kentucky-based Dixieland Jug Blowers were one of the first jug bands to record. Led by violinist Clifford Hayes and jug player Earl McDonald, the Chicago-based group, which featured clarinetist Johnny Dodds, left a legacy of twenty-three tracks, including "Boodle Am Shake", "Memphis Shake" and "Skit, Skat, Doodle-Do", recorded between December 1926 and June 1927. Recording as the Louisville Jug Band, they cut such tunes as "She's In The Graveyard Now".

South Carolina-born McDonald moved to Louisville, at the age of two, in 1885. He formed the Louisville Jug Band while still in high school. The product of a musical family, Glasgow, Kentucky-born Hayes moved to Jeffersonville, Indiana in his teens. He joined McDonald's band in 1913.

Although McDonald and Hayes formally separated, over financial conflicts, by 1919, they continued to hire each other to play on recordings and live performances.