"Cow Bells"

by Zez Confrey and his Orchestra

Written by Al Piantadosi, who also co-wrote the 1915 anti-WWI song "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier", this early 20s gem was recorded several times when it was first published. This was the version that Zez Confrey performed for Victor on October 2 of 1922. It is the classic example of early 20s polite hotel-orchestra style, as that was the sort of gig that Zez and his band were playing at the time. The animal-noise-as-music idea, which hung on stubbornly after the Original Dixieland Jazz Band had a surprise hit in 1917 with "Livery Stable Blues", is in evidence here (though not as strongly as it might have been if it had been written and performed in, say, 1919). While there are no solo fireworks in this recording there is some nice ensemble interplay. The disc from which this is sampled had some groove damage in the first ten seconds or so, and this has been diminished with noise reduction, but the rest of the disc was relatively clean and has not had much done to it.
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