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South Frisco Jazz Band
NEW -- 2002 appearances
See Calendar below

This is the band which could lead General Custer's army into battle! This is the band which could lead the rats of Hamlin into the North Sea! This is the band which plays the exciting music of the master jazz composers -- Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong -- in the straight-ahead, robust, full-bodied ensemble jazz style of the San Francisco Revival pioneered by Lu Watters and Turk Murphy!

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Sacramento Trad Jazz Fest (Photo: Randy Wood)

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"Live from Earthquake McGoon's" - SOS 1027 (SFJB Vol. 1)  The band in concert at Turk Murphy's club.  Turk's band was playing a private party elsewhere, but the strip-tease girl came to hear SFJB anyhow!
image sos1027.jpgCD CD1027 $18 (Order CD)
MC  C1027 $13 (Order Cassette)
Leon Oakley, cn; Dan Comins, cn, voc; Mike Baird, cl, sop and alto sax; Jim Snyder, tm; Robbie Rhodes, pn; Vince Saunders, bj, voc; Bob Rann, tu; Bob Raggio, wbd, perc.  Album notes by Turk Murphy.  Recorded at Earthquake McGoon's, San Francisco, CA, July 1981.

Playing Time = 70:24
Listen to Excerpts of the Tracks in RealAudio Real Audio Format 
Track  Time  Name 
01 4:22 New Orleans Stomp
02 4:31 Jazzin' Babies Blues
03 5:17 Snake Rag
04 4:27 Mountain Top Blues
05 6:02 Cakewalkin' Babies From Home
06 4:21 Pontchartrain Blues
07 4:51 Since My best Gal Turned Me Down
08 3:02 Fickle Fay Creep
Track  Time  Name 
09 5:32 Washboard Wiggles
10 6:35 Marie
11 3:01 Black Bottom Stomp
12 3:11 Ragtime Dance
13 3:14 Oriental Strut
14 4:05 Sidewalk Blues
15 4:15 Annie St. Rock
16 3:38 Bay City
Get Real AudioGet Real Player

"These Cats Are Diggin' Us!" - SOS 1035 (SFJB Vol. 2) "This LP is among the most exciting traditional jazz records to have come along in many, many years." -- Phil Elwood, San Francisco Examiner.
image sos1035.jpgCD CD1035 $18 (Order CD)
MC  C1035 $13 (Order Cassette)
Leon Oakley, cn; Dan Comins, cn, voc; Mike Baird, cl, sop and alto sax; Jim Snyder, tm; Robbie Rhodes, pn; Vince Saunders, bj, voc; Bob Rann, tu; Bob Raggio, wbd, perc.  Recorded Alameda, CA, July 1981.

Album notes by Phil Elwood
Playing Time = 67:28
Track  Time  Name 
01 4:22 Snake Rag
02 4:08 I'm a Little Blackbird
03 3:42 Sunset Cafe Stomp
04 3:36 Pontchartrain Blues
05 3:05 Castle House Rag
06 4:25 I Had Someone Else
07 4:08 Kansas City Stomps
08 4:11 See See Rider
09 2:52 I'm Goin' Huntin'
Track Time  Name 
10 4:43 Creole Belles
11 3:52 Mabel's Dream
12 4:10 Messin' Around (Blythe)
13 4:13 Mountain Top Blues (Blue Mama's Suicide Wail)
14 4:59 Pretty Baby
15 4:11 Sidewalk Blues
16 3:00 Doin' the Hambone
17 3:51 Buddy's Habits

"Jones Law Blues" - SOS 1103 (SFJB Vol. 3)  No longer available.

"Sage Hen Strut" ("In Search of the Famous Grouse") - SOS 1143 (SFJB Vol. 4)  The album notes reveal, for all to know, the connection with Famous Grouse, the fine Scotch whisky!
record album cover: sos1143.jpgCD CD1143 $18 (Order CD)
MC  C1143 $13 (Order Cassette)
Leon Oakley, cn; Dan Comins, cn, voc; Mike Baird, cl, sop and alto sax; Jim Snyder, tm; Robbie Rhodes, pn; Vince Saunders, bj, voc; Bob Rann, tu; Bob Raggio, wbd, perc.  Recorded Alameda, CA, July 1981.

Playing time = 47:15
Track  Time  Name 
01 4:32 Some of These Days
02 3:29 West Texas Blues
03 3:10 If Someone Would Only Love Me
04 3:23 Coal Cart Blues
05 3:50 I Can't Say
06 4:24 Down in Honky Tonky Town
07 4:08 Smoky Mokes
08 3:28 Antigua Blues
09 3:02 Down Home Rag
10 2:48 All Night Blues
11 3:18 Minstrels of Annie Street
Track  Time  Name 
12 2:41 Pine Apple Rag
13 5:02 Sage Hen Strut
14 3:04 Little Lawrence
15 4:22 Jones Law Blues
16 4:28 Lady Love
17 3:52 Titanic Man Blues
18 3:07 Dreaming the Hours Away
19 2:50 Spanish Mama
20 2:45 The Southern Stomps
21 3:52 When Erastus Plays His Old Kazoo

"Broken Promises" - SOS CD1180 C1180 (SFJB Vol. 5)  The author of the title song introduced herself to us at a recent festival; she wrote the song in 1950 out of frustration with her boy friend.
image sos1180.jpgCD CD1180 $18 (Order CD)
MC  C1130 $13 (Order Cassette)
Leon Oakley, cn; Dan Comins, cn, voc; Mike Baird, cl, sop and alto sax; Jim Snyder, tm; Robbie Rhodes, pn; Vince Saunders, bj, voc; Bob Rann, tu; Bob Raggio, wbd, perc.  Recorded Alameda, CA, October 1987.

Playing Time = 61:20
Track  Time  Name 
01 2:54 I'm Going Away Just to 
Wear You Off My Mind
02 3:37 Old Fashioned Love
03 3:52 Broken Promises
04 4:02 West of the Mississippi
05 3:26 West Indies Blues
06 2:37 Pastime Rag No. 5
07 3:56 Come On and Stomp Stomp Stomp
08 3:53 Red Man Blues
09 3:18 I Ain't Gonna Tell Nobody
Track  Time  Name 
10 3:26 San Francisco Bay Blues
11 3:46 South 'Frisco Blues
12 3:04 Bouncing Around
13 4:05 Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
14 3:15 Camp Meeting Blues
15 2:31 Sweet Lovin' Man
16 3:18 Bolsa Chica Strut
17 6:07 Sweet Lotus Blossom
18 1:13 Way Down Yonder in 
New Orleans

"Got Everything" - SOS 1240 (SFJB Vol. 6)  "Little John's Rag", by Turk Murphy, and "First Step One Step" by Wally Rose, are fine ragtime compositions by San Francisco composers.
image sos1420.jpgCD CD1240 $18 (Order CD)
MC  C1240 $13 (Order Cassette)
Leon Oakley, cn; Dan Comins, cn, voc; Mike Baird, cl, sop and alto sax; Bob Helm, cl, sop sax; Jim Snyder, tm; Robbie Rhodes, pn; Vince Saunders, bj, voc; Bob Rann, tu; Jack Mangan, dm or Bob Raggio, wbd.  Recorded Berkeley, CA, September 1991.

Playing Time = 70:51

Track  Time  Name 
01 4:25 Brother Lowdown
02 4:30 Savoy Blues
03 4:49 Froggie Moore
04 3:14 Love Me With a Feeling
05 3:28 Little John's Rag
06 4:25 Two-Nineteen Blues
07 3:35 Frog Tongue Stomp
08 4:56 You're Next
09 3:29 Sadie Green
Track  Time  Name 
10 3:24 King Porter Stomp
11 5:08 You're Drivin' Me Crazy
12 3:34 Too Late Blues
13 3:33 King Chanticleer
14 2:23 First Step One Step
15 3:55 Got Everything
16 4:12 Wabash Blues
17 4:12 Georgia Grind
18 3:39 Drop That Sack


"Big Bear Stomp" - SOS 1307 (SFJB Vol. 7)  The hottest record yet by SFJB, performing rarely heard songs from the beginning of the jazz era through the San Francisco Revival.
jpeg image sos1307CD CD1307 $18 (Order CD)
Leon Oakley, cn; Dan Comins, cn, voc; Mike Baird, cl, sop and alto sax; Jim Snyder, tm; Robbie Rhodes, pn; Vince Saunders, bj, voc; Bob Rann, tu; Lloyd Byassee, dm.  Recorded Berkeley, CA, October 1995.

Playing Time = 78:02

Listen to Excerpts of the Tracks in RealAudioReal Audio Format 
Track  Time  Name 
01  4:16  That's a Plenty
02  3:40  Working Man's Blues
03  4:05  Come Back Sweet Papa
04  4:29 Daddy Do
05  3:25  Skid-Dat-De-Dat
06  3:28  Rampart Street Blues
07  3:18  Terrible Blues
08  3:27  Duff Campbell's Revenge
09  4:07  Got Dem Blues
10  3:41  Chimes Blues
Track  Time  Name 
11  4:17  Jungle Blues
12  4:20  After the Blues
13  4:04  Big Bear Stomp
14  3:44  The King of the Zulus
15  3:14  Steamboat Stomp
16  4:56  Misery Blues
17  3:01  She's Cryin' for Me
18  3:00  Florida Blues
19  5:03  Friendless Blues
20  3:34  Custom House Up and Down


"Emperor Norton's Hunch"  - SOS 1342 (SFJB Vol. 8)  This album (possibly the last by SFJB) is dedicated to Joshua "Emperor" Norton, a beloved character of San Francisco from 1849 to his death in 1880.  Among Norton's hunches was his commandment that "Bridges be constructed across the San Francisco Bay to Oakland."
record album cover  sos1342.jpgCD CD1342 $18 (Order CD)
Leon Oakley, cn, voc; Brian Shaw, tpt; Mike Baird, cl, alto sax; Charlie Bornemann,  tm; Robbie Rhodes, pn; Vince Saunders, bj, voc; Bob Rann, tu; John Gill, dms, voc.  Recorded Alameda, CA, 7 Feb 1998 & 16-17 Mar 1998.

Playing time = 77:01
Track  Time  Name 
01 4:25 San Andreas Shake
02 4:09 Sweethearts On Parade
03 3:53 What-Cha-Call-'Em Blues
04 5:21 It's Jam Up
05 3:24 Ory's Creole Trombone
06 4:01 Take Me To the Land of Jazz
07 3:19 Chattanooga Stomp
08 4:11 Daybreak Blues
09 2:37 Original Tuxedo Rag
10 5:11 Aunt Hagar's Children
Track  Time  Name 
11 4:13 Panama
12 3:57 Some Sweet Day
13 4:45 Original Rags
14 3:18 Where Did You Stay Last Night
15 3:35 Arab Strut
16 4:35 Kansas City Man blues
17 3:46 Emperor Norton's Hunch
18 3:33 Echo of Spring
19 3:43 Yerba Buena Strut
Get Real AudioGet Real Player

"South 'Frisco Jazz Band" - Merry Makers MMRC-CD-4  Thirty years ago the band was swinging in this pizza lounge, while their kids were asleep under the tables!
CD MMRC-CD-4 $18 (Order CD)
Ray Ronnei, cn; Frank Demond, tm; Mike Baird, cl; Ron Ortmann, pn; Vince Saunders, bj; Bob Rann, tu; Bob Raggio, wbd.  Recorded at Pizza Palace, Huntington Beach, CA, March 1968.

Track  Time  Name 
01 5:49 Bugle Boy March
02 6:43 Mecca Flat Blues
03 5:10 When Erastus Plays His Old Kazoo
04 3:29 Papa Dip
05 6:45 I'm the Winding Boy
06 6:07 Salutation March
Track  Time  Name 
07 7:01 Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night
08 5:49 All the Girls Go Crazy About the Way I Ride
09 5:43 Savoy Blues
10 4:54 Maple Leaf Rag
11 8:27 Make Me a Pallet On the Floor
12 5:04 One Sweet Letter From You.

"South 'Frisco Jazz Band" - Merry Makers MMRC-CD-7  "Candy Lips" was originally performed on two clarinets, but our lads pound it out with their cornets!
image mmrccd7.jpgCD MMRC-CD-7 $18 (Order CD)
Leon Oakley, cn; Dan Comins, cn, voc; Mike Baird, cl, sop and alto sax; Jim Snyder, tm; Robbie Rhodes, pn; Vince Saunders, bj, voc; Bob Rann, tu; Bob Raggio, wbd, perc.  Recorded Los Angeles, CA, November 1983.

Track  Time  Name 
01 2:58 Candy Lips
02 4:01 Sweet Like This
03 3:08 Tears
04 2:50 I'm Going Back To Bottomland
05 3:20 Spanish Shawl
06 3:29 Who's It
07 2:50 When the Moon Shines On Coral Gables
08 4:38 Siam Blues
Track  Time  Name 
09 3:35 Messin' Around (Cook)
10 3:29 Alcoholic Blues
11 2:49 Mandy Lee Blues
12 2:49 Frog Tongue Stomp
13 4:37 Some of These Days
14 3:30 The Long Lost Blues
15 3:02 Little Lawrence

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Electronic Order Form

If you are satisfied with the items you have checked, then click the "Review Order" button below and you'll be taken to a page where you can review your selections and check the final price. You can come back here if something doesn't look right.  If it doesn't work, send your order via email to Carole Rhodes <>

Calendar - updated 29 January 2002

Sacramento, CA 22-25 May 1998 -- Sacramento Traditional Jazz Festival, the biggest in the world; tel 916-372-3479

Olympia, WA 3-5 July 1998 -- "America's Festival", produced by the Greater Olympia Dixieland Jazz Society; tel Charlotte Dickison 360-943-9123 or Edna Klein 360-754-1940

Rohnert Park, CA 21-23 August 1998 -- Sonoma County Dixie Jazz Festival; tel Billie Dellepiane 707-539-3494

Alaska Cruise 23-30 September 1998, "14th Annual Dixieland Jazz Festival at Sea" from Anchorage AK to Vancouver BC. Another merry jazz party at sea with Bill Blythe. Contact Blithe Experience, 307 World Trade Center, San Francisco, CA 94111; tel 1-800-528-1460 or 415-788-7517

Sun Valley, ID 15-18 October 1998 -- "Ninth Annual Swing 'n Dixie Jazz Jamboree"; tel Tom Hazzard 208-344-3768 or Betty Black 208-375-1671

San Diego, CA 27-29 November 1998 -- San Diego Traditional Jazz Festival; tel 619-297-5277

Costa Mesa, CA 2-4 August 2001 -- "Costa Mesa-Orange County Jazz Festival",  tel.: 714-438-4922 or 888-215-6222  email:  <>,

Central City, CO 17-19 August 2001 -- "Central City-Blackhawk Dixieland Jazz Festival", presented by Gilpin County Historical Society, tel.: (303) 582-5253, email <>,

Costa Mesa, CA 2-4 August 2002 -- "Costa Mesa-Orange County Jazz Festival", presented by Orange County Classic Jazz Festival, Inc,  Recorded information tel. 714-438-4922,  fax 714-972-2664,    tel.: 888-215-6222, email: John Dieball <>

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Contact for Engagements:

    Vince Saunders, SFJB
    2014 Lemnos Dr.
    Costa Mesa, CA  92626
    tel: 714-540-5651

Contact to purchase recordings:

    Carole Rhodes, SFJB
    6595 Ash Avenue
    Etiwanda, CA 91739

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badge2b.gif (11 kb)The South Frisco Jazz Band is an eight piece traditional jazz band featuring the two-cornet sound of King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band of 1923 and Lu Watters' Yerba Buena Jazz Band of the 40's. The band was formed in 1956 by banjoist Vince Saunders, and performed in Southern California (way south of San Francisco) at the Honeybucket in Costa Mesa in the early sixties, and played regularly at the Pizza Palace in Huntington Beach for over five and a half years. The last seventeen years have seen few changes in personnel enabling the band to add many new tunes to its vast repertoire.

The band specializes in the tunes recorded and written by King Oliver and Lu Watters, and also includes the compositions of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Clarence Williams, and Turk Murphy. Their most recent recordings have been released on compact disc and cassette. Also available is a live music video with the Fenix Jazz Band from Argentina, as well as a cassette only recording live from the Monterey Classic Jazz Festival.

Recent releases include a re-issue on cassette of an out-of-print album, "Live at Earthquake McGoon's", including an additional four tunes not previously released.  New CD's include a combination of out-of-print studio recorded albums, "Captured" with "These Cats are Diggin' Us", and "Sage Hen Strut" with "Jones Law Blues", including previously unreleased tunes. A CD of a live 1968 performance featuring Ray Ronnei is also available.

The band is fortunate to be invited to most of the major jazz festivals in the United States, with thirteen appearances at the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Festival, and has had the opportunity to participate in some very special events throughout its 40 year history. Highlights have been appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1982 along with playing jazz clubs in Germany, France, and The Netherlands. In 1986 the band played a 10-day cruise in the Caribbean, and in 1988 was invited back for a 17-day tour of The Netherlands.  (Hear guest Pieter Meijers sing "Ice Cream" in Dutch: luisa.mp3 , 242 kb.)

In 1990 the band traveled to Japan for 10 days to play at the Osaka Festival, and in 1991 went to France for the week-long Marciac Jazz Festival, playing on the same program with Wynton Marsalis, Stephane Grapelli, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Gerry Mulligan, and others. An 18-day tour of Germany with Pat Yankee was the highlight of the 1994 season.

For 1995, the band  will perform at various jazz activities including festivals in Seaside, Del Mar, Sacramento, Spokane, Santa Rosa, Los Angeles, and a 9 day cruise from Seattle to Acapulco, Mexico plus the annual San Diego Thanksgiving weekend jazz festival.


The individual members of the South Frisco Jazz Band are professional musicians, but earn their living during the daytime in other endeavors:

LEON OAKLEY, cornet, lives near San Francisco, California, and works as an electrical engineer for the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART). He has been with the SFJB since 1979, and previously was with the Turk Murphy San Francisco Band for 11 years. He can be heard on 8 LP's with Turk, and on several recordings under his own leadership.

DAN COMINS, cornet, hails from Burbank, California, and has been with the SFJB for over 25 years. He was previously from the Boston area where he played with many jazz bands there. He then moved to Pittsburgh where he played for several years at the "Stolen Base", a club owned by baseball great, Maury Wills. Dan owns his own business where he is a money manager and tax consultant for entertainers and other professionals.

MIKE BAIRD, clarinet & saxophone, is from Pasadena and has been with the band for over 35 years.  He is a composer of many jazz and ragtime songs, and has written film scores and TV commercials. Mike has played with many bands in the Southern California area including the Eldorado, Jelly Roll, Dawn of the Century Ragtime Orchestra, and Back Bay jazz Bands. He is recently retired from a social service job with the County of Los Angeles, and can be heard on numerous recordings of the mentioned bands.

JIM SNYDER, trombone, has been with the band since 1978, and resides near Chicago, Illinois. Jim played with the Salty Dogs at Purdue University in the 50's, and more recently has recorded with a number of bands including the State Street Aces and several others. Jim is one of the foremost purveyors of the Turk Murphy style of trombone playing. When not playing trombone, Jim works as an Information Systems Manager for CNA Insurance company in Chicago.

ROBBIE RHODES, piano, lives in Etiwanda, California (near Ontario and San Bernardino), and is an electronics engineer for Lockheed Aircraft Company. Robbie has been a member of the SFJB almost from the start, and began his jazz career at the tender age of 17 with the Newport Harbor Jazz Band at the Honeybucket in Costa Mesa. Robbie is a ragtime virtuoso, and even cuts his own piano rolls by hand! He has also developed modern methods of producing piano rolls using computers and digital recording techniques.

LLOYD BYASSEE, drums, the newest of the group, is from Lancaster, California. He was an original member of the famed Bay City Jazz Band, and recorded with them in 1956 and 1957. He played several years with the Great Pacific Jazz Band, and was a member of Turk Murphy's Jazz Band when Earthquake McGoon's opened on Clay Street in San Francisco. Lloyd left the music world in 1974 for what he says was the excitement, terror, and nightmares of entrepreneurship. He re-entered the music world  in 1993 because he wanted to bring a little sense (cents?) to his life during his "golden years".

BOB RANN, tuba, Huntington Beach, California, has been a member of the band since 1966. He was previously also a member of the Salty Dogs, and played with the Turk Murphy Jazz Band. Bob recently retired from his consumer electronics retailing business, and acts as our international booking manager and resident travel agent. He is responsible for all overseas jobs, and for getting all the band members, including their instruments, to the various international venues in one piece.

VINCE SAUNDERS, banjo & leader, Costa Mesa, California, founded the South Frisco Jazz Band over 39 years ago when he was right out of high school, starting with a job at a local coffee house called the Rouge et Noire in Seal Beach, California. Coffee houses and the "beat" generation were right in style in the late 50's. Not the ideal place for the perpetuation of early jazz, but a place to start. The band played the Honeybucket next. The year 1979 brought Leon Oakley to the band to join Dan Comins in the front line to form the two cornet sound that Vince had always wanted so that the compositions of King Oliver and Lu Watters could be performed. He is an engineer for a Swiss firm located in Southern California, and designs valves and piping systems. Vince lives in Costa Mesa, California, which is where the band is headquartered.

by Bob Rann, 21 July 1995

Behind Robbie - small image (28 kbyte)
"The view from behind Robbie Rhodes at the
Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival - 1993"
Cartoon by Stomp Off illustrator Joe Mathieu, August 1993.
Click here for big image (110 kbyte)

april2002_1.jpg (29 kb)
April, 2002: Vince Saunders, Robbie Rhodes, Bob Raggio
"We're getting older...!"

jsnyder1958.jpg (24 kb)
Jim Snyder, Dec. 1936-Dec. 2002
Here's Jim as he recorded "The 1958 Salty Dogs" album - forever young.
This is how I would like to remember him.
In loving recollection of all he meant to us,  Jim Jones.

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rev. 22 December 2002

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