The San Francisco Sound, Volume 2
Art Hickman's Orchestra

Art Hickman's Orchestra: The San Francisco Sound, Volume 2

The San Francisco Sound: Volume 2 compiles 25 selections from Hickman's 1920-1921 sessions together with extensive notes by Bruce Vermazen in a 24-page booklet. The follow-up to our first collection of Art Hickman's recordings, this second volume brings to a close thestory of the influential band's dominance of dance floors on both U.S. coasts. List price: $16.49


  • Catalogue number: ARCH 6005
  • UPC: 777215109018
  • Original release date: October 2, 2005
  • Running length: 76:28 / 25 tracks
  • Notes & packaging: Includes a 24-page booklet
  • Tracks recorded: 1920-1921
  • In Archeophone’s Jazz, Dance & Blues series
Tracks and Sound SamplesProduct DescriptionPackage DealsMore by this Artist
 Sample all tracks 
1. A Young Man’s Fancy Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
2. Cuban Moon Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
3. Whispering Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
4. If a Wish Could Make It So Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
5. Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
6. The Japanese Sandman Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
7. Avalon Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
8. Darling Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
9. Missy Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
10. June Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1920
11. Nightingale The Hickman Trio 1920
12. Sweet Little Stranger The Hickman Trio 1920
13. Siren of a Southern Sea Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
14. Goodbye Pretty Butterflies Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
15. Cherry Cherokee Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
16. Dream of Me Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
17. Near Me Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
18. Day Dreams Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
19. I Spoiled You Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
20. I Call You Sunshine Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
21. Nestle in Your Daddy’s Arms Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
22. Hokum Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
23. Honey Lou Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
24. Honeymoon Home Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921
25. Happiness Art Hickman’s Orchestra 1921

The follow-up to the very popular first volume of the Art Hickman Orchestra’s 1919-1920 recordings called The San Francisco Sound. This second volume features another 25 tracks, recorded between 1920 and 1921, and brings to a close the story of the influential band’s dominance of dance floors on both U.S. coasts. In some ways this collection is more subdued than Volume 1, but for the jazz collector, The San Francisco Sound, Vol. 2 has plenty of treats in store. These selections find Hickman’s players taking greater freedoms than before and developing their own distinctive jazz style.

As on Vol. 1, the musicians are Art Hickman (drums, piano, slide whistle), Clyde Doerr (saxes), Frank Ellis (piano), Ben Black and Vic King (banjos), Steve Douglas (violin), Walter Roesner (trumpet), Fred Kaufman (trombone), Bert Ralton (saxes, oboe, and English horn), and Bela Spiller (string bass). Notes are again provided by expert Bruce Vermazen.

Fighting for Prominence with Whiteman

Before Paul Whiteman’s band first recorded in August 1920, the Hickman outfit had the dance-band field largely to themselves for close to a year. But after that, the two groups struggled for control of the market, and Whiteman got the upper hand. It may be simply that with “Whispering” and “The Japanese Sandman,” (both on 1920: “Even Water’s Getting Weaker”) Whiteman put his trademark on the classics earlier and beat Hickman to market. Too bad, as close listening to the Hickman versions of “Whispering” and “The Japanese Sandman” is rewarded by intricate passages by Frank Ellis on piano and Bert Ralton on soprano sax.

More Fine Piano Solos and Drums

If you like the piano solos from Volume 1 of The San Francisco Sound, there are more here to enjoy, especially on “June,” which features a more prominent piano sound, showing the studio engineers were finally getting the hang of Hickman’s sound, always featuring shifting leads. Art Hickman again highlights his abilities on tom toms on the rhythmic and infectious “Hokum,” a piece that allowed the players less freedom than usual—but that also featured innovative dance-band arranging with its two-trumpet team playing over concerted saxes and trombone.

Headliners at Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic

Just a couple of months after their first sessions in New York, the Hickman band returned in the fall of 1920 to the Big Apple for more recordings and a gig as the finale in Ziegfeld’s Follies and, afterward, at the Midnight Frolic. Before they finished up, the Hickman Trio, composed again of Frank Ellis on piano and Clyde Doerr and Bert Ralton on saxes, waxed a couple more tracks, “Nightingale” and “Sweet Little Stranger.” So much in demand by Columbia were the Hickman Orchestra that in February 1921, just four months after their previous session, the company sent a team out to San Francisco to make more recordings. Bert Ralton and Vic King were out by this time, and Walter Beban (tenor sax) and an unknown trumpet player were added.

End of the Road

Clyde Doerr left the band shortly after the February 1921 sessions, marking the end of the early Hickman recordings. The group struggled on for another year, and after a six-month engagement at the Cocoanut Grove restaurant in the new Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, they broke up in April 1922. Hickman himself dropped from largely from view, making a few recordings over the next few years, before he died of Banti’s disease at the young age of 43, in January 1930. Hickman left us a sizeable achievement, the influence of which we can now appreciate 85 years later.

This release is included in the following packages.

Jazz, Dance, and Blues

Save 15% when you order all in-stock releases in our Jazz, Dance & Blues Series

All Things Archeophone

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