The Missing Link: How Gus Haenschen Got Us From Joplin to Jazz and Shaped the Music Business
Various Artists

The Missing Link
September 17, 2019 hennessey
The Missing Link: Gus Haenschen
Various Artists: The Missing Link: How Gus Haenschen Got Us From Joplin to Jazz and Shaped the Music Business

2020 Grammy Nominee, Best Album Notes
Under the pseudonym “Carl Fenton,” Gus Haenschen led some of the tightest orchestra recordings of the 1920s—but he also oversaw the musical direction at the Brunswick label, where he signed Isham Jones, Al Jolson, Nick Lucas, Abe Lyman, the Happiness Boys, and even Charlie Chaplin. Haenschen probably would not have gotten that job had it not been for his reputation as a musically innovative student of Scott Joplin—and especially for his recording of six personal sides in 1916 that are the stuff of legend. All but a couple were thought lost to history, but now, together with researcher Colin Hancock, Archeophone is proud to present all six of Haenschen’s explosive 1916 recordings, along with 19 other tracks that show his influence on the music industry. Move over ODJB. These six sides change the game, and they and their creator, Gus Haenschen, are the missing link between ragtime and jazz. List price: $16.99


  • Catalogue number: ARCH 6011
  • UPC: 860003210000
  • Original release date: February 21, 2020
  • Running length: 25 tracks / 77 minutes
  • Notes & packaging: Includes a 32-page full-color booklet
  • Tracks recorded: 1914-1925 (and 1975)
  • In Archeophone’s Jazz, Dance & Blues series
  • Awards: 63rd GRAMMY Nominee, Best Album Notes
Tracks and Sound SamplesReviewsHonors & AwardsExplore Further
 Sample all tracks 
1. Sunset Medley Haenschen’s Orchestra (W. G. Haenschen piano, T. T. Schiffer drums) 1916
2. Country Club Medley Haenschen’s Orchestra (W. G. Haenschen piano, T. T. Schiffer drums) 1916
3. Admiration W. G. Haenschen’s Banjo Orchestra 1916
4. I Left Her on the Beach at Honolulu W. G. Haenschen’s Banjo Orchestra 1916
5. Honky Tonky W. G. Haenschen’s Banjo Orchestra 1916
6. Maple Leaf Rag W. G. Haenschen’s Banjo Orchestra 1916
7. Interview/Under the Japanese Moon Irving Caesar and Gus Haenschen/Gus Haenschen 1975
8. The Moorish (“Maurice”) Glide Victor Military Band 1914
9. Underneath the Japanese Moon Irving Kaufman 1914
10. Karavan Carl Fenton’s Orchestra 1919
11. Read ‘Em and Weep Al Bernard 1920
12. Bow-Wow Wiedoeft Wadsworth Quartet 1920
13. I Love You Sunday Isham Jones Rainbo Orchestra 1920
14. By The Pyramids Gene Rodemich’s Orchestra 1921
15. Honey Babe Lyman’s California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra 1923
16. Pesticatin’ Mamma Paul Ash and His Granada Orchestra 1923
17. Shake It and Break It Vic Meyers’ Hotel Butler Orchestra 1923
18. Rosita International Novelty Orchestra 1923
19. Steppin’ Out Al Jolson with Isham Jones Orchestra 1924
20. Tenth Interval Rag Gene Rodemich’s Orchestra 1924
21. What’ll I Do Carl Fenton’s Orchestra 1924
22. San Mound City Blue Blowers 1924
23. My Best Girl Nick Lucas 1924
24. With You, Dear, in Bombay Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra conducted by Charlie Chaplin 1925
25. Maple Leaf Rag Herb Wiedoeft’s Cinderella Roof Orchestra 1924
The Vinyl District

“Of the three Archeophone releases covered in this column this week (which shape up the label’s Spring 2020 entries to their catalog), this one is the most purely enjoyable while simultaneously providing revelatory insight into the recorded history of early jazz, so it gets the archival pick even though it’s CD-only…Haenschen’s own bands were boldly innovative, but what makes The Missing Link such a treat is how the subsequent music he directed pushed jazz forward rather than simply popularizing it.” A
Read the full review →

Mainspring Press

“Archeophone has done a remarkable job of recovering what’s there while preserving the integrity of the original recordings…Archeophone productions are notable for their accompanying booklets, and this one (at a generous thirty pages) is no exception, with an expertly researched and well-written biography and listening guide by Colin Hancock, a detailed discography, and many rare illustrations.” Read the full review →

  • GRAMMY Nominee, Best Album Notes, 2020

The Hunt for the Banjo Orchestra Records

Guest blog by Colin Hancock             The six sides recorded by Gus Haenschen’s Banjo Orchestra in 1916 are rare—very rare. In fact, before The Missing Link project was compiled, chances are no one had heard all six of them since they were first released. Gus himself stated that he never personally owned copies of the … Continue reading The Hunt for the Banjo Orchestra Records
posted: February 11, 2020

One Night in June . . . Looking for the First Jazz Records in Scott Joplin’s Stomping Ground

It’s only been a little more than a year since Colin Hancock first wrote us up with a rough idea about reissuing the six personal records made by Gus Haenschen and his banjo orchestra in 1916. We’d already released one of them, “Sunset Medley,” on our 2003 issue, Stomp and Swerve—and we’re big fans. So, … Continue reading One Night in June . . . Looking for the First Jazz Records in Scott Joplin’s Stomping Ground
posted: February 3, 2020

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