Search Manic Mark's Blog

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

They Laughed When I Sat Down - Billy Rowland

Love, Your Spell Is Everywhere
They Laughed When I Sat Down
Billy Rowland And His Thumbtack Piano
RCA Victor LSP-1872

Light bachelor pad that seems to me to be a little uneven with its blend of lounge, honky tonk and dixieland.

Group members include: Bob Haggart - bass, Terry Snyder - drums, Al Caiola - guitar, Al Klink - sax and Bobby Byrne - Trombone.

The "thumbtack piano" refers to actual thumbtacks Rowland applied to piano hammers. A sound that you hear on his "honky tonk" projects.


  1. Love the tune you have sampled! Most interesting!I like the percussion!

  2. Thanks for posting this!

    Mr. Billy Rowland (not to be confused with the presently living "Ragtime Bill" Rowland, ragtime pianist, composer, and theatre organist of Oklahoma) was one of the two pianists who credited were "Knuckles O'Toole" on various Enoch Light / Grand Award records. (The other, of course, is none other than Mr. Dick Hyman!).

    Of course, Mr. Rowland made many other records, presumably under other names, as well. This is the first record I've seen under Mr. Rowland's real name, but it makes sense, since Victor (at least by the LP era) wasn't in the habit of issuing a lot of stuff under false names like some other companies of this time.

    A small bio of Mr. Rowland can be found on Perfessor Bill Edwards' honky-tonk piano page of his website here:

    Thanks for posting this rare record!

    My father, jazz musician Dan Barrett, played a gig or couple of gigs with some of these musicians in New York in the 80s, and recalls saxophonist Mr. Al Klink as "a real nice guy" and "a very good musician", and also opines that he was one of the "real jazz players" in the famous Glenn Miller Orchestra. Dad also remarked that Mr. Klink took a lot of sax solos on many of the Miller Orchestra's records, although of course some of the other sax solos (both on the records, and live) were taken by Mr. Tex Beneke and others in the band.

    Dad also remembers Bobby Byrne as "a very good trombonist".

    Mr. Al Caiola was of course a great jazz guitarist both in and out of the studios (in my own opinion, as well as Dad's).

    I got to meet Mr. Bob Haggart myself when I was just a kid (in the '90s), and he was a real nice guy and a terrific bass player even at that time, when he was about the same age as my grandfather would have been. Of course you folks already know he was one of the most important people in the Bob Crosby Orchestra of the 1930s and 1940s, composing (or composing) many of their original tunes, and doing many arrangements as well, besides playing great bass.

    Unfortunately, I can't supply any info on Mr. Snyder, but perhaps someone else can.


    1. Thanks again for sharing your stories and insight!

      – Mark

    2. Terry Snyder played with a number of the big name swing bands and TV bands and made several records under his own name, including some Enoch Light projects.


Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!