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Annette Hanshaw Discography

The most complete discography that is available for Annette Hanshaw has been compiled by Brian Rust in his 1973 book:  "The complete Entertainment Discography:  From 1897-1942".  A second edition was published in 1989.  It is available from

Another internet link that lists Brian Rust's discography's Scott Mckenzies:  red hot

It is a tribute Brian Rust and his endeavor to obtain the most full and complete of Annette in existence. He developed a keen interest in her recordings back in the 1970's and traveled to the United States to find her and talk to her.  His story will be covered in more detail in the "Current CD's" section.  Suffice it to say he took a special interest in her work and still does.

The Sensation Record project currently being released is using his record collection and the collection of others to compile the most complete discography that is obtainable. The problem with compiling a complete discography is the fact that no "complete" discography is ever complete.  New records are surfacing all the time.  The new "revised" discography that I have seen compiled by Preston Meeks, Jim Thomas, and Malcolm Rockwell adds even more records than Brian has.  However, with the release of the full discography from Sensation Records coming up, we will have at least the most current and complete discography that is available today.

To understand the problems associated with compiling a complete discography one has to understand Annette and the times.  When Annette started recording, she started recording for a company that soon would go into receivership and she would have to change companies and go to Columbia studios.   Columbia had much better standards and we can get a more compete discography from their records.  However, at the time she started working for Columbia the depression was about to start and record companies would all be affected.  Companies would go out of business, fires would burn down studios and records would be lost.  The main source material usually would be the actual company that made the record but when that fails, the collector must go to the main source material itself, the record, the library or newspaper archives.

One of the beautiful things about the current complete CD set coming up is the networking that took place among collectors.  Records were contributed not only from Brian Rust, but from Preston Meeks and Malcolm Rockwell as well, to provide fans the most complete discography available.  Here is an email I received from Rick Levinson detailing how the principals got together on the project:

Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1999 17:57:37 -0400
To: (Michael Brooke)
From: Rick Levinson <>>Subject: Re: annette hanshaw
In-Reply-To: <001001befbc0$8d366f00$
Mr. Brooke:

Thanks much for your response. Believe it or not, Annette Hanshaw has a
following. (The celebrated discographer who supplied the bulk of the 78s
for transferring, Brian Rust, has a special fondness for AH).

A brief background on the Hanshaw project: Jim Thomas, a Maryland-based
78 collector and Hanshaw fans, connected on a newsgroup about classic
pop/jazz of the '20s and '30s. Jim and I discussed an Annette Hanshaw
collection, and Jim suggested contacting Brian Rust and John R. T. Davies
about it. Rust is a discographer whose work is the bible for classic
pop/jazz American recordings. Davies may be the best indie classic pop/jazz
audio engineer in the world. Rust said he'd be delighted to donate his AH
78 collection for a project and Rust responded that he would be thrilled to
do a comprehensive collection.
 The money to a project. A minor problem there. Jim and I didn't have the
cash. Davies suggested Jeff Healey, the renowned Toronto-based blues/rock
guitarist. I thought: sure, like I'm just going to pick up the phone and
called Jeff. Actually, Jeff called me: he was interested in doing the
project for a new label with Warwick.
 Liner notes. Jeff could write them. Rust could write them. But Will
Friedwald, a NYC-based writer, wrote JAZZ SINGING, which has become a
classic on early pop/jazz, and SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU!, which won the
ASCAP Deems Taylor award for writing on pop music. Jim Thomas to the rescue
again: Jim had Will Friedwald's e-mail address. I cold-e-mailed Will and he
said he would be interested in the project. He's writing the liner notes.>
 Preston Meeks, another person contacted through Jim Thomas, is the
custodian of the most Annette Hanshaw-related items in the US. He came
onboard and provided, free of charge, much time and energy [not to mention
graphics materials and recordings] to the project. Preston introduced me to
John Woodruff, who knew AH well and had biographical information on her
that no one else had.
 We needed some tracks from Annette Hanshaw's Hawaiian sessions [every
vocalist during the period had at least a couple of Hawaiian numbers to
cash in on the craze]. Malcolm Rockwell in Hawaii had the tracks and
supplied them to us. Again: for free.
 You're getting the picture: the right people at the right time came
together and made the project possible.
 A couple of guys ~ Jim Thomas, John Woodruff, and Preston Meeks ~ were
instrumental in providing information, materials for graphics, an updated
discography, etc. As mentioned, Malcolm Rockwell supplied some of the Frank
Ferara Hawaiian Trio tracks to the project. Jeff may fill you in on some
others who contributed to the project.
 I think some of the people may contact you by e-mail with promotion
suggestions via the 'net. So don't be surprised if you get a couple of
e-mails regarding free promotion opportunities for the releases. And don't
be surprised if these suggestions turn out to be cost-effective promotional
tools that will boost the profile of the AH project and the Sensation label.
 Again, thanks for getting back to me and feel free to contact me any time
you want on the AH project.>> Rick

So you can see what incredible work has taken place to get this far.  However, that is not the end of the story by any means.  Annette did not make it easy for us collectors.  Anette did not like the sound of her voice and she tired of recording.  Starting in the early thirties she started working on radio programs "because I don't like the sound of my voice".  She worked on the Maxwell House Showboat series for 18 months and then the Camel Caravan for another 18 months.  If you assume she did approximately 5 songs per show that would be another 390 songs that she sang over the air for each of the radio shows or a total of 780 songs that could have been recorded.  On top of that she recorded at least one video of the Maxwell House showboat series.
Here is an example of one of radio broadcasts from WOR in New York:

Also from the same program is a review of the show that night:

Also from the same program is a list of the songs heard that night: