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The jazz band's logo, featuring a dixieland band performing on the back of a horsedrawn wagon on a cobblestone street

Lu Watters and His World Famous Yerba Buena Jazz Band

In response to a reader who left a commenter asking for some jazz, we’re bringing this broadcast of Dixieland artists….

The Jazz Band's Logo, Featuring A Dixieland Band Performing On The Back Of A Horsedrawn Wagon On A Cobblestone Street

Lu Watters and his World Famous Yerba Buena Jazz Band, performing live at Hambone Kelly’s, 204 San Pablo, El Cerrito, California.

First Song Waitin’ for the Robert E. Lee

Vocalist: Clancy Hayes

The best we can date this is to say that research shows that cornetist Lucius (“Lu”) Watters opened his restaurant Hambone Kelly’s in 1947, and the band dispersed in 1950, so that places this recording during that period.  This KLX broadcast also says that the show was on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights at 11:30 p.m.


A very nice essay about and vintage photo of the restaurant and the area where it was located is here.

(Don’t miss the fun caricature of Watters that was used at the restaurant.)

This is some snappy, foot-tapping Dixieland music, performed live, that we hope you will enjoy.  And when you listen, take note of the amazing dinner prices!

To open this file you must use the password provided below, all lowercase, with underlines between each word.

Photos And Graphics Depicting The Words &Quot;Help&Quot; And &Quot;Chrs&Quot; And &Quot;Please&Quot;

And remember, it is on behalf of volunteers who want to keep this museum open that we ask you to pledge something so that we can continue to provide these files to you for free. 

UPDATE 12/28/13:  Please see the comment from Frank Selman below to learn the date of this recording.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. thanks for this rare dixieland gem! lu watters was in the beginning of the 40´s one of the white san francisco musicians who started the revival of this old jazz form. looking for more!

    keep boppin´

    1. Thank you for your comment, Marcel.

      We’ll try to bring you more Dixieland, but in the meantime, stay tuned for some more jazz, only of a different kind.

  2. These performances by the YBJB can be dated: KLX broadcast march 12, 1950,
    11.30 PM. from Hambone Kelly’s
    I can provide this information as I have a listing of the Lu Watters Archive made up
    by Lu Watters and Bob Helm.
    The band members on this broadcast are: Lu Watters-trumpet, Turk Murphy-trombone,
    Bob Helm-clarinet, Wally Rose-piano, Clancy Hayes-banjo & vocal, Dick Lammi- tuba, Bill
    I recently acquired a dozen YBJB acetates from the estate of Bill Raynolds, a YBJB
    afficianado. His daughter told me his huge collection was donated to CHRS. I am planning
    to issue a CD with unpublished YBJB-acetates.
    It would interest me what else the CHRS is holding in this field.
    Sincerely, Frank Selman.

    1. Thank you very much, Mr. Selman, for providing this information for our recording. We appreciate you making the records of CHRS and our downloaders more complete.

      I will ask that folks wait while we confirm this date, since the broadcast says that they happened on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and March 12, 1950 was a Sunday.

      I will contact you privately to answer your question about Mr. Raynolds’ collection, and to inquire after your log to confirm the date.

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