|Harold “Pappy” Mitchell|
Harold “Pappy” Mitchell Tests Horns for Olds
Harold “Pappy” Mitchell, lead trumpet at MGM Studios, tested trumpets for Olds. One trumpet Pappy tested extensively at MGM for Olds was the Recording model, but the horn pictured does not appear to be a Recording.
Also pictured is Mr. Stump, superintendent of the Olds factory, The cornet pictured (standing on its bell, the horn on the left) appears to be the Olds Standard model based on its “wrap”. Presumably the other two horns are the Standard and Super trumpets.
Note the unusual (for that era) rounded tuning slide on the trumpet Pappy is playing! I have not seen an Olds horn with that feature. Note also that the picture of Pappy seems to have been superimposed on a separate picture of Mr. Stump, so perhaps an artist edited the picture, which might explain the rounded tuning slide. Or perhaps it was an experimental model that did not make it into production.
Picture provided by Pappy’s son Ollie Mitchell. Ollie informs me that Pappy dated the ad as 1939.
Olds Ad from Down Beat July 15, 1949
The trumpet pictured is a Super Recording. Notice the forward “balanced” position of the valves, and the “tone ring” around the bell. The Mendez model trumpet was not introduced until (circa) 1952.
Another undated ad featuring Mendez. The trumpet has a trombone waterkey on the third slide and no brace on the tuning slide, so this might be a Super model trumpet.
Another Ad featuring Mendez with mention of the Ambassador line – based on information on the other side of this ad, it appears to be circa 1950.
Olds Mendez trumpet featured on an album cover.
The French Besson, which was copied to make the Mendez
Jonah Jones and his Olds Super
Time Magazine, Dec 13, 1963
Here’s yet one more top trumpeter promoting an Olds, this time the Olds Super.
The ad is for Olin Brass, but its main point is that Jonah Jones selected the Olds Super trumpet as his axe of choice (and that this trumpet, not coincidentally, was made of Olin brass). Jonah Jones (1908-2000) was a prominent jazz trumpet player with Dixieland roots but with a sweet swinging style all his own. He played with many of the greats, including Dizzy Gillespie and Cab Calloway. Perhaps his most famous (or infamous) accomplishment was shooting a spitball at Cab Calloway during a rehearsal. Cab thought Dizzy had shot it, and an ugly confrontation erupted that resulted in Cab being cut by Dizzy’s blade, and Dizzy being fired from the band. At least that’s the way I’ve heard the story told.
Based on numerous comments I’ve received, it appears that the Olds Super trumpet was the preferred horn of many professional players at least through the 50’s and 60’s, despite the fact that it was not the highest-priced model in the lineup. Great horns!
Art Schindelbeck (late 1950’s) with his Olds Mendez Trumpet
Pictured is Art Schindelbeck (on the right) posed with famed big band leader Buddy Morrow. Art is holding his Olds Mendez trumpet. Thanks to Art’s son Eric Schindelbeck for this photo!
According to this ad, Olds was using an epoxy finish on Ambassadors in 1966 rather than the earlier lacquer. Perhaps this explains why the finish on horns in the 500,000+ range seem to have held up much better than the lacquer on the earlier horns. (Ad provided by Wendell Johnson)
This ad was provided courtesy of Dr. Jochen Dornbusch of Germany.
Clark Terry with an Olds Clark Terry model Trumpet
from the 1977 Olds catalog
Clark Terry – Downbeat Ad
Clark Terry photo showing a Clark Terry Flugel and an unidentified trumpet
Blue Mitchell with Super Olds?
The waterkey on the main tuning slide is a dead givaway–this is an Olds horn. The oval bracing “pads” are another clue. The receiver pipe appears identical to my Super. Also the section of tubing between the bottom of the main tuning slide and the valve casing matches the Super. Could possibly be a Studio…