ca 1928


Charlie Fuqua - guitar

Raymond "Syd" Valentine - trumpet

Fred Wisdom - ?

James "Slick" Helm - piano

Paul George - banjo

"Doc" Wheeler Moran -

The Patent Leather Kids was originally a 10-member band that was formed by Syd Valentine in 1928 in Indianapolis. [CD liner notes by John Wilby, Gennett Rarities, Jazz Oracle, BDW8009] Marv Goldberg mentions five members of this group in his book - Syd Valentine [Ballentine], Slick Helm, Paul George, Charlie Fuqua and Fred Wisdom. [More Than Words Can Say, 1998, p. 5]. John Wilby's liner notes identify one other member - "Doc" Wheeler Moran, who later went on to lead the Sunset Royal band that toured with the Ink Spots. Charlie Fuqua was a member of this band in 1928 when it played in and around Indianapolis until Valentine apparently accepted a job with Bernie Young;s band that played at Milwaukee's Wisconsin Roof. To date, no other references to this group have been found.

In 1929 Syd Valentine had a trio known as Syd Valentine's Patent Leather Kids and they recorded songs in Richmond, Indiana on 2Oct/29. The named members for this session were Syd Valentine, James Helm and Paul George. They recorded the four songs listed below and accompanied Horace Smith on four other songs. According to John Wilby, the original 10-member band had "little in common with the trio" so the Patent Leather Kids trio recordings that survive probably don't tell us much about the band's sound.

Syd Valentine's Patent Leather Kids in 1929 as a trio. These were three of the 10-member Patent Leather Kids band that Charlie Fuqua performed with in 1928.

There are no known recordings of the original 10 member "Patent Leather Kids" band which was formed in 1928 by Syd Valentine.

Syd Valentine's Patent Leather Kids recordings (all 2 Oct/29, Richmond, Indiana when this group was only a jazz trio comprising Raymond "Syd" Valentine - trumpet, James "Slick" Helms - piano and Paul George - Banjo):

Champion 40065, Jelly Bean Drag/Rock and Gravel
Gennett 7026, Patent Leather Stomp
Gennett 7071, Asphalt Walk
Gennett 7025, Mother-in-Law Blues/Love is Dead - Horace Smith vocal accompanied by Patent Leather Kids
Varsity 6064, Going Away and Leave My Baby - Horace Smith vocal accompanied by Patent Leather Kids
Champion 15882, Clickety Clack Blues - Horace Smith vocal accompanied by Patent Leather Kids

All of the above tracks are available on the CD titled "Gennett Rarities", Jazz Oracle, BDW8009

Revised 10Sep/03