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Bring in the New Year with the Royal Melody Kings and Monte Carlo Beer

New Year’s Eve is tonight and to help you celebrate the occasion and bring in the New Year, we have this excellent photograph for you sent in by contributor Benjamin Ames.

A search uncovered that the Royal Melody Kings were from Brenham, Texas which is a small city located in east central area of the state. It was also discovered that the Southern Brewing Company of Houston, Texas began producing Monte Carlo Beer late in September of 1933 after “Near Beer” with a low 3.2 alcohol content became legal and shortly before the end of Prohibition on December 5, 1933.

It appears that the Brewing Company hired the band to help promote its new “Blue Label” beer. To the right of the musical group is a baby car complete with a loudspeaker used for the promotion of the beverage and behind both appears to be a 1929-’31 Chevrolet sedan delivery from Southern Brewing. Can any of our readers identify the maker of the small car?

We wish everyone a Happy New Year and will be using the three-day Holiday weekend to complete the 1914 Simplex Project and will return on Tuesday, to begin the seventh year of publishing the “The Old Motor.”

14 responses to “Bring in the New Year with the Royal Melody Kings and Monte Carlo Beer

    • And it’s a National guitar the guy is playing. Steel bodied resonator guitar favoured by blues player for slide guitar, and by Dire Straits ..

  1. Two accordions, a banjo, a drummer, and a steel guitar. I would have to drink a lot of beer . After a few hours that band might actually sound good. Happy New Year.

    • Reminds me of a dyptich cartoon I saw years ago…First pic, folks entering Heaven via the Pearly Gates are being issued harps; Second pic, folks entering Hades across the River Styx are being issued accordions.

      Happy New Year!

  2. Never heard of the Royal Melody Kings. Just another obscure Western Swing group. Western Swing music was the most popular music at that time in Texas. Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys and the Light Crust Doughboys were two of hottest bands and recorded extensively.

  3. The embossed picture frame on the Chevrolet truck hood side is a 1931-1932 truck feature copied from the 1931 car. The 1929-1930 did not have this feature. The headlights look like 1929-1930, but trucks often used up the old stock.

  4. The tenor banjo player is using a capo to simplify playing in “unusual” keys. Even that seems to be stressing him a bit! Is that a steel guitar or a dobro? Steel guitar is usually played sitting across the knees.

    All the instrument cases have signage for the band, but there’s no sign of a banjo case. I think that guy’s in a lot of trouble!

  5. THIS was when Public Address Systems (Looks like: 1928 or later) were new on the scene, thanks to the NEW “Talkies” Movies — circa 1925 . The JBL ( James B. Lansing) company on Casitas Avenue at Minneapolis Street in Los Angeles, — Zone 39 “Atwater Village”, (my neighborhood) made the larger Theater SOUND equipment and also made Portable Equipment as you see here in the photo. The spring wire supported microphone, is from the Universal Company, — across town, in Inglewood , Ca. The Audio Amplifier Tubes were AUDIONS from Lee De Forest Labs in Hollywood. This was powered by either an early 2 cylinder ONAN A.C. Generator, or from extension cords from a nearby A.C. wall plug. The little cycle car APPEARS to have a Henderson, Indian, or Ace 4 cylinder in- line Motorcycle engine , but the cycle car looks hand-made in a “SAVVY” garage/ shop! The band’s sponsor is apparent — as it looks like they are a captured employee band playing for free : NO smiles!!! the Guitar: Dobro, Acousitc from what I can tell. The accordions are NOT from HELL: They appear to be Swiss , Italian or German , (Western Europe style) on the left is a 120 Bass Piano Accordion and on the right , the Bass Section may have limited scope, as its “piano keyboard’ is also limited in length.

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