Danny Hoctor's Favorite
Tunes for Tap |
Hoctor Records Presents More Tunes for Tap
Two LPs from the Hoctor Records label, one of the most important in the history of dance instruction. Rollover the image to change album jackets.
I travel to the United States often and when I go, I spend a lot of time in used record shops. I go to the cast album and soundtrack section first, then jazz, vocals and of course I search for tap instruction records on every visit. In this dual display, I found Hoctor Records Presents More Tunes for Tap first. It cost $1.00 at a record shop on Market Street in San Francisco, more than 10 years ago. Then one day, on Ebay, I won the auction for Danny Hoctor's Favorite Tunes for Tap.
While building my collection of tap LPs and recordings for dance class, I have learned to appreciate how important the Hoctor Records logo is. The dancer in tails dancing on a record is not found often in used record shops. From a book called New York Tap Stories, written by Marika and published in Japan, I learned how this label specialized in dance music recordings and instructional records. I found out that both Danny Hoctor and his son are tap dancers, his wife was a Broadway ballerina, his daughter a show dancer, and each has their own line of instructional records.
As for the two LPs above, the bands are small; the arrangements are rather typical Vaudeville style, even including a short coda where the dancer can take a bow. These records don't remind me of the lush sound of Nelson Riddle, or any big budget recording, that's for sure. Still, you can imagine some small night club or cabaret in the 50's and it sure beats synthesized music from a computer.
As you visit the rest of my music gallery, you will see that sometimes different recordings use the same title, like "Music for Tap Dancing". Occasionally, you can find that one LP has been reissued over and over again by different labels, as the rights were sold and re-sold like Tap Dance Practice Record. With Tunes for Tap I recently learned that even Hoctor Records had two different versions. Am I obsessive, or just detail minded?
Danny Hoctor passed away in 2003. A biographical article on Mr. Hoctor and his wife, Betty appeared in Dance Magazine in September, 1998. You can read it if the copyright holders don't mind. Despite the significant role played by Danny Hoctor and his entire family, it appears there is still no web site dedicated to this important figure, nor one that offers a view of the complete Hoctor Records discography. Maybe that project is underway right now. I hope so.
— Shinichi Matsumoto
There's more from Hoctor Records in the Tap Wonderland Music Gallery.