Welcome to Dixieland revival history.

It is hard to know for sure if the Yellow Dogs belong to the 3rd, 4th, or even the 5th generation of Dixieland revivalists with roots all the way back to King Oliver, Louis Armstrong and the Creole Jazz Band (CJB).

Now, Dixieland history was shaped by others besides Oliver and Armstrong, including The Original Dixieland Jazz Band (ODJB), Bix Beiderbeck and the Wolverines, Kid Ory, and Sidney Bechet, and their early recordings (CJB 1923, ODJB 1917, Bix 1924, Kid 1921 or 22, Sidney 1923). Since Dixieland's founding fathers threw down the proverbial gauntlet, enthusiasts and revivalists have kept the spirit of Dixieland alive.

It's anyone's guess when revival first broke out. The birth of Lu Watter's Yerba Buena Jazz Band (YBJB) in 1939 certainly established the beginning of one revival period. At first taking its style from the two-trumpet Creole Jazz Band style, the YBJB eventually dropped down to one trumpet before disbanding in 1950, but not before spawning countless other Dixieland bands up and down the West Coast and across the country. YBJB players Turk Murphy and Bob Scoby went on to form their own bands in 1951 and 1955 respectively.

Meanwhile, 1953 gave rise to Charles Sonnanstine's Dixieland Rhythm Kings, a very popular Dayton, Ohio group. In 1955, Robin Wetterau was added to the group on piano. In 1956, to further perpetuate their ideas about the sound of "traditional jazz", Sonnanstine and Wetterau moved to San Francisco and established the Great Pacific Jazz Band. Together, Sonnastine and Weterau transcribed and arranged nearly 240 tunes—that we know of—featuring two trumpets, and, by combining the styles of King Oliver and Lu Watters, the West Coast style of Dixieland playing was born.

Charlie and Robin eventually went their separate ways, each forming a number of other bands but leaving a legacy of traditional jazz music through great arrangements and transcriptions. Charlie retired to Sonoma, California and in his later years played in Ted Shafer's band, a group featuring the arrangements of Charlie and Robin. Robin Wetterau retired to Bradenton, Florida, establishing other groups including the Yellow Dog Jazz Band and even a junior youth version, the Yellow Katz. Robin died in 2000, but not before freely giving of his time, music library, and love of traditional jazz music to all who wanted to learn or just wanted to listen.

That's where the Robin Wetterau revival history ends and our history begins. If you haven't already, it's time to click on About the Yellow Dogs to see where revival history has taken us.