Dapper Dans playing Deagan Organ Chimes

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Deagan Organ Chimes

        "Hey guys, what are those things?"  John Calhoun Deagan (b. 1853, d. 1934) patented the Deagan Organ Chimes in 1900. They were made by his Deagan Manufacturing Company in Chicago, Illinois. In the Deagan Catalogue, he claimed his organ chimes were "universally conceded as being the greatest novelty instrument ever invented..." Deagan based them on the Indonesian bamboo angklung.

        When Bub Thomas joined the Dapper Dans he brought the Deagan Organ Chimes with him into the act, having used them in his previous quartets.  He got his set of chimes from his former vaudevillian friend and partner, comedienne/entertainer Billie Bird. Working clubs together in the 1940s and 1950s she taught Bub how to play the chimes, how to tell a joke and many other skills in being an entertainer.