Back to Pansy Craze Show

Other Artists Not on Pansy Craze Show


January 2018

Les Poe
Had I known about (or had the sound file) when I did my May 2010 show,
he would have been included. And even after doing extensive
research I could find very little about him, especially personally.

So I went to my friend Charles Cage who did some genealogy research:

He was born Les Dryden Poe on 8 Feb 1897 in Chilicothe, Ohio, son of John Reed Poe
and Eva E. Case. He was working at the Gem Theatre in Little Rock, Arkansas at the time
of his WWI draft registration in 1919, and he served in the Navy Jun 1918 to Sep 1921.
He married, on 15 Apr 1924 in Los Angeles, to Josephine Karey. The 1930 US census
lists him as a pianist in San Francisco, age 33; it says that he is married but his wife is
not listed with him, just a housekeeper/servant, Zerelda Sly (!). He appears on several
voter lists in San Francisco through the 30s, and the 1940 census has him still as a
night club musician in San Francisco (but now divorced). His 1942 WWI draft card puts
him in Woodside, CA and describes him as white, 6', 153#, blue eyes, brown hair and light
complexioned. On 26 Dec 1956 he married Dorothy Helen Zentner in Clark county Nevada.
Haven't found what became of her, but Social Security and veteran's records show that
Les Poe died on 23 Jan 1983, in San Mateo county California.

But the song that got me curious was...

Oh, Doctor! My Adjustment

which I now own.

Listen to Doctor

and, the flip side was "My Big Thrill,"
an ordinary hetero tune.
These were from early 1929

Listen to Big Thrill

From the Library of Congress search results, below, it appears
Poe only appeared on two recordings as a performer

Poe got quite a bit of attention from appearing on the Frank Shaw recording,
and it appears from clippings that he had a long engagement appearing with
Frank Shaw at Coffee Dan's, a San Francisco club

Listen, Parts I & II

Curiously, Poe is only credited as playing piano on Part 1.
According to label documentation, Side one was recorded on 9/1/28,
and Side two on 3/7/29, which may explain Poe only on one side.
Below, other scans of the labels.

below, more images, this time showing Brunswick sleeves


below, 1930 photo of Frank Shaw. I've found no photos of Les Poe.


"the internet" also says this is Shaw, I am skeptical


and I found one more crediting of Poe, as a co-writer, with
Frank Jenks and Johnny Petrone, recorded in June 1928.
Lanin was a reknown jazz band leader. I have not heard this one.
It was released on Okeh 41079 in the U.S....below is a UK version.


starting with the earliest mention of Poe, from 1922

And, at the Majestic in Arkansas in April 1922,
apparently known enough to get spotlight billing; he was 23





The Coffee Dan's Recording, advertized widely across the country by Brunswick


below, from Inside Facts, verifying a long run at Coffee Dan's


on the radio

as a club "the inimitable Les Poe"

with Frank Bowen, "the Personality Boy"



above left, also with Frank Bowen, part of his performing gang from the prior year





"The Sophisticated Satyr"



"naughty songs," compared to Dwight Fiske





1950, mention of his book


"master of blue satire...a bass-voiced Dwight Fiske"

unclear if that was supposed to be Poe in the drawing, found again
the next week when he had solo billing. If so, it's the only depiction
of him I have found


"the sophisticated satyr"
"one time the partner of Phil Harris"





another song copyright, unknown if recorded

1963, mention,
and looks like he wrote a book, "B-Girl"



1983 Obituary



I would Love additions to this info.......
.....if anyone can help, let me know.