In the late 1930s, cornetist Lu Watters was playing commercial dance gigs in the San Francisco area. Not satisfied with this music, he assembled a group of musicians to play traditional jazz music. His rehearsal spot was the Big Bear Lodge on Redwood Road in the Oakland hills. Rehearsing with him were trombonist Turk Murphy, trumpeter Bob Scobey, clarinetist Bob Helm, and pianist Wally Rose. His break came when the group landed a job playing at the Dawn Club on Annie Street in San Francisco. When San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen wrote a slightly disparaging piece about the band, supporters sent in many letters, creating publicity that boosted the band's popularity.
The band made several recordings for Jazz Man Records, which were issued in the UK on Melodisc Records, some which are:
Melodisc 1123 Original Jelly Roll Blues (Jelly Roll Morton)/ At a Georgia Camp Meeting (Mills)
Melodisc 1124 Daddy Do (Fred Longshaw) /Millenberg Joys Melodisc 1125 Muskrat Ramble (Kid Ory)/ Smokey Mokes (Holzman)
Melodisc 1126 Tiger Rag/Come Back Sweet Papa (Russell / Barbarin) Melodisc 1148 Creole Belles (Bodewalt)/ Chattanooga Stomp (King Oliver)
Melodisc 1149 Working Man Blues(King Oliver) / Big Bear Stomp (Lu Watters)
Melodisc 1150 Copenhagen (davis)/ Jazzin' Babies Blues (Jones)
Melodisc 1158 1919 Rag (arr. by Lu watters) / Ostrich Walk (Nick La Rocca) Melodisc 1170 South (Moten/Hayes)/ Richard M. Jones Blues Melodisc 1180 Friendless Blues / I'm Goin' Huntin' (Blythe/Bertrand)