Compiling a complete list of the recordings this magnificent guitarist played on would probably be easier than finding either his given name or surname spelled consistently in more than a dozen references. On the former count, uses of "Allen" seem to outnumber "Alan" slightly -- although the shorter spelling occurs with trustworthy sources including former students, employers, and publishers of Hanlon's books, none of whom may actually have anything at stake concerning which spelling of his first name is correct, not to mention a surname that has been presented in liner notes and reviews as both "Hanton" and "Hanion."

Hotshot guitarists such as Steve Kimock studied with this rose of a picker under any name. The Hanlon recording heyday extended from the early '30s into the '80s, although some later projects such as a guitar duo with Sal Salvador seem to be under-documented. Credits are often missing completely from the many recording sessions Hanlon had his hands on, although the belated interest in such session instrumentalists continues to fill in blanks. The guitarist is a participant in many classic sides by doo wop groups such as the Coasters and the Blenders, and takes part in early rock roll and RB efforts from LaVern Baker and Johnnie Ray, among others.

His jazz career thrived during this period, at least from an artistic standpoint if this type of work didn't provide enough financial backing to keep him off pop discs. Hanlon performed and recorded with Benny Goodman, tucking into the large shoes of guitarist Charlie Christian, but delivers some of his most swinging guitar playing in the ensembles of vibraphonist Red Norvo. This guitarist also played on the debut recordings of child star Leslie Uggams. His series of instructional guitar publications, often focusing on challenging scale patterns, include the evocative title -Kreuzer for Guitar. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

Good Bait - Sal Salvador & Allen Hanlon
Yesterday I Heard The Rain - Sal Salvador & Allen Hanlon
Aquarious - Sal Salvador & Allen Hanlon
Meditation - Sal Salvador & Allen Hanlon
Big Band Medley - Sal Salvador & Allen Hanlon
For All We Know - Sal Salvador & Allen Hanlon
Tango in D - Sal Salvador & Allen Hanlon
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