Big Bands


Kenton Interview, 1972


Charlie Barnet • 10/26/1913 - 9/4/1991 • Barnet, Charles Daly (Charlie) • alto, tenor, soprano sax, leader • Born: NYC.

"The Blackest White Band Of Them All"

Millionaire playboy and bandleader Charlie Barnet is one of the more colorful figures in jazz history. Barnet was born into New York high society in 1913. He rebelled against his parent's wishes that he study law and became a jazz musician instead. The free spirited Barnet, at just 16 years of age, led his own band on a transatlantic ocean liner crossing the ocean 22 times and later went to the South Seas and Latin America. He formed his first important band in 1933 and cut several sides in 1934 with an all-star group led by Red Norvo. In 1936, while playing with his own orchestra at the Glen Island Casino, he introduced vocal group the Modernaires, who later went on to fame with Glenn Miller.

Barnet first became well known in jazz circles as a leader of a band that played the Paramount Hotel in NYC in 1932. His fame also spread as a soloist on several Red Norvo Octet sides in 1934 including “The Night Is Blue” which also featured Teddy Wilson, Artie Shaw and others. This session helped break down racial barriers and was an example of what was to come for Wilson, Shaw, and Barnet. Barnet featured Lena Horne extensively in 1941 and later Roy Eldridge, Oscar Pettiford, Peanuts Holland and others. Lena Horne recorded "You’re My Thrill" with Barnet in 1941. In 1965 she wrote: "as far as color was concerned, it just never came up. I just felt safe with him."

The Barnet big band of 1939 to 1941 was his most well known and highly swinging outfit. Barnet's orchestra achieved public recognition in 1939 with their classic recording of "Cherokee," and soon his was one of the most popular bands in the country. Cherokee was his greatest commercial hit and it became his theme song. Both Billy May and Barnet contributed many fine songs and arrangements to this bands repertoire. Billy May (who later played with Glenn Miller, and then had his own band, sometimes backing Frank Sinatra) can often be heard soloing with the Barnet band on trumpet. Barnet employed such notable sidemen as guitarist Bus Etri; pianist Dodo Marmarosa; clarinetist Buddy DeFranco; and singers Lena Horne and Kay Starr.

Charlie Barnet was an outspoken fan of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, giving his tip of the hat to the two in titles like The Count’s Idea and The Duke's Idea. Charlie was mainly a tenor player, forming his style out of the Coleman Hawkins school.

So good was Barnet’s rapport with Duke Ellington that the Duke was one of the first to lend his charts to Barnet after the group lost all of their own arrangements (and instruments) in a hotel fire at the Palomar Ballroom on October 2nd, 1939. Barnet kept perspective: according to George T. Simon his comment was, "Hell, it’s better than being in Poland, with bombs dropping on your head." Not one to let things get him down, on October 9th, seven days after the incident, his band recorded the tune Are We Burnt Up, though never released.

So dedicated to the Duke was he that when he built a fallout shelter after the war he stocked it with a collection of Ellington recordings.

Barnet never recorded music or wrote tunes with much commercial aspiration and he denounced what Downbeat Magazine called “corn” or syrupy, schmaltzy, sweet music. His obvious sentiments regarding the subject can be heard on the hilarious lambasting of this style called The Wrong Idea, written by Billy May. In another song Barnet incorporated his nickname “The Mab” or sometimes “The Wild Mab.” Wild Mab Of The Fish Pond was so named after the loose Barnet band took an unscheduled, impromptu, inebriated dip in a hotel fountain. “Wild Mab” for Charlie Barnet and “The Fish Pond” code for the hotel fountain.

Charlie Barnet’s life reflected the color and looseness of his recordings and bands. He was married at least eleven times, often making newspaper headlines, and was one of the most talked about figures in jazz in the late 1930s and early 1940s. While his 1944 recording Skyliner became another big hit, his popularity and orchestras never achieved the same public acceptance or high level of output as between the years 1939 and 1941.

"Pompton Turnpike" celebrated Route 23 in New Jersey, the Newark-Pompton Turnpike, where the Meadowbrook was located, one of the most popular dance halls of the era.

Barnet said that bandmember Dodo Marmarosa once pushed a small piano off a third-floor balcony "to hear what chord it would make when it hit the ground."

When Barnet fronted Glenn Miller’s band while Miller was ill, he would have done it for nothing, but Miller insisted on paying him generously. When Barnet did a similar favour for Goodman, the latter gave him a cigarette lighter with an engraved inscription that had been altered; somebody else had given Goodman the lighter, and furthermore, said Barnet, it didn’t work.

By 1947 Barnet was turning towards bop. His later orchestra featured such well-known artists as Doc Severinsen, Clark Terry and Maynard Ferguson. Barnet, however, lost interest in his big band and dissolved it in 1949. He settled on the West Coast, occasionally leading a sextet or septet. Financially set, he never worried about making a living, dabbling in music publishing and the restaurant business in his retirement. In the mid-1960s he headed a big band organized specially for a two-week stint in New York's Basin Street East. He made his last recording in 1967.

Charlie Barnet’s recording affiliations included; MELOTONE in 1933, BLUEBIRD from '34-'42, DECCA from 1942-46, APPOLLO 1946-47, CAPITOL 1949-50, ABBEY in 1952, CLEFF-VERVE 1953-57, EVEREST 1958-59, CROWN 1960, HEP 1966, CREATIVE WORLD 1967. Barnet fronted an 18 piece band that recorded live at Basin Street East in 1966 for HEP. His last album, Big Band '67, was recorded in 1967 with a 19-piece band for the CREATIVE WORLD label.

Info sources:

Charlie Barnet "Big Band 1967" - (out of print, unavailable on most sites;) This UK site has an **LP** for US$12.60 (~£7.20) + shipping: £5.30 (airmail) / £2.85 (surface)

Google search for Charlie Barnet "Big Band 1967" (most sites show CD as "not available"



The name Tex Beneke is inevitably linked to that of Glenn Miller, despite the fact that Beneke outlived Miller by over a half century. As the most popular member of Miller's pre-World War II orchestra, featured on songs such as "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree," Beneke became a major fixture in the popular culture of the period, and following Miller's death in December of 1944, and the reforming of the Glenn Miller Orchestra after World War II, he accepted the offer to lead the new band.

Beneke, however, had a lot to offer the music world beyond his vocals on some fondly remembered hit songs. He began playing the saxophone at age nine, first with the alto and then with the tenor, and played in local and regional bands in Oklahoma and Texas during the early and middle 1930's. A gig playing with a band led by Ben Young brought him to Detroit, where he was spotted by Sam Donahue, then a saxman in Gene Krupa's band--Krupa was unable to hire Beneke but informed a friend of his in New York of this promising new player. The friend was Glenn Miller, who'd recently begun forming a band of his own, and Beneke was hired, joining the orchestra in the spring of 1938--it was with Miller's band that Beneke picked up the nickname "Tex."

The Miller orchestra struggled until the summer of 1939, when an engagement at the Glen Island Casino and a series of radio broadcasts made it a national sensation. Beneke played and sang with the orchestra, and became a star in his own right. He stayed until 1942, when Miller broke up the band to join the U.S. Army Air Force as a band leader. Beneke was drafted into the navy and led a military dance outfit at a base in Oklahoma.

After the end of the war, when a new Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed, Beneke took on the leadership, debuting in January of 1946 at the Capitol Theater in New York City. The orchestra, formed under the auspices of Miller's widow and his estate, was intended to emulate the sounds of the pre-war Miller band and his Army Air Force band--this included the presence of 13 string players in the 31 piece outfit, making it, along with Harry James's orchestra, one of the few big bands to include strings.

They were an immediate success, compiling an enviable array of hits for five years. One gig, in particular, stood out--in December of 1947, a year after the near-collapse of the big-band business, at the Hollywood Palladium, Tex Beneke and the Glenn Miller Orchestra played to a record-breaking crowd of 6, 750 dancers. Despite this extraordinary popularity, however, Beneke wasn't entirely happy with the restrictions placed by the estate on the band's music--they were required to stick entirely to the familiar reed-centered sound that Glenn Miller had practically trademarked. Although a reed player himself, Beneke saw other possibilities, but was never allowed to experiment, despite his protests that Miller himself had always been open to the idea of experimentation, and had expressed his intention to move away from his familiar reed sound after the war, having gone as far with it as he felt he could.

Finally, at the end of 1950, Beneke left the band and parted company also with Miller's estate. He later organized his own band which, like similar reconstituted big-bands led by '40s music icons such as Harry James, managed to thrive amid the rock 'n roll, folk-rock, psychedelia, disco, and punk eras, right to the present day. More than 60 years after he became a professional musician, he continued to lead big bands, doing the music that he helped popularized two generations ago. Beneke died May 30, 2000 at the age of 86. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide



Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller's reign as the most popular bandleader in the U.S. came relatively late in his career and was relatively brief, lasting only about three and a half years, from the spring of 1939 to the fall of 1942. But during that period he utterly dominated popular music, and over time he has proven the most enduring figure of the swing era, with reissues of his recordings achieving gold record status 40 years after his death. Miller developed a distinctive sound in which a high-pitched clarinet carried the melody, doubled by a saxophone section playing an octave lower, and he used that sound to produce a series of hits that remain definitive examples of swing music. Miller's approach is not much appreciated by jazz fans, who prefer bands that allow for greater improvisation than was found in his highly disciplined, rigorously rehearsed unit. But he brought the swing style of popular music to a level of sophistication and commercial acceptance it had not previously achieved and would not see again after his untimely passing.

Miller was the son of Lewis Elmer and Mattie Lou Cavender Miller. He lived in various locations in the Midwest while he was growing up. He first took up the mandolin, then switched to a horn. In Grant City, MO, where his family moved in 1915, he joined the town band and began playing trombone. By 1918, the family had moved to Fort Morgan, CO, where he played in the high school band and graduated in May 1921. He immediately joined the Boyd Senter band, but quit to start college at the University of Colorado in January 1923.

After a year, however, he left college and moved to Los Angeles, where he joined Ben Pollack's band. In the summer of 1928, he left Pollack and settled in New York, where he worked as a session musician and arranger.

Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, Atlantic City
Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, Atlantic City

In November of 1929, less than a month after the market crash, an original vocalist named Red McKenzie hired Glenn to play on two records that are now considered to be jazz classics: "Hello Nola" and "One Hour". The session is also historic for its integration of both black and white musicians in the studio. Besides Glenn were clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, guitarist Eddie Condon, drummer Gene Krupa and Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone. Glenn always felt that these two sides with "The Mound City Blue Blowers" represented his best-recorded trombone work.

When in the spring of 1934 Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey formed the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, he signed on as trombonist and arranger, remaining with the band almost a year. He left to organize an American band for British bandleader Ray Noble that made its debut at the Rainbow Room in New York's Rockefeller Center. Meanwhile, he was studying theory and composition with Joseph Schillinger.

In his years as a sideman, he saw how things got accomplished in the music business of the 30's. The bands were large, and the pay was low for those starting their own bands. Commercial success was a combination of fresh ideas, showmanship and a hard-nosed attitude. He was ready to try his perceptions with his own band. Right away musicians picked up on his authority in rehearsals. He knew how to ask a player exactly what he wanted from him musically, and he expected a serious answer. Some of the men he had hired were comparatively green to the players he was used to. However, they were what he could afford, and he was determined to make them succeed. If there was a problem with how to phrase the notes, he would stand in the middle of the men and play the phrase out on his horn.

Best of Glenn Miller Volume 3
Miller began recording under his own name for Columbia Records on April 25, 1935, using a pickup band containing members of the Noble orchestra. His instrumental "Solo Hop" reached the Top Ten in the summer of 1935. But he did not organize a permanent touring band of his own until 1937, when he signed to Brunswick Records. The group was not a success, and he disbanded it in early 1938.

In the spring of 1938, many of the disbanded musicians wanted Glenn to organize a new group. One night that spring in a small Cromwell, Connecticut diner, sax player Hal McIntire, a "discovery" of Glenn's who had played in the first group- and who had stored all of the Miller band's equipment at his family's farm in Cromwell- talked Glenn into it. Why there and then who can say. But that's where the second, and very famous Glenn Miller Orchestra was born. The organized band signed to the discount-priced Bluebird subsidiary of RCA Victor Records.

He managed to maintain this orchestra for the next year, but without any great success. Finally, with the backing of Cy Schibman, a Boston ballroom operator and band promoter, Miller got his big break with an engagement at the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, NY, in the summer of 1939. Glen Island was a major swing venue with a radio wire, giving the band extensive exposure. Already, Miller had hit the charts with the Top Ten hit "Sunrise Serenade"; soon, its flipside, "Moonlight Serenade," would become an even bigger hit. "Wishing (Will Make It So)" (vocal by Ray Eberle) hit number one in June. Ultimately, Miller scored 17 Top Ten hits in 1939, including the subsequent chart-toppers "Stairway to the Stars," "Moon Love," "Over the Rainbow," and "Blue Orchids" (all vocals by Ray Eberle), as well as "The Man With the Mandolin" (vocal by Marion Hutton).

Miller's recording success led to other opportunities. He became the star of the three-times-a-week radio series Chesterfield Supper Club in December 1939 and began the first of several extended engagements at the Café Rouge in the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York in January 1940, also appearing occasionally at the Paramount Theatre. He scored 31 Top Ten hits in 1940, more than three times as many as the second most successful recording artist of the year, Tommy Dorsey, hitting number one with "Careless," "When You Wish Upon a Star," "Imagination," "Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)," and "Blueberry Hill" (all vocals by Ray Eberle); "The Woodpecker Song" (vocal by Marion Hutton); and the instrumentals "In the Mood" and "Tuxedo Junction" (both of which were later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame).


Miller scored another 11 Top Ten hits in 1941, which was enough to make him the top recording artist for the second year in a row. His number one hits included "Song of the Volga Boatmen," "You and I" (vocal by Ray Eberle), "Chattanooga Choo Choo," from his first film, Sun Valley Serenade (vocals by Tex Beneke and the Modernaires with Paula Kelly), and "Elmer's Tune" (vocals by Ray Eberle and the Modernaires). "Chattanooga Choo Choo" was the first record to be formally certified a million-seller, serving notice to the business that the Depression was over at last; RCA invented the gold record gimmick for Miller.

The story was much the same on the recording front in 1942, 11 Top Ten hits and a third straight ranking as the year's top recording artist, the chart-toppers including "A String of Pearls," "Moonlight Cocktail" (vocals by Ray Eberle and the Modernaires), "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)," and "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo" (vocals on the last two by Tex Beneke, Marion Hutton, and the Modernaires). "Kalamazoo" came from Miller's second film, Orchestra Wives.

Glenn Miller and Orchestra
Yet 1942, the first full year of American participation in World War II, marked the end of Miller's dominance of popular music, since, after months of negotiations, he arranged to receive an officer's commission in the army air force on September 10 and, 17 days later, played his final date with his band, which he then broke up. He organized a service band and began performing at military camps and war-bond rallies while hosting a weekly radio series, Sustain the Wings. Nevertheless, he scored two more Top Ten hits in 1943, including the number one "That Old Black Magic" (vocals by Skip Nelson and the Modernaires). He took his band to Great Britain in June 1944 and continued to perform for the troops and do radio broadcasts. He was preparing to go on to Paris (which had been liberated ten weeks earlier) when, on December 15, the plane on which he was traveling disappeared over the English Channel and he died at age 40.

As Glenn's plane flew over the Channel, it was spotted by two crewmembers aboard an R.A.F. Lancaster bomber, returning from an aborted mission on Dec. 15, 1944. The bomber had just jettisoned its bombs into the designated area of water below, preparing for a landing in England. The navigator looked out of the little dome and spotted this aircraft, a Norseman...The rear gunner, who was looking around all the time, saw it tip up and go into the sea...he then asked on the intercom, "Did you see that kite go in?" Kite = a small plane.

"When we got back, we didn't go in for our normal debriefing because it was an aborted raid," he explained. We had some pretty grim raids then, and they didn't announce Miller's death until later. It had gone completely from my mind. We were fighting a war, and we lost thousands of planes." - [Thomas, Jo. 12/31/85 R.A.F. Bombs May Have Downed Glenn Miller Plane. The New York Times.]

Glenn Miller's Last Flight
"Glenn Miller's Last Flight"
Allied bombers returing from raids over Germany would dump any unused bombs over the English Channel, a maneuver which is suspected as the cause of Miller's plane's disappearance.
(Picture by Mark Postlethwaite: )
"Glenn Miller," an album of 78 rpm records, topped the newly instituted album charts in May 1945 and became the most successful album of the year. The Glenn Miller Orchestra was reconstituted as a ghost band after the war under the direction of Tex Beneke. In October 1947, Glenn Miller Masterpieces, Vol. 2 topped the album charts. Miller was the subject of a partly fictionalized film biography, The Glenn Miller Story, starring James Stewart, in February 1954; a soundtrack album of re-recordings not featuring Miller, released by Decca Records, hit number one in March. RCA Victor countered with the 10" LP Selections from the Glenn Miller Story, which hit number one in May. (The album was reissued as a 12" LP with a modified track selection in 1956 and was certified gold in 1961. In 1962, RCA Victor released Glenn Miller Plays Selections from the Glenn Miller Story and Other Hits, which had an identical track listing to the 1956 Selections from the Glenn Miller Story LP. It went gold in 1968.)

The Miller estate, having parted ways with Tex Beneke, hired Ray McKinley, a former member of the Miller band, to organize a new ghost band in 1956, and this Glenn Miller Orchestra continued to record and perform under various leaders from then on. In 1959, RCA Victor released a triple LP of previously unissued performances, For the First Time ..., which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by a Dance Band. Reissues of Miller's original recordings sold well perennially. The double-LP A Memorial 1944-1969, released in October 1969, went gold in 1986; Pure Gold, released in March 1975, went gold in 1984. In 1989, Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers sampled Miller's recording of "In the Mood" on their gold single "Swing the Mood." While RCA Victor remains the primary repository of Miller recordings and continues to reissue them in various configurations, other labels have also come up with airchecks and other stray recordings, making for a large and constantly growing catalog.
Edited; different sources, incl. William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide

Info source:,,468281,00.html - info on Miller & others;

Glenn Miller's Top Hits, Year to Year According to:

Blue Orchids - (#1)
The Man With the Mandolin - (#1)
Moon Love - (#1)
Moonlight Serenade - (#3)
My Prayer - (#2)
Over the Rainbow - (#1)
Stairway To The Stars - (#1)
Sunrise Serenade - (#7)
Wishing (Will Make It So) - (#1)


Blueberry Hill - (#1)
Careless - (#1)
Five O'Clock Whistle - (#5)
Handful Of Stars - (#10)
Imagination - (#1)
In An Old Dutch Garden - (#8)
In the Mood - (#1)
The Nearness Of You - (#5)
A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square - (#2)
Pennsylvania 6-5000 - (#5)
Starlit Hour - (#10)
This Changing World - (#8)
When You Wish Upon A Star - (#1)
When the Swallows Come Back To Capistrano - (#2)
The Woodpecker Song - (#1)


Chattanooga Choo Choo - (#1)
Elmer's Tune - (#1)
I Guess I'll Have To Dream the Rest - (#4)
You and I - (#1)


Always In My Heart - (#10)
At Last - (#9)
Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree - (#1)
Ev'rything I Love - (#7)
Humpty Dumpty Heart - (#23)
I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo - (#1)
Moonlight Cocktail - (#1)
Serenade In Blue - (#2)
She'll Always Remember - (#8)
Skylark - (#7)
The White Cliffs Of Dover - (#6)


Dearly Beloved - (#4)
In The Mood - (#1)
Jukebox Saturday Night - (#7)
Moonlight Mood - (#11)
That Old Black Magic - (#1)

Glenn Miller CD's

This wonderful single CD has nineteen (19) selections taken directly from the soundtracks of the two Glenn Miller motion pictures, with ORIGINAL performances of the classic Miller hits from the two Miller motion pictures, ORCHESTRA WIVES and SUN VALLEY SERENADE.

Amazon Listing for "Glenn Miller on Film" - Not in stereo. (Studios recorded the soundtracks in two channels for the purposes of equalizing the different sections of the band for the final mono soundtrack. The video of Sun Valley Serenade features these "stereo" tracks, but not this CD, going by the Amazon audio clips online.)



Ralph Flanagan produced what are arguably the most accurate Glenn Miller "imitation" recordings, adding the famous sound to songs outside the traditional Miller repertoire as well as to established Miller hits. Having recorded in the era when "high fidelity" was just getting its legs, these are likely the best balance between the genuine Miller product and clean-sounding wide-range recordings.

Bandleader, conductor, pianist, composer, and arranger for the orchestras of Hal McIntyre, Sammy Kaye, Blue Barron, Charlie Barnet, and Alvino Rey. He was educated at Lorain High School, where he was a member of the National Honors Society, the student senate and newspaper staff, Hi-Y and the chorus. During World War II he served in the Merchant Marine, and then by 1949 he formed a very successful orchestra which is credited with re-popularizing the Glenn Miller "sound", and which made many records, among them "Rag Mop" and "Hot Toddy". (The Flanagan orchestra's theme songs were "Giannina Mia" and "Singing Winds", the latter title also applying to the orchestra's singing group.) He joined ASCAP in 1950, and his popular-song compositions include "Hot Today" and "Flanagan's Boogie".

He was voted the "favorite band" in a number of early 1950s polls, played for over two million people in a year's time, and racked up big grosses, including some $600,000 in 1951 alone.

• given name: Ralph Elias Flenniken

• birth: Apr. 7, 1914, Lorain, OH

• death: Dec. 30, 1995

• education: graduated from Lorain High School, Lorain, OH, 1931

• military service: U.S. Merchant Marine, Oct. 1942-1946

• hobbies: piloting his own plane, woodworking, photography

• dislikes: "loud-mouths, wild clothes, bad drivers, and city life"

"Actually, his contributions were in what I'd call 'the arranging field,'" singer Harry Prime, who worked with Ralph Flanagan's band from 1949 to 1953, told me recently. "He was not a very personable guy. He was nice enough . . . but he was kind of shy . . . He didn't have many smarts about the music business, and I would call him a guy that was, sort of, 'a fish out of water,' because many times when we were playing ballrooms, as we traveled the country . . . we played every major ballroom and casino and hotel in America, and did it numerous times... and he would constantly be coming up to me and saying, 'What am I doing here? I just can't stand this being "in the fishbowl," all these people coming up and talking to me.' He was really not a guy that enjoyed the spotlight at all . . . He had been mainly a 'background' man."

"You gotta remember as we're talking about him that this was not the kind of guy that I would spend... When we would be off the bandstand, Flanagan was an entity unto himself. He didn't mix much with the other guys," Prime said. "When we were looking for a place to go have a beer, or something good to eat, he would be looking for a hobby shop. He loved to come on the stand with all these, like, cufflinks that lit up, and he was a strange guy to be in the music business . . . He just wasn't a party-type guy, and was totally different from most of the musicians that I knew . . . So there was no putting our heads together, consulting . . . He never said to me, ' What do you think you'd like to do?,' anything like that. He was a very hard guy to be real friendly with."

Flanagan had worked as pianist and arranger for Sammy Kaye's band from 1937 to 1941, and went on to write arrangements for Charlie Barnet, Boyd Raeburn, Tony Pastor, and, starting in 1946, Perry Como's "Chesterfield Supper Club" radio show on NBC.

"He had been an arranger and was a rather obscure guy in the recording business," Prime reflected. "But they found out that he had a flair for imitating other sounds, and probably his best imitation was doing the Miller sound."

Evidently, Flanagan approached Herb Hendler, a producer at Rainbow Records, in 1946, desiring to make a set of 78-rpm discs, "A Tribute to Glenn Miller."


Flanagan conducted the orchestra, which was built around a number of Miller alumni, including Bobby Hackett and Dale McMickle (trumpets), Al Klink and Ernie Caceres (saxophones), and Trigger Alpert (bass).

Hendler suggested using Miller's "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" as a guide.

Selections chosen were Make Believe and Always, two songs written in the 1920s (old); Low Gear and Come On In, two Flanagan originals (new); I'm Getting Sentimental Over You and Goodbye (borrowed from Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman, respectively); and St. Louis Blues and Basin Street Blues (blue).

Without question, the man most responsible for Flanagan's success as a bandleader was Hendler.

"He was a manipulative guy," Prime commented. "He was shrewd and he was energetic. He was very clever."

Hendler knew, for instance, the various artists-and-repertoire, or "a&r" men, at the record company.

"He had the contacts at RCA Victor, and once he got in with Victor, with Joe Csida and some of those other guys down there... [ Hugo ] Winterhalter and all, and Henri Rene... he had that contact," Prime went on. "He was a guy that would smile at you, but he would be picking your pockets while he was smiling, you know."

I asked how true was the story that RCA had confused Flanagan with the marvelous arranger Bill Finegan. Had Prime heard that?

"I heard it constantly," he laughed. "And I was constantly denying it. No, they wouldn't make a... when you think about it, they knew who Bill Finegan was. He had a big reputation... And he was around New York all of the time."

So, according to Prime, the story was a phony.

"You gotta remember, these people that were the major players in that world of the big band business and the entertainment business were usually crossing one another's paths every day, walking on the street, where they had lunch, you know. And it was a big thing where they converged on the Brill Building or the Gateway Restaurant or Lindy's or Jack Dempsey's Restaurant. And there was no way that RCA Victor could have mistaken Bill Finegan for Ralph Flanagan. But, what happened was the two guys that handled Flanagan realized that this would be a very big talking point and . . . they didn't deny it, they just let it fly. And the thing had legs, the story grew, and it became a story that looked good everywhere we went."

By 1949, the strike had been resolved and Hendler had joined RCA Victor. When the company wanted to revive interest in dance music, he turned to Flanagan.

"They decided to go for the big challenge and put out a Miller-type dance band, under Ralph Flanagan's name," Prime recalled. "So that's when they contacted me to be the singer with the band."

He was voted the "favorite band" in a number of early 1950s polls, played for over two million people in a year's time, and racked up big grosses, including some $600,000 in 1951 alone.

Flanagan, again mirroring Miller, even had a vocal group, which was called The Singing Winds. (Singing Winds was the name of Flanagan's theme song.)

Prime left Flanagan in 1953. "I'm listening to the radio and hearing guys like Eddie Fisher, Jerry Vale, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Steve Lawrence... and not a one of them ever sang with a band," he observed. "The format was changing while I was out there, trying to do what everyone said, 'This is the way you do it... the way Sinatra did it, the way Haymes did it, the way Como did it.'"

"But the format changed in those years after World War II," Prime said. "People didn't give a damn whether you sang with a band. In other words, if you were with Tommy Dorsey prior to World War II, that was the top of the rung . . . you were known all over America. After World War II, there were guys that sang with Tommy Dorsey and nobody even knows them today. That's how it slipped, the prestige angle."

"He came to Sunnybrook Ballroom, but what he was doing... he had disbanded his regular band, and he'd come into a town [ and ] he'd go to the union and get a bunch of musicians that . . . weren't really with him . . . He'd put the arrangements in front of them and they'd play his music. And I went up to Sunnybrook to see him . . . but that's the last time I saw him."

At this writing, it's been a decade since Flanagan's death, and more than 50 years (!) since Prime was the singer with his group. Although Prime was there from the start, recorded and traveled with Flanagan, and sang on a large portion of the band's selections, he was not given any choice in his material.

With Flanagan sometimes quoting, almost note-for-note, various bits and pieces of Miller's original arrangements on his new records, RCA's big promotional push behind Flanagan angered one of the men who had actually been a huge part of that sound with Glenn, Tex Beneke.

"It did, but Tex... I felt sorry for him in a way... but his demise was much his own [ doing ]," Prime observed.

Beneke was, at the time, leading the 'official' Glenn Miller Orchestra, also signed to RCA Victor, and wanted the group to progress, musically. "They created a demand by recording for about two or three months, in New York, with the best musicians in the city, what they call 'studio men,'" Prime noted. "And then when the band became popular, and people were demanding to see it, they auditioned young men who wanted to travel with the band and make a reputation with them. So the men who hit the road... the only one from the original group was me. The rest of them were guys that did not make the original records."


"He had an excellent band. I thought his band was better than Flanagan's," Prime told me. "But, he just didn't like that idea of playing the ghost band of Glenn Miller . . . He wanted to sound like the Tex Beneke Orchestra, and, believe me, to me that was a great sound. I loved the way the band played and sounded, and the things that they did. He had an excellent boy vocalist in Garry Stevens, and they did some real good things . . . RCA Victor was so insistent on continuing that [ original ] Miller sound that they looked around for a guy and found Flanagan."

Hendler and his business partner, Bernie Woods, pushed it to the point that Flanagan's band, following in Miller's footsteps, opened at the Cafe Rouge of the Hotel Statler in New York City on September 11, 1950, and was featured on the radio in a show sponsored, like Miller had been, by Chesterfield cigarettes.

Prime last saw Flanagan in 1958, when Flanagan appeared with a pickup band at a one-night stand in Pottstown, PA.

Some musicians then had reputations as drinkers; Flanagan would have a drink or two only occasionally.

"All he needed was to get two or three drinks in him and then he was like a guy who drank 'til he got stoned," Prime remarked. "But then he wouldn't drink again for about three months . . . He was an occasional drinker, but what an occasion when he did drink!"

Perhaps the most embarassing moment occured when Flanagan was arrested for public nudity.

"It happened in Atlantic City," Prime remembered. "He started drinking, one of those nights he decided he was going to 'pop a few,' and he went down on the beach and disrobed. And he was walking on the beach with no clothes on. They locked him up [ chuckles ]. I had to lead the band on the Steel Pier for about two nights."

Flanagan enjoyed flying his own single-engine plane to jobs, when possible. He escaped injury in 1954 when the light plane he was piloting crashed, as he was taking off from a Chicago airport. His plane was caught in the propwash of a four engine aircraft.

"Flanagan was just a so-so piano player," Prime reflected. "He was an arranger, and like most arrangers, they did their best work in what I'd call the 'shadows' of the band. And I think it proved true, because as soon as he got what he considered enough money to get out of the business, he got out fast and retired to Florida and became almost reclusive in his lifestyle. He had a chain of motels down there, or something like that . . . He's a guy that never sought the limelight and was uncomfortable in the limelight."

Still, Prime looks back on his vocals for Flanagan with satisfaction.

"No matter what key he put me in, I could sing it," he said. "And there were tempos that would have killed Ray Eberle, like You're Breaking My Heart and things like that . . [ the Miller band's ] arrangements were so much kinder to Ray Eberle . . . While I was vocalizing up front, Flanagan would be calling . . . 'Play louder, play louder!' You had to battle the band all the time."

No wonder Prime is excited about the freedom he has enjoyed during the last few years, singing at a restaurant about 30 miles outside of Philadelphia.


Samples of Ralph Flanagan music - Amazon



Glenn Miller vocalist and orchestra leader Ray Eberle was the brother of Jimmy Dorsey singer Bob Eberly. Ray had no professional experience when he joined Miller in 1938. Miller, looking for a male vocalist for his new orchestra, asked Bob if he had any brothers at home that could sing. Bob said ''yes,'' and Miller hired Ray without question.

Though not all music critics were impressed with Ray's voice, he became an integral part of the Miller line-up, singing on many of the group's biggest hits. Even Miller's own musicians weren't happy with Eberle's style and often voiced their complaints, but Miller stuck with him. It was his lack of discipline that ultimately led to his departure from the group in 1942, though the actual event that led to his dismissal was beyond his control. Stuck in traffic during a Chicago engagement, he was late for rehearsal. Miller fired him on the spot, no questions asked. Eberle responded by blasting Miller in a trade paper. An angry Miller retorted with his own version of Eberle's firing.

Despite the riff with his former boss Eberle soon landed a job with Gene Krupa. He stayed only a short while, though, leaving to go solo. He starred in several movies in 1943, but before the year was out he entered the army. When his tour of duty ended in 1945 he formed his own orchestra, which drew on his past life with Miller. The group broke up in the mid-1950s, after which Eberle continued singing, often appearing on television. In 1970 he joined former Miller bandmate Tex Beneke's orchestra for a national tour. He later re-formed his own orchestra. Ray Eberle died from a heart attack in 1979.



Kenton Interview, 1972

Stan Kenton's orchestra captured the world's imagination in the late 1940s, just as other swing bands were fading. For the next three decades, he would be the most popular bandleader who played what was, essentially, art music. Kenton's band didn't play primarily for dancers. Unlike Woody Herman's, it didn't have an entertaining, singing showman up front. Yet Kenton was a master of marketing: He packaged and sold the concepts of newness and modernity to a pop-music audience.

At first his experiments ran parallel to the beboppers, who were likewise introducing a more sophisticated harmonic system into jazz. In a different manner than Dizzy Gillespie, Kenton introduced Afro-Cuban polyrhythms to North America. His music was at once futuristic, masculine and highly romantic, and his fanatical followers were the jazz equivalent of Trekkies.

Stan Kenton was born in Wichita, Kansas on December 15, 1911, and raised first in Colorado, then in California. He learned piano as a child, and while still a teenager toured with various bands. He attended Bell High School, in Bell, California, where he graduated in 1930. In June 1941 he formed his own band, which developed into one of the best-known West Coast ensembles of the 1940s. In the mid-1940s, Kenton's band and style became known as "The Wall of Sound", a tag later used by Phil Spector.

Kenton played in the 1930s in the dance bands of Vido Musso and Gus Arnheim, but his natural inclination was a band leader. In 1941 he formed his first orchestra, which later was named after his theme song "Artistry in Rhythm". A competent pianist, Kenton was much more important as an arranger and inspiration for his loyal sidemen.

Kenton spent the summer of 1941 playing regularly before a very appreciative audience at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa Beach, CA. Kenton, who enjoyed high-note trumpeters and thick-toned tenors, struggled a bit after its initial success. Its Decca recordings were not big sellers.

By late 1943 with a Capitol Records contract, a popular record in "Eager Beaver", and growing recognition, the Stan Kenton Orchestra was gradually catching on. Its soloists during the war years included Art Pepper, briefly Stan Getz, altoist Boots Mussulli, and singer Anita O'Day. By 1945 the band had evolved quite a bit.

Pete Rugolo became chief arranger (sharing Kenton's ideas), and June Christy was Kenton's new singer; her hits (including "Tampico" and "Across the Alley From the Alamo") made it possible for Kenton to finance his more ambitious projects. A popular recording of "Laura" was made, the theme song from the film Laura (starring actress Gene Tierney), and featured the voices of the band.

Calling his music "progressive jazz," Kenton sought to lead a concert orchestra as opposed to a dance band at a time when most big bands were starting to break up. By 1947 Kai Winding was greatly influencing the sound of Kenton's trombonists, the trumpet section included such screamers as Buddy Childers, Ray Wetzel, and Al Porcino. Jack Costanzo's bongos were bringing Latin rhythms into Kenton's sound, and a riotous version of "The Peanut Vendor" contrasted with the somber "Elegy for Alto". Kenton had succeeded in forming a radical and very original band that gained its own audience.

In 1949 Kenton took a year off. In 1950 he put together his most advanced band, the 39-piece Innovations in Modern Music Orchestra that included 16 strings, a woodwind section, and two French horns. Its music ranged from the unique and very dense modern classical charts of Bob Graettinger to works that somehow swung despite the weight. But from a commercial standpoint, it became impossible. Kenton managed two tours during 1950-1951 but soon reverted to his usual 19-piece lineup.

In the mid-1950's, Kenton returned to a swinging period which was quite successful and produced some new recordings of his classics "in Hi-Fi" for Verve Records.

Kenton's manner seemed far from the wild-eyed avant-gardist his music might suggest; his style was buttoned down and conservative. He never appeared in less than a suit and tie and conducted himself like a combination of college professor and church leader.

Kenton's last successful experiment was his mellophonium band of 1960-1963. Despite the difficulties in keeping the four mellophoniums in tune (the "mellophonium" was a newly-engineered instrument offering a sound somewhere between a trumpet and a trombone), this particular Kenton orchestra had its exciting moments; the albums "Adventures in Jazz" and "West Side Story" each won Grammy awards in 1962 and 1963. Kenton Plays Wagner (1964) was produced in concert with his interests in jazz education and encouraging big band music in high schools and colleges instructing what he called "progressive jazz." Stan knew what he had in the body of work that was The Stan Kenton Orchestra and in the remainder of his life and career, he took on the challenge of ensuring his legacy that was Progressive Jazz.

In the early 1970s Kenton split from his long-time association with Capitol Records and formed his own label, "The Creative World of Stan Kenton". Recordings produced during the 1970s on this new label included several "live" concerts at various universities. Kenton made his charts available to college and high-school stage bands. When Kenton took to the road during the early 70's, he took with him seasoned veteran musicians, teaming them with relatively unknown young artists to mentor America's youth and take advantage of the unchecked energy in those young players, andpreserving the legacy of his work as an active music form. New Kenton arrangements (including those by Hank Levy, Bill Holman, Bob Curnow, Willie Maiden and Ken Hanna) expanded the repertoire.

Jack Sandmeier, Road Manager during these years, tells the story of an unusual meeting in a hotel lobby lounge between Woody Herman and Kenton. Unusual because they both toured more than fifty weeks a year "one-nighters," in order to keep their respective bands on the road, they hardly ever met. As Kenton discussed a chronically late band member, Herman said to him, "Fire his ass, there's thousands of them and only two of us."


He had an aneurysm in 1972 and recoverd, returning to the bandstand. He had a skull fracture from a fall in 1977 while on tour in Reading, PA. Kenton continued leading and touring with his big band up to his final performance in August 1978. He suffered a stroke in August 1979, from which he did not recover.

  • Born December 15, 1911, in Wichita, KN; died August 25, 1979, in Hollywood, CA; married three times; three children; several grandchildren.

"From the time I was fourteen years old, I was all music," he told Carole Easton in Straight Ahead: The Story of Stan Kenton. After graduating from high school in 1930, the music-crazy Kenton scraped out a living as a musician for five dollars a night playing speakeasies and gambling halls in San Diego and Las Vegas. Info source:,,452684,00.html#bio

Article on Kenton, Capitol, Sinatra, "Live at Basin St. East" ...

Wikipedia: Stan Kenton

Amazon List: Kenton Books


Stan Kenton Interview, 1972

Interview Copyright © 1972 Les Tomkins.

Skip to Next Section

Q: Stan, the band sounds marvellous. Would you say that this is as good as the best of your bands in the past?

A: Yes, every bit as good; in some ways better. You know, each band has its own personality. It's because of the musicians that make it up. The overall direction, purpose and sound are the same. But some people think this is the best band that I've ever had.

Q: Well, I heard it at Croydon, and I gather from members of the band that it wasn't necessarily the best night it's had. All I can say is: it sounded quite superb to me.

A: They got involved with the record they were making, and recording, as you well know, is quite an emotional experience. Sometimes the guys are not quite objective about themselves. People that have recorded for a long time know: with a particular kind of music like ours, it sometimes takes an engineer and the technicians a while to get acquainted with how they're going to handle it.

And the fellows heard the first playback or so, and it was all mixed up and wrong; the engineers hadn't found themselves yet. So they formed rather a false impression. That's one of the advantages of some of the older guys, I guess: they know what is happening. But the younger guys, as well as they play, sometimes say: "Oh, it's gonna be terrible here." It affects them psychologically.

Q: How did it go at Ronnie's?

A: Very good. We played the first two sets down there in the dark, you know, due to the power cuts. I've never played the club before; I was in there once in 1969. But I think they were happy.

Q: Generally speaking, you play more concerts than clubs, don't you? You'd call it a concert band, would you?

A: Oh yes, definitely. Occasionally we'll play a dance, but mostly we play music for listening, either in a concert situation or in a club situation. I like to think that ours is music for music's sake. Whenever you play dance music, it serves a function, it becomes a utility; you have to worry about the tempos and what you're going to play for people. But when you're playing for listening, you're free; you can create the music you feel that you want, and don't have to adhere to any standards.

Q: After all these years in the business, it's obvious, from seeing you in front of the band, that you're just as enthusiastic and as concerned about your music today as you ever were. The years haven't made you blasé at all?

A: No-not at all. I'm glad that you say that. It's a compliment, and I don't really know why it is. It's just the way I am.

Q: You just feel that you have a standard, and you must always uphold it?

A: Well, I feel that I must approve of what we're doing first, before I can ask anybody else to approve of it. And I have never tried to study surveys or go into any kind of research to find out what people want, what they like, and try to give it to them. I don't think that's our purpose- or mine, anyway. It's any artist's purpose to create the finest thing they know how to create, then present it to the public and hope for acceptance.

Q: Well, over the years you've had a mixture of reactions. Some of your most progressive things have possibly not gone as well as you would have hoped. I suppose you'd say that, along the line, you'd had to make some concessions.

A: What you say is true. It's a case of making compromises to gain an end. But if you start compromising and you forget about what the end is supposed to be, then that's bad. You've got to know where you're going.

Q: In recent years, since you were in this country in 1963 with the mellophonium band, we've heard some reports of your activities but, until recently, very little on records. We heard you were involved with the Neophonic band; was that a regular organisation or strictly devoted to students?

A: Let me explain it to you like this: I had two small children at home, and there was no mother. I tried to maintain as normal a home as possible for them when they were little. So my tours had to be limited to six or eight weeks in the Spring, and about the same amount in the Fall.

And it was during this period that the Neophonic was started in Los Angeles, in order for me to be at home. Now, of course, the children are older, and they're in school; it gives me a chance now to get back to music fulltime.

Which we've been doing for the last year and a half or two years. But to answer the question about the Neophonic; it was started mainly because of a particular need. The modern composers today, that are writing the art music-as we might call it-are writing because they have evolved in jazz, and they're thinking in terms of jazz.

But they can't get proper performances on their music by symphony orchestras-because it has to be interpreted and played by jazz musicians. And there was no outlet for them.

So we created the Neophonic as a showcase for modern composers that are writing in the jazz idiom, that are trying to write, not dance music, film music or TV music, but the finest music they know how.

It gained quite a bit of artistic recognition, but again, as with things like that, we had financial problems. Possibly one day, when I dissolve this band and go home, I'll get the Neophonic going again.

Q: But what came out of that? Did you get some composers off the ground?

A: Yes. The important thing that came out of it is: the thing was picked up by some of the colleges and universities in lieu of their concert bands. That is to say, the concert bands based on the traditional approach to concert music; whereas the Neophonic is based upon jazz.

There are now some college and university Neophonic bands going around the country. The most active has been the band at Cerritos College-a twoyear college in the suburban part of Los Angeles, in s town called Norwalk-the Collegiate Neophonic; that keeps going all the time. Some of the guys in the band that I have right now came out of the Collegiate Neophonic.


Q: You reached a certain point, apparently, where you felt that your musical output was in danger of being heard no longer; you discovered that some of your original masters were being deleted. You took positive action about that, didn't you?

A: Well, it's because of marketing conditions in the States. Capitol were the ones that started it, really. They decided that they would close up their branches; they used to have branches in every major city, with promotion men and their own samen. They conceived the idea of making a bigger profit if they would give the records to independent distributors who later became known as `the rackjobbers'. These are the fellows that put the records in the supermarkets and drug stores and made them available that way. They're at cut prices; also they wanted to sell to most of the people most of the time so what they did: they started marketing only kids' music, you know. I guess it's because a lot of adults have kids' minds also.

Jazz was just disappearing everywhere; so was classical music. There was really no place for people who had sophisticated tastes to find the music that they wanted. So I could see us going down a one way street with a dead end. And when there are so many important jazz artists walking around in the States with no record contracts at all, it's not as it should be.

When Capitol as a company fell apart and these practices were the reason for it falling apart then all of our stuff was deleted. Whereupon I made a deal with Capitol Records to lease back to me the important masters that we had recorded, and we formed The Creative World out of that.

Q: So now you have complete control of all your recorded repertoire, do you?

A: Yes, and we're now in the process of opening up manufacturing and distribution in Europe, and also in Great Britain. We have to do that.

As well as reissuing older material, you've made some new albums for this label with the present band? We've got about three so far, but we're going to make more.

One was the Redlands session; another, released recently, was made at Brigham Young University, which is out West; in the state of Utah. Both of them are double album packages, recorded live.

Q: Since taking your affairs into your own hands in this way, have you found a reawakening of interest?

A: Oh, certainly. I can even see it over here, and The Creative World doesn't mean anything yet. But I believe we're better off this time than we were in '63, when we were here. I don't know whether it's a new interest in big band jazz or what, but I do feel there's some reason for it.

We're kinda lucky over in the States, in that we have our constant activity in the schools. Be cause all you get on the air is what we call `format radio' which is the top twenty or the top forty over and over again, all day long. You don't hear jazz. So, when we go into the schools the young musicians get to hear this music, and they never heard it before. It's quite a different experience for them.

And the exciting thing is, most of the schools all have jazz bands even the junior high schools. Some of the universities have as many as two and three bands. In Denton, Texas, at North Texas State University, there are eleven bands going there every day twenty two musicians in each band, and no one man plays in two bands. So it gives you an idea of the activity in big band jazz. If all this is any indication as to the future, I look for a most exciting future for the big band jazz. There's new blood coming all the time.

Q: Would you say this was some kind of reaction against the predominance of rock type groups, or has it any thing to do with some of the rock groups seeing the light and adding horns?

A: I do think that the rock groups that have added horns have helped. Especially when Blood, Sweat And Tears came along as well as Chicago. A lot of the young people thought that jazz was old fashioned, you know because of the way their parents talked about it and they want their own music. But when they heard these groups playing this music, these long, extended improvisations and everything, they thought they were listening to rock music. It wasn't it was jazz.

Like, there was a cute thing when we played a date up in Toronto, Canada. We did an afternoon three hour session at this high school, and they in vited young musicians and teachers from all over the To ronto area to be there. We had, I guess, about eight or nine hun dred young players there. And we always start the clinics with a demonstration concert that lasts about forty five minutes; so that the people can hear the band play and watch the fel lows; because the fellows work with them the rest of the after noon. It's a kind of a `getting acquainted' period.

So that night where we were playing, in the hotel there, a woman came up to me and she said. "My son was at your clinic this afternoon." I said: "Was he? What does he play?" and I think she said trombone or something.

"Did he like it?" I asked her; she said: "Oh yes, you know what he said? He said the band sounded like three Blood, Sweat And Tears and three Chicagos going all at the same time ! " If they can just get exposed to it that's the thing. I think, too, that in the watering down of music, trying to appeal to the kids, they haven't had a chance to even have any choice in sophisticated things. They've just listened to their music all the time.

Q: Do you: think the word jazz itself has become a kind of stigma?

A: Well, it seems to have put young people off. But I think we'll probably always use the word, although there have been some times when all of us thought we should call it some thing else but it's still jazz. Duke one time said : "I think we need a new word."

Q: You've worked with young musicians at all times in your bands. How would you compare today's musician ship with past eras?

A: There are more musicians today than ever before; it just seems like they're everywhere. And they play much better than the older fellows.

Q: Why is that, do you think?

A: They're better educated; I think they're more dedicated, and I think their values are different. And maybe the element of competition, too, because they know that if they don't practise and study there's another guy who's studying and practising who is going to get ahead of him. So it's really a delight.

The thing that concerns me a lot, is: where are the leaders? There are plenty of musicians; but it seems like the young guys that should organise and get things together are not showing themselves. It takes a young leader to come along, and he has to say to himself: "I want to lead a band, and I'm' sure that I'm right and everybody else is wrong and I'm gonna prove it." That's what makes a leader.

Q: Well, that's what you did back in the 'forties, after all.

A: I think so-yes.


Q: They seem to be looking to other people to take the lead, do they?

A: I don't know, but they're not coming forward. Well, there are two or three young guys in the States, that I think something might happen with. Maybe there's just the feeling of not wanting to sacrifice what you have to sacrifice to get something going. There's been Don Ellis; and we have Tommy Vig in Los Angeles, too-he's a very capable personality and musician, but so far he hasn't been able to get anything off the ground. He came from Hungary to the States-a brilliant drummer and arranger in the big band idiom.

Q: Speaking of musicianship hearing this band of yours play an old score like "Opus In Pastels", although they were playing the same notes, they phrased them their own way, and it became like a new composition based on the old one.

A: Yes. Well, I feel this way about the band: I want the band to sound different every day we play. Not completely different, but I think it's very important that the band has a sound of spontaneity about it. If you take a piece of music and rehearse it to such a fine degree, and insist that the band plays it the same way all the time, it becomes static, and there's really no emotional content in it.

I tell the Soloists that they should take chances; they must, because out of taking chances they forge ahead. And the rhythm players especially I'd like them in a constant state of creativity. Don't play the same thing every time, you know.

That's why I'm so fond of Von Ohlen and Worster, too-they are creators. And when Von Ohlen is playing drums, he's thinking every second; he's not remembering how he played it yesterday. That's what I think makes a band exciting. When I'm conducting things, I conduct it different every time.

Q: The one very obvious thing which also strikes me is the rapport between you and the band. This has always been your attitude to band leading, has it? You've never felt that it was necessary to be the kind of remote tyrant that some leaders have been.

A: No; it's an organised thing. There has to be some kind of subconscious communication that goes on, and it's my jab to draw energy from them, to know when there should be restraint and when I should let it go free. We don't have the feeling, like a lot of bands do, that I am the leader and I'm supposed to be called Mr. Kenton and that sort of thing. They know I'm the leader.

A cute thing on the subject: there was a man that came to Zurich from Holland to do a newspaper story; and I was sitting in a coffee shop with him. The musicians kept coming in and going out, and they'd say: "Hi, Stan" and I'd say "Hi" to them. All of a sudden this Dutch fellow said: "I notice they don't call you Mr. Kenton." And I didn't know what to say to him.

I finally teased him, and said : "No, they don't. I try to get them to, but they won't."

Q: Well, I suppose that kind of a relaxed out look is something that some people might find hard to understand.

A: People can't understand why I stay in the same hotel with the band; they think I should be at another hotel. Other times, people will offer to drive me to different places in a car; but the band goes on a bus, and I have to be with them.

Q: But for four months recently you weren't with the band. And yet it held together.

A: Yeah, it was a phenomenal thing. I never thought they'd make it, but they did. I think everybody in the trade looks on it as such an unusual thing, that they were able to do it. No one could have expected them to last for four months without me. Because musicians, to play this kind of music, have to be geared pretty high, you know, and when people are in that high gear, you can sometimes have trouble personality clashes and so forth. But they didn't. No one man was changed.

Interview Copyright © 1972 Les Tomkins.



Artie Shaw

Shaw's exit from music raises at least one contradiction, Sudhalter said. "If you take him at his word, that he so loathed the jitterbugs, why did he keep coming back to it? If something is sufficiently repugnant to you the natural response would be to say, 'Screw this,' and become something else. I don't doubt he's disdainful, but why did he keep organizing bands and doing all the things that would elicit these very responses from audiences? There's a paradox there."

Shaw also was notoriously temperamental, a crusty band leader who denounced jitterbugs as "morons" in a 1939 interview, insulted fans for invading his privacy and openly chided the industry that drove his career.

"When people came up to me during work and said something I didn't like, I told them to go to hell," Shaw wrote in his 1952 autobiography, "The Trouble With Cinderella: An Outline of Identity."

This topic triggered his legendary temper during an interview in March. "I hated the audiences," he bellowed. "And I hated the ambience -- bloodsuckers, the agents, the a‑‑holes. I couldn't handle that."

Shaw formed roughly a dozen bands during his career. To satisfy creative yearnings, he assembled large groups with lush string sections, often rejected by fans and occasionally critics. When those failed commercially, he toggled over to stock swing bands that cranked out "Beguine" and other popular standards he regarded as pabulum. Fans ate it up.

Shaw credits psychoanalysis for saving his life, that is, giving him the strength to leave the music business, which he believes was sapping him emotionally and physically. But fans, friends and musical peers still lament his exit, seemingly at the top of his craft.

"I was going around the country doing my impression of Elvis," Shaw said, a comment that drew a round of good-natured laughs. "I was that big a star, believe it."

Shaw derides Glenn Miller as the Lawrence Welk of jazz. His music carries no surprises and it doesn't take you anyplace special beyond the dance floor.

On Benny Goodman: "He never went past the original four, five, six chords. He didn't understand bop. He didn't understand what was happening to his music. What he did was very good, but it was in its time."

Woody Herman: "He knew he wasn't a very good clarinet player, but he was an excellent bandleader. So everybody does what he's got to do."

Gene Lees, 74, (songwriter and former editor of Down Beat magazine) once a longtime friend of Shaw, called him "one of the most evil men I've known in my life." Then, as now, Lees declined to elaborate, saying only that Shaw "has hurt so many people." Lees called Shaw a "chronic ingrate" who "didn't appreciate his own success" and "quit being a first-rate musician to become a second-rate writer." Sammy Cahn devoted an entire chapter in his memoir to Shaw, blasting him as an "empty man," devoid of heart.

Asked to respond, Shaw waved his hand and said, "I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of saying anything. Let 'em wonder."

Arthur Jacob Arshawsky was born May 23, 1910, to Jewish immigrant parents in New York City's Lower East Side and raised in New Haven, Conn.

As a child, Shaw received anti-Semitic taunts. The episodes haunted him. As a musician, he realized he could pass as gentile and avoided revealing his Jewish roots to fellow musicians. It wasn't until he wrote "Cinderella" that he confessed his shame over his Jewish identity.

"It took me a long time to get over the impact of it," Shaw said. "It gave you a sense of inferiority, so you had to prove you were better. It had something to do with my drive. If you press a spring hard enough, it will jump farther. So I guess my ego was squashed enough so it had to burst out."

His parents split up when he was 13, and Shaw's relationship with his father was "nonexistent," he said. "I think he was very self-involved. He wanted to be something else. He never could quite make it, so he was very bitter.

"To this day, I remember at 10 o'clock at night, 'Go out and get me a pack cigarettes,' " he said, mimicking his father's Yiddish accent and syntax. "Lord Salisburys, he smoked," Shaw said, and then, after a thoughtful pause, repeated the brand name, chuckling at the memory. "And I was always very resentful of that."

Artie Shaw said in a recent article, "Love is an agreement between two people to overestimate each other."

He says that women used to scratch their phone numbers in the paint of his car, and they'd tear his clothes off, tear his tie, tear his shirt buttons. Things like that.

With Lana Turner, they eloped on the first date. "It became kind of her game of chicken," Shaw said. " 'You don't mean that.' 'Yes I do.' 'Try me.' 'All right, come on.' "

Glamorous women became synonymous with Shaw. Historians record eight marriages. Shaw likes to say seven, including Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, Kathleen Winsor, Betty Kern, Doris Dowling and Evelyn Keyes. "The first one wasn't even a marriage," he said. "It was annulled. It didn't exist. But seven is quite a few. I kept practicing."

Shaw's fingers ran glissandos across imaginary clarinet keys in the air. "All night long, all day long, my fingers are doing that," he said, his voice rising in pitch with a palpable tone of annoyance. "And I have to remind myself when I get tense not to do that anymore."

Does he miss performing? A wan smile creased his lips and Shaw responded with a pat anecdote:

"I told someone this the other day," he said. "If you had an arm that was gangrenous and you had to have it cut off, would you miss it? Probably. Of course you'd miss it. But it saved your life. So I had to get rid of that driven thing. It would have killed me."

Another article: Cache of article (0rig. site down)

Google search on Artie Shaw


Vaughn Monroe


1945 Promotional.

Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York all could claim Vaughn Monroe as their product. And all could support their claims, because the "life and times" of America's top bandleader ahs given him roots in many localities.
Vaughn's first home was in Akron, Ohio, where he was born October 7, 1911. At the time, the senior Monroe was working in a rubber processing factory, but soon moved to Cudahy, Wisconsin, and later to Jeanette, Pennsylvania. It was in Jeanette that Vaughn was graduated from high school in 1929. While there he also met Marian Baughman, who is now Mrs. Monroe. At the senior prom, Mrs. Monroe relates, Vaughn, who had been voted the "boy most likely to succeed," was supposed to lead the grand march. Ten minutes late, Vaughn rushed breathlessly into the room and informed Marian that he had just won a trumpet contest in a nearby town. Which, Marian felt, was "succeeding" almost too soon.

Vaughn had begun his trumpeting career at eleven. One day, he calmly walked in to his parents, holding a new trumpet in hand. In response to their questioning looks, the future "moonracer" explained, "The kid down the block gave it to me. He can't play it on account of his teeth."
The trumpet turned out to be exceedingly useful. All through high school and for two years following his graduation, Vaughn was able to earn and save by working in neighborhood bands. Finally, in 1931, having saved enough for college, he enrolled at Carnegie Tech's School of Music at Pittsburgh, where he also took engineering courses, and later at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston for further vocal training. While attending these schools Vaughn continually wavered between his desire to become an engineer, and the desire to become a concert singer. In 1933, he made his decision--to quit school and devote all his time to dance bands. In college, as in high school, he had earned while he learned by playing trumpet with small bands in his spare time.
Two factors helped Vaughn make up his mind: 1) although he liked engineering, he didn't think he could be satisfied at it for his life's work; and 2) despite the fact that his voice teachers told him he had a big future ahead as a baritone, he had a big frame that had to be fad in the immediate present.
Vaughn's first job after leaving college was with Austin Wiley's band. It lasted two years, ending when the band broke up in Ohio. At the time orchestra leader Larry Funk was playing a date in the vicinity. He had heard Vaughn on the trumpet, like him and gave him a job.
That's when Monroe took his "boot training" on the road, for the band did a group of one-nighters that took them from Ohio to Boston, Colorado, Texas, Kentucky, and back to Boston. "Enough was enough," says Vaughn. "When we got back to Boston it looked like Paradise to me. I thought it would be a good idea to settle down there for a few years."
Vaughn got in touch with a friend, Jack Marshard, for advice. Marshard, at that time, fronted a society band, in addition to owning several similar units which operated in the Cope Cod area. Not only did Jack give Vaughn advice, he gave him a job in one of the units. For the next year and a half Monroe played trumpet, did some vocalizing, and was perfectly content. Finally, in 1937, the band moved into the "Terrace Gables" in Falmouth, Mass.
Here Marshard asserted himself. All along Jack had felt Vaughn belonged out front, not hidden in with the brass section where his talent was more or less buried. Jack offered Vaughn the choice of either leaving, or taking the baton. And so--Monroe became a bandleader.
The twelve piece orchestra played the "Terrace Gables" for the season then moved to a Boston hotel, thence to the Dempsey-Vanderbilt in Miami, Florida. By this time, Marshard was again discontent: He wanted the maestro to go into business for himself. The boys in the band also urged Vaughn to do the same. Talent scout Willard Alexander entered the picture and he too prevailed upon Monroe to take the leap.
In 1940 Vaughn finally gave in. He disbanded the Marshard unit at the end of the Miami engagement, asking those who wanted to join the new band to meet him two weeks later up north. Jack Marshard became manager, and Alexander was to handle booking. Monroe then got into his car and without stopping to rest, drove straight to New York. Marian Baughman was waiting for him there, as was a train to take them to Jeanette, where they were married a few days later. Almost immediately after the ceremony, the newlyweds returned to Boston where Marshard had collected the nucleus of the new Monroe band. Weeks of hectic rehearsal followed.
The new band made its debut in Siler's Ten Acres in New England. On the night of April 10, 1940, they made their first radio broadcast--over NBC. RCA-Victor heard a later broadcast, and signed Vaughn immediately to a record contract.

During the next year, the Monroe band traveled extensively, playing hotels, theaters, ballrooms and night spots throughout the New England and Mid-West areas. The husky, masculine tones of Vaughn's voice soon won him a reputation as a "man's singer," without costing him the loyalty of his feminine followers. His recording of IF YOU SEE MAGGIE became one of the nation's top sellers. Since then any number of Monroe records have moved into this same category. To name a few: SHRINE OF ST. CECELIA; THERE! I'VE SAID IT AGAIN; LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW; and I WISH I DIDN'T LOVE YOU SO. Vaughn himself, feels that BALLERINA is one of his top performances on records.
The year 1941 really marks Monroe's entry into big-time. In June of that year he opened at New York's Paramount Theater, and a few months later took his band into the Century Room of the Commodore. He has played there every year since, sometimes more than one engagement. To date, Vaughn has played twelve engagements in all at the Commodore. He says it almost seems like a "second home" to him.
In 1944, Monroe needed another trombone. After a long and futile search, Vaughn finally gave up, bought a trombone and taught himself to play. Now, when the occasion arises, he still stands in with the trombone section, apparently having deserted the trumpet. Monroe is a man of many hobbies. He likes photography, motorcycling, miniature trains, carpentry, swimming, golf, and especially flying. His earnings are large enough to permit him to be an active flying enthusiast and he owns two planes--Cantina II and Cantina III (named from first three and last four letters of his daughters' names). On dates played within three hundred miles of New York, Vaughn is able to fly home for a visit on his day off.
He often uses the planes for getting from one engagement to another. "It gives me extra time for business," say Vaughn, "and it breads up the monotony of road life when we're doing one-nighters." sometimes, it breaks up the monotony too well. Recently, Vaughn had to make a forced landing in a Pennsylvania cabbage patch, after being blown about fifty miles off his course. It's the only time he's been late on a job.
That's a pretty good record for a man who directs RCA-Victor's top-selling recording band, plays a hundred one-nighters a year, usually fifteen weeks of theater dates, a dozen other week engagements at night clubs and the like, and is on the air every Saturday night for Camel cigarettes.
The Monroes, with daughters Candace (born Dec. 13, 1941) and Christina (born Oct. 16, 1944), live in a smart New York apartment on Park Avenue. Vaughn calls it "home" but with the exception of his long engagement at Hotel Commodore every year, he sees very little of it.


1945 Promotional.

According to RCA-VICTOR, one of their artists--six-foot-two, 180 pound Vaughn Monroe sold over five million records last year. Hit followed hit in ever widening circles-- DREAMS ARE A DIME A DOZEN; IVY; TALLAHASSEE; I WISH I DIDN'T LOVE YOU SO; KOKOMO, INDIANA; a revival of THERE! I'VE SAID IT AGAIN; a sequel to a wartime hit, I'M STILL SITTING UNDER THE APPLE TREE and, one that Vaughn feels is among the best records he's ever made, BALLERINA. Add to these a hundred one-nighters (mostly ballroom dates), one long engagement (usually New York's Hotel Commodore for two months each fall), approximately fifteen weeks of theatre dates a year, a smattering of one week engagements at night clubs, country clubs and the like, plus his weekly CBS Saturday night stint for Camels, and a movie or two (the most recent, "Carnegie Hall"), and you get a rough idea that leading a band is a whale of a lot more than waving a baton. It more closely resembles being a corporation president. Only most corporations presidents don't have to sing for their suppers.
"As a bandleader," says Vaughn, "people expect you to be artistic. But to be successful, you've got to also develop a keen sense of business. On the bandstand you sing, play or direct. A show is expected, and you provide it. But off the stand, when it comes to picking new tunes, choosing spots to play, trying to work out recording dates and broadcasts, negotiating contracts, and things of that sort--well, that's the other side of the picture. The part that doesn't show."
In addition to the twenty-one musicians of his band, the four Moonmaids, featured vocalist Ziggy Talent, three arrangers and one arranger-conductor, Vaughn employs and personally directs an entire staff of specialists, including a personal manager, a booking agent, lawyer, treasurer-accountant, a road manager, press relations director, and many others.
the bandleader, who has to look and perform his best on the stand every night, has often worked at breakneck speed all day , just like many of the people he is entertaining. Many nights Vaughn doesn't get to bed before 2:30 a.m. and is up again at seven-thirty for a rehearsal at nine.
Vaughn maintains two planes so that, for dates within three hundred miles of New York, he can fly home on his "day off" to visit with his family and conclude important business conferences. He is a licensed pilot, himself, but retains a co-pilot in case he must move ahead because of poor weather. The pilot than catches up to him as quickly as weather permits.
A "name" band today is no lazy man's plaything. It's a big business.




1950 Promotional.

The story of the country's most popular band leader is truly an American success saga. While today his name is a national by-word, just a few years ago Vaughn Monroe was an unknown factor in the entertainment world, who had experienced a tough, discouraging struggle for survival and recognition.
Vaughn was born in Akron, Ohio, on October 1, (sic) (This should read 7. Italics mine.) 1911, the son of a rubber experimental engineer. During his early years the family took up residence in Kent, Ohio; Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Cudahy Wisconsin; and finally Jeannette, Pennsylvania, as his father changed jobs in various rubber factories.
It was in Kent, at the age of eleven, that Vaughn began his musical career when he came home from school one day carrying a battered old trumpet. He explained to his puzzled parents that "The kid down the street gave it to me on account of he just got a drum and likes it better."
Much to the chagrin of the household, young Vaughn took up the instrument seriously and eventually became proficient enough to win a statewide championship trumpet contest in Wisconsin at the age of 14. The trumpet also served a more worthy purpose, for throughout his high school days and for two years after graduation, he played with local bands earning and saving money to help finance a college education. One such aggregation was called Gibby Lockhard's Jazz Orchestra who appeared on stage wearing white knickers and blazers with the monogram "GL" on them , and with whom Vaughn was occasionally allowed to sing through a megaphone.
By this time Vaughn had developed quite a reputation, for on graduating from Jeannette High School in 1929 he was voted the "Boy Most Likely To Succeed." His high school sweetheart, Marion Baughman, who later became Mrs. Monroe, thought he was rushing things a little when he dashed breathlessly into the senior prom ballroom ten minutes late with the startling news that he had just won another trumpet contest in a nearby town.
Up to this point, Vaughn's musical activities had revolved almost exclusively around his trumpet. But in the back of his mind what he really wanted to do was sing. He had done some vocal work with the Jeannette Methodist Church Choir and had been encouraged to continue with voice study. Therefore, several years later he enrolled in the School of Music at Carnegie Tech during the day while working with the Lockhard group at night. However, he was forced to give up his ambition of a concert stage career when the grind became too grueling to continue. He left school at the end of his sophomore year and took a job with Austin Wiley's band, and later with a larger group led by Larry Funk. In addition to his musical chores, he served as driver for the instrument truck and as treasurer for the band. Vaughn took his boot training in one-nighters at this time, as the band toured the country from Boston to Texas. "Every once in a while, when I think we have it rough on our one-nighter junkets now," says Vaughn, "I think back and shudder."
In 1937 he left Funk and went to Boston to accept a previous job offer from the late Jack Marshard, who had built a reputation for himself in the east organizing and managing a group of society orchestras. Vaughn began as a trumpet player, later did some vocalizing and finally was promoted to leader of one of the units. Throughout this period, he looked upon his band experience as only temporary, for he had enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music to continue his classical voice training.
However, other plans were in the making. It was while Vaughn and the unit was playing a Florida hotel date that Jack Marshard and Willard Alexander, former vice president in charge of bands for the Music Corporation of America, who now has his own agency and is booking manager for the band, met and discussed the possibilities of developing Vaughn into a singing bandleader personality. Several hours later, the three signed a contract and the present Monroe organization was born.
One of the first things Vaughn did following the signing was to propose to Marion Baughman. They were married at once and spent a one-day honeymoon traveling to Boston where the new band was to be organized.
Almost immediately, Jack Marshard began to put into action all the ideas he had for building Vaughn into a popular singing star. He proceeded to eliminate the "classical sound" Vaughn had so painstakingly learned by hiring a New York vocal coach, who worked with Monroe for four months toning down his booming concert baritone to a more subdued, mike-style voice. Vaughn claims this was one of the hardest jobs he has ever taken on. "I got panicky when I realized all I had accomplished in the way of singing was being thrown out the window." However, he stuck it out and the band got underway, making its debut at Seiler's Ten Acres, in New England.
The year was 1940, and from then until 1945 things were touch and go. His weekly salary averaged $25 and Mrs. Monroe, who suddenly found herself traveling with the band in the capacity of bookkeeper and general assistant, began to feel that his earlier optimism was a little premature, and that the high school prophecy of his success was not exactly running true to form. The band played its first big theatre date in June, 1941 at the Paramount Theatre in New York, and a few months later landed an engagement at the Commodore Hotel. It then embarked on its first string of one-nighters and gradually began to attract some attention.
In the meantime, RCA-Victor signed the band to a recording contract. But it was not until January, 1945 that the really first big break came along when the recorded "THERE, I'VE SAID IT AGAIN." It was made merely to fill space on the second side of a record that featured the smash tune of the day, "Rum and Coca Cola." By one of those inexplicable flukes that happen again and again in show business, the first side flopped and "THERE, I'VE SAID IT AGAIN" became a national sensation, selling 1,250,000 copies. The band was in.

From this point on, record hits seemed to follow at almost breath-taking pace--"LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW," "BALLERINA," COOL WATER," "RIDERS IN THE SKY," "SOMEDAY." As a result of this new popularity on records, Camel Cigarettes signed Monroe for the Saturday night CBS Caravan show which has never been interrupted to date.
Also as a result of his records, his western tunes in particular, he was signed to star in his first picture, "Singing Guns", which was produced at Republic Studios during the summer of 1949, and which co-stars Walter Brennan, Ella Raines and Ward Bond.
Today, Monroe lives with his wife and two daughters, Candace, 8 and Christina, 5 in a beautiful, Georgian-styled home in the suburbs of Boston. In spite of his tremendous success as the leading singing personality in the band business, he is happiest when he is at home, surrounded by family, friends and hobbies. Of the latter, he enjoys building model trains, photography, pipe collecting, flying and motorcycling. He is a licensed pilot and owns his own Lockheed-12 plane, which he uses all the time when he is on the road.
Other Monroe interests include The Meadows, one of the most famous restaurants in New England, located in Framingham, Mass., and a company called Stories for Young America, which produces children's educational toys and songs.

Vaughn Monroe was one of the top singing bandleaders

In the era of the big bands, Vaughn Monroe was one of the top singing bandleaders. He was perhaps best known for his versions of hit songs like: "When the Lights Go On Again", "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and "Racing with the Moon."
Like several of the other headliners with "name" bands, Mr. Monroe weathered the advent of rock 'n' roll and other later styles of music by leaving center stage and forming small bands to play club dates and at weddings and other private occasions--mostly for the generation that clung to the less energetic music of the period before the "new sound" become dominant.
As recently as last year, several Vaughn Monroe "units" were playing in various parts of the country. But the leader himself had been forced to phase out his own appearances.
A native of Akron, Ohio, he began playing the trumpet in high school and won a state-wide trumpet contest. He entered Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh with a career as an engineer in view, but after two years he left college and went with a band. It was 1932, the depths of the Depression, and young Monroe could earn good money as a trumpeter and singer.
In 1937 when he was with a band headed by Jack Marshard that was well known in society circles, Marshard son found that his trumpet player and vocalist--who stood 6 feet 2 inches and had movie star features--was especially popular with audiences. So Vaughn Monroe was launched as a bandleader and Jack Marshard became the band's business manager.
By the outbreak of world War II, Mr. Monroe had become nationally known. His band played lucrative one-night stands, they headlined at stage shows in movie palaces across the country, and the band was featured on radio.
His success as a showman concealed the fact that his voice was unusual in its "operatic" nature in contrast to other popular singers. It proved to augment his warm manner and handsome appearance, and to captivate audiences.
At the peak of his career, Mr. Monroe issued hit record after hit record, "There, I've Said It Again," "Ballerina," "Mule Train," and dozens of others.
Started Radio Show
In 1945, Mr. Monroe began his own "Camel Caravan" radio show. His vocal style had become at once immensely popular and widely ridiculed--but he shrewdly concluded that the imitations of his singing by radio and nightclub comics was spreading his fame.
When television came in, Mr. Monroe adapted to it, but after the first few years most of the big bands like his found themselves superseded by newer forms of entertainment.
Mr. Monroe also was featured in some films, but Hollywood never claimed him as it did several of his contemporary bandleaders.
...Last January, for instance, a gentleman named Ed McKenzie, known to the Detroit radio audience as Jack the Bellboy, was passing a slow night at his turntables in the studio. On a whim, he picked up a Vaughn Monroe record and said, "Well, let's hear now from Old Nasal Nose, the poor man's John Charles Thomas. In the recording by Old Mushmouth, note carefully the muscles on the tonsils, the sinews on the adenoids. Here he is, Vaughn Mon-schmoe!"

The next day, angry teen-agers swarmed upon the radio station. Jack the Bellboy was deluged with letters, typical of which was the following:

Dear Empty-head:
Why don't you drop dead, take the A-train, or jump in the river? Boy-- you're nowhere. When you start picking on my boy Vaughn Monroe, the fireworks really start. First of all, he's the most wonderful man, the best-looking male vocalist in the country and he can outsing anybody you can name any day. Why don't you keep your rotten opinions to yourself? How about playing Vaughn Monroe's latest-- without your usual sarcastic remarks? An ex-Bellboy fan
After reading thousands of such letters Jack the Bellboy (who actually is a close friend of Monroe) smiled contentedly, piled up the letters, and walked in to ask for a raise. Today, whenever the Bellboy wants to give his Hooper rating a boost he attacks Monroe and happily waits for the letters to come pouring in.

"This," says Jack the Bellboy, "doesn't happen with any other star-- not even Crosby or Sinatra."
Apparently, a lot of things are happening to Vaughn Monroe lately that are not happening to other stars. The entertainment world is in a slump, but not the deep-toned Mr. Monroe, whose controversial voice has brought him titles like the Voice with Muscles and the Voice with Hair on Its Chest (friendly); and the Foghorn, Old Leather Lungs and the Million-Dollar Monotone (critical). His weekly radio program is in its fourth year, and a good deal of money is rolling in from a number of other sources.

[This article continues on page 64 of Collier's Magazine for August 20, 1949]
THE VERY BEST OF VAUGHN MONROE / Taragon, 1998/ Taragon Records / BMG Special Products/ Released: October 20, 1998 / Item Code: TARCD-1032 / DRC11533 / Not available on Cassette/
1. Racing With The Moon (Vaughn's Theme) / 2. There I Go / 3. My Devotion / 4. When The Lights Go On Again (All Over The World) / 5. Let's Get Lost / 6. The Trolley Song / 7. There, I've Said It Again / 8. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow / 9. I Wish I Didn't Love You So / 10. Ballerina / 11. Red Roses For A Blue Lady / 12. Riders In The Sky / 13. Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You) / 14. That Lucky Old Sun / 15. Bamboo / 16. Thanks Mister Florist / 17. Sound Off / 18. They Call The Wind Maria / 19. Lady Love / 20. They Were Doin' The Mambo /
Audio CD (July 21, 1998) / Label: Memoir Classics (UK) / ASIN: B000009NME / Sales Rank: 40,353
1. Racing With The Moon/ 2. There I Go/ 3. We Could Make Such Beautiful Music/ 4. It's Only A Paper Moon/ 5. Did You Ever See A Dream Walking / 6. Sleepy Lagoon / 7. There, I've Said It Again/ 8. Last Time I Saw Paris/ 9. I'll See You In My Dreams/ 10. Moonlight And Roses / 11. Blue Moon/ 12. It's My Lazy Day/ 13. Drifting And Dreaming / 14. My Devotion/ 15. Rum And Coca Cola / 16. A Sinner Kissed An Angel / 17. Life Can Be Beautiful / 18. Tangerine / 19. The Things We Did Last Summer / 20. Moonglow / 21. All The Time / 22. The Very Thought Of You / 23. G'bye Now / 24. Dream
TOP - Vaughn Monroe Website


Big Band Bios -

Big Band Messageboard

Messageboard: "Big Band Talk" -

"Rise and Fall of Popular Music" Big Band History - - material on Barnet & Miller