The big bands are back
in a new and exciting way!
compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA
     Have you ever watched the ABC-TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” where professional dancers are paired with celebrities try to train them to become proficient dancers, in a variety of styles, and compete over the course of a season?  
     One of the judges (the classiest, in my opinion) since the show’s premiere in 2005 has been Len Goodman [ pictured above ], and recently he hosted a swingin’ special, “Big Band Bonanza,” on BBC4 TV in England.
    “The big bands had everything – great tunes and tons of attitude,” Goodman said. “It’s an incredible noise when they all roar at you.”  
     The new special was a chance to revisit the swing and sweet music of his youth, which, admittedly, was not often played on “Dancing with the Stars” and certainly hardly at all since they dumped the live big band made up of fine Los Angeles musicians (like trumpeters Rick Baptist and Warren Luening, trombonist Andy Martin, and saxophonist Sal Lozano) which played accompaniment for dancers, in favor of a smaller group of mostly guitars, rhythm, and vocals.
     “It was hot, sexy, and so seductive,” he reminisced. “This was the music that made me want to dance . . . Today, there’s nothing like a big band for a party or celebration.”
     Yes, the music of an orchestra from the 1930s or ‘40s is unmistakable.
     “It’s great to look back,” he admitted. “But for me, the thing is swing music is still here, right in the present,” he said. “And I just hope it’s gonna still be with us in the future!”
     However, Goodman has announced his retirement from “Dancing with the Stars,” so even if the show no longer includes his spot-on critiques, during the “Big Band Bonanza” special he made the point that big band music was a memorable art form, especially in the hands of someone such as Glenn Miller.
     “There aren’t many pop artists that gave us so many tunes that can be remembered so long,” Goodman pointed out.
     That sounded like, as he would say when giving his scoring on "Dancing with the Stars," a “10 from Len”!

Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke. Jan 24-31, “Florida only” (no details
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Nick Hilscher. Jan 13, Laurel Manor Recreation
    Center, The Villages, FL; Jan 14, Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center, Ormond
    Beach, FL; Jan 16, Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, NC; Jan 18, Wilson Center,
    Jacksonville, FL; Jan 19, Lake Mary High School, Lake Mary, FL; Jan 20, private
    concert; Jan 21, private dance; Jan 22, Bienes Center for the Arts, Fort Lauderdale,
    FL; Jan 23, First United Methodist Church, Punta Gorda, FL; Jan 25, Glenridge
    Performing Arts Center, Sarasota, FL; Jan 26, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL; Jan
    31, private dance.
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Matt Koza.  Jan 23, Cary Arts Center, Cary, NC; Jan
    24, Younts Center for Performing Arts, Fountain Inn, SC; Jan 25, Newberry Opera
    House, Newberry, SC.

     Tony Eaton will give his talk "The Curious Disappearance of Glenn Miller" at the Holmer Green Village Centre in High Wycombe, Bucks, England on the 21st of this month.  
     Eaton, a longtime member of the international Glenn Miller Society headquartered in London, is widely recognized as a Miller expert and has written liner notes for various big band CDs. 

     Big band aficionados like me are always hoping for more and different compact discs, though I doubt very many of us have acquired all of the essential CDs that have been released since the 1980s, because of the sheer number and cost. (But I’m working on it LOL) 
     Here are a few more titles to start off the new year and add to your want list.  But be cautioned that some of this material has been on CD before  - so check it against your collection:

Isham Jones. “Happy: The 1920 Rainbo Orchestra Sides,” Archeophone 6008.
     Especially for vintage dance band collectors.  2-CDs with all 37 sides his less-
     remembered band of 1920 recorded for the Brunswick label in Chicago. Only a few of
     these performances have been reissued before and certainly not in such fine sound.
     Includes a 32-page booklet with much information about Jones and this band. No 
     wonder this CD set has received two Grammy nominations (“Best Historical Album,”
     “Best Album Notes”)!
Big Band Library rating: ORDER IT!

Louis Armstrong.  " A Rare Batch Of Satch: The Authentic Sound of Louis Armstrong
     in the '30s," Poll Winners 27329.  The 1961 RCA Victor album (LPM-2322) with
     twelve added tracks.
Charlie Barnet. “Rhubarb,” Montpellier (E) MONTCD 109. Barnet’s mid-‘50s band
     including the 12 tracks from the “Redskin Romp” (RCA Victor LPM-1091) album
     and 10 more from Clef and Verve sessions.
Duke Ellington. “Mara Gold,” Squatty Roo Records 225. The Duke and a 1967
     program of old and new works, from Take the “A” Train and Johnny Come Lately to 
     Rue Bleu and Mara Gold.
Dizzy Gillespie.  "A Musical Safari Live At Monterey," Solar Records 4569957.  Dizzy's
     quintet featuring Lalo Schifrin, as heard at the 1961 Monterey Jazz Festival.  First issued      on the 1974 album on Cheri Booman Records.  With four bonus tracks.
Benny Goodman.  "A Date with the King," Essential Jazz Classics EJC 55560.  BG's
     sextet and trio on Columbia recordings including Rosemary Clooney.
Lionel Hampton. “Hamp’s Big Band Play,” Jasmine (E) JASMCD 2613. All 12 tunes
     from the 1959 “Hamp’s Big Band” LP (Audio-Fidelity AF1913) combined with 9 of the
     13 selections from the 1957 album “Hamp” (Audio Fidelity AF1849).
Stan Kenton. “Concerts In Miniature Vol 6,” Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY 980.
     Show #s 13 (Moonlight Gardens, Coney Island, Cincinnati, OH), 14 (Fort
     Sheridan, Lake County, IL), and 15 (Great Lakes Naval Center, North Chicago, IL)
     from August and September 1952.
Glenn Miller. “Here We Go Again,” Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY 983. Fifteen
     songs and instrumentals from “The Chesterfield Show” broadcast in New York City
     between March 1940 to July 1941, such as The Woodpecker SongMy Isle of
     Golden Dreams, and Devil May Care.
Various artists. “Dance To The Great Bands,” Montpellier (E) MONTCD 108. Six
     bands, all signed to the Capitol label in the 1950s, offer music in hi-fi, such as
     Big Band Boogie (Ray Anthony), Smogbound (Harry James), Suddenly (Billy
     May), Dream (Woody Herman), Lover (Les Brown), and I’m Glad There Is You
     (Stan Kenton).
---. “Just Swingin’,” Montpellier (E) MONTCD 99. Twelve bands including Jimmy
     Dorsey, Buddy Morrow, Tommy Dorsey, Richard Maltby, Sauter-Finegan, and
     Glen Gray play twenty-two selections recorded between 1949-59.
---. “Two Great Bands One great singer,” Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY 981.
     Vocalist Garry Stevens sings 25 songs with Charlie Spivak and The Glenn Miller
     Orchestra directed by Tex Beneke. Titles include At LastMy Devotion, and East
     of the Sun.

Ed Burke, 83, d.Jan. 14, 2015.  Big band collector and owner/producer of record and
     CD labels (Soundcraft, Jazz Hour).
Ervin Drake, 95, d.Jan. 15, 2015, bladder cancer.  Lyricist of Tico-Tico(Yo Te Amo
     Mucho) And That's ThatGood Morning Heartache, and It Was a Very Good Year.
Joe Franklin, 88, d.Jan. 24, 2015, cancer.  Pioneering radio and TV host and
     self-proclaimed as "The King of Nostalgia."  Always appreciated the big bands and
     before, including, for example, Rudy Vallee, as one of his program's guests.
Neil Levang, 83, d.Jan. 26, 2015.  Guitarist with Welk '59 / '61-'82.

Bucky Pizzarelli, guitarist, b.Jan. 9, 1926.  With Monroe '43 / '46-'52; Goodman '67 / '69
     Reader's Digest / '70 / '71 / '72 / '73 / '74 / '75 / '77 / '79 / '80 / '81 / '85.
Nat Peck, trombonist, b.Jan. 13, 1925.  With Miller AAF '43-'45.
Ray Anthony, trumpeter, b. Jan. 20, 1922.  With A Donahue '40; Miller '40-'41; J Dorsey
     '42.  Own band '46- .
Benny Golson, tenor saxophonist, b. Jan. 25, 1929.  With Gillespie '56-'58.
Dick Nash, trombonist, b.Jan. 26, 1928.  With S Donahue '47; G Gray '49; Beneke '50;
     May '53.

Milt Jackson, b.Jan. 1, 1923.  Vibraphonist with Gillespie '45-'47 / '50-'52; Herman '50;
     Basie '78 (Pablo LP).
Nick Fatool, b.Jan. 2, 1915.  Drummer with Goodman '39-'40; Shaw '40-'41; Crosby
     '50-'52; G Gray '56 / '58 / '60 / '63 (Capitol LPs).
Frank Wess, b.Jan. 4, 1922.  Saxophonist with Eckstine '46; Millinder '47; Basie '53-'64.
Marian Monroe, b.Jan. 7, 1912.  Married to Vaughn Monroe from Apr. 2, 1940 until his
     death on May 21, 1973.  A celebration of her life will be held on the 9th of this month
     at The Snug Harbor Clubhouse in Florida.  
Chuck Flores, b.Jan. 5, 1935.  Drummer with Herman '54-'55.
Vernon Brown, b.Jan. 6, 1907.  Trombonist with Goodman '37-'40 / '44; Shaw '40-'41;
     Spanier '42.
Haywood Henry, b.Jan. 7, 1919.  Saxophonist with E Hawkins '36-'53; Oliver '73-'76.
Dave Schildkraut, b.Jan. 7, 1925.  Saxophonist with Kenton '53-'54.
Bobby Tucker, b.Jan. 8, 1922.  Pianist with Eckstine '49-'80s.
Betty Roche, b.Jan. 9, 1920.  Vocalist with Ellington '43 / '52; Hines '44.
Buddy Johnson, b.Jan. 10, 1915.  Leader of own band.
Bob Enevoldson, b.Jan. 11, 1920.  Valve trombonist with Beneke '70s-'80s.
Jay McShann, b.Jan. 12, 1909.   Pianist - leader of own band.
Trummy Young, b.Jan. 12, 1912.  Trombonist - vocalist with Hines '33-'37; Lunceford
     '37-'43; Goodman '45; Armstrong '52-'63.
Danny Barker, b.Jan. 13, 1909.  Guitarist with Calloway '37-'46.
Quentin Jackson, b.Jan. 13, 1909.  Trombonist with Redman '38-'39 / '46; Calloway
     '40-'46 / '46-'48; Ellington '48-'59.
Billy Butterfield, b.Jan 14, 1917.  Trumpeter with Crosby '37-'40; Shaw '40-'41; 
     Goodman '41; Brown '42.  Leader of own band.
Jimmy Crawford, b.Jan. 14, 1910.  Drummer with Lunceford '30-'43; Goodman 47;
     F Henderson '50; Oliver '47 / '49 / '50 / '51 / '52 / '58 / '60 / '62; Basie '60 ("String
     Along with Basie" LP).
Maxwell Davis, b.Jan. 14, 1916.  Tenor saxophonist with F Henderson '49; conductor 
     for Crown LP tributes '58?.
Joe Muranyi, b.Jan. 14, 1928.  Clarinetist with Armstrong '67-'71; Eldridge '75 ("Little
     Jazz and the Jimmy Ryan All-Stars" Pablo LP); Hampton '77.
Steve Jordan, b.Jan. 15, 1919.  Guitarist with Bradley '40-'42; Raeburn '45 / '47; J
     Dorsey '47; Goodman '54 / '55 / '56 / '57.
Gene Krupa, b.Jan. 15, 1909.  Drummer with Goodman '33-'38 / '43; T Dorsey 44.  
     Leader of own band.
Jerry Wald, b.Jan. 15, 1919.  Clarinetist - leader of own band.
Ivie Anderson, b.Jan. 16, 1904.  Vocalist with Ellington '31-'42.
Sandy Block, b.Jan. 16, 1917.  Bassist with Rey '40-'41; T Dorsey '43-'47 / '50; Wald
     '44; Oliver '51 / '58; Armstrong '51 / '53 / '57.
Big Sid Catlett, drummer, b.Jan. 17, 1910.  With Carter '32; F Henderson '36; Wilson
     '36; Redman '36-'38;  Armstrong '38-'41 / '47 - '49; Goodman '41.
Vido Musso, b.Jan. 17, 1913.  Tenor saxophonist with Goodman '36-'37 / '39 / '41-'42;
     Krupa '38; James '40-'41; Herman '42-'43; T Dorsey '45; Kenton '45-'46 / '47.
Tommy Reynolds, b.Jan. 17, 1917.  Clarinetist - leader of own band.
Ray Sims, trombonist, b.Jan. 18, 1921.  With Goodman '47; Brown '47-'57; James 
Bubber Miley, b.Jan. 19, 1903.  Trumpeter with Ellington '24-'29.
Billy Maxted, b.Jan. 21, 1917.  Pianist with Nichols '37-'40; Bradley '41-'42.
Teddy McRae, b.Jan. 22, 1908.  Tenor saxophonist with Webb '36-'39; Calloway '41-'42;
     Armstrong '44.  Composer of Back Bay Shuffle  and Traffic Jam with Artie Shaw.
Juan Tizol, b.Jan. 22, 1900.  Trombonist - composer with Ellington '29-'44 / '51-'53 /
     '60 / '61; James '44-'51 / '53-'57.
Scoops Carry, b.Jan. 23, 1915.  Saxophonist with F Henderson '36; Eldridge '37; H
     Henderson '39; Hines '40-'48.
Teddy Napoleon, b.Jan. 23, 1914.  Pianist with Krupa '44-'58 [ on and off ].
Avery Parrish, b.Jan. 24, 1917.  Pianist with E Hawkins '34-'41.
Truck Parham, b.Jan. 25, 1913.  Bassist with Eldridge '37-'38?; Hines '40-'42; Lunceford
     '44-'47; Spanier '50-'55; Bellson '57-'59.
Skitch Henderson, b.Jan. 27, 1918.  Pianist with Shaw '40.
Hot Lips Page, b.Jan. 27, 1908.  Trumpeter with Shaw '41-'42.
Milt Raskin, b.Jan. 27, 1916.  Pianist with Krupa '38-'39 / '41-'42; Powell '39-'40; Rey 
     '40; T Dorsey '42-'44; Shaw '46 (Musicraft); Auld '52.
Arnold Ross, b.Jan. 29, 1921.  Pianist with Jenney '39; Monroe '40-'42; James '44-'47;
     Crosby '54-'56 (TV show); Jones '57 / '58 / '59.
Ed [ "Eddie" ] Shaughnessy, b.Jan. 29, 1929.  Drummer with Byrne '48; Ventura '48-'50;
     Millinder '51-52.
Roy Eldridge, b.Jan. 30, 1911.  Trumpeter with F Henderson '35-'36; Krupa '41-'43 / '49;
     Shaw '44-'45; Goodman '50.  Leader of own band.
Bernie Leighton, b.Jan. 30, 1921.  Pianist with Scott '40; Goodman '40; Shaw ('53
     "Speak to Me of Love" Decca LP; '68 "Artie Shaw Recreates His Great '38 Band"
     Capitol LP).
Bobby Hackett, b.Jan. 31, 1915.  Trumpeter-cornetist-guitarist with Heidt '39-'40 / '41;
     Miller '41-'42; G Gray '44-'47; Goodman '62-'63; McKinley-Miller Orch '65 ("Glenn
     Miller Time" Epic LP); DeFranco-Miller Orch '72 (Columbia House); Morrow-
     Miller Orch '74 (NBC-TV "Today" show).  Leader of own band.

In next month’s “News,” more new CDs… including Harry James and Stan Kenton.​

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