The big bands are back
in a new and exciting way!
compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA     
Ray Purslow holds albums of our kind of music.

  Fans of big band and jazz music, especially in the United Kingdom, should well remember the name Ray Purslow, who for over 30 years ran The Record Centre on Loveday Street in Birmingham, England. Aficionados loved his specialist shop, because they could visit the store and listen to their kind of music and talk with Ray about it.
  He also reached out to customers around the world; for example, in the USA, my brother, Jay, and I bought records from him through the mail.
  “I have also been very much involved with numerous ‘2-on1’ reissues from mainly EMI/Capitol, but also RCA & Sony Music and Universal, with my name as a credit on close to 100 different CD reissues, even writing the sleeve notes on several mainly vocal issues,” Ray reminded me.  
  Those reissues included “The New Glenn Miller Orchestra Directed By Ray McKinley: The Miller Sound / On Tour” (BMG 82876 625922), “The Mills Brothers & Count Basie: The Board Of Directors & Annual Report” (MCA Universal MCLD19366), and “Two Classic Albums From Johnny Desmond: Once Upon A Time / Blue Smoke” (Columbia 481016 2).
  But, because of several reasons, Ray decided to close his brick-and-mortar operation in May 2007. Some people began buying music on the Internet, while others found it too expensive to purchase CDs, and still others simply got older and stopped adding to their collections.
  Nevertheless, Ray stayed active with the music – and still does!
  “You might be interested to learn that I was a member of the British run Harry James Society for over twenty years, until it folded a few years back, due to losing several officers due to their bad health,” he recalls. “We used to have meetings in London three or four times a year, with members presenting record recitals as well as the occasional special guests. We once had Ray Anthony join us and he presented a wonderful programme that proved how much he admired Harry. I have also been a member of the British run Sinatra Music Society since the early 1960s, having held several committee positions including Editor of ‘Perfectly Frank’ the journal. Several years ago I was made a Life-Member, an honor I really treasure. I still write a regular article for each edition called appropriately ‘Ray's News’. I have also been a meber of other music societies such as Friends Of Dick Haymes/The Count Basie/Stan Kenton and I am also a member of our two local music clubs, ‘Nostalgia’ & ‘Nice 'N' Easy.’”
  And he continues to sell music, a large selection of swing and big band and jazz and vocal CDs, but by mail from his home, with the support of his wife Jill, with whom he has been married for nearly 52 years.
  Recent lists from him have included such performers as Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and Stan Kenton.  
  “So you can see, I have had a life of being heavily involved in the joy and appreciation of music,” he observes. “I am now in my 76th year and really proud and thankful for what has happened in my life, including a very happy marriage with two wonderful now grown up daughters.”
  Ray can be contacted by e-mail, To paraphrase how he signed one of his messages to me, I would say to him “Best regards to Ray from the UK.”

Tex Beneke. “The Glenn Miller Singers On The Perry Como Show And Other
  Broadcasts,” Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY2002. Lots of goodies by Beneke and 
  associates, including a December 1946 “March of Dimes” Broadcast with The
  Glenn Miller Orchestra under his direction and a 1963 TV appearance with Ray
  Eberle and The Modernaires. Thank you, Michael Highton, the longtime Beneke fan
  who put this together --- however, most of the '63 TV performances (from "The Perry
  Como Show" on NBC) are off-speed, making them nearly unlistenable!
Lionel Hampton. “’Live’ In 1948,” Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY2005. After those five
  Hampton CDs last month, here’s a 2-CD set of music from the U.S. Treasury
  Department shows done on the Mutual radio network. Many traditional Hampton
  features on this, such as Flying HomeHey-Ba-Ba-Re-BopCentral Avenue
  Breakdown, and Adam Blew His Hat, as well as lesser-known tunes plus guest
  stars including Louis Jordan.
Harry James. “Live At the Blue Note ’58 / Hollywood Palladium ’59,” Retro Time
  (S Korea). Not recommended because of its poor sound quality.
Harry James. “Monterey 1965 / WGN-TV 1965,” Retro Time (S Korea) 3851.  The
  cover and tune listing is amateurly done but Harry's music is always good!
Stan Kenton. “Concerts In Miniature Volume 10,” Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY2010.
  More of Kenton’s NBC radio “Concerts in Miniature,” these three being from the
  fall of 1952. Tunes include two versions each of Francesca and Young Blood.
Billy May. “Nancy Wilson - Today-My Way / Nancy-Naturally,” Caroline / SoulMusic
  Records. Original 1965-66 recordings, for which May conducted on the latter LP
  (Capitol ST 2634). The studio band included such veteran players as Ray
  Triscari and Don Fagerquist (tp), Vern Friley (tb), and Willie Smith, Willie Schwartz,
  and Chuck Gentry (sax).
Glenn Miller. “The Great Hollywood Sound,” Sounds of YesterYear (E) DSOY2006.
  19 recordings made for Miller’s 20th Century-Fox movies in 1941-42, including It
  Happened in Sun Valley, That’s SabotageThe Man in the Moon, and You Say
  The Sweetest Things, Baby.

  There’s a whole slew of CD-Rs now available from Kipepeo Publishing, including six Benny Goodman titles and nine with Glenn Miller, though scant details are offered for each. Most selections appear to be broadcast performances such as the AFRS “One Night Stand” series, while others evidently were taken from V-Discs.
  I would use caution when considering any of these:

Ray Anthony. AFRS Music Transcription Library
Count Basie. Pennies From Heaven
Tommy Dorsey. AFRS Basic Music Library
Duke Ellington. AFRS Basic Music Library
---. AFRS – V Series 3
Ziggy Elman. Vintage Jazz #14 – Sugar
---. Vintage Jazz #15 – Am I Blue
Dizzy Gillespie. The Seattle Tapes: Live 10/11/1957
Benny Goodman. Live at Madhattan Room, Pennsylvania Hotel, New York 08/24/1937
---. Vintage Jazz #1 - Learning
---. Vintage Jazz #10 – Night Wind
Bobby Hackett. Singin’ the Blues
Woody Herman. The Woody Herman Show on AFRS
Earl Hines. Vintage Jazz #6 – Space Ship
Glenn Miller. Glenn Miller
---. AFRS – V Series 2
---. Live at Café Rouge October 18, 1940
---. Live at Café Rouge November 23, 1940
---. On Air with Glenn Miller
---. Paradise Restaurant, New York, 06-20-1938
---. Glenn Miller Orchestra: Chesterfield Radio Show - 06-05-1942
---. Glenn Miller Orchestra: German Wehrmacht Hour 1944
Don Redman and His Orchestra. Vintage Jazz #10 – On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Teddy Wilson. Vintage Jazz #9 - Hallelujah
Various artists. AFRS Jubilee # 051- 052.
---. AFRS – V Series 1
---. Benny Goodman, Patti Page: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. Duke Ellington, Ted Lewis: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. Frankie Carle: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. Freddy Martin, Charlie Spivak, Irene Daye: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. Gene Krupa, Henry Busse: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. George Olsen, Les Brown, Doris Day: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. Hal McIntyre, Claude Thornhill: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. Johnny Richards, Freddy Martin: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Phyllis Lane: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. Tiny Bradshaw, Russ Morgan: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. Woody Herman, Boyd Raeburn: One Night Stands At AFRS
---. GI Jive with Count Basie & Pied Pipers (AFRS)
---. GI Jive with Duke Ellington and Al Donahue (AFRS)
---. GI Jive with Benny Goodman (AFRS)
---. GI Jive with Benny Goodman & Peggy Lee
---. GI Jive with Glenn Miller & Tommy Dorsey (AFRS)
---. GI Jive with Harry James & Will Bradley (AFRS)
---. GI Jive with Tommy Dorsey & Bob Chester (AFRS)
---. GI Journal with Bob Hope & Glenn Miller (AFRS)
---. Jill’s All Time Juke Box I (AFRS)
---. Jill’s All Time Juke Box 2 (AFRS)
---. Jill’s All Time Juke Box 3 (AFRS)
---. Jill’s All Time Juke Box 4 (AFRS)
---. Jill’s All Time Juke Box 5 (AFRS)

  The same company has also released what it claims are “DVDs” in the PAL (which is the European) format, though --- if that’s correct --- I can’t imagine what the video footage is of for “German Wehrmacht Hour with Glenn Miller,” “German Wehrmacht Hour (2) with Glenn Miller: Original Radio Broadcast 1944,” “Glenn Miller & The Army Air Force Band – February 12, 1944: Original Radio Broadcast,” “Glenn Miller At The Café Rouge: Original Radio Broadcast,” “Glenn Miller At The Paradise Restaurant 1938: Original Radio Broadcast,” and “Glenn Miller Orchestra: Chesterfield Radio Show 06.05.1942.”

Spike Jones. “Thank Your Lucky Stars.” The 1943 motion picture, now restored in
  1080p high definition. According to publicity, “A breezy, behind-the-Hollywood-scenes
  story about young talents hoping for a big break glitters with specialty numbers
  featuring Golden Era greats.”

The Count Basie Orchestra directed by Scotty Barnhart. Jul 22, tribute to Frank Sinatra,
  Hollywood, CA; Jul 24, Santa Fe, NM.
The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole. Jul 4, battle of the bands with T
  Dorsey Orch, “Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, Canada.
Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians with Al Pierson.  Jul 11, Town Point Park, Norfolk,
   VA; Jul 29, park on the shores of Lake DePue, De Pue, IL.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Nick Hilscher. Jul 1, Lake County Playhouse,
  Mineola, TX; Jul 3, The Franklin Theatre, Franklin, TN; Jul 7, Seaside Pavilion, Old
  Orchard Beach, ME; Jul 8, Madison Beach Hotel, Madison, CT; Jul 9, Rhodes on the 
  Pawtuxet, Cranston, RI; Jul 10, Nara Park Amphitheater, Acton, MA; Jul 11, The
  Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT; Jul 12, The New Theater, Newton, NJ; Jul 14,
  Private; Jul 16, Thursday Night Live, London, KY; Jul 18, Canal Place Amphitheater,
  Cumberland, MD; Jul 19, Chuck Mathena Center, Princeton, WV; Jul 21, Coney
  Island Park, Cincinnati, OH; Jul 22, Jamie Coyne’s Bearcreek Memories, Celina, OH;
  Jul 24, St. Clair Park Amphitheater, Greensburg, PA; Jul 25, Stacy C. Sherwood
  Community Center, Fairfax, VA; Jul 26, Colonial Heritage Golf Club, Williamsburg, VA;
  Jul 28-29, Tim McLoone’s Supper Club, Asbury Park, NJ; Jul 31, Kingswood
  Performing Arts Center, Wolfeboro, NH.

Doc Severinsen, b.Jul 7, 1927. Trumpeter with FioRito ’45; Barnet ’47-’49; S.
  Donahue ’48; T Dorsey ’50.
Larry O’Brien, b.Jul 15, 1933. Trombonist with T Dorsey Orch ’61-’65; leader
  of Miller Orch ’81-’83 / ’88-’10.
Kay Starr, b.Jul 21, 1922. Vocalist with Crosby ’39; Miller ’39; Venuti ’39-’42;
  Barnet ’43-’45.
Michael P. Zirpolo, b.Jul 22, 1950. Jazz historian and author (various pieces for
   IAJRC Journal; Bunny Berigan Mr. Trumpet biography).  
Gloria DeHaven, b.Jul 13, 1925. Singer with Savitt ’42.
Ronny Lang, b.Jul 24, 1927. Saxophonist with Ennis ’47; Brown ’49-’90? [ not
  continuous ].
Peter Duchin, b.Jul 28, 1937. Son of Eddy Duchin; pianist-leader of his own

Hazen Schumacher, 88, d.Jul 18, 2015.  Host of radio show "Jazz Revisited" (1967-97).
   Co-author of book A Golden Age of Jazz Revisited: 1939-1942.
Van Alexander, 100, d.Jul 19, 2015, natural causes.  Arranger with Webb '36-'38 and
   bandleader '39-'43 / Capitol LPs '59-'62.
Russ Dorsey, 72, d.Jul 19, 2015.  Leader of Les Elgart Orchestra '02-present.

Earl Warren, b.Jul 1, 1914. Alto saxophonist-composer with Basie ’37-’45 / ’48-
  ’49 / ’49-’50. Wrote Tom Thumb, Wiggle Woogie, Circus in Rhythm, Rockin’
  the Blues, and (with Buster Harding) 9:20 Special.
Billy Usselton, b.Jul 2, 1926. Tenor saxophonist with Dunham ’47-’48; Anthony
  ’48-’49 / ’51-’52; T Dorsey ’49-’50; Brown ’54-’60; Beneke 5/26/61 concert.
Lawrence Brown, b.Jul 3, 1905. Trombonist with Ellington ’32-’51 / ’60-?.
Jerry Gray, b.Jul 3, 1915. Violinist-arranger for Shaw ’36-’39; Miller ’39-’42;
  Miller AAF ’43-’45; leader of own band.
Vern Friley, b.Jul 5, 1924. Trombonist with McKinley ’46-’47, Sauter-Finegan '52-'53;
  Herman '53.
Karl Kiffe, b.Jul 6, 1927. Drummer with J Dorsey ’45 / ’50-‘53; Auld ’48-’50;
  Herman ’57; Norvo ’58-’59.
Frank Rehak, b.Jul 6, 1926. Trombonist with Gillespie ’56-’57.
Nick Brignola, b.Jul 7, 1936. Baritone saxophonist with Herman '63.
Bill Trujillo, b.Jul 8, 1930. Tenor saxophonist-clarinetist with Herman ’53-’54;
  Barnet ’56.
Billy Eckstine, b.Jul 8, 1914. Vocalist with Hines ’39-’43; leader of own band.
Louis Jordan, b.Jul 8, 1908. Alto saxophonist-vocalist with Webb ’36-’38;
  leader of own band.
Johnny Mince, b.Jul 8, 1912. Clarinetist-saxophonist with Noble ’34-’35; T
  Dorsey ’36-’41.
Irv Kluger, b.Jul 9, 1921. Drummer with Auld ’42-’43; Slack ’43-’44; Raeburn
  ’45-’47; Kenton ’47-’48; Shaw ’49 / ’53-’54.
Milt Buckner, b.Jul 10, 1915. Pianist with Hampton ’41-’48 / ’50-’52.
Dick Cary, b.Jul 10, 1916. Trumpeter with G. Gray ’43; Butterfield ’46;
  Armstrong ’47-’48; J Dorsey ’49; Hackett ’56-’57.
Noble Sissle, b.Jul 10, 1889. Leader of own band.
Will Bradley, b.Jul 12, 1912. Trombonist with Noble ’35-’36; leader of own
Rusty Dedrick, b.Jul 12, 1918. Trumpeter with Stabile ’38-’39; Norvo ’39-
  ’41; Thornhill ’41-’42 / ’46-’47.
Conte Candoli, b.Jul 12, 1927. Trumpeter with Herman ’43? / ’45 / ’50; Kenton
  ’48 / ’52.
Paul Gonsalves, b.Jul. 12, 1920. Tenor saxophonist with Gillespie ’49-’50; 
  Ellington ’50-’53 / -’74?; T Dorsey ’53.
Sam “the Man” Taylor, b.Jul 12, 1916. Tenor saxophonist with C. Williams ’41-
  43 / ’45-’46; Millinder ’44-’45; Calloway ’46-’52.
Buddy Moreno, b.Jul 13, 1912. Vocalist with Griff Williams ’40?; Jurgens ’40-
  42; James ’43-’44.
Nat Pierce, b.Jul 16, 1925. Pianist with Clinton ’48; Herman ’51-’55.
Danny Bank, b.Jul 17, 1922. Baritone saxophonist with Barnet ’42-’44 /
  ’49?; Goodman ’45-46 / ’85; Shaw ’49; Sauter-Finegan '52 / '53 / '61.
Don Bagley, b.Jul 18, 1927. Bassist with Kenton ’50-’54.
Charlie Teagarden, b.Jul 19, 1913. Trumpeter with J Dorsey ’47-’51; Crosby
  ’54-’58. Brother of Jack Teagarden.
Ernie Wilkins, b.Jul 20, 1922. Saxophonist-composer with Hines ’48; Basie
  ’51-’55; composer for T Dorsey ’55; James ’58-’60.
Lou McGarity, b.Jul 22, 1917. Trombonist with Bernie ’38-’40; Goodman ’40-’42
  / ’46-’47; Scott ’42-’43.
Danny Barcelona, b.Jul 23, 1929. Drummer with Armstrong ’58-?.
Herbie Haymer, b.Jul 24, 1915. Tenor saxophonist with Norvo ’35-’37;
  Kyser '42.
Joe Thomas, b.Jul 24, 1909. Trumpeter with F. Henderson ’34 / ’36-’37;
  Carter ’39-’40.
Cootie Williams, b.Jul 24, 1908. Trumpeter with Ellington ’29-’40 / ’62-’75;
  Goodman ’40-’41; leader of own band.
Johnny Hodges, b.Jul 25, 1906. Alto saxophonist for Ellington ’28-’51 / ’55-
Louie Bellson, b.Jul 26, 1924. Drummer with Goodman ’42-’43? / ’85-’86;
  T Dorsey ’47-’49; Ellington ’51-’53; Dorsey Bros ’55-’56; leader of own band.
Erskine Hawkins, b.Jul 26, 1914. Leader of own band.
Charlie Queener, b.Jul 27, 1921. Pianist with Spanier ’42; Goodman ’45;
  Hackett '50.
Corky Corcoran, b.Jul 28, 1924. Tenor saxophonist with James ’41-’48 / ’49 /
  ’51 / ’54 / ’58?-’70s; T Dorsey ’48. 
Don Redman, b.Jul 29, 1900. Saxophonist with F. Henderson ’23-’26;
  McKinney’s Cotton Pickers ’27-’31; leader of own band.
Jimmy Blanton, b.Jul 30, 1921. Bassist with Ellington ’39-’41?.
Hilton Jefferson, b.Jul 30, 1903. Alto saxophonist with Hopkins ’27-’29; Webb
  ’29-’30; F. Henderson ’32-’33; Calloway ’40-’51; Ellington ’52-’53.
Hank Jones, b.Jul 31, 1918. Pianist with Shaw ’53-’54; Goodman ’56-’58.

  Next month, be watching for a new, deluxe set of big band music – one of the albums you’ve been asking for!
  And the life of a big band leader is remembered in a new stage musical.

go to Big Band Library homepage