The big bands are back
in a new and exciting way!
JUNE 2010
compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA

    In 1935, Russ Morgan formed what became a legendary dance band, with hits including So Tired, Cruising Down the River, Somebody Else Is Taking My Place, Forever and Ever, and his theme song, Does Your Beat for Me?.
   After Russ passed away in 1969, one of his sons, Jack, took over the leadership of his dad's famed orchestra and has since kept his father's musical legacy going for more than 40 years.  However, Jack has decided to call its quits with a "last hurrah" tour and retire at the end of 2010.  
    That means that during the 75 years that The Russ Morgan Orchestra has been in existence, there's been only two leaders: Russ and Jack.  No other big band can make that claim!
    Under his direction, Jack expanded the Orchestra's working music library to more than 1,800 songs, including a large number of Latin tunes.
    Besides playing the trombone and singing, Jack is a talented ballroom dancer, so he and The Russ Morgan Orchestra will finish out their performances with some dance dates later in the year.
    This month, however, they are appearing at outdoor concerts: June 19, from 6 to 8 pm at the Geneseo Music Festival in Geneseo, IL [ call 309-944-2686 for additional information ] and June 20, from 1-3 pm, at the Landscape Nursery in Jackson, WI [ contact John Lamm at 262-677-3010 for more details ].

    While Jack Morgan begins to wind down his career as director of The Russ Morgan Orchestra, another of the classic bands from the '30s, The Artie Shaw Orchestra, gets a new leader. 
    Shaw himself stopped playing in 1954, but gave his consent to a new group bearing his name in 1983, with Boston-area musician Dick Johnson playing the clarinet.  Shaw died in 2004 and Johnson led it until 2006 (he succumbed in 2010).  For a couple years starting in January 2008, Rich Chiaraluce directed the band.
Jack Morgan
Russ Morgan [ r. ] with his son Jack
    The Artie Shaw Orchestra has a busy schedule this month, including
  • June 8, Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg, PA
  • June 9, Avalon Theatre, Annapolis, MD
  • June 10, Lincoln Theatre, Marion, VA
  • June 12, Five Flags Theater, Dubuque, IA
  • June 13, Schauer Center, Hartford, WI
  • June 18, Fargo Theatre, Fargo, ND
  • June 19, "Integrity Jazz Festival," Minot, ND
  • June 20, Casino Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • June 23, Belle Mehus Auditorium, Bismarck, ND
  • June 25, JC Theatre, Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD
  • June 29, John M. Hall Auditorium, Little Traverse Bay, MI
  • June 30, Riviera Theatre, Three Rivers, MI

    "There's nothing like it," Koza told Mark Wedel of the Kalamazoo [ MI ] Gazette this month.  "To stand in front of the band, to play the music, to be surrounded by the full sound of the brass and the rhythm section, it's an unparalleled experience."

Les Brown's Band of Renown directed by Les Brown, Jr.  June 5, Salt Palace, Salt Lake
    City, UT.
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole.  June 12, Seattle, WA; June 18, Wilkes
    Barre, PA.
Les Elgart Orchestra directed by Russ Dorsey.  June 6, Zanders Vietnamese Cuisine
    Restaurant, Plano, TX.
Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Paul Mercer Ellington.  June 2, "Billboard Live,"
    Tokyo, Japan; June 3-5, "Billboard Live," Osaka, Japan.
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke.  June 3, East Lansing, MI; June 12,
    Seattle, WA; June 24, Bettendorf, IA.
Hal McIntyre Orchestra directed by Don Pentleton.  June 19, Elim Park Auditorium,
    Cheshire, CT.
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien.  June 2, Anderson Civic Center,
    Anderson, SC; June 3, Oxford Civic Center, Oxford, AL; June 6, Paramount Arts Centre,
    Aurora, IL; June 9, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, IL; June 11-12, "Glenn Miller Birthplace
    Festival," Clarinda, IA; June 13, Guaranty Bank Parking Lot, Cedar Rapids, IA; June 15,
    Coney Island Park, Cincinnati, OH; June 17, Duncan Plaza, Massillon, OH; June 19,
    Brockville Arts Centre, Brockville, Ontario, Canada; June 21, Artpark, Lewiston, NY;
    June 25, Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada; June 28, Derby
    Dinner Playhouse, Clarksville, IN.
    But now, clarinetist-saxophonist Matt Koza [ l. ], a native New Yorker born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, is fronting The Artie Shaw Orchestra.  
    Koza pursued saxophone at Binghamton University-State University of New York, and during the fall 1994 semester was awarded a Lemelson Fellowship to attend Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.  In 1995, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from Binghamton University.  He then attended graduate school at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH and Queens College-City University of New York (where he was awarded the 1999 ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Scholarship). 
    Beginning in 2000, Koza was hired on tenor saxophone for the Shaw Orchestra under Johnson's leadership.  He stayed on when Chiaraluce took over the band.
    Koza and the present Artie Shaw Orchestra played in Bellefonte, PA on May 1st. 
    Their vocalist is pretty Sarah Hayes.
    The facility includes a theater, research space, and a 3000 square feet display area.
    Congratulations to everyone who made the Museum a reality, following years of planning, fundraising, and collaborating!  (And, of course, after visiting the Museum, one can tour the Glenn Miller Birthplace Home where Miller was born on Mar. 1, 1904.)
    For more information, view the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society's website,

    Interest in Benny Goodman's life and music continues; if anyone needed proof, they only had to see the turnout for a Goodman memorial concert I hosted at Chicago Public Library last year.      But there hasn't been much fresh research shared for over a decade, when D. Russell Connor's Benny Goodman: Wrappin' It Up (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1996) came out.  Connor had helped to pioneer jazz discography with his previous extensive and dedicated Goodman research, including B.G. - Off the Record: A Bio-Discography of Benny Goodman (Fairless Hills, PA: Gaildonna Publishers, 1958), B.G. - On the Record: A Bio-Discography of Benny Goodman (New Rochelle, NY; Arlington House, 1969), The Record of a Legend . . . . . Benny Goodman (New York City: Let's Dance Corporation, 1984), and Benny Goodman:
Listen to his Legacy (Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.,1988).   
    On the 10th of this month, during the 35th annual Glenn Miller Birthplace Festival in Clarinda, IA, the new, state-of-the-art Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum holds its grand opening!
    "The Museum will have a large display area in which to tell the story of Glenn Miller's musical career.  The amount of memorabilia people have donated to the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society will make it possible to rotate the display, thus encouraging people to make repeat visits to learn more about Glenn's contributions to the world," it was announced.  "Glenn's trombone, the original Cafe Rouge bandstands, movie posters and numerous photographs are just a few of the artifacts that will be displayed along with items relating to other Big Band Era musicians."
courtesy of The
Glenn Miller Birthplace Society
    His new book of approximately 353 pages, annotated and in chronological order, updates some previously-known information, and adds nearly 100 discoveries including over 65 never-before-known radio broadcasts, airchecks, and films.  All 182 shows of Goodman's popular "Camel Caravan" radio series (1936-1939) are offered in print for the first time, in an authoritative list.
    Jessup also gives new details about Goodman's live appearances, ranging from the mid-1980s back to the 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert, including an analysis of the controversial 1999 Sony reissue of that concert.
    "The 'new' items uncovered, the 'Antique Roadshow' moments, dealing with new technology in service of the classic performances - all of it is tremendous fun," Jessup continued. 
    Additional information in the book considers nearly 400 LP, tape, and CD reissues by smaller, collector-oriented labels personally audited by Jessup and his associates; a necrology of those associated personally or professionally with Goodman who have died since 1996, and indexes by song title and musician.
    "I hope this book will excite and challenge even the veteran collectors," Jessup commented.
Big Band Library rating: EXCELLENT

"Artie Shaw's big band group coming to Dubuque," [ Dubuque, IA ] Telegraph Herald,
    June 7, 2010 [ tickets at the Five Flags Theater appearance on June 12 are $35,
    $25, and $20 ].
John Robert Brown.  "Artie Shaw: Not here to please," Jazz Journal, June 2010 / Vol.63
    No.6, pp.6-7 [ Brown recalls Shaw speaking at a jazz education conference in 2002 ].
Mike Brownlee.  "Museum opening highlights Miller Festival," [ Council Bluffs, IA ] Daily
    Nonpareil, June 9, 2010 [ "He was a wonderful person, very patriotic and had a
    mysterious death - there's just a lot of intrigue about Glenn Miller," according to
    Marvin Negley, President of the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society Board of Directors ].
Howard Fischer.  "Harlem deserves a great jazz museum: Build a world-class facility to
    celebrate the art form," New York [ NY ] Daily News, June 1, 2010 [ Fischer hopes that
    the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, founded in 2003, will find a permanent and
    fitting home ].
Carrie Frillman.  "'Priceless' music collection leaves Malta for N.Y.," [ DeKalb, IL ] Daily
    Chronicle, June 4, 2010 [ nearly 1,000 acetate, aluminum and vinyl records from the
    late recording engineer Bill Savory's personal collection are being transferred to the
    National Jazz Museum in Harlem to be digitized; included are many performances by
    Benny Goodman ].
Carly Hill.  "Oceanside: Legendary big band singer to perform," [ Oceanside, CA ]
    North County Times, June 6, 2010 [ former Ellington band vocalist Herb Jeffries, now
    age 96, will perform at a benefit concert on June 11th to raise money for music
    programs in local elementary schools ].
"KXCV to broadcast live from Glenn Miller Festival," Maryville [ MO ] Daily Forum,
    June 10, 2010 [ broadcasters for KXCV, Northwest Missouri State University's
    100,000-watt public radio station, will report live from the Glenn Miller Festival in
    Clarinda on June 12 ].
Alan Luff.  "Anec-dotage: Alan Luff suggests than on occasion Charlie Barnet gave
    Woody Herman a run for his money," Jazz Journal, June 2010 / Vol.63 No.6, p.13.
Marc Myers.  "Interview: Dick Collins (Part 1),", June 8, 2010 [ Collins
    played trumpet with Barnet 3/5/51 recording session; Herman '54-'56; Brown '57-'61? ].
---.  "Interview: Dick Collins (Part 2),, June 10, 2010.
---.  "Interview: Stanley Kay (Part 1),", June 26, 2010 [ Kay was the
    relief drummer with Rich in '46-'48? and later founded the DIVA Jazz Orchestra ].
---.  "Interview: Stanley Kay (Part 2),", June 26, 2010.
Neil Norman.  "Express Yourself: Did the Gestapo Murder 'Superspy' Glenn Miller?,"
    [ London, England ], June 24, 2010 [ Norman calls Hunton Downs'
    The Glenn Miller Conspiracy: The never-before-told true story of his life - and death
    "extraordinary" and intriguing"; " . . . this may be the one closest to the truth . . . " ].
Jenny Shriver.  "It's a landmark year for musical icons," USA Today, June 28, 2010
    [ ways to praise your musical heroes including Artie Shaw, whose birth in 1910 was
    100 years ago ].
Michael P. Zirpolo.  "Bunny Berigan: Mr. Trumpet: The Golden Boy Moves On," IAJRC
    Journal, June 2010, pp.46-57 [ another chapter from Zirpolo's forthcoming Berigan
    biography ].

Whitey Thomas, b.June 29, 1920.  Trumpeter with Miller AAF '43-'45; Miller Orch.-Beneke

Danny Bank, 87, d.June 5, 2010.  Baritone saxophonist with Barnet '43 / '44 / '46 / '48-'49 /
    '58 / '66; Goodman '45-'46 / '85; Whiteman '46-'47; J. Dorsey '47; Shaw '49-'50;
    T. Dorsey '50; Sauter-Finegan '52 / '53;
Bud Shiffman, 98, d.June 17, 2010.  Alto saxophonist with Masters '38-'42; Goodman '42.
Chuck Genduso, 88, d.June 18, 2010.  Trumpeter with T. Dorsey '46; McKinley '46-'47.
Stanley Kay, 86, d.June 21, 2010, "after a long illness."  Relief drummer with Rich
Allyn Ferguson, 85, d.June 23, 2010.  Composer (Passacaglia and Fugue for Kenton
    '66; Burnin' / Easy Go / Swee'Pea / Walkin' Proud / Warm Velvet / Blues for Royalty /
    Rompin' and Rollin' for Basie Orch. "Swing Shift" CD '99) - arranger (Basie Orch.
    "Count Plays Duke" CD '98).
Benny Powell, 80, d.June 26, 2010.  Trombonist with Hampton '49-'51; Basie '51-'63.
Joya Sherrill, 85, d.June 28, 2010, leukemia.  Vocalist with Ellington '42 / '44-'46 / '57 "A
    Drum Is a Woman" TV special / '70 "Time for Joya" WPIX-TV; Goodman '62.

Tex Beneke and The Glenn Miller Orchestra.  "Garry Stevens Sings Again 1946-1948,"
    Sounds of Yester Year ( UK ) DSOY820 [ a companion volume to the 2007 CD, "Garry
    Stevens Sings," Sounds of Yester Year DSOY727; more vocals by Stevens, including
    This Is The Night, The Old Lamplighter, Anniversary Song, Somewhere in the Night,
    Every So Often, and The Heather On the Hill ].
Will Bradley.  "Ridin' a Riff," Sounds of Yester Year ( UK ) DSOY819 [ 26 tunes made in
    1959 as SESAC transcriptions by a septet under Bradley's name and including Billy
    Butterfield on trumpet, Chubby Jackson on bass, and Terry Snyder on drums ].
The Dorsey Brothers.  "Three Classic Albums (The Fabulous Dorseys in Hi-Fi
    Vol.1 / The Fabulous Dorseys in Hi-Fi Vol.2 / Sentimental and Swinging) Plus,"
    Avid ( UK ) 1008 [ 2-CD set = Columbia C2L8 and Columbia CL 1240 plus the
    11/23/56 CBS broadcast from the Hotel Statler in New York City and five selections
    recorded for Bell; NOTE Columbia C2L8 was previously released on CD in 1997, minus
    Wagon Wheels, as Collectables COL-5849; and the five Bell sides were previously
    issued on CD in 1995 on Blue Moon ( Sp ) BMCD 3055 ].
Benny Goodman.  "AFRS Benny Goodman Show Volume 1," Sounds of Yesteryear ( UK )
    DSOY818 [ original radio broadcasts from July 1946, taken from a set of original AFRS
    discs, and including Benny's guests, Martha Tilton and Johnny Mercer, as well as his
    regular vocalists, Eve Young and Art Lund; Sounds of Yester Year hopes to issue
    Goodman's "complete output from that series, all in sequence" ]. 
Stan Kenton.  "This Is An Orchestra," Tantara 1125 [ 2-CD set of material from 1948-73;
    includes Intermission Riff, Malaguena, The Peanut Vendor, and many lesser-known
    pieces ].
Gene Krupa.  "The Complete 1955 Session," Essential Jazz Classics 55469 [ a total of
    eight selections recorded Jul. 31, 1955; seven of them from Clef MG-C681, "Krupa/
    Wilson/Hampton," plus one from an EP, Columbia ( UK ) SEB10086, "Strollin' Along" ].
Louis Prima.  "Louis Prima at The Movies: Lights! Camera! Zooma! Zooma!," Phantasm
    Imports [ songs used in such motion pictures as "Casino," Raging Bull," and "Mystic
    Pizza" ].
Artie Shaw.  "Artie Shaw Pays His Dues," Audiophonic 100416 [ 2-CD set; 30 selections
    from 1937 Thesaurus transcriptions; NOTE: all selections (plus more) previously
    released on CD in 2003 and 2004 by Jazz Band ( UK ) as "The Complete Rhythm
    Makers Sessions 1937-1938" ].
Joe Venuti.  "Blue Five Swing," Sounds of Yester Year ( UK ) DSOY815 [ = Jazz Vault
    LP JV109, recorded in 1957; selections include Nobody Loves Me, Fickle Fiddle,
    Hoedown Lowdown, Tango Interlude, Hot 'n' Trot, Bohemian Bounce, Blue Five Swing,
    others ].

    On the 18th of this month, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ray McKinley will occur.  For fans of Mac, like myself, we'll of course be remembering him.
    His daughter, Jawnie, telephoned me recently (just before leaving for her summer home in Canada) and remarked, "I'm sure the bands are playing in Heaven like you can't believe."
    Ray died in 1995 - hard to realize that it's been 15 years since he passed away!  He sure played and sang a lot of memorable music during his long career.
    As Jawnie suggested, "Think Hard Hearted Hannah on June 18th."
    Sounds good to me!

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    Now, collector and writer David Jessup [ l. ] has picked up where Connor left off 14 years ago, with new discographical information in Benny Goodman: A
Supplemental Discography (Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2010).
    "It's been a fascinating ride, these past fourteen years or so," Jessup told me.  "The chance to add to the documentation of Benny Goodman's recorded legacy is a privilege.  It's something I could never have anticipated thirty or forty years back as a fan of his music and of its primary discographer, D. Russell Connor."
    Jessup may be familiar to you as the writer of liner notes for such Goodman CDs as "The NBC Broadcasts From Chicago's Congress Hotel 1936" (three volumes, Circle, 1998) and "Benny Goodman, 1930-33" (Jazz Oracle, 2008).
David Jessup, © 2010 Joel Jessup