MARCH 2006

compiled by Christopher Popa

Bill Hughes on-stage with The Count Basie Orchestra [ r. ].
    This is shaping up to be an exciting year for compact disc recordings and other projects by some of the legendary big bands!
    The Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes has been busily involved with several  CD titles.  On February 22nd in Los Angeles, they completed their part of a recording to a voice track by the late Ray Charles, for Concord Records.  Soon, the band will head back to the studio.  "We will be recording our next Count Basie Orchestra studio album in a few months with all new material and some great surprises," it is promised.  And a new, live recording by The Count Basie Orchestra, "Basie is Back," is scheduled to be released on Village Records of Japan on May 24th.  It was recorded in Japan on October 28, 2005, and will include vocals by Melba Joyce. 
    The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien has a new CD which should be out shortly.  Titled "Steppin' Out," the performance was made August 20, 2005 for a broadcast on XM Satellite Radio.  Featured on vocals is Nick Hilscher, who has since left the band.
    The Gene Krupa Orchestra directed by Michael Berkowitz is hoping to make a CD sometime this year.  "Recording still depends on the XM satellite broadcast date, which continues to be in flux," Berkowitz tells me.  "I want to use their NY studios and they prefer we come to Washington, DC."
    The Hal McIntyre Orchestra directed by Don Pentleton had, at one point, been hoping to record a new CD, but this has yet to happen.  "Regarding the CD, at this time we've had to put the project on the back burner due to cost," Pentleton informs me.  "To produce a CD of this magnitude is a major investment with no promise of a return.  We are hoping that a producer or backer will step forward."
    Les Brown's Band of Renown directed by Les Brown, Jr. promises that "Les Brown Concert DVDs [ Are ] Coming Soon!"  Already being offered are VHS videotapes of the band's live shows in Branson, MO.  "We have videos of nearly every show of the 2004 and 2005 seasons," it is reported.  The tapes, priced at $29 each, may be purchased by calling 866-473-6696.

Count Basie: "Lester Leaps In," Epic (Japan) EICP 601
Bunny Berigan: "Take it, Bunny!," Epic (Japan) EICP 603
Chu Berry: "Chu," Epic (Japan) EICP 604
Carmen Cavallaro: "Carmen Cavallaro with That Latin Beat," Decca (Japan) UCCU-9158
The Dorsey Brothers: "Stage Show," Sounds of Yesteryear SOY 700
Peter Duchin: "That Duchin Touch," Decca (Japan) UCCU-9167
Shep Fields: "You and I," Audiophonic 50802 [ 2-CD ]
Bobby Hackett: "The Hackett Horn," Epic (Japan) EICP 600
Coleman Hawkins: "The Chronological 1953-1954," Classics 1416
Johnny Hodges: "Hodge Podge," Epic (Japan) EICP 599
Benny Goodman: "The Chronological 1947-1949," Classics 1418
Buddy Rich: "The Chronological 1950-1955," Classics 1419
various: "The Duke's Men," Epic (Japan) EICP 602; "Alistair Cooke's Jazz Letter From
  America," Avid 855 [ 2-CD incl. T. Dorsey, James, Teagarden, Wilson ]

Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: Mar. 1, Dunlap High School, Dunlap, IL;
  Mar. 2, Hannibal High School, Hannibal, MO; Mar. 3, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg,
  KS; Mar. 5, North Platte High School, North Platte, NE; Mar. 6, Wichita County High
  School, Leoti, KS; Mar. 7, Heritage High School, Littleton, CO; Mar. 8, Rio Rancho High
  School, Rio Rancho, NM; Mar. 10, Buena Performing Arts Center, Sierra Vista, AZ;
  Mar. 11, Chandler Center for the Performing Arts, Chandler, AZ; Mar. 16, Morningside
  College, Sioux City, IA; Mar. 18, Palace Theatre, Waterbury, CT; Mar. 19, Penn's Peak,
  Jim Thorpe, PA; Mar. 25-31, European tour
Tex Beneke Orchestra directed by Jim Snodgrass: Mar. 12, Civic Arts Plaza, Thousand
  Oaks, CA; Mar. 14, McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert, CA [ both with Carol Lawrence,
  The Four Lads, String of Pearls ]
Cab Calloway Orchestra directed by Calloway Brooks: Mar. 8, Maltz Jupiter Theatre,
  Jupiter, FL
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole: Mar. 12, Naples, FL; Mar. 14, Englewood, FL
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Buddy Morrow: Mar. 5, Memorial Hall, Bethel College,
  North Newton, KS
Maynard Ferguson and His Big Bop Nouveau Band: Mar. 3, Highland High School,
  Highland, IN; Mar. 4, Beavercreek High School, Beavercreek, OH; Mar. 6, Roncalli High
  School, Manitowoc, WI; Mar. 18, Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center, Woonsocket,
  RI; Mar. 21, Schuylerville High School, Schuylerville, NY; Mar. 22, Athena Performing Arts
  Center, Rochester, NY; Mar. 23, Springifled-Griffith Institute High School, Springville, NY;
  Mar. 24, John Marshall High School, Glen Dale, WV; Mar. 27, Unionville High School,
  Kennett Square, PA; Mar. 31, Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY 
Gene Krupa Orchestra directed by Michael Berkowitz: Mar. 3, Eissey Center Theatre, Palm
  Beach Gardens, FL [ with Hal Linden, Lynn Roberts, the Florida Pops ]; Mar. 4, FAU,
  Boca Raton, FL [ with Hal Linden, Lynn Roberts, the Florida Pops ]; Mar. 18, Struthers
  Library Theatre, Warren, PA [ with Steve Lippia ]
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: Mar. 3, Bologna Performing Arts Center,
  Cleveland, MS; Mar. 5, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL; Mar. 8, Freed Center for the
  Performing Arts, Ada, OH; Mar. 9, Renaissance Theatre, Mansfield, OH; Mar. 11,
  Touhill Performing Arts Center, St. Louis, MO; Mar. 12, Center for Performing Arts,
  Governors State University, University Park, IL; Mar. 13, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre,
  Indianapolis, IN; Mar. 14, Harrison High School, Harrison, OH; Mar. 17, McMahon
  Memorial Auditorium, Lawton, OK; Mar. 19, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM;
  Mar. 20, Shuler Theatre, Raton, NM; Mar. 22, University of Texas, El Paso, TX; Mar. 24,
  Pikes Peak Center, Colorado Springs, CO; Mar. 25, Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO;
  Mar. 28, Farmington Civic Center, Farmington, MN; Mar. 30, Mingus Union High School,
  Cottonwood, AZ; Mar. 31, Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler, AZ
Russ Morgan Orchestra directed by Jack Morgan: Mar. 1-4, aboard the Empress of the
  North riverboat cruise; Mar. 7-8, The Club, Birmingham, AL; Mar. 26, Indiana Roof
  Ballroom, Indianapolis, IN
Randy Taylor, 80, historian (Kenton) - radio broadcaster, Mar. 7, "complications from
  colon cancer"
Fredy Ostrovsky, 84, violinist (Miller AAF '43-'45), Mar. 21, 2006
Martha Dickinson Martz, 65, vocalist (The Modernaires early '70s, 1996-on), Mar. 22, 2006
  [daughter of Hal Dickinson and Paula Kelly; sister of Paula Kelly Cole and Julie Lancaster ]

    Music fans and history buffs were invited to attend a noontime talk about "The Life and Times of Glenn Miller," March 9 at the Colorado History Museum in Denver.  Alan Cass, Curator of the Miller Archive at the University of Colorado, who was the guest speaker, offered a multimedia presentation, including Miller's music, photos, and words.  (And members of the audience ordered an optional box lunch, if desired.)

Austin, John.  "Still in Sync: When the Moonmaids toured in the '40s, they never dreamed
  they'd still be singing," [ Dallas-Fort Worth, TX ] Star-Telegram /, Mar. 20, 2006.  
   [ The Moon Maids, who haven't sung together in years, prepare for six concerts to be held next month in Florida with fellow
   Vaughn Monroe alumnus Bucky Pizzarelli ]
Bledsoe, Wayne.  "Doc Severinsen looks back fondly on his late-night gig,"
  Scripps Howard News Service,, Mar. 28, 2006.
Crane, Cheryl.  "Lana Turner & Artie Shaw: A Brief Interlude Atop Coldwater Canyon for
  the Actress and the Bandleader," Architectural Digest, Mar. 2006.  [ photographs of their home
   on Summit Ridge Drive in the Hollywood Hills; written by Turner's daughter ]
Fernandez, Manny.  "Where Feet Flew and the Lindy Hopped," New York Times,, Mar. 12, 2006.   [ the Savoy Ballroom opened in New York City on March 12, 1926 ]
Fong-Torres, Ben.  "Radio Waves: R.I.P.," San Francisco Chronicle,,
  Mar. 12, 2006.   [ light-hearted recollection of Del Courtney as a disc jockey on KSFO ]
Friedwald, Will.  "The Most Successful Big Band of Its Era," New York Sun /,
  Mar. 27, 2006.   [ this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra ]
Gillespie, James.  "The Movies of Benny Goodman: A Pictorial Retrospective: Take 2,"
  The Clarinet, Mar. 2006, pp.74-77.   [ second installment ]
Hickley, David.  "Radio: Step back into Savoy's past," New York Daily News,, Mar. 9, 2006.   [ a dinner-dance to celebrate the Savoy Ballroom's 80th anniversary ]
Moorman, Jane.  "BHS graduate on road with Glenn Miller organization," Valencia County
  [ NM ] News-Bulletin /, Mar. 1, 2006.   [ Allen Cordingley, second alto saxophone
   and asst. road manager with the present Miller Orchestra, graduated from Belen High School in 1997 ]
Page, Chris.  "Entertainment: Saying goodbye to Doc pops," East Valley [ AZ ] Tribune /, Mar. 26, 2006.   [ Doc Severinsen is leaving his post as principal pops conductor for the
   Phoenix Symphony after 22 years ]
Sager, David.  "Book & CDs: Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big Way / The Sentimental
  Gentleman of Swing," Mississippi Rag, Mar. 2006, p.20-21.
Snider, Marie.  "Aspire to be young at heart," [ Ontario, Canada ] Fort Frances Times /, Mar. 15, 2006.   [ mentions recent concert by The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra directed by
   Daryl "Flea" Campbell ]
Zirpolo, Michael P.  "Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra: The Early Years 1935 - 1939,"
  IAJRC Journal, Winter 2006, pp.30-44.   [ a scholarly examination of the first four years of Tommy's band,
   including quotations from conversations Zirpolo had in 1986 with clarinetist Johnny Mince and saxophonist Bud Freeman,
   both Dorsey alumni ]

    Yes, that was a recording by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra heard at the end of "The Sopranos" episode which premiered March 12th on HBO.  Comes Love, with Helen Forrest's vocal, was recorded by Shaw's band on June 12, 1939, for Bluebird.
    It was playing as mob boss "Tony Soprano" (James Gandolfini) came to visit his uncle, "Corrado Soprano, Jr." (Dominic Chianese), who has been suffering from Alzheimer's
Disease and dementia.  When Tony began cooking him some pasta, Corrado, aka "Uncle Junior," yelled from the second floor, "Who's down there?," and Tony jokingly replied, "Artie Shaw."
    "Uncle Junior" came downstairs to investigate, armed with a gun, and, not recognizing his nephew, shot him in the stomach.

    The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens, NY is accepting applications for  Facilities Manager, with duties to include maintaining the cleanliness of the building, assisting with tours and other programs, and driving the 10-seat "Satchmobile" van.  The successful candidate will work a schedule of 35 hours a week.  For salary and additional information, contact Deslyn Dyer, Assistant Director of the Armstrong House Museum, at 718-478-8274.

send feedback about Big Band News: March 2006 via e-mail
return to Big Band News directory
go to Big Band Library homepage

    Clarinetist Ken Peplowski continued to tour with a
14-piece band, performing "Sing! Sing! Sing!," a tribute to Benny Goodman.
Mar. 3, Trenton War Memorial, Trenton, NJ
Mar. 5, The Ritz, Tiffin, OH
Mar. 8, Valentine Theatre, Toledo, OH
Mar. 9, Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Detroit, MI
Mar. 11, Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet, IL

    The New York Times called Peplowski "Goodman straight up with a twist of lightning."