JOIN THE BERIGAN JUBILEE
The 33rd annual celebration honoring trumpeter - bandleader Bunny Berigan, "Bunny Berigan's Jazz Jubilee," was held May 19th through the 21st in his hometown, Fox Lake, Wisconsin.
Reverend Al Townsend's "Bunny Berigan Memorial Band," with special guests Bob Schulz (cornet) and Bob Hirsch (piano), opened the "Jubilee" the afternoon of the 19th, and
performed concerts each day. On the morning of the 21st, a memorial service took place at Berigan's gravesite in St. Mary's Cemetery.
"We'd love to get more young people attending, although there is a large following right now," one volunteer told me.
More information was given on the website bunnyberigan.com.
JUSTICE FOR BOZY
The woman charged with second-degree murder for killing jazz historian and Bunny Berigan authority "Bozy" White will be sentenced in Alameda County Superior Court in California on May 29th.
White was about to complete 50 years of research on his biography of Berigan, when he was reported missing on February 12, 2004. After serving a search warrant, police found his decomposed body inside a duct-taped box in the basement of his Oakland, CA home.
Arrested for the crime was Elnora Myles, 33, who had suddenly moved into White's residence, with her boyfriend and two children. Still unclear are exactly why Myles killed White and how she knew him.
According to Prosecutor Paul Hora, White, a widower, sometimes rented rooms in his house to female college students, in exchange for them typing his manuscripts.
Tom Cullen, a longtime friend of White's, helped with the Berigan book for many years, and resumed working on it after White's death. In two volumes, with 1,500 pages, Cullen hopes that the research will be published later this year.
IT'S DELIGHTFUL, IT'S DELOVELY
It's The Les Elgart Orchestra, on the road under Russ Dorsey's direction, which toured Florida for part of this month. Their dates included May 6-7: Stuart; May 8, Bahamas; May 9, West Palm Beach; May 10-11,Orlando; and May 13-14, Tampa. Then it was back to their home base in Texas: May 19 at the Starlight Ballroom in Ft. Worth; and a free performance May 22 at Tuckers Catfish Haven in Ft. Worth.
TO EACH HIS OWN
The "Memories of the Eddy Howard Orchestra," directed by Gerald Accola, played for dancing the afternoon of May 7th at the Hanover Dance Pavilion, the former Hanover K-12 school in Hanover, IL. (Hanover is a little village of about 850 people, located 13 miles north of Savanna, IL.)
The dance started at 2 pm, and, according to event organizer Gary "Scott" Law, the band was up high, on the auditorium stage, similar to a traditional ballroom setting.
For those who arrived between 1 and 2, Law showed a videotape of the Wayne King television show, and there were about forty pieces of King memorabilia on display in an exhibit case in the building.
"This will be a very nice place to have ballroom dances in the future," he told me.
More information, as well as much history about music in the Savanna area, is on Law's website, stevensorchestra.tripod.com/index.html.
MORE BIG BANDS IN-PERSON - SELECT LIST:
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: May 4, Max M. Fisher Music Hall, Detroit,
MI; May 9, Newtown High School, Newtown, CT; May 10, Souhegan High School,
Amherst, NH; May 11, Barre Opera House, Barre, VT; May 16, Jazz Kitchen,
Indianapolis, IN; May 18, Slinger High School, Slinger, WI
Les Brown's Band of Renown directed by Les Brown, Jr.: May 1-4, 6, 8-11, 13, 15-18, 20,
22-25, 27, 29-31: Mickey Gilley Theatre, Branson, MO
Cab Calloway Orchestra directed by C. Calloway Brooks: May 19, Union County Arts
Center, Rahway, NJ
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole: May 20, The Cannery Hotel & Casino, Las
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Buddy Morrow: May 5-21, transatlantic cruise from
Ft. Lauderdale, FL aboard Costa Magica; May 28, Cavalier Hotel Beach Club, Virginia
Beach, VA; May 29, Palace Theatre, Cape Charles, VA
Maynard Ferguson and Big Bop Nouveau: May 6, State Theatre, Bay City, MI; May 11-14,
Blues Alley, Washington, DC; May 26, Memorial Auditorium, Porterville, CA; May 27,
Four Points Sheraton-LAX, Los Angeles, CA
Woody Herman's Thundering Herd directed by Frank Tiberi: May 13, Ritz Carlton,
Dearborn, MI; May 25, Four Points Sheraton-LAX, Los Angeles, CA
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke: May 2, Association of Professional
Orchestra Leaders' "24th Annual Dinner Dance," Poretta Banquets, Chicago, IL
Sammy Kaye Orchestra directed by Roger Thorpe: May 20, Romer's Catering & Restaurant,
Greenville, OH; May 22, Bear Creek Farms Theatre, Bryant, IN
Gene Krupa Orchestra directed by Michael Berkowitz: May 24, Bay City Central High
School, Bay City, MI
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: May 3, Glenrock Middle School, Glenrock,
WY; May 6, Northern Light Casino, Walker, MN; May 7, Unity Schools, Balsam Lakes,
WI; May 8, Hortonville High School, Hortonville, WI; May 9, Norway Fine Arts Center,
Norway, MI; May 11, St. Albans High School, St. Albans, WV; May 12, Valentine Theatre,
Toledo, OH; May 13, Ford Community & Performing Arts Theatre, Dearborn, MI; May 14,
Temple Theatre, Saginaw, MI; May 17, Sharpsville High School, Sharpsville, PA; May 18,
Stambaugh Auditorium, Youngstown, OH; May 20, Four Rivers Center for the Arts,
Paducah, KY; May 22, Derby Dinner Playhouse, Clarksville, IN; May 23, Hiwassee
College, Madisonville, TN; May 25, Walhalla Civic Auditorium, Walhalla, SC; May 26,
Morganton Municipal Auditorium, Morganton, NC; May 28, Sellersville Theatre,
Sellersville, PA; May 30, Smith Opera House, Geneva, NY
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Dick Johnson: May 4, Allen Theatre - Playhouse
Square, Cleveland, OH; May 5, Palace Theatre, Marion, OH; May 6, Prairie Center for the
Arts, Schaumberg, IL
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Bob Havens became one of Lawrence Welk's trombonists in 1960, and was featured with him on "The Lawrence Welk Show" until it ended production in 1982. This month, Havens marked his 76th birthday, and he now appears at various jazz festivals and concerts across
Ralna English joined the Welk TV program in 1969, and her husband, Guy Hovis, was hired the following year. They, too, remained until the show ceased weekly tapings in 1982, and were divorced in 1984. English still occasionally performs with Hovis, who now works for U.S. Senator Trent Lott in Mississippi.
Steve Smith sang on the Welk telecast from 1965-69, and later was the male vocalist with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. In 1982, Smith joined the pop group The Diamonds as their lead singer. Smith and his wife, Hope, own a lodge in California.
"The Lawrence Welk Show" which is scheduled to air May 20th on PBS is titled "Big Band Memories" (#1037), with new introductions by host Elaine (Niverson) Balden, who danced on the series from 1979-82. Among the selections will be Panama, Green Eyes, and Perfidia.
AND ON ANOTHER CHANNEL...
Cab Calloway enjoyed going to the horse races, so it was entirely appropriate that his
grandson carried on that tradition, with an appearance at the Preakness Stakes, held
May 20th at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD. In fact, C. Calloway Brooks and The
Cab Calloway Orchestra were a part of NBC Sports' broadcast of the Preakness, which,
according to the website preakness.com, drew "a 5.4 national rating, 14 share for the total program."
Dick Gerhart, 77, saxophonist (Miller Orchestra '68-'88), May 5, "from the effects of
John Hicks, 64, pianist (Herman '68-'69), May 10, internal bleeding
Ken Crawford, 80, leading record collector (Goodman, Miller, et al) and radio host
("Rhythm Sweet and Hot," WQED-FM + WDUQ-FM), May 12, "after a long battle with
kidney ailments and other illnesses"
NEW IN-PRINT AND / OR ONLINE - SELECT LIST
Anderson, Jim. "Artie Shaw - Stormy Petrel," Jazz Journal International, May 2006, p.10+.
Bertholdo, Stephanie. "Calabasas High School jazz band to perform with pros,"
Thousand Oaks [ CA ] Acorn / theacorn.com, May 11. [ incl. Murray Wald (Miller AAF) who will
accompany the Calabasas All Star Jazz Band on the famous Glenn Miller theme, Moonlight Serenade ]
"Big band swings into Amherst on Wednesday," Nashua [ NH ] Telegraph /
nashuatelegraph.com, May 8. [ about an upcoming local performance by The Count Basie Orchestra
directed by Bill Hughes ]
Cherry, Nanciann. "Orchestra keeps Miller sound alive," Toledo [ OH ] Blade /
toledoblade.com, May 11. [ about an upcoming local appearance of The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed
by Larry O'Brien ]
Crevier, Nancy K. "Audience Jazzed By Count Basie Orchestra," Newtown [ CT ] Bee /
newtownbee.com, May 11. [ review of The Basie Orchestra's May 9th concert ]
Dryden, Ken. "Books: Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big Way," Coda, May/June 2006,
Evansmo, Jan and Avis Carver Turner. "Wayman Carver: Fanfare for the Swinging Flute,"
IAJRC Journal, May 2006, pp.36-40.
Joslin, Gene. "Book Review: "Fats Waller On the Air," Joslin's Jazz Journal,
May 2006, p.10.
Lalonde, Pati. "Group ends on a high note with swing music, Sinatra," Bay City [ MI ]
Times / mlive.com, May 18. [ Michael Berkowitz, Director of The Gene Krupa Orchestra, talks about the band's
upcoming program for The Bay Area Concert Association ]
Larsen, Timothy. "A Time to Swing: Tommy Dorsey and the big band era,"
Books & Culture: A Christian Review / christianitytoday.com, May / June 2006, p.21.
Ratliff, Ben. "Listening with: Bob Brookmeyer: Raging, and Writing, Against the Machine,"
New York Times, May 12, sec. E, p.1, col.3.
Roberts, Frank. "Concert review: The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra at the Cavalier Hotel
Beach Club," The [ Virginia Beach, VA ] Virginian-Pilot / home.hamptonroads.com,
May 30. [ due to the ill health of Buddy Morrow, the band was conducted by trumpeter Flea Campbell, 81 ]
Tumpak, John. "Horace Heidt: Five Decades of Pleasing the Public," Joslin's Jazz Journal,
May 2006, pp.6-9.
Voce, Steve. "Book Reviews: Tommy Dorsey - Living in a Great Big Way," Jazz
Journal International, May 2006.
Wheeler, Geoffrey. "Decca Records Album of Jazz Reissues 1941-1942," IAJRC Journal,
May 2006, pp.7-17.
NEW DVDS - SELECT LIST
Desi Arnaz: "The Lucy & Desi Collection: 'Too Many Girls' (1940) / 'The Long, Long Trailer'
(1954) / 'Forever, Darling' (1955)," Warner Home Video [ 3 discs ]
[ latter two titles available seperately ]; "'I Love Lucy': The Complete Sixth Season On DVD,"
Paramount Home Video [ 4 discs ]
NEW COMPACT DISCS - SELECT LIST
Charlie Barnet: "Town Hall Jazz Concert & Rare Apollos," Hep (UK) CD 81
Count Basie: "At the Blue Note," Sounds of Yesteryear (UK) DSOY505 [ Chicago, 1955-56 ];
"The Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: Basie Is Back: Recorded Live in
Japan," Eighty-Eight's / Village Music Inc. (Japan) VRCL-18833
Cab Calloway: "Hi De Ho Man," Revola (UK) CRREV 164 [ NOT equivalent to CG 32593 ]
Bob Crosby: "The Crosby Brothers: Bing & Bob," Jasmine (UK) 651 [ 2 discs ]
Xavier Cugat: "Midnight Roses," Decca (Japan) UCCU-3028
Harry "Sweets" Edison: "Swing Summit," Candid 79050
Duke Ellington: "Duke's D.J. Special," Fresh Sound Records (Spain) FSRCD 410
Maynard Ferguson: "MF Horn 2 / The Ballad Style of Maynard Ferguson," Vocalion (UK)
CDSML 8421; "MF Horn VI - Live At Ronnie's," Maynard Ferguson Music
[ recorded summer 2005 at Ronnie Scott's jazz club, London ]
Lionel Hampton: "There Will Never Be Another You: Featuring Sylvia Bennett," Out of
Sight Music [ recorded 1989 but never previously released ]
Coleman Hawkins: "Body & Soul (The Complete Victor Recordings 1939-1956),"
Definitive (Spain) DRCD 11293
Earl Hines: "Piano Man," Definitive (Spain) DRCD 11290
Isham Jones: "Blue Room: 1933-36," Hep (UK) CD 1083
Stan Kenton: "Sophisticated Approach," Capitol 52994; "Progressive Jazz," Sounds of
Yesteryear (UK) DSOY 504
Guy Lombardo: "Lombardo Goes Latin / Bells Are Ringing," Vocalion (UK) CDLK 4333
Alvino Rey: "Classic Rey," Flare (UK) ROYCD 242
Jack Teagarden: "It's Time for T: Original Recordings 1929-1953," Naxos Jazz Legends
various artists: "Big Band Remixed + Reinvented," Varese Sarabande 63027
send feedback about "Big Band News" via e-mail