Big Bands In-Person
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: May 21, Radisson Hotel, Sacramento, CA;
    May 22, Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, Walnut Creek, CA; May 23, Lincoln Theater,
    Napa Valley, CA
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole: May 1, High School Auditorium, Grand
    Junction, CO; May 2, Shuler Theater, Raton, NM; May 4, Memorial Hall, Hutchinson, KS;
    May 5, Roosevelt Middle School, Coffeyville, KS; May 7, High School Auditorium, Joplin,
    MO; May 10, Johnny Carson Theater, Norfolk, NE; May 11, Sherman Center, Mitchell,
    SD; May 12, West High School Auditorium, Waterloo, IA; May 16, North Intermediate
    High School Auditorium, Broken Arrow, OK
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Buddy Morrow: May 23, Williamsburg Lodge,
    Williamsburg, VA; May 24, "San Francisco Jazz Festival," Davies Symphony Hall, San
    Francisco, CA [ with The Glenn Miller Orchestra ]
Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Paul Mercer Ellington: May 2, Valparaiso University,
    Valparaiso, IN; May 5, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL; May 21, Shenzhen Concert
    Hall, Shenzhen, China; May 22, Xing Hai Concert Hall, Guangzhou, China; May 24,
    Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai, China; May 26, National Concert Hall, Taipei, China
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke: May 1, Dover, DE   
Sammy Kaye Orchestra directed by Roger Thorpe: May 14-15, Bearcreek Farms,
    Bryant, IN
Hal McIntyre Orchestra directed by Don Pentleton: May 1, The Amazing Center for the
    Arts, Framingham, MA [ two shows beginning at 8:00pm ]
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: May 1, Performing Arts Center, Wisconsin
    Rapids, WI; May 3, Palace Theatre, Marion, OH; May 4, Lyle G. Palmer Auditorium,
    Springville, NY; May 6, Milan Performing Arts Center, Milan, MI; May 8, The Peninsula
    Chicago Ballroom, Chicago, IL; May 9, Chase Park Plaza Hotel (PBS Benefit), St. Louis,
    MO; May 12, Baldwin High School, Pittsburgh, PA; May 13, Maryland Theatre,
    Hagerstown, MD; May 15, Plaza Theatre, Glasgow, KY; May 16, Chattanooga Choo
    Choo Hotel, Chattanooga, TN; May 20, The Avalon Theatre, Easton, MD; May 22,
    Ipswich Performing Arts Center, Ipswich, MA; May 23, Meadowbrook Ballroom, Cedar
    Grove, NJ; May 24, "San Francisco Jazz Festival," Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco,
    CA [ with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra ]; May 26, Penns Valley Area High School,
    Spring Mills, PA; May 28, Hazleton Area High School, Hazleton, PA; May 29, The Scottish
    Rite Cathedral, New Castle, PA; May 31, French Lick Casino & Resort, French Lick, IN

Berigan Jazz Jubilee
    The annual Bunny Berigan Jazz Jubilee takes place this month in Fox Lake, WI on the 15th through the 17th.  Rev. Al Townsend will lead the so-called "Bunny Berigan Memorial Band," and there'll be other swing and dixieland music, food vendors, souvenirs, and more.  According to Jubilee coordinator Julie Flemming, a new feature this year will be wagon rides around the community, on the morning of the 17th, showing the childhood sites of Berigan's life.  She encourages the public to come and see the "Fox Lake where Bunny grew up."  For additional information, view the website 

New Miller Yahoo! Group
    Fans of Glenn Miller are invited to join the new "Music in the Miller Mood" Yahoo! Group, which covers not only Miller's civilian and AAF ensembles but also the various Glenn Miller Orchestras in existence from 1946-on and other bands, such as Jerry Gray, Ralph Flanagan, and Ray Anthony, which have carried on Miller's musical style.
    According to its moderator, George Spink, "As a member of our Music in the Miller Mood Yahoo! Group, you'll be able to publish your own posts about Glenn Miller and his music and to upload and download photos and song files.  I already have uploaded about 20 photos and as many MP3 files of Music in the Miller Mood.  And, I have posted a number of links pertaining to Miller music on the Links Page."
    To join the Group, go to
    I congratulate George for giving Miller fans around the world the opportunity to exchange thoughts, information, and to interact in a friendly, open, and equal manner.
    By the way, George is also the creator of The Palomar, an interactive, member-driven blog for those who love to talk about any of the big bands, not just Miller.  View The Palomar at, and be sure to give George and his other contributors some good feedback for all their hard work!

More Miller Music
    On the 23rd of this month, historian Karl Pearson will be "Remembering Glenn Miller"
during Chuck Schaden's "Those Were the Days" radio program, heard on WDCB-FM in Chicago (and over the Internet at  Pearson is going to include "a number of various Miller broadcasts from the 1938-1944 period, along with other recordings and excerpts."
    "Chuck and I did our first Glenn Miller program together back in 1973," Pearson told me, "and at the end of June he's retiring after 39 years on the air.  Steve Darnall will be continuing the program once Chuck retires and he and I will be doing a program on Chicago bands over the Labor Day weekend."
    "Those Were the Days" is broadcast Saturdays from 1 to 5 pm CST.

More In-Print and / or Online
Steven Brower, Satchmo: The Wonderful Life and Art of Louis Armstrong (New York City:
    Abrams, 2009) [ a 256-page biography "in the form of an art book" which employs "an
    unusual device to tell the story - decorated reel-to-reel tape boxes" created by Armstrong
    himself ].
Joe Carlton, "He'd Rather Sing: Chicago Bears Prez Had A Shot With Harry James,"
    The Great Escape! /, Issue No.13 May/June 2009 [ Ed McCaskey, who
    auditioned for James in 1939, later became the CEO of the Chicago Bears football
Jesse Hamlin, "Benny Goodman's music still swings," San Francisco [ CA ] Chronicle,
    May 26, 2009.
Phil Holdman and Warren Ketter, "A Singing Legend Talks with the Browsers," The Great
    Escape! /, Issue No.13 May/June 2009 [ the first portion of a transcript of
    a telephone interview with band vocalist Bea Wain that previously appeared in the Apr.
    1993 edition of the Browsers Notes ].
"Reed Wisdom: 10 Classic DownBeat Saxophonist interviews," Downbeat, May 2009
    [ includes "Coleman Hawkins: Hawk Talk" by Stanley Dance from Feb. 1, 1962 and
    "Lester Young: Pres: One of Jazzdom's Greats Reminisces, Evaluates and Chats" by
    Nat Hentoff from Mar. 7, 1956 ].
Robert Robbins, "Book Review: When Swing Was the Thing," Big Bands International,
    No.127 May 2009, pp.25-26 [ positive review of John Tumpak's work ].
Kirk Silsbee, "Dynamic Bellson Put Bands Before Self," DownBeat, May 2009, p.16.

Happy Birthday to You
Van Alexander, arranger (Webb '36-'38) - bandleader ('39-'43 / Capitol LPs '59-'62), b.May 2, 1915.
Buddy Catlett, bassist (Basie '62-'64), b.May 13, 1933.
Al Porcino, trumpeter (Herman '49 / '54 / '59; Kenton '55 / '60 / '65; J. Gray '56-'60?), b. May 15, 1925.
Eddie Bert, trombonist (Norvo '41-'42; Herman '43 / '50; Kenton '47; McKinley '52; Les Elgart '54; Lawrence '55-'59),
  b.May 16, 1922.
Gene DiNovi, pianist (Shaw '49; Goodman '48 / '59), b.May 26, 1928.
Lorrie Peters, vocalist (McKinley-Miller '57-'59? / '61 RCA Victor LP "Glenn Miller Time"), b.May 20, 1932.

Randy Purcell, 62, trombonist (Miller Orch.-DeFranco '69?; Ferguson '73-'74 / '77 / '78), d.May 16, 2009,
    "from complications of diabetes."
Butch Stone, 96, saxophonist-vocalist (Clinton '41; Brown '41-'01? ), d.May 19, 2009.
Dominic Mumolo, 91, saxophonist (James; Beneke), d.May 28, 2009.

Original Capitol Recordings Now On Compact Disc
Benny Goodman, "Let's Swing!: The 100th Anniversary: The Best of Benny Goodman,"
    Toshiba EMI ( J ) TOCJ-66509.
Louis Prima and Keely Smith, "Hey Boy! Hey Girl!" / [ Smith only ] "Swingin' Pretty,"
    DRG [ = the 1959 Capitol LPs T-1160 and ST-1145 plus six additional tracks ].
Paul Weston, "Jo Stafford with Paul Weston and His Orchestra: Autumn in New York and
    Other Great Songs," DRG 91518 [ 23 songs including Through the Years, Sometimes
    I'm Happy, In the Still of the Night, Temptation, Rockin' Chair, and Alice Blue Gown ].
---, "Jo Stafford with Paul Weston and His Orchestra: The Capitol Rarities 1943-1950,"
    DRG 91517 [ 24 rare vocals including Out of This World, Stanley Steamer, Diamonds
    Are a Girl's Best Friend, and Jolly Jo (M Plus H Equals Bop) ].
various artists, "June Christy: Something Latin / Jeri Southern: Something Porter [ with Billy
    May ]," DRG 8507 [ Christy's portion is backed by Ernie Freeman's music; Southern's
    portion = Capitol LP ST-1173 "Jeri Southern Meets Cole Porter" ].
various artists, "Johnny Mercer: Mercer Sings Mercer," DRG 91514 [ 23 tracks including
    The Old Music Master (with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra); The Tailgate Ramble
    (with Wingy Manone's Dixieland Band); It's Great to Be Alive (with Jo Stafford and Paul
    Weston and His Orchestra); and At the Jazz Band Ball (with Ben Pollack and His
    Pick-A-Rib Boys) ].

Other New CDs
Ray Anthony, "Let's Go to Town," Sounds of YesterYear ( UK ) DSOY782 [ 2-disc set of
    15-minute radio recruitment programs made for the National Guard ].
Count Basie, "Broadway and Hollywood... Basie's Way," Fresh Sound Records ( Sp )
    FSRCD546 [ = the 1966-67 Command LPs RS-905 and RS-912 ].
Tex Beneke, "The Glenn Miller Singers: Reunions in 1948, 1954, 1959," Sounds of
    YesterYear ( UK ) DSOY783 [ AFRS "On the Beam" show no. 2 with guest Marion
    Hutton + AFRS "On the Beam" show no.10 with guest Johnny Desmond + I Know Why
    recorded in 1954 + the rest of the 1959 Coral LP "Reunion in Hi-Fi" (CRL59104) ].
Xavier Cugat, "Only the Best of Xavier Cugat," Collectables 1127 [ 4-CD bundle pack of
    titles previously released by Collectables ].
Benny Goodman, "Best of the Yale Archives 1936-86," Jazz Heritage Society 5291143
    [ 26 selections ].
---, "The Yale University Music Library, Vol.11-12: NBC Broadcast Recordings," Jazz
    Heritage Society 5262997 [ 36 selections ].
Earl Hines, "Only the Best of Earl Hines," Collectables 1158 [ 4-CD bundle pack of titles
    previously released by Collectables ].
Sammy Kaye, "Only the Best of Sammy Kaye," Collectables 1167 [ 3-CD bundle pack of
    titles previously released by Collectables ].
Tony Pastor, "Only the Best of Tony Pastor," Collectables 1194 [ 3-CD bundle pack of
    titles previously released by Collectables ].

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the big bands are back
in a new and exciting way
MAY 2009
compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA

Happy Birthday, Benny!
    Like many Hollywood motion picture biographies, "The Benny Goodman Story," released in 1956 and starring Steve Allen as Goodman, was not entirely factual.
    So at Chicago Public Library on the 29th of this month I'm going to be hosting a program which is called "The Real Benny Goodman Story," celebrating the 100th anniversary of Goodman's birth in Chicago on May 30, 1909, and sticking to the facts in reviewing his life and career.
    Music associated with Goodman, who was known as "The King of Swing," will be performed live by The Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra, featuring John Otto on clarinet.   
Commodore Clipper
    The Vaughn Monroe Society is putting the final touches on its third get-together, "Still Racing with the Moon III," full of sightseeing, socializing, and recorded examples of Monroe's music. 
    This time, the locale will be the New York City area, with the gathering scheduled for the 29th through the 31st of this month at the Meadowlands Plaza Hotel, located just across the river from Manhattan in Secaucus, NJ. 
    Sure to be one of the highlights of the weekend is a walking tour around Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, the Waldorf-Astoria, and the St. Regis Hotel, followed by lunch, and then a visit to the Museum of Television and Radio on 52nd St. 
    As I commented to Claire Schwartz, one of the Vaughn Monroe Society's founders, New York City is an exciting place under any circumstances, and this will be no exception!
    For more details, such as other activities, costs, and the deadline for reservations, view the website
    My brother Jay and I send our regards to all participants, and, for fun, suggest a Monroe listening session with Commodore Clipper (his band used to broadcast from the Century Room of the Hotel Commodore in New York City), I Don't Want to Walk Without You (a 1941 Bluebird side recorded at the Victor studios on E. 24th St.), and Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long (in honor of Manhattan's Garment District).
    With the kind cooperation of The Benny Goodman Estate, and the use of MSS53,The Benny Goodman Papers in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University, several actual Goodman arrangements will be played, including Ridin' High, as arranged for Benny by Jimmy Mundy in 1937; Queer Notions, a Fletcher Henderson chart from 1933; and Restless, which Spud Murphy arranged for Benny in 1935. 
    Some of the other selections to be heard during the session will be stock arrangements of songs associated with Goodman, selected from the holdings of Chicago Public Library's Music Information Center.
    I won't reveal all of the titles which will be performed, to keep an element of surprise.  But suffice it to say it should be a wonderful opportunity to listen to some authentic Goodman music - and for free!