Benny Goodman: ‘The King of Swing’

The year was 1935. An enthusiastic crowd of young dancers gathered at the famous Palomar Ballroom on Vermont Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Two nights before, the young band and its leader, Benjamin “Benny” Goodman, had played to a sold-out crowd in Oakland’s McFadden Ballroom. In the Bay Area, Goodman … Continue reading Benny Goodman: ‘The King of Swing’

The ‘Queen of Jazz’ At One Hundred

Ella Fitzgerald had an exceptional vocal range that earned her titles like ‘The Queen of Jazz’, ‘The First Lady of Song’ and ‘Lady Ella’. She was held in high esteem by her fans all over the world at the peak of the Swing and Big Band era. Numerous times did she face discrimination because of … Continue reading The ‘Queen of Jazz’ At One Hundred

Paul Whiteman – The ‘King of Jazz’

Known to millions in the ’20s & ’30s as “The King of Jazz”, Paul Whiteman was a pioneer of early Jazz music and discovered some of the most talented vocalists and musicians of the Big Band era. Born in Denver, Colorado in March of 1890, his mother was a former opera singer, and his father … Continue reading Paul Whiteman – The ‘King of Jazz’

The Glenn Miller Big Band That Failed

The year was 1935. Arranger and trombone player Glenn Miller had already experienced success in his musical career, and he was about to embark on his first “solo” career as a band leader. The Iowa native had entered the University of Colorado in 1923, but was an academic disappointment as he spent more time playing … Continue reading The Glenn Miller Big Band That Failed

Goodman Pianist & Vocalist Buddy Greco Passes

Buddy Greco, the Philadelphia-born pianist and vocalist that at one time performed with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, has died at his Las Vegas home. He was 90. Greco, who initially made his mark with a hit recording of “The Lady Is a Tramp,” toured and recorded with famed bandleader Benny Goodman, performed on dozens of … Continue reading Goodman Pianist & Vocalist Buddy Greco Passes

Big Band Leader Bobby Hales Passes

Big Band legend and former Musician’s Union President Bobby Hales recently passed away at his home in Vancouver, Canada at the age of 82 from natural causes. Hales might very well be one of the last true “big band” leaders of the original Big Band era. Hales was known for his ability to pull together … Continue reading Big Band Leader Bobby Hales Passes

Jazz Orchestra Thrills 1,000 Attendees At “Gatsby” Event

The Art Deco Society of California launched the fall of ’16 with a party attended by upwards of 1,000 fans of the Art Deco era in a scene straight out of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famed 1925 novel, “The Great Gatsby.” Held at the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate, the 32nd annual “Gatsby Summer Afternoon” event was an … Continue reading Jazz Orchestra Thrills 1,000 Attendees At “Gatsby” Event

Swing Music Delights Sold Out Audiences

To the delight of fans of Swing & Big Band music, the all-singing, all-dancing World War Two era musical “In The Mood” topped off 23 incredible years on the road with a half dozen sold out performances in Northern California just outside the state capital recently. Following the West Coast leg of their world-wide tour, … Continue reading Swing Music Delights Sold Out Audiences

Glenn Miller Orchestra Vocalist Passes

One of the better known voices of the Glenn Miller Orchestra was heard by millions- and yet never seen. Helen Patricia Friday (born 1921, died June 21, 2016) also known as Pat Friday, was born in Idaho and whose singing career highlight was working as a “ghost singer” for the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra … Continue reading Glenn Miller Orchestra Vocalist Passes