ARTISTS & PERFORMERS

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Artist Photo Artist Bio
Peggy Lee (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002) was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer and actress, in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman's big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. In 1942 Lee had her first No. 1 hit, "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place", followed by 1943's "Why Don't You Do Right?", which sold over a million copies and made her famous. She sang with Goodman's orchestra in ... Continue reading
Ramona Davies (March 11, 1909 − December 14, 1972), usually billed as Ramona and her Grand Piano, was a cabaret singer and pianist, most popular in the 1930s. Ramona became a vocalist and pianist for Paul Whiteman's Orchestra from 1932−1937. She played mildly jazz-influenced piano and sang songs in a deep-voiced, sophisticated style. She was sometimes featured by Whiteman with a small jazz group within the band, as well as recording sides as a soloist and duets with Roy Bargy. Prior to joining Whiteman, she had her own radio show in Cincinn... Continue reading
Ray Anthony (born January 20, 1922) is an American bandleader, trumpeter, songwriter and actor. He is the last surviving member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He played in Glenn Miller's band from 1940–1942 and appeared in the Glenn Miller movie Sun Valley Serenade before joining the U.S. Navy during World War Two. After the war he formed his own group. The Ray Anthony Orchestra became very popular in the early 1950s, with "The Bunny Hop" and the "Hokey Pokey", as well as the theme music from Dragnet. He had a #2 chart hit with a remake of th... Continue reading
Ray McKinley (June 18, 1910 – May 7, 1995) was an American jazz drummer, singer, and bandleader. McKinley’s first substantial professional engagement came in 1934 with the Dorsey Brothers' Orchestra. It was with the Smith Ballew band in 1929 that McKinley met Glenn Miller. The two formed a friendship that lasted from 1929 until Miller's death in 1944. McKinley and Miller joined the Dorsey Brothers in 1934. Miller left for Ray Noble in December 1934, while McKinley remained. The Dorsey brothers split in 1935, with McKinley remaining with Jim... Continue reading
Ray Noble (17 December 1903 – 3 April 1978) was an English bandleader, composer, arranger, radio comedian, and actor. Noble wrote both lyrics and music for many popular songs during the British dance band era, including "Love Is The Sweetest Thing", "Cherokee", "The Touch of Your Lips", "I Hadn't Anyone Till You", and his signature tune, "The Very Thought of You". Noble also played opposite American ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's stage act of Charlie McCarthy, and American comedy duo Burns and Allen. Noble was born in the Montpelier area... Continue reading
Red Nichols (May 8, 1905 – June 28, 1965) was an American jazz cornetist, composer, and jazz bandleader. Over his long career, Nichols recorded in a wide variety of musical styles, and is rumored to have appeared on over 4,000 recordings during the 1920s alone. Nichols kept himself alive during the first years of the Great Depression by playing in show bands and pit orchestras. He led Bob Hope's orchestra for a while, moving out to California. On May 2, 1942, Nichols left his band to take an army commission, following completion of an engagem... Continue reading
Richard Himber (20 February 1899 - 11 December 1966) was an American bandleader, composer, violinist and magician. His parents gave him violin lessons, but when they found him performing in a seedy Newark dive, they took the instrument away from him and sent him to military school. In 1915, he stole away into New York City, where Sophie Tucker heard him play and hired him as a novelty act to play with her and the Five Kings of Syncopation where Himber was the highlight of the cabaret act. He managed Rudy Vallee's orchestra service, which sent o... Continue reading
Roy Eldridge (January 30, 1911 – February 26, 1989), was an American jazz trumpet player. His sophisticated use of harmony, his virtuosic solos exhibiting a departure from the smooth and lyrical style of earlier jazz trumpet innovator Louis Armstrong, and his strong impact on Dizzy Gillespie mark him as one of the most influential musicians of the swing era and a precursor of bebop. Eldridge moved to New York in November 1930, playing in various bands in the early 1930s, including a number of Harlem dance bands with Cecil Scott, Elmer Snowden... Continue reading
Roy Fox (October 25, 1901 – March 20, 1982) was an American-born band leader whose period of greatest popularity was in England during the British dance band era. Fox was born in Denver, Colorado. Roy began playing cornet when he was 11 years old, and by age 13 was performing in the Los Angeles Examiner's newsboys' band. Soon after he played bugle for a studio owned by Cecil B. DeMille. His first major association came at the age of 16, when he joined Abe Lyman's orchestra at the Sunset Inn in Santa Monica, where he played alongside... Continue reading
Russ Colombo (January 14, 1908 – September 2, 1934), was an American baritone, songwriter, violinist and actor. He is famous for romantic ballads such as his signature tune "You Call It Madness, But I Call It Love" and his own compositions "Prisoner of Love" and "Too Beautiful For Words." Columbo was born in Camden, New Jersey, the twelfth child of Italian immigrant parents, Nicola and Giulia (Julia) Colombo. He attended Everett Grammar School and started playing the violin at a very young age and debuted professionally at the age of 13. By 1... Continue reading
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