Big Bands

This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Tommy Traynor was a singer during the Big Band Era with the Modernaires. The singing group gained lasting popularity while performing with Glenn Miller, beginning in the...
Orrin Tucker’s Orchestra recorded one of the greatest successes of the big band era, “Oh Johnny Oh.” This novelty number featured the shy voice of Wee Bonnie Baker and has come to symbolize the musical era and the social climate of America during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Orrin enjoyed a full...
John Tumpak is the author and music historian who has focused most of his writings on the golden age of swing during the Big Band Era of the 1930-40s.  As a result, John has interviewed and written about many of the big names during that time as well as documenting some of the lesser known...
Sam Ulano was the drum teacher, performer, method book author and drum shop owner whose name became synonymous with the world of drumming.  During his long and celebrated career, Sam played with some of the legends of jazz and popular music.  In 1948 he published the first of nearly one thousand...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Warren Vaché Sr. was a jazz bassist and author whose son, Warren Vache Jr., is a noted jazz cornetist. Warren started out on drums but was asked to switch to bass as there...
Bernie Vance played the saxophone in a number of big bands during the swing era. He was drafted and served during World War II, only to come home and find that musical tastes had changed. The big band era was over so Bernie turned to what he knew best, his horn. If he couldn’t play it for a living...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Bea Wain was a singer with the big bands during the great swing era of the 1940s. She began singing with Artie Shaw's orchestra in 1937. Her greatest success came as she...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Paul Weston was an arranger for several dance bands before forming his own orchestra during the Big Band Era. He arranged for Tommy Dorsey's band and wrote several...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Margaret Whiting was a popular singer who had a number of hit recordings in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her father was the noted songwriter Richard Whiting who penned...
Jim Widner was given a very special opportunity to join his grade school’s orchestra, which provided him an instrument to play. His love of music was fostered years later when he became a student of his highly influential high school band director. These early experiences set Jim on his path in...

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