Big Bands

Artie Shapiro played the double bass during the golden era of the big bands. His approach to the bass was steeped in the tradition of his classical background. Studio orchestras soon hired him, where he worked extensively for live radio programs. Artie gained a fine reputation for sight-reading,...
Lew Shaw grew up admiring musicians he heard on the radio or saw in concert and wanted to do all he could to promote their music and tell their stories. He was a journalist and advertising manager by day and an avid music lover by night. He has interviewed over a hundred musicians and even wrote...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Arvell Shaw was the swift handed bass player who set the groove for such jazz greats as Teddy Wilson and Louis Armstrong. Arvell worked with Louis several times throughout...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Artie Shaw was among the most popular band leaders during the great Big Band Era of the 1930s and 40s! His fine musicianship earned him the nickname the "King of the...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: George T. Simon was a journalist and historian who documented the history of the swing era! In a series of best-selling books, George recounted the glory days of the Big...
Jack Simpson worked for RCA for nearly 40 years beginning at the time when the electronics and recording company was a regular exhibitor at the NAMM Trade Shows.  Jack also became a jazz broadcaster in Florida, where he took to the airwaves in 1967.  His show and his reputation expanded over the...
John P. Smith was one of thousands of young musicians who toured the country on the buses, cars, and trains that carried the territory bands of the swing era from high school sock hops to hotel ballrooms. John’s trombone skills made him a sought-after musician who worked with several of the name...
Ed Soph toured as the drummer and percussionist for several noted jazz bands during the 1970s. His noted work with the Woody Herman Orchestra led to gigs with the Glenn Miller Ghost Band and countless recording engagements. Ed has taught clinics throughout the world and has been a long supporter of...
Dennis Spragg is a music historian and author who has become an expert on the bandleader Glenn Miller. He is the senior consultant for the Glenn Miller Archives and the American Music Research Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, as well as the historian for the Glenn Miller Birthplace...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Jess Stacy was a very early jazz pianist, starting his career in 1918 and playing with many of the early pioneers of jazz as well as the most popular band leaders during...

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