Big Bands

William Tapia stood up in front of United States solders playing his ukulele and singing at the tender age of eight years old. He was entertaining the troops for World War I and did not stop playing until the year of his passing at the age of 103!  His life in music was almost as fasinating as his...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Buddy Tate was a leading saxophonist during the Big Band Era. Buddy played with such celebrated jazz bands as Andy Kirk, Count Basie, and Lionel Hampton. Beginning in 1947...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Martha Tilton was a famous singer during the Big Band Era best known for her vocals on the Benny Goodman hit record "And The Angels Sing." Known as The Liltin' Martha...
Charles Traeger had an impressive reputation in the world of bass making and bass restoration.  His long career began when he was a musician in the big band era looking for someone who could help with his own instrument.  He learned all he could and noticed there was a real need for literature for...
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...

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