Big Bands

This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Gus Johnson played drums for several big bands and jazz bands during his long career, but may be best remembered for the work he did backing up vocalists such as Ella...
Jonah Jones endorsed the HN White King line of trumpets as well as the FE Olds products during his noted career as a jazzman beginning in the 1930s. Jonah played lead trumpet for Stuff Smith and Fletcher Henderson before joining the Cab Calloway Orchestra and recording key trumpet solos for several...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Dick Jurgens formed a popular dance band during the big band era and enjoyed a string of hit recordings, several which he composed. The ever-humble songwriter and musician...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Peggy Lee was an elegant jazz vocalist who started singing with Benny Goodman's Orchestra and went on to record standard jazz albums and hit songs in the 1950s and 60s....
Don Loeffler combined his love of music with his engineering skills to make several modifications to the percussion instruments he used throughout his career. He made his own vibraphones from PVC pipes and the clever square drum kit in which each drum fits inside each other for easier carrying. His...
Kevin Maher has countless stories about the music industry, about jazz and about his father and grandfather who ran Down Beat Magazine and the early days at Music Inc.  Even more, Kevin can outline the trends and the great innovations that have changed our industry over the years because his...
Ginny Mancini always loved singing! When she had the chance to form a backup group for a 17 year old vocalist coming from Chicago to Los Angles for the first time in the 1940s, Ginny jumped at it. The group became known as the Mel-Tones and they became the backup group for Mel Torme for over 3...
Johnny Mandel brought his unique talents as a composer and arranger from jazz clubs to the big screen during a brilliant career that spanned over 60 years! As a songwriter, he spent several years in the 1940s and 50s plugging his songs in the Brill Building in New York which was the hotspot for...
Billy May was a fun loving trumpeter who arranged some of the best-loved music of the Big Band Era! His humor and musical talents provided hit recordings for Glenn Miller, Charlie Barnet and Frank Sinatra, to name but three. His enormous output included radio, TV and movie work as well as thousands...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Ray McKinley provided a swinging and consistent rhythm behind several big bands during the 1930s and 40s. He worked with Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Miller before forming his...

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