Band Leaders

Del Courtney was among the most popular Big Band leaders of the golden age of swing. Getting his start in the Al Hill Orchestra, Del soon found fame when he formed his own band at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, Calif., in 1939. He established himself as "The Old Smoothie" and created a band ideal...
Ted Herbert was a well known bandleader during the great big band era who opened a store on Manchester, NH to help him get the repair service he needed for his own road band. Although his band worked steady long after swings golden days, Ted found the store a nice place to come home to. NAMM's...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Bobby Byrne played trombone with such control and tenderness that Tommy Dorsey once remarked, "You sit on the edge of your seat waiting to feel the next note." Bobby's...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Manny Albam was taught how to arrange jazz for a big band while working with Georgie Auld's Orchestra. Georgie's arranger at the time was Budd Johnson who took Manny under...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Johnny Catron formed his first band in Boston back in 1939, but gained fame as a bandleader and songwriter when he reformed his band following World War II in Southern ...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Memo Bernabei led a popular society orchestra during the great Big Band Era. As a saxophonist, Memo cut his teeth within such bands as those lead by Jan Garber and Ray...
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: Chuck Foster was a bandleader's bandleader! During the Big Band Era of the 1930s and 40s, Chuck promoted radio and live performances of up and coming musicians and singers...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Hal Pruden was a noted pianist (sometimes billed as the world’s fastest piano player) for a series of bandleaders during the Big Band Era. Hal performed with Chuck Foster...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Ernie Heckscher is perhaps best known for leading a society style orchestra during the Big Band Era. His smooth arrangements were perfect for hotel ballrooms that catered...

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