Showing posts with label Benny Goodman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Benny Goodman. Show all posts

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26: Happy Birthday, Peggy Lee

Al Jolson, John Wayne, and Peggy Lee were all born on May 26. For Lee, it was 1920, in Jamestown, ND. Lee is celebrated as a gifted songstress who brought to life such hits as Fever, Why Don't You Do Right? and Elmer's Tune. 

Lee sang in Benny Goodman's orchestra from 1941 til 1943 before moving on to a solo recording career and roles in several hit films. She would then win a Grammy in 1969 for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her song "Is That All There Is?"

Naturally, Ms. Lee spent her share of time on the radio, appearing on Bing Crosby's Philco Radio Time many a time, as well as Crosby's Chesterfield Presents the Bing Crosby Show. She also appeared in many sustaining broadcasts.

Lee contributed to the world of music as a bombastic vocalist, a shining star of the Big Band Era.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20: Happy Birthday, Jack Teagarden

It's our pleasure to wish a happy birthday to trombonist Jack Teagarden. If you're a fan of classics like "Them There Eyes," "Lazy River," and "Jeepers Creepers," you're a fan of Jack Teagarden, who helped bring those tunes to life on the airwaves as a member of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. The outfit's radio show was called The Old Gold/Paul Whiteman Hour, its rival B.A. Rolfe and his Lucky Strike Orchestra.

The barrel-chested Teagarden is recognized as one of the all-time greats in the world of jazz; he was a great trombonist and also served as a vocalist, with a distinctive style that would grow to be influential.

His playing style was versatile, jazz at its heart but tending toward blues. Some of this may be due to his self-taught nature. Finally, let's not neglect to mention the songs Teagarden penned: "Shake Your Hips," "Swingin' On The Teagarden Gate," and, with Benny Goodman, "Texas Tea Party."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 18: Happy Birthday, Johnny Mercer!

November 18: Happy Birthday, Johnny Mercer!

The multi-talented Johnny Mercer may be best known as one of Tin Pan Alley's best lyricists, but he also made great contributions to radio, working as the emcee of the show "Caramel Caravan" featuring The Benny Goodman Orchestra, and later hosting his own series, "Johnny Mercer's Music Shop." On this show, running 20 episodes, Mercer would sing his own songs, host other singers and musicians, and tell a few jokes. This allowed Mercer, who usually supplied others with words, to be in the spotlight and to showcase his extroverted personality and easy, Southern charm.

His songwriting credits include "Moon River," "In The Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," "Hooray for Hollywood," and "That Old Black Magic." "Johnny Mercer's Music Shop" treated listeners to performances of such ditties as "Tired Teddy Bear" (Jo Stafford and Pied Pipers), "Highway Polka" (Jo Stafford, Pied Pipers) and "I Can't Get the One I Want."

Johnny Mercerwas born in Savannah, GA, in 1909, and went to New York at 17, hoping to break in as an actor. While he would make some imprint in many facets of show biz, he would go down in history as one of the great lyricists of all time.