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Showing posts with the label Big Band

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.

May 23: Happy Birthday, Artie Shaw

Artie Shaw was a master of swing, one of the leading bandleaders of the Big Band Era. At the tender age of fifteen, he heard that calling and left his New Haven, CT home to begin making noise. He'd already learned the clarinet and saxophone, and wanted to be a pro. His Artie Shaw Orchestra utilized the considerable talents of one Billie Holiday, and had a huge hit with "Begin the Beguine." His notoriety as a bandleader landed him a gig broadcasting on CBS radio from November of '38 'til a year later. His shows were concerts from the Blue Room of the Hotel Lincoln in NYC. Though he left the business mid-career, Shaw brought joy into the lives of millions with his swinging clarinet. Happy Birthday, Artie!