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Showing posts with the label Paul Whiteman

November 14: Happy Birthday, Morton Downey

Not to be confused with his son, the loathsome gab-show host, Morton Downey, Jr., Morton Downey was "The Irish Nightingale," a popular and successful singer. In the employ of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, the tenor began making a name for himself in the 1920s. He then became an entrepreneur, opening up a nightclub, The Delmonico.  It was there that he began broadcasting a radio show of musical performances. A later incarnation was a program called "Songs By Morton Downey ," in the 40's, on which he belted out such numbers as "I Don't Want To Be Loved By Anyone But You," "Chickery Chick," and "Just Around the Corner."  The original Downey was backed by Jimmy Lytell and His Orchestra.  He usually brought in guests who were, frankly, very minor celebrities and industry figures.  David Ross did the announcing. Happy Birthday, MD Senior.  Thanks for the musical memories!

March 20: Happy Birthday, Ozzie Nelson

Bandleader, radio star, TV star, holder of a law degree, paradigm for generations of fathers, Ozzie Nelson did just about everything.  We know he'd become grandfather to the awful early-90's rock duo Nelson (Gunnar and Matthew of the long white hair), but we can't hold that against one of the godfathers of classic radio. Today's birthday boy was an Eagle Scout and high school football player in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.  During this time he developed his music chops and became a teen bandleader.  He formed the Ozzie Nelson Band, which beat out Paul Whiteman 's orchestra in a 1930 New York Daily Mirror poll. The man who married Harriet Hilliard in 1935 was already a successful recording artist, not necessarily figuring to become essentially a metaphor for domesticity.  But the two of them put on a family-oriented radio show, and then the TV show with its cardigans that would characterize him as safe and paternal. A hallmark of a good father, in a lot

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 Te

March 28: Happy Birthday, Paul Whiteman

March 28: Happy Birthday, Paul Whiteman Paul Whiteman was a Jazz bandleader who brought his genre of music to a million or so listeners who may not have otherwise enjoyed it. He was commercially successful and panned by critics, who felt he wasn't playing "real" jazz. To this minor controversy, he added fuel by calling himself "The King of Jazz." It's worth a mention that his band had room for such great musicians as Red Nichols , Tommy Dorsey , and Eddie Lambert. A couple of decades into his disputed run as "King of Jazz," Whiteman was tapped to host the radio show Kraft Music Program, which he faithfully did from '33 to '35. He then performed on the Chesterfield Hour and finally Paul Whiteman Presents. We radio devotees owe Whiteman an additional debt due to the fact that he worked as ABC radio's music director for several years. He capped his radio career by hosting, from Philadelphia, Paul Whiteman 's TV Tee