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Back to Dance Band Diaries Volume 16 1953-1955

Dance Band Diaries Volume 16 1953-1955 0007

Dance Band Diaries Volume 16 1953-1955 0007

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Dance Band Diary/Septem ber-Nove m ber 1953
6
SEPTEMBER 1953
wins MM British Song Contest with her composition "A Letter To A Soldier*. Vic Lewis is back on big-band K enton kick with scores by Bill Russo and Bill Holman.
OCTOBER 1953
BBC announce "a new deal" for dance music, with four nights a week at "better-
listening times". Frascati's Restaurant is to close, ousting bandleader Harold Geller after six years. Stargazers make their first change of personnel in five years, with Dave Carey replacing Ronnie Milne, who emigrates to C anada. Lionel Hampton fires
British singer A nnie R oss, and pianist George Washington quits in protest, after tour of Europe. Ted Heath supports M U policy towards US bands, demanding "a clear band-for-band exchange". BBC Show Band musicians protest to M U and threaten to strike over new schedules, involving long sessions. Dutch pianist Rob Pronk, who mysteriously disappeared 10 months ago, returns to Holland after playing in Sweden. M U insists that agents must co-operate over the entry of US bands. Decca negotiates for issue of Blue Star, Riviera, Classic and M ercury. Saxist-leader Tex Benecke. ignored in the Glenn Miller film, signs a recording contract with C oral. Ace baritone saxist Gerrv Mulligan
is sentenced to six m onths in .jail for possessing heroin. Members of the Freddy Randall
Band suffer injuries in somersaulting coach crash. Raymond Kaye Orchestra, of Weston-super-Mare, win the M M West Regional Dance Band Area Final and are booked by Eric Winstone for a six-week season at South Baths, Bristol. Singer-actress Shani W allis is featured in a bop ballet in Jack Hylton's new musical, Wish You Were Here, at the London Casino. Frankie Vaughan, unable to use the Roy Herbert Trio on tour, will be accompanied by pianist Bert Waller. M M gives the story of Gordon Lanqhorn. R oyal Variey Show will star six popular singers: Anne Shelton. Eve Boswell, Edmund Hock-
ridqe, Lisbeth Webb, Vivien Blane and Ronnie Ronalde. Johnny Lyne and his Band, of Portsmouth, win the MM All Britain Dance Band Championship and are invited to appear in the 8-band Jazz Jamboree at the Gaumont State, Kilburn, on October 25. Lew Stone takes an 8-piece band into 0 ddinino's Restaurant. Vic Lewis and R onme Scott Bands combine for a week of one-night-stands presenting A Tribute to Stan Kenton. Woody Herman and his New Third Herd start a one-month tour of Europe next April 17. Stanley Black signs street-singer discovery of vocalist sisters Lita Roza and Aim a W arren, 21-year-old Danny Purches. Jack Parnell builds up his band to eight brass and five saxes. Vibist Victor Feldman opens his own West End jazz club, the Beverley. Singing bandleader Don Smith opens at the Wimbledon Palais. U niversal-International want to release a soundtrack L P of the film, The Glenn Miller Story, but are prevented by his widow, Helen. Stan Kenton backs out of concert tour with Duke Ellington because "it would weaken the potential of both orchestras". M antovam is offered a six month concert tour of USA with a few of his corner-men used as the nucleus of a big American orchestra. Smash hit debut at the Nottingham Astoria for the new Johnny D ank worth big band. BBC is to restore Kenny Baker's Dozen and Geraldo's Tip Top Tunes. Billie Holiday tells a million American tele-viewers about "The Dope Leeches". Vic Lewis makes sweeping band changes for "young blood" debut in his touring Tribute To Kenton. Modern music and madness at the Jazz Jamboree with everything from Ted Heath to Dr Crock! Death of 50-year-old Stanley Andrews, lead-violinist, arranger and
sub-conductor with Jack Payne, the Skyrockets and Stanley Black.
NOVEMBER 1953
M antovani signs £10,000 contract with impresario Harold Fielding for worldwide conducting activities. Carousel pianist-leader Bob Harvey is seriously injured in a car crash at Mitcham. US singer Anita O'Day gets a five month jail sentence for possession of narcotics at Long Beach, California. Tenor-saxist Ronnie Keene and his vocalist wife, Marion Davis, leave Jack Parnell Orchestra. Rumours of £1,000-a-week offer to Edmundo R os next sum m er in Monte Carlo. Santiago replaces Sid Phillips at the Astor Club in January. Battle of the jazz clubs in London. Eric Winstone lead-alto Harry Bence forms a big sweet-swing band a la Zigqy Elman. Clyde Ray, singing bassist with Manchester bandleader Phil Moss, joins the Tito Burns Band. New York Paramount, a showcase for name-bands since the 1920's, drops its stage shows. Ken Mackintosh and
his Band are booked for countrywide top-of-the-bill variety tour. M U general secretary
Hardie Ratcliffe paves way for "limited entry" of US m usicians even on a non-reciprocal