Van Alexander Orchestra
From the Shamokin News-Dispatch (Shamokin, Pennsylvania), dated April 22, 1939:
Famed Band Will Play in Region
Van Alexander to Be Attraction at Maysville Monday
Van Alexander, renowned as a composer of popular songs, orchestra leader and arranger of present and modern popular airs, is to be the attraction at the weekly dance of the Assembly Club at Maysville Park on Monday evening.
Alexander’s latest and greatest hit, “A Tisket A Tasket” continues a popular hit and one of the favorites played by leading bands.
His “Tisket A Tasket” became the No. 1 feature of the Hit Parade and more than a quarter million records of the song were sold.
In addition to his succession of song hits, Alexander has gained further renown through his “dressing up” of famed nursery rhymes into leading swing dance tunes and many of these special arrangements will be featured during his appearance Monday evening at Maysville Park.
The Van Alexander Company is composed of gifted musicians, vocalists and other entertainers, and a night of variety recreation is promised all patrons of the dance.
From the Mount Carmel Item (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), dated April 22, 1939:
Van Alexander Band At Maysville Monday
Van Alexander, who won his laurels as songwriter pianist, and one of America’s most outstanding song arrangers, recently organized his own orchestra and was immediately put under contract to Victor Recording Company to make a series of recordings.
Thus Van Alexander has the distinction of being one of the very few names in the history of the orchestral world to bring his music to the public via records before making a personal appearance tour.
When Van Alexander and his famous swing orchestra come to Maysville on Monday night he will introduce his program of dance music with the song that swept the country by storm several months ago, the number one song of the Hit Parade for eight consecutive weeks, the song that sold over 250,000 records – the song that brought Van Alexander’s name to the public eye as one of the greatest songwriters of today, “A Tisket A Tasket.”
Since the birth of this nursery rhyme, Alexander has written several additional songs which he will also feature during his engagement at Maysville, including “Hay Barber”, “In a Good For Nothing Mood”, “Got a Pebble In My Shoe”, and Alexander’s Swingin.”
The famous song-writing maestro has also dressed up another nursery rhyme for the dusty manuscripts, “Where’s My Little Dog Gone.” His special arrangements of “Night and Day”, “Good For Nothing Mood”, “We’ll Never Know”, “Road to Mandalay”, “See a Lot of Me”, have been played by the name bands of the country.
From the Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), dated July 15, 1939:
Van Alexander will bring his swing orchestra to the Band Wagon program over NBC and WKBO at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, featuring hit tunes of his own composition. These will include “A Tisket A Tasket,” which sold more than 250,000 records.
From the Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska), dated July 16, 1939:
Young Van Alexander and his band hop aboard the Band Wagon on WOW at 5:30 p.m.
From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), dated March 20, 1941:
At the Flatbush Today
Five Broadway stars are featured in the stage show at the Flatbush Theater for the week starting today. Ben Blue, stage and screen comedian, headlines the bill along with Mitzi Mayfair, musical comedy star; Gus Van, the minstrel man; Van Alexander and his orchestra and Helen (Boop-a-Doop) Kane.
From the New York Age (New York, New York), dated January 31, 1942:
Hite Signed For Soundies
Les Hite and his popular orchestra have been signed by the Minoco Co., to make four “Soundies” which will be filed as soon as the band completes its current engagement at the Chatterbox in Mountainside, N.J.
Les reports that Van Alexander, himself a noted bandleader a couple of years ago and part-author with Ella Fitzgerald of the song that made them both famous, “A Tisket A Tasket,” is now turning out special arrangements for the Hite band to use on its Mutual Network broadcasts.
From the Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), dated January 27, 1944:
(Krank Shave Kreem ad)
“Personal appearance is important to every man – and especially to a man who appears before the public. Krank’s New Shave-Kreem gives me a perfect, clean, smooth shave – and leaves my skin soft, even when I shave twice a day. Because Krank’s contains Diexin, its action is surprisingly fast,” says Van Alexander, orchestra leader.
From the Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, Pennsylvania), dated June 15, 1944:
Van Alexander Band To Play At Hershey
Van Alexander, songwriter, arranger, pianist and new “hit” band director, brings his orchestra to the Hershey Park Ballroom on Saturday evening, June 17th.
Alexander is probably best known to the dance fans for his “A Tisket A Tasket” which he wrote for Ella Fitzgerald and which was on the “Hit Parade” for many weeks, however, in music circles he is recognized as one of the best arrangers in the business.
From the San Diego Union (San Diego, California), dated April 7, 1963:
Savoy Stomp (Capitol) – An excellent swinger from the big band days with the Van Alexander orchestra in fine shape.
From the Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), dated August 7, 1966:
7:15 a.m. KOIN – Entertainment U.S.A. Guests are the Van Alexander Orchestra and vocalists Tina Robin and Al Hibbler.