Remembering past bandleaders, musicians, arrangers and ballroom operators.

Eberle, Ray
Ray Eberle, sang with Glenn Miller
Douglasville, Ga. (AP) - Ray Eberle, who sang with the Glenn Miller Orchestra to record such hits as "Serenade in Blue," is dead at 60.
Eberle, who died Saturday, joined the Miller band in 1938 and recorded such songs as "At Last," "Elmer's Tune," "Moonlight Cocktails," and "Serenade in Blue."
After the Miller band disbanded in 1942, Eberle formed a band called the Ray Eberle Orchestra, which backed the original Glenn Miller singers.
Eberle, who lived here, recently had been recording for Warner Brothers, Capitol, Columbia and RCA. He recorded an album for Readers Digest which has not yet been released.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday at Wright's Chapel in Fairburn.
Survivors include his brother, Bob, who sang with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, his wife and six children.
[Source: Trenton Times (Trenton, New Jersey), dated August 27, 1979]

Egger, Norrie
1924 - 2008
Omaha - Norrie A. Egger, 83, of Omaha, died Wednesday, April 30, 2008, in Omaha. Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m. Monday at Heafey-Heafey-Hoffmann-Dworak-Cutler, West Center Chapel, 7805 West Center Road in Omaha. Entombment will be in Calvary Mausoleum. Visitation will be from 12 p.m. Sunday at the West Center Chapel. A Prayer Service will be Sunday at 3 p.m. at the West Center Chapel, followed by visitation with the family until 5 p.m.
Norrie Egger was born May 2, 1924, in Columbus. He is survived by his wife, Carmie (Lombardo) Egger; daughters and son-in-law, Noreen and Jeff Thelen of Omaha and Shelly Fritton of Columbus; sons and daughters-in-law, Mike and Mary Egger of Omaha, Kim Egger of Columbus, Kevin of Columbus, and Pat Egger of Columbus; grandchildren, Nicki, Jessie, Jena, Nathan, Sara, Mallory, Scott, Chris, Jackie, Josh, Sam, Andy, Clinton, Chad and Kara Jo; many great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, Dean and Jean Egger of Omaha; sisters and brother-in-law, Bev Schaefer of Columbus, Pat and Rich Green of Albuquerque, N.M.; and sisters-in-law, Ruth Egger of Peoria, Ariz., Charlotte Egger and Lynn Ahlman, both of Omaha. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Fred and Magdalena Egger; brothers, Ken, Don and Darrell Egger; and brother-in-law, Paul Schaefer.
Memorials may be directed to St. James/Seton School or Trinity Church-Interdenominational.
[Source: Columbus Telegram (Columbus, Nebraska), dated May 2, 2008]

Ennis, Skinnay
Skinnay Ennis Dies; Third Bandleader
Beverly Hills, Calif. (UPI) - Skinnay Ennis, 56, died Sunday night, the third bandleader who gained fame during the "era of the big bands" to die within one month.
Cause of Ennis' death was not immediately determined, but an investigating officer said Ennis was choking on something when he arrived. The officer said the bandleader had stopped breathing and he applied external heart massage after trying to clear his throat.
Ennis apparently revived momentarily but succumbed before medical aid could be reached.
Police said an autopsy would be conducted today to determine cause of death.
All Three Friends
Ted Weems and Eddy Howard, both famed bandleaders of the same era and friends of Ennis, died last month. Howard choked during his sleep at his home in Palm Springs, May 18. Weems died May 6 at Tulsa, Okla.
Ennis got his first big boost to fame in 1938 from Bob Hope, with whom he appeared for about eight years on Hope's radio show.
"That's so sad, so sad, so sad," Hope said early today when told of Ennis' death. "He was a wonderful guy, a wonderfully man. Why, only the other night he was on my birthday show."
Born Edgar Clyde Ennis, the bandleader attended the University of North Carolina before joining the Hal Kemp band as a drummer and featured singer.
Still Singing
He had appeared at the Statler-Hilton in Los Angeles for the past five years for seven or eight months out of the year and still sang with his band. He spent the rest of the year on tour or on vacation with occasional television appearances and recording sessions.
He recorded his theme song, "I've Got a Date With an Angel," last in 1959.
Ennis was divorced by his wife, the former Carmine Calhoun, in 1959 after 20 years of marriage. They had one son, Chris, 13. She was once a singer and appeared with Ennis' band.
[Source: Register-Republic (Rockford, Illinois), dated June 3, 1963]

Erickson, William
William S. Erickson, age 80, Omaha. Preceded in death by parents, William L. and Geneva W. Erickson. Survived by children William J. Erickson, Broken Bow, NE, L. Neal Erickson (Julie) of Lincoln, NE Elizabeth E. Figueroa (Carlos) of Omaha, Thomas M. Erickson (Janine) of Omaha; brother L. Donald Erickson of Green Bay, WI; former wife, Joy Perez of Lakewood, CO; six grandchildren Sarah, Austin, Maddie, Berkeley, Grant, and Catherine.
Bill graduated from Omaha Central High School, the University of Denver, and Drake University. He was a music educator in the Pisgah, Modale, and Mondamin (IA) Public Schools, and at Brownell-Talbot School. Bill retired from the Union Pacific Railroad where he led the U.P. German Band. He played the organ in area churches and was most recently the organist at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Bill performed at private parties, corporate functions, and other celebrations on the piano, organ and accordion in the Omaha area for nearly 60 years.
Services Saturday 9:30 a.m. at the 72nd Street Chapel. Interment, Forest Lawn Cemetery. Visitation Friday 5-7 p.m. at the 72nd Street Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Shorty Vest Scholarship Fund, c/o Omaha Musicians Association, 4535 Leavenworth, Ste. 125, Omaha, 68106. John A. Gentleman Mortuaries, 72nd Street Chapel, 1010 North 72nd St.
[Source: Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), dated January 15, 2009]

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