Remembering past bandleaders, musicians, arrangers and ballroom operators.
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]
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.
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]
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