Remembering past bandleaders, musicians, arrangers and ballroom operators.
Noted Clarinet Man Hall Dies
N.O. Native Worked with Many Top Groups
Edmond Hall, 65, a native of New Orleans and an internationally know jazz clarinetist who played with many Dixieland groups, died Saturday of a heart attack in Cambridge, Mass.
Although he had no formal training in clarinet, he had worked with many top groups and singers since first joining Claude Hopkins band some 40 years ago.
During his career he had worked with many well known artists, including Lester Young, Manfred Bailey, Mary Lou Williams, Art Tatum and Coleman Hawkins.
He was a featured artist at the Newport, R.I., Jazz Festival and at both jazz festivals sponsored by the Boston Globe.
He is survived by his widow, three brothers and a sister, Moretta.
The funeral will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Cambridge with burial in Mount Auburn Cemetery.
[Source: Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), dated February 13, 1967]
Hamsa, Donald J.
Hamsa – Donald J., age 46 yrs. Survived by wife, Camilla; 2 sons, Richard and Michael Hamsa; daughters, Susan and Karen Hamsa, Julie Greer and Lori Bliven; stepdaughters, Laurie and Kathy Marvin, Peggy Labs; stepson, Michael Marvin; sister, Mary Lou Hrnicek of Bee, Neb., 8 grandchildren. Rosary Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Funeral services Mon. 9:30 a.m., Dworak Mortuary to Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 10 a.m., interment Bohemian Cemetery.
[Source: Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), dated March 6, 1982]
Glenn Lorenze Hardman, 85, of Redding, died Monday, Jan. 1, 1995, at Shasta Convalescent Hospital in Redding. No services will be conducted.
Born June 27, 1910, in Wilkensburg, Pa., he moved to Shasta County in 1982 from Newhall.
He was a musician and a member of Musicians Union in Los Angeles and Tulsa, Okla.
Survivors include wife Alice; son Larry of Aqua Dulce; daughter Helen Shaffner of Redding; and three grandchildren.
Arrangements are being handled by Allen & Dahl Funeral Chapel in Redding.
[Source: Redding Record Searchlight (California), dated January 4, 1996]
Singer, Band Leader, Phil Harris Is Dead, Raucous Entertainer Loved N.O.
Phil Harris, the raucous, gravel-voiced entertainer who played a wisecracking pal of Jack Benny's on radio, Baloo the bear on screen and Bacchus the parade monarch on the streets of New Orleans, died late Friday of complications from kidney failure at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 91.
Mr. Harris considered New Orleans a virtual second home, not only because he reigned as Bacchus in 1972 but also because it was the home of his daughter, Alice Regan, and such friends as clarinetist Pete Fountain and boxer Pete Herman. A theater at De La Salle High School is named for Mr. Harris and his wife, movie and musical star Alice Faye.
"He was a dear old friend," Fountain said Saturday.
For nearly 20 years, the two had helped organize a golf tournament in New Orleans to benefit the Christian Brothers Foundation. For Mr. Harris, Fountain said, it was an occasion not only to play but also to hang out with fellow golfers and toss out zingers in a style he had perfected on Benny's program and as a big-band leader.
"He was 'up' every time, " Fountain said. "He was a man's man; the guys loved to be around him. We missed him last year - he was too sick to come - and I'll have to do it alone again."
Mr. Harris started his entertainment career in bands and, later, on radio. In 1967, he achieved fame again when he supplied the voice of Baloo in Walt Disney's animated version of "The Jungle Book." He sang "The Bare Necessities, " which was nominated for an Academy Award, and he won increasing numbers of fans when the film was re-released periodically and issued on videocassette.
Benny, ordinarily a shrewd judge of talent, never professed to understand Mr. Harris' appeal, but he tried to explain it in this statement quoted in The New York Times: "Phil Harris is a typical fresh guy found in every town. For some reason or another people seem to love that type of fellow."
Although Mr. Harris cultivated a Southern drawl, delivered in a honeyed growl, and although he larded his act with snappy renditions of such songs as "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" and his trademark, "That's What I Like About the South, " he was born in a mining camp outside Linton, Ind., about 80 miles southeast of Indianapolis.
His father, a circus bandmaster and vaudeville musician, moved his family to Nashville, Tenn., when Mr. Harris was a child, but Mr. Harris never forgot his hometown. He sponsored an annual scholarship program there, underwritten by a gala and a golf tournament every spring.
Around Linton, Mr. Harris was remembered as a boy with a drum, and his father hired him as a drummer.
Mr. Harris formed two bands and toured the country, playing one-night stands for 17 years. "I never even voted because I didn't have any residence, " he was quoted as saying.
A short film in which he starred, "So This Is Harris, " won an Oscar as the best comedy short subject of 1932-33. It was one of several movies - "I Love a Bandleader" and "Wabash Blues" were others - in which he appeared as himself.
Radio dates with his second band made him a star, Mr. Harris said, rescuing him from ceaseless barnstorming. He joined Benny's radio program in 1936 as a wisecracking comic and stayed for 16 years, starting each broadcast with a rasping, "Hiya, Jackson!"
Mr. Harris proved so popular that, in 1946, NBC gave him and Faye a program right after Benny's. "The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show" ran until 1954.
He appeared in "The High and the Mighty" (1954) and "Goodbye, My Lady" (1956), but his best-known performance came in "The Jungle Book," in which he was never seen.
At an early reading, nobody was impressed with his wooden delivery of flat dialogue, The Times said, so Mr. Harris asked to improvise.
The filmmakers let him. They were delighted, and they rewrote the movie to accommodate Mr. Harris' freewheeling style.
Five years after the release of "The Jungle Book, " Mr. Harris was Bacchus. After riding four hours in the parade, he sang with Harry James and his orchestra at the ball in the Rivergate.
When Mr. Harris, wearing his spangled costume and layers of makeup, swept on stage, James called out, "You never looked lovelier!" "Well, king or queen, I'm glad to be here," Mr. Harris replied.
Besides Mr. Harris' wife and daughter, survivors include another daughter, Phyllis Harris of Rancho Mirage; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A private memorial service is planned.
[Source: Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), dated August 13, 1995]
Big Band Crooner Dick Haymes Dies
Los Angeles – Big Band crooner Dick Haymes – who ranked with Frank Sinatra in the 1940s before Haymes’ career was wrecked by alcohol, legal, financial and marital problems – died of lung cancer Friday at age 61. His six wives included actresses Rita Hayworth and Joanne Dru, singer Fran Jeffries and Errol Flynn’s ex-wife, Nora Eddington.
Haymes’ career hit its high point in the 1940s when he sang with the bands of Bunny Berrigan, Harry James, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey, replacing Sinatra with the last two. He had a national radio show and made nine gold records, including “It Had to Be You,” “Little White Lies” and “It Might As Well Be Spring.” He appeared in 35 movies, including starring roles in “One Touch of Venus” with Ava Gardner, “Diamond Horseshoe” with Betty Grable and “State Fair” with Jeanne Crane.
“But I don’t blame circumstances or anyone else,” he said in a ‘60s interview. “I’m the instrument upon which the tune is played. I called the shots and I played them the way I saw things at the time. There is no good or bad in my life for which I’m not directly responsible.”
[Source: Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska), dated March 29, 1980]
Hill, James B.
1926 - 2012
Hill, James B. "Jim" - Born in Des Moines, IA, the second son of William B. and Dorothy Gray Hill. Over the years, Jim held jobs in the fields of music, television, and advertising but his last career, as a substance abuse counselor for the Union Pacific Railroad provided him with the greatest satisfaction. A lifelong golfer, upon retirement he spent many happy hours playing local courses as well as some out of town. He also worked as a marshal and golf starter at Overland Park and Falcon Ridge golf courses.
Jim's parents and brother William predeceased him. He is survived by daughters Carol (Joel) Gard, Overland Park, Connie (Geoff) Harrold, Omaha and son John (Maria) Hill, also of Omaha and four grandchildren.
No services are planned. Donations in Jim's memory can be made to Kansas City Hospice. Cremation Society of Kansas and Missouri, 8837 Roe Ave., Prairie Village, KS.
[Source: Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), dated April 4, 2012]
Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines, A Musician Who Influenced Jazz For Decades
Jazz giant Earl "Fatha" Hines, who influenced generations of musicians with his innovative "trumpet style" of piano playing, died Friday at age 77, apparently of a heart attack, said his attorney, Murray Petersen.
Funeral arrangements had not yet been made.
Mr. Hines, whose career spanned six decades and helped establish such well-known musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn, Charlie Parker and Billy Eckstine, was admitted to Merritt Hospital on Monday for treatment of heart disease.
Despite advice against it, Mr. Hines had honored a playing engagement at Kimbell's, a San Francisco club, last weekend.
"He said, 'No,' the men in the band needed the money,' and so it had to go on," Petersen said.
Born Dec. 28, 1905, in Duquesne, Pa., Mr. Hines was the son of a dock-worker father, who played the trumpet and led the Eureka Brass Band, and an organist mother, who gave him his first piano lessons.
Although he initially planned to be a concert pianist, he changed course the first time he heard jazz. He developed an inventive style that featured strong octaves and "trumpet-style" notes played with the right hand.
"Earl could go on for 90 years and never be out of date," Count Basie once said of Mr. Hines. "You get bruised running up against a cat like that."
"When you talk about greatness, you talk about Art Tatum and Earl Hines," Erroll Garner has been quoted as saying.
In the late 1920s, Mr. Hines made a series of recordings with Louis Armstrong that some critics consider among the masterpieces of jazz.
In the 1930s and '40s, he led his own big band, which included both Gillespie and Parker, at Chicago's Grand Terrace Ballroom.
When the band broke up, Mr. Hines joined Armstrong in 1948, but he left him in 1951 to form his own group to play in the Hangover Club in San Francisco.
Mr. Hines was one of the first bandleaders to have a regular radio broadcast, the show that gave him his nickname. As the orchestra played the broadcast's theme, "Deep Forest," an announcer would introduce the show: ''Here comes Father Hines leading his children through the 'Deep Forest.' Fatha' Hines, Fatha' Hines."
Despite the decline in the popularity of the Big Band sound in the 1950s, Mr. Hines remained active as a bandleader. He enjoyed a return to popularity in the 1960s. In 1965, Down Beat Magazine elected him to its Hall of Fame, and in 1966 the publication's international jazz critics poll ranked him the number-one jazz pianist.
In a recent interview, Mr. Hines told a reporter: "Usually they give people credit when they're dead. I got my flowers while I was living."
He led tours to Europe, Japan and the Soviet Union, and he played at the White House. His songs included "Rosetta," "My Monday Date," "Piano Man" and "57 Varieties."
Mr. Hines moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1956. He lived alone in an Oakland apartment at the time of his death.
Mr. Hines was divorced from the former Janie Moses, who lives in nearby Walnut Creek. He outlived two daughters, Janear Wells and Tosca Hines, and is survived by a granddaughter, Shawna Monique Greene.
[Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), dated April 24, 1983]
Bandleader Eddie Howard Dies at Palm Desert Home
Palm Desert, Cal. (UPI) – Bandleader Eddie Howard, whose recording of “To Each His Own” captured the fancy of a war-weary nation in 1946, was found dead Thursday at his Eldorado Country Club home. He was 48.
Mr. Howard, in semi-retirement after a highly successful career as a bandleader and composer, apparently died in his sleep of natural causes. His wife, Jane, found his body. An autopsy was scheduled.
[Source: Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), dated May 24, 1963]
Hudson, a former big band leader, died Thursday in Decatur, Ga., of cancer. He was 78. Hudson was the leader of a swing era band known as the Dean Hudson Orchestra, which performed at country clubs, conventions and college events in the Atlanta area and elsewhere.
[Source: Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Florida), dated December 8, 1991]
Dean Hudson, 78, a big-band leader, died Thursday of cancer in Decatur, Ga. Mr. Hudson was the leader of a swing-era band known as the Dean Hudson Orchestra, which performed at country clubs, conventions and college events in the Atlanta area and elsewhere.
In his book They Heard Georgia Singing, Gov. Zell Miller called Mr. Hudson "leader of one of the larger and better-known bands of the pre- and post-World War II era."
[Source: St. Petersburg Times (Florida), dated December 8, 1991]
George Hudson; Musician, Band Leader
A funeral service for George Edward Hudson, a musician and big- band leader for many years, was Thursday at Antioch Baptist Church in Venice. Burial will be today at Sunset Garden of Memory in Millstadt.
Mr. Hudson, 86, of Lovejoy, died July 10, 1996, at Life Care Center of St. Louis after a heart attack.
Mr. Hudson was born in Stonewall, Miss. He started playing the trumpet at age 7. He came to the St. Louis area in the early 1940s and attended McKendree College in Lebanon and what is now Harris-Stowe State College.
For 43 years, he led the George Hudson Orchestra, which toured the country, and played backup for many national recording artists including Nancy Wilson, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald and Lou Rawls. His band also played at local night spots and for special events.
He had also taught music for more than 30 years in the Lovejoy School District. He retired in 1985.
Among the survivors are his wife, Ruby Hudson; two daughters, Sherry Clark of Edwardsville and Jocelyn Johnson of St. Louis; five sons, Donald E. Hudson of Aurora, Colo., George Hudson Jr. of St. Louis, DeOnne Hudson of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., and Dwight Fletcher and Nathaniel O'Bannon, both of Lovejoy; 17 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
[Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri), dated July 19, 1996]
Hunt, Walter (Pee Wee)
Big Band Trombonist, ‘Pee Wee’ Hunt, Dies
Plymouth, Mass. (AP) – Big band trombonist Walter (Pee Wee) Hunt, 72, who is credited with the biggest-selling ragtime record ever, died Friday.
Hunt, a resident of Kingston, Mass., died at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth after several years of ill health. He had been retired for about seven years.
Hunt’s 1948 recording of The 12th Street Rag for Capitol Records sold 3 million copies.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Hunt, who also played the banjo, got his first band job at 16 with the Joe Boba Orchestra in that city. During the big band era, he played trombone with the Paul Whiteman and Glen Gray bands.
He joined the Coast Guard during World War II, and formed a band to entertain troops on Catalina Island off the California coast.
[Source: Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Texas), dated June 24, 1979]
Hutton, Ina Ray
Ina Ray Hutton of big band era dies at age 67
Ventura, Calif. (UPI) - Ina Ray Hutton, the blonde bandleader whose alluring looks and suggestive gyrations provided the focus for the orchestras she fronted in the 1940s and 1950s, has died at the age of 67, it was disclosed Monday.
Hutton died Sunday at 8 p.m. at Community Memorial Hospital from complications resulting from diabetes, a hospital spokeswoman said.
A Lana Turner look-a-like, Hutton played the piano only passably, but her baton wielding and singing were embellished by nip-ups that were likened to the gyrations of Marilyn Monroe combined with a touch of Elvis Presley.
"I'm selling the show as a music program, not on a sex-appeal basis," she once said. "But if curves attract an audience, so much the better."
Born in Illinois, Hutton began her career as a song-and-dance performer on Broadway at the age of 8 and later played with such big band giants as Harry James and Artie Shaw before forming her own band in the 1940s.
"From 1940 to '50 I had an all-male orchestra with some of the top side men in the business," she recalled in a 1956 interview. "But when a television offer came along for an all-girl group, I formed a new band."
Beginning in 1952, Hutton's all-women troupe mesmerized West Coast television viewers with a sure-fire combination of sax and sex. The show consistently whipped such national powerhouses as Milton Berle and Fireside Theater.
[Source: The Oregonian (Oregon), dated February 13, 1967]
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