Guy Lombardo, Leader
b. London, Ontario, Canada
d. Nov. 5, 1977, USA.
né: Gaetano Lombardo.
~ Cub Koda & Stephen Thomas Erlewine
"The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven" was the logo of Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, who by 1930 had established themselves as America's top dance band. Unfairly lumped in with unswinging "Mickey Mouse" bands of the era, the music of Lombardo's outfit was actually top-notch, and they were constantly cited by Louis Armstrong as his favorite band for their purity of intonation.
A cache of early sides for Gennett reveals that the band was capable of playing "hot" any time they wanted to, but sweet music and singing novelties featuring brother Carmen is what the public wanted, and Lombardo failed to disappoint. He became a national institution hosting televised New Year's Eve broadcasts from New York, making his rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" part of our national memory chest and his lasting legacy.

Lombardo began his musical career in 1924, when he and his brothers Lebert, Carmen, and Victor -- who joined slightly later -- formed a big dance band. Originally, Guy was a violinist for the band, but he soon became its leader and conductor. The band received a moderate amount of success in Canada and soon went to the United States, where they landed a regular gig in Cleveland, OH. While they were performing in Cleveland, they began using the name Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians. After their Cleveland engagement, they moved to Chicago and then New York City, which became their home base after a successful stay at the Roosevelt Grill.

Lombardo & His Royal Canadians played numerous radio broadcasts from New York and they began a long string of hits in 1927 that ran all the way to 1954. By the early '30s, Lombardo was an international celebrity, having hit records and appearing in films like Many Happy Returns. During this time, not only were Lombardo's records massively popular, but so were his radio broadcasts; it was his annual New Year's Eve show that made "Auld Lang Syne" a national standard. Lombardo also became a well-known speed boat racer during the '40s and, in fact, won many awards for his skills, including a National Championship in the late '40s.
Between 1927 and 1954, Lombardo & His Royal Canadians sold well over 100 million records on a variety of labels, including Columbia, Brunswick, Decca, and RCA Victor; it's estimated that his total worldwide record sales ranged between 100 and 300 million copies. In 1954, Lombardo assumed the operation of the Marine Theatre, located at New York's Jones Beach. At the Marine Theatre, he staged a number of musical revues that were very popular. Lombardo continued to lead these musical productions until his death in 1977.

Jerry Jerome
tenor sax/leader/arranger
b. New York, NY, USA, d. Nov. 17, 2001.

by Scott Yanow
After decades in obscurity, Jerry Jerome (in his mid-eighties) started to appear on releases by the Arbors label in the 1990s. 

A superior swing tenor, Jerome was always a sidemen and was never a big name, although other musicians recognized his talents. He spent a period of time studying medicine but knew early on that he wanted to be a musician and he played in dance bands (most notably with Harry Reser in 1935) during college vacations before quitting school altogether. Jerome made his recording debut with Reser in 1936, was with Glenn Miller's early unsuccessful band (1936-1937), gigged with Red Norvo for a short period in 1938, and then worked as a studio player. Jerome spent some time with Artie Shaw in 1938, and gained a bit of fame playing with Benny Goodman during November 1938 to July 1940, including appearing on many of Goodman's sextet sessions with Charlie Christian; he also recorded with Lionel Hampton. Jerome next returned to Artie Shaw until March 1941. From then on he became a full-time studio musician, working as musical director at NBC during 1942-1946, spending a couple years as the head of A&R work at the Apollo and Keystone labels, and worked as musical director for WPIX-TV in New York.

Starting in the mid-'50s, Jerome had a very successful career as a writer of advertising jingles. When he retired from that job, he moved to Florida in the '80s and returned to playing jazz. Happily Jerome's improvising abilities and style were unchanged and even into his eighties, he was very much in his musical prime. He continued to play up until his death on November 17, 2001, with dates booked near his Sarasota home into December. In addition to his sideman appearances, Jerome recorded as a leader in a variety of settings including a jam session with Charlie Christian in 1939, an extensive mid-'40s trio set with Teddy Wilson, a Dixieland date in 1944 for Stinson, many numbers for Apollo in 1947, a late-'50s album for ABC-Paramount, and a full CD for Arbors in 1996 which was coupled with highlights of his earlier career. Jerry Jerome: 1912-2001
Bertie King, Alto Sax
b. Colon, Panama. d. Sept. 2, 1981.
Albert "Bertie" King (1912 – 1981) was a Jamaican jazz and mento musician.
by Eugene Chadbourne
If the name Bertie King comes up in connection with the history of the United Kingdom, chances are good the average citizen will think the subject under discussion is King George VI, known to his cronies as "Bertie." Ask a fan of jazz or Jamaican music, on the other hand, and the reference couldn't possibly be to anyone else but the clarinetist and saxophonist Bertie King, of major importance in his homeland as well as in England. Like many Jamaican players such as Joe Harriott, Harold McNair, and Dizzy Reece, King originally had to flee Jamaica simply to make a living playing his horns. His arrival in England in the '30s came at a time when there were few, if any, black musicians playing jazz there. Bandleaders such as Leslie Hutchinson made rich use of this small-scale migration from the West Indies. King also blew up a storm in the context of European jazz players such as the great guitarist Django Reinhardt as well as with Americans who toured and recorded abroad, including Benny Carter and Nat Gonella.
King returned to Jamaica in 1951 and found the connections he had made in Europe to be quite valuable in helping to jump-start what would develop into a wildly active music scene on the island nation.His recordings of "Don't Fence Her In" and "Glamour Girl" that year were some of the first in the mento style, featuring instruments such as guitar, banjo, hand drums, penny whistle, bamboo saxophone, steel drums, and the so-called "rhumba box," kind of a massive thumb piano that would play the basslines. In the early days of mento there were no pressing plants whatsoever in Jamaica and it was apparently King who arranged for these first commercial recordings of Jamaican music to be manufactured at a factory in Lewisham, England, that was owned by Decca. This practice of pressing Jamaican records in England continued for some time.
An even heavier presence by King in the nation's music came about in the early '50s, when the then-current Prime Minister ordered the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation to install a permanent studio band. King was the first leader of this outfit which eventually grew to 14 pieces, involving great Jamaican players such as guitarist Ernest Ranglin and bassist Tommy Mowatt. King made many recordings with this group, most often called Bertie King's Royal Jamaicans and also worked with the West Indian Swing Stars. As a jazz player, King managed to play on an average of at least one release every year between the mid-'30s and 1967. His earliest studies were at the Alpha Boys' School in Kingston, the training ground of so many of the country's best musicians that it eventually turned part of its facilities over to the creation of a small museum -- which appropriately has King's original saxophones on exhibit.
Bertie King

Joe Thomas, Tenor sax
b. Uniontown, PA, USA.

d. August 3, 1986.
né: Joseph Vankert Thomas.
Sideman in The Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra
~by Scott Yanow

Joe Thomas will always be best known as the tenor soloist with Jimmy Lunceford's Orchestra . He was originally an altoist playing with Horace Henderson but switched to tenor when he joined Stuff Smith 's group. As a star with Lunceford from 1933 until the leader's death in 1947, Thomas had many short but often-memorable solos and took several vocals. After Lunceford 's unexpected death, Thomas and pianist Ed Wilcox ran the ghost band for a year. Later, Thomas on his own recorded a variety of R&B-oriented sides, he left music in the mid-'50s to run his father's undertaking business, and from the 1960s on he returned to performing on a part-time basis, cutting a session in 1982 for Uptown. He is not to be confused with the fine swing trumpeter Joe Thomas.
James J. Walker
lyricist/Mayor of New York
d. 1946
James John Walker, often known as Jimmy Walker and colloquially as Beau James (June 19, 1881 – November 18, 1946), was the mayor of New York City during the Jazz Age. During a corruption scandal he was forced to resign.
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Benson Orchestra of Chicago


Original Indiana Five

Harry Reser

Bailey's Lucky Seven
  • If I Had A Girl Like You
  • Marguerite
  • Summer Nights


Bob Fuller
  • Nameless Blues
  • Ridiculous Blues

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra

  • American Tune


Ruben "River" Reeves and his River Boys - Papa Skag Stomp


Abe Lyman's California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra
  • At Your Command
  • Without That Gal!
~Mort Dixon / Ray Henderson / Billy Rose

I'm lonesome and blue,
But when I look at you,
There's one thing I know is true;
Wouldn't be lonesome,
Wouldn't be blue,
If I had a girl like you!

I've waited a lifetime,
I've had a delight time,
Those long nights have made mr blue;
Wouldn't be waiting,
Wouldn't be hating,
If I had a girl like you!

I don't know why
I'm feeling the way I do,
I know that I
Haven't made a mistake in you!

Everything seems
Like one of my dreams;
Wake me up and say it's true!
Wouldn't be dreamin',
Wouldn't be schemin',
If I had a girl like you!

If I had a girl like you!

If I had a girl like you!

I don't know why
I'm feelin' the way I do,
I know that I
Haven't made a mistake in you!

Everything seems
Like one o' my dreams;
Wake me up and say it's true!
Wouldn't be dreamin',
Wouldn't be schemin',
If I had a girl like you!

also rec by -
Bailey's Lucky Seven '25
Hal Kemp & his Orch '25
The Seattle Harmony Kings '25
Rudy Vallee '25

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