Showing 221 resultsAuthority record
- 1942-04-24 -
- 1904-01-24 - 1995-08-11
Phil Harris (June 24, 1904 – August 11, 1995) was a singer, songwriter, jazz musician, actor and comedian, best remembered for his voice work; he provided the voices for “Baloo” in Disney’s The Jungle Book and “Little John” in Disney’s Robin Hood. Born Wonga Philip Harris in Linton, Indiana, Harris grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. Beginning in the late 1920s, he worked as a drummer in an orchestra he formed with Carol Lofner in San Francisco. When the partnership ended, he continued to perform with his own band. In the mid-1930s, Harris became musical director of The Jell-O Show starring Jack Benny. Although responsible for singing and leading the band, Harris had a quick wit and comic timing that insured his inclusion into Benny’s comic ensemble.
Phil Harris and Alice Faye married in 1941; it was a second marriage for both of them. Although insiders predicted the union would not last more than six months, the marriage lasted fifty-four year, until Harris’s death in 1995. In 1946, the couple began co-hosting a Sunday night comedy-variety show titled The Fitch Bandwagon, sponsored by F. W. Fitch Co., a hair products manufacturer located in Des Moines, Iowa. The show’s premise, to showcase big bands, shifted as the popularity of Harris and Faye’s family skits grew in popularity. In 1948, Rexall, a pharmaceutical company, became the show’s sponsor and its title changed to The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. The couple played themselves in the weekly situation comedy that included two young actresses playing the couple’s real-life daughters. The show featured Harris as a bumbling, slightly vain husband and Faye as his loving, but sharp-tongued wife. During each episode, Faye and Harris sang a couple of songs. Generally, Faye performed ballads and Harris sang swing numbers. The show ended in 1954.
The couple continued to work, separately and together, until Harris’s death.
- 1961 -
Will Friedwald is an American author as well as jazz and cabaret critic. He has authored nine books and nearly five hundred liner notes for compact discs, for which he has received eight Grammy nominations. He has written for newspapers and magazines include Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Sun, The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, BBC Music Magazine, and Oxford American, among other publications.
- 1904-08-21 - 1984-04-26
William James "Count" Basie is one of America's best-known jazz musicians. He was a pianist, bandleader, and composer. As a teenager and young adult in the 1920s, Basie met and performed with a variety of recognized names in Harlem: Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Fats Waller, among others. In 1929 he joined up with Bennie Moten in Kansas City, acting as both pianist and co-arranger for the band. When Moten died in 1936, Basie formed his own band, largely from its former members. It was this core group that ended up improvising their way into one of Basie's early hits, "One O'Clock Jump," and brought them to the attention of record producers.
After an extended engagement in Chicago that allowed "Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm" to refine their sound, Basie moved the band back to Harlem. They played at the Woodside Hotel, the Roseland Ballroom, and eventually the Savoy. Although Basie hired arrangers for the band, the group often worked out their numbers in rehearsals and then performed the partially improvised pieces from memory. In 1939, the band did a cross-country tour and performed on the West Coast for the first time. Although World War II caused a lot of member turnover, Basie remained famous for keeping an enthusiastic band that played with infectious good cheer and featured a continuous string of talented jazz instrumentalists and singers. However, declining interest in swing and traditional big band sound led him to disband the group after the war ended.
But Basie continued to perform with other groups, and in 1952 he ended up reforming his group with new members, working strains of bebop, rhythm and blues, and early rock'n'roll into his arrangements and working as a more organized ensemble than he had previously. In 1958, Basie headed to Europe with the new band. Post-war Europe loved jazz and had already welcomed a number of American expatriates who were happy to perform with Basie's band. The 1960s were filled with tours, television appearances, and recording with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Tony Bennett. Basie maintained the classic big band sound into the 1980s despite music trends and more changes in personnel. He died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 79. The band, led by former members, continues to record and perform today.
- 1934-03-31 -
- 1909-01-16 - 1984-02-15
- Corporate body
- 1920s - 1960s
The Andrews Sisters were an American all-female singing group of three sisters: LaVerne, Maxene, and Patty. They were famous for their close harmony and vocal syncopation. The Andrews Sisters are considered the most famous female singing group of the first half of the 20th century, having sold an estimated 75 to 100 million records during their career.
The sisters made their breakthrough in the late 1930s with multiple issued recordings and live radio broadcast performances. They sang with a variety of other singers and bands of the era; they recorded almost fifty songs with Bing Crosby alone, half of which charted on Billboard. They also appeared in a number of Universal Pictures films in the early 1940s, at the height of their popularity.
The group officially disbanded in 1953 when youngest sister Patty decided to pursue a solo career. The sisters' relationships thereafter were often estranged, although they did continue to occasionally record together and go on reunion tours. After LaVerne's death in 1967, Maxene and Patty pursued separate careers before briefly reuniting for the Broadway show "Over Here!" in 1974. The year-long run was the last time any of the sisters performed together.
- 1928-05-23 - 2002-06-29
Rosemary Clooney was an American singer and actress. Born in Kentucky, she and her sister Betty became radio performers in the early 1940s. Clooney's first recordings were with Columbia in 1946 with Tony Pastor's band; she began recording independently in 1949. Within a few years, she was a regular performer on CBS's "Songs for Sale" on both television and radio, and her career was firmly established. In 1954 she starred in "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, one of her best-known roles. In 1956 she starred in her own television variety show, and continued acting and recording through the 1960s. Despite the declining fortunes of many other performers of her era, Clooney signed with Concord Jazz in 1977 to produce an album a year, an arrangement which continued until her death.
Clooney was also a noted philanthropist in her later years. In honor of her sister, who died in 1976 of a brain aneurysm, she created and chaired the Betty Clooney Foundation for the Brain-Injured. She died of lung cancer at the age of 74.