Deceased

Van Alexander co-wrote “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” with Ella Fitzgerald while both worked in the Chick Webb Orchestra back in 1938. The success of that song led to a job as arranger for Webb as well as Benny Goodman and Paul Whiteman and super stardom for Ella. Van formed his own band during the wonderful...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Ernie Heckscher is perhaps best known for leading a society style orchestra during the Big Band Era. His smooth arrangements were perfect for hotel ballrooms that catered...
Vic Mizzy wrote a number of hit songs for popular music, movies and television beginning in the 1940s. He wrote “The Jones Boy” for the Mills Brothers and is perhaps best known for writing TV theme songs for Green Acres and The Addams Family (for which he also sang on the original recording). As he...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Buddy Tate was a leading saxophonist during the Big Band Era. Buddy played with such celebrated jazz bands as Andy Kirk, Count Basie, and Lionel Hampton. Beginning in 1947...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Bob Haggart may be best known for his crazy bass playing on the Bob Crosby hit record "Big Noise From Winnetka." The song featured bass slaps and even the drummer playing...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Margaret Whiting was a popular singer who had a number of hit recordings in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her father was the noted songwriter Richard Whiting who penned...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Johnny Best started off learning the piano but switched to trumpet when he was 13. During his impressive career as a sideman in the big bands, Johnny played with several...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Hal Pruden was a noted pianist (sometimes billed as the world’s fastest piano player) for a series of bandleaders during the Big Band Era. Hal performed with Chuck Foster...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Illinois Jacquet gained fame as a jazz saxophonist beginning his career with the Milton Larkin Band when Illinois was just 15. Four years later he recorded his signature...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Donald Mills was an original member of the Mills Brothers, one of the most popular singing groups in American popular music. The group began as four brothers: John Jr.,...

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