Del Courtney was among the most popular Big Band leaders of the golden age of swing. Getting his start in the Al Hill Orchestra, Del soon found fame when he formed his own band at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, Calif., in 1939. He established himself as "The Old Smoothie" and created a band ideal for hotel ballrooms. He later had success incorporating Hawaiian themes in his music, originating the "Sylvania Television Program" and becoming the official band director for the Oakland Raiders football team.
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