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Robert Dana

Robert W. Dana was the author of these reviews. Introduction and photos
  Big Band News 2003

Happy Birthday to singer Tony Martin who was 91 on December 25th.

Film and television actress Hope Lang died at a hospital near her Los Angeles home on December 19th. Hope starred in the television series "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." She was 70.

Looks like there will be another book out on Dean Martin, this time by daughter Deanna. Jerry Lewis is authoring a book about his recollections on Martin and Lewis. If you missed the Larry King show featuring people who worked with Dean, you can read the transcript here.

Actor Art Carney died on Sunday, November 9th. He was 85. Carney starred in "The Honeymooners" with Jackie Gleason and also performed, for a time in the 40's with Horace Heidt's outfit as a vocalist
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Famous dancer/actor Donald O'Conner died on Saturday, September 27. He was 78. Donald appeared in loads of films but many may remember him for practically killing himself with wall climbs and flips during "Make Em' Laugh" in "Singin' in the Rain." starring Gene Kelly in 1952.

Sinatra - the show, will be opening at Radio City Music Hall on October 8th for about two weeks. Never before seen archival footage will be set to a live orchestra. The process is called rotoscoping. The show promises "special guest appearances and dazzling special effects." On 60 Minutes II, radio host and long-time Sinatrafile Jonathan Schwartz said these archives were a wonderful find with Sinatra at his very best. He also commented "This was the most electrifying performer ... short of the Stones ... that you're likely to find. And I'd put him on the Stones' level ..."

Country singing legend Johnny Cash died on Friday, September 12, from complications of diabetes. He was 71.

Folks feeling nostalgic for Frank Sinatra would have enjoyed seeing the 2003 MDA Telethon hosted by Jerry Lewis on Labor Day weekend. Julius LaRosa opened his set with a popular Sinatra tune while Steve Lawrence performed two numbers from his latest Sinatra tribute album. Nancy Sinatra sang a song specially written for her famous dad and impressoinist /singer Bob Anderson began his set with an impersonation of Frank and that's just the parts that I saw! Other recollective performers were Don Rickles, Charlie Callas, Norm Crosby, Charo, Jack Jones (who sang his hit "Wives and Lovers" – Sinatra covered that song too) and even one of the tap-dancing Nicholas Brothers, among many others.

Tap Dancer/Actor Gregory Hines died of cancer on August 7. He was 57. Hines and brother Maurice had an act with their father called Hines, Hines and Dad.

Bob Hope has died at the age of 100. The famous comedian with the quick wit and fast delivery was too famous in the 40's and 50's to appear in these nightclub reviews. Always in demand, Hope kept busy doing films, radio and television. In 1936, he was the first to sing "I Can't Get Started," in the Zigfield Follies. That song was later turned into a big band anthem by bandleader Bunny Berigan.

Acclaimed big band jazz musician Benny Carter, whose career began in the 1920's is dead at the age of 95. Carter began his first band in 1933. He also performed with Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington among others.Dancer/Actor Buddy Ebson has died. He was 95. Ebson began his exceptionally long carreer with MGM back in the 30's and went on to become a major television star.

Comedian Buddy Hackett famous for his bulging eyes and puckered lips has died on June 30th. He was 78. Hackett originally gained fame with his routine as the Chinese Waiter. He appeared in films like "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World" in 1963 and "The Love Bug" in 1968, was a regular on The Hollywood Squares and later, a spokesman for Tuscan Ice Cream Pops.

Birthday wishes to Salvatore Gioe, who is 95 on Sunday, June 15. He was Hildegarde's accompanist and arranger. Gioe also was featured at The Versailles club in New York and is mentioned in the Dick Haymes review on this site. Before that he was a pianist with the Shep Fields Orchestra.

Frankie Laine is 90 years old on Sunday, March 30th. There will be a celebratory luncheon in the singer's honor at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego. The public is invited to attend. Details can be gotten at FrankieLaine.com

On February 2nd, the Big Band Hall of Fame in Palm Beach, Florida inducted disc jockeys Denny Farrell, Gregory Sherlock, inductionMike Rapchak and onetime big band radio station owner Bob Lappin in a black tie event at the old Colony Hotel. Entertainment was provided by the Robert Thorpe Orchestra and former Jimmy Dorsey and Sammy Kaye vocalist Cliff Ayers. Pictured are Denny Farrell (left) and Cliff Ayers.

Longtime New York radio personality Stan Martin of WQEW AM "The Home of American Popular Standards" died on Tuesday, January 28 from complications following a stroke. Stan started out many years ago with "The Milkman's Matinee" on WNEW, the station of the stars in NY and Stan has always has been known on the air as "Music Man Stan."
THE REVIEWS
Andrews Sisters - Latin Quarter 1957
Desi Arnaz - w/Diosa Costello 1948
Count Basie - Lincoln 1943
Tony Bennett - Copacabana 1958
Milton Berle - Latin Quarter 1948
Joey Bishop - w/Andy Williams 1959
Ray Bolger - Wizard of Oz Scarecrow, Empire Room 1956
Cab Calloway - Greenwich Inn 1949
Diahann Carroll - Persian Room 1961
Betty Clooney - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Nat King Cole - Copacabana 1958
Perry Como - Versailles 1944
Copacabana - famous night club restaurant is reviewed 1953
Crosby Brothers - Latin Quarter 1961
Xavier Cugat - Waldorf Astoria 1951
Vic Damone - Riviera 1953
Billy Daniels - Copacabana 1952
Sammy Davis Jr. - Copacabana 1959
Phyllis Diller - w/Bobby Short 1958
Nancy Donovan - Copacabana 1952
Jimmy Durante - Copacabana 1951
Billy Eckstine - Copacabana 1951
Duke Ellington - Basin St. East 1961
Eddie Fisher - Empire Room 1959
Judy Garland -Town & Country 1958
Jackie Gleason - La Vie en Rose 1953
Benny Goodman - Empire Room 1956
Dolores Gray - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Buddy Hackett - Copacabana 1956
Connie Haines - Terrace Room 1951
Dick Haymes - Versailles 1956
Horace Heidt - 30th Anniversary 1954
Florence Henderson w/Bill Hayes 1958
Hildegarde - Pierre 1953
Celeste Holm - Plaza 1958
Eddy Howard - Roosevelt 1955
Burl Ives w/Wally Cox - Persian Room
Lisa Kirk - Persion Room 1958
Frankie Laine - Latin Quarter 1955
Julius La Rosa - Romanian 1958
Peggy Lee - Copacabana 1958
Jerry Lewis - Town & Country 1957
Joe E. Lewis - Copacabana 1945
Ted Lewis - Latin Quarter 1953
Liberace - Persian Room 1947
Guy Lombardo - Roosevelt 1957
Vincent Lopez - Grill Room 1954
Tony Martin - Riviera 1953
Martin and Lewis - Copacabana 1950
Ray McKinley - Glenn Miller Band 1957
Mills Brothers - Latin Quarter 1956
Vaughn Monroe - Astor 1955
Constance Moore - St. Regis 1958
Johnnie Ray - Copacabana 1953
Della Reese - Copacabana 1961
Sugar Ray Robinson - French Casino
Dorothy Shay - St. Regis 1961
Frank Sinatra - Wedgewood 1943
Danny Thomas - Copacabana 1949
Sophie Tucker - Latin Quarter 1950
Mae West - Latin Quarter 1956
Julie Wilson - Persian Room 1954
EDITORIALS
Dean Martin - thoughts on Mr. Sauve
Peter Lawford - retrospective
Rise & Fall of the big bands
INTERVIEWS
K Baggelaar- Copacabana author
Don Dellair - cabaret performer
Denny Farrell - big band disc jockey
Hal Turner - Performer/Conductor
B Zickafoose - played in WWII Europe
ASSORTED
Bernie Bierman bio
Sammy Kaye - Roosevelt 1957
Dinah Shore - press release and autograph from the 50's
A Letter about a WWII song
Harbers & Dale - Dance Team
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