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Robert Dana

Robert W. Dana was the author of these reviews. Introduction and photos
 

There's a new six CD set from Request Records called Live Jazz from Club 15. These recordings are from the collection of KLUC's Mike Gold, who broadcasted live from assorted Vegas venues in the 1950's and 1960's. The recordings were locked away until 2004 when Mike's grandchildren decided to check the quality of the old tapes. In a studio on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, they were played and digitally recorded at the same time because it wasn't known if they could survive more than one playing. Dramatically and fortunately ... they did ... and here they are. These are great pieces of big band history.

One CD features The Glenn Miller Orchestra under the direction of Buddy DeFranco at The Tropicana in 1966. Surprisingly at this time, Bobby Rydell was drafted as the lead singer for the Miller Orchestra. Perhaps they reasoned the disposed 50's teen idol would be a terrific draw, so the band could capture a new audience. Actually, Rydell sounds a lot like Sammy Davis in the way he phrased things (Bobby actually uses the word "groovy" during a break in the music) ... Conversely, The Guy Lombardo Orchestra in their broadcast, also from 1966, is content to perform nostalgic numbers that would have been considered antique, even by the standards of the time. Guy never strived to "reinvent" himself, and possibly had the longest running career because of it. Like Lawrence Welk, he had a quiet, fanatical following till the end... and them some ... Another CD from '66 features Louis Prima from The Sahara with his new female vocalist Gia Malone (his 5th wife) who sounds a lot (A LOT) like one of Prima's previous wives, Keely Smith ... The CD featuring Woody Herman's Thundering Herd shakes the speakers. There's a lot of power there, until Mel Torme emerges to soften things up ... The George Shearing CD is xylophonish and relaxing ... The Stan Getz, Gene Krupa and Maynard Ferguson is for the jazz cats ... Anyway, this six-CD selection makes for a great eclectic gift when you want to give the gift of big band music ... and have no idea what to give. It's smartly packaged and you can rest assured, they don't already have it. Visit Request Records

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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