Whiteman, Paul

“The King of Jazz”, popular 1920s-30s band & orchestra leader, commissioned and first recorded Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”

Price: $35.00

Description:
(1890-1967) Bandleader and orchestral director. Leader of the most popular dance bands in the US during the 1920s, Whiteman produced immensely successful recordings, and press notices often referred to him as the "King of Jazz". Using a large ensemble and exploring many styles of music, he is perhaps best known for his blending of symphonic music and jazz. After a start as a classical violinist and violist, he led a jazz-influenced dance band in San Francisco in 1918. In 1920 he moved with his band to New York City where they started recording for the Victor Talking Machine Company which made the Paul Whiteman Orchestra famous nationally. Whiteman became the most popular band director of that decade, directing a group of up to 35 musicians. By 1922, he controlled some 28 ensembles on the East Coast and was earning over a $1M a year. Whiteman hired many of the best jazz musicians for his band, including Joe Venuti, Bix Beiderbecke, Jack Teagarden, and Bunny Berigan. He also encouraged upcoming African American musical talents, but Whiteman's management persuaded him that hiring black musicians would be career suicide. He did hire black arrangers like Fletcher Henderson, however. In late 1926, Bob Crosby's prominence in the Rhythm Boys helped launch his career as one of the most successful singers of the 20th century. Paul Robeson (1928) and Billie Holiday (1942) also recorded with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. He had 28 #1 records during the 1920s and 32 during his career. Whiteman signed singer Mildred Bailey in 1929 to appear on his radio program; she first recorded with the Whiteman Orchestra in 1931. In 1930 "Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra" starred in the 1st feature-length movie musical filmed entirely in Technicolor, “King of Jazz”. Whiteman appeared as himself, and a highlight was a concert rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue.” Whiteman also appeared as himself in the 1945 movie “Rhapsody in Blue” on the life and career of George Gershwin and also appeared in “The Fabulous Dorseys” in 1947, a bio-pic starring Jimmy & Tommy Dorsey. Whiteman also appeared as the baby in “Nertz” (1929), the bandleader in “Thanks a Million” (1935), as himself in “Strike Up the Band” (1940), and in the Paramount’ short “The Lambertville Story” (1949). During the 1930s Whiteman had several radio shows, including Kraft Music Hall and Paul Whiteman's Musical Varieties, which featured Bing Crosby, Mildred Bailey, Jack Teagarden, Johnny Mercer, and others. His popularity faded in the swing music era of the 1930s, and by the 1940s he was semi-retired from music. In the 1940s and 50s, after he had disbanded his orchestra, he worked as a music director for the ABC Radio Network and also hosted Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club from Philadelphia on ABC-TV from 1949–54. The Paul Whiteman Orchestra introduced many jazz standards in the 20s: "Hot Lips", "Mississippi Mud", "From Monday On", "Nuthin' But", "Grand Canyon Suite" and "Mississippi Suite" (both composed by Ferde Grofe), "Rhapsody in Blue" (composed by George Gershwin who played piano on the 1924 Whiteman recording), "Wonderful One" (1923), and "Wang Wang Blues" (1920). In 2006 the Paul Whiteman Orchestra's 1928 recording of “Ol' Man River“ with Paul Robeson on vocals was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Autograph sentiment (“Sincerely”) signed on a 3 ¼ x 5 ¼ card, undated but early-mid 1940s.

Condition: Very good, light uniform toning, pale corners
Type:Autograph Sentiment Signed






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search