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The best of the Original Big Bands of the 1930's & 40's including standards and jazz broadcast worldwide.

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Chris ValentiJan EberlePeggy KingDon KennedyDavid Miller
Chris Valenti,  Jan Eberle,  Perky Peggy King,  Don Kennedy,  David Miller
Ronnie AllenJeff KarpinskiHarry and EdnaGlenn Robison
 Ronnie Allen,   Jeff Karpinski,   Harry and Edna,   Glenn Robison

      

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Our Big Band Celebrity Guest Archives

Just scroll down to enjoy all of them!

The Big Bands

These archives are here permamently and more are always being added.

This page has interviews with Big Band legends, their music, and what they were doing at that time of their life. There are even some with authors as well as the children of these greats. All gems. They have been placed here to help preserve our great musical heritage. Any donation would greatly be appreciated. This way we can feel better this platform will continue.

For the past five decades (late 70's to today) Chris Valenti has interviewed anyone who has been a proponent of the Big Band Era. From Harry James to Artie Shaw, Les Brown & Doris Day. 

Chris has never been compensated for any of these efforts. It all came from the heart and still is. So while enjoying and listening to these many productions below and also enjoying all of the Big Band programs here at WYYR, just like PBS, special packages have been put together and any donation would greatly be appreciated. 

   

 Click here to learn of our most popular productions we can send as a thanks for a nominal gift. 

  Our Big Band Celebrity Guests include:

  The Greats themselves... In Person!

    Their song writers and arrangers! 
      The Big Band authors of today! 
        And much much more!  

           Just click the blue links to get to desired show.

          Shows are in no particular order!

           


          The Great Rose Marie! Two Shows

          One from 9/25/11. Then her belated 90th birthday on 8/25/13

          The only person alive today who can say their first movie was filmed in 1929!

          Rose Marie with Morey AmsterdamRose Marie

          From the Dick Van Dyke Show to The Doris Day Show... from vaudeville to today!_________________________________________________

          Thank you to our friends The Three Belles of the UK

          The Three Belles

          And for their WYYR.com jingle

          Here is their original that premiered on WYYR entitled...

          You Didn't Know About Me

          If you love Patty, Maxine & Laverne, then you will love The Three Belles.

          Please visit their wonderful website by clicking here!

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          Buddy Moreno

          It's Buddy Moreno's 100th Birthday today on 7-14-2012 

          Buddy MorenoBuddy Moreno

          On the day of 7-14-1912, one hundred years ago to this day Buddy Moreno was born. And he is joining us this evening, 7-14-2012 on his birthday!

          Mr. Moreno started out with a vocal group in 1929, then went on to be a lead singer in 1933 with the Griff Williams Orchestra and then onto The Dick Jurgens Orchestra having a huge #1 hit in the summer of 1942 with One Dozen Roses and then onto the Harry James Orchestra and then his own orchestra!

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          An evening of delight and surprises with of one of our favorite vocal groups...

          The Modernaires

          The Modernaires with Paula Kelly have been featured on more top ten and number one hits than any other vocal group in musical history!

           The Modernaires with Paula Kelly

          One of our best productions. Enjoy!

          With surprise callers and stars from all around the world!

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          The Great Louise Tobin at age 92

          "Also known as the gal who started Frank Sinatra's career!"

          Louise with Benny Goodman 1939

          Louise with Benny Goodman 1939

          Louise Tobin today

          Louise today

          Born November 11th, 1918 - Louise Tobin has accomplished more than most. Although being Harry James' first wife in 1935, and being a star years before Harry achieved his star, Louise Tobin was the one who TOLD Harry to audition Frank Sinatra in 1939, and the rest is history! She was also wife of the great Peanuts Hucko.

          She had a number of hits with Benny Goodman in 1939 and has done so much giving us lots of enjoyment over the years.

          Some surprise callers into the show are Harry James Jr., Paula Kelly Jr., Drummer Extraordinaire Butch Miles and calls from around the world.

          Do not miss this presentation of a special musical legend. 

          I am your Ralph Edwards for this evening because it is so special.

          ____________________________________

          Tony Martin at 97 in person

            Tony Martin at 94

          Above is a photo of Tony Martin at Feinsteins in Manhattan. He was magnificent! His wife Cyd Charisse was in the audience! More photos from that evening, just click the link above.

          ________________________________________

          The Mills Brothers from 1/9/11

          The Mills Brothers

          Don't miss this 2 & 1/2 hour production

          John Mills, son of Donald Mills joins us to discuss the history and play many of the records of one of Americas finest voal groups.

          ________________________________________

          Kay Starr, her 88th Brithday. From 7/25/10

          Kay Starr

          Miss Starr is beloved the world over. Not only by her dedicated fans, but with whom she's worked with over the years. And because of this, when this presentation was first announced, friends and stars she has worked with over the years called WYYR to say that they will also be calling in to say hello.

          Also calling in are Peter Marshall, Van Alexander, Paula Kelly Jr., Jan Eberle... and many more! 

           __________________________________________________

          Herb Jeffries in Person at 96

          Listen to our very special guest from 3/21/10 for two hours! 

          He's been entertaining us since 1931! Sorry to say we lost Mr. Jeffries 5/25/14. The above blue link will have his two hours with us and also The Big Band Broadcast edition from 6/21/14 celebrating his life with his wife Savannah.

          Truly an inspiration!

           Herb Jeffries

          His hit record of Flamingo with Duke Ellington from 1940 will be with us forever!

          ___________________________________________________________________

          Harry Prime at 91 years old in person

          1940's Tommy Dorsey vocalist with many other great big bands.

          Harry Prime with Peggy King with the Ralph Flanagan Orchestra.

          Harry Prime with Peggy King when they sang with The Ralph Flanagan Orchestra.

           ___________________________

          The Great Van Alexander at 95 in person

          Van Alexander

          Enjoy this historical tribute to one of America's finest!

          From 8/22/10 and at the age of 95, this man is still going strong!

          Van Alexander landed a job selling arrangements to Chick Webb in the middle of the 1930's. One of those became the world famous, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." It became a hit for Webb and Ella Fitzgerald, and subsequently became one of Ella's signature tunes! Listen to this historic interview he gave us at the age of 95. He IS one of our musical heros!

          ______________________________________________________

           Quite possibly one of the most touching interviews we ever had.

          And it only lasted 90 seconds! 

          Helen Forrest in Person

          Helen Forrest

           ___________________________________________________

           Tex Beneke in Person

          Tex Beneke

          Interview with lead sax and vocalist of the Glenn Miller Orchestra Tex Beneke. With special guests Billy May and trumpeter Johnny Best. His last interview.

          ______________________________

          Don Cornell in Person

          Don Cornell

          Here is the man who recorded It Isn't Fair! Hear all of his records and what he has to say.

          ________________________ 

           Russ Carlyle in Person

           with special guest Joey Bishop!

          Russ CarlyleThe Rat Pack with Joey Bishop

          The Romance of Russ Carlyle & Joey Bishop of The Rat Pack.

          Unfortunately, this was both of their last interviews.

          _______________________________________

          Frankie Carle at 94 in Person

          Frankie CarleFrankie Carle

          From 4/26/97 is an interview with the oldest living Big Band leader at the age of 94. His first musical job was playing piano in a silent theater in 1915. Great stories & music! Unfortunately, this was his last interview.

          ________________________________________

          Alvino Rey in Person

          Alvino Rey

          Idolized by musicans the world over for inventing the first sliding electric guitar, Alvino Rey gave us an interview. Married to one of the King Sisters, and with his popularity, he was naturally a staple in The King Family Television Show for many years. Unfortunately, this was his last interview.

          ____________________________________________________

          Steve Allen in Person

          Steve Allen

          Here is Steve Allen's interview with us about his portrayal of Benny Goodman in The Benny Goodman story and more.

          ______________________________________________

          Dolly Dawn in Person

           (Dolly Dawn) 

          Dolly Dawn and her Dawn Patrol

          The first 'true' female Big band Leader!

          ________________________________________

          From 8/29/10

          A tribute to two of the Greatest singers of the Big Band Era!

          Brothers Bob Eberly and Ray Eberle

          Featuring their sisters Pat & Peg!

          Bob & Ray received more requests over our past 30 years than anyone else!

          Bob Eberly  Ray Eberle

          Bob Eberly & Ray Eberle

          ________________________________________

          Pretty Perky Peggy King

          Peggy King

           Singer for the George Gobel TV Show as well as many others!

          ____________________________________

          First Time Ever in Broadcast History...

          The Amazing Life of Russ Columbo!

          Four phenomenal hours of facts, fantasies and fantastic music!

          Russ Columbo

          Part I (two hours) Part II (two hours)

          Hollywood songwriter and Russ Columbo historian, Damon Leigh, joins your host Chris Valenti to help unravel some of the myths and mysteries surrounding this great man’s charmed life, meteoric musical career, and tragic violent death at the tender age of twenty-six.

          Click here for four hours of thought provoking mystery and beautiful music!

          Some feel this is more intriguing than the JFK Assasination!

          _____________________________________________

           Orrin Tucker in Person

           Orrin Tucker

          His gigantic hit, 'Oh Johnny Oh Johnny', sung by Wee Bonnie Baker, not only gave him movie parts, but also earned him an invitation to the White House to perform it for FDR in 1939.

          _____________________________________________

          The Vincent Lopez Orchestra

          The Vincent Lopez OrchestraVincent Lopez

          This special presentation showcases the music and life of one of America's great Big Bands that started out in 1917, The Vincent Lopez Orchestra. The sound and performances of the Vincent Lopez Orchestra endured folks around the world right through into the 1960's and 70's and beyond and continues today with Vincent Lopez, Jr. who will be joining us. We will get to hear many of the records that made him famous as well as hearing how the band sounds today.

          From 7-15-12

           

           

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          The Harry James Orchestra

          Fred RadkeHarry James

          under the direction of the great Mr. Fred Radke

          __________________________________________________

          The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

          Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra qwith Mr. Bill Tole Jimmy Dorsey

          under the direction of the great Mr. Bill Tole

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          The Jan Garber Orchestra

          "The Idol of the Airwaves!"

          Jan Garber Orchestra with Howard SchneiderJan Garber

          under the direction of the great Mr. Howard Schneider

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          Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks

          Vince GiordanoVince Girordano & The Nighthawks

          This magical orchestra specializes in the very popular jazz styles of the 1920's and early 1930s. To say this band is magical would NOT be an understatement. Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks have contributed to many films and is especially noted for orchestrations featured in the movies of Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Robert Deniro. He also provides much of the music and also appears in the Scorcese HBO series Boardwalk Empire. 

          __________________________________________________

           Miller Music with Jan Eberle and her dad Ray Eberle 

          Ray EberleJan Eberle wit the Big Bands 

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          Garry Stevens in Person

          This man sang with all of the best!

          Garry Stevens

          According to Billboard... at one point this man was the #4 vocalist just behind Sinatra, Como and Haymes!  Before the war he sang with Charlie Spivak. During the war he sang with Glenn Miller. After the war, sang with Miller under the direction of Tex Beneke.

          ____________________________________________________

          Buddy DeFranco

          Buddy DeFranco

          Clarinetist extraordinaire and sideman for Gene Krupa, Charlie Barnett, Tommy Dorsey, and ultimately the bandleader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra from 1966 to 1974. Excellent fact filled show with rare recodings, live callers, and much more! Surprisingly enough, Mr. DeFranco was very candid about many things in his life. Don't miss it.

          ____________________________________________________

          Grammy Award Winner

          Alan Copeland appeared with...

          James Cagney in 1938 in Angels With Dirty Faces!

          One of the most respected singers, songwriters and arrangers of the past 60 years!

          Our Special Guest Did Everything... and More.

          Alan Copeland 

          Mr. Alan Copeland

          Click Alan's name to go to his page to hear interview.

          Grammy Award Winner Alan Copeland appeard in my favorite movie of all time... Angels With Dirty Faces in 1938 with James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, and Humphrey Bogart.  Plus...

          Yankee Doodle Dandee, Meet John John Doe, Idaho, and many others. 

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          Our Flag

           The United States Air Force Academy Band

          United States Air Force Academy BandUnited States Air Force Academy Band

          The USAF Academy Band play everything from Glenn Miller to Harry James! 

          This program shows off the versatility of the USAF Academy Band with their great recordings of Glenn Miller and other Big Band greats! Great music. Great show!

          Our special guests are trombonists Lieutenant Colonel Lang & Master Seargent Crump.

          The USAF Academy Band is the leading educational institution developing and inspiring air and space leaders of character with a vision for tomorrow. For over 50 years, the Academy Band has used the power of music to inspire Air Force personnel and the nation they serve produce innovative musical programs and products, and communicate Air Force excellence to millions around the globe.

          We are very proud to have them as our special guest.

          Please enjoy this special presentation from 2/27/11:  

          United States Air Force Academy BandUnited States Air Force Academy Band

          For more info about the USAF Academy Band click here!

          Click here to view their beautiful letter hanging in prominence at WYYR.

          Support Our Troops

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          At 94 years old Mr Norman Leyden in person

          An historic Big Band Era musical production with...

           94 year old American arranger and composer Mr. Norman Leyden who also wrote Glenn Millers' AAF Band's theme song 'I Sustain The Wings' in 1944.

          Norman LeydenGlenn MIller with the AAF Band 1944

          When Glenn Miller went into the service he was given the Army Air Force Band to work with. An amazing orchestra with a full accompaniment of strings. Glenn's new theme song became 'I Sustain The Wings' which Norman Leyden wrote as well as arranging many other pieces for this great orchestra. Above: Norman Leyden today; Glenn Miller with the AAF Band 1944. 

          Another one of Chris Valenti's 'This Is Is Your Life' style presentations with other special guests and surprises that include arranger of 1937's A Tisket A Tasket for Chick Webb & Ella Fitzgerald 96 year old Van Alexander. University of Colorado's Glenn Miller Archivist and Miller historian Dennis Spraag. Big Band writer and historian Jeff Karpinski. Air Force Seargents and listeners calling in to pay respects. Plus lots of Miller music.  

          ____________________________________________________

          Frances Langford

          Frances

          Frances Langford was a previous guest of the Big Band Broadcast and now we can again listen to lots of her records while discussing a new book involving her life. 

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          Martha Tilton

          Martha Tilton

          The great vocalist Martha Tilton is discussed for many hours along with her records.

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          Kay Kyser

          Kay Kyser 

          The Professor of Swing with his Kollege of Musical Knowledge

          _______________________________________________________________

          Cole Porter

          Cole Porter

          Discussed is Cole Porter’s music and his notorious and raucous life style along with rare recordings first aired here in the US with guest Marilyn Holloway from South Africa. 

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          The Great Andrews Sisters

          Lots of great Andrews Sisters Music, 'Including Patty Andrews!'

          The Andrews Sisters 

          __________________________________________________________________________

          The History of Swing 

          Benny Goodman 

          Big Band Historian Harvey Sheldon is the guest

          _________________________________________________________________

          Leo Gorcey

          Leo GorceyThe Dead End Kids 

          Hear a bunch of great stories and movie sound bites of The Dead End Kids, aka; The Bowery Boys and the East Side Gang, that also include the stars James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, John Garfield, Bela Lugosi, and more! All of which is presented to you by Leo Gorcey Jr.

          _______________________________________________________________________

           Johnny Mercer 

          Johnny Mercer

          _________________________________________________________________________

          From Rome Italy, composer Ilio Volante

          Ilio Volante

          WYYR.com was contacted by a firm in Rome Italy who promotes composer Ilio Volante. They made us aware of a wonderful piece he created entitled American Feeling.

          We feel the title speaks for itself and are sure you will agree. Certainly a great Big Band piece with all the aspects of Goodman, Miller, Basie and the rest. Click link below to listen.

          Here is his bio:

          Was born in Italy in 1964. But was still a teenager when he started his music studies (saxophone) showing from the very beginning a particular predisposition towards the music composition and Jazz music. At the age of 19 he won the audition for the Italian National Army Band stationed in Rome. He served it for 10 years under the direction of Col. Marino BARTOLONI. After this, he played in the Grenadiers of Sardinia’s Band (Rome) and the Shape International Band (the official Nato Band) stationed in Mons (BELGIUM). In this last post, he covered for three years the 1st Tenor Saxophone slot helping the Director, MSg Allen WITTIG, in doing the original arrangements for the Big Band.

                 

          Glenn MillerHarry JamesCab CallowayJimmy DorseyLouie ArmstrongLes Brown with Doris DayFrances LangfordSammy KayeThe Ink SpotsThe ModernairesBing CrosbyTex BenekeTommy DorseyFrank SinatraBob EberlyHelen ForrestRay eberleyKitty KallenBunny BerriganGene KrupaConnie HainesAlvino ReyThe Mills BrothersThe Andrews SistersAnita O'DayKeely SmithBillie EckstineCount_BasieDickHaymesVincent LopezWoody HermanHelen O'Connell