[78-L] Alvino Rey and The Kings

Taylor Bowie bowiebks at isomedia.com
Wed Apr 21 21:47:04 PDT 2010

One of the other Lennon sisters had already married trumpeter Dick 
Cathcart...they had kids and remained together until Cathcart passed.  Clark 
and "his" Lennon sister divorced after a few years.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dan Van Landingham" <danvanlandingham at yahoo.com>
To: "78-L Mail List" <78-l at klickitat.78online.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 7:13 PM
Subject: Re: [78-L] Alvino Rey and The Kings

> From what I was told by Dorothy Herfurt(now deceased since 2003 at 76)and 
> from what Welk shows
> that are on PBS(out here in Oregon it's Oregon Public Broadcasting)the 
> lead alto was Dave Edwards
> who has since passed on.Who is was before him I don't know.Mahlon Clark 
> was in the sax section;I
> remember the stink that was raised when one of the Lennon Sisters married 
> him.He was like 42 at the
> time;she was around 27.I believe it was Kathy Lennon who married him.
> ________________________________
> From: Jeff Sultanof <jeffsultanof at gmail.com>
> To: 78-L Mail List <78-l at klickitat.78online.com>
> Sent: Wed, April 21, 2010 5:57:44 PM
> Subject: Re: [78-L] Alvino Rey and The Kings
> Billy had already signed a publishing deal when he was with Barnet. He was
> not happy in the Miller band and suspicious that Miller would take 
> advantage
> of him if given the opportunity. As I remember the story, Miller had 
> started
> his own company, Mutual Music, and overheard a conversation where Miller's
> professional manager was doing a hard sell. Billy was having none of it 
> and
> probably told the guy to go to hell. That's when he noticed that Miller 
> had
> overheard the entire conversation, gave Billy a withering look and left. 
> The
> band was going to break up anyway, so Billy stayed on until the end. Billy
> was moonlighting for a couple of bands by that time. Miller was no fool; 
> he
> was trying to tie Billy up for anything he wrote for a number of years. He
> hired Billy because May was a fine musician, a gifted composer and a 
> trumpet
> player; Miller was getting a good return on his investment, and he was
> always thinking several years ahead.
> Herfurt had a gorgeous sound. I admit I watched the Lawrence Welk show
> waiting for his solos every week. Welk really wanted Johnny Hodges, but he
> knew that whatever issues Hodges had with Duke, he was not leaving. So 
> Welk
> got hold of alto players who had the same approach. I know he had someone
> similar before Skeets in the Alto chair. Does anyone remember who it was?
> Jeff Sultanof
> On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 7:14 PM, Dan Van Landingham <
> danvanlandingham at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> I had a Bluebird  copy of "The Major and The Minor".I learned how to play
>> softly and in tune via Skeets
>> Herfurt's alto solo."Strip Polka was in the reverse and it was issued on
>> that Reader's Digest set of "The
>> Great Band Era".In fact,I memorised Herfurt's solo.Skeets was a good 
>> friend
>> of mine and we correspon-
>> ded via phone from 1982 until he died in April of 1992.Skeets told me of
>> those days with Rey as well as
>> his days with Tommy Dorsey and his association with Glenn Miller when
>> Miller was a part of the Dorsey
>> Brothers Orchestra.I wonder if Billy May did the arrangement of "The 
>> Major
>> and The Minor"?I know that
>> May was moonlighting with Rey at the same time he was with Miller.I had
>> read,via George T. Simon's bo-
>> ok on Miller,that the two didn't part on friendly terms.Miller wanted May
>> to sign with one of his music pub-
>> lishing companies and he wouldn't."Strip Polka" was just another big band
>> arrangement to me.I means not-
>> hing."The Major and The Minor" was another record that was a part of my
>> "musical reference books".I dug
>> the solid,full sound the Herfurt led sax section had.Skeets owned about 
>> 15%
>> of the band as I recall.He told
>> me about how Rey contacted him about joining the band via his ham radio.I
>> had spoken to Rey on a few
>> occasions the last being in 1994.I wished I had kept in touch with him 
>> more
>> often;I could say the same thing
>> about Jack Sperling who told me of his days with Bunny Berigan and John
>> Best and his days with Shaw and Glenn Miller.I don't think John was too 
>> fond
>> of him either from what I gathered. via our conversations.
>> ________________________________
>> From: Geoffrey Wheeler <dialjazz at verizon.net>
>> To: 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
>> Sent: Tue, April 20, 2010 8:04:16 PM
>> Subject: [78-L]  Alvino Rey and The Kings
>> Speaking of Alvino Rey, Al simmons says:“Good band..good charts. He
>> opened with "The Strip Polka"  Hot stuff. Next number "The Major and
>> The Minor"
>> Earl Bostic made an excellent recording of his and Redd Evans tune “The
>> Major and the Minor” for Majestic. The sound is “boxy,” as though it
>> were recorded in a closet. The Alvino Rey Bluebird recording of the
>> tune is also excellent. Both recordings should be better known.
>> A surprising band of the early Forties was Shep Fields’ reeds orchestra
>> that recorded for Bluebird. The recordings feature wonderful
>> arrangements and playing, and the band swings nicely. When he was
>> featured, Charlie Shavers generally took excellent solos that made him
>> a distinctive sound and stylist. He could just about blow everybody
>> else off the stand. He was also a standout with the Raymond Scott
>> Orchestra on CBS stateside and short-wave broadcasts.
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