Sonny Burke (born Joseph Francis Burke; March 22, 1914 in Scranton, Pennsylvania – May 31, 1980) was an American musical arranger, composer, big band leader and producer. In 1937, he graduated from Duke University, where he had formed and led the jazz big band known as the Duke Ambassadors.
Scranton is the sixth-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat of Lackawanna County in Northeastern Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley and hosts a federal court building. With a population of 77,291, it is the largest city in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of about 570,000. The city is conventionally divided into 6 districts: North Scranton, Southside, Westside, East Scranton, Central City, and Green Ridge, though these areas do not have legal status.
A big band is a type of musical ensemble that usually consists of ten or more musicians with four sections: saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a rhythm section. Big bands originated during the early 1910s and dominated jazz in the early 1940s when swing was most popular. The term "big band" is also used to describe a genre of music. One problem with this usage is that it overlooks the variety of music played by these bands.
Duke University is a private research university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James Buchanan Duke established The Duke Endowment and the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.
During the 1930s and 1940s he was a big band arranger in New York, worked with Sam Donahue's band, and during the 1940s and 1950s worked as an arranger for the Charlie Spivak and Jimmy Dorsey bands, among others. In 1955 he wrote, along with Peggy Lee, the songs to Disney's Lady and the Tramp . He also wrote songs with John Elliot for Disney's Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom , which won the 1953 Oscar for Best Short Animated Feature.
Sam Donahue was an American swing music jazz tenor saxophonist, trumpeter and musical arranger. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he is known for his work with Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Billy May, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, among many others.
Charlie Spivak was an American trumpeter and bandleader, best known for his big band in the 1940s.
James Dorsey was an American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, composer and big band leader. He was known as "JD". He recorded and composed the jazz and pop standards "I'm Glad There Is You " and "It's The Dreamer In Me". His other major recordings were "Tailspin", "John Silver", "So Many Times", "Amapola", "Brazil ", "Pennies from Heaven" with Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and Frances Langford, "Grand Central Getaway", and "So Rare".
He wrote the music for number of popular songs that continue to be regarded as standards. These include, "Black Coffee", with lyric by Paul Francis Webster, and "Midnight Sun", co-written with jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. The song's famous lyrics were added later by Johnny Mercer. Burke was an active arranger, conductor and A&R man at major Hollywood record labels, especially Decca Records where he worked with Charles "Bud" Dant. He also wrote and arranged the theme for the early 1960s television show Hennesey , a jazzy update of the Sailor's Hornpipe .
"Black Coffee" is a song with music by Sonny Burke and words by Paul Francis Webster. The song was published in 1948.
Paul Francis Webster was an American lyricist who won three Academy Awards for Best Original Song and was nominated sixteen times for the award.
"Midnight Sun" (1954) was originally an instrumental composed by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke in 1947 and is now considered a jazz standard. Subsequently, Johnny Mercer wrote the words to the song. One famous recording of the song with the Mercer lyrics is by Ella Fitzgerald on her 1957 album Like Someone in Love. Fitzgerald recorded the song again for her 1964 album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook. She recorded it for a third time in 1975 with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson on the Pablo release Ella and Oscar.
Later Burke became musical director of Reprise Records and was responsible for many of Frank Sinatra's albums, and was producer of Sinatra's iconic recording of "My Way". He was also bandleader for recordings of leading singers such as Dinah Shore, Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, The Mills Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Tormé.
Reprise Records is an American record label founded in 1960 by Frank Sinatra. It is owned by Warner Music Group, and operates through Warner Bros. Records, one of its flagship labels.
Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian Americans, Sinatra began his musical career in the swing era with bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. Sinatra found success as a solo artist after he signed with Columbia Records in 1943, becoming the idol of the "bobby soxers". He released his debut album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. Sinatra's professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, and he turned to Las Vegas, where he became one of its best known residency performers as part of the Rat Pack. His career was reborn in 1953 with the success of From Here to Eternity, with his performance subsequently winning an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Sinatra released several critically lauded albums, including In the Wee Small Hours (1955), Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956), Come Fly with Me (1958), Only the Lonely (1958) and Nice 'n' Easy (1960).
Dinah Shore was an American singer, actress, and television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940s. She rose to prominence as a recording artist during the Big Band era, but achieved even greater success a decade later, in television, mainly as hostess of a series of variety programs for Chevrolet.
He died of cancer on May 31, 1980, aged 66, in Santa Monica, California. He was survived by his wife Dorothy Gillis Burke and his four children, Gaylord, Peter and twins Jerry and Tom Burke. He had one sister, Rhoda Burke Andrews. His interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.
Holy Cross Cemetery is a Roman Catholic cemetery at 5835 West Slauson Avenue in Culver City, California, operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
With Brass Fever
Brass Fever is the debut album by American jazz/R&B group Brass Fever, recorded in 1975 and released on the Impulse! label.
Time is Running Out is the second and final album by American jazz/R&B group Brass Fever recorded in 1976 and released on the Impulse! label.
With Dizzy Gillespie
With John Handy
With Blue Mitchell
With Ben Sidran
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than fifty years.
The 1st Annual Grammy Awards were held on May 4, 1959. They recognized musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Two separate ceremonies were held simultaneously on the same day; the first in The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and the second in the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City. Ella Fitzgerald & Ross Bagdasarian won most awards with 3 each, whereas Count Basie, Domenico Modugno, Henry Mancini, and each won 2 awards.
Kai Chresten Winding was a Danish-born American trombonist and jazz composer. He is known for his collaborations with trombonist J. J. Johnson.
The 9th Annual Grammy Awards were held on March 2, 1967, at Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and New York. They recognized accomplishments of musicians for the year 1966. The 9th Grammy Awards is notable for not presenting the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Frank Sinatra won 5 awards.
Tadley Ewing Peake Dameron was an American jazz composer, arranger, and pianist. Saxophonist Dexter Gordon called him the "romanticist" of the bop movement, while reviewer Scott Yanow wrote that Dameron was the "definitive arranger/composer of the bop era".
Edward William May Jr. was an American composer, arranger and trumpeter. He composed film and television music for The Green Hornet (1966), The Mod Squad (1968), Batman, and Naked City (1960). He collaborated on films such as Pennies from Heaven (1981), and orchestrated Cocoon, and Cocoon: The Return, among others.
William "Sonny" Criss was an American jazz musician.
Oliver Edward Nelson was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger, composer, and bandleader. He is perhaps best remembered for his 1961 Impulse! album The Blues and the Abstract Truth (1960), often regarded as being among the most significant recordings of its era. The centerpiece of the album is the definitive version of Nelson's composition, "Stolen Moments". Other important recordings from the early 1960s are More Blues and the Abstract Truth and Sound Pieces, both also on Impulse!.
Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis is an American saxophonist, composer and arranger. With a background in jazz, he was an important member of James Brown's band in the 1960s, appearing on many of Brown's most notable recordings and co-writing hits like "Cold Sweat" and "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud". He also worked closely with Van Morrison.
The Count Basie Orchestra is a 16 to 18 piece big band, one of the most prominent jazz performing groups of the swing era, founded by Count Basie in 1935 and recording regularly from 1936. Despite a brief disbandment at the beginning of the 1950s, the band survived long past the Big Band era itself and the death of Basie in 1984. It continues as a 'ghost band'.
Peter Appleyard, was a British–Canadian jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, and composer. He spent most of his life living and performing in the city of Toronto where for many years he was a popular performer in the city's nightclubs and hotels. He also played and recorded with many of the city's orchestras and been featured on Canadian television and radio programs. In the early 1970s he drew wide acclaim for his performances with Benny Goodman's jazz sextet with which he toured internationally. In 1992, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his being an "internationally renowned vibraphonist [who] has represented the Canadian jazz community across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia".
Manny Albam was a jazz baritone saxophone player who eventually became a composer, arranger, producer, and educator. He was well known for his association with United Artists-Solid State Records.
Don Butterfield was an American jazz and classical tuba player.
Heinie Beau was an American jazz composer, arranger, saxophonist and clarinetist, most notable for his swing clarinet work and recordings done with Tommy Dorsey, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Red Nichols. Living in Hollywood, California, Beau worked as an arranger and musician on television, radio and recordings, including contributing classic charts to Sinatra's Capitol repertoire. Beau wrote the big band arrangement of Lean Baby, the first single Sinatra recorded for Capitol in 1953. Beau had also recorded extensively in Europe, touring areas such as London.
This is the discography of Duke Ellington. The majority of these recordings are listed under the year they were recorded, rather than released. Reissues are listed for most of the recordings released before the 1950s, as the original 78s are rare. A full discography up to the 1942 recording ban is available at http://www.ellingtonia.com. The US chart listing information should be taken as being very tentative, since sources like the Joel Whitburn "Pop Memories" book does not take the cheaper dime-store records into account. During this period, records sold by song title, not specifically by artist, although there are exceptions. Based on many years of research by scores of collectors, the general opinion is that the easier it is to find an old record at a second hand shop that sells 78's the more likely it was a good seller. Many of the below titles are fairly easy to find.
Lloyd Vernon "Skip" Martin was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and music arranger.
The Duke Ambassadors was a student-run jazz big band, active at Duke University from 1934-1964. Student-run big bands continued in 1969 as the Duke Stage Band and from 1971-1974 as the Duke Jazz Ensemble. From 1974 to the present, professional musician-educators have led the Duke Jazz Ensemble.
Victor Schoen was an American bandleader, arranger, and composer whose career spanned from the 1930s until his death in 2000. He furnished music for some of the most successful persons in show business including Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Les Brown, Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, George Shearing, Jimmie Lunceford, Ray McKinley, Benny Carter, Louis Prima, Russ Morgan, Guy Lombardo, Carmen Cavallaro, Carmen Miranda, Gordon Jenkins, Joe Venuti, Victor Young, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, and his own The Vic Schoen Orchestra.
Don Raffell was an American saxophonist, woodwind doubler (multireedist), studio musician and educator. Raffell recorded on hundreds of records, movies, and T.V shows dating from the 1940s all the way through the 1990s. His career as a studio musician was long and stylistically diverse having started in the big band era and playing all the way up through rock n' roll and other modern pop era acts. He had a long time close professional association with arranger and conductor Nelson Riddle.