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By Los Angeles Times | September 10, 1993
Helen O'Connell, the petite singer who along with Bob Eberly formed one of the most enduring duos in American popular music, died yesterday at a San Diego hospice.Her manager, Gloria Burke, said she was 73. With her when she died was her husband, Frank DeVol, the orchestra leader, arranger and composer, and three of her four daughters.Most recently she had become identified as a soloist, appearing throughout the country either on her own or with "ghost bands," who represented the remnants of the grandeur of dance music in the 1930s and '40s.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 4, 2014
To get your Fourth of July off to a swinging step, I just had to share what must be the coolest version of John Philip Sousa's famous march "Stars and Stripes Forever. " Recorded in 1939, this brilliantly swinging blast from the past is by the big band of Baltimore's own Chick Webb, one of the greatest talents in jazz history. Crank up the volume and set your patriotic toes tappin'.   
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NEWS
By Adrienne Morris and Adrienne Morris,sun reporter | February 9, 2007
The Columbia Jazz Band is made up of more than 22 volunteer musicians -- professional and amateur -- who share a love of performing the big-band sound. "The interesting thing about the band is that the musicians earn their livings in other ways," said Riley McDonald, 67, a saxophonist. Engineers, teachers, doctors, National Security Agency employees and other professionals meet Mondays to practice and socialize. As one member said, the band has "become like family." The group, which includes musicians ranging from the late 20s to early 80s, is to perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at Howard County Community College's Smith Theatre.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2013
Despite last weekend's cool weather, summer arrived for many at the opening of Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre's 47th season of theater under the stars. Fine performances and a full moon added magic to the opening of "Swing!" Conceived by Paul Kelly to debut on Broadway in December 1999, "Swing!" became groundbreaking entertainment, offering pure song and dance — no plot or dialogue to tie the classic numbers together. Kelly's concept remains fresh at Summer Garden, where audiences hear fine jazz standards played by the troupe's big band, interpreted by a skilled cast of dancers and singers.
NEWS
By Michael Stroh and Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF | September 17, 2002
Charles Albert Gibney Jr., who made his name around the city leading big bands and selling beer for area breweries, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at his Lutherville home. He was 84. Born in Baltimore, Mr. Gibney grew up in Waverly and graduated in 1926 from Polytechnic Institute, where he learned the trombone and played in the school band. After high school, Mr. Gibney formed a 13-piece orchestra. During the Depression, the Charlie Gibney Orchestra packed some of the hottest clubs and ballrooms in Baltimore, including the Alcazar, Stage Door Casino, Emerson Hotel and Dixie Ballroom.
FEATURES
By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | February 28, 1993
Most people think of popular music as evolving pretty much along generational lines. Baby boomers, for example, rejected the swing-based big band music of their parents in favor of the backbeat-driven sound of rock and roll; their children, in turn, prefer the feisty funk grooves of rap. It's almost as if some sort of cultural alarm clock goes off every 30 years or so, and popular music suddenly changes its tune.Of course, it's actually a little more complicated than that. Pop styles don't just come out of nowhere, nor do they automatically fall out of fashion as their audience ages.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | December 15, 1994
Why is it that, of all the big band leaders, Glenn Miller seems to tower over the rest?Even now, 50 years to the day since his plane disappeared over the English Channel, Miller remains a cultural icon. It isn't just that his recordings continue to sell and his arrangements are still being played; it's the fact that even those whose parents weren't born when Miller died recognize the sound of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" and "In the Mood." For millions of Americans, Miller virtually epitomizes the big band era.Why, though?
NEWS
December 31, 1998
FIVE DECADES after the big band industry faded away, America is dancing to swing again. But instead of Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw, the bandstands feature the likes of Royal Crown Revue, Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Brian Setzer.The Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey ghost bands still entertain the geriatric set on tours and ocean cruises. Contemporary zoot-suiters and bobby-soxers, though, prefer a jumpier style, one that mixes rock with Count Basie and Louis Jordan.This retro-swing movement started on the West Coast nearly a decade ago. This year, thanks to MTV and a Gap commercial, the craze hit the East Coast in a big way.The composition of a retro-swing orchestra is not very different from a 1930s big band.
NEWS
By Michael R. Driscoll and Michael R. Driscoll,SUN STAFF | September 28, 1990
Whether he took the name himself or had the title bestowed on him, the late Count Basie will always be high on the lists of the American musical aristocracy.The city of Annapolis will be able to enjoy his legacy at 8 tomorrow night at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, when the celebrated Count Basie Orchestra performs as part of the annual Kunta Kinte High Heritage Day Celebrations. The visit is part of a tour that also included stops in Japan.Although Basie died in 1984, the band continues to record and perform internationally under the direction of Frank Foster, a saxophonist.
NEWS
By Rona Hirsch and Rona Hirsch,Contributing Writer | May 21, 1993
The swing music of the 1930s and 1940s elicits memories of a generation when everything was big -- the bands, the dancing and even the war.It was a time when many people stepped out regularly to smoke-filled supper clubs and danced to songs in which trumpets and saxophones played lead, and romance and optimism was often the music's only message.For those who yearn for the sounds of big band music, Turf Valley Hotel and Country Club in Ellicott City will present the Glenn Miller Orchestra in a dance concert next weekend.
NEWS
April 27, 2012
Open house Mount Hebron High School, 9440 Route 99, will host an open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 9. Visitors will have an opportunity to tour the school's new addition and renovated wings. Information: 410-313-2880. Mayfest at Mayfield Woods Mayfield Woods Middle School commemorates its 20th anniversary at its annual Mayfest celebration from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at 7950 Red Barn Way in Elkridge. Alumni, staff and the community are invited to bring lawn chairs and relax as several local schools present musical performances.
EXPLORE
By Bob Allen | November 21, 2011
It takes a Big Band sound to battle the disco, punk, thrash rock, heavy metal and country-pop now dominating national soundtracks. But that's exactly what the Zim Zemarel Band has done in the greater Baltimore area for the better part of 50 years. And even though Zemarel himself died in 1999, at age 82, his former band mates Gene Bonner, 77, of Perry Hall, and Wayne Hudson, 68, of Pasadena, are still carrying the torch for the band, and for Tommy Dorsey- and Benny Goodman-style 1940s Big Band music itself.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 2, 2010
Someday, if we're lucky, jukebox musicals will go the way of, well, jukeboxes, and creative types will concentrate solely on fashioning fresh plots peppered with brand-new songs. Meanwhile, you might as well join the crowd and revel in the latest and certainly loudest entry in this genre, " Rock of Ages," now showing off its energy and its hair at the Hippodrome . The 2009 Broadway hit celebrates those heady, hard-thumping days of '80s rock, cramming in about 30 songs from the likes of Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Journey, Twisted Sister and Styx.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | August 26, 2010
John W. Pierson Jr., a semiretired insurance executive who enjoyed sailing the bay and listening to 1930s and '40s big-band music, died Aug. 16 of Parkinson's disease at Gilchrist Hospice Care. The Middle River resident was 87. Mr. Pierson, the son of a radiologist and a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and was raised in an apartment above his father's office in the 1100 block of St. Paul St. After graduating from Gilman School in 1941, he began his college studies at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Baltimore Sun | June 28, 2009
It's summer, when live music fills the air at outdoor concert venues. The largest concert - Annapolis Symphony Orchestra's July 4 Spectacular - comes to AACC's Siegert Field at 8 p.m. Saturday. Gates open at 4 p.m. and entertainment starts at 6 p.m. Rain date is June 28 at 8 p.m. For this and all outdoor concerts, it's smart to pack lawn chairs and a picnic basket. From Linthicum to Annapolis, a wide array of musical choices, including big band, rock, soul, jazz and bluegrass, awaits listeners of every taste at free outdoor shows.
NEWS
By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN | February 8, 2009
Ken Jackson, the veteran Baltimore radio broadcaster who is host of In the Mood, a weekly three-hour Big Band radio show that airs over WYPR on Friday evenings, called me the other day and, in the course of our discussion, mentioned the name of Chuck Richards. "Did you know that Chuck sang with Fletcher Henderson?" said Jackson. I said I never knew that. In fact, I knew nothing about his past during the glory days when Americans fell in love, swayed, and jumped and jived to the music of the Big Bands.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | December 23, 2000
Forget your preconceptions about marching bands, drill teams and baton twirlers. Forget military-style uniforms with brass buttons and plumed hats. Forget football fight songs. Think elegance, ingenuity, exuberance and tour-de-force showmanship. If ever a show deserved the exclamation point after its name, it's "Blast!" the Broadway-bound extravaganza that's currently spilling off the stage, down the aisles and into the lobby of the Kennedy Center Opera House. It's indicative of the sheer size of the production that the conductor stands at the very back of the theater; the entire opera house is his stage.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | August 8, 1999
Stardom in pop music, as elsewhere in the entertainment world, is to a certain extent all about image. Think of Bruce Springsteen, and you imagine a workingman's rock star, all honest sweat and no-frills integrity. Thnink of Eric Clapton, on the other hand, and what comes up is the noble suffering of a man who truly does have the right to sing the blues.But what image appears when we think of Phil Collins? Is it the cheerfully entertaining showman who led Genesis through such hits as "Invisible Touch"?
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun | June 29, 2007
The summer outdoor concert season is already in full swing, bringing all types of music - including bluegrass, big band, rock 'n' roll and classical jazz - to regional parks and other outdoor venues. Sponsored by various organizations and local businesses, all concerts are free. Folks need bring only folding chairs or blankets and picnic baskets. Something more is required of the volunteers who arrange these outdoor concerts. Now in her 22nd year as performing arts chairman for the eight-concert series sponsored by the Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights, Jo Barker said her committee starts pursuing bands as early as January or February.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | May 31, 2007
It's a complete dream come true. It's like flying first class on the Concorde." That's smooth-jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, talking about his latest album, At the Movies. A lush, star-studded affair, the CD "combines music and the movies, two things I love the most," he says. His enthusiasm for the indelible lyrics and melodies of iconic tunes such as "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz and "As Time Goes By" from Casablanca shines through every note Koz blows. It's a grand, stylish album the artist has wanted to record for years.
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