Big Bands and Big Names

The Tommy Dorsey Band in 1941. In the back row are the vocalists, including on the far right, Frank Sinatra.

On stage behind the great vintage vocalists  in Las Vegas showrooms and everywhere else for that matter was a Big Band.  Throughout the 30’s, 40’s and on, big bands played all across the U.S. and helped introduce vocalists like Frank Sinatra, among many others.  Now, the era of big bands and the performers who rose to stardom during the big band heyday is preserved at a website called Craig’s Big Bands and Big Names

A feature of the site is the extensive collection of actual revues of the big band musicians and vocalists that made big band history.  Included are revues of Frank Sinatra in 1943 and Sammy Davis Jr. in 1959, plus revues of other performers like Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Frankie Laine and Tony Bennett.  And there’s a great discussion of Dean Martin’s career and incredible appeal.  The archive even covers comedians like Joe E. Lewis, Jerry Lewis and  Danny Thomas. 

Current news of interest to big band fans is featured on the home page, which recently acknowledged the passing of singers Eddie Fisher and Lena Horne and posted a reminder about the 35th annual Glenn Miller festival.

And still more unique resources are available at the links page of  Craig’s Big Bands and Big Names, one site that’s well worth visiting. 

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