Book review

Provocative and exciting stories about a great period of popular music. Broadcasting Hall of Famer John Rayburn had conversation/interviews with many of the major stars including Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Nat King Cole, Jo Stafford, Buddy Rich, Charlie Barnet, Les Paul and a great many more. What famous crooner was invited to sing along with a big band when he was only four years old? Which big band enjoyed receiving big tips from mobster Al Capone? How did Nathaniel Adams Coles become Nat King Cole? Who gambled away part of a band’s income and left Woody Herman in serious debt to the IRS? What was Norma Deloris Egstrom’s professional name? Who once angrily threw a pitcher of water at drummer Buddy Rich? How did Shirley Luster become June Christy? There are behind the scenes anecdotes of vibrant swing/jazz music during troubled times of the Great Depression and WWII that made the whole world dance and sing along. As someone once said, “Played right you can make Bach swing.”

Big Band Bash: Nostalgia Ain't What it Used to Be by John Rayburn

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John Rayburn
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