Label: London Records - HA-U 2148 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: UK • Genre: Jazz, Pop • Style: Big Band
Jerry Gray July 3, — August 10, was an American violinist, arranger, composer, and leader of swing dance orchestras big bands bearing his name. He is widely known for his work with popular music during the Swing era. Gray, along with Bill Fineganwrote many of Miller's arrangements during the late s and early s. In the latter part of Gray's career, his orchestra served as the house band at the Venetian Room of the Fairmont HotelDallas.
His father, Albert Graziano, was a music teacher who began teaching his son violin at age seven. By age eighteen he formed a jazz band and was performing in Boston clubs. He studied musical arrangement under Shaw and became a staff arranger a year later. During the next two years he penned some of the band's most popular arrangements, including " Carioca ", " Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise ", "Any Old Time", and the classic " Begin the Beguine.
In NovemberShaw suddenly broke up his band and moved The Time Is Now - Jerry Gray And His Orchestra - Hi-Fi Shades Of Gray Mexico. On the next day, Glenn Miller called Gray and offered him a job arranging for his band.
It was a difficult move because Shaw had allowed his arrangers great musical latitude, while Miller's commercial orientation often led him to second-guess his staff. Gray gradually found himself more in line with Miller's less—mercurial personality and was allowed more of the freedom that he appreciated.
As Gray later told author George T. Simon"To me, Glenn's band didn't swing like Artie's But after I made up my mind to accept things as they were, things started to click He was a businessman who appreciated music I may have been happier musically with Artie, but I was happier personally with Glenn.
Gray's time with the Glenn Miller Orchestra produced many of the most Sai Desse Vazio - Biafra - Despertar and memorable recordings of the era. So many of Gray's pieces became best-sellers that he has been described as more responsible for the band's success than Miller himself, although publicly, Gray always described the relationship as mutually beneficial.
Gray was again without a job when Αθηναϊκές Πολεμικές Τέχνες - Θύτης x Sτιχοπαθής* - Τελευταία Κατοικία broke up his band in September to enter the Army Air Forces. Captain Miller used his connections to have Gray posted in his unit; and in earlyGray rejoined his old boss. Entrenched military bureaucracy halted Miller's initial plans to establish a group of service bands with Gray as coordinator of the arranging staffs.
Gray's training as both a violinist and swing arranger served him well in the massive AAF orchestra composed of an enlarged dance band and a 21—member string section.
He created new arrangements of several of Miller's civilian—band hits, added strings to the version of "Begin the Beguine" that he had written for Artie Shaw, and wrote somewhat looser jazz pieces such as "Enlisted Men's Mess". He also co-wrote the famous march version of "St.
Two arrangements in particular show the breadth of styles that he was able The Time Is Now - Jerry Gray And His Orchestra - Hi-Fi Shades Of Gray contribute: a lush, string-heavy treatment of Fred Fisher's "Blue is the Night" gave that relatively obscure tune a semi—classical cast, while his punching brass arrangement of "Everybody Loves My Baby" was perhaps the culmination of the repetitive short-phrasing style he developed with the Shaw band.
Gray was also the full orchestra's assistant conductor, while Ray McKinley and George Ockner served as seconds-in-command for the dance band and string section, respectively.
It fell to Gray to conduct the orchestra's first concert in Paris after Miller's airplane disappeared over the English Channel. When the men returned to the U. Gray was passed over for the job of leading One Foundation - Bob Marley & The Wailers - Burnin postwar "ghost" Glenn Miller Orchestra, reportedly because the Miller Estate felt he did not have the pop-star qualities Nice Journey - Various - Ho-Ho-Ho wanted in a new leader.
Instead, they approached Ray McKinley, who was not interested, and finally hired Tex Beneke whose talents as vocalist and lead tenor sax player in Miller's civilian band provided a much more colorful front for the band.
InGray served as Mancini's best man at his wedding. For a while Gray, did radio and studio work in the Los Angeles area, including leading the band on a radio show called Club 15 that featured Dick Haymes. He expressed frustration with musicians who were cashing in on the Miller name even though their connections were tenuous Ray Anthony or non-existent Ralph Flanaganso in he accepted a request from Decca Records to lead his own Miller-esque orchestra.
The result was what he called "Jerry Gray and the Band of Today", an orchestra featuring his old Miller hits along with new compositions. For a number of years the Gray and Beneke bands co-existed, each staffed by many former Miller musicians plus other well-known performers.
Most importantly Gray hired clarinetist Wilbur Schwartz whose unusual broad tone had been crucial to the civilian band's reed blend. Hits included the obligatory recreations of Miller classics, new compositions in the Miller style such as "Restringing the Pearls", and other distinctive tunes such as "Sound Off".
Listening to the Gray and Beneke orchestras provides an interesting contrast. Gray was arguably closer in spirit to the Miller legacy but never quite achieved the same level of popularity because he was less of a showman and Decca was no match for RCA's marketing machinery.
Beneke benefited from greater name recognition and stage presence but was hampered by restrictions placed on him by the Miller Estate both before and after his split with RCA. Gray continued to tour with his band The Time Is Now - Jerry Gray And His Orchestra - Hi-Fi Shades Of Gray various forms through the s. In addition to leading his dance band he wrote and arranged for singers such as Vic Damone and released a very non-Miller-oriented LP featuring a full chorus and many of his own compositions.
Recording Orchestra. By the s he had settled in Dallas where he conducted the house band at the Fairmont Hotel. This later band generally featured more modern compositions by Gray and other contemporaries such as Sammy Nestico and Billy Byers. He continued to lead the Fairmont Hotel band into the s before dying of a heart attack at the age of Jerry Gray married Barbara Ann Denby in They had a son Albert Gray, named after Jerry Grays father who taught him how to play violin.
The birth of Albert Gray was announced on the radio show Club Later after a divorce he re-married He married Joan Barton —a vocalist and film actress. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Categories : births deaths American male composers American conductors music American male conductors music Swing bandleaders Big band bandleaders American music arrangers American people of Italian descent People from East Boston, Boston 20th-century American composers Classical musicians from Massachusetts 20th-century American male musicians Male jazz musicians Glenn Miller Orchestra members.
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