Casa Loma Orchestra

Casa Loma Orchestra

Casa Loma Orchestra

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The Casa Loma Orchestra was a popular American dance band active from 1927 to 1963. From 1929 until the rapid multiplication in the number of swing bands from 1935 on, the Casa Loma Orchestra was one of the top North American dance bands. It did not tour after 1950 but continued to record as a studio group.

The future members of the band first came together in 1927 as the Orange Blossoms, one of several Detroit-area groups that came out of the Jean Goldkette office. The band had adopted the Casa Loma name by the time of its first recordings in 1929, shortly after it played an eight-month engagement at Casa Loma Hotel in Toronto. The band never actually played the Casa Loma under that name, still appearing as the Orange Blossoms at that time.

In 1930, the Casa Loma Orchestra was officially incorporated in New York as a corporation with the members all stockholders and board members. The band members were hired on the grounds of "musical and congenial" competence and followed strict conduct and financial rules. Members who broke the rules could be summoned before the "board", have their contract bought out and be ejected from the band.

The band was fronted for the first few years by violinist Hank Biagini, although the eventual leader, saxophonist Glen Gray (1900-1963) was from the very beginning "first among equals." The complex arrangements called for talented musicians such as trombonist Pee Wee Hunt, trumpeter Frank L.......
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