OZZIE NELSON + VERA LYNN + MARIAN MCPARTLAND + LARRY ELGART
1906 Oswald George "Ozzie" Nelson (March 20, 1906 – June 3, 1975) was an American entertainer and band leader who originated and starred in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet radio and television series with his wife and two sons. Ozzie started his entertainment career as a band leader. He formed and led the Ozzie Nelson Band, and had some initial limited success. He made his own "big break" in 1930. The New York Daily Mirror ran a poll of its readers to determine their favorite band. He knew that news vendors got credit from the newspaper for unsold copies by returning the front page and discarding the rest of the issue. Gathering hundreds of discarded newspapers, the band filled out ballots in their favor. They edged out Paul Whiteman and were pronounced the winners. From 1930 through the 1940s, Nelson's band recorded prolifically—first on Brunswick (1930–1933), then Vocalion (1933–1934), then back to Brunswick (1934–1936), Bluebird (1937–1941), Victor (1941) and finally back to Bluebird (1941-through the 1940s). Nelson's records were consistently popular and in 1934 Nelson enjoyed success with his hit song, "Over Somebody Else's Shoulder" which he introduced. Nelson was their primary vocalist and (from August 1932) featured in duets with his other star vocalist, Harriet Hilliard. Nelson's calm, easy vocal style was popular on records and radio and quite similar to son Rick's voice and Harriet's perky vocals added to the band's popularity.
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1917 Dame Vera Lynn, DBE (born Vera Margaret Welch on 20 March 1917) is an English singer and actress whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during World War II. During the war she toured Egypt, India and Burma, giving outdoor concerts for the troops. She was called "The Forces' Sweetheart"; the songs most associated with her are "We'll Meet Again" and "The White Cliffs of Dover". She remained popular after the war, appearing on radio and television in the UK and the United States and recording such hits as "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" and "My Son, My Son". In 2009 she became the oldest living artist to make it to No. 1 on the British album chart, at the age of 92. She has devoted much time and energy to charity work connected with ex-servicemen, disabled children and breast cancer. She is still held in great affection by veterans of the Second World War and in 2000 was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the twentieth century.
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1918 Margaret Marian McPartland, OBE (née Turner; born March 20, 1918) is an English-born jazz pianist, composer, writer, and the host of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on National Public Radio, NPR. While touring with USO shows in Belgium, she met and began performing with Chicago cornetist Jimmy McPartland in 1944. The couple soon married, playing at their own military base wedding in Germany. With Jimmy's help and encouragement, Marian started her own trio which enjoyed a long residency at a New York City jazz club, the Hickory House, during 1952-1960. The drummer Joe Morello was a member of the group until he departed to join Dave Brubeck's Quartet. She also played at The Embers. After many years of recording for labels such as Capitol, Savoy, Argo, Sesac, Time, and Dot, in 1969 she founded her own record label, Halcyon Records, before having a long association with the Concord Jazz label.
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1922 Larry Elgart (born March 20, 1922) is an American jazz bandleader, who with his brother, Les, recorded the original rendition of "Bandstand Boogie", theme to the long-running teen dance show, American Bandstand. Both brothers began playing in jazz ensembles in their teens, and while young Larry played with jazz musicians such as Charlie Spivak, Woody Herman, Red Norvo, Freddie Slack, and Tommy Dorsey. In the mid-1940's, Les and Larry started up their own ensemble, hiring Nelson Riddle, Bill Finegan, and Ralph Flanagan to arrange tunes for them. Their ensemble was not successful, and after a few years they scuttled the band and sold the arrangements they had commissioned to Tommy Dorsey. Both returned to sideman positions in various orchestras.
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Birthday Spotlight: Nina Mae McKinney - Nina Mae McKinney Nina Mae McKinney (June 13, 1912 – May 3, 1967) was an American actress who worked internationally during the 1930s and in the postwar pe...