George Bernard Shaw, through his plays, was one of my early heroes. I knew only the good of him then.
The family was Jewish; his father was from Russia, his mother from Austria. Shaw bought a saxophone by working in a grocery store and began learning the saxophone at At 16, he switched to the clarinet and left home to tour with a band.
Career[ edit ] Returning to New York, he became a session musician through the early s. From —36, Shaw performed with many bands and orchestras; from tohe worked in Cleveland and established a lasting reputation as music director and arranger for an orchestra led by the violinist Austin Wylie.
In andhe played with Irving Aaronson 's Commanders, where he was exposed to symphonic music, which he would later incorporate in his arrangements. Leader of the bands[ edit ] Inhe first gained attention with his "Interlude in B-flat" at a swing concert at the Imperial Theater in New York.
The show was well received, but forced to dissolve in because his band's sound was not commercial. Trumpeter Roy Eldridge became part of the group, succeeding Billy Butterfield. Inthe original Gramercy Five pressed eight records, then Shaw dissolved the band in early He generally did not stick around long enough to reap his bands' successes through live performances of their recorded hits.
Following the breakup of what was already his second band inhe rarely toured at all and, if he did, his personal appearances were usually limited to long-term engagements in a single venue or bookings that did not require much traveling, unlike many bands of the era that traveled great distances doing seemingly endless strings of one-night engagements.
Apart from his interest in music, Shaw had a tremendous intellect and almost insatiable thirst for intellectual knowledge and literature.
During his self-imposed "sabbaticals" from the music business, his interests included studying advanced mathematics, as cited in Karl Sabbagh 's The Riemann Hypothesis. He used the morose "Nightmare", with its Hasidic nuances, as his theme rather than choosing a more accessible song.
In a televised interview in the s, Shaw derided the "asinine" songs of Tin Pan Alley that were the lifeblood of popular music and which bands, especially the most popular such as his own were compelled to play night after night. Shaw did many big band remote broadcasts.
He was the headliner of a radio series with comedian Robert Benchley as emcee. At the Cafe Rouge he quit his band that week and went to Mexico. The band continued without him into January but eventually broke up. After Shaw returned from Mexico inand still under contract to RCA Victor, he experimented with a group of session musicians in Hollywood, trying to combine strings and woodwinds with a jazz band.
The result was the hit "Frenesi". He was hired as bandleader for the Burns and Allen Show broadcast from Hollywood.
He organized a band that was modeled after his swing band concept of the late s with the addition of six violins, two violas, and one cello.
The addition of a string section to a popular big band was not novel, as it had been done by Paul Whiteman and others since the s. Shaw updated the idea with the music trends of the s.
Strings gave him a wider tonal palette and allowed him to concentrate on ballads rather than the fast dance songs of the swing era. Shaw was at or near the top of the list of virtuoso jazz bandleaders.
The band was showcased on the Burns and Allen program every week. Shaw broke up the Hollywood band, keeping a nucleus of seven musicians in addition to himself, and filled out the ensemble with New York musicians until March + free ebooks online.
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Early life. Born in New York City, Arthur Jacob Arshawsky was the son of Sarah (née Strauss) and Harry Arshawsky, a dressmaker and iridis-photo-restoration.com family was Jewish; his father was from Russia, his mother from Austria.
Shaw grew up in New Haven, Connecticut where his natural introversion was deepened by local iridis-photo-restoration.com bought a saxophone by working in a grocery store, and began. Updated world stock indexes. Get an overview of major world indexes, current values and stock market data.
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On this day, Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and of his troops are killed in an assault on Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina. Shaw was commander of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry.