Many bands were popular during WW2 because to forget their everyday worry
of perhaps not seeing another day dawning, the younger population used to go dancing quite
Air-raids or not, they intended to enjoy them selves as much as they could. They all worked hard,lived hard and played hard.
These are just a few of that era. There are TOO many to list. Many of the players had to be replaced as they were, in turn, called up for war service.
#Ken "Snakehips" Johnson and His West Indian Orchestra.#
Louis Levy And his Orchestra.
Geraldo and his Orchestra.
Joe Loss and his Orchestra.
Harry Roy and his Band.
Sydney Lipton and his Grosvenor House Orchestra.
Harry Leader and his Band.
Carroll Gibbons and his Orchestra.
Victor Silvester and his Ballroom Orchestra.
Harry Leader and his Band.
Edmundo Ros and his Rumba Band.
The RAOC Blue Rockets Dance Orchestra.
Eric Winstone and his band.
Joe Daniels and his Hot Shots.
Jack White and his Band.
#In 1941, at the height of WW2, 'The West Indian Orchestra' was resident at The Cafe de Paris in London's West End, on Coventry Street. (It was a very small club, the dance floor could only hold a few couples.) The club was down a long, steep staircase, - quite far down. Because of this, patrons felt quite safe.
Unfortunately, On March 8, 1941, during a German air raid on London, one of the bombs found the club's airshaft. Over 30 people were killed outright, with over 60 more being seriously injured.
Tenor sax Dave Williams and Ken Johnson were among the dead. Johnson was 26 years old.#
Paula Green and her Orchestra.
Josephine Bradley and her Strict Tempo Dance Orchestra.
Ivy Benson and her Orchestra.
Ivy Benson was a highly skilled clarinettist and saxophonist.
She formed her All Girls Band in 1939 and her band began playing at Covent Garden, which was turned into a ballroom during the war.
Ivy's band was one of the top bands of the day. When her band became BBC's resident band, some of the male bandleaders weren't very happy.
Ivy had more trouble running the band than the men's bands, due to fabric shortages for dresses (they used some silk parachutes to make dresses at one stage) and the fact that many of her musicians were leaving and marrying the GIs.
She was inspired to start a band from listening to the recordings of Jimmy Dorsey and Benny Goodman.
It will be noted that I have not included Glenn Miller's band because I am dealing strictly with the British side of WW2.
Glenn Miller's band was unique in the fact that he founded a new sound by blending the sound of a B flat clarinet and B flat tenor sax and having the written notes played together in the sax section in certain passages.
We have all heard the wonderful music that he produced and he will always be remembered for it.