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Gene Gifford

Although virtually unidentified to everyone through the swing era, Gene Gifford was an extremely influential arranger whose work for the Casa Loma Orchestra predated the rise of Benny Goodman. Gifford was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and he both organized and performed banjo along with his high school music group. Gifford performed with such place rings as Bob Foster, Lloyd Williams, and Watson’s Bell Hops. He toured Tx with his very own music group and then caused Blue Steele (switching to electric guitar) and Henry Cato’s Vanities Orchestra (1928). Gifford obtained some interest for his agreements for Jean Goldkette, and in 1929 he joined up with the Orange Blossoms, which shortly became the Casa Loma Orchestra. He was the big band’s key arranger (playing electric guitar and banjo until he quit energetic playing in past due 1933). Skilled at composing exciting ensemble graphs and yet in a position to compose dreamy ballads as well, Gifford’s arrangements provided the Casa Loma Orchestra its personality and resulted in it being perhaps one of the most well-known big bands from the pre-swing period. Among Gifford’s compositions had been the Casa Loma’s unforgettable theme “Smoke cigarettes Bands,” “Casa Loma Stomp,” “White colored Jazz,” “Dark Jazz,” and “Blue Jazz,” among numerous others. After departing the music group in 1939, Gifford branched out, organizing for most of the very best bands as well as for radio. He came back towards the Casa Loma music group (then referred to as Glen Gray’s Orchestra) in 1948 and 1949, and spent a lot of the ’50s and ’60s beyond music, working like a radio engineer but nonetheless composing music (and teaching) on the part-time basis. Gene Gifford simply led one documenting day of his personal, leading to four choices in 1935 for Victor.

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