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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Vic Schoen born 26 March 1916

Victor "Vic" Schoen (March 26, 1916 – January 5, 2000) was an American bandleader, arranger, and composer whose career spanned from the 1930s until his death in 2000.
He furnished music for some of the most successful persons in show business including Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Les Brown, Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, George Shearing, Jimmie Lunceford, Ray McKinley, Benny Carter, Louis Prima, Russ Morgan, Guy Lombardo, Carmen Cavallaro, Carmen Miranda, Gordon Jenkins, Joe Venuti, Victor Young, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, and his own The Vic Schoen Orchestra. 

Bob Hope, Vic Schoen, and Bing Crosby
Vic Schoen was one of busiest arranger/conductors in popular music from the late '30s through the '60s. Although never as acclaimed as contemporaries Nelson Riddle or Gordon Jenkins, he amassed an extraordinary record of successes working with Dinah Shore, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Ethel Merman, Andy Williams, and, most notably, the Andrews Sisters, his name and work attached to dozens of hit records and most of their biggest successes.  

Yvette and Vic Schoen circa 1942
Vic Schoen was born in Brooklyn, New York. He is one of the very few composer-arrangers who was self-taught. Early in his life, he learned to play trumpet and would bring music into his high school classes, which annoyed his teachers. He eventually dropped out of high school and started playing in nightclubs in New York City and in the bands of Leon Belasco, Gene Kardos, and Billy Swanson. He also learned how to write big band arrangements at this time by "trial and error".Schoen also wrote many of Count Basie's earlier arrangements in the mid-1930s.  

Fate played its hand in Schoen's career when he was hired by bandleader Leon Belasco to work with a young trio called the Andrews Sisters. He helped get them the radio appearance that led to an audition and recording contract with Decca Records late in 1937, and played on their all-important second recording session, which yielded "Bei Mir Bist du Schon," the first hit for the trio, in early 1938.

Although the Andrews Sisters would occasionally record with established bands and, particularly in their later years at Decca, with Gordon Jenkins, Schoen became the arranger and conductor they most often worked with, he forming his own orchestra in 1938 and backing them on stage and on screen, as well as in the studio, for the next decade. Schoen, whose own self-taught approach to arranging probably made him compatible with the Andrews sisters -- none of whom could read music, became their closest creative partner, and was an essential part of the trio's sound during their biggest years. Even on songs that he didn't appreciate, such as "Beer Barrel Polka," his arrangements were successful, while on numbers like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," which captured his interest, Schoen was downright inspired, even ascending to brilliance.  

His record of success with the Andrews Sisters quickly established Schoen as a much sought-after arranger and conductor, and the '40s were extremely busy years for him, occasionally with other singers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore, Dick Haymes, Bob Hope, and Bing Crosby (including his hit "Don't Fence Me In"), but primarily with the Andrews Sisters. He remained associated with the trio until the end of the decade, when a combination of shifting personal relationships and changes in the public's musical taste led to his resignation.  

He moved on to arranging for Patti Page, the Weavers, Andy Williams, Pat Boone, and other major artists of the '50s, and also became an arranger for television. He also occasionally returned to work with the Andrews' at Capitol Records during the mid-'50s, even as he moved between labels for his own recordings, cutting pop instrumental albums for Decca, Kapp, and Liberty Records, and "space age" pop music for RCA, as well as a pair of bossa nova albums on the Mainstream label. 

Vic and Sally,
Schoen was married four times:Yvette Agnes Gowdy (1943–48) Kay Starr (1953) Marion Hutton (1954–87) and Sally-Jan Calbeck (1994–2000) 

After Schoen's wife Marion Hutton died in 1987, he married Sally-Jan Calbeck, an artist from Los Angeles. She moved to Seattle and after two years, they decided to move back to Los Angeles, finally settling in Corona del Mar. He participated in the Los Angeles musical scene and also attended ASMAC meetings.

Schoen died of pneumonia in Corona del Mar, California, in 2000.

(Info edited from All Music & Wikipedia)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Vic Schoen And His Orchestra ‎– Brass Laced With Strings (1961)” go here:

1 Love For Sale
2 Summertime
3 Lover Come Back To Me / Lover
4 Lonely Town
5 Trees
6 By Myself
7 Easy To Love
8 Let's Take The Long Way Home
9 Hello, Young Lovers
10 Without A Song
11 Glad To Be Unhappy
12 And The Band Played On