Thursday, 31 May 2018

Whispering Jack Smith born 31 May 1898

Jack Smith (31 May 1898, The Bronx, New York City – 13 May 1950, New York City) was known as "Whispering" Jack Smith and was a popular baritone singer in the 1920s and 1930s who made a brief come-back in the late 1940s. He was a popular radio and recording artist who occasionally appeared in films.

Smith was born John Schmidt and began his professional career in 1915, when he sang with a quartet at a theatre in the Bronx. After service in World War I, he got a job in 1918 as a "song plugger" for the Irving Berlin Music Publishing Company. He was a pianist at a radio station when he got his singing break substituting for a singer who failed to show up.  

Beginning in 1925, Smith generated a steady stream of Victor and HMV recordings in the U.S. and in London, where he performed periodically in stage revues. When he wasn't accompanying himself at the piano, Smith relied upon someone else to tickle the keys or strum a guitar. His 1926 recording of "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along" featured special guest whistler Carson Robison.  

Smith also sang with various society dance orchestras. Smith's biggest hits were "Gimme a Little Kiss, Will Ya, Huh?" and "Me and My Shadow." He made his London debut in the Midnight Follies at the Hotel Metropole in 1926 singing tunes such as "Manhattan" by Rogers and Hart and songs by Gershwin, when he was suddenly replaced by a new all-girl singing trio, the Hamilton Sisters & Fordyce. Smith returned to New York and eventually went to work for NBC Radio. 

 Smith was back in England for the opening of Will-o'-the-Whispers at the Shaftesbury Theatre on April 4, 1928, and performed in front of enthusiastically receptive audiences in Berlin during August of that year. 

He had a very distinctive style which was a combination of singing and talking in a very "intimate" way using the microphone very effectively as opposed to "belting" the song out. His "whispering" style of singing was a result of a World War I injury from poison gas that kept him from singing at full volume. He made the "whispering" style popular, and there were a number of imitators. Smith took to the relatively newly invented microphone, and it was singers like "Whispering" Jack Smith and the early "crooners" who developed the use of this "modern" technology. 

Smith’s "disarmingly intimate, polite, and velvety smooth delivery … distinguished him from everyone else." One reviewer in describing his "whispering" style said that "His art was the epitome of understatement." Another indicated, "With a pleasing stage presence, and a genial manner, Whispering Jack Smith establishes contact with his audience just as soon as he sits at his grand piano, and he wins more applause with every song." 

In 1930 Smith went to Hollywood, where he appeared in one of the first talking motion pictures, Cheer Up and Smile, during which he sang "You May Not Like It -- But It's a Great Idea." Whispering Jack Smith continued to perform throughout the 1930s, although his popularity gradually waned as styles changed. He staged a modest comeback in 1940 and made a handful of sentimental recordings, but quickly lapsed back into a rather early retirement.  

Out of place in an increasingly rude and clamorous world, he died of a heart attack at the age of 51 in New York, 13 May 1951. He is buried next to his mother Anna Schmidt at St. Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City. His grave is unmarked. He was survived by his wife, Marie. (info edited from Wikipedia & AllMusic)

Monday, 28 May 2018

Andy Kirk born 28 May 1898

Andrew Dewey Kirk (May 28, 1898 in Newport, Kentucky – December 11, 1992 in New York City) was a jazz bass saxophonist and tubist best known as a bandleader. 

He started his musical career playing with George Morrison's band, but then went on to join Terrence Holder's Dark Clouds of Joy. In 1929 he was elected leader after Holder departed. Renaming themselves Twelve Clouds of Joy they set up in the Pla-Mor Ballroom on the junction of 32nd and Main in Kansas City and made their first recording for Brunswick Records that same year. 

Mary Lou Williams came in as pianist at the last moment, but she impressed Brunswick's Dave Kapp, so she became a regular member of the band. The pianist she replaced, Marion Jackson, did not take well to this but otherwise Kirk's band would be fairly stable with the incorporation of Williams. Many of its members later became known in their own right including: Buddy Tate (tenor saxophone), Claude Williams (violin), Pha Terrell (vocals) and Mary Lou's then husband, John Williams, Dick Wilson, Floyd Smith, Don Byas, "Shorty" Baker, Howard McGhee, Jimmy Forrest, Fats Navarro and (briefly) Charlie Parker. The band was smaller than most swing bands of the time, which had advantages and disadvantages, one of which was that the loss of individuals could be more damaging. 

 Since their first recordings in 1929–1930, they grew highly popular as they epitomized the Kansas City jazz sound. In mid-1936, he was signed to Decca and made scores of popular records until 1946. He presumably disbanded and reformed his band during that 6-year recording layoff, as his 1929–1930 Brunswick appeared to have sold well enough to stay in the catalog through the period and 1933-34 pressings (with the mid-1930s label variations) have been seen. 

In 1938, Kirk and band held the top spot of the Billboard chart for 12 weeks with "I Won't Tell a Soul (I Love You)", written by Hughie Charles and Ross Parker, featuring Pha Terrell on vocals. In 1941 saxophonist Dick Wilson died and in the following year Mary Lou Williams began an independent career. The band still had successes after that, as the more poppish singer was more liked by the masses. In 1942, Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy recorded Tale It And Git, which on October 24th, 1942, became the first single to hit #1 on The Harlem Hit Parade, which later became Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.  
One of the few territory bands to gain a national reputation, the Clouds Of Joy folded in 1948. Its days of prominence were numbered from the time in 1942 when Mary Lou Williams left and relocated to New York. In 1943, with June Richmond on vocals, he had a number 4 hit with "Hey Lawdy Mama".

From the 1950’s on, Kirk followed a variety of pursuits. He went into real estate in New York City in 1952. Became a Jehovah’s Witness in 1953 and later played his saxophone in the orchestra which accompanied singers during their religious gatherings.  In August 1958 he began managing the Theresa Hotel In New York City. He also spent some time working in the office of the American Federation of Musicians. Local 802. And also, he continued into the late 70’s to put together pickup bands for concerts or dances, recalling for a few hours, the two decades when the Clouds Of Joy brought a mellow bit of rhythm to the public.

Andy died on Dec11th, 1992 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.  
(Info edited mainly from Wikipedia & Big Band Library)

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Kenny Price born 27 May 1931

James Kenneth "Kenny" Price (May 27, 1931 - August 4, 1987) was a singer, songwriter, and actor. Kenny recorded for the Boone and RCA Victor, MRC and Dimension record labels, charting thirty-four singles on the Hot Country Songs charts between 1966 and 1980. His highest-peaking singles, "Walking on New Grass" and "Happy Tracks," both reached #7 on that chart. Kenny was a highly underrated vocalist, with a nice, smooth, somewhat deep voice and a good overall range.  

Price was born in Florence, Kentucky and raised on a farm in Boone County, Kentucky. He learned to play guitar when he was five years old. At age 14, he started playing live music for WZIP in Covington, Kentucky. From 1952 until 1954, Price served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, reaching the rank of corporal. While stationed in Korea, he auditioned for a USO show, and before being discharged, he had decided to become a professional musician. He studied for a brief time at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and became a musician on Midwestern Hayride on WLWT, eventually taking over as the show's host until it went off the air in the early 1970s. 

He first recorded for Boone Records, then moved on to RCA in 1969, where he stayed until 1976. For most of his career, Price worked with Ray Pennington, whose style complemented his own. Price had 34 singles chart in his career, including "Walking on the New Grass" (a top 10 hit in 1966), "Happy Tracks", "Northeast Arkansas Mississippi County Bootlegger" (a top 20 hit in 1969), and "The Sheriff of Boone County" (a pop crossover that hit the top 10). His novelty number "(This Is) The Shortest Song in the World", written with record producer Ronny Light, enjoyed some airplay after its release on album in 1970. 

Standing six feet tall and weighing nearly 300 pounds for most of his professional career, he was nicknamed "The Round Mound of Sound". Many of his comedic songs made reference to his size—"The Heavyweight" is an obvious example. In later years Price became significantly thinner and lampooned himself in the song "The Boone County Weight Watchers of America". 

In 1976 Price relocated to Nashville and became a regular on the television variety show Hee Haw. (He remained with the show until his death). He served as the bass vocalist for the beloved Hee Haw Gospel Quartet, which included Grandpa Jones, Buck Owens, and Roy Clark. Price and fellow Hee Haw cast member Lulu Roman got their own short-lived spin-off series called Hee Haw Honeys, which ran from 1978-79. Price and Roman guest starred on two episodes of The Love Boat. He later had a small role in the film Cold Justice, which was released after his death. 

His wife, Donna Price, wrote a few memorable tunes for him, including the hit "Let's Truck Together". In the mid-1980s, Kenny and Donna starred in The Nashville Network (now Spike) travelogue series called Wish You Were Here, where they travelled across the United States in a RV and visited places of interest. 

Price died of heart failure in 1987, and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Erlanger, Kentucky. (Info edited mainly from from Wikipedia)


Saturday, 26 May 2018

Roland Shaw born 26 May 1920

Roland Shaw (26 May 1920 – 11 May 2012) was an English composer, musical arranger, and orchestra leader.
He was born Roland Edgar Shaw-Tomkins in Leicester on May 26 1920. An early hankering to play the drums was thwarted by a lack of funds to purchase a full drum kit. Instead he bought a set of drumsticks, which, he recalled, “probably did great damage to the windowsills”. He eventually taught himself to play the piano.  

After Kettering Grammar School and Wellingborough School, he studied at Trinity College of Music. His first job was with a band called The Royal Kiltie Juniors, where he met Reg Owen, later to be a fellow arranger for the Ted Heath Orchestra.

On the outbreak of the Second World War, Shaw volunteered for the RAF, although he was under age. He served for six and a half years with the RAF Central Band and as leader of the RAF No 1 Band of the MEF, seeing service in the Western Desert, Cyprus, and Palestine. In the RAF he was known as Sergeant Tomkins, but on his return to Civvy Street he changed his name to Roland Shaw. 
On demob he played gigs as a pianist, working with the orchestras of Teddy Foster and Nat Temple, among others. His first commercial attempt at arranging was a score of I Got Rhythm, which he sent to Ted Heath and Geraldo. Although Heath never tried the arrangement, Geraldo not only bought it but also hired Shaw as one of his house arrangers, alongside Wally Stott and Robert Farnon.  

Tutti Camerata asked Shaw to compose a suite of music for woodwinds, and the resultant royalty cheque, the largest Shaw had ever received, bought him a vintage Rolls-Royce. While parking the vehicle near his home in Barnes he was approached by a man who showed an interest in it. It transpired that he was Frank Lee, head of A&R at Decca Records. Through this chance meeting in 1952 Shaw became musical director of Decca Records. His first job was to record Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart with Vera Lynn, which became the first single by a British artist to top the US charts, where it remained for nine weeks.  

Shaw went on to write and conduct scores for stars including Tommy Steele, Max Bygraves, the Beverley Sisters, Dickie Valentine, Gracie Fields, Roger Whittaker, the operatic bass Cesare Siepi and many more. He also wrote and conducted successful albums under his own name as The Roland Shaw Orchestra, occasionally with singers added. Time-Life and Readers Digest employed him to score big orchestral albums of popular music for them, with similar success.  

In addition to his orchestral scores he was hailed as one of Britain’s finest big band arrangers, working closely with Ted Heath (whose orchestra he conducted for recordings when Heath became too ill), and also with Syd Lawrence, whom he had first met as a trumpeter in the RAF. Other band and orchestra leaders were keen to utilise Shaw’s talents, and he wrote numerous scores for Edmundo Ros, Frank Chacksfield, the BBC Radio Orchestra, and more than 150 for the Mantovani Orchestra, including arrangements of Three Coins in the Fountain and Quando, Quando, Quando.  

Shaw worked on several films, including The Great Waltz, Summer Holiday, and Song of Norway, and his cover versions of James Bond tracks remained for 30 weeks in the top 100 albums on Billboard USA. He worked on advertising jingles for Rothmans and Fairy Liquid, and uncredited on many scores for television shows.

Away from music, his passion was motor cars, of which he owned several exotic examples over the years. These ranged from a Rolls-Royce to a Mini-Cooper, a Bentley and a beautiful classic red Ferrari. He competed in club meetings at Silverstone, Goodwood and Brands Hatch, where he often acted as a race marshal.(Mainly edited from The Telegraph)

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Mac Wiseman born 23 May 1925

Malcolm B. Wiseman (born May 23, 1925), better known as Mac Wiseman, is an American bluegrass singer, nicknamed The Voice with a Heart. The bearded singer is one of the cult figures of bluegrass. Famed for his clear and mellow tenor voice, Mac Wiseman recorded with many great bluegrass bands, including those of Molly O'Day, Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and the Osborne Brothers; his command of traditional material made him much in demand by bluegrass and folk fans alike.  

Wiseman was born in Crimora, Virginia and grew up influenced by traditional and religious music and such radio stars as Montana Slim Carter. He attended school in New Hope Virginia and graduated from high school there in 1943. 

Wiseman started out working as a radio announcer in Harrisonburg in 1944. At the same time he worked as a singer with Buddy Starcher. He later formed his own group and continued performing with others, including Molly O'Day and Flatt & Scruggs, through the '40s. In 1949, he recorded a single, "Travelin' Down This Lonesome Road," with Bill Monroe. By the '50s, Wiseman was again leading his own band.  

Possessing one of the best tenor voices in bluegrass, Wiseman differed from Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs in that he usually sang alone, with little or no harmonizing. His band also employed two fiddles to play contemporary songs such as Speedy Krise's "Goin' Like Wildfire," as well as adaptations of standards such as the Carter Family's "Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home" and Mac & Bob's "'Tis Sweet to Be Remembered."  

With the Country Boys, a band that featured such pioneering musicians as Eddie Adcock and Scott Stoneman, Wiseman recorded many popular local singles, and had his first national Top Ten hit with his version of "The Ballad of Davy Crockett." The song's success steered Wiseman away from bluegrass and more towards pop and country.  

In 1957, he began recording for Dot; he had a few major successes for the label with such songs as "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy" before moving to Capitol in 1962, where he recorded both country and bluegrass tunes. He began working for Wheeling's WWVA Jamboree in 1965, and also began to play at bluegrass festivals;
over the next three decades, he became one of the most popular performers on the circuit. 

Patsy Cline, Mac Wiseman  and Mary Klick

Wiseman moved to Nashville in 1969 and signed with RCA Victor. His first -- and only -- hit for the label was the Top 40 novelty tune "If I Had Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride." While at RCA, he also recorded three well-received bluegrass albums with Lester Flatt.  

From the mid-'70s on, Wiseman concentrated on bluegrass, becoming a fixture at festivals and releasing a series of records on independent records that ran into the '90s. In 1992, Wiseman narrated the documentary High Lonesome, a chronicle of bluegrass music, and in 1993 he was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.  

Wiseman stayed active into the 21st century, releasing eight albums on Music Hill between 2001 and 2005, including 2003's The Lost Album, drawn from sessions done in 1964 for Capitol. A duets album with John Prine, Standard Songs for Average People, appeared from Prine's Oh Boy Records in 2007, with a trio of independently released albums, Old Likker in a New Jug, Waiting for the Boys to Come Home, and Bluegrass Tradition arriving in 2008. 

Wiseman continued a low-key recording career in the 2010s, releasing Songs from My Mother's Hand in 2014 and the star-studded I Sang the Song in 2017.  

(Info mainly edited from an AllMusic bio by Sandra Brennan)
 Here’s a clip from Alabama Jubilee 1990 with Mac Wiseman backed by The Del McCurry Band. 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Jimmy Blythe born 20 May 1901

   Jimmy Blythe (May 20, 1901 – June 14, 1931) was an influential American jazz and boogie-woogie pianist. Considering how many fine recording sessions he was on in Chicago in the 1920s (particularly with Johnny Dodds), it is surprising how little is known about the mysterious Jimmy Blythe. 

James Blythe was born to Richard Blythe and his wife Rena in South Keene, Kentucky, just southwest of Lexington in 1901. His exact date of birth is disputed. His parents were sharecroppers. James was the youngest of five surviving siblings out of a total of eleven born to the couple. Before 1910 the Blythe family moved to Lexington where his mother was working as a servant. Later Jimmy jobbed as a janitor or day labourer. There is nothing known whether he received a piano training in Lexington. It seems plausible that he simply learnt to play the piano by observing other ragtime pianists and trying to imitate their style. 

It seems most likely that Jimmy came to Chicago in the late 1910s, where he lived together with one of his sisters. Blythe hooked up with ragtime and blues pianist Clarence M. Jones, who became his piano teacher and already had some ragtime song successes to his name. Little else is known about his time in Chicago from 1919 to 1922. Probably Jimmy Blythe was also exposed to a number of fine pianists and band musicians and had played in a few public venues. 

His breakthrough came in 1922 when Blythe was hired by the Columbia Music Roll Company (and then for Capital when the company was reorganized in 1924). Together with his friend Clarence M. Johnson he produced hundreds of commercial piano rolls. 

In April 1924 Blythe started to cut sides for Paramount Records. His first track Chicago Stomp had the rolling walking bass pattern throughout. Unlike other early boogie-woogie recordings Blythe's Chicago Stomp is generally considered to be the first full length boogie-woogie recording. 

During the next years Blythe led his "Blythe's Sinful Five" and recorded with a variety of his own ensembles including Blythe's Washboard Band, Jimmy Blythe and his Ragamuffins, Blythe's Owls, The Dixie Four and The Midnight Rounders. Blythe also played on sessions with Jimmy Bertrand's "Washboard Wizards", and two fine piano duets each with W. E. "Buddy" Burton and Charlie Clark. With his groups or other artists he also cut sides for Vocalion Records, Okeh Records and Gennett. 

In addition he accompanied a number of singers such as Sodarisa Miller and Gertrude "Ma" Rainey. Another pianist he met around 1924 was Janice. She became his girlfriend near the end of the year. Both of them indicated that they were married, however, so the circumstances are unclear. The couple never had children. 

Singer Alex Robinson was Jimmy's most frequent partner. Jimmy and Alex were playing from time to time on Chicago radio station in 1926 and 1927. Blythe's biggest hit was Mecca Flat Blues, recorded in May 1926. 

There are indications that he also performed live on Chicago South Side. He was considered to be relatively quiet for an active musician. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why about his appearances are known only so little. Blythe used at least a couple of different pseudonyms for his work including Duke Owens and George Jefferson. 

In 1930, Blythe substantially decreased his recording activity, appearing on two sides of Robinson's group, Knights of Rest. He was living with his sister and her husband when Blythe contracted meningitis. Blythe died on June 14, 1931 at age 30 

He is considered to have been an influential jazz pianist and one of the first boogie-woogie stylists. Today his role in the beginnings of boogie-woogie is no longer challenged. Blythe's Chicago Stomp can be regarded as an important contribution to the maturation of boogie-woogie before Clarence "Pinetop" Smith or Meade "Lux" Lewis made their first recordings and long before boogie-woogie became publicly associated with Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Meade "Lux" Lewis, Jimmy Yancey and Clarence "Pinetop" Smith. Jimmy Blythe is also acknowledged as an influence by Clarence "Pinetop" Smith and Albert Ammons (Mecca Flat Blues). 

 (Info edited mainly from The History of Boogie Woogie Piano 1900-1950)

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Betty Carter born 16 May 1929

Betty Carter (born Lillie Mae Jones; May 16, 1929 – September 26, 1998) was an American jazz singer known for her improvisational technique, scatting and other complex musical abilities that demonstrated her vocal talent and imaginative interpretation of lyrics and melodies. Vocalist Carmen McRae once remarked: "There's really only one jazz singer—only one: Betty Carter." 

Carter studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory of Music in her native Michigan. At age 16 she began singing in Detroit jazz clubs, and after 1946 she worked in black bars and theatres in the Midwest, at first under the name Lorene Carter. 

Influenced by the improvisational nature of bebop and inspired by vocalists Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, Carter strove to create a style of her own. Lionel Hampton asked Carter to join his band in 1948; however, her insistence on improvising annoyed Hampton and prompted him to fire her seven times in two and a half years.
Carter left Hampton’s band for good in 1951 and performed around the country in such jazz clubs as Harlem’s Apollo Theatre and the Vanguard in New York, the Showboat in Philadelphia, and Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., with such jazz artists as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, and Thelonious Monk. 


In 1961 Ms. Carter recorded what has become a classic album, ''Ray Charles and Betty Carter,'' with Mr. Charles; it features the pair singing astringent duets including a famous version of ''Baby, It's Cold Outside.'' Ms. Carter worked with Mr. Charles from 1960 to 1963, the year she toured Japan with Sonny Rollins and recorded an orchestral album for Atco Records. 

Through the 1960's Ms. Carter struggled with her career, recording with Roulette Records in the late 1960's, during which the avant-garde and pop music rendered some artists identified with an older style commercially irrelevant. Carter put her career on hold to get married. Her marriage did not last, however, and she returned to the stage in 1969 backed by a small acoustic ensemble consisting of piano, drums, and bass. In 1971 she released her first album on her own label, Bet-Car Productions.

Beginning in the 1970s, Carter performed on the college circuit and conducted several jazz workshops. After appearing at Carnegie Hall as part of the Newport Jazz Festival in 1977 and 1978, she went on concert tours throughout the United States and Europe. Her solo albums include Betty Carter (1953), Out There (1958), The Modern Sound of Betty Carter (1960), The Audience with Betty Carter (1979).

In 1988 Ms. Carter began a relationship with Verve Records that included the reissue of the Bet-Car label along with the recording of a series of new albums. That same year she released ''Look What I Got!,'' which won a Grammy, and in 1994 she recorded an album, ''Feed the Fire,'' with the pianist Geri Allen, the bassist Dave Holland and the drummer Jack DeJohnette. 

Also during the 1980's Ms. Carter, finally recognized for her innovations, became a concert draw internationally. She recorded duets with Carmen McRae, and she kept turning out well-rounded musicians, having trained them in her trio. Included in the alumni from the 1980's and the 1990's were the pianists Cyrus Chestnut, Benny Green, Stephen Scott, Marc Cary, Darrell Grant and Travis Shook. And her choice of drummers was extraordinary, having hired Greg Hutchinson, Clarence Penn, Winard Harper, Troy Davis and Lewis Nash.

Determined to encourage an interest in jazz among younger people, in April 1993 Carter initiated a program she called Jazz Ahead, an annual event at which 20 young jazz musicians spend a week training and composing with her. In 1997 she was awarded a National Medal of Arts by U.S. President Bill Clinton.  

Carter continued to perform, tour, and record, as well as search for new talent until she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the summer of 1998. She died on September 26, 1998, at the age of 69, and was later cremated.

(Info compiled and edited from Wikipedia, & NY Times obit)  
Here's a 1990 performance of "Droppin' Things"

Monday, 14 May 2018

Norman Luboff born 14 May 1917

Norman Luboff (May 14, 1917 - September 22, 1987) was an American music arranger, music publisher, and choir director. 

Norman Luboff was born Norman Kador Luboff in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Julius Luboff, an insurance salesperson, and Rose (maiden name unknown). Even though his parents discouraged him from entering the field of music, Norman was happily surrounded with music throughout his childhood and adolescence, enjoying his family’s amateur vocal harmonizing and his membership in his high school’s orchestra and choir.
Foreshadowing events to come, he even organized a small choir of his teenage peers whom he taught by rote to sing in four-part harmony. However, he did not consider music as a profession until 1935, after entering Chicago’s Central Y.M.C.A. College (later renamed Roosevelt University), from which he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1939. He did graduate work with the noted composer Leo Sowerby while singing and writing for some of the best radio programs in Chicago.  

In the mid-1940s, he moved to New York City to continue his career. With a call from Hollywood to be choral director of The Railroad Hour, a radio weekly starring Gordan McRae, Mr. Luboff entered a period of enormous artistic growth and accomplishment, including the scoring of many television programs and more than eighty motion pictures. He also recorded with America's most noted artists, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, and Doris Day. 

In 1950, he established Walton Music Corporation, to publish his music. Luboff provided a vehicle for composers in Sweden to have their works available in the United States, including Egil Hovland and Waldemar Åhlén. Walton Music exists today as a major choral music publisher under the guidance of Luboff's widow, Gunilla Marcus-Luboff, a former Swedish television producer. 

The first incarnation of the Norman Luboff Choir was formed during the mid-1950s. The Choir became one of the leading choral groups in the world, recording a wide variety of music on more than seventy-five LPs and touring yearly from 1963 to 1987 with titles including Calypso Holiday, Broadway!, Songs of the Cowboy (which won a Grammy for Best Performance By A Chorus in 1960) and Songs of the Caribbean.  Although their recording career came to a halt during the late 1960s, they continued touring until Luboff's death. 

As an educator, Mr. Luboff was in much demand, guest conducting all-state, clinic, and festival choirs of every description in the United States and abroad. In September of 1987, he died of lung cancer at his home in Bynum, North Carolina at the age of 70. The Norman Luboff Collection was donated to the Music Division of the United States Library of Congress in 1993 by his widow. 

Although a true professional in the choral world, Norman Luboff never lost his empathy for the musical layman. Two generations of choral directors have been profoundly influenced by his work. Millions of people continue to be magically touched by his wonderful legacy.
(Info edited from Wikipedia & & www.