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Richard Himber

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Biography

b. 20 February 1907, USA, d. December 1966. Himber formed his first dance band in the early 30s in New York City, New York, USA, having previously worked as a sideman with Rudy Vallee and as manager for Buddy Rogers’ Band. He had also been employed as a magician in vaudeville, and would use his magic skills to embellish the band’s live act, giving them a distinctive edge over the competition. Throughout the 30s and 40s the Himber orchestra proved popular at the smaller New York hotels such as Essex House, the Hotel Pierre and the Ritz-Carlton, with a style that borrowed from both the sweet and swing traditions. Himber’s sidemen included Jerry Colona, Johnny McGee, Ruby Weinstein, Sam Persoff, Dave Levy, Ernie Capozzi, Jack Kimmel, Nat Levine, Jimmy Rosellie, Pete Pumiglio, Jess Carneol, Sam Amorose, Jack Lacey, Lloyd Turner, Lyle Bowen, Paul Rici, Lou Raderman, Eddie Steinberg, Henry Patton, Charlie Margulis, Russ Case, Will Bradley, Sammy Weiss, George Mazza, Rolly Dupont, Milt Yaner, Al Evans, Frank Victor, John Cusumano, Mel Solomon, Wally Barron, Sid Stoneburn, Jimmy Smith, Haig Stevens, John Dilliard, Ruby Waltzer, Bill Gaham, Hank D’Amico, Milt Shutz, Jim Blake, Adrian Rollini, Bunny Berigan and, at one point, Artie Shaw. The featured vocalists were Guy Russell, Joey Nash, Stuart Allen and a separate vocal group, comprising Dolores Gray, Johnny Johnston, Harry Stanton and Joseph Lilley. Johnny Mercer also occasionally joined the band in the studio. The Richard Himber Orchestra soon found radio exposure with a slot on The Eddie Peabody Show. Several others followed, including The Melody Puzzle Show and The Studebaker Champion Show. On the latter he changed his group’s billing to Richard Himber And His Studebaker Champions. Later they were also known as the Rhythmic Pyramids Orchestra to accommodate a change of style which saw him expand the orchestra’s string section. With the advent of World War II the orchestra was disbanded briefly during the 40s but reconvened in 1945. It continued with Himber at the helm until the late 50s, with numerous record releases such as ‘It Isn’t Fair’, ‘Moments In The Moonlight’, ‘Haunting Memories’, ‘Day After Day’, ‘Time Will Tell’ and ‘I’m Getting Nowhere Fast With You’.

Born:

February 20, 1907 in United States

Genre
Years Active:

'30s, '40s