May 22, 1973

Vaughn Monroe, at 62;

band leader of the 40s

     Vaughn Monroe, the baritone who led his band to great popularity from the mid 1940s to the mid 1950s, died yesterday at Martin county Memorial Hospital at Stuart, Fla. He was 62 (sic).

     The Monroe band survived the decline of the big bands during World War II mainly because of the popularity of his vocal renditions, which featured dreamy ballads and sentimental songs.

     His vocal on "Racing with the Moon" was among the most popular of all big-band theme songs.

     Among his other popular recordings on RCA-Victor records were, "There, I've Said It Again," "Ghost Riders in the Sky," "Ballerina" and "Something Sentimental."

     He was born in Akron, Ohio, and grew up in Jeannette, Pa., where he attended high school and where he met his wife to be, Marian. He later attended Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, Pa.

     In the 1930s he played trumpet with bands in the Ohio and Pennsylvania areas and occasionally sang with various small bands.

     About 1937 Mr. Monroe came to Boston and worked for one of the Harry (sic) Marshard orchestras which operated in the area playing college dances and society affairs.

     During most of this time, he was content to be one of the trumpeters in the band and periodically front one of the groups and sing an occasional song.

     Mr. Monroe's personal popularity continued to grow in the late 1930s, so that by 1940 he formed his own band, which opened at the old Seiler's Ten Acres Restaurant in Wayland.

     Three times a week the band would broadcast live from Seiler's over WBZ radio in Boston.

     Almost from the beginning the band's popularity centered on the leader's vocals on the day's popular ballads.

     In addition to the leader's vocals, the band featured singing groups with the band . . .the Moon Maids, the Norton Sisters and The Murphy Sisters.

     Often on radio interviews Monroe would recall his work in the brass section, playing both trumpet and trombone with Austin Wylie, but always hoping to one day be a concert singer.

     In Boston he took voice lessons during the day and then joined the band at night.

     Because its repertoire concentrated on ballads and sweet tunes, the band never won the critical acclaim of some of its contemporaries and predecessors, but Johnny Watson did chart some excellent arrangements and occasionally, with such tunes as "Harvard Square" and "Commodore Clipper," the band could swing

     It was 1944-1945 that the band was at its peak, playing the top theatres and nightclubs around the country, churning out hit records and featured on a nationwide radio broadcast which originated for many weeks from the Century Room at the Commodore Hotel in New York City.

     When the band finally dispersed in the mid-1950s, Mr. Monroe's personal popularity continued and he became the voice of RCA-Victor speaking on recorded radio and TV announcements in behalf of the company's products.

     For a number of years in the mid-1950s, he owned The Meadows Restaurant on Rte. 9 in Framingham. His band would often be featured there, or if a house band were working, Mr. Monroe could usually be heard singing one or two songs during the evening and usually bringing the evening to a close with "Racing with the Moon."

     He also appeared in such Hollywood films as "The Toughest Gun (sic) in Arizona," "Meet the People" and "Singing Guns."

     Besides his wife, he leaves two daughters, Christine and Candace.