About Guys Who Beat the Band



Little Old New York


This is the story of a choir singer who clicked on New York's Big Apple, the Main Stem. By way of Akron, O., where he was born, and Jeanette, Pa., 40 miles this side of Pittsburgh, where he lived most of his life, big Vaughn Monroe is illustrating, to Strand Theatre audiences on Broadway, just why his 22-piece band has climbed to one of the top band spots of the nation.

...At the Strand, 6 feet 1 Vaughn has organized a stage presentation that shows big league construction and big league entertainment results... It  was at the Jeanette, Pa., Methodist Episcopal Church that Monroe sang in the choir, and got voice lessons from choirmaster Jay Hunter Smith, now a Chicago business exec...Gov. Thomas E. Dewy, reading this, may think back to his own days as a choir singer in Owosso, Mich.

Monroe spent two years at  Carnegie Tech before the depression forced him to go to work to earn some dough for the family. He played trumpet in a series of bands, but it was not until 1937 that Jack Marshard persuaded the 185-pounder to front his own small band at Cape Cod... From then on, Monroe played at Cape Cod in the Summers and played for Benny Gaines in Miami Beach. Two other of Gaines' acts have done O.K., too, Billy De Wolfe and Carol Bruce! Intelligent, show-wise and not at all hammy, Monroe has kept surging ahead while famous bands have faded from the picture..."I knew that we were clicking, " he tells you, "when mimics started kidding my voice, I'll know that I'm on the way out when they stop doing their imitations."

Article submitted by Jerry Furris.