3/27/16

Doc Wheeler and His Sunset Orchestra

I'll kick off with two tracks off an LP with the cheesy title 'The Greatest of the Big Bands Vol. 7' that I found in a small shop just two blocks from my house – a complete fluke. I'd never heard of Les Hite or Doc Wheeler before, but apparently they both recorded for Bluebird in 1941–1942 and have never been properly reissued on CD. I'll feature two tracks by Doc Wheeler today and might come back to Les Hite at a later time.

The big band that Doc Wheeler led had previously been known as the Royal Sunset Serenaders. They recorded four tracks for Vocalion under the leadership of Ace Harris in 1937. He is unknown to Wikipedia but Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music has some information about him.

Discographical data from The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord:

Doc Wheeler And His Sunset Orchestra: Jesse Brown, Cat Anderson, Reunald Jones (tp) Doc Wheeler, Julius Watson (tb,vcl) Nathaniel Allen, Norman Powe (tb) Cornelius King, Robert Smith (as) Sam "The Man" Taylor, Shirley Green (ts) Raymond Tunia (p) Leroy Kirkland (g) Al Lucas (b) Joe Murphy (d)


New York, September 1, 1941
067727-1  Foo-Gee (jw vcl)  Bluebird 11314

New York, March 30, 1942
073489-1  Tunie's Tune   (unissued on 78)

LP source: The Greatest of the Big Bands Vol. 7 (RCA FXM1-7186)
 

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