Friday, May 11, 2012

Oscar Rabin Band

More from the 78 pile. Pleasant enough MOR dance band versions of hits of the day recorded at Hammersmith Palais it says but seems unlikely. Wikipedia says - "The Oscar Rabin Band was one of the most successful Jazz and British dance bands of the 1950s. Band leader Oscar Rabin played bass saxophone, an unusual instrument then as now. His friend Harry Davis, tall, elegant and good-looking, acted as compère and conductor. Oscar Rabin formed his first band with Harry Davis, The Romany Five, in 1922. They could be seen in those days at the Palais de Dance in Derby, England. Oscar played violin but over the next decade he formed a full size dance band in which he took up playing the bass saxophone They gradually expanded the band all the way through the tough times of the 1930s. During this period character actor Sam Kydd made his show-business start as M.C. for the band. By the time of World War II, they had become one of the most widely known of British dance bands, touring throughout the country. Oscar, short and fat, never did front his own band, nor was he regarded as anything more than a workaday musician. His role was to run the business side of the band. His partner Harry, who occasionally played guitar, was very good with audiences. (Harry's daughter Beryl became a professional singer, and moved to the USA.) However, the combination of the two men was a successful one and audiences took to them. Ex-band member Roy Bull has recalled: "My memories of the Oscar Rabin days are all very pleasant ones, as Oscar himself was one of the most kind people I have ever met, and certainly the best band leader for whom I ever worked." Oscar Rabin Band - I'll never Smile Again Oscar Rabin Band - Halfway Down The Street

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