Lester Raymond Brown (Reinerton1912 - March 14, Los AngelesJanuary 24, 2001) was an American saxophonistarranger and big bandleader in the swing. He was best known as leader of the Orchestra the Band of Renown, with which he was active from 1938 until his death in 2001.


[hide]*1 the beginning

The beginning[Edit]Edit

Brown attended Ithaca Conservatory of Music, the New York Military Academy and Duke University. During his time at Duke University he became leader of the Dance Orchestra of the University, the Blue Devils, with which he on the campus and played on the East Coast and in 1936 made recordings for Decca . In 1937 he went to New York City, where he worked as an arranger for Jimmy DorseyIsham Jones and Larry Clinton.

Band of Renown[Edit]Edit

In 1938, he formed with money from his father an orchestra of twelve men, with which he went on to play at the Hotel Edison in Manhattan . The big band also played live on the radio and was so successful that the group a recording contract from RCA Victor. The Orchestra brought in that time usually covers of standards and hits by other bands. Around 1939 took Les Brown Doris Day as a singer, but the talented Day sang but briefly in the band, she left the group within a year to get married. In 1942, the Group was in the radio programme "Spotlight Band", in which the Orchestra regularly performed, billed as Les Brown & His Band of Renown. This name remained hanging and Les Brown decided to continue under this name. In that same year, Brown appeared with the band for the first time in a movie, "Seven Days ' Leave", including Lucille Ball.

In 1943 came a separate Doris Day back as a singer. A year later sang Day with the Orchestra for Columbia Records the song "Sentimental Journey", which was a huge hit: it tightened in America the first place. It was the ' homecoming ' number for the soldiers who returned after the war in America and because of the great success it became the theme song of Les Brown. With his Orchestra took out Brown still nine times the first place of the American hit parade.

After the war[Edit]Edit

At the end of the war his family decided to pay more attention to Brown and he stopped temporarily with speed. At the beginning of 1947 he was back with a new Orchestra, consisting of freelancers, to for a long time to give performances in the Hollywood Bowl. In the second half of the 1940s was the Orchestra leader working with the comedian Bob Hope, with whom he made eighteen USO-tours for American troops that were stationed anywhere in the world. Brown also appeared with Hope on radio and television, such as in the widely watched Bob Hope Christmas Specials. The co-operation of Brown and Hope lasted almost fifty years.


In the 1950s made Les Brown albums for Coral and, from 1955, Capitol Records. In his Capitol-time he had several hits. A group with sidemen Dave Pell Octet of Brown, it was in these years likewise successful.The Orchestra was the house band in the late 1950s by The Steve Allen Show (1959-1961) and later the house band of the television show by Dean Martin (1965-1972). Les Brown has performed with all the major post-war stars, including Frank SinatraElla Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole. In the last years of his life he was still on, some sixty times a year. His last concert was in 2000, when he was 88.


Les Brown died from lung cancer. After his death, the leadership of the Band of Renown was taken over by his son, Les Brown, Jr.. In 2010, the band leader included in the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. On his 100th birthday was a street in Reinerton renamed Les Brown Lane. In his home town is since 2006 every year the Les Brown Big Band Festival.

A grandson of Les Brown is the television Director and co-inventor of "Phineas and Ferb", Jeff "Swampy" Marsh.

Discography (selection)[Edit]Edit

  • All Weather Music, Coral, 1951
  • Over the Rainbow, Coral, 1951
  • You're My Everything, Coral, 1951
  • Le's Dance, Coral, 1953
  • I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, 1955
  • Les Brown all-stars, Capitol, 1955
  • Les Brown's in Town, Capitol, 1956 (Jazz Beat, 2007)
  • That Sound of Renown, Coral, 1956
  • Composer's Holiday, Capitol, 1957
  • Jazz Song Book, Coral, 1960
  • The Uncollected Les Brown, vol. 1 (1944-1946) (radio recordings, with Doris Day), Hindsight Records, 1977
  • The Uncollected Les Brown, vol. 2 (1949) (radio recordings), Hindsight, 1978
  • 1944-1946Circle Records, 1986
  • 22 Original Big Band Recordings (1957), Hindsight, 1987
  • Anything GoesUSA Records, 1990
  • Best of Les Brown and His Band of Renown (Capitol recordings), Curb Records, 1993
  • The Les Brown Show from Hollywood 1953 (including Johnny Mercer), Magic Records, 1994
  • The Essence of Les BrownLegacy/Sony Music, 1994
  • Les Brown and His Band of Renown (radio recordings 1957), Hindsight, 1994
  • Live at Elitch Gardens, part 1 & 2 (recordings 1959), Status Records, 1994
  • Lullaby in RhythmDrive Archive, 1995
  • Hollywood Palladium (radio recordings), Canby Records, 1995
  • The Uncollected Les Brown, vol. 3 (1949), Hindsight, 1995
  • Les Brown and His Great Vocalists, Legacy/Sony Music, 1995
  • Les Brown Songbook (singles by Brown on Coral, 1951-1954), Varese Vintage, 1998
  • V-Disc RecordingsCollectors ' Choice Music, 2000
  • Dance to South Pacific/The Les Brown Story (2 LPs on 1 cd), EMI, 2001
  • Jubilee on the Air (radio recordings), Canby Records, 2001
  • Band country/Revolution in Sound (Columbia-2 albums on 1 cd), collectables Records, 2001
  • Original Studio Radio TranscriptionsSwing Factory, 2002
  • Best of the Capitol Years, Capitol, 2002
  • Midnight Sunfits perfectly, 2002
  • S'Wonderful 1949-50 RecordingsJazz Band, 2002
  • Sweetest Sounds (with Rosemary Clooney), Sounds of Yesteryear, 2002
  • The Lerner and Loewe Bandbook Bandbook/Richard Rodgers (2 Columbia-1960s albums on 1 cd), collectables, 2002
  • Perdido (4 CDs, Japan) Membran/Quadromania Klassik,, 2004
  • Sentimental Journey with Les BrownDutton Vocalion, 2006
  • Complete Songbooks, Capitol (Lone Hill Jazz), 2006
  • Play the Gershwin Bandbook/The Explosive Sound of Les Brown (2 LPs on 1 cd), Lone Hill Jazz, 2007
  • Centurion JazzCenturion Records, 2007
  • Dancers Choicehallmark Recordings, 2008

Filmography (selection)[Edit]Edit

  • Seven Days ' Leave
  • Rock-A-Billy baby, 1957
  • The Nutty Professor, 1963

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