DIAMOND ENTERTAINMENT INC.
THE GALAXY ORCHESTRA
Under the Direction of
With vocals by
The Kings of Swing Big Band Show takes us back to the glorious era of the Big Bands, those wonderful years from 1935 to 1945. A time when families huddled around the radio to hear their favourite orchestras, and young couples gathered in front of elegant bandstands, and danced under glittering mirror balls. Radio created a pop music craze that lasted beyond a decade and brought bandleaders and vocalists into the world’s spotlight. The Swing or Big Band Era is marked by music which has proven to be timeless and endearing to people who love to dance. The era also spawned a new generation of headline entertainers: the band singer, or vocalist, who suddenly became the star attraction.
Benny Goodman, The King of Swing, is credited with starting the Swing Era and propelling Big Band music into the mainstream of North American audiences. His Let’s Dance radio series paved the way for a thunderous reception on August 21, 1935 when 10,000 people crowded into the legendary Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, California to hear his hot dance music. This event marked the beginning of the Golden Age of Swing and opened the door for such giants as Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Harry James, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey and scores of other bandleaders.
In 1939, Harry James, with the help of Benny Goodman, organized his own Music Makers orchestra. During his search for a male vocalist, James heard a singer on the radio show Dance Parade broadcast live from a roadside club called the Rustic Cabin. The young crooner turned out to be Frank Sinatra, a part-time singing waiter from Hoboken, New Jersey. James hired the cocky Sinatra at the princely sum of $75 per week. During his stint with James, Sinatra recorded his first single All Or Nothing At All.
In 1940 Sinatra accepted Tommy Dorsey’s offer to join his band. That year, Dorsey, the Sentimental Gentleman of Swing, introduced a song entitled I’ll Never Smile Again written by Toronto’s Ruth Lowe. Sinatra recorded the song backed by the Pied Pipers; it became a major hit and instantly boosted his popularity. The following year, at age 25, Sinatra was declared Best Male Vocalist of the Year by Billboard Magazine. Now more popular than Bing Crosby, Sinatra left Dorsey to launch a solo recording career. Despite an acrimonious ending, Sinatra always gave the bandleader credit as his mentor. In December 1942, Benny Goodman hired Sinatra to perform in New York’s Paramount Theatre. When the dapper teen idol stepped on stage, bobby-soxers went wild. The rest is music history. Sinatra, a progeny of Big Band music, became a superstar.
The pre-war years were filled with an unbridled enthusiasm for the future. The excitement of this wonderful era is clearly reflected in the memorable music of the legendary…Kings of Swing.
Courtesy of Music World Magazine
GALAXY ORCHESTRA – This highly acclaimed 14-member unit has performed together since 1998 and has in its ranks some of Canada’s finest musicians…each ‘stars’ in their own right. They present a well-rehearsed showcase of outstanding musicianship and versatility, in both group and in front-and-centre solo performances, instrumental as well as vocal. . The Galaxy All-Star Orchestra headlines the Kings of Swing Big Band Show and the new music review Fabulous Crooners. Since 1999 the Galaxy All-Stars have starred in shows appearing in theatres such as the Elgin Winter Garden Theatre, St Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts, Ford Centre for the Arts, the Living Arts Centre, Brockville Centre for the Arts, Oakville Centre for the Arts, Grand Theatre Kingston, Capitol Theatre North Bay, Heritage Theatre in Brampton, the Stephen Leacock Theatre and ArtPark in Lewiston, New York.