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Brown, Lester Raymond (Les)

Born: 1912 AD
Died: 2001 AD, at 88 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Musicians


1912 - Born on March 14th in Reinerton, Pennsylvania. American bandleader who led a top swing-era dance band that went on to long-term Hollywood and television success and spent 40 years accompanying comedian Bob Hope's stage and broadcast shows.

1921 - Les began playing sax at an early age and made his professional debut in a band at age nine.

1926 - At age 14 he formed his own orchestra, The Royal Serertadore.

         - He enrolled at the Ithaca Conservatory of Music, where he studied classical clarinet.

         - He then attended Duke University and joined the Blue Devils orchestra, which he took over as leader in his junior year.

1938 - He fronted a local band at Budd Lake, New Jersey, which recorded for Decca.

1941-1943 - The band finally came of age with its first big hit, ''Joltin' Joe DiMaggio,'' which, unfortunately, they couldn't record until two years later due to the musician's recording ban.

         - By that time the group had become known as ''Les Brown and His Band of Renown,'' a name given to them by a radio announcer.

1959 - Appeared in The Steve Allen Show as the Bandleader.

1963 - Starred in the movie, The Nutty Professor as himself.

1996 - Les Brown was awarded an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the leader of the longest lasting musical organization in the history of popular music.

1999 - Inducted on the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

2001 - Died of lung cancer on January 4th in Los Angeles, California.


Page last updated: 4:04pm, 30th Aug '07