Aug 23, 2010

And the Band Plays On

Still going strong more than 60 years later:
Dakes, who lives in a retirement community in Orland Park, played saxophone with the Glenn Miller Orchestra under Tex Beneke, going on the road with bandmates who included Skitch Henderson and Vaughn Monroe and playing backup for headliners like Jack Benny and Florence Henderson.

Bill Morris, 78, played trumpet, tenor saxophone and vibraphone for musicals and stars like Bob Hope and Pearl Bailey who were passing through the Portage, Mich., area, where he and his wife live. Bill Hyland, 84, played keyboard for decades with bands on the West Coast, having moved with his wife to Pasadena, Calif. Sackerson, of Palos Heights, played drums with Chicago-area bands throughout the 53 years he worked as a banker.

"I always say banking was my hobby," he said.

Bob Shipner, 80, of Palatine, played trumpet with local big bands, and for 20 years sang with the late violinist Franz Benteler. He recorded a number of songs for Mercury Records, including "Skylark" and "Across the Wide Missouri."

Morris looked up at discussion of the latter. "You going to sing that today?" he asked. "I'll back you up. Key of E flat."

They all had day jobs. Dakes worked in human resources for Bethlehem Steel. Shipner was a captain, and eventually chief pilot, at Eastern Airlines. Hyland was a school teacher and administrator. Morris taught at Western Michigan University for 44 years.

They retired from work, but not from music. Except for Dakes, they still play in bands. Now they took the ballroom stage, and became a band together once again.
More here.

No comments:

Post a Comment