Ozzie Nelson is best-known for his acting on the television series Ozzie and Harriet (which earlier had been featured on radio). But before that, during the 1930s, Ozzie Nelson led one of the most popular swing and dance bands in the New York area.
Nelson not only played tenor (mostly sticking to section work), but provided many of the swinging arrangements.
In 1932, Nelson – who did a lot of the singing for the band himself – added a female vocalist, a singer and would-be actress named Harriet Hilliard. They fell in love and were married in 1935.
The jazz world bible Downbeat praised the Ozzie Nelson band in 1935 for its “subtle suggestion of melodic beauty and rhythmic patterns” and wrote that these “get under your skin.”
Ozzie Nelson & His Band were the first swing orchestra ever booked into the legendary Glen Island Casino on Long Island, which became one of the most celebrated swing band venues in the world.
Read the full biography by Bruce Elder about the colourful personality of Ozzie Nelson on allmusic.com (it’s a long one).
I’m just very inspired by the Swiss Balboa Weekend from last weekend, so I decided to present another Balboa tune. I like Swamp Fire because of the difference between the real tempo and the feeling of it: the song is quite faster than it seems to be!
Do you like my series? What do you think about this post? Please share your thoughts!
Song of the Week #26: “There’s Rhythm in Harlem” by Mills Blue Rhythm Band
Song of the Week #25: “Shipyard Ramble” by Erskine Hawkins and his Orchestra
Song of the Week #24: “I’ve Found A New Baby (Live)” by Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra
Song of the Week #23: “Muskrat Ramble” by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five
Song of the Week #22: “Six Feet Down” by Tuba Skinny