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    Schwartz, Wilbur (17 March 1918 - 3 August 1990)

    Alto saxophonist and clarinetist who rose through the ranks of the big bands, eventually landing in Glenn Miller's orchestra.  In the 1930s, he was blowing for Julie Wintz's orchestra.  He left in 1937 and joined Glenn Miller, staying with him until 1942, when Miller enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force.  Schwartz helped shape "The Glenn Miller Sound".  Miller arranged for Ray Noble, and liked to pair off the alto saxophonist with the trumpeter, and have the tenor saxophonist supply the harmony.  The only problem was the fellow who played trumpet for Noble couldn't hit the high notes, so Miller gave the trumpet part to the clarinetist.  When Miller started his own orchestra and was joined by Schwartz, it was a perfect fit.  He continued to tinker with the effect by throwing in two more saxes on harmony.  Schwartz was, therefore, a key component to the Miller sound, which other orchestras found impossible to replicate.  Nino Tempo portrayed Schwartz in The Glenn Miller Story, but it was not by design.  Tempo was slated to play Benny Goodman, but Goodman didn't want his name gracing the film, so the character's name was changed to Wilbur, or "Willie" Schwartz.  The only problem with the switch is that it put Schwartz in times and places it would have been impossible for him to be in, like playing in The Venice Ballroom circa 1926, when he would have been all of eight.  (Not that Hollywood ever takes liberties with history.)  Later on in the '50s, Schwartz went on to record on a string of Dean Martin LPs, and it was just the beginning of a lucrative career as a session man. Other artists with whom he recorded include Ray Anthony, Harry Belafonte, Paul Butterfield, Ray Charles, Rosemary Clooney, Nat "King" Cole, Bobby Darin, Doris Day, Billy Eckstine, Ella Fitzgerald, Pete Fountain, Conrad Gozzo, Woody Herman, Cleo Laine, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, Henry Mancini, Billy May, Randy Newman, Nelson Riddle, Anita O'Day, George Shearing, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, and Sarah Vaughan.  He even tried his hand at classical on the Boyd Raeburn album, Boyd Meets Stravinsky, Volume 2.  Schwartz was the subject of a retrospective in the February-March 1991 issue of The Clarinet, the journal of the International Clarinet Society.  He has also been immortalized in song by Gary Foster, who wrote the song "Sweet Lips" to commemorate his life in music.  It appears on Foster's 1991 release, Make Your Own Fun, and the Kerry Strayer Septet's 2003 offering, Mentor. 

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Schwartz
    2. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=20173
    3. http://www.123exp-biographies.com/t/00031157144/
    4. http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Wilbur%20Schwartz:1927179809
    5. http://www.discogs.com/artist/Wilbur+Schwartz
    6. http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/artist/WIlbur%20Schwartz/a/WIlbur%20Schwartz.htm
    7. http://www.ruckus.com/ruckus/music/artist.do;jsessionid=RQCMHG1QKXLfYJCp5cpJG2MGyYb41cFy2QB5Qz7j4BsQcH499v32!870009174?artistId=316644
    8. http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Wilbur%20Schwartz:1927179809:page=discography:b=5
    9. http://bobbydarinblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/bobby-darin-cd-profile-sings-shadow-of.html
    10. http://www.moneyblows.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Category_Code=MUSMAGS&Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=MBM
    11. http://www.clarinet.org/journal/
    12. http://nfo.net/usa/w1.html
    13. http://www.dvdempire.com/Exec/v4_item.asp?userid=&item_id=748951
    14. http://www.bjbear71.com/Hank/Hank-LPBMG.html
    15. http://www.jazzdisco.org/mercury/5200-78r-cat/a/
    16. http://www.akh.se/harbel/lyrics/marys_boy_child.htm
    17. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_did_Glenn_miller_discover_by_accident
    18. http://bigband-era.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=002114
    19. http://www.eop.mu.edu/lawrence/z0602.html
    20. http://downloads.walmart.com/swap/
    21. http://www.allegro.pl/item330822222_4_cd_woody_herman_saving_myself_for_you.html
    22. http://www.freshsoundrecords.com/catalogue-main2.php?method=by_label&label_id=11
    23. http://www.bigbandmusic.co.uk/big-band-music-east-midlands.html
    24. http://cdbaby.com/cd/kerrystrayer2
    25. http://www.amazon.com/Make-Your-Own-Gary-Foster/dp/B0000006JP
    26. http://www.softshoe-slim.com/lists/n/newman_randy.html
    27. http://www.mosaicrecords.com/discography.asp?number=214-MD-CD
    28. www.clarinet.org/pdfs/journal/BK_Issue_Form.pdf
    29. http://ronpenndorf.com/finevintagelps4.html
    30. http://www.jazzdiscography.com/Artists/Lee/capitolee2a.html
    31. http://www.utstat.utoronto.ca/mikevans/hroberts/sounds/side50s.html
    32. http://www.answers.com/topic/put-it-in-your-ear?cat=entertainment

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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