Swing-era bandleader Charlie Agnew was born June 22, 1901, in Chicago. After rising through the ranks of the Windy City sweet bands of the early '20s, he formed his own orchestra in 1924, quickly emerging as a fixture of hotel ballrooms across the Midwest. In addition to extended residencies at the Peabody and the Trianon, the Agnew band starred in radio shows including The Armandes Face Cream Program and The Lucky Strike Magic Carpet. In time, Agnew began writing original compositions, penning such notable efforts as "Too Many on My Mind," "Fools in Love," and his theme song, "Slow But Sure." The orchestra signed to RCA in the late '30s and then landed with Columbia, cutting a series of sessions with vocalist Jeanne Carroll. In 1940, they traveled to Las Vegas for an extended headlining stay at the new El Rancho, the first hotel and casino on the now-legendary strip. As the big-band sound fell out of favor, Agnew dissolved the group sometime in the early '50s, passing away on October 22, 1978.
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