b. 13 October 1909, New York City, New York, USA, d. January 1986, Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, USA. A graduate of New York’s Institute of Musical Arts, Messner was one of a family of five musical brothers, with his specialism spanning all the reed instruments. His hotel orientated dance band, formed in New York City, New York, USA, in 1936, included musicians Shorty Skipper, Charles Cerborra, Shanty Diamant, Huff Allen, George Ward, Will Cottrell, Paul Kuhl, Augie Gonzales, Dick Cornell, Al Dell, Charles Gallant, Bobby King and Russell Moss. The singers were Gladys Tell, James D’Arcy and Mindy Carson. They spent several years playing at the Hotel MacAlpin in New York, with radio appearances on the Spotlight Bands and Fitch Bandwagon shows. They recorded widely for Vocalion Records, Bluebird Records, Varsity, Decca Records and Brunswick Records, which hosted original material including ‘Catching The 802 Local’, ‘Toy Piano Minuet’, ‘Toy Piano Jump’ and their theme tune ‘Can’t We Be Friends?’. The band also appeared in a handful of Paramount films. When Messner entered the services during World War II he broke the orchestra up, and never again resumed work as a band leader. His new career was as a writer and producer of jingles for television and radio.
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