Lenny Herman

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Lenny Herman is sometimes described as a jazz bandleader of the '40s and '50s, yet his band bus was really more of a bandwagon, using the latter word in terms of a fad or flavor of the day. He got in…
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Lenny Herman is sometimes described as a jazz bandleader of the '40s and '50s, yet his band bus was really more of a bandwagon, using the latter word in terms of a fad or flavor of the day. He got in early on, covering "Daddy's Little Girl" in 1947, and not with the shroud that might have really been appropriate with this anthem of treacle. Alternate publications of the sheet music for this song featured photographs of artists who recorded it; the version with the Lennie Herman Quintet describes the group as "Latin-American." Despite this stylistic designation the small combo was also featured on a recording of "Grandfather's Clock" the year before.

Herman also took charge of much larger groups, building a reputation as a big-band leader that eventually eclipsed that of the quintet, if a word as mighty as "eclipsed" can be used to describe something more like a radar blip than a super nova. He recorded orchestra sides such as "When You Fall in Love" for Decca and a nifty red vinyl 45 entitled "Mightiest Lil' Band in the Land." During the early '50s Herman was on the front line of the new trends in commercial children's music, waving a diaper like a flag of surrender. He used the quintet to cut "Percy the Pale Faced Polar Bear" in 1951 and eventually had enough tracks for tots and tykes to tote up the early-'60s Family Album LP, also featuring singer Ginny Gibson. The 1957 Dance Party showcases Herman's talents on both accordion and xylophone, the set list consisting mostly of Tin Pan Alley hits.