b. 4 July 1921, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Carlyle had previously been the featured vocalist with Blue Barron. In 1940, Russ Carlyle And His ABC Paramount Recording Orchestra were founded in New York City, New York, USA. However, their career was interrupted in 1943 when Carlyle was enlisted for military service. Louise Carlyle, his sister, kept the band together for the rest of World War II, but on his return the band leader remoulded the group. Recruiting an arranger who had formerly worked with Hal Kemp, the band now evolved their own version of the staccato tempos pioneered by Kemp. When this did not find the rich commercial rewards Carlyle anticipated, he returned to his original style, that of clean, smooth, romantic big band dance numbers. Audiences who appreciated this highly accessible sound included those at Roseland Dance City (New York), the Peabody Hotel (Memphis) and the Roosevelt (New Orleans). In 1956, Carlyle’s musicians were voted Best New Sweet Band by the National Ballroom Operators Association, despite having been around in one form or another for over 16 years. A series of 78s were released via Paramount Records, but nationwide progress was slow. Regardless, Carlyle continued as a band leader through the rock ‘n’ roll years, taking his band on engagements throughout the central states of America. In the 60s, when his vocalist, Dorothy Ferguson, left the band Carlyle enlisted 20-year-old Patty Clayton (née Zych) as her replacement. In 1970, Carlyle and Clayton married. From 1972-78, the couple performed as a duo for four months of the year at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, then during the summer at Breezy Point, Minnesota and at Christmas time at The Petroleum Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the same decade, Carlyle set up his own label, FONA Records. He continued playing until his retirement in the late 80s.
Share this page