b. 30 December 1898, New York City, New York, USA, d. 20 September 1975, North Miami, Florida, USA. The celebrated pianist and leader of a highly popular ‘sweet style’ dance band, Lopez originally intended to go into the church, and also tried his hand as a businessman. However, his father was a bandsman in the US Navy, and urged his son into a musical career, apparently forcing him to practice incessantly. He had his first professional job when he was 17-years-old and by 1916 was leading his own band at the prestigious Pekin Restaurant. By 1921, he was band leading at the Statler Hotel where his was among the first dance bands to receive national fame through remote radio link-ups (outside broadcasts). Lopez became a national name, his opening remark, ‘Hello everybody, Lopez speaking, ’ appealing to the public.
During the 20s the band appeared in the Broadway musicals Love Birds, Greenwich Village Follies Of 1924, and Earl Carroll’s Vanities Of 1928, and the early movie musical The Big Broadcast Of 1932. Among his many record hits, from 1922 to 1939, were ‘Nola’ (his theme tune), ‘Teasin’’, ‘I’m Just Wild About Harry’, ‘I Want To Be Happy’, ‘Show Me The Way To Go Home’, ‘Always’, ‘Hello, Bluebird’, ‘My Angel (Angela Mia)’, and ‘There’s Honey On The Moon Tonight’. He and his band appeared at the Hippodrome in London but it was as a stalwart of radio and the plush hotel circuit in America that he was best noted. In 1941, he took the band into New York’s Hotel Taft where he remained for 25 years. From 1949, he appeared regularly on television. Among the well known musicians and vocalists who played and sang with the Lopez band at various stages of their careers were Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and Xaviar Cugat, and Betty and Marion Hutton. Defying the radical changes that took place in popular music over the years, Lopez led his band into the 70s