Ted Fio Rito

Spotlighting the Ted Fio Rito Orchestra

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Spotlighting the Ted Fio Rito Orchestra Review

by William Ruhlmann

This budget album combines portions of two broadcasts from the radio series "The Victory Parade of Spotlight Bands," in which swing bands visited military facilities. The first three tracks are drawn from a November 9, 1943, broadcast from Fort Dix, NJ, and the remaining nine from an August 13, 1945, broadcast from the Naval air station at Banana River, FL. Ted Fio Rito's orchestra, an important band of the 1930s when they scored numerous hits, was past their peak during the years of World War II, and this recording does not feature any of their chart songs, even though the set begins with "I Never Knew," one of the many popular tunes Fio Rito had a hand in writing. Instead, Fio Rito performs popular music of the day, such as the title song from Oklahoma! and hits like "Cow Cow Boogie," making this something of a generic swing outing of the 1940s. The playing is good, however, and the album ranks a place as an addendum to Fio Rito's catalog. Unfortunately, as of 2002, the rest of that catalog seemed to be out of print.

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