Arden-Ohman Orchestra

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This orchestra came up with frequent hit recordings during the 30's, including classics of Americana such as "I Love a Parade". For a decade beginning in 1925, the Arden-Ohman orchestra held forth in…
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This orchestra came up with frequent hit recordings during the 30's, including classics of Americana such as "I Love a Parade". For a decade beginning in 1925, the Arden-Ohman orchestra held forth in the 'pits' of many long-running Broadway hits, and recorded a repertoire of mostly show tunes. The membership of the pit bands and the recording studio orchestras was sometimes quite different, the bandleaders allowing the evening show players to get some rest while tunes were being recorded during the day. The group was formed by a pair of pianist and songwriters. Victor Ardencame to New York quite early in the 20th century in order to make piano rolls. This is where he met Phil Ohman, another hotshot keyboard dazzler. The two formed a piano duo based on their many mutual musical interests, gaining an impressive reputation in the many small clubs clustered around the area of 52nd Street. The duo's first recording session under their combined names resulted in ditties such as the devilish "Dance of the Demon", the tasty, Raving "Raga Muffin"and "Canadian Capers" in which the two made like the Mounties and always got their melody. In 1924 they were hired for the Broadway musical "Lady Be Good, the start of what would be many such gigs including the show Tip Toes in 1926 and Spring Is Here in 1929. It was radio broadcasts that led to national fame, however, beginning with background music for commercials and news reports and leading by the late 20's to an Arden-Ohman radio show. The duo expanded the group into a fuller sound that was known for both excellent material and arrangements, spotlighting a variety of vocalists including the excellent Frank Luther. While there was a brief split in which each man led his own orchestra, the pair glued themselves back together to cut a record for Brunswick in 1935. Tunes used with enough regularity by the band to be considered band theme songs include the fragile "Dance Of the Paper Doll", the scintillating "That Certain Feeling", the acceptable "Fine and Dandy", an amusing "Funny Face" and a stimulating "Ooh! That Kiss". Arden went on to lead an orchestra behind matinee idol Dick Powell in the 50's.