b. USA. Astor founded his multiracial Bob Astor Band in Hermosa Beach in southern California, USA, in the early 40s. Having previously played in small brass bands in New Orleans and Texas, he recruited sidemen including Zoot Sims, Neal Hefti, Larry Elgart, George Williams, Marty Napoleon, Irv Levin, Irv Kluger, Tony Faso, Tommy Allison, Ernie Figueroa and Shelly Manne. His vocalists included Kluger, Faso, Levin and Hefti as well as Jo Napoleon. Popular on the west coast, the group also toured throughout America, including residencies at venues such as the William Penn Hotel (Pittsburgh) and Elms Ballroom (Youngstown). With radio play on shows such as the Fitch Bandwagon, Astor penned compositions including ‘If You Don’t Believe I’m Leaving, Count The Days I’m Gone’, ‘Here Comes The Judge’, ‘Fat Sam’ and ‘In The Cool Of The Evening’. However, none of these were ever committed to vinyl, primarily owing to the fact that a musician’s strike coincided with a projected recording contract with Decca Records. Following this disappointment, Astor retired from band leading, instead moving into a career as a disc jockey.
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