Danny Russo

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b. USA, d. 15 December 1944. Violinist Danny Russo formed his first band, the Russo-Fio Rito Orchestra, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in the early 20s. Jointly helmed by Russo and Ted Fio Rito, their first…
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b. USA, d. 15 December 1944. Violinist Danny Russo formed his first band, the Russo-Fio Rito Orchestra, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in the early 20s. Jointly helmed by Russo and Ted Fio Rito, their first booking came at the Oriole Terrace in Detroit. The band soon became popular in Michigan, despite initial problems over contracts with the local musician’s union. The Fio Rito/Russo partnership was eventually dissolved in 1927 after they returned to the Chicago area. Two competing bands were assembled, with Russo’s version retaining the name Oriole Orchestra. He also kept many of the original musicians in a new formation which included Max Williams, Ralph Pierce, George Weisheipl, Roy Johnson, Fritz Holtz, Hector Herbert, Ralph Barnhart, Paul Wittenmeyer, Don Hughes and Jim Jackson. They were organised in a standard combination of three saxophones, two trumpets, one trombone, piano, tuba, banjo and drums. Russo’s violin was placed at the forefront of the group, who continued to be popular in the Illinois region through the 30s.