b. 1908, USA, d. 1959, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA. Purveyors of ‘sweet’ big band dance sounds, society group the Hal Grayson Orchestra formed in 1932 in California, USA. Grayson was backed by sidemen who at one time included a young Stan Kenton, with vocalists Betty Grable, Martha Tilton and Shirley Ross. As well as weddings and functions the group embarked on major tours of the time’s most popular ballroom venues, including the Jantzen Beach Hotel in Portland, the St. Francis and Ambassador Hotels in California and the Avalan Hotel in Catalinia. During their 12-year existence, which ended in 1944, they also secured dates at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York and appeared in a handful of Warner Brothers movies. After the end of the band Grayson remained active in the music industry in a variety of roles, but never returned to band leading. He suffered a nervous breakdown in the early 50s, and was hospitalised at the Camarillo State Hospital until 1958.
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