Johnny Carlton

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b. 24 September 1916, d. 31 October 1998, Los Angeles, California, USA. Catron first worked as a musician alongside artists such as Count Basie and Jay McShann during the 20s and 30s in Kansas City, Kansas,…
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b. 24 September 1916, d. 31 October 1998, Los Angeles, California, USA. Catron first worked as a musician alongside artists such as Count Basie and Jay McShann during the 20s and 30s in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. After World War II he moved to Pomona, California, and established a Volkswagen car dealership. The success of this business allowed him to indulge his love of music, and finance the formation of his own dance band. Playing mainly local bookings at weekends, Catron was able to recruit some of the premier big band sidemen. There were also summer engagements at Catalina Island. With his dance band becoming increasingly popular, Catron put it on a more professional footing by taking over a ballroom and restaurant in Glendora, California. Here the group’s theme, ‘Love Day’, plus other original compositions such as ‘There’s A Time And A Place For Everything’, ‘Valerie’, ‘The Volkswagen Song Polka’ and ‘This Old Place’, found a more permanent home. These songs and others were also made available on vinyl through a contract with Nortac Records, while the band’s radio appearances included the Union Oil Company Show on KFI in Los Angeles, with showed Catron using his motor trade connections to good effect. Catron remained active in music in California long after the decline of the big band sound and the dissolution of his own band.