Nat Brandwynne is the correct name of this artist: Nat Brandywine endures, however, suggesting that there is an indeed an unstoppable desire to alter any name that is the least bit difficult, especially if a match with an alcoholic drink results. At some point this pianist and bandleader, whose career began in the '30s matching riffs with Eddy Duchin and ended with a cardiac arrest in 1978, may have given up wondering in what form his name would appear on the next album cover or marquee up the road. The drunken surname might have been a logical way to earn respect from the Las Vegas crowd, this artist's stomping ground from the '60s onward.
As the roulette wheels spun, Brandywine backed up many of the famed vocalists who came to Vegas, the more inebriated patrons coming to an even blurrier misunderstanding of what the conductor's name was. Four years before his death, grandstanding diva Diana Ross put out a hit live album recorded at just such a Caeser's Palace performance. He became one of her favorite musical directors and was unfortunately involved in the imbroglio surrounding her so-called "benefit" concert in Central Park in New York City--an event that wound up costing the city a fortune thanks to her decision to fly the conductor and his favorite musicians back and forth from their regular Las Vegas jobs to suit the rehearsal schedule. One of the city comptrollers had to be personally introduced to Brandwynne to calm suspicions that Brandywine was a name concocted to cover up exhorbitant liquor charges from the star's fancy caterers.