b. 27 November 1910, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 17 January 1989, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Formed in Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1935, the Ray Herbeck Orchestra soon relocated to Chicago to pursue the lucrative Midwest one-nighter circuit. With their theme song, ‘Romance’, Herbeck’s was one of the most commercially orientated orchestras of the day. Having previously worked with Leighton Noble, Herbeck recruited musicians George Van, Whitney Boyd, George Winslow, Benny Stabler, Bob McReynolds, Jay Stanley, James Baker, Jim Hefit, Bunny Rang, Art Skolnick, Louis Math, Tom Clark, Al Ciola, Chi Chi Crozza, Bob Hartzell and Leo Benson, alongside vocalists Betty Benson, Hal Munbar, Kirby Brooks, Ray Olson, Lorraine Benson, Roy Cordell and Irene Wilson. Herbeck later married his vocalist Lorraine Benson (b. 19 April 1920, Pocatello, Idaho, USA, d. 10 August 1996, San Dimas, California, USA). With a supporting tag of ‘Ray Herbeck And His Music With Romance’, they offered a steady stream of sentimental numbers cultivated to the specific requirements of slow dancing, including songs such as ‘Time Stood Still’. The 40s saw the band take engagements at famous hotels such as the Peabody, New Yorker, Muehlbach and Brown Palace, and there were few major ballrooms who did not book the band during their extensive tours. With recordings issued by Vocalion Records, Columbia Records and OKeh Records among many others, further exposure arrived during World War II with Herbeck’s band making over 300 USO camp show appearances to entertain the forces. They also appeared several times on Coca Cola’s Spotlight Bands radio show during this time. After the war Herbeck returned to California to play a year’s residency at the Riverside Hotel in Reno, then two years at the Last Frontier in Las Vegas. But by the early 50s he had given up music to concentrate on real estate businesses in California and Phoenix.
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