b. USA. When Tommy Reed inaugurated his own dance band in San Francisco, California, USA, in 1946, he had already accrued significant experience as a saxophone and clarinet player with band leaders such as Joe Venuti, Henry King, Russ Morgan, Jimmy Dorsey, Richard Himber, Dick Jurgens, Ernie Heckscher, Del Courtney and Ran Wilde. After collecting together 13 musicians, he centred his activities on America’s Midwest, with occasional forays to New York (the Lexington Hotel). As well as a five-year return engagement at the Muehlbach (Kansas City) between 1954 and 1959, they also played at the Chase Hotel (St. Louis), the Peabody (Memphis), the Roosevelt (New Orleans) and the Pier (Galveston, Texas). Records were issued on Camelback and MGM Records, featuring original songs such as ‘Fishin’ For Love’, ‘Two Heavens’, ‘After All’, and the band’s theme tune, ‘Two Clouds In The Sky’. The band was usually accompanied by featured singer Sue Mouro. With the decline in outlets for dance bands in the early 60s Reed was forced to reduce his orchestra in size, and relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. There he started his own company (Southwest Booking Agency). This highly successful business enterprise helped subsidise continued band leading activity, with bookings at dance band conventions and nostalgia events.
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