b. 6 January 1943, Mishawaka, Indiana, USA, d. 11 October 1998. One of the very few big bands to prosper during the rock ‘n’ roll era, the Tony Barron Orchestra was formed in 1967 in South Bend, Indiana, USA. Keen to revive the sounds of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, Barron himself, along with Steve Bice, acted as vocalist for the (usually) 12-piece aggregation. Influenced by the Jan Garber tradition of goodtime big band dance music, they toured both locally and in neighbouring states, playing at ballrooms and nostalgia evenings. They used these dates to sell copies of their own, independently financed recordings. The Tony Barron Orchestra continued in this vein through the 70s, drawing new members from various high schools, although their exposure was limited by the lack of airplay that their antecedents had been able to take for granted. However, many dance band aficionados were gratified by their attempts to keep the spirit of the music alive in the modern age. The orchestra continued under the direction of Barry Wagner after Barron’s death of lymphoma in 1998.
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