PE0124. PAUL WHITEMAN & his Orch., w.Vaughan de Leath, Bing Crosby, Lewis James, Franklyn Baur, Elliott Shaw, Jack Fulton, etc.: If I had a talking picture of you, 24 renowned Whiteman recordings. (England) Vocalion CDEA 6129, recorded 1925-38. Transfers by Michael J. Dutton. - 765387612924
"Paul Whiteman played viola in the Denver Symphony Orchestra from 1907 and in the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra from 1914. During World War I he led a 40-piece navy band, playing march tunes by day and show music by night. Sensing new dimensions for popular music in the transition from ragtime to jazz, he organized a dance band in San Francisco in 1918, later moving to New Jersey, before settling in New York in 1920. There he soon became the best-known American bandleader, particularly with his recording of 'Whispering' and 'Japanese Sandman' (1920), which sold more than a million copies. By the early 1920s his lush orchestral style was widely copied on countless bandstands at home and abroad. He toured the British Isles in 1923 and Europe in 1926.
For his first extended concert tour of the USA, Whiteman commissioned George Gershwin to write RHAPSODY IN BLUE, which, as part of Whiteman's concert called 'An Experiment in Modern Music', was performed with the composer as soloist in Aeolian Hall in New York in 1924. Favorable publicity prompted Whiteman to stage seven performances of this kind between 1925 and 1938, thereby obtaining wide exposure for such American composers as Victor Herbert, William Grant Still, and Duke Ellington. Between 1928 and 1952, Whiteman's orchestras were featured on many network radio shows and took part in several films, beginning with King of Jazz (1930). He provided music for six Broadway shows and produced more than 600 phonograph recordings. Later he served as music director for ABC."
-Zillah Dorset Akron