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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Dance Date With Sam Donahue


The Mood We're In

Dance Date With Sam Donahue and His Orchestra
Masterseal RE-33-1847

From the back cover: At no time during the past decade has interest in dance music and dance bands been as great as it is today. Probably one of the greatest contributors to this renewed interest is Sam Donahue.

In fraternity houses, club rooms, attractively decorated gymnasiums and every place where young folks get together, the sane Sam Donahue is synonymous with the best in dance music. At universities and high schools he is a favorite. He plays his easy to dance to music all year long in an almost continuous succession of prom dates and one-nighters. His music has a sound and style that makes the listener want to get up and dance.

Sam Donahue was born in Detroit. Native Detroit's who knew him as a child still cannot understand why Sam did not turn to athletics instead of music for his career.

While attending Redford High, Sam excelled in football, baseball, basketball and played on all three varsity teams. Music was just a hobby to the youngster who found more fun in going over a single wing formation, however, he die start a band wile a sophomore. Sam figured that because of his athletic prowess, the student body would flock to hear his band – he was right.

In his senior year Sam found that the band business could be far more interesting and profitable than he ever dreamed. He was so busy plying proms and private dances that he had little time for sports – by this time, music had gotten into his blood.

Upon graduating, Sam enrolled at college but found that he could not have a band and still go through with his studies. While he was deciding whet course to follow, the owner of the Coral Gables Ballroom in East Lansing, Michigan, offered his band a summer booking. Sam took the job and his band was an immediate sensation.

After many moths at the ballroom, it baden apparent that while the band was doing fine in Michigan, it meant nothing on a national scale. The boys in the band then voted that Sam should go with a some band and gain the experience vital to any aspiring maestro, He had already received many offers from name bands, and in 1938 took a job with Gene Krupa. He stayed with Krupa until 1940 and then went with Harry James and later with Benny Goodman that same year. By that time he was the outstanding tenor man in the nation and had been featured coast to coast with the three top bands.

Feeling that he had gained the necessary experience, Same formed his own gand again and opened at the Rosalind Ballroom in 1941. New England one-night stands followed until an opening came at Glen Island Casino, which at the time was the home of the finest young bands in the nation. Donahue did well at the Casino and seemed set for a long and successful stay until the Navy called him for service which forced him to disband.

In the device, Sam had his own orchestra an d was bout in charge of all Navy music for the AFRS, played command performance shows, was featured on service programs such as "Yank Bandstand" and "Bands For Bonds," Played the armed forces network all over the world, and appeared with some of the biggest names in show business – Betty Grable, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne and many others.

When the war ended, Sam was discharged and immediately set ou to form a new band to take up where he had so successfully left off. It didn't take long for Sam to get rolling and once more he was bringing his great music to the ballrooms, schools, hotels and theaters throughout the country. Things were going along well until the outbreak of the Korean War. Sam, who was a Navy Reservist, was called back to active duty in 1951. About six months later, he received his second honorable discharge.

Same wanted to form his band again, but when hie received an offer from the late Tommy Dorsey to come with his band as an assistant leader, he just couldn't refuse.

As a result of this diversified experience and popularity it was only natural that Billy May chose Sam Donahue to head his famous band.

Today, Donahue is once again at the helm of his own band – a band considered by those in the music business to be the best of its kind in the country today.

Donahue's music never sounded better than it does in this album. On this disk the group offers a delightful array of all time favorites played in a contagious, free-swinging manner.

Here is an album of absolute fun for everyone with happy feet. – Marty Ostrow

Blue Moon
Just Friends
It Happened In Monterey
The Mood We're In
Taking A Chance On Love
At Sundown
Wonder Why
One O'Clock Jump
Please, Won't You Give Us More
How About You

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