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Letter to the Editor: Big Band Worth Talking About

A letter from Ann Freeman which describes her experience in the Big Band era and keeping the art alive.

Re:

Candace,

Being still connected  to the big band era, your article was sent to me, which was well written. I am contacted by many  still surviving  musicians from the big band years.. back to 1947....including some leaders.

I think the article wrote about Dave Dickey's band was very well done. I wish him  luck, taking on a job of restoring the big band sound. Our country has taken  a bad turn, started by so many things, especially the  start of bad music, the way the younger generation dress, behavior, drugs, leaves alot to be desired.

The  years from 1947 , after the war,  were the great years in the band business, best of music, danceable, not the freaky dressing, music, you see on TV, what they call entertainment.

Musicians have always had a reputation, as being on the wild side, but my 53 1/2 years travel with the big bands had no evidence of this, except for a few  drinkers, not drugs, and believe me, being a nurse, was easy for me to spot.

Dick Jurgens Jr had one of the best websites ever, for 6 years on the Internet, which we finally took off, and had a very good fan club. I'm still in touch with many, as my stories of 18 pages were on it, as well as many pictures out of my scrapbook, newspaper clippings, which was recently entered into with a bio, into the "Hall of Pride" as of this past  Dec 2011. He has been in the "Hall of Fame " in Des Moines, Ia since 1998, entered by his school since his passing in 2012, with all his achievements in music, from winning medal for the schools, college and the music business. 

My husband (check the  picture clip) was lead trombone  player with many bands, but mostly  for 9 years with  Dick Jorgen's Orchestra, who he played the theme song for 9 years, "Day Dreams Come True at  Night", never missing  it.

Virgil Freeman  passed away on Sept 11, 1998, till then he was active in helping organizing  bands and playing, as well as playing at  theater work in Chicago, at Arie Crown, Mill Run Theater for five years. 

I wish Dave well, we need good music, people should get out and  dance once again like they used to, or even listen  to good show  performances.

Keep up the good work helping people with the articles you write. I get allot of them forwarded, but this was more  complete, worth my reading.

Ann (Virgil) Freeman   

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