It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora Plus subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora Plus trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora Plus trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora Plus.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Les Brown

The leader of a first-class jazz-oriented dance band for over 60 years, Les Brown's music was never innovative but was generally quite pleasing. Brown was born in Reinerton, PA, into the family of a baker. He got started in music early, taking up the saxophone at age seven with the strong encouragement of his father, who played the trombone. He knew how to sight-read before he was ten, and was playing alongside his father by that time at local dances. Brown left high school after one year, choosing instead to attend the Ithaca Conservatory of Music, where he studied theory, harmony, and composition. He passed through the New York Military Academy before landing at Duke University, where he joined the Duke Blue Devils, the university's official dance band, in 1935. Their sound was modeled after the Casa Loma Orchestra, which was then one of the most popular dance bands in the country, especially among college audiences.

Brown made his first recordings as a member of the Blue Devils in 1936 for Decca, but by the following year they'd split up, as the members who were still undergraduates returned to school. Brown went to New York and spent a year working for Jimmy Dorsey, Isham Jones, and Larry Clinton as an arranger. His chance at forming a new band came in 1938 when an executive at RCA arranged a booking for him at the Hotel Edison in Manhattan, if he could put a group together. Brown secured a loan from his father to get the band off the ground and he soon had a 12-piece outfit playing at the hotel. A series of regular live radio broadcasts of the band soon had their reputation spreading far beyond the ranks of the hotel's dance patrons, and RCA Victor quickly signed them to its Bluebird imprint.

The group was doing well as the 1930s closed out, drawing a healthy dance audience and a substantial listenership. Their records weren't the most ambitious in the world -- mostly covers of standards and other bands' hits, interspersed with an occasional Les Brown original -- but they sold well enough to keep the recording industry interested in them. In the late '30s, most of their sound was built on ensemble playing, and they displayed a rich, full tone that came off well, both in person and over the air as well as on record. Brown insisted on a polished, precise sound and audiences seemed to devour it. But starting in 1940, he began altering their sound by allowing room for his soloists to go to work doing that they did best, and audiences liked it even better. Then he hired his first vocalist, a teenager named Doris Day, who sang with a depth and level of sophistication far beyond her 17 years, and their popularity soared. Day's first stay with the group wasn't long -- less than a year -- before she left to get married. Her replacement, Betty Bonney, was aboard when the band cut a song devoted to the then-current phenomenon of Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak -- "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio" became their first chart hit. When the smoke cleared, the band found itself ranked among the top ten most popular performing outfits in the country.

It was a radio show, Spotlight Band, that inadvertently played a big role in their subsequent history. The Les Brown band appeared regularly on the program, which went to service audiences around the country (and made them permanent favorites of millions of men in uniform). But it was a chance moment in 1942, when an announcer referred to them as "Les Brown & His Band of Renown," that proved a key to their future. The reference sounded great, and it stuck, and it became the band's permanent name. They came to occupy a peculiar niche in the musical world as it existed in those years -- although it wasn't really a jazz band, Brown's group employed enough elements of jazz, and enough high-quality soloists (and Brown seldom featured himself in the latter capacity, though he was a good player), that they were treated with a great deal of respect by jazz players and in the jazz journals of the period.

The next pivotal moment came in 1943 when Brown persuaded Doris Day, now divorced and raising a son (actually, future producer Terry Melcher), to return to the band. The result, in 1944, was one of the most enduring hits of World War II, "Sentimental Journey." It not only became one of the defining hits of the big-band era, but also Brown's signature tune (and, to a lesser degree, Day's signature tune) for the next 50 years, and even in the 21st century is totally identified with both of them. The song was written by Ben Homer, a composer and arranger who was also responsible for the various dance adaptations of classical works that Brown's band recorded. Brown spent most of the 1940s signed to Columbia Records, which was also the home of Doris Day as a solo act. Brown's career momentum was slowed only when the Second World War drew to a close, and he decided to spend more time with his wife and family, which meant giving up touring -- he'd had some excellent soloists in his band, including Abe Most and Ted Nash, but they soon began drifting away to other work once Brown settled down in Los Angeles.

In early 1947, Brown took on an extended engagement at the Hollywood Bowl, which resulted in his reactivating the band in a new incarnation, made up of freelancers -- he also discovered that there were enough truly high-caliber examples of the latter that the music didn't suffer at all. As a result of that engagement, he also picked up what proved to be the longest running gig of his career when he started working with Bob Hope. The association with Hope -- which resulted in Brown touring for many years in tandem with the legendary comedian's performances on behalf of American servicemen -- made it possible for the orchestra to stay together for many decades. The Dave Pell Octet, which was quite popular in the mid-'50s, was comprised of some of Brown's sidemen. In the late '50s, Brown became one of the founding members of the Recording Academy. Brown was signed to Capitol Records during this same period and enjoyed a fresh string of hit singles and successful LPs through the end of the decade -- such was his reputation that he was easily able to recruit top players (such a reedman Billy Usselton) for those later bands, and those Capitol recordings have found an enduring audience much as his earlier Columbia sides did. Additionally, his work with Hope helped to keep his name alive for several generations of television viewers, among others, well into the 1980s. Brown also occasionally toured throughout the last decades of his life, even performing within a year of his death on January 4, 2001, at the age of 88. His son, Les Brown, Jr., a musician who was primarily known as an actor, took over the Band of Renown during the 21st century and has kept it going since. ~ Scott Yanow & Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Essential Swing Songbook

1. King Phillip Stomp

2. Pick Yourself Up

3. I Only Have Eyes For You

4. Lullaby Of Birdland

5. Don't Get Around Much Anymore

6. Early Autumn

7. I Remember You

8. Lean Baby

9. Swing Song Blues

10. I Want To Be Happy

11. Just In Time

12. Let's Get Away From It All

13. I'm Beginning To See The Light

14. Love Is Here To Stay

15. Willow Weep For Me

16. Take The "A" Train

17. How High The Moon

18. Pizza Boy

19. Molten Swing

20. King Porter Stomp

21. The Claw

22. Apple Honey

23. Chelsea Bridge

24. 'S Wonderful

x

Track List: Sentimental Journey - World War II Classics

1. Nutcracker Suite

2. Blue Moon

3. It's Alright With Me

4. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

5. September Song

6. Cabin In The Sky

7. Laura

8. Sentimental Journey

9. Sometimes I'm Happy

10. Three Little Words

11. Love Me Or Leave Me

12. How High The Moon

13. A Fine Romance

14. How About You

x

Track List: Palladium 1953

Disc 1

1. Opening Announcement (Live)

2. Montoona Clipper (Feat. Dave Pell) (Live)

3. Caravan (Live)

4. Strange (Live)

5. Baby I Need You (Feat. Butch Stone) (Live)

6. Speak Low (Live)

7. Rain (Live)

8. Street Of Dreams (Live)

9. Brown's Little Jug (Live)

10. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart (Live)

11. Back In My Own Backyard (Feat. Jo Ann Greer) (Live)

12. Invitation (Feat. Ronnie Lang) (Live)

13. You're The Cream In My Coffee (Live)

14. Midnight Sun (Live)

15. Begin The Beguine (Live)

16. Happy Hooligan (Live)

17. I Would Do Anything For You (Feat. Stumpy Brown) (Live)

18. Laura (Live)

19. Jersey Bounce (Live)

20. From This Moment On (Live)

21. Crazy Legs (Live)

22. Flying Home (Live)

23. One O'Clock Jump (Live)

24. Untitled (Live)

Disc 2

1. Cherokee (Live)

2. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (Live)

3. You Forgot Your Gloves (Live)

4. Doodle Dee Doo Stumpy Brown (Live)

5. Our Love Is Here To Stay (Feat. Don Fagerquist) (Live)

6. Skylark (Feat. Ronnie Lang) (Live)

7. Nagasaki (Feat. Butch Stone) (Live)

8. Mambo Jambo (Live)

9. Lullaby In Rhythm (Live)

10. Did You Ever See A Dream Walking (Live)

11. Gal From Joe's (Live)

12. Bernie's Tune (Live)

13. Harlem Nocturne (Live)

14. Sentimental Journey (Feat. Jo Ann Greer) (Live)

15. Closing Announcement (Live)

x

Track List: A Band Of Renown

x

Track List: South Pacific

1. Honey Bun

2. Happy Talk

3. Some Enchanted Evening

5. A Wonderful Guy

6. Bloody Mary

7. Bali Ha'i

8. Dites-Moi

9. Younger Than Springtime

10. This Nearly Was Mine

11. There Is Nothin' Like A Dame

x

Track List: Session 55: 1936-2001

1. Floatin'

2. Secret Love

3. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

4. Drop Me Off In Harlem

5. Ain't She Sweet

6. They Can't Take That Away From Me

7. If Dreams Come True

8. Mood Indigo

9. It Could Happen To You

10. I Only Have Eyes For You

11. Bizet Has His Day

12. String Of Pearls

13. Sentimental Journey (2001)

14. Undecided

15. That Old Black Magic

16. Satin Doll

17. Dansero

18. Yo Henry

19. Tenderly

20. Old Man River

21. Leap Frog (2001)

x

Track List: Live 12 May 1957

1. Theme / Swingin' Down The Lane

2. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

3. Begin The Beguine

4. Harlem Nocturne

5. Love That Shade Of Blue

6. No Not Much

7. Cherokee

8. At Sundown

9. Come Rain Or Come Shine

10. Riding High

11. On The Alamo

12. Ramona

13. The Continental

14. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

15. Countin' The Blues

16. Dream

17. Take The "A" Train

18. Pink Coats

19. Apple Valley

20. Bizet Has His Day

21. Moonlight In Vermont

22. Cecilia

23. Nina Never Knew

24. Leap Frog

x

Track List: Les Brown & His Great Vocalists

1. Robin Hood

2. Lament To Love

3. I Guess I'll Have To Dream The Rest

4. A Good Man Is Hard To Find

5. I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good

6. 'Tis Autumn

7. Sentimental Journey

8. Sleigh Ride In July

9. My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time

10. Day By Day

11. I Guess I'll Get The Papers (And Go Home)

12. Oh, How I Miss You Tonight

13. Comes The Sandman (A Lullaby)

14. Just A Gigolo

15. Crosstown Trolley

16. Rock Me To Sleep

x

Track List: America Swings: The Great Les Brown

1. Piccolino

2. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

3. How About You

4. Ridin' High

5. Frenesi

6. September Song

7. Harlem Nocturne

8. Love Me Or Leave Me

9. Moonglow

10. Speak Low

11. Begin The Beguine

12. Sentimental Journey

x

Track List: Les Brown & His Band Of Renown

1. Opening Theme

2. Sunday Blues

3. This October

4. September In The Rain

5. Tall Boy

6. My Baby Just Cares For Me

7. September Song

8. Love Me Or Leave Me

9. Sentimental Journey

10. Oh, Baby

11. I'll Remember April

12. Midnight Sun

13. Lullaby In Rhythm

14. Willow Weep For Me

15. I'll Take Romance

16. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

17. This Year'd Crop Of Kisses

18. Don't Take Your Love From Me

19. Closing Theme

x

Track List: Best Of The Big Bands

1. Leap Frog

2. Sentimental Journey

4. Floatin'

5. I've Got The Sun In The Morning

6. A Foggy Day

7. Bizet Has His Day

8. All Through The Day

9. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

10. 'Tis Autumn

11. On The Beach At Waikiki

12. 's Wonderful

13. My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time

14. Mexican Hat Dance

15. Just One Of Those Things

16. Twilight Time

x

Track List: 22 Original Big Band Hits

1. The Piccolino

2. Frenesi

3. September Song

4. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

5. Where Are You

6. How About You

7. Riding High

8. Pink Coats

9. Love Me Or Leave Me

10. Swingin' At The Met

11. Harlem Nocture

12. Sentimental Journey

13. Speak Low

14. Countin' The Blues

15. Boy Next Door

16. Moonglow

17. I Never Knew

18. Whatever Lola Wants

19. At Sundown

20. Begin The Beguine

21. Back In Your Own Backyard

22. Rain

x

Track List: Les Brown & His Orchestra, Vol.2, 1949

1. Sometimes I'm Happy

2. Three Little Words

3. On The Alamo

4. Something Cool

5. Honeysuckle Rose

6. Negra Consentida

7. Where Are You?

8. April Showers

9. The Song Is Ended

10. Just Squeeze Me

11. Pell Mell

12. Stardust

13. Them There Eyes

14. The Lip

15. Black Coffee

16. Bopple Sauce

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Mmmmmmmm...G R E A T !
Report as inappropriate
Vietnam big red 1 (65-66 ) pop
Report as inappropriate
Bob Hope and Les Brown in Long Binh Vietnam...19 7 0
Report as inappropriate
@dbrian8.800 8 . . . y o u betcha
Report as inappropriate
millertime19 2 4 1
it was great when good musicians could enjoying playing good arrangements
Report as inappropriate
Outstanding.
Report as inappropriate
(Watch this. They'll take out the A.) Some times its good to be an old f*rt. See! Told ya!
Report as inappropriate
Love this swing music....... . . . . . . !
Report as inappropriate
I use to dance on my brothers feet to this nusicl wow memories my fave song inthat era was I'll be seeing you and in the mood!
Report as inappropriate
Bobearleen
When I left for Overseas they played Sentimental Journey and returning Home it was played again. Will nevcr forget that song
Report as inappropriate
he was easy to listen to
Report as inappropriate
Takes you back
Report as inappropriate
love this sound.
Report as inappropriate
Always a big fan of Les Brown. Great music.
Report as inappropriate
I'm a progressive rocker, but I love this band and this entire era of music.
Report as inappropriate
Les Brown graduated from New York Military Academy as Head Boy (top of his class) in 1932. From there he attended Duke.
Report as inappropriate
smokeymcgigg l e s 1
Is that Les Brown shaking Bob Hope's hand in the pic? It looks more like Tom Bosley.
Report as inappropriate
billyingerso l l
Love that Sentimental Journey.
Report as inappropriate
Les is still my favorite band of the swing era. Great arrangements - clean exciting jazz solos and always swingin'.
Report as inappropriate
Don fagerquist does a nice job on trumpet
Report as inappropriate
nice les brown style by les
Report as inappropriate
halnphyl
I have always felt that Les Brown improved on his jazz as he progressed in music.Some of his last creations were definitely among his best.

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[106, 102, 86, 85, 122, 84, 125, 64, 109, 110, 67, 84, 115, 67, 90, 66, 121, 116, 65, 106, 78, 84, 107, 104, 105, 67, 64, 119, 91, 71, 96, 92, 74, 96, 77, 103, 118, 79, 111, 66, 87, 109, 99, 99, 109, 114, 125, 75, 90, 122, 108, 122, 112, 91, 98, 117, 80, 116, 91, 75, 124, 114, 117, 127, 105, 99, 125, 118, 94, 88, 110, 98, 97, 72, 98, 123, 127, 80, 104, 90, 74, 86, 101, 71, 70, 91, 116, 126, 120, 100, 104, 75, 66, 109, 114, 94, 95, 73, 77, 65, 90, 93, 72, 71, 84, 110, 117, 93, 78, 122, 93, 112, 91, 102, 83, 98, 104, 99, 97, 111, 85, 121, 99, 69, 97, 113, 70, 125, 94, 102, 88, 113, 127, 81, 98, 82, 65, 96, 94, 107, 83, 78, 106, 118, 88, 104, 91, 67, 126, 88, 120, 117, 80, 124, 91, 67, 98, 110, 85, 79, 100, 65, 104, 115, 85, 123, 77, 79, 72, 80, 98, 101, 107, 111, 68, 101, 127, 106, 110, 96, 112, 126, 117, 111, 69, 73, 123, 123, 112, 89, 95, 76, 70, 109, 95, 119, 67, 97, 110, 92, 71, 73, 112, 107, 122, 71, 120, 71, 101, 103, 84, 115, 77, 88, 127, 112, 110, 74, 95, 86, 104, 125, 76, 76, 111, 73, 112, 109, 107, 69, 99, 99, 73, 98, 103, 114, 92, 72, 96, 65, 98, 94, 96, 91, 112, 124, 117, 100, 86, 90, 82, 121, 108, 100, 76, 101, 67, 90, 82, 107, 110, 123, 117, 88, 82, 124, 91, 72, 117, 111, 116, 121, 98, 83, 100, 118, 94, 67, 89, 65, 75, 117, 92, 100, 126, 74, 100, 64, 104, 86, 64, 95, 96, 88, 73, 70, 114, 76, 104, 125, 75, 69, 93, 127, 64, 77, 72, 67, 102, 109, 67, 103, 82, 86, 109, 88, 89, 96, 72, 64, 122, 71, 106, 88, 100, 115, 99, 93, 109, 109, 77, 96, 127, 86, 94, 89, 76, 64, 93, 75, 118, 95, 127, 122, 88, 88, 101, 81, 86, 95, 103, 89, 108, 87, 124, 99, 124, 71, 96, 88, 111, 71, 88, 107, 74, 64, 69, 74, 85, 110, 94, 77, 117, 82, 110, 118, 101, 76, 114, 66, 78, 112, 127, 118, 65, 124, 83, 64, 124, 95, 67, 83, 87, 114, 79, 115, 102, 93, 113, 70, 92, 121, 104, 112, 80, 99, 73, 68, 80, 85, 74, 111, 68, 84, 101, 85, 70, 74, 76, 107, 111, 105, 64, 75, 74, 116, 117, 80, 111, 84, 97, 89, 85, 107, 91, 124, 73, 85, 116, 120, 115, 113, 67, 65, 86, 109, 88, 110, 87, 101, 123, 122, 103, 75, 86, 69, 97, 122, 69, 76, 114, 68, 86, 121, 71, 110, 123, 83, 66, 100, 109, 87, 92, 74, 124, 123, 105, 72, 69, 83, 109, 93, 124, 78, 121, 109, 98, 97, 87, 113, 76, 127, 127, 79, 123, 88, 122, 122, 116, 120, 66, 92, 74, 80, 70, 118, 108, 102, 103, 68, 84, 92]