Columbia, Back On Band Kick, Signs 3 Orks (p. 21)
NEW YORK, Jan. 23-Columbia Records, back once again on a solid band kick, added another new ork to its rapidly increasing band roster this week. Latest acquisition is the newly formed Dan Terry crew, an 18-piece West Coast unit in the Basie-Goodman swing tradition. This means that over the past two months, the diskery has signed three new orks for the label, the Les Elgart crew, the Pete Rugolo ork and the Terry aggregation.
The Terry crew was pacted by pop album chief George Avakian and will be handled by him for album dates as has been the case with the Elgart ork. The first cutting may be handled on the West Coast by Gene Becker, a.&r. staffer. The Rugolo crew’s first slicings will also be made on the Coast next week.
The signing of the three orks by Columbia is in the nature of a major shift of policy for the diskery. Over the past two years Columbia has shed many orks, and until the recent signings only the Sammy Kaye and Harry James units have been active on the label, except for the house orks.
The James crew and Kaye crew will, of course, continue to make mostly pop style disks. The new orks will make dance sets and single dance releases. The three new orks cover different fields of jazz, with the Rugolo crew on the progressive kick, the Elgart ork with sophisticated swing and the Terry crew in the Basie tradition.