Paul Whiteman

Biography

Born: March 28, 1890; Denver, CO   Died: December 29, 1967; Doylestown, PA  
Pual Whiteman was enormously popular in the '20s, pioneering the concept of "symphonic jazz" and eventually being tabbed "King of Jazz." That has generated a firestorm of revisionist criticism and equally spirited defense through the years, but jazz in his day only referred to popular, snappy, dance-based fare, not the music of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Whiteman's father was supervisor of school music in Denvery, and while Whiteman was Read more in the local symphony he also was interested in the fresh sound of dance rhythms. He formed a band in San Francisco and an Atlantic City engagement won him a contract with Victor. The band had a smash in 1920 with "Whispering." They used original scores rather than stock arrangements, an innovation courtesy of pianist/composer Ferde Grofe. This helped Whiteman's orchestra became the front-runner among similiar bands; Whiteman expanded into popular concert music and presented his "symphonic concert" in New York in the mid-'20s. A youthful George Gershwin was commissioned to write "Rhapsody In Blue" for the occasion. Whiteman became the most acclaimed, highest paid band leader in the world; he toured Europe in the late '20s, then opted for true jazz musicians by dismissing most of his band and hiring the greatest players from the bankrupt, disbanded Jean Goldkette orchestra. These included Bix Biederbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, and arranger Bill Challis. With a new singer named Bing Crosby creating a stir, Whiteman later featured him in the Whiteman Rhythm Boys trio. He also headlined Jack Teagarden and Bunny Berigan in later editions, and in the late '20s and early '30s had such arrangers as William Grant Still, Lennie Hayton, Challis and Tom Satterfield. Whiteman was an astute judge of talent, and generous employer. As with Benny Goodman, he's been judged guilty for faulty, exaggerated assessments made by others, and not fairly credited for his real contribution; helping create higher performance standards in jazz-based popular music. One of his final dates spotlighted Billie Holiday; though he retired in 1943, Whiteman was heard often on radio and television shows, hosting popular music programs. His huge library of arrangements was given to Williams College. Whiteman has a few reissued sessions available on CD. Read less
Browse 1-10 of 10 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Music & Painters - Music Of The Era Of Monet, Chagall, Courbet & Picasso
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5283 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Gastinel,  Daniel Blumenthal,  Marie-Nicole Lemieux,  Noel Lee  ... 
    Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Alain Lombard,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kasbek Ensemble,  Russian State Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 2.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - The 1930s
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5106 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Wood,  Eric Coates,  John Ansell,  Paul Lincke  ... 
    Performer:  Reginald Foort
    Conductor:  Charles M. W. Shadwell,  Joseph Lewis,  John Ansell,  Clifford Greenwood  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Variety Orchestra,  New Light Symphony Orchestra,  Light Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Great Pianists Of The  Bell Telephone Hour 1959-1967
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4216 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Grant Johannesen,  Claudio Arrau,  Byron Janis,  Jorge Bolet  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees,  Paul Whiteman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
    On sale! $39.95
    DVD: $37.99
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  • 4.
    Music For Moderns - Paul Whiteman And His Orchestra Vol 1
    Label: Naxos Nostalgia   Catalog: 8120505 Release Date: 02/20/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferde Grofé,  Domenico Savino,  Matty Malneck,  Robert Katscher  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Whiteman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 5.
    Gershwin Plays Gershwin - Rhapsody In Blue, Swanee, Etc
    Label: Naxos Nostalgia   Catalog: 8120510 Release Date: 01/16/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  George Gershwin
    Conductor:  Paul Whiteman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fred Van Eps Trio,  Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
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  • 6.
    Fascinating Rhythm - The Broadway Gershwin
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63294 Release Date: 10/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Arthur Johnston,  Whispering Jack Smith,  Jack [Pop Vocals] Smith,  Gertrude Lawrence  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Whiteman,  Fred Waring,  Roger Wolfe Kahn,  Leo Reisman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Peerless Vocal Quartet,  Paul Whiteman Orchestra,  Arden Ohman Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, Porgy & Bess / Wild, Whiteman
    Label: Ivory Classics   Catalog: 70702 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Earl Wild
    Performer:  Earl Wild
    Conductor:  Paul Whiteman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra,  Chorus
    On sale! $16.98
    CD: $14.99
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  • 8.
    Gershwin Plays Gershwin - Rhapsody In Blue, Etc / Whiteman
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 9483 Release Date: 03/22/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  George Gershwin,  Fred Astaire,  Adele Astaire,  Lawrence Tibbett  ... 
    Conductor:  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Alexander Smallens,  Paul Whiteman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Chorus  ... 
    CD: $34.49
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  • 9.
    George Gershwin Remembered
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 8100 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  George Gershwin
    Conductor:  Paul Whiteman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paul Whiteman Orchestra
    On sale! $9.99
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  • 10.
    The Indispensable Bix Beiderbecke 1924-1930
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 66540 Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  W.R. Williams,  Messenheimer,  Ned Miller,  Chris Schoenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Bix Beiderbecke
    Conductor:  Jean Goldkette,  Paul Whiteman,  Hoagy Carmichael,  Bix Beiderbecke
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jean Goldkette Orchestra,  Paul Whiteman Orchestra,  Hoagy Carmichael Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $24.98
    ArkivCD $21.99
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