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The Big Broadcast for August 7

A 1931 Bernice Petkere song.


Composer and popular song scholar Alec Wilder found Bernice Petkere's "Close Your Eyes" outstanding, if self-conscious. Petkere, born August 11, 1906, didn't produce an abundance of songs, but that one, and "Lullaby of the Leaves," outlived their era.

The next Big Broadcast also celebrates the big-voiced Harry Richman, whose career took him from vaudeville to Broadway, including two editions of "George White's Scandals." Smaller-voiced Skinnay Ennis, joined Hal Kemp's "college" band while a student at the University of North Carolina. Ennis stayed when the band went "pro," and was featured with Kemp until he began his own career as a leader in 1938.

Victor Young was born in Chicago on August 8, 1900. He had a diverse career, from concert violinist to dance band sideman, Music Director at Brunswick and Decca Records, to the scores of hundreds of motion pictures. He wrote pop songs, too, beginning with "Sweet Sue" in 1928.

Benny Carter is among the few musicians to record in every decade from the 1920s to the 90s. He was a gifted multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer. He was born in New York City on August 8, 1907.