Hal Kemp

Hal Kemp Album Cover

Hal Kemp was an alto saxophonist, clarinetist and bandleader who passed away at the height of The Big Band Era. He was also an excellent composer and arranger whose songs features a distinctive sound and feel.

 In 1927, Kemp formed his own orchestra, which at various times featured Bunny Berigan, Skinnay Ennis and John Scott Trotter, and the band became a popular jazz orchestra in the late 1920s.

In the 1930s,  Kemp's band became better known for more soothing "sweet" dance music which was gaining popularity during the gloom and doom of The Great Depression. From 1932 to 1934, they performed at the Blackhawk Restaurant in Chicago, and appeared regularly on radio broadcasts. They became well-known nationally, and eventually signed with Brunswick Records.

Kemp and his orchestra had a number of hit records, including "The Music Goes 'Round And Around", "Shuffle Off to Buffalo", "In the Middle of a Kiss", "This Year's Kisses" and "Lullaby Of Broadway".  In 1937, Kemp left Brunswick Records and signed with Victor Records.

Audio of Hal Kemp's "Shuffle Off to Buffalo"

Hal Kemp died in California in 1940, aged 36, following a road accident. His car was hit by an oncoming truck, and he died in hospital from pneumonia two days later.

You can hear the many hits of Hal Kemp right here on Swing City Radio.

Swing City Radio: Playing Your Big Band and Swing Music Favorites from the 1930's, 40's and Today! - Big Band Radio Station Broadcasting Online from King of Prussia, PA.

Connect with Swing City Radio

Listen To The Weekly Podcast

Swing City Radio - Coffee Mug

Your Thoughts


Email *

Message *