Ziggy Elman

Ziggy Elman

Ziggy Elman (May 26, 1914 – June 26, 1968), was an American jazz trumpeter associated with Benny Goodman, though he also led his group Ziggy Elman and His Orchestra.

In 1932 made his first recording, playing the trombone. At some point in the decade he adopted the name "Ziggy Elman". Elman is a shortening of Finkelman.

In 1936 Elman joined the Benny Goodman orchestra as a trumpeter after playing briefly with a band led by Alex Bartha at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, where Goodman heard him.

In 1938, while with Goodman, he got a contract with Bluebird, RCA's cheaper label, to record 20 sides as Ziggy Elman and his Orchestra, although all the members were in Goodman's band. One original tune was "Frailach in Swing," based on a 1918 recording of "Der Shtiller Bulgar" ("The Quiet Bulgar") by Abe Schwartz. During the first half of 1939, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra was featured on the "Camel Caravan" radio show, with singer and songwriter Johnny Mercer as singer, writer of speciality numbers, and announcer. One weekly show, Goodman challenged Mercer, who was known for usually being a fast writer, to write lyrics for Elman's tune in one week. Two weeks later, Mercer brought some lyrics for a slower tempo. Goodman had arranger Jimmy Mundy write an arrangement for the tune, now called "And the Angels Sing". The recording, with vocal by Martha Tilton and featuring Elmam's trumpet, was a #1 hit. Mercer biographer Philip Furia suggests the challenge to Mercer "sounds like a prearranged plug for a completed song."

After leaving Goodman in 1940, Elman joined Tommy Dorsey and stayed until he was drafted in 1943. After he was discharged in 1946, he rejoined Dorsey for another year.

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Listen to Ziggy Elman on Swing City Radio.  We are a Big Band Radio Station playing a wide selection of Big Band and Swing music.

Swing City Radio plays Ziggy Elman - Listen to our station and hear the songs:
Let's Fall In Love
I'm Through With Love
Am I Blue
You're Mine, You
And the Angles Sing

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