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G'wan Home, Your Mudder's Callin' - The Kings Jesters (Vogue Picture Record)

Posted by DJ Dr.Of Love
The King's Jesters began as a comic vocal trio that also played instruments along with an accompaniest. They were John Ravencroft - sax and clarinet, Francis "Fritz" Bastow - banjo and guitar, George Howard - drums and vibraphone, along with Ray McDermott - piano, accordion, and arranger. They were hired by Paul Whiteman to replace the "Rhythm boys" and sang with him from 1930 to 1931. When they left Whiteman, they added vocalist Marjorie Whitney and called her their queen. These five were the core of the King's Jesters. The King's Jesters band made two guest appearances with Benny Goodman and his orchestra, one on July 7 1941 and one on July 24 1941. They appeared at such places as the Sir Francis Drake hotel in San Francisco; William Penn hotel in Pittsburgh; LaSalle hotel in Chicago; the Carlton hotel in Washington, and the Philadelphia hotel in Philadelphia. For all these spots they broadcast over the NBC and Mutual coast-to-coast networks. Although Ray McDermott died in 1937, the band grew at one point to 10 members. All the members retired in 1962. The original vocal trio was from Rochester, Indiana and that is where they died. George Howard died in 1991, Francis Bastow died in 1992 and John Ravencroft died in 1996. Marjorie Whitney was from Lincoln NE and died in 1994. It is interesting to note that Marjorie Whitney was married to Big Band orchestra leader Henry Halstead.
Posted February 11, 2015
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