JACK FINA
JACK FINA
 
 
 

Fina was a well-established big band sideman before he opted to become a band leader in his own right. He had spent 10 years with Freddy Martin in the 30s as piano player, notably contributing to Martin's famous recording of 'Bumble Boogie'. He had also played with Clyde McCoy.

He formed his first band in California in 1946, a 16-piece aggregation which included Al King, Peppie Landeros, Jerry Kadovitz, Jimmy Morris, Bob Bates, Le Roy Crouch, John Kirchies, Lenny Leyson, Irving Geller, Tony Leonard, Paul Desmond, Ricky Marino, Tiny Magardo, Bob Morrison, Eddie Gangale and Joe Maita.

The vocalists were Harry Prime, Gil Lewis, and Shirley Claire.

They made their debut at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley in 1946, where they would return for the next seven years. Strongly supported on radio and with recordings issued by MGM Records, Jack Fina And His Orchestra soon became a national as well as regional attraction.

Ballrooms, halls and hotels such as Elitch's Gardens (Denver), the Chase Hotel (St. Louis), the Aragon Ballroom (Chicago), the Balinese Room (Galveston, Texas) and the Waldorf-Astoria (New York) all booked the band.

A contract with Columbia also saw the group appear in a series of movies. Much later Fina would also appear on a syndicated television show alongside Dick Sinclair. By the 50s Fina had decided to cut back on the size of his band and base them more permanently in San Francisco. Reduced to local engagements, Fina found time to establish his own Concerto Music & Entertainment talent agency.

In 1960 he took the reduced group to Los Angeles, remaining the principle attraction at the Beverly Hills Hotel for an eight-year spell.

POST SCRIPT

Ballrooms, halls and hotels such as Elitch's Gardens (Denver), the Chase Hotel (St. Louis), the Aragon Ballroom (Chicago), the Balinese Room (Galveston, Texas) and the Waldorf-Astoria (New York) all booked the band.

A contract with Columbia also saw the group appear in a series of movies. Much later Fina would also appear on a syndicated television show alongside Dick Sinclair. By the 50s Fina had decided to cut back on the size of his band and base them more permanently in San Francisco. Reduced to local engagements, Fina found time to establish his own Concerto Music & Entertainment talent agency.

In 1960 he took the reduced group to Los Angeles, remaining the principle attraction at the Beverly Hills Hotel for an eight-year spell.

Following a two-year break he returned to the same establishments in 1970, but during his first run there suffered a heart attack and died.

b. 13 August 1913, Passaic, New Jersey, USA, d. 14 May 1970, Los Angeles, California, USA.

BigBandLibary.com