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Jan Savitt

The birth date of violinist, vocalist, arranger, and bandleader Jan Savitt is in dispute; although his birthday is officially listed as September 4, 1913, Savitt could have been born as early as 1908. Savitt's father played in Tsar Nicholas II's Imperial Regiment Band, and his family came to America in 1914. Savitt played violin as a child, and was invited to join the Philadelphia Orchestra at 15. He studied both in Europe and at the Curtis Institute, and in the '30s formed a string quartet that had a nationally broadcast show. He formed his Top Hatters band in 1937, and began touring in 1938. Savitt was a child prodigy and accomplished player, but his real fame was as a bandleader. His groups were throughly practiced and disciplined, with an ensemble sound considered among the finest of the era. Their signature song was "Quaker City Jazz," and they had a big hit with "720 in the Books." Savitt's band included vocalist George Tunnell, who used the name Bon Bon, and was one of the first black singers or instrumentalists to work with a white band. The group had a number of smash successes in the '40s, then made some low-budget films in 1946-1947. Savitt died suddenly while on a tour in 1948. ~ Ron Wynn
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Big Band Classics 1938-1942

1. Jersey Bounce

2. You Don't Know What Love Is

3. Moonlight Serenade

4. And The Angels Sing

5. Chattanooga Choo Choo

6. That's A-Plenty

7. Futuristic Shuffle

8. Horizon

9. You Go To My Head

10. Sugarfoot Stomp

11. Tuxedo Junction

12. Just A Kid Named Joe

13. There's A Hole In The Old Oaken Bucket

14. El Rancho Grande

15. When Buddha Smiles

16. 720 In The Books

17. Blues In The Groove

18. Kansas City Moods

19. Rose Of The Rio Grande

20. Big Beaver

21. Prelude To "Carmen"

22. The Things I Love

23. Make Believe Island

24. Opening Theme (Quaker City Jazz)

25. I Married An Angel

26. Heart And Soul

27. Could You Pass In Love?

28. Mood Indigo

29. A-Tisket, A-Tasket

30. No Wonder

31. Love Of My Life

32. What Are You Doing Tonight?

33. The Yam

34. Back To Back

35. I Poured My Heart Into A Song

36. Cinderella

37. Day In, Day Out

38. To You

39. Ring Dem Bells

40. A Man And His Dream

41. It's A Wonderful World/Closing Theme (Quaker City Jazz)

x

Track List: One Night Stand

1. Have You Got Any Castles Baby

2. If You Ever Should Leave

3. Josephine

4. Stardust On The Moon

5. You Can't Stop Me From Dreaming

6. So Many Memories

7. Old Man Moon

8. Rigamarole

9. What Goes On Here In My Heart

10. Monday Morning

11. A-Tisket, A-Tasket

12. Change Partners

x

Track List: 1938 Live In Hi-Fi

1. Introduction (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

2. Tell Me With Your Kisses (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

3. My Own (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

4. I'm In A Fog About You (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

5. It's The Doctor's Orders (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

6. Just A Kid Named Joe (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

7. You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

8. I Won't Tell A Soul I Love You (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

9. Change Partners (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

10. Lambeth Walk (December 2, 1938 Arcadia Restaurant) (Live)

11. Introduction (September 15, 1938 KYW Studios Philadelphia) (Live)

12. I Married An Angel (September 15, 1938 KYW Studios Philadelphia) (Live)

13. Heart And Soul (September 15, 1938 KYW Studios Philadelphia) (Live)

14. Could You Pass In Love (September 15, 1938 KYW Studios Philadelphia) (Live)

15. What Goes On Here In My Heart (September 15, 1938 KYW Studios Philadelphia) (Live)

16. No Wonder (September 15, 1938 KYW Studios Philadelphia) (Live)

17. Love Of My Life (September 15, 1938 KYW Studios Philadelphia) (Live)

18. What Are You Doing Tonight (September 15, 1938 KYW Studios Philadelphia) (Live)

19. The Yam (September 15, 1938 KYW Studios Philadelphia) (Live)

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