Leo Reisman (1897 - Dec.18,1961)
was an influential violinist and bandleader in the 1920s and 1930s.
Born and reared in Boston, Reisman studied violin as a young man, and formed his own band in 1919. He became famous for having over 80 hits on the popular charts during his career. Jerome Kern called Reisman's orchestra "The String Quartet of Dance Bands."
Reisman recorded for Columbia exclusively from July 1923 through March 11, 1929, when he signed with Victor and stayed until October 1933. He then signed with Brunswick and stayed until 1937 when he re-signed with Victor. During his 1929-1933 Victor period, Reisman recorded many lesser-known period Broadway songs, some of which were recorded by no other band.
He also had the habit of featuring composers and Broadway performers as band vocalists, including Harold Arlen, Fred Astaire, Clifton Webb, and Arthur Schwartz. He also featured Lee Wiley in 1931-32 for her first 3 recordings. More often than not, his vocalists were Frank Luther, Dick Robertson and later Sally Singer and George Beuler.
Reisman's was primarily a dance orchestra; he was not a fan of jazz music, but some of his early 1930s 78 RPM recordings were a bit hot.
Frank Luther (Aug.4,1899 - Nov.16,1980) was an American country music singer, dance band vocalist, playwright, songwriter and pianist.
Born Francis Luther Crow on a farm near Lakin, Kansas, forty miles from the Colorado line, he was raised on a farm near Hutchinson, Kansas. He began to study piano at age 6, improvising his own music when repetitious exercises bored him, and began vocal instruction at 13.
Three years later, he toured the Midwest as tenor with a quartet called The Meistersingers.
By 1921, the Reverend Francis Luther Crow was in the pulpit of the First Christian Church in Bakersfield, California. There, he organized a 30-voice children's choir, an 80-voice adult choir, and two church orchestras.
Returning to Kansas, he married vocalist/musician Zora Layman on May 8, 1920, and the young couple eventually worked their way to New York City. In 1926, he was seriously pursuing further vocal training when he was invited to join the DeReszke Singers, as tenor/accompanist. They declared his surname, Crow, to be un-musical, and so he dropped it and became Frank Luther from that day on.
Luther joined a popular quartet, The Revelers, as tenor in 1927. They toured the British Isles, where Frank met the future Queen of the United Kingdom and did a set accompanied on the drums by the Prince of Wales. His career seemed to be at its zenith, but he contracted a severe cold on the way back to New York. A long-lasting sinus infection and infected throat robbed his ability to sing for nearly a year.
While Frank Luther's role in the early development of country & western music is significant, he regularly performed many other types of music. From 1928 until the outbreak of World War II, he recorded hundreds of vocal choruses with popular dance bands of the day. The High Hatters, Victor Arden and Phil Ohman, Leo Reisman, Russell Wooding's Red Caps, Joe Venuti, and many other recording bands featured Frank's jazzy tenor vocals.
He also made a series of movie shorts in New York, several of which were released by Educational Pictures. In 1936, he starred in his only full-length Hollywood feature, a story about radio entertainers called High Hat.
Leo Reisman and his Casino Royal Orchestra, Frank Luther vocal - You've Got That Thing (1930)