Thursday, December 13, 2007

H. Westbrook Orchestra

I asked mom to let me borrow dad's old band photos. I wanted to hang a few in my office. I went ahead and scanned most of them.

Dad once told me that his orchestra was always changing. In the records I found last night, he had over 50 musicians/members through out the run of the H. Westbrook Orchestra. Dad didn't use his last name because Jimmy Dorsey once told him that Finlayson would probably be hard for folks to pronounce - let alone remember.
The H. Westbrook Orchestra played primarily in the Columbia, SC area. They toured a good bit though. Dad used to talk about a few times he played up in New York. He didn't talk a lot about it. I remember a trip almost thirty years (1979 or 80) ago that Dad and I made to see his siblings in Columbia. I asked him about his old orchestra and he told me the whole story. I wish that I had had a tape recorder. I also remember a few times we'd be watching an old movie together and some chic would start singing. He'd say, "She sang with me once." I would have loved to have heard his orchestra. Maybe one day I will...I bet he's got a good worship/swing orchestra going on right now.
My niece Liz Wood, got to sing a few jazz/blues numbers with the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra a few months back at the Mort Glosser Amphitheatre here in town. I think her grand dad would have been proud of her. I know that I am. She's a wonderful person with a wonderful talent. You can hear some of her music on myspace...The Liz Wood Project.
I've got some songs that I'd love to hear recorded with a swing band. Years ago I wrote a song for Gina called SPECIAL TO ME. It's got a real nice feel to it...kind of Nat King Cole-ish. I also have a lullabye I wrote for my eldest daughter when she was but an infant. It's called KATIE DID. Katie, now 11, still likes for me to sing it to her before she goes to bed. Dad wrote a song for mom in the eighties. It's called WHEN WINTER COMES AGAIN. It has such a nice melody and I catch myself singing from time to time. That would be a wonderful song to record with a big band. Maybe one day I will.
I'll post more images later. I also ran across an old bio of dad (for his orchestra). I'll transcribe it to Word and post it sometime in the near future.

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