Vintage Tiny Hill Big Band Swing Era Bandleader Signed Photo Autograph 8 x 10

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  • Item Category: Books, Paper & Magazines
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Mar 25, 2013
  • Channel: Auction House

This is an original vintage 1930s or 1940s era 8" x 10" glossy promotional photo hand signed by bandleader Tiny Hill. This photo has a caption in the lower margin which reads in part:

"TINY HILL" America's Biggest Band Leader - Just a Likeable Guy with 350 lbs. of "Good Humor" - Management Cental Booking Office, New York, Hollywood, Chicago

There is no dated on this photo but it is a vintage original from Tiny's heyday probably produced around 1940 or so. Tiny Little's autograph is robust and in good shape. The photo shows some wear but is in good shape overall. The lower left hand margin has a a partly visible studio mark from Maurice Seymour of Chicago. Overall condition is good. Email any questions. Thanks for looking.

The following is some information on Big Band Leader Tiny Hill from Wikipedia:

Harry Lawrence “Tiny” Hill (July 19, 1906 – December 13, 1971)[1] was a band leader of the Big Band era. During the height of his career Hill was billed as “America’s Biggest Bandleader”[2] because of his weight of over 365 lb (166 kg). His signature song was “Angry” which he first recorded in 1939 on Columbia records Vocalion label. He used sandpaper blocks and a güiro to generate a double shuffle "beat that makes the listener itch to dance".[3]

Early life

Hill was born in Sullivan Township (Moultrie County) Illinois. His parents were William Fred Hill and Osa Crowdson Ault. His parents separated when he was seven years old and he went to live with an aunt. He was active in high school sports and was president of his senior class. He graduated from high school in 1924 and then attended Illinois State Normal School for two years. Financial difficulties forced him to leave college to go to work. He went to Detroit where he worked in a produce warehouse. After a series of short term jobs he ended up driving a team of mules for the Midwest Canning Company in Rochelle, Illinois.

His own band

In 1931 Hill formed his first big band which were known as the “Fat Man’s Band” . Hill played the drums with the trio which played for several years in and around Decatur, IL. In 1934 Tiny joined the Byron Dunbar band in Decatur as a drummer and vocalist. After a year with Dunbar, Hill left to form his own band, taking many of Dunbar’s band members with him.

Members of Hill’s new band were Dick Coffeen and Harold King on trumpets; John Noreuil on trombone, Jim Shielf on piano, and Reightno Corrington on bass. The reed section included Bobby Walters, Bob Kramar and Nook Schreier, who also did arranging. The group’s style was Dixieland jazz and hillbilly music. Their theme song was “Dream Girl”. By 1937 the band was playing its warm and easy-to-dance-to music three nights a week to packed audiences at the Ingleterra Ballroom in Peoria, IL.

In September 1939, the band was heard over Remote WGN Radio broadcasts from the Melody Mill Ballroom in the Chicago suburb of North Riverside, IL. The band played for several years at the Melody Mill and acquired a large following throughout the Midwest.

Augmented by vocalists such as Allen De Witt, Bob Freeman, Irwin Bendell and Hill himself, the group's popularity soon extended to Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa, growing steadily throughout the 30s and 40s. Soon the band was playing in ballrooms coast to coast. Tiny toured the country for a while and landed on the Coast to play four months at the Casino Gardens, Ocean Park, Calif. He returned to Chicago in 1942.[4] Further appearances included Aragon and Trianon in Chicago and The Rainbow Ballroom in Denver.

In 1943 Hill and his orchestra became the summer replacement band on the Lucky Strike “Your Hit Parade” radio show.

In 1945 He was hired as Folk Music Director at Mercury Records. Hill was featured on the cover of the August 4, 1945 edition of Billboard Magazine.

He resigned as Country A&R man at Mercury in March 1948.

At a performance at the Trianon Ballroom, South Gate, CA, J...