Scarce HAL KEMP Big Band Jazz AUTOGRAPH Died '40 Age 36

HAL KEMP was among the most popular bandleaders of the 1930s, scoring a long string of dance band hits. He was also an extremely lucky, and extremely talented musician, in the right place at the right time throughout his career, until a night in December of 1940 when his luck ran out. Born in Alabama in 1905, he became focused on music early in life and put together his first band in 1919, at around the same time he entered high school. An alto sax player and clarinetist, he ended up leading the Carolina Club Orchestra-âe" the band of the University of North Carolina-âe" as a student, all of nineteen years old. The band recorded for Okeh Records and toured Europe during summers; famed leader Fred Waring thought so highly of the group that he gave them financial support as well as musical advice. A booking on a transatlantic ocean liner led them to make their recording bow in London (w visiting American bands were a hot commodity, even then). The cruise itself was as much a lark as a professional stepping stone for the student band, whose members all figured to be doing something else professionally. But then fate played a hand: on the return trip, they were lucky enough to have the Prince of Wales (later the abdicated Edward VIII) as a fellow passenger who was a music enthusiast and drummer, and he sat in with them; in those

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