ABOUT HORACE HEIDT

IN HIS NOTES TO A HORACE HEIDT CD, HORACE HEIDT THE HITS AND MORE, JOSEPH F. LAREDO WRITES, "WHEN CRITICS REFLECT ON THE HEYDAY OF THE BIG BANDS, IT IS THE JAZZ INNOVATORS WHO RECEIVE THEIR GARLANDS OF PRAISE. THE SWEET ENSEMBLES AND SHOW ORCHESTRAS THAT PLAYED AN EQUALLY IMPORTANT ROLE DURING THE ERA RECEIVE SCANT ATTENTION. THIS HAS RESULTED IN A CREEPING NEGLECT OVER THE DECADES THAT HAS RELEGATED SOME OF THE MOST FONDLY REMEMBERED MUSICAL FIGURES OF THE 1930s AND '40s TO THE DIMLY LIT RECESSES OF NOSTALGIA. FEW BAND LEADERS HAVE BEEN AS OVERLOOKED IN THIS REGARD AS HORACE HEIDT. IT IS INCREDIBLE TO REALIZE THAT THIS ANTHOLOGY IS THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE RETROSPECTIVE OF AN ORGANIZATION THAT AT ONE TIME DOMINATED THE RADIO AIRWAVES AND PRODUCED AN IMPRESSIVE STRING OF MORE THAN 50 HIT RECORDS FROM 1937 TO 1945. HEIDT HIMSELF WAS FRONT MAN OF MODEST MUSICAL ABILITY, BUT HIS UNERRING SENSE OF THE COMMERCIAL, COUPLED WITH A REMARKABLE GIFT FOR DISCOVERING TALENT, HELPED HIM LEAVE AN INDELIBLE STAMP ON A WONDERFUL PERIOD OF POPULAR MUSIC."