Big Band Buddies say thanks to Don Lusher OBE

 

   

Big band fans around the world know of Don Lusher, and I as a teenager (sorry Don, don't want to make you feel older than you are) but as a teenager I was collecting Glenn Miller recordings, while my brother John, was collecting Ted Heath records. Almost weekly these were being released, or it seemed that way, as it wasn't long before he had a great pile of Decca 78's. Lush Slide, On with The Don, were two that I remember which featuring Don, many others featuring his trombone expertise of course. I think its fair to say that Don Lusher was as well known as Ted Heath. There were of course other star players in that band as well as the vocalist who's names were so well known that I don't know of any other big band that had so many featured musicians that were so prominent in a Big Band.


I guess that's where Ted Heath was so generous in giving his players the spotlight they deserved.

The man chosen to lead Ted's band after his sad death in 1969, was of course Don Lusher and it was only two years ago that I was fortunate enough to join many of the bands fans from the Ted Heath Music Appreciation Society to see the final concert of the Ted Heath Orchestra under the direction of Don Lusher.


So many of the star player were playing in the band that night as they have done now for many years, it was so great an occasion to see those we have admired for all our lives still there playing as good as ever and entertaining a packed house of
dedicated followers.

   

Don Lusher standing in front of this ensemble and enjoying every minute of it. (I often wonder if musicians really enjoy constantly playing the same music year in, year out, or is it just a job. Stan Hibbert once said to me when I asked him that question, he said, ? I enjoyed every minute of every day while I was playing?.) Well those guys on the stage that night really seemed to be enjoying the moment.


The highlight of the evening was to see walk on stage, many, many of the sideman that played with Ted Heath years ago, now retired. I was both sad and happy to see them for some of them showed the signs of old age other obviously suffering ill health.

We loved them all and gave them great applause because although we don't see them today we still listen to them with our record collections, and think of them and say thanks to them for bringing all this joy into our lives.
To those guys and to you especially Don Lusher, from all Big Band Buddies we say, congratulations. Thanks for making our lives that much more enjoyable. We really do love you guys.

May you continue to enjoy your worthwhile life for a long time yet.
Don Lusher and the guys are still continuing to play with the Don Lusher Big Band, don't
miss it if it come round your way.
All Don's activities and news of the band can be found on his web site.
www.donlusher.com