A Tribute To Syd Lawrence
The Big Bands ruled the music world during the first half of the twentieth century.
Many of us of all ages that were there at that time remember the smiles, joy of dancing and applauding that was
created by that wonderful sound which produced the great memories of that era that we carry with us today.
As the generations changed in the second half of the twentieth century the style of music also changed and the
big band music began to fade. There were many of us making an attempt to keep the big bands alive, in one way or
another, during those years. It was not easy; it
took a lot of hard work and dedication to survive. With the number and talent of musicians that was needed to achieve
the right sound and it is difficult to find places to perform, which made it very difficult to keep the bands organized.
Only a few big bands were able to survive for any long period of time. One of the big bands that did survive was
Syd Lawrence. I never met Syd, but I know he did for the U.K. what Tex Benecke did for the USA. They both kept
the Glenn Miller sound alive. A goal that was not only enjoyable for the fans of big bands, but an achievement
for musical history.
As we big band fans begin our "Sentimental Journey" "aboard the "Chattanooga
Choo Choo" "And the Angels Sing" for our trip to the big band heaven, we will "Smile "
and be "In the Mood " to take a seat at a table and sip our "Moonlight Cocktails " while Syd
Lawrence leads his band playing "Moonlight Serenade."
Thank you Syd, you have brought joy to more people than you could ever imagine.
Charlie Staump. Lucerne Vally. California
Hi Pete...like so many Americans I was unaware of the Syd Lawrence orchestra
until I by chance stumbled on an old LP...from that point on and thankfully
with all your help `, I have come to realise what a truly superb orchestra
it was and still continues to be. Syd must have been a superb musician and
even more so a leader who in Glenn Miller 's tradition fashioned a
disciplined adherence to a quality sound. The legacy he left obviously
remains with the orchestra after his death, for from the recordings since
his death that I have heard , it's still a superb orchestra.
Colin Rosse. Charlottesville.
Please send my regards to Mrs. Lawrence and tell her
that she can take great comfort in, among other things, her husband's
wonderful musical legacy that has brought together so many people from such
diverse backgrounds, all of whom have one thing in common -- their lives were
enlightened by Syd Lawrence's work and his devotion to his (and Glenn
Miller's) music. He played well and he played it right!
Joanne Cumella New York
" Syd Lawrence was a very talented trumpet player and arranger who I think had a dream
of the music he wanted, played how he wanted it. I think even then he had settled on Glenn Miller as a model for
the sounds and precision he envisaged. He was even at that time a dedicated person.
History has shown just how close he got to his ideal. Just think how we have all benefited from his dreams, the
sheer pleasure we have experienced from his wonderful music. I think the world has been a richer place because
of Syd and his music being a part of it.
Syd old friend, I shall be thinking of you as will thousands of others this month as I recall all you have brought
to that best of all mediums Big Band Music. You can rest easy, you achieved what you wanted and we all respect
you for it
Cathy, my thoughts and wishes go out to you as I am sure you are remembering that man who must have meant so much
to you, not only his music but the man himself"
Peter Roxburgh Australia
" I shall be ever grateful to Syd for giving me the opportunity to sing
with what has proved to be 'The Best Band in the Land'. It was a pleasure
working with one of the great British Bandleaders and it is wonderful that
his name still lives on through his Orchestra.
I have recorded a short medley of songs as a special tribute to Syd in my
new CD album titled "Moonlight Becomes You" that will be available in
These are songs that Syd particularly liked.
Tony Jacobs. UK
Tex...well what can you say..he was so much a part of the dance band era
World War Two and the Post War Years, with another superb orchestra. I
believe the band he had in the 46-49 period was vastly underrated ...they
did some great things, had terrific singer both solos and vocal groups...and
truly did carry on the Tradition of Glenn Miller...but the most important
thing that band had was Tex...a real gentleman and the man who made that
band standout with his personality as well as his talent(and there was no
mistaking a tenor sax solo when Tex was playing)....
Colin Rosse. Charlottesville.USA
I'm was born in1945, to late for the real big band era, but for me the
78rpm and the 33 rpm records , CD's and movies brings me back all this wonderful
My favorite music was by the Glenn Miller's Orchestra, and when you say
or hear Glenn Miller, then you know that indissoluble allied was the GREAT Tex, his own style of playing the tenor
and singing the songs.
I never met him personally, but when I sing the songs I feel I'm rich,
that there was a great personallity.
Thank you Tex for the music
Your fan Bill Baker from the Netherlands.
As for Tex, what can I say? After Glenn Miller himself, Tex was the
most well known member of the GM band. Even as a child I knew who Tex Beneke
was. (A little footnote -- when I was about 12 or 13 and watching "The Glenn
Miller Story" on television, I stopped to ask where Tex Beneke was -- why
wasn't he portrayed in the film? Even at that age I knew he was a big part
of the band.) His solos were as smooth as silk and blended so well into the
music. For me, Tex was a last link to Glenn Miller, a familiar friend
(notice I keep referring to him as "Tex," as if I knew him!)
Thanks again Pete,
Joanne New York
Tex, was the man in the US, when ever we heard of Tex our thoughts went back
to Glenn`s great civilian band of which Tex was the Main man, Tex whose
talent and humour flowed through his music ,movies, records and I bet his
personal appearances. His loss as been felt by all of his big band buddies and
friends from all walks of life, who will for ever remember his contribution
to the Glenn Miller Orchestra, fronting the band after Glenn`s untimely loss
and indeed his own band which was a great band in it`s own right.
Just a little condolence from me to a well respected and loved man, my
thoughts are with his family, friends.
You will feel at home now Tex back with Glenn and all the great musicians in
What a BAND that will be. So Sorry,,,,,,,Syd Hughes UK
Of all the musicians in the Glenn Miller band, Tex Beneke was my favorite.
He was a great musician, and I loved his solos on the tenor sax. And nobody
could sing a song like Tex. He had his own style, and no one has come close
to imitating his technique. But I think what I most admired about Tex was
his character. Tex treated people fairly, he never let his ego get in the
way, and he genuinely liked most everyone he met. It was his character that
propelled him to the front on the band after Glenn's untimely death. Tex
was an All-American in every sense of the word. Tex, we thank you for so
many wonderful years of great music. Your leadership was instrumental to
this nation in many ways, and you will live in our collective memories
forever. We love you, Tex!
Patrick C. Burns, Ed.D. Valldosta. USA
What more can be said about Tex?? I was one of his countless fans, of course.
He had a singular distinction, over and above his immense talent and sheer musicality, ( and even with all that,
still underrated, in my opinion), in that everybody seemed to love the guy. Miller favoured him so much, yet, nobody
ever resented this, because Tex was everyones 'Mr.Nice Guy'..
Denis and Jean Hollingsworth.
Tribute Band. Australia
Tex was kind and cooperative on Oct. 13, 1990 when the band played at the
Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fl -- he signed my 1941-42 scrapbook photo of him and Marion Hutton, an inset photo
in a larger picture of Glenn Miller. I idolized Glenn, the band, and Tex in high school and ever since--some 60
Woodstock, GA. USA
Tex, I can say that he was obviously an
exceptional musician, but more than that, even with his fame and
notoriety--which was considerable during a great portion of his life--he
remained a very unaffected, unpretentious and humble man who very dearly loved the music that he played.
He was much more, of course,
but I will letthis stand as my tribute.
Jim Snodgrass. California USA
leader of the Tex Beneke Orchestra.