born on 7/2/1895 in New York City, NY, United States
died on 10/5/1963
Irving A. Aaronson (February 7, 1895 – March 10, 1963) was an American jazz pianist and big band leader.
Born in New York, USA, Irving Aaronson learned piano from Alfred Sendry at the David Mannes School for music. From age 11 he played accompaniment in silent movie theaters (called nickelodeons).
He co-wrote a hit song, Boo-Hoo-Hoo, in 1921 and thereafter formed his own band. During the 1920s and the 30s, he led two big bands and recorded with different record companies. The first group formed under his name was the Versatile Sextette in the early 1920s, later renamed the Crusaders Dance Band. In 1925, it was with this band that his first compositions were recorded
The band signed with the Victor label where the band name was changed to Irving Aaronson and his Commanders. Signed to the label from 1926 to 1929, the band had a notable success with Let's Misbehave in 1927. The band appeared in Cole Porter's Broadway musical Paris, in 1928.
In 1935, Aaronson starred in the Irving Aaronson Orchestra radio program on NBC. The band toured movie theatres and ballrooms across the U.S. before calling it quits in the mid-1930s, at which time Aaronson went to work as a musical director for MGM studios. He remained there in that capacity and as assistant to producer Joe Pasternak until his death from a heart attack in 1963.
Aaronson's band included at various times musicians such as Phil Saxe, Joe Gillespie and later band leaders in their own right Artie Shaw, Gene Krupa and Tony Pastor. Western movie actor Fuzzy Knight was a drummer with Aaronson's band in the late 1920s.
Aaronson's most popular song, The Loveliest Night of the Year, was not recorded with his band but was adapted by Aaronson in 1950 for the Mario Lanza film The Great Caruso.
At 45, the MGM studios hired him as a musical supervisor, after his musician career. Less notable appearance on television include his voicing of Mr. Nobody in the MGM's animation named Betty Boop for President.
Some sources say he retired at 65, other have him working till his death. He died in Hollywood of a heart attack in 1963, at 68 years old. His interment was located in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.
- 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lewis, Dave. Irving Aaronson, redhotjazz.com
- 2.0 2.1 Irving Aaronson obituary, Variety, March 13, 1963
- Fuzzy Knight obituary, Variety, March 3, 1976
- Clarke, Donald. The Penguin encyclopedia of popular music, Viking, 1989.
- Larkin, Colin. The encyclopedia of popular music, third edition. Macmillan, 1998.
- Sies, Luther F. Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, McFarland, 2000.
- [Irving Aaronson at All Music Guide Irving Aaronson at AllMusic]
- Irving Aaronson at the Red Hot Jazz Archive
Streaming audio at the Internet Archive
- Irving Aaronson and his Commanders 01
- Irving Aaronson and his Commanders 02