Benny Meroff (1899-1973) was an American dance bandleader active in the swing jazz era. He also played violin, clarinet, and saxophone.
Meroff started his career in vaudeville, and put together his own ensemble in the middle of the 1920s. His sidemen included Wild Bill Davison, Al King, Vernon Brown, Frank Teschemacher, and Santo Pecora. He was principally active in Chicago in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and also played in New York into the 1940s. Meroff was noted for his showmanship as a bandleader; big band historian Leo Walker described Meroff as "a capable emcee, equally at home either conducting the band for dancing or directing a complicated stage show." He recorded for Columbia Records, Okeh Records, and Victor Records, especially at the height of his career in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Meroff disbanded his orchestra around the end of World War II and left music as a profession.
Benny Meroff and His Orchestra recorded songs including "There's A Trick In Pickin' A Chick-Chick-Chicken," "Smiling Skies," "Me And The Man In The Moon," "Happy Days Are Here Again," and "The Talk of the Town."
It has been suggested that Okeh Records #40912 was issued with Benny Meroff's name rather than that of the Frank Trumbauer Augmented Orchestra (featuring Bix Beiderbecke, Eddie Lang, Adrian Rollini, and Joe Venuti) for, perhaps, contractual reasons.
Birth and Death Data: Born 1899, Died 1973
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1947
Roles Represented in DAHR: songwriter, leader, composer, vocalist, lyricist
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 28 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-33412||10-in.||8/8/1925||Eccentric||Benny Merloff's High Hatters ; Benny Meroff||Jazz/dance band||leader|
|Victor||BVE-41295||10-in.||1/4/1928||Lonely melody||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||lyricist|
|Victor||BRC-69941||10-in.||6/16/1931||That little boy of mine||Bert Lown Hotel Biltmore Orchestra ; Elmer Feldkamp||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
|Victor||BS-75464||10-in.||4/26/1933||That little boy of mine||The Vagabonds||Male vocal trio, with guitar||songwriter|
|Victor||BS-75471||10-in.||4/26/1933||That little boy of mine||The Vagabonds||Male vocal trio, with guitar||songwriter|
|Victor||BS-75499||10-in.||5/3/1933||That little boy of mine||Smilin' Ed McConnell||Male vocal solo, with piano||songwriter|
|Victor||BS-75813||10-in.||5/3/1933||That little boy of mine||Smilin' Ed. McConnell||Male vocal solo, with piano||songwriter|
|Victor||D7VB-0272||10-in.||4/18/1947||I want a man||Lil Green ; Lil Green Orchestra||Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||songwriter|
|Victor||[Trial 1925-08-08-01]||10-in.||8/8/1925||Lady of the Nile||Benny Merloff's High Hatters ; Benny Meroff||Jazz/dance band||leader|
|Columbia||143610||10-in.||3/9/1927||Wherever you go whatever you do (I want you to know I love you)||Arthur Fields ; Manhattan Dance Makers||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Columbia||W143729||10-in.||3/30/1927||Wherever you go—whatever you do (I want you to know I love you)||Ipana Troubadours ; Charles Kaley ; Sam Lanin||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Columbia||W144350||10-in.||6/18/1927||That's Dolly||Charles Kaley||Male vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Columbia||W151467||10-in.||3/26/1931||That little boy of mine||The Melodiers||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Columbia||W151483||10-in.||4/3/1931||That little boy of mine||Lanin’s Famous Players||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
|OKeh||W80878||10-in.||5/14/1927||There's a trick in pickin' a chick-chick-chicken||Benny Meroff Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||leader|
|OKeh||W80879||10-in.||5/14/1927||That's Dolly||Benny Meroff Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer, leader|
|OKeh||W81040||10-in.||6/22/1927||That's Dolly||Bunny Meroff and his Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|OKeh||W402202||10-in.||12/9/1928||Smiling skies||Benny Meroff Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||leader, vocalist|
|OKeh||W402203||10-in.||12/9/1928||Me and the man in the moon||Benny Meroff Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||leader, vocalist|
|Brunswick||C2180||10-in.||8/2/1928||Waiting and dreaming||Charley Straight Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio; without vocal (take G)||songwriter|
|Brunswick||C2269||10-in.||8/24/1928||Waiting and dreaming||Charley Straight Orchestra ; The Vagabonds||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio||songwriter|
|Brunswick||C5021½||10-in.||12/12/1929||Happy days are here again (Felices dias han vuelto)||Benny Meroff Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G)||leader|
|Brunswick||C5022||10-in.||12/12/1929||It’s the talk of the town||Benny Meroff Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G)||leader|
|Brunswick||C5194||10-in.||Jan. 1930||[Unknown title(s)]||Benny Meroff Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with vocal; without vocal (take G)||leader|
|Brunswick||C5195||10-in.||Jan. 1930||The talk of the town||Benny Meroff Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with vocal; without vocal (take G)||leader|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Meroff, Benny," accessed September 20, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108207.
Meroff, Benny. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108207.
"Meroff, Benny." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 20 September 2021.
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