Benny Meroff

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 April 19, 1901, Died 1973

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1947

Roles Represented in DAHR: songwriter, leader, composer, vocalist, lyricist

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 26-28 of 28 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
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  
Brunswick C7640-C7641 10-in. 4/2/1931 That little boy of mine Ben Bernie Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G) songwriter  
(Results 26-28 of 28 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Meroff, Benny," accessed June 13, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108207.

Meroff, Benny. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 13, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108207.

"Meroff, Benny." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 13 June 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108207

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