William H. "Bill" Challis (Jul 8, 1904, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - October 4, 1994, Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania) was an American jazz arranger, best known for his association with the Paul Whiteman orchestra.
Challis played piano and saxophone, and was a bandleader at Bucknell University in the early 1920s. He was hired by Jean Goldkette as an arranger in 1926, and moved with Bix Beiderbecke to Paul Whiteman's ensemble in 1927. He wrote scores for Whiteman's full band as well as smaller ensembles drawn from its ranks (such as those led by Frank Trumbauer), and was in part responsible for Beiderbecke's robust representation on Whiteman's Victor Records releases in the late 1920s.
Challis departed from Whiteman's employ in 1930 and did contract arrangements for many major swing era bands, including the Casa Loma Orchestra, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Lennie Hayton, Fletcher Henderson, Artie Shaw, and Frank Trumbauer. He also arranged for radio broadcasts. Later in his career he arranged for popular singers and ensembles.
Birth and Death Data: Born July 8th, 1904 (Wilkes-Barre), Died October 4th, 1994 (Luzerne)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1926 - 1946
Roles Represented in DAHR: arranger, director, piano
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-30172||10-in.||1/12/1928||San||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||arranger, instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-36815||10-in.||10/12/1926||Hush-a-bye||Jean Goldkette Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||arranger|
|Victor||BVE-40211||10-in.||9/15/1927||Blue river||Jean Goldkette Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||arranger|
|Victor||BVE-40212||10-in.||9/15/1927||Clementine (From New Orleans)||Jean Goldkette Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||arranger|
|Victor||CVE-40901||12-in.||11/18/1927||Washboard blues||Hoagy Carmichael ; Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||arranger|
|Victor||BVE-40937||10-in.||11/23/1927||Changes||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio||arranger|
|Victor||BVE-41471||10-in.||1/28/1928||Back in your own back yard||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||director, arranger|
|Victor||BVE-43118||10-in.||2/28/1928||Sugar||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||arranger|
|Victor||BVE-43120||10-in.||2/29/1928||When you're with somebody else||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||arranger|
|Victor||BVE-43147||10-in.||3/16/1928||Little log cabin of dreams||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||director|
|Victor||BVE-43665||10-in.||4/22/1928||Forget-me-not||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||arranger|
|Victor||BVE-43667||10-in.||4/23/1928||Louisiana||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal chorus||director|
|Victor||BS-76379||10-in.||6/5/1933||Lazy bones||Casa Loma Orchestra ; Glen Gray ; Walter Hunt||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||director|
|Victor||BS-76380||10-in.||6/5/1933||My imaginary sweetheart||Casa Loma Orchestra ; Glen Gray ; Kenny Sargent||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||director|
|Victor||BS-76381||10-in.||6/5/1933||The night we met||Casa Loma Orchestra ; Glen Gray ; Kenny Sargent||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||director|
|Victor||BS-76382||10-in.||6/5/1933||Sophisticated lady||Casa Loma Orchestra ; Glen Gray||Jazz/dance band||director|
|Columbia||W143260||10-in.||1/4/1927||Washboard blues||Arkansaw Travellers [Red Nichols Orchestra]||Jazz/dance band||arranger|
|Decca||73312||1/28/1946||Soft lights and sweet music||Bobby Hackett Orchestra||arranger, director|
|Decca||73313||1/28/1946||What is there to say||Bobby Hackett Orchestra||arranger, director|
|Decca||73343||2/5/1946||Soon||Bobby Hackett Orchestra||arranger, director|
|Decca||73344||2/5/1946||With a song in my heart||Bobby Hackett Orchestra||arranger, director|
|Decca||73345||2/5/1946||If there is someone lovelier than you||Bobby Hackett Orchestra||arranger, director|
|Decca||73372||2/15/1946||Easy to love||Bobby Hackett Orchestra||arranger, director|
|Decca||73373||2/15/1946||Yesterdays||Bobby Hackett Orchestra||arranger, director|
|Decca||73374||2/15/1946||More than you know||Bobby Hackett Orchestra||arranger, director|
|Decca||73375||2/15/1946||What is there to say?||Bobby Hackett Orchestra||arranger, director|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Challis, Bill," accessed November 28, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108795.
Challis, Bill. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 28, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108795.
"Challis, Bill." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 28 November 2020.
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