Ernie Fields!

I am an “Old” Rock and Roller but there are songs from the Forties, I just Love.  One of them was done by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra called “In the Mood”.  In 1959 there was a House Band working for Rendezvous Records, directed by a man who was born in 1905, named Ernie Fields.  This “House Band” had some very talented musicians, Ernie Freeman (piano), Rene Hall (guitar), Plas Johnson (saxophone), and drummer Earl Palmer. 

I am mentioning all of these names because, with a few changes here and there, they were also known as B. Bumble and the Stingers, The Routers (Let’s Go) and the Marketts. 

So in 1959 Ernie Fields, who was a trombonist, pianist, arranger and bandleader put everyone in the studio and re-recorded Glenn Miller’s 1937-1939 recording (which became a hit when it was in the 1940 Movie “Sunrise Serenade”) and it went to #4.

 
Ernie Fields
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1.  In The Mood/ Rendezvous 110/ October 1959/ #4
2.  In The Mood/  1940 recording by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra

Ernie Fields (August 26, 1905 – May 11, 1997) was an African American, born in Nacogdoches, Texas. He became a trombonist, pianist, arranger and bandleader. From the late 1920s, he led a band in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area called the Royal Entertainers, which were based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and toured along a circuit stretching from Kansas City, Kansas, to Dallas, Texas.

Eventually they began touring more widely, and recording. In 1939, he was invited to New York by John Hammond to record for the Vocalion label.

He did not become a star, but continued to work steadily, recording for smaller labels, and gradually transforming his sound through a smaller band and a repertoire shift from big band, swing to R&B.

He continued to straddle these styles into the 1950s, playing swing standards such as “Tuxedo Junction” and “Begin the Beguine” in a rocking R&B style.

In the late 1950s he moved to Los Angeles, California, joining Rendezvous Records, for whom he ran the house band. This included pianist Ernie Freeman, guitaristRene Hall (who had previously worked with Fields in the 1930s), saxophonist Plas Johnson, and drummer Earl Palmer.

Ernie Freeman

Plas Johnson

Rene Hall

Earl Palmer

In 1959 this band had an international hit with an R&B version of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood“, credited to the Ernie Fields Orchestra, which reached #4 on the Billboard chart. The track also peaked at #13 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The band, with minor changes of personnel, went on to record instrumentals under many different names, including B. Bumble and the Stingers, The Marketts and The Routers.

Rendezvous Records folded in late 1963, and Fields retired soon after. He died in May 1997, at the age of 91.

His son is the saxophonist and bandleader, Ernie Fields, Jr.

–o–

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One response to “Ernie Fields!

  1. That version of “In the Mood” — have to say, I knew it but didn’t ever know it’s origins, I actually thought it was Bill Black Combo! I love this blog, I am sending this to my Dad and my in-Laws! Much love, your fan,
    Ava 🙂

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