Last Updated on September 8, 2018 by mybiohub
Ben Pollack was born on 22 June, 1903 in Chicago, Illinois. Till 7 June, 1971 he was an American drummer and bandleader from the mid-1920s through the swing era. His eye for talent led him to employ musicians such as Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller, Jimmy McPartland, and Harry James. This ability earned him the nickname the “Father of Swing”
He played drums in school and formed groups on the side, performing professionally in his teens. He joined the Harry Bastin Band and then the New Orleans Rhythm Kings in the 1920s. In 1924 he played for several bands, including some on the west coast, which ultimately led to his forming a band, the 12-piece Venice Ballroom Orchestra, there in 1925. In 1926, he had a band named the Ten Californians, which had some performances broadcast on WLW radio in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Pollack and Doris Robbins, had no children, got divorced in 1957. In later years, after suffering a series of financial losses, Pollack grew despondent and committed suicide by hanging in his home in Palm Springs in 1971. He was buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
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In 1926, Pollack began recording for the Victor Talking Machine Company. A 1927 newspaper ad promoted a new Victor organization – Ben Pollack and His Californians.