BUNNY BERIGAN trivia quiz

1) Bunny Berigan and his small band from the Famous Door, a club on New York’s 52nd Street, were hired to play a wedding on March 15, 1936. It was quite a bash, and included among its guests, George Gershwin. Whose wedding was this?

2) Berigan’s big band was among the first to record music from a revolutionary film. They did so on January 26, 1938. What was the name of the film?

3) Berigan worked in a short-lived musical show in late 1936 called “The Show is On.” In the show, which was intended to present the first jazz band in a Broadway show, Bunny was to be silhouetted on a large screen playing the trumpet. For technical reasons, the show’s director couldn’t get the effect to work properly, so it was cut from the show. This director later went on to great success in Hollywood films. Who was he?

4) Berigan was a peerless studio musician in the early and mid-1930s. He was valued by conductors, musicians, and singers because he could fit into any musical situation, and add a great deal to any performance with his dynamic trumpet playing. He was on hand for the inaugural recording sessions for two icons of American music. Who were they?

5) Bunny Berigan’s bands always were stocked with very talented musicians. One of his sidemen went on to great success in the music business. With his own musical groups, he recorded over ninety albums, won a Grammy, two Golden Globe awards, and had two platinum albums and at least ten gold albums. Who was he?

6) After being swamped by debt in 1939, Berigan was forced to dissolve his band. His friend, Tommy Dorsey, offered him a job, and he joined the Dorsey band in early March, 1940. Only a few weeks earlier, Dorsey had hired a new boy singer who was then virtually unknown, but who had boundless ambition, and talent. Who was this singer?

7) At CBS in the early and mid-1930s, Berigan worked with many talented people, including a young composer/arranger who was often used by the prodigious actor-director Orson Welles on his wildly unconventional CBS radio series The Mercury Theater of the Air. When Welles went to Hollywood in 1940, he took this gifted musician with him to compose the music for Citizen Kane. Later, this composer formed a creative partnership with film director Alfred Hitchcock, writing the music for the films Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds. Who was this composer?

8) Bunny very often worked with a drummer at CBS who became a personal friend. This drummer gained public recognition working with the pianist/composer Raymond Scott’s Quintette. The drummer’s son has been a very successful composer of film music in Hollywood for many decades, as a creative partner with film director Steven Spielberg. Who was the drummer/father, and who is the composer/son?

9) Bunny Berigan’s name was often mentioned is a comic strip which debuted in 1987. What was the name of this comic strip?

10) Berigan backed a legendary female blues singer at a jam session held at the Famous Door on February 16, 1936. Who was this singer?

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