Paul Whiteman

Paul Whiteman

Whiteman, c. 1934
Background information
Birth name Paul Samuel Whiteman
Also known as The King of Jazz (honorific)
Born (1890-03-28)March 28, 1890
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Died December 29, 1967(1967-12-29) (aged 77)
Doylestown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Bandleader, composer
Instruments Violin
Associated acts Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang
Three O'clock In The Morning
Three O'Clock in the Morning, performed by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra for Victor Records.

Problems playing this file? See media help.
Whiteman and his orchestra, 1921

Paul Samuel Whiteman (March 28, 1890 – December 29, 1967) was an American bandleader, composer, orchestral director and violinist.

Leader of one of the most popular dance bands in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s, Whiteman produced recordings that were immensely successful, and press notices often referred to him as the "King of Jazz". Using a large ensemble and exploring many styles of music, Whiteman is perhaps best known for his blending of symphonic music and jazz, as typified by his 1924 commissioning and debut of George Gershwin's jazz-influenced "Rhapsody in Blue". Later, Whiteman's work on Symphonic Jazz influenced many jazz musicians - directly or indirectly - as diverse as Miles Davis, Gil Evans, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Wynton Marsalis and other modern artists.[1] Whiteman recorded many jazz and pop standards during his career, including "Wang Wang Blues", "Mississippi Mud", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Wonderful One", "Hot Lips (He's Got Hot Lips When He Plays Jazz)", "Mississippi Suite", "Grand Canyon Suite", and "Trav'lin' Light". He also co-wrote the 1925 jazz classic "Flamin' Mamie". His popularity faded in the swing music era of the middle 1930s, and by the 1940s Whiteman was semi-retired from music. But he experienced a revival and had a comeback in the 1950s with his own network television series on ABC, Paul Whiteman's Goodyear Revue, which ran for three seasons. He also hosted the 1954 ABC talent contest show On the Boardwalk with Paul Whiteman.

Whiteman's place in the history of early jazz is somewhat controversial.[2] Detractors suggest that Whiteman's ornately-orchestrated music was jazz in name only (lacking the genre's improvisational and emotional depth), and co-opted the innovations of black musicians.[2] Defenders note that Whiteman's fondness for jazz was genuine (he worked with black musicians as much as was feasible during an era of racial segregation),[2] that his bands included many of the era's most esteemed white jazz musicians, and argue that Whiteman's groups handled jazz admirably as part of a larger repertoire.[3] In his autobiography, Duke Ellington[4] declared, "Paul Whiteman was known as the King of Jazz, and no one as yet has come near carrying that title with more certainty and dignity."

It's also likely that the term "jazz" was most loosely defined in the 1920s and probably included syncopation with some improvisation, as well as the more pure (often) African-American New Orleans, Harlem or Chicago style. Whiteman's crowning of the term "King of Jazz" was likely not meant to take anything away from the performers of the more pure jazz style.


Early life and career

Whiteman was born in Denver, Colorado. He came from a musical family: his mother Elfrida was a former opera singer, and his father, Wilburforce James Whiteman[5] was the supervisor of music for the Denver Public Schools, a position he held for fifty years.[6] It was his father who insisted that he learn an instrument, and wanted him to study the violin. But young Paul preferred the viola, and that was what he learned to play.[7] His skill at playing the viola led him to an opportunity to perform in the Denver Symphony Orchestra; he was a member from 1907, and in the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra from 1914. From 1917 to 1918, Whiteman conducted a 40-piece U.S. Navy band. After the war, he formed the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.[8] Moreover, with his classical violinist and violist start, he led a jazz-influenced dance band, which became popular locally in San Francisco, California in 1918. In 1920 he moved with his band to New York City where they started recording for the Victor Talking Machine Company which made the Paul Whiteman Orchestra famous nationally. (In his first five recordings sessions for Victor, August 9 – October 28, 1920, Whiteman used the name "Paul Whiteman and His Ambassador Orchestra," presumably because he had been playing at the Ambassador Hotel in Atlantic City; from Nov 3, 1920, he started using "Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra."[9])

Whiteman became the most popular band director of that decade. In a time when most dance bands consisted of six to ten men, Whiteman directed a much larger and more imposing group of up to 35 musicians. By 1922, Whiteman already controlled some 28 ensembles on the East Coast and was earning over a $1,000,000 a year.[10]

He recorded Hoagy Carmichael singing and playing "Washboard Blues" to the accompaniment of his orchestra in 1927.[11]

In May 1928 Whiteman signed with Columbia Records, and recorded for the label until September 1931, when he returned to RCA Victor. He would remain with Victor until March 1937.

In the early 1960s, Whiteman played in Las Vegas before retiring.[1]

"The King of Jazz"

Paul Whiteman in Scheveningen (1926)
The members of Whiteman's Orchestra in 1930

In the 1920s the media referred to Whiteman as "The King of Jazz".[12] Whiteman emphasized the way he had approached the already well-established style of music, while also organizing its composition and style in his own fashion. While most jazz musicians and fans consider improvisation to be essential to the musical style, Whiteman thought the genre could be improved by orchestrating the best of it, with formal written arrangements. There were musicians, such as Eddie Condon, who criticized Whiteman for being a bad influence on the music due to his attempts to "make a lady" out of jazz.[1] However, Whiteman's recordings were still popular critically and successful commercially, and his style of jazz was often the first jazz of any form that many Americans heard during the era. In all, the "King of Jazz" wrote more than 3000 arrangements.[13]

For more than 30 years Whiteman, referred to as "Pops", sought and encouraged musicians, vocalists, composers, arrangers, and entertainers who looked promising. In 1924 Whiteman commissioned George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, which was premiered by Whiteman's orchestra with George Gershwin at the piano. Another familiar piece in Whiteman's repertoire was Grand Canyon Suite, by Ferde Grofé.

Whiteman hired many of the best jazz musicians for his band, including Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Steve Brown, Mike Pingitore, Gussie Mueller, Wilbur Hall (billed by Whiteman as "Willie Hall"), Jack Teagarden, and Bunny Berigan. He also encouraged upcoming African American musical talents and initially planned to hire black musicians, but Whiteman's management eventually persuaded him that doing so would be career suicide due to racial tension and America's segregation of that time.[2] However, Whiteman crossed racial lines behind-the-scenes, hiring black arrangers like Fletcher Henderson and engaging in mutually beneficial efforts with recording sessions and scheduling of tours.

In late 1926 Whiteman signed three candidates for his orchestra: Bing Crosby, Al Rinker, and Harry Barris. Whiteman billed the singing trio as The Rhythm Boys. Crosby's prominence in the Rhythm Boys helped launch his career as one of the most successful singers of the 20th century. Paul Robeson (1928) and Billie Holiday (1942) also recorded with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

Whiteman had 28 number one records during the 1920s and 32 during his career. At the height of his popularity, eight out of the top ten sheet music sales slots were by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

He provided music for six Broadway shows and produced more than 600 phonograph recordings.[13]

His recording of José Padilla's Valencia topped the charts for 11 weeks, beginning March 30, 1926, becoming the #1 record of 1926.[14]

Whiteman signed singer Mildred Bailey in 1929 to appear on his radio program. She first recorded with the Whiteman Orchestra in 1931.

Jazz musician and leader of the Mound City Blue Blowers Red McKenzie and cabaret singer Ramona Davies (billed as "Ramona and her Grand Piano") joined the Whiteman group in 1932. The King's Jesters were also with Paul Whiteman in 1931.

In 1933 Whiteman had a #2 hit on the Billboard charts with Ann Ronell's "Willow Weep for Me".[15]

In 1934 Paul Whiteman had his last two #1 hits, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", with vocals by Bob Lawrence, which was #1 for six weeks, and "Wagon Wheels", which was #1 for one week, his final number one pop hit. From 1920 to 1934 Whiteman had 32 #1 recordings, charting 28 of them by 1929. By contrast, during the same period, the 1920s Jazz Age, Louis Armstrong had none.

In 1942 Whiteman began recording for Capitol Records, cofounded by songwriters Buddy DeSylva and Johnny Mercer and music store owner Glenn Wallichs. Whiteman and His Orchestra's recordings of "I Found a New Baby" and "The General Jumped At Dawn" was the label's first single release.[16] Another notable Capitol record he made is the 1942 "Trav'lin Light" featuring Billie Holiday (billed as "Lady Day", due to her being under contract with another label).[16]

Personal life

Whiteman was married four times; to Nellie Stack in 1908; to Miss Jimmy Smith; to Mildred Vanderhoff in 1922. He had a son, Paul Whiteman, Jr., with Mildred Vanderhoff. In 1931 Whiteman married motion picture actress Margaret Livingston following his divorce from Vanderhoff that same year. They had three daughters, Margo, Julie, and Jan. The marriage to Livingston lasted until his death.

Whiteman lived at Walking Horse Farm near the village of Rosemont in Delaware Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey from 1938 to 1959. After selling the farm to agriculturalist Lloyd Wescott, Whiteman moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania, for his remaining years.[17][18][19] He died of a heart attack on December 29, 1967, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, at the age of 77.[20]

Movie appearances

A frame from the trailer for the film Rhapsody in Blue (1945)

"Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra" was the star of King of Jazz, a feature-length musical filmed entirely in two-color Technicolor during late 1929 and early 1930. The film was technically ahead of its time, with many innovative visual effects complementing the musical numbers. Whiteman appeared as himself and good-naturedly kidded his weight and his dancing skills. A highlight was a concert rendition of Rhapsody in Blue. Unfortunately, production delays precluded the completion and release of the film in 1929 as originally planned. By the time King of Jazz reached theaters in the spring of 1930, audiences had seen too many "all-singing, all-dancing" musicals, and much of the moviegoing public stayed away. It did not help that the film was shot as a revue with no story, a form which had fallen into particular disfavor. The expensive film did not show a profit until 1933, when it was successfully reissued to cash in on the popularity of 42nd Street and its elaborate production numbers. In 2013 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Whiteman also appeared as himself in the 1945 movie Rhapsody in Blue on the life and career of George Gershwin and also appeared in The Fabulous Dorseys in 1947, a bio-pic starring Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey. Whiteman also appeared as the baby in Nertz (1929), the bandleader in Thanks a Million (1935), as himself in Strike Up the Band (1940), and in the Paramount Pictures short The Lambertville Story (1949).

Radio and TV

Although giving priority to stage appearances during his peak years in the 1920s, Whiteman participated in some early prestigious radio programs. On January 4, 1928, Whiteman and his troupe starred in a nationwide NBC radio broadcast sponsored by Dodge Brothers Automobile Co. and known as the "Victory" hour. (The program introduced the new Dodge "Victory Six" automobile.) It was the most widespread hookup ever attempted at that time. Will Rogers acted as MC and joined the program from the West Coast with Al Jolson coming in from New Orleans.[21] Variety was not impressed saying: "As with practically all of the important and high-priced commercial broadcasting programs under N.B.C. auspices in the past, the Dodge Brothers' Victory Hour at a reputed cost of $67,000 was disappointing and not commensurate in impression with the financial outlay." However, the magazine noted. "...The reaction to Paul Whiteman's grand radio plug for "Among My Souvenirs"…was a flock of orders by wire from dealers the day following the Dodge Brothers Victory Hour broadcast."[22]

Dodge Brothers must have been satisfied with the results of the broadcast because on March 29, 1928 Whiteman took part in a second Dodge Brothers radio show over the NBC network which was entitled "Film Star Radio Hour".[23] Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, John Barrymore, and several other Hollywood stars were featured. United Artists Pictures arranged for additional loudspeakers to be installed in their theatres so that audiences could hear the stars they had only seen in silent pictures previously. The New York Herald Tribune commented: "...Of Mr. Paul Whiteman's share in the pretentious program, only the best can be said. Mr. Whiteman's orchestra is seldom heard on the radio, and its frequent broadcasts are the subject of major jubilations, despite the presence of tenors and vocal harmonists in most of the Whiteman renditions."[24]

In 1929, Whiteman agreed to take part in a weekly radio show for Old Gold Cigarettes for which he was paid $5,000 per broadcast. "Old Gold Presents Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra" was an hour-long show on Tuesday nights over CBS from station WABC in New York. The Whiteman Hour had its first broadcast on February 5, 1929 and continued until May 6, 1930.[25]

Whiteman then became far busier in radio and subsequent shows were:

Jan. 27, 1931–July 1, 1932, Blue Network. 30m, Tuesdays at 8, then Fridays at 10. Allied Paints (1931), Pontiac (1932).

July 8, 1932 – March 27, 1933, NBC. 30m, Fridays at 10, then Mondays at 9:30. Pontiac (to Sept.), then Buick.

June 26, 1933–Dec. 26, 1935. NBC. 60m, Thursdays at 10. The Kraft Music Hall, often with Al Jolson.

Jan. 5–Dec. 27, 1936, Blue Network. 45m. Sundays variously at 9, 9:15, and 9:45. Paul Whiteman's Musical Varieties. Woodbury Soap. With Bob Lawrence, Johnny Hauser, Morton Downey, Durelle Alexander, songs by the King's Men, and announcer Roy Bargy. The show featured a children's amateur contest. Near the end of the run Whiteman introduced comedian Judy Canova, who inherited timeslot and sponsor in the Woodbury Rippling Rhythm Revue.

Dec. 31, 1937–Dec. 20, 1939, CBS. 30m. Fridays at 8:30 until mid–July 1938, then Wednesdays at 8:30. Chesterfield Time, with Joan Edwards, Deems Taylor (musical commentary) and announcer Paul Douglas. Whiteman took over the slot vacated by Hal Kemp and two years later vacated it for the sensational new Glenn Miller orchestra.

Nov. 9–Dec. 28, 1939, Mutual. 30m, Thursdays at 9:30.

June 6–Aug. 29, 1943, NBC. 30m, Sundays at 8. Paul Whiteman Presents. Summer substitute for Edgar Bergen. Chase and Sanborn.

Dec. 5, 1943–April 28, 1946, Blue/ABC. 60m. Sundays at 6. Paul Whiteman's Radio Hall of Fame. Philco.

Sept. 5–Nov. 14, 1944, Blue Network, 30m, Tuesdays at 11:30. Music of current American composers.

Jan. 21–Sept. 23, 1946, ABC. 30m, Mondays at 9:30. Forever Tops. "a weekly program featuring the top tunes of the day."[26]

Sept. 29–0ct. 27, 1946, ABC. 60m, Sundays at 8. The Paul Whiteman Hour. Extended until Nov. 17, 1947, as a 30m show, The Paul Whiteman Program, various days and times.

June 30, 1947 – June 25, 1948, ABC. 60m, five a week at 3:30. The Paul Whiteman Record Program. Glorified disc–jockeyism.

Sept. 29, 1947–May 23, 1948, ABC. 30m, Mondays at 8, then at 9 after Oct. On Stage America, for the National Guard. Whiteman's orchestra with John Slagle, George Fenneman, etc. Producer: Roland Martini. Director: Joe Graham. Writer: Ira Marion.

June 27–Nov. 7, 1950, ABC. 30m, Tuesdays at 8. Paul Whiteman Presents.

Oct. 29, 1951–April 28, 1953, ABC. Various times. Paul Whiteman's Teen Club. An amateur hour with the accent on youth.

Feb. 4–Oct. 20, 1954. ABC. 30m. Thursdays at 9 until July, then Wednesdays at 9:30. Paul Whiteman Varieties.[27]

In the 1940s and 1950s, after he had disbanded his orchestra, Whiteman worked as a music director for the ABC Radio Network. He also hosted Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club from Philadelphia on ABC-TV from 1949 to 1954. The show was seen for an hour the first two years, then as a half-hour segment on Saturday evenings. In 1952 a young Dick Clark read the commercials for sponsor Tootsie Roll.[28] He also continued to appear as guest conductor for many concerts. His manner on stage was disarming; he signed off each program with something casual like, "Well, that just about slaps the cap on the old milk bottle for tonight."


"Trav'lin' Light" by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra featuring Billie Holiday on vocals released as V-Disc 286A by the U.S. War Department in October, 1944.

The Paul Whiteman Orchestra introduced many jazz standards in the 1920s, including "Hot Lips", which was in the Steven Spielberg movie The Color Purple (1985), "Mississippi Mud", "From Monday On", co-written and sung by Bing Crosby with Bix Beiderbecke on cornet, "Nuthin' But", "Grand Canyon Suite" and "Mississippi Suite" composed by Ferde Grofe, "Rhapsody in Blue", composed by George Gershwin who played piano on the Paul Whiteman recording in 1924, "Wonderful One" (1923), and "Wang Wang Blues" (1920), covered by Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Joe "King" Oliver's Dixie Syncopators in 1926 and many of the Big Bands. "Hot Lips" was recorded by Ted Lewis and His Jazz Band, Horace Heidt and His Brigadiers Orchestra (1937), Specht's Jazz Outfit, the Cotton Pickers (1922), and Django Reinhardt Et Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France.

Herb Alpert and Al Hirt were influenced by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, particularly the solo work of trumpeter Henry Busse, especially his solo on "Rhapsody in Blue".


Whiteman composed the standard "Wonderful One" in 1922 with Ferde Grofé and Dorothy Terris (also known as Theodora Morse), based on a theme by film director Marshall Neilan. The songwriting credit is assigned as music composed by Paul Whiteman, Ferde Grofe, and Marshall Neilan, with lyrics by Dorothy Terriss. The single reached #3 on Billboard in May 1923, staying on the charts for 5 weeks. "(My) Wonderful One" was recorded by Gertrude Moody, Edward Miller, Martha Pryor, Mel Torme, Doris Day, Woody Herman, Helen Moretti, John McCormack; it was released as Victor 961. Jan Garber and His Orchestra, and Ira Sullivan with Tony Castellano also recorded the song. Henry Burr recorded it in 1924 and Glenn Miller and his Orchestra in 1940. On the sheet music published in 1922 by Leo Feist it is described as a "Waltz Song" and "Paul Whiteman's Sensational Waltz Hit" and is dedicated "To Julie". "Wonderful One" appeared in the following movies: The Chump Champ (1950), Little 'Tinker (1948), Red Hot Riding Hood (1943), Sufferin' Cats (1943), Design for Scandal (1941), Strike Up the Band (1940), and Westward Passage (1932).

"I've Waited So Long" was composed with Irving Bibo and Howard Johnson and copyrighted in 1920.[29][30] Paul Whiteman also arranged the song.

"How I Miss You Mammy, No One Knows" was composed with Billy Munro and Marcel Klauber in 1920 and arranged by Marcel Klauber.[31]

In 1924 Whiteman composed "When the One You Love Loves You" with Abel Baer and lyricist Cliff Friend. Whiteman recorded the song on December 24, 1924, in New York with Franklyn Baur on vocals and released it as Victor 19553-B backed with "I'll See You in My Dreams". The single reached #7 on the Billboard national pop singles charts in April 1925, staying on the charts for 3 weeks. The song is described as "A Sentimental Waltz Ballad" on the 1925 sheet music. Singer and composer Morton Downey, Sr., the father of the talk show host, recorded the song in 1925 and released it as Brunswick 2887. Eva Shirley sang the song in Ed Wynn's Grab Bag, a Broadway musical which opened in 1924 at the Globe. Leo Feist published the sheet music for the Shirley version in 1924 featuring Eva Shirley on the cover.

The 1924 song "You're the One" was composed by Paul Whiteman, Ferde Grofe, and Ben Russell in 1924 and copyrighted on February 1, 1924.[32]

He co-wrote the music for the song "Madeline, Be Mine" in 1924 with Abel Baer with lyrics by Cliff Friend.[33] The song was recorded by the Ted Lewis Jazz Band as "Madeline" and released as a 78 single on Columbia Records in 1924. Vincent Lopez and His Hotel Pennsylvania Orchestra released the song as an Okeh 78 single in 1925 as 40307. Eldon's Dance Orchestra also released the song as a 78 single on Homochord as C-830. Ben Selvin's Do (Bar Harbor) Orchestra and the Tuxedo Orchestra also released the song as a 78 single on Patheé in 1924.

Paul Whiteman composed "Flamin' Mamie" in 1925 with Fred Rose, one of the top hits of 1925, which was recorded by the Harry Reser Band, Merritt Brunies and the Friars Inn Orchestra, Billy Jones and Ernest Hare, the Six Black Diamonds in 1926 on Banner, the Toll House Jazz Band, Aileen Stanley in 1925 with Billy "Uke" Carpenter on the ukulele, Hank Penny in 1938, Turk Murphy, the Frisco Syncopators, the Firehouse Five Plus Two, Bob Schulz and His Frisco Jazz Band, and the Coon-Sanders Nighthawk Orchestra led by Carleton Coon and Joe Sanders with Joe Sanders on vocals. The lyrics describe Mamie as a Roaring Twenties vamp: "Flamin' Mamie, a sure-fire vamp/When it comes to lovin'/She's a human oven/Come on you futuristic papas/She's the hottest thing he's seen since the Chicago fire."

Paul Whiteman also composed "Charlestonette" in 1925 with Fred Rose which was published by Leo Feist. The song was released as Victor 19785 backed with "Ida-I Do" in 1925. Ben Selvin's Dance Orchestra and Bennie Krueger and His Orchestra also recorded the song in 1925.

Paul Whiteman composed the piano work "Dreaming The Waltz Away" with Fred Rose in 1926.[34][35] Organist Jesse Crawford recorded the song on October 4–5, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois and released it as a 78 on Victor Records, 20363. Crawford played the instrumental on a Wurlitzer organ. The recording was also released in the UK on His Master's Voice (HMV) as B2430.

In Louis Armstrong & Paul Whiteman: Two Kings of Jazz (2004), Joshua Berrett wrote that "Whiteman Stomp" was credited to Fats Waller, Alphonso Trent, and Paul Whiteman. Lyricist Jo Trent is the co-author. The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra first recorded "Whiteman Stomp" on May 11, 1927, and released it as Columbia 1059-D. The Fletcher Henderson recording lists the songwriters as "Fats Waller/Jo Trent/Paul Whiteman".[36] Paul Whiteman recorded the song on August 11, 1927, and released it as Victor 21119.

On May 31, 1924, the song "String Beans" was copyrighted, with words and music by Vincent Rose, Harry Owens, and Paul Whiteman.[37] The copyright on the composition was renewed on June 29, 1951. The fox trot version of the song lists only Vincent Rose and Harry Owens as the composers, while the original version of the song was published first listing Paul Whiteman as a co-writer.

In 1927, Paul Whiteman co-wrote the song "Wide Open Spaces" with Byron Gay and Richard A. Whiting.[38] The Colonial Club Orchestra released a recording of the song on Brunswick Records in 1927 as 3549-A.

"Then and Now", recorded on December 7, 1954, and released in 1955 on Coral Records, was composed by Paul Whiteman with Dick Jacobs and Bob Merrill. The song was released as a 45 rpm single in 1955 as Coral 61336 backed with "Mississippi Mud" by Paul Whiteman and His New Ambassador Orchestra with the New Rhythm Boys.

In 1920, he co-wrote the music to the song "Bonnie Lassie" with Joseph H. Santly with lyrics by John W. Bratton.[39] The song was recorded by Charles Hart who released it as an Okeh 78 single, 4244.[40]

Whiteman also co-wrote the popular song "My Fantasy" with Leo Edwards and Jack Meskill, which is a musical adaptation of the Polovtsian Dances theme from the opera Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin. The Paul Whiteman Orchestra recorded "My Fantasy" with Joan Edwards on vocals in 1939 and released it as a 78 single on Decca Records. Artie Shaw also recorded the song and released it as a single on Victor Records in March, 1940 with Pauline Byrns on vocals.[41]


In 2006 the Paul Whiteman Orchestra's 1928 recording of Ol' Man River with Paul Robeson on vocals was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The song was recorded on March 1, 1928, in New York and released as Victor 35912-A.[42]

In 1998, the 1920 Paul Whiteman recording of "Whispering" was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame.[43]

Paul Whiteman's 1927 recording of "Rhapsody in Blue", the "electrical" version, was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974.[44]

He was inducted in the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1993.[45]

He was awarded two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6157 Hollywood Boulevard and for Radio at 1601 Vine Street in Hollywood.[46]

In 2003, the 1924 Paul Whiteman recording of "Rhapsody in Blue" was placed on the U.S. Library of Congress National Recording Registry, a list of sound recordings that "are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States."

On April 16, 2016, Paul Whiteman was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.[47][48]

Major recordings

1920 release of "Whispering" by Paul Whiteman and His Ambassador Orchestra, Victor 18690A. 1998 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.
Original 1924 "acoustical" release of "Rhapsody in Blue" by Paul Whiteman and His Concert Orchestra with George Gershwin on piano, Victor 55225A. 2003 National Recording Registry selection.
1927 "electrical" release of "Rhapsody in Blue" as Victor 35822A by Paul Whiteman and His Concert Orchestra with George Gershwin on piano. 1974 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.
"Ol' Man River" by Paul Whiteman with Paul Robeson, Victor 35912A, 1928. 2006 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.

Grammy Hall of Fame

Paul Whiteman was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have "qualitative or historical significance."

Paul Whiteman: Grammy Hall of Fame Awards[50]
Year Recorded Title Genre Label Year Inducted Notes
1920 "Whispering" Jazz (single) Victor 1998
1927 "Rhapsody in Blue" Jazz (single) Victor 1974
1928 "Ol' Man River" Jazz (single) Victor 2006

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Paul Whiteman 'The King of Jazz' (1890-1967)". Red Hot Jazz. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Giddins, Gary & Scott DeVeaux. Jazz (2009). New York: W.W. Norton & Co, ISBN 978-0-393-06861-0
  3. Critic Scott Yannow declares that Whiteman's orchestra "did play very good jazz; [...] His superior dance band used some of the most technically skilled musicians of the era in a versatile show that included everything from pop tunes and waltzes to semi-classical works and jazz. [...] Many of his recordings (particularly those with Beiderbecke) have been reissued numerous times and are more rewarding than his detractors would lead one to believe." "Paul Whiteman" Allmusic profile; URL retrieved August 14, 2009
  4. Ellington, Edward Kennedy. 1976. Music Is My Mistress. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80033-0
  5. "Answers to Questions," Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 2, 1935, p. M-10.
  6. "Paul Whiteman Dead at 77 of Heart Attack." Rockford IL Register-Republic, December 29, 1967, p. 1.
  7. "Music Industry Giant, Paul Whiteman Dead at 77." Boston Herald, December 30, 1967, p.10.
  8. "Paul Whiteman: American Bandleader". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  9. Albert Haim, "Paul Whiteman and His Ambassador Orchestra."
  10. "History of Jazz Time Line: 1922". All About Jazz. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  11. Wilder, Alec (1990). American Popular Song: The Great Innovators 1900–1950. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-501445-6.
  12. Berrett, Joshua (2004). Louis Armstrong & Paul Whiteman: Two Kings of Jazz. Yale University Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-300-10384-7.
  13. 1 2 "Paul Whiteman Biography". PBS. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  14. CD liner notes: Chart-Toppers of the Twenties, 1998 ASV Ltd.
  15. Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  16. 1 2 Vera, Billy (2000). From the Vaults Vol. 1: The Birth of a Label - the First Years (CD). Hollywood: Capitol Records. p. 2.
  17. "Entertainers". Time. March 6, 1944. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  18. "Stockton". Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  19. "Bucks County Artists". James A. Michener Art Museum. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  20. "Paul Whiteman, 'the Jazz King' Of the Jazz Age, Is Dead at 77". The New York Times. 30 December 1967.
  21. Rayno, Don (2003). Paul Whiteman - Pioneer in American Music - Volume 1: 1890-1930. Lanham, Maryland, USA: Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 183. ISBN 0-8108-4579-2.
  22. "Variety". January 11, 1928.
  23. Rayno, Don (2003). Paul Whiteman - Pioneer in American Music - Volume 1: 1890-1930. Lanham, Maryland, USA: Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 192. ISBN 0-8108-4579-2.
  24. "New York Herald Tribune". March 30, 1928.
  25. Pairpoint, Lionel. "...And Here's Bing!". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  26. Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924–1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4. Pp. 510–511.
  27. Dunning, John (1998). On the Air - The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 70–71. ISBN 0-19-507678-8.
  28. The complete directory to prime time network and cable TV shows, 1946–present. Tim Brooks, Earle Marsh. pp 918, 919
  29. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1920.
  30. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1948. Copyright renewal by Paul Whiteman, I.M. Bibo, and Edna L. Johnson.
  31. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1920. How I Miss You Mammy, No One Knows.
  32. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1952.
  33. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1924.
  34. "Victor Discography: Paul Whiteman (composer)". Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  35. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1953.
  37. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1951.
  38. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1954.
  39. Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1920.
  40. Discography of American Historical Recordings.
  41. Rayno, Don. Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music. Volume II: 1930-1967. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013, p. 705.
  42. Abrams, Steven and Settlemier, Tyrone. "The Online Discographical Project: Victor 35500 – 36000 numerical listing". Retrieved December 26, 2010
  43. Grammy Hall of Fame. "Whispering" by Paul Whiteman.
  44. Grammy Hall of Fame. 1974 inductions. George Gershwin with Paul Whiteman. 1927 recording.
  45. Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame: 1993 Inductees.
  46. "Hollywood Star Walk: Paul Whiteman". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 30 December 1967.
  47. Colorado Music Gall of Fame: Paul Whiteman.
  48. "20th Century Pioneers" Exhibit. Colorado Music Hall of Fame.
  49. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 11/2. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  50. Grammy Hall of Fame Database.


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