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Big Band Story - Partly Rising Stage
(From a series called "Big Band Stories")
By Roy Salanitro
Copyright 2000 Roy Salanitro
A story about the writer's experiences while playing bass for the George Paxton Orchestra,when a rising stage that got stuck on one side.

I have worked with Lester Lanin, Bobby Sherwood, Lee Castle (who took over the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra) and with the famous Dixieland Group of Joe Marsala at the Hickory House on 57 Street in New York City, with Bobby Hackett on trumpet, Chuck Wayne on guitar, George Wellington on piano, Shelley Mann on drums, and Roy on bass,. Roy also worked with the George Paxton Orchestra for a few years. It was with this orchestra he played the Capitol Theatre, New York City, featuring Lena Horne, This was a most enjoyable engagement, except for a frightening, unforgettable episode. At one of the performances, the Rising Stage came up part way, with one side getting stuck, while the other side continued to rise. The engineers stopped the motion very suddenly, but the music stands, music and musicians and instruments fell down. Everyone on stage had to pick up music, music stands and instruments and abandon the stage; they had to bring everything to the upper main stage behind the curtain. The show was delayed approximately one hour. Leon Horne had made arrangements for a birthday party for her daughter, which had to be rescheduled, and was celebrated with the musicians backstage, after the show. We all had a great time, and thanked Lena Horne for her graciousness. This occurred in 1947, and is, obviously, an experience I'll never forget.
This event happened in September 1947 at the Capitol Theatre, with Lena Horne and the George Paxton Band, with the following members:
Roy Salanitro (Santro) - Bass
Arnold Fishkin - Piano
Pete Stroiker - Drums
Jack Purcell - Guitar
Jimmy Erickson - Accordian
Chas. Roeder - Vibs
Chubby Kustin - Tapt
George Stefan - Trombone
George Paxton - Tenor Sax
Harry Weist - Baritone Sax
Romeo Penqui - Alto
Jerry Sanfino - Alto
Andy Corrado - French Horn
Teddy Wiesmentel - Arrangement