Irving Aaronson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Irving A. Aaronson
Birth nameFebruary 7, 1895
BornNew York, US
DiedMarch 10, 1963(1963-03-10) (aged 68)
Hollywood, California, US
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader

Irving A. Aaronson (February 7, 1895 – March 10, 1963)[1] was an American jazz pianist and big band leader. Aaronson's most popular song, "The Loveliest Night of the Year", was not recorded with his band but was adapted by Aaronson in 1950 for the Mario Lanza film The Great Caruso.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Aaronson was born in New York, United States.[1]

He learned piano from Alfred Sendry at the David Mannes School for music.


By age 11 he played accompaniment in silent movie theaters (called nickelodeons).[3] He co-wrote a hit song, "Boo-Hoo-Hoo", in 1921.[3]

Aaronson's first band was called the Crusaders and recorded several sides for Edison Records. His band signed with the Victor label in 1926 and the band name was changed to Irving Aaronson and his Commanders. While signed to Victor from 1926 to 1929, the band had a notable success with "Let's Misbehave" in 1927. The band appeared in Cole Porter's Broadway musical Paris, in 1928[3] and broadcast on KFWB, Hollywood, California, circa 1929.[4]

In 1933, Irving Aaronson and his Commanders started recording for the Vocalion Records label. A year later, they switched to the Columbia Records label. It is difficult to evaluate these records as they are so scarce, but fortunately a few of them have been uploaded onto the Internet in recent years.

In 1935, Aaronson headlined the Irving Aaronson Orchestra radio program on NBC. The band toured movie theatres and ballrooms across America. Aaronson's band included at various times such musicians as Phil Saxe, Joe Gillespie, and others who would become bandleaders themselves: Artie Shaw, Gene Krupa, and Tony Pastor. Western movie actor Fuzzy Knight was a drummer with Aaronson's band in the late 1920s.[5]

In 1939 Billy Mann, a successful investor who had been a founding member of the Yacht Club Boys musical quartet, bought the Irving Aaronson band outright. Aaronson remained as the pianist, but only briefly; in 1940 he joined the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio as a musical director. He remained in that capacity and served as assistant to producer Joe Pasternak until his death from a heart attack in 1963.[2]

Some sources[which?] suggest his retirement at age 65, others have him active until his death.

Personal life and final years[edit]

Aaronson died in Hollywood of a heart attack in 1963, at 68 years old. He was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.[6]


  1. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b "Irving Aaronson obituary". Variety. March 13, 1963.
  3. ^ a b c Lewis, Dave. Irving Aaronson,
  4. ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 9.
  5. ^ "Fuzzy Knight obituary". Variety. March 3, 1976.
  6. ^ Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (3rd ed.; Kindle ed.). McFarland & Company. Everlasting Peace, block 2, Hillside Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California

Other sources[edit]

  • Clarke, Donald. The Penguin encyclopedia of popular music, Viking, 1989.
  • Larkin, Colin. The encyclopedia of popular music, third edition. Macmillan, 1998.
  • Sies, Luther F. Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, McFarland, 2000.

External links[edit]