Dick Jacobs and His Orchestra


Introduction to Dick Jacobs and his Orchestra

Dick Jacobs was a New York-born musician, orchestra leader, conductor and arranger.  He graduated from New York University and afterwards worked for a music publishing firm.  After serving in the US Army in WWII, he spent several years with “big band” leader Tommy Dorsey, along with Sy Oliver who would become Jacobs’ lifelong friend and music partner.   When Jacobs was hired as a musical director for the TV series Your Hit Parade, he tidied up the existing orchestra members in the TV studio.  He then picked his personal choices as new members – including Dick Hyman, Al Caiola, Jerome Richardson and Don Lamond, making up the first racially integrated orchestra seen on TV.  Jacobs also helped the careers of Buddy Holly, Jackie Wilson, and Bobby Darin. He was also a producer who engineered the records of Teresa Brewer and the McGuire Sisters.  Jacobs was also experimenting with skiffle and what was thought to be “space-age” music.  He worked with Coral Records and eventually its parent label, Decca until he left when Decca merged with MCA.  He retired in the late 70s and published a pop-music reference book Who Wrote That Song?.  Jacobs died in New York in 1988.

The music of Dick Jacobs and His Orchestra

Established during the 50s music era, Dick Jacobs and His Orchestra was an ensemble formed by the American musician, conductor and producer Dick Jacobs. Jacobs was born in New York City, New York on March 29, 1918.

In his early years, Jacobs graduated from New York Universitfter and later had his first musical employment for the music publishing company Bregman, Vocco and Conn. However, he later joined the Army during the Second World War. After his military service he returned to New York City and worked for Tommy Dorsey as an arranger for several years. In 1953, he became a recording manager and producer for Coral Records. He also cut several instrumental recordings credited to his name, gaining he minor hit “Kathy-O.” He also produced a few acts such as the McGuire Sisters and Teresa Brewer and he later started working on Decca and Brunswick imprints (both were Coral’s subsidiary). Jacobs also introduced lush strings to some rock and roll/pop/R&B works, notably those by Buddy Holly and Bobby Darin.

Dick Jacobs and His Orchestra recordings

In the mid-50’s, Jacobs formed his own ensemble Dick Jacobs and His Orchestra. In 1956 alone, they scored a couple of hits with “Man with the Golden Arm” and “Petticoats of Portugal.” The former peaked at #22 while the latter ranked at #17. Another hit came in 1957 with “Fascination” which peaked at #17 on the pop chart.

In the late 1950’s, Jacobs tweaked his sound with skiffle for a while. Not long thereafter, he experimented the sound which what they called “space-age” music where some electronic music was applied. With that sound, he issued one album for Coral Records called The Electro-Sonic Orchestra. However in the early 1960’s, he quit performing and began working behind the scenes. He retired from active music career 1970’s and published a reference book entitled “Who Wrote That Song?” Jacobs died on May 28, 1988 in New York City.

Dick Jacobs and His Orchestra’s discography (may be impartial)

Coral Records

(Feb 1956)

Dick Jacobs And His Chorus And Orchestra

  • A: “Main Title” And “Molly-O”

Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra

  • B: Butternut

(Jan 1957)

Dick Jacobs And His Chorus And Orchestra

  • A: The Tower Trot (And Then You Do That Step)

Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra

  • B: The Big Beat

(Feb 1958)

Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra

  • A: 7-11 (Mambo #5)
  • B: The Marchin’ Drummer Blues

(Nov 1958)

Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra

  • A: Whispering Waters
  • B: Dardanella

(Jan 1960)

Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra

  • A: Song Of Exodus
  • B: I Love You 6-8 Time

Repertory Records

Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra

Teen Age Beat!

  • A1: The Crazy Mt. Rock
  • A2: Come Back Wherever You Are
  • B1: Teenage Boogie
  • B2: Snow Train Shuffle

Brunswick Records

(Jan 1967)

Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra

  • A: Now
  • B: Barefootin’

(Sept 1967)

Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra

  • A: Saturday Music

Dick Jacobs His Orchestra And Friend

  • B: (Hey Hey Hey Hey) Dance Back To Me

Decca Records

Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra

  • A: What’s So Bad About Feeling Good
  • B: Forgetting You (Esquecendo Voce)
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