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Shep Fields

shep fields rippling rhythm, shep fields
Shep Fields September 12, 1910 – February 23, 1981 was the band leader for the "Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm" orchestra during the Big Band era of the 1930s12


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Band
  • 3 Recordings
  • 4 Live broadcasts
  • 5 Filmography
  • 6 References
  • 7 Further reading
  • 8 External links


He was born Saul Feldman in Brooklyn, New York on September 12, 1910, and his mother's maiden name was Sowalski3 Edward Fields, a carpet manufacturer; and Freddie Fields were his brothers Their father died at the age of 394

He played the clarinet and tenor sax in bands during college In 1931 he played at the Roseland Ballroom5 By 1933 he led a band that played at Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel In 1934 he replaced the Jack Denny Orchestra at the Hotel Pierre in New York City He left the Hotel Pierre to join a roadshow with the dancers, Veloz and Yolanda5 In 1936 he was booked at Chicago's Palmer House, and the concert was broadcast on radio

Fields was at a soda fountain when his wife was blowing bubbles into her soda through a straw, and that sound became his trademark that opened each of his shows56 A contest was held in Chicago for fans to suggest a new name for the Fields band, in keeping with the new sound The word "rippling" was suggested in more than one entry, and Fields came up with "Rippling Rhythm"

In 1936 he received a recording contract with Bluebird Records His hits included "Cathedral in the Pines", "Did I Remember", and "Thanks for the Memory" In 1937 Fields replaced Paul Whiteman in his time slot with a radio show called The Rippling Rhythm Revue with Bob Hope as the announcer2 In 1938, Fields and Hope were featured in his first feature-length motion picture, The Big Broadcast of 193857

In 1941 Fields revamped the band into an all-reeds group, with no brass section "Shep Fields and His New Music," featuring band vocalist Ken Curtis89 He reverted to "Rippling Rhythm" in 1947

The group disbanded in 19635 He moved to Houston, Texas where he worked as a disc jockey He later worked at Creative Management Associates with his brother Freddie Fields in Los Angeles5 He died on February 23, 1981 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from a heart attack101112 He was buried in Mount Hebron Cemetery in New York


  • Sid Greene 1913–2006, drums and percussion, band manager, c 1932-1943
  • Hal Derwin, vocals 1940
  • Larry Neill, vocals 1940
  • Dorothy Allen 1896–1970, vocals 1940 8
  • Ken Curtis 1916–1991, vocals
  • The Three Beaus and a Peep, vocals c 1947-1948
  • Bob Johnstone 1916–1994, singer c 1947-1948
  • Toni Arden, singer, c 1945
  • Bob Shapley, accordion, c 1948-1950
  • Carl Frederick Tandberg 1910–1988, bass fiddle, c 1940 13
  • Lou Halmy 1911–2005, trumpet, music arranger, c 1935 1415
  • Sid Caesar 1922–2014, saxophone, c 1940 1617
  • John Serry, Sr 1915–2003, accordion, 1937–1938
  • Pat Foy, singer 1941 8
  • Lew Harris, music arranger 1940 8
  • Earl Kramer, bass saxophone 1941 8
  • John Quara 1925-, Guitar c 1947-1950


  • That Old Feeling
  • The Jersey Bounce 2
  • I've Got You Under My Skin 2
  • September In The Rain 2
  • Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm, 1940, Volumes 1 and 2

Live broadcastsedit

  • Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California during September 1938 - October 1938 with John Serry, Sr as featured soloist on the NBC radio network18
  • Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, New York on May 12, 1947 with Toni Arden, Bob Johnstone, and The Three Beaus and a Peep
  • Ice Terrace Room of the New Yorker Hotel on March 6, 1948 with Toni Arden, Bob Johnstone, and The Three Beaus and a Peep


  • Various Soundies 1941-1946
  • You Came To My Rescue 1937 - Director Dave Fleischer
  • The Big Broadcast of 1938 1938 - Director Mitchell Leisen with WC Fields, Martha Raye, Dorothy Lamour and Bob Hope7
  • Kreisler Bandstand 1951 - TV series director Perry Lafferty


  1. ^ "Big-band leader Shep Fields dies" Chicago Tribune February 24, 1981 Retrieved 2010-05-16 Bandleader Shep Fields, 70, who rose to fame in the big-band era with an orchestra that opened its performances with a sound called Rippling Rhythm, died Monday of a heart attack 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Shep Fields dies, noted bandleader" Associated Press in The Telegraph February 24, 1981 Retrieved 2010-05-17 Bandleader Shep Fields who recorded "The Jersey Bounce"  
  3. ^ California Death Index
  4. ^ "Carpet King Steps Up" Milwaukee Sentinel April 5, 1962 Retrieved 2010-05-16 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Band Leader Shep Fields Dies of Heart Attack at 70" United Press International in the Eugene Register-Guard February 4, 1981 Retrieved 2010-05-17 
  6. ^ "Shep Fields" Washington Post July 12, 1957 Shep Fields admits that his wife, Evelyn, was responsible for the bubbling water through a straw sound that has identified his music for a score of years  |access-date= requires |url= help
  7. ^ a b Stanley Green and Elaine Schmidt 2000 Hollywood musicals year by year ISBN 0-634-00765-3 To justify the movie's title — and the inclusion in the cast of such diverse talents as Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm,  
  8. ^ a b c d e "Shep Fields Makes Decided Hit Here With New Rhythm" Ottawa Citizen August 26, 1941 Retrieved 2010-05-16 
  9. ^ "Patriotic Notes" Time magazine November 4, 1941 Retrieved 2010-05-17 Dedicator was Bandleader Shep Fields, who lately gave up his trade-mark "Rippling Rhythm," threw out his brass, concentrated on nine saxophones 
  10. ^ "Shep Fields, Leader Of Big Band Known For Rippling Rhythm" New York Times February 24, 1981 Retrieved 2008-06-23 Shep Fields, the band leader who made his fame and fortune in the 1930s and 40s with a unique sound he called Rippling Rhythm, died of a heart attack yesterday in Los Angeles He was 70 years old Mr Fields developed the Rippling Rhythm sound in 1936 when he  
  11. ^ "Shep Fields Dies Was Bandleader" United Press International in Hartford Courant February 24, 1981 Bandleader Shep Fields, who rose to fame in the big band era with an orchestra that opened its performances with a sound called Rippling Rhythm, died Monday of a heart attack He was 70  |access-date= requires |url= help
  12. ^ "Died" Time magazine March 9, 1981 Retrieved 2008-06-23 Shep Fields, 70, bandleader who was known during the 1930s and '40s for his Rippling Rhythm, a bubbly blend of light, catchy orchestrations and the sound made by blowing through a straw into a bowl of water near the microphone; of a heart attack; in Los Angeles 
  13. ^ Brian Arthur Lovell Rust 1975 The American Dance Band Discography 1917-1942 ISBN 0-87000-248-1 
  14. ^ "Musician, arranger Lou Halmy dies at 93" The Register-Guard March 22, 2005 Retrieved 2010-05-16 Halmy was born in Budapest, Hungary, and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 2 He made his mark as a trumpet player with East Coast outfits including Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra, a society band that played on The Woodbury Hour With Bob Hope and in The Big Broadcast of 1938, a film starring Hope, WC Fields and Dorothy Lamour 
  15. ^ "Great Depression a gold mine for musicians" The Register-Guard February 15, 2002 Retrieved 2010-05-16 When trumpet star and jazz arranger Lou Halmy looks back on the Great Depression of the 1930s, it doesn't seem depressing at all 'I was lucky,' the 91-year-old Eugene musician says 'I was playing with a band and working all the time We had a steady job, which was the rarest thing in music' While many people were standing in bread lines and living in shanty camps, Halmy was inside New York's posh Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, cheering people up by playing his horn in one of the most popular dance bands of the era: Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm  
  16. ^ "Sid Caesar" Museum of Broadcast Communications Retrieved 2010-05-19 He studied saxophone at Juilliard, and later played with nationally famous bands Charlie Spivak, Claude Thornhill, Shep Fields, Art Mooney 
  17. ^ Brennan, Patricia August 11, 2002 "Sid Caesar, whose name is s " Washington Post Retrieved 2010-05-16 Sid Caesar He went on to play in a series of big bands, including those of Claude Thornhill, Charlie Spivak, Shep Fields, Art Mooney and Benny Goodman  
  18. ^ The Los Angeles Examiner, October 9, 1938, pg 1

Further readingedit

  • Washington Post; February 7, 1937 "Shep Fields in Town Wednesday for Dance"
  • Washington Post; May 8, 1937 "'Wings of the Morning,' in Technicolor, And Shep Fields Share Honors at Earle Racing Picture and Ace Band Divide Top Spots on Bill of General Appeal"
  • Washington Post; January 17, 1939 "Los Angeles, January 16, 1939 United Press Mrs Myra Wallace, wife of a music publisher, learned tonight the $10,000 banknote which she tossed to Shep Fields, orchestra leader, for playing one her favorite numbers might be legal -- not stage money as she had thought"

External linksedit

  • Shep Fields at Find a Grave

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Shep Fields

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