Bernie Cummins

Bernie Cummins

From Wikipedia
Bernie Cummins
Birth name Bernard Joseph Cummins
Born March 14, 1900
Origin AkronOhio, USA
Died September 12, 1986(aged 86)
Genres Jazz, big bandswing
Occupations Musician, bandleader
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active 1919–1959
Associated acts The WolverinesCharlie Callas

Bernard Joseph “Bernie” Cummins (March 14, 1900 – September 22, 1986) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.

Cummins was born in Akron, Ohio. Cummins was in his youth a boxer, besides playing drums in local bands in Ohio. In 1919 he created a small ensemble of his own, which debuted in Indiana and which grew gradually into a larger dance band. Singers in the band included Dorothy Crane,Jerry Lang, Bernie’s brother Walter Cummins and Scottee Marsh, which sang later with Tommy Dorsey. A female singing trio known as the Sophisticates was hired by Bernie in the mid-1930s out of Minneapolis Marshall HS about the time the Andrew Sisters from Minneapolis North HS became popular and in demand. Charlie Callas and Randy Brooks also played with the band, as did Tommy Dorsey for a time. The orchestra’s theme song was “Dark Eyes“. Besides his activities as bandleader, Cummins was briefly also the manager of The Wolverines.

The Bernie Cummins Orchestra recorded frequently for such labels as BrunswickColumbiaVictorDeccaGennettVocalion andBluebird. The band had many appearances in the Mid-West and was well known for its live performances; its smooth style was much loved in larger hotels and ballrooms. They played many times at the Biltmore Hotel and the Hotel New Yorker in New York City, theTrianon, Aragon, Blackstone and the Edgewater Beach Hotel and Palmer House in Chicago, as well as further appearances in Dallas,Kansas CityNew OrleansDenverSan Francisco and Saint Paul. Cummins’ band also played on radio shows including the Spotlight Dance Program sponsored by Coca Cola, and the Fitch Bandwagon.

In the late 1950s it became increasingly difficult for the band to find gigs, but the band continued to play clubs in Las Vegas, playing at such places as The FlamingoEl Rancho andLast Frontier, before it dissolved it 1959. Cummins retired to Boca Raton, Florida.


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