Ted Weems Biography

26 September 1901, Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 6 May 1963, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. After learning to play the violin when he was at high school, Weems switched to trombone while attending the University of Pennsylvania. That instrument was also favoured by his brother, Art, and in 1923 the brothers formed their own band, and soon afterwards Ted Weems decided to concentrate on simply being the leader. They became very popular during the latter part of the 20s, appealing to dancers mostly in and around Chicago with their sophisticated playing and featured singers. They were also in demand on radio for many years. Among those who sang successfully with the band were future movie star Marilyn Maxwell, Al Jarrett, Parker Gibbs, Country Washburn and Perry Como. Also popular were whistler Elmo Tanner and saxophonist-cum-novelty-vocalist Red Ingle. From 1922-47 the band had a number of big-selling records, among them ‘Somebody Stole My Gal’, ‘Covered Wagon Days’, ‘A Smile Will Go A Long, Long Way’, ‘Blue Eyed Sally’, ‘Love Bound’, ‘Highways Are Happy Ways’, ‘You’re The Cream In My Coffee’, ‘Piccolo Pete’, ‘The Man From the South’ (number 1), ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’, ‘Walkin’ My Baby Back Home’, ‘Talkin’ To Myself’, ‘Knock! Knock! Who’s There?’, ‘Peg O’ My Heart’, ‘I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now’, ‘Mickey’, and ‘Nola’. The latter featured Elmo Tanner, and the whistler also featured on the record of the band’s theme, ‘Out Of The Night’, and ‘Heartaches’, which was originally released in 1933. It became an unexpected million-selling hit in 1947, shortly after Weems formed his new band following service in the Merchant Marine during World War II. In the 50s and 60s Weems worked as a disc jockey and ran a band agency for a time, but still led his own band occasionally. He was also the co-composer of several songs, including ‘Jig Time’, ‘Three Shif’less Skonks’, ‘Oh Monah’, ‘The One-Man Band, and ‘The Martins And The Coys’.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

RadioIO Radio