Today is the birthday of Roger Wolfe Kahn (1907-1962). The son of millionaire industrialist and patron of the arts Otto Kahn, he had plenty of backing to start his own orchestra in 1923 at age 16. The fact that he was enormously talented (he essentially played every instrument) did not hurt the band’s success. Roger Wolfe Kahn and His Orchestra played big time vaudeville from 1924 through 1929, and made numerous record albums between 1925 and 1932. Kahn also wrote or co-wrote many popular tunes, the best known of which is “Crazy Rhythm”. In the mid 30s he left show biz and made a second career for himself in the aircraft industry.
To find out more about vaudeville past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.