OLD TIME RADIO - 1 AUDIO CD - Total Playtime: 0:49:49
Benjamin Albert Rolfe (October 24, 1879 - April 23, 1956) was an American musician known as "The Boy Trumpet Wonder" who went on to be a bandleader, recording artist, radio personality and film producer.
Born in Brasher, New York, Rolfe was the son of a music director. At a young age he played the piccolo and cornet in his father's band, touring the U.S. East Coast as well as Europe. After high school, he worked as a musical clown in a traveling circus until joining the Majestic Theater Orchestra in Utica, New York. His work led to a position at the Utica Conservatory of Music where he was head of the brass instrument department. However, drawn back to show business, in the early part of the 20th century, he worked in vaudeville, producing a revue and serving as bandleader.
After leaving the film business, B.A. Rolfe quickly reestablished himself as a performing soloist, music instructor and vaudeville producer. He worked with Vincent Lopez in 1924 and 1925. Inspired by Paul Whiteman, by 1926 he had assembled his own New York City dance orchestra to perform at a Broadway cabaret called the Palais D'Or. Soon billed as "B.A. Rolfe (Trumpet Virtuoso) and his Palais D'Or Orchestra," by 1928 he was performing on radio and recording as "B.A. Rolfe and his Lucky Strike Orchestra" for Edison Records.
In 1935-36, Rolfe was the leader of The Goodrich Silvertown Orchestra. His radio broadcasts ran until the late 1930s during which time he and his orchestra played music with the sponsorship of Believe It or Not! on NBC. Rolfe also narrated the shows, providing an on-air description of a Robert Ripley tale of wonder. With the onset of World War II, Rolfe organized an all-female orchestra to perform patriotic songs.
At the age of 76, he died of cancer in Walpole, Massachusetts.
B A Rolfe And His Orchestra 34-06-26 (x) First Song -
B A Rolfe And His Orchestra 34-06-29 (x) First Song - Gotta Get up and Go to Work
B A Rolfe And His Orchestra 34-07-02 (x) First Song -
B A Rolfe And His Orchestra 34-07-04 (x) First Song - It's a Swingy Little Thingy
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