Stray Cats guitarist, bandleader, Brian Setzer
Stray Cats ~ Brian Setzer Orchestra

Brian Setzer

April 10, 1959, Massapequa, NY

Spent most of his youth in nearby Long Island, where he received his first instrument - the euphonium - at age eight. He played the tuba-like instrument for ten years and dreamt of fronting a big band with horns, although the discovery of punk music during his teens expanded his tastes beyond jazz. He began devoting time to both genres; his early attempts at songwriting would take their cues from blues-rock bands like Led Zeppelin, but he'd also spend his evenings in New York jazz clubs, sneaking into places like the Village Vanguard and the Village Gate. After seeing the Mel Lewis Orchestra, he formed the idea of leading his own big band - but doing so as a guitarist. ~ Allmusic: Brian Setzer ~ retrieved June 1, 2013 © Allmusic

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April 10, 1982 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (6) Vangelis, Chariots Of Fire (Title) ~ #2 (3) The Go-go's, We Got The Beat ~ #1 (1) Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, I Love Rock 'N Roll


The Stray Cats

Evincing a taste for raw, rough-edged rockabilly, their early gigs consisted solely of covers of Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Carl Perkins songs before Setzer - a former member of New York cult rockers The Bloodless Pharoahs - set to writing new material, based heavily on the style of his idols. The Stray Cats were soon a huge draw on New York's club scene - as much for their 50's look as for their recreation of 50's Rockahilly - but unable to score a record deal they decided to try their luck in the UK, where they'd heard a fully-fledged rock 'n' roll revival was under way. ~ Stray Cats ~ retrieved June 2, 2013 ©

The Stray Cats ~ Inducted in the 2006 Long Island Hall Of Fame.

The Stray Cats ~ Rock This Town ~ Named one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll in 1995.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra

What does a modern-day big band leader do when they want to re-create the sounds of classic 1950s film noir music? For Brian Setzer, the answer was simply to go to the source, the legendary Frank Comstock, who wrote arrangements for Benny Carter, Stan Kenton, Les Brown, and Judy Garland. […] Frank is the only one left,” Setzer says of his collaborator. β€œHe helped invent this sound and, at 87 years old, he's still got it.” ~ All about Jazz: Brian Setzer Recruits Visionary Arranger Frank Comstock ~ September 26, 2009 © All About Jazz

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