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Well, cautious about the communists being involved in it, the
new anti-Hitler, anti-fascist, see.
When you say political operatives?
I mean the newspapers, the Times. Also socialists, you know,
any liberal left kind of thing, a rather complex kind of thing. But on the
other hand, there was this enormous outpouring of support,
particularly as they went right through the Soviet Union and you got
reports of the number of casualties and that kind of thing, and the
Soviets standing up. This was a period where you're getting visitors
from the Soviet Union to win support here too, and the government
itself was becoming sympathetic.
See, when we were knocked out, the first question was jobs, among
other things. We had the band, we could manage a little bit,
Let me ask you one question. Was the band now called “Suspended
Right after the suspension, we got the name “Suspended
Swing.” We got it into Leonard Lyon's column, the item that a group of
teachers from City College, who have been suspended have formed an
orchestra, and they're called “Suspended Swing.” And we started again
trying to get jobs as “Suspended Swing.” And remember, the left still
had influence with unions, etc., and we could get jobs. I was in charge
of getting jobs.
So it was an orchestra, just the four of you?
No, it was more than the four of us. The numbers increased
depending upon the kind of affair that was involved. It could be as
many as twelve people, which was a lot of people for us, but I think I
remember we got the job playing at Manhattan Center as the relief
band. It was UOPWA, their annual event, that's their big shindig. You
know, dances were popular at that time.
United Office and Professional Workers of America. It's a big
union. They hired our band and also Louie Prima. Or they hired Louie
Prima and also our band. We were the relief band. That is, we were
the second band. Louie Prima was there.
So it's you and Louie Prima with the office workers.
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