A NOTE FROM BILLI want to let you know about one of my latest projects that I'm very proud of. I arranged all the big band music for the TV movie biography of Lucille Ball that aired on CBS. This was 25 minutes of music, from "The Charleston" of Lucy's teenage years, to various kinds of '30s foxtrots, rhumbas, and sweet music when Lucy was a Hollywood ingenue, to Desi's "Babalu" and "Cuban Pete", on up to the familiar "I Love Lucy" theme. The fine score and many of the tunes I arranged were composed by Bruce Broughton, who gave me a free hand to make the source music as authentic and enjoyable as possible. We recorded at the Paramount scoring stage, with many members of my band as part of the studio orchestra, and we had a ball. It's quite a good movie, with excellent performances by Madeline Zima as teenage Lucy and Rachel York as adult Lucy, including recreations of several classic "I Love Lucy" routines.
NEWS FROM THE BILL ELLIOTT SWING ORCHESTRAIt's hard to believe, but the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra has celebrated its 11th Anniversary!
For the record, the band's debut performance was March 26, 1993 at the Cinegrill in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. We had to squeeze like crazy onto the too-small stage (I had no idea how much space a 19 member band needed!) and the piano was behind a pillar. We only had about fifteen tunes in the brand-new books, so we played everything at least twice. But we sure had fun, and in 1993 the absolute novelty of a band playing like it was 1939 rocked the house with the same happy energy we've had ever since!
One thing about that long-ago Cinegrill show: everyone there came to listen, even the few swing dancers we'd invited, and everyone had a great time. In recent years since we've become so popular with dancers, we've had many would-be listeners express the reservation that they'd feel out of place at a dance. Not true! Our favorite shows have a happy balance of dancers and listeners, each contributing their own energy and focus to the event. So, dancers and listeners all, please join us for our next 10 years!!
BILLBOARD CONCERT REVIEW(BILLBOARD magazine, Nov 3, 2001) "John Lithgow's Perfectly Ridiculous - A Gift for the Children of New York at Carnegie Hall was .. spectacular. The award-winning actor teamed up with conductor Bill Elliott - his songwriting collaborator on the new Watershed Records children's album Farkle and Friends - and delighted kids (and at least one kid-at-heart) with wacky originals like the new "I'm A Manatee" and such classics as Cab Calloway's "Everybody Eats When They Come To My House" and Shirley Temple's "Animal Crackers in My Soup." (Universal Music Publishing writer Elliott also scored the TV movie The Shirley Temple Story.) "We love bringing live music to children," Elliott says. "But behind it all is the message of how fun music is."
B.E.S.O. WEB BROADCASTSHere's what's new: THE B.E.S.O. LIVE AT THE HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM, on your radio dial and on the web in streaming Realaudio, brought to you by Atomic Magazine!
We've edited our recordings from our memorable Christmas '99 show into four episodes with the flavor of a live remote broadcast. The energy of the band in front of a packed house of dancers makes these our most exciting recordings yet! The broadcasts feature many classic swing tunes that only our live audiences have heard us play till now, including our legendary debut of "One Girl and Two Boys" and favorites like "Traffic Jam", "Swingin' On Nothin'", and "Swingin' Stars and Stripes". Swing radio programs around the country are adding the episodes and individual tracks to their playlists. We're rebroadcasting the four-part series due to popular demand. You can listen to it right now and see a listing of these stations! The RealAudio sound quality is quite remarkable - your computer will be jumpin'!
We're broadcasting all four episodes from our site. At some point in the future we'll release these live recordings on CD, but for now they can be heard exclusively on the radio and on the web. And look on your newsstands for the Spring issue of Atomic Magazine, which features a great profile on our band!
Look for our "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" soundtrack album in the soundtrack section, and John Lithgow's "Singin' In The Bathtub" in the children's section of your local stores.
For further information on the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra, including ordering CDs directly from Bill, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310-804-4346