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Dick Jurgens 1910 - 1955

Dick Henry Jurgens (January 9, 1910 – October 5, 1995) was an American swing music bandleader, who enjoyed great popularity in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Dick Jurgens was born in Sacramento, California to Dietrich Heinrich Jurgens and Clara Matilda (Erath) Jurgens. Jurgens played in an orchestra in high school but was kicked out of the ensemble for playing pop music. In response, he formed his own group in 1928 while still a student. His brother Will Jurgens was a member; Will later became Dick's manager during his years of fame. Jurgens then studied at the University of California at Berkeley and Sacramento Junior College (now Sacramento City College) before accepting an engagement with his own orchestra at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco in 1933. The following year, Jurgens signed a contract with Decca Records, and recorded extensively for the label between 1934 and 1940. Jurgens' vocalist at this time was Eddy MORE. Jurgens served in the Marines during World War II, organizing and leading a band that performed in the Pacific islands.
Howard. Jurgens died on Thursday, 7 October 1995, at age 85. During World War II, he had three tunes simultaneously on the "Lucky Strike Hit Parade." He was a co-writer of "Elmer's Tune," "One Dozen Roses" and "Careless." Jurgens became an accomplished trumpeter by age 14. Dick and his brother Will formed their first band to play in the summer camps at Lake Tahoe. They worked as garbage collectors during the times when the band was inactive, but within 3 years, the band had it's first residency in one of the local hotels, remaining until booked by San Francisco's prestigious St. Francis Hotel in 1934.

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