September 1946 handbill with Trumpeter Johnny Hanson
Memories of Trumpeter John Hanson:
9/27/01 - "...On the subject of Steve Steven's possbile recording.
When I was a senior at STHS (Savanna Township High School), Dick Fuller had a recording machine up on the top floor, with
a package of blank recording disks. Paul Hansen and I got up there after school hours (probably in the fall of 1942) and
made a 2 1/2 or 3 minute recording, Paul on Drums and myself on cornet. I had the recording at home, and my dad gave it to
Paul's dad in 1946. Now Paul's dad is gone and I don't know where it went."
on the subject of a Steve Stevens'recording, I was not part of his band during my high school days, and it is possible that
there might have been a recording made. Bob Mitchell would have the best memory of this."
the war, I do not remember a recording being made. If any of his dances were recorded, it is possible that could have been
done without the bandmembers having been aware of it."
1/14/00: "Rene (widow of Savanna
Band Leader Charlie Bertch) reminded me of Blendon Law's musical activties. Blendon, a bass player, worked with a lot of
the bands - 1946-1947. I remember him when Anita (Peschang) and I played jobs with Glen Law's band. Rene Bertch informed
me that Blendon is still working...known as The Blendonaires."
1/14/00: "The hillbilly/cowboy
band, I believe, was Tom Owens Cowboys. I suspect I heard them in Shannon (Illinois) during a 4th of July celebration probably
1947 (?). They played a street dance while we (Steve Stevens)played in, I think, a townhall there. They were popular. And,
I think, based in Cedar Rapids (Iowa). Dressed in in blue style silk shirts, and bandana type kerchiefs in place of ties.
They did make quite an impression."
1/01/00: "There was a ballroom in one of the large Main
street buildings on the second floor, in the same block as Ballas' Tavern, on the same side of the street, but in the middle
of the block. When I was maybe 8 years old, used to get into it from the alley. (I remember the roof was partially open
and the floor was sagging.) Also when I was very young, I vaguely remember my parents going up a stairs to a second floor
dance hall, known as the Odd Fellows Hall. Whether these two were really the same hall, I don't know. Somebody like Bud Riddle
might be able to clarify it." (Scott Law, note: they were two separate dance halls).
"...Bob Davis was a rarety in that he played both the trumpet and saxophone."
was in the Navy. I was in the Army. I was in a dance band called "The Bombadiers." When I came home before being
mustered out, I was in the Fort Custer Military Band."
4/21/99: "...By 1947, the money for bands
was drying up. The ballrooms were emptying. Very few bands got through the 1950's. In the the late 1940's, I heard many
of the name bands at the University of Illinois proms at at Urbana. They (bands) were still drawing up to $5,000 for the
one-night stands (Claude Thornhill, Gene Krupra). Between 1951 and 1957, I heard Armstrong, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Stan
Kenton, Mugsy Spanier, Duke Ellington, but not at dances. They were playing concerts in theatres."
17, 1999: "...I distinctly remember the one Saturday night I played at Brigham's with Glen Law. Brigham saw me take
the horn out of the case and he went berserk. Brigham said 'I don't allow trumpet players in the bands I hire.' Well he got
one that night. This is the make-up of Glen's band in 1946: Glen - alto sax, Blendon Law - Bass Fiddle, Helen Law - piano,
Wade Law (I think) drums, Anita (Peschang) Hanson - clarinet, John Hanson - trumpet. Anita and I only played occasional jobs
with him. Helen Law was always brought to jobs by her husband Judd Law but he did not play in the band. I seem to remember
that Ralph Bailey sometimes played bass fiddle in place of Blendon Law."
Johnny Hanson mentioned in the diary of Lyle Ham:
April 13, 1946: Lyle Ham's diary entry stated "...There
are just four of us--Marvin, John Hanson on trumpet and Wade Law on drums. It sounded pretty good at practice, although it
will take a little while for me to get used to playing with a band gain."
October 16, 1946: Lyle Ham's
diary entry stated "I was at the dance above Ballas' Sat. night. Stevens, Marv Johnny Hanson and all the boys played.
We went out to Wade Law's afterwards and had hamburgers."