My name is Jim Milan, originally from Clinton, Ia. I played trumpet and worked with Roy
Harstick's band during 1940-41. Roy played bass and used 6 men, Tommy Kindell, tenor sax, Paul Melendy and Allan
Hammerstein on alto saxes. I played trumpet and doubled on baritone sax. Art Isenhart was the pianist.
I do not remember who the drummer was, but think it might have been P.D. Allman, from Clinton. Roy used special
charts, most of them written by Allan Hammerstein. They were quite commercial, in the style of bands like Tiny Hill,
but really well written.
I concur with others who commented on Art Isenhart's ability. He was a schooled musician,
always played the right changes and knew all the tunes.
I am surprised that Allen Hammerstein's name does not appear in any of the listings that you
show. I was 19 at the time, and completely immersed in big band jazz and all the top jazz soloists at the time; Berigan,
Eldredge, Lester Young and so on. I say this hoping it will lend some credibility to my saying that I thought
Al Hammerstein was the best musician in the area at that time. He was a strong, alto player, and played excellent jazz.
Kindell and Melendy were greatly impressed with Al's playing.
We younger guys were somewhat impressed with the older guys like Melendy, Kindell and Isenhart
because they had been "on the road" with Ralph Slade. I recall that Slade had a regular radio show over WSUI in Iowa
City for a time.
To fill in a blank - the ? Stumbaugh, bassist, listed with the Lute Geisinger orchestra was Ozzie
Stumbaugh from Clinton.
A sidelight on Geisinger - he had a horendous stutter. As I remember it (from his playing
at the Moose club in Clinton - my parents were active members of the Moose and would take me with them to Saturday Night dances
to hear bands like Lute's), Lute would stutter terribly, but had no problem talking when he had a cigar in his mouth, or when
I enjoyed reading about all the old timers in the area.