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[In Association with]

MG-20304: Music For Swingers / Gus Bivona

[Front Cover] Label Type : black Mercury type A
Matrix Number : SIDE-A MG-20304A-1    MSI    M    B
SIDE-B MG-20304B-1    MSI    M    B


Equivalent release: Mercury SR-60053 (stereo) with different title and jacket artwork.

Inside The Groove

Swingin' and listenable big band music with Gus Bivona as a leader, playing nice tracks all composed by Steve Allen!

Personal Impression (and brief notes)

Gus Bivona, who was very famous for his work with Steve Allen in the 1950s-1960s, had worked so hard since the 1930s, as a sideman of many many famous bands including Bunny Berigan, Benny Goodman, Les Brown, Tommy Dorsey. He even had his own band in the early 1940s. In 1947, Bivona signed on with MGM, and he recorded so many studio sessions and freelance recordings. Until the period, he was already a very famous studio musician.

In 1956, Gus Bivona signed on with Mercury Records. His first leader album “Hey! Dig That Crazy Band!” (MG-20157) is backed up by Ralph Marterie and his Orchestra, but on this album, Gus Bivona plays with a West-Coast big band featuring talented studio musicians such as Pete Candoli and George Roberts. All tunes are 2-3 minutes short takes, but very swingy and enjoyable.

All 12 compositions by Steve Allen - one of the most famous U.S. personality in the last half of the 20th centry (although few Japanese may not know about him). He was a talented entertainer, comedian, composer, lyricist and more. His most successful and famous career is, without any doubts, that he pioneered TV talk shows such as “Tonight's Show”, “The Steve Allen Show” and a few more. Many comedians, entertainers and musicians took part in such legendary TV shows.

Anyway, this LP is the first fruitful result by Gus Bivona and Steve Allen.

Strictly Personal Rating (to what extent I could enjoy this album)

7 out of 10

Track Listing

A-1 15192 (PB585/PS195) This Could Be The Start Of Something 2:13
A-2 15193 (PB586/PS196) Playing The Field 2:17
A-3 15184 (PB588/PS190) I Never Should Have Told You 2:51
A-4 15186 (PB590/PS192) Conversation (On The Telephone) 2:43
A-5 15190 (PB583/PS193) April Rhapsody 2:14
A-6 15185 (PB589/PS191) Selfish Love 2:59
B-1 15180 (PB592/PS186) Baby, But You Did 2:25
B-2 15181 (PB593/PS186) Marvelous 2:21
B-3 15191 (PB584/PS194) Tonight 2:38
B-4 15182 (PB584/PS188) You're The One For Me 2:04
B-5 15179 (PB591/PS185) Mister Moon 1:55
B-6 15183 (PB587/PS189) Even Steven 2:50


Personnel/recorded date/master numbers confirmed with the Ruppli's discography.
(“The Mercury Labels - A Discography” by Ruppli and Novitsky, Greenwood Press, 1993)

Most members on this album are Hollywood studio musicians - the sessions might be taken in the West Coast area (such as Hollywood, CA), not at NYC as Ruppli's book says. I guess, the Ruppli's info maybe is incorrect.

B-1, B-2, B-4, B-5:
Gus Bivona and his Orchestra:
John Best (tp), Pete Candoli (tp), Conrad Gozzo (tp), Manny Klein (tp),
Joe Howard (tb), Di Maio (tb), George Roberts (tb), Si Zentner (tb),
Gus Bivona (cl, as), Mahlon Clark (as), Les Robinson (as),
Georgie Auld (ts), Don Lodice (ts), Pete Terry (bs),
Jimmy Rowles (p), Vince Terry (g), Joe Mondragon or Mike Rubin (b), Alvin Stoller (ds).
Recorded in Hollywood, CA on March 18, 1957.

A-3, A-4, A-6, B-6:
same personnel as above.
Recorded in Hollywood, CA on March 19, 1957.

A-1, A-2, A-5, B-3:
same personnel as above.
Recorded in Hollywood, CA on March 20, 1957.

All compositions by Steve Allen.
Arranged by Hank Mancini and Skip Martin.

Producer (or Supervisor): Pete Rugolo.
Recording Director: David Carroll.

The Artist Also Appears on...

Gus Bivona (as, cl) :
  • EmArcy MG-36138 / SR-80004 : Allen's All Stars / Terry Gibbs - Steve Allen - Gus Bivona
  • Mercury MG-20157 : Hey! Dig That Crazy Band!
  • Mercury MG-20304 / SR-60053 : Swingin' And Dancin' / Steve Allen and Gus Bivona
  • Mercury MG-20518 / SR-60195 : Allen's All Stars / Terry Gibbs - Steve Allen - Gus Bivona (reissue of MG-36138 / SR-80004)


Front Back
[MG-20304 FRONT] [MG-20304 BACK]


Side A Side B
[MG-20304 A] [MG-20304 B]

MATSUBAYASHI 'Shaolin' Kohji <>
Counter visitors to this page since March 24, 2005.
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