24

Russ Andaloro and his Hotel Jermyn Orchestra

The last of the dance bands to appear at Fern Brook on a regular basis was Russ Andalaro (1909-1979).  Andaloro opened the “New Fern Brook Park” season on May 29, 1937 (following an Ozzie Nelson appearance), along with a local favorite Ralph Paul and his orchestra.  Russ Andaloro repeatedly played at Fern Brook until at least June 9, 1946. 

Born in Pittston, Russ Andaloro lost 2 or 3 years of elementary school due to burns in a childhood accident.  He joined the band at West Pittston High School and the principal placed him in charge when the band leader became ill.  Andaloro mastered the trumpet and the string bass.  His music had a strong brass sound.  He played with Guy Lombardo and Russ Morgan.  His band played all along the Atlantic Coast including Atlantic City and New York, as well as Chicago. 

World War II interrupted his ascent in the Big Band world, which was also fading. Russ Andaloro loved teaching music and playing with his smaller orchestra. Above all he was a wonderful family man.  He played until the end of his life.

Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra may have been the last national headline band to appear at the park on June 2, 1946.  The dance hall was now the Buddie Club and had opened for the season on May 30, 1946, with Shep Fields. 

While Rocky Glen, Sans Souci, Sandy Beach and other clubs were strong, advertisements for Fern Brook dances faded after the Summer of 1946.  With Russ Andalaro’s performance on June 9, 1947 at Fern Brook the ads went blank. next

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Copyright 2006-2007 F. Charles Petrillo