Rational and Irrational Thoughts

Herb Sherry Orchestra Tribute

I was briefly involved with the Herb Sherry organization in the 80’s while trying to survive as a newcomer in New York City. Playing single engagements or “clubdates” was a way to make some low commitment money back then. Due to musicians being forced into lower echelon work by a collapsing music biz, I used to see some awesome players on these gigs.

There were two types of people; those who were into this kind of scene and those who were just passing through to get some bread. Anyway Herb himself doesn’t appear in this video but you get the idea of what it’s all about. He wasn’t a super warm guy to me. I remember the few sentences he spoke to me where approximately these:

“Are you working this Saturday? Are you working this Sunday? You aren’t working much, I’ll give you $100 for this Saturday night.”

Then when I’d see him on the gig:

“Get your hands out of your pockets.” and “No, don’t shake my hand you idiot.”

If I haven’t make myself clear yet, this was really corny shit and any attempt at creativity would elicit a sharp rebuke such as “NO JAZZ!!” from the band leader. Anyway, here’s my musical remembrance to “the CEO of Music,” Herb Sherry: a cocktail hour favorite called “Night and Day”.

2 thoughts on “Herb Sherry Orchestra Tribute

  1. Hey Chris, Very interesting, man. The dudes in his promo vid look like straight out of Tony Orlando and Dawn. You sound good on “Night and Day”!

    We had the Herb Sherry clones in Beverly Hills for “casual” gigs. Same exact shit: never shake hands on the bandstand! But many of the players were in between tours with major acts, so at least the musicianship level was high. I worked a lot of those gigs and wrote a bunch of horn section charts to make money. Fortunately, I’m now “aged out” of that scene. Once the bands started playing along with background tracks, it wasn’t any fun. Hope you’re doing well. – Steve

    On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 11:41 AM Chris Fagan Jazz wrote:

    > Chris Fagan posted: ” I was briefly involved with the Herb Sherry > organization in the 80’s while trying to survive as a newcomer in New York > City. Playing single engagements or “clubdates” was a way to make some low > commitment money back then. Due to musicians being forced i” >

    • Hahaha, thanks Steve. Yeah “casuals” in the west, “clubdates” (illogical name) in New York, nothern New Jersey and Connecticut, “general business gigs” (or GBs) elsewhere in the east. Same stuff. One New Years I was back in AZ for the holidays, and I called Barry B and he set my up with one of those.

      Yeah, super capable dudes used to show up on those gigs. I’m not going to name names on the internet but I’d run into some serious career having guys on those gigs. I’ll name names when we get together for a taco someday, we can trade stories.

      I found Joey Sellars online and reached out. We were in Young Sounds together. He said you guys had a hang.

      Anyway, I’m going to try the email I have for you. I’m prolly coming to So Cal this summer. Maybe you me and Scott can have a hang. To bad our dreams for a polka tour of eastern pennsylvania, michigan and the dakotas was ruined by covid 19

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