Cultural Percussionist

Enoch Light Day

Enoch Henry Light (18 August 1905, in Canton, Ohio – 31 July 1978, in Redding, Connecticut) was a classically trained violinist, danceband leader, and recording engineer. As the leader of various dance bands that recorded as early as March 1927 and continuing through at least 1940, Light and his band primarily worked in various hotels in New York. For a time in 1928 he also led a band in Paris. In the 1930s Light also studied conducting with the French conductor Maurice Frigara in Paris.

Throughout the 1930s, Light and his outfits were steadily employed in the generally more upscale hotel restaurants and ballrooms in New York that catered to providing polite ambiance for dining and functional dance music of current popular songs rather than out and out jazz. (It must be remembered that at the time there was always some crossover between popular and jazz music and that the most successful bandleaders frequently played a mixture of both to some extent in order to cater to the demands of their audiences, although the bands employed in swank hotel ballrooms were generally far more subdued in nature.)

At some point his band was tagged “The Light Brigade” and they often broadcast over radio live from the Hotel Taft in New York where they had a long residency. Through 1940, Light and his band recorded for various labels including Brunswick, ARC, Vocalion and Bluebird. Later on, as A&R (Artists and Repertoire) chief and vice-president of Grand Award Records, he founded his own label Command Records in 1959. Light’s name was prominent on many albums both as musician and producer.

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