Big Band Charts Arrangers

This page is dedicated to the arrangers of our charts. On this page, we'll post stories, memories, and other information supplied by members of our wonderful group. This will be information you can't get anywhere else, and true to the goals of our group, we'd like to preserve this so it's not lost forever.


We don't want to cover here the same information that's available on other sites. For example, if an arranger has his or her own web page, we can post a link to it here, and you can read whatever they have for you straight from the horse's mouth. Information that's available from other sources, such as Wikipedia, is not something we need to duplicate here.


However, if you know or knew one of the arrangers of our charts, and have some good stories or memories or information about that person, please post it to the group, and we will then see about saving it here for everyone to come back to later on.


Stan Kenton

Stan Kenton (b. 1911 or 1912, d.1979) Arranged hundreds of big band charts. Many of those charts were redone by Kenton or one of several others such as Lenny Niehaus, Frank Comstock, or even Buddy Rich, into smaller band arrangements.


There is a list of more than 550 of his 10-piece band charts collectively called The Stan Kenton Dectets. These were arranged for 3 saxes, two trumpets, trombone, and rhythm. We have a CURRENT PROJECT to collect these dectats and make them available to either project participants or the entire group. See our Projects Page for more information.


There is also a collection of we don't yet know how many sextet charts, which are mostly 3 horns and 3 rhythm.


Ernie Houghton

(Posted 11/17/12 by Ian)

Ernie was a friend of mine and died many years ago. He was part of the band that played at the Kursaal Ballroom, Southend on Sea, Essex, UK. He played trombone and had an amazing gift of being able to listen to a recording and write down all the individual parts. He transcribed many big band hits and I attach a list of the titles. These used to be available for sale but have been out of print for many years since the death of Ernie.
I also attach a YouTube clip which includes some scenes taken of the band at the Kursaal. The band at this time was known as the Howard Baker Big Band.




More to come as we receive well researched and well-written submissions. Please share your stories with us.



Please click on any of the links at the top of the page for more information on any of the listed topics.