Thank Your Stars : Art Lund©2008JCMarion


Art Lund was born in April of 1915 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended a local school in Salt Lake, Westminster College, and then continued his education at Eastern Kentucky State University from which he graduated and became a teacher in an area high school. Lund had been interested in music from his early years and soon tried out as vocalist for territory bands. He finally caught on with the Jimmy Joy Orchestra in the late thirties which had a good following in the Midwest. He was known in those days as Art London, and made his first recording with the Jimmy Joy band with "Last Night's Gardenias" and "Thank Your Stars" on Varsity # 8187.

In 1941 London (Lund) got his big break when he signed on as male vocalist with the band of Benny Goodman. He made his first appearance on November 16, 1941, on the radio broadcast of "Spotlight Bands" sponsored by Coca Cola. He sang the song "A Sinner Kissed An Angel". Two weeks later he made his debut with the band on record with a duet with Peggy Lee on "Winter Weather" on Okeh # 6516. On December 10 Lund recorded "Someone's Rockin My Dreamboat" and "You Don't Know What Love Is" with the band on Okeh # 6534. On January 15 of 1942 Lund duets with Peggy Lee again, this time "If You Build A Better Mousetrap" for Columbia # 36580. Later in January three more vocals are recorded - "When The Roses Bloom Again" on Okeh # 6580, "A Zoot Suit (For My Sunday Gal)" on Okeh # 6606, and "Tangerine". Lund then left the band but returned for a studio recording session on May 14 for test pressings of the tunes "Take Me" and "I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo". The next day Lund left the band again and was replaced by Dick Haymes.

During World War II Lund served with the U.S. Navy also receiving a masters degree in engineering from the Naval Academy. After the war He returned to the Benny Goodman band in January of 1946 and was now known as Art Lund.. He did vocals with the band for the Armed Forces Radio Service programs "Downbeat" and "Jubilee". Following was radio broadcasts from Meadowbrook Gardens in Culver City, California and a recording session in Los Angeles in late January. Results of this session were "It's The Talk Of The Town" on Columbia # 36955, and "On The Alamo" on # 36988.In February in L.A., "Don't Be A Baby, Baby" on # 36967, and "I Don't Know Enough About You" is recorded with Goodman and released by Columbia on # 37053. In May "Blue Skies" is recorded by Lund in New York for Columbia on # 37053.

In May and June of 1946 Lund and the Goodman band did a number of live broadcasts from New York's 400 Club, and "One Night Stand" programs for the Armed Forces Radio Service. The next recording session took place on June 13 with the tune "Pity The Poor Lobster" on Columbia # 37077. On July 1 of the year Benny Goodman began a radio program that was originally supposed to be a summer replacement for the popular quiz show "Information Please", but stretched out for a full year with Victor Borge later in 1946. "Love Doesn't Grow On Trees" was recorded on July 18 and was the second side of # 37077. In early August "My Blue Heaven" and "Put That Kiss Back Where You Found It" is recorded on # 37091 and "A Kiss In The Night" on # 37149. On September 23, the radio show now also starred Victor Borge. In October Goodman began an extended engagement at the 400 Club in New York. At this time Lund left the band to try his hand as a solo performer. He returned to guest on a subsequent radio program.

Art Lund made one recording with the Harry James Orchestra for Columbia. The songs were "What Am I Gonna Do About You?" and "I Can't Get Up The Nerve To Kiss You" on # 37301. Now Lund went out on his own and signed with MGM Records. In April he recorded a song from the motion picture "The Razor's Edge" called "Mam'selle" on MGM #10011. With this early solo effort Lund had hit the big time. The record was a huge success, much more than his previous hits with Goodman on "My Blue Heaven" and "Blue Skies". Lund's version of "Mam'selle" went to the number one position, stayed on the best seller list for more than three months, and sold over a million copies. During the summer, Lund covered a big hit for The Harmonicats, "Peg 'O My Heart" on MGM # 10037 - another three months plus top seller got to number four on the national charts. The seasonal "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" on # 10046 followed. The third top seller for Lund was the tune "And Mimi" on # 10082 which was a top fifteen seller. That closed out the year of 1947 which was a banner year for the singer.

In early 1948 MGM released "Sweet As You" and "It's A Lonesome Old Town" on # 10072 which was not successful, but his next release for the label was a two sided national seller. "But Beautiful" from the motion picture "Road To Rio" and "Love Is So Terrific" both got into the top twenty five best sellers across the country. "I'll Always Be In Love With You" and "What'll I Do?" on # 10142 missed, as did "It Was Written In The Stars" on # 10158 and "Someone Cares For Me" and "For Every Man There's A Woman" on # 10170, but Lund scored again with another movie song - "Hair Of Gold" from "Silver Spurs" recorded with the Crew Chiefs from the post war Glen Miller band led by Tex Beneke, and a cover of "You Call Everybody Darlin" (a number one seller for Al Trace) on # 10258. That September both sides made the top twenty best sellers. Late in 1948 Lund recorded a version of a song that was a hit by his old mentor Benny Goodman. The song "On A Slow Boat To China" was one of the biggest songs of 1948 and Art Lund's version on MGM # 10269 was a top ten smash and enjoyed a three month stay on the charts.

Early the following year Lund recorded a new version of the song "Bluer Than Blue" paired with "I Still Get A Thrill" on # 10295. He followed that effort with another good seller in "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" from the film "On The Avenue", which was a huge hit for Les Brown and his band. Lund's version on # 10348 was good enough to make the top twenty charts. "Get A Little Summer" on # 10365, "If I Could Be With You" and "How It Lies How It Lies" on # 10406, "Look At Me" and "It Happens Every Spring" on MGM # 10444, and "Sugar Foot Rag" and "Wilhelmina" on # 10648 closed out 1949. In the summer of 1950, a song from the film "Captain Carey, U.S.A." called "Mona Lisa" was an enormous hit for Nat Cole. Even so, Art Lund took his turn on the song on MGM # 10689 and it turned into one of his biggest sellers. With "When My Stage Coach Reaches Heaven" on the flip side, the record was a top fifteen seller and remained on the best seller charts for two months. "Birmingham Bounce" and "Maple Leaf Rag" on # 10713, "You Wonderful You" and "Francie" on # 10750, "If I Were A Bell" and "Song Of Delilah" on # 10826, "By The Kissing Rock" and "Serenata" on # 10860, "Nu'thin Like You" and "Velvet Lips" on # 10878, "In The Cool Cool Cool Of The Evening" "Have A Piece Of Wedding Cake", "Somebody Stole My Horse" on # 10915, "A Young Man's Fancy" on # 10940, "Rose Rose I Love You" and "I Like The Wide Open Spaces" on # 10978, and "I Wish I Wuz" on # 11025, followed. Lund had a last few records for MGM with a remake of "Blue Skies" and "I Can't Get Started" on # 11106, "Hanging Around With You" on # 10175, "Be My Life's Companion" on # 11133, and "Frenesi" and "Pigtails And Freckles" on # 11207

In 1951 Lund signed on with Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca. A song called "Cinncinati Ding Dong" charted briefly in October on Coral # 60834. "Alone With The Blues" / "Bottle Me Up" followed on # 60948. In the summer of the following year Lund made his final appearance on the best seller lists with his version of "Crying In The Chapel" a pop hit for June Valli. "Chapel" was recorded with the Ray Charles Singers and the orchestra of Leroy Holmes. The release on Coral # 61018 was a top twenty five seller. The flip side was "Love Every Minute You Live". "It Looks Like Rain In Cherry Blossom Lane" and "Carioca" on # 61071 followed. In 1954 Lund was featured on the Coral recordings "Who's The Guy With The Mink Tie" on # 61256, "Dixie Danny" and "L'Amour Toujours" on ## 61302, "Side Tracked" recorded with the band of Johnny Long on # 61405, "Tennessee Volunteer" and "My Girl Is Just Enough Woman For Me" on # 62087, "Happy Bachelor" and a cover of Jo Stafford's "Make Love To Me" on # 62123. During this time Lund also recorded for Decca's other pop subsidiary, Brunswick Records - "Rough Tough Cream Puff" and "Laguna Moon" on # 55046.

By now the rock 'n roll revolution had swept American popular music and had made many of the pop vocalists obsolete as far as record sales were concerned. It was at this time that Art Lund shifted gears and applied his talent from singing to acting. After a few short attempts with regional theater, he hit the big time in the 1956 Broadway production of "The Most Happy Fella". The play starring Robert Weede, featured Lund in a leading role as Joe the foreman in a tale of secret love among the Napa Valley vineyards. The play ran on Broadway for about two years. Lund also was in the cast of the Off-Broadway and London versions of the play. Lund also appeared on Broadway in "Destry Rides Again" in 1959, "Donnybrook" in 1961, "Sophie" in 1963, and "Breakfast At Tiffany's" in 1965. Other stage credits include the London production of "No Strings", the road version of "Dandelion Wine" and the revival of "Annie Get Your Gun" in 1977.

Lund moved to the small screen with television appearances beginning with the late fifties version of "I Love Lucy" in 1957. Other shows that Lund had roles were "Wagon Train", "Custer", "The Name Of The Game", "Gunsmoke", "Rockford Files", "Kojak", "Baretta", "The Winds Of War" mini series, and "Knight Rider". In motion pictures Art Lund had roles in "The Molly Maguires", "Black Caesar", "Last American Hero", "Baby Blue Marine", and his final appearance in "It's Alive : III" in 1987.

From teacher, to big band singer, to wartime military aeronautic engineer, to solo pop singer, to actor in television and movies, Art Lund excelled in them all. That he lived such a wonderfully productive life is an example of the will to achieve success on your own terms, and leave behind so many memories of one's existence. We remember Art Lund.

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