The Commanders


The Commanders (aka The Commanders Big Band) was formed by drummer [a=Eddie Grady] and [a=Tutti Camarata] as a recording project and "road band". Eddie Grady was a child star drummer who moved through many bands before becoming an established studio session drummer. His studio experience led to the formation of The Commanders.
The Commanders toured for the 3 years between 1954 to 1957, playing the major ballrooms from coast to coast.

The original band had the 4 trombones in the front row. The second row consisted of 3 trumpets and two saxes (alto and a tenor who doubled on bass sax). The rhythm section were the drums, bass, piano and guitar.

Commanders Big Band:

TROMBONES
Al Lorraine - Lead
Porky Cohen - Jazz - Some lead too. (From Providence R.I.)
Morty Trautmaun - - A little lead
Felix Mayerhofer - A little lead

TRUMPETS
1st - Unknown - I've got a mental block
Willie Gillette - Jazz - He played some lead too.
Mario Bonofidi - Split lead - From N.Y.

SAXES
Paul Gaglio - Alto - He was featured quite often.
Lou Lindholm - Tenor and Bass Sax - He was also featured on record dates on the bass saxophone.

RHYTHM
Drums - Eddie Grady
Bass - Rudy Berser (Later replaced by Jimmy Gannon)
Piano - George Cooper
Guitar - Griff Howe

VOCALIST
Lucia Roberts - She did a recording with the band ("All By Myself")

Other Members (studio and tour)

Al Klink (tenor, bass instrument);
Carmen Mastren (guitar);
Hymie Shertzer (saxophone, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone);
Andrew Ferretti, Carle Poole, Billy Butterfield (trumpet); Bob Cutshall, Phil Giardina, Lou McGarrity, Jack Sarrerfield (trombone);
Bernie Leighton (piano);
Sandy Bloch, Bob Haggart (bass instrument);