Garry Stevens

Photo of Garry Stevens

Singer Garry Stevens worked with three orchestras during the 1940s and had a moderately successful career on the bandstand before settling in upstate New York, where he worked in local radio from 1948 to 1950. He hosted his own program on Schenectady television during most of the 1950s, semi-retiring from show business in 1957.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stevens lost his mother at age 3 and grew up in the home of his step-grandfather. His father worked as a superintendent at an auto repair shop. Stevens was an only child. His father remarried in October 1920 and by 1930 had started his own auto repair business and moved the family into a home of their own. His father had gone into the hardware business by 1940.

By April 1940, Stevens had begun to work as a musician. He played trumpet in Don Bestor’s orchestra before joining Charlie Spivak’s band as vocalist in February 1941. His voice graced most of Spivak’s early popular ballads, often accompanied by the Stardusters vocal quartet. Stevens appeared with the band in their 1941 Minoco soundie, “Papa Nicolini,” and placed tenth in Billboard magazine’s 1943 college poll for best male band vocalist. He also filled in on trumpet with the orchestra as needed.

Stevens remained with Spivak until enlisting in the Army Air Force in November 1942. He received a five month deferment and returned to the band in December, planning to stay until his deferment was up. He was gone by late March 1943. After the war, Stevens joined with Freddie Slack’s new orchestra in June 1946, leaving by October. In October, he became a member of Tex Beneke’s Glenn Miller orchestra, where he performed on several of the band’s hit songs. He also appeared with them in the short film Musical Merry-Go-Round #2.

Stevens quit Beneke in March 1948 to settle down in the Albany, New York, area, where his wife had family. He became a disk jockey on Albany station WROW in April and remained there until moving to Schenectady, New York, station WGY in mid-1950. He often sang and performed at local events.

In late 1950, he became the singing emcee on Schenectady television station WRGB’s local TV Showcase program, an hour-long show beginning at six in the evening. As well as singing and hosting the show, Stevens played trumpet and lead the program’s seven-piece band, the After Six Seven. The show lasted until 1957, when the station cancelled it as part of a move to cut expenses. Stevens then took a job as assistant sales manager at Cook Moving and Storage, though he continued to perform locally at least into the 1960s.

Garry Stevens later moved to California and passed away in 2009, age 93.


  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981.
  2. “Garry Stevens.” IMDb. Accessed 29 Jul. 2016.
  3. “Purge Hits The Charlie Spivak Band.” Down Beat 15 Feb. 1941: 1.
  4. “Charlie Spivak's Beautiful Horn, Well-Paced Band Comes On.” Down Beat 1 Jun. 1942: 2.
  5. “Nightclub Reviews: Sherman Hotel, Panther Room, Chicago.” Billboard 29 Aug. 1942: 12.
  6. “On the Stand: Charlie Spivak.” Billboard 29 Aug. 1942: 12.
  7. “Spivak Seeks Trumpet.” Down Beat 1 Sep. 1942: 1.
  8. “Stevens to Air Corps.” Down Beat 1 Dec. 1942: 17.
  9. “Gary Stevens is Back With Spivak for Nance.” Down Beat 1 Jan. 1943: 19.
  10. “Students Select Singers.” Billboard 5 Jun. 1943: 20.
  11. “Send Birthday Greetings to.” Down Beat 15 Oct. 1943: 19.
  12. “Movie Machine Reviews.” Billboard 22 Apr. 1944: 65.
  13. “We Found.” Down Beat 1 Dec. 1944: 10.
  14. “M. Duke Handles New Slack Ork.” Billboard 6 Jul. 1946: 24.
  15. “Vocal Changes In Tex Beneke Crew.” Down Beat 18 Nov. 1946: 14.
  16. “On the Stand: Tex Beneke.” Billboard 3 Jan. 1948: 32.
  17. “Music As Written.” Billboard 27 Mar. 1948: 18.
  18. “Vox Jox.” Billboard 24 Apr. 1948: 19.
  19. “Dotted Notes.” The Coaticook Observer [Coaticook, Quebec, Canada] 30 Apr. 1948: 4.
  20. “Strictly Ad Lib.” Down Beat 16 Jun. 1948: 5.
  21. “Stevens Singles.” Down Beat 20 Oct. 1948: 2.
  22. “Vox Jox.” Billboard 15 Jul. 1950: 36.
  23. “Billboard Compiles List of Top Local TV Talent.” Billboard 18 Nov. 1950: 5.
  24. “TV Singing Host Garry Stevens Now in Sales.” Schenectady Gazette [Schenectady, New York] 23 Nov. 1957: 10.
  25. “Earle Pudney Feels Blessed by Family.” Schenectady Gazette [Schenectady, New York] 12 Apr. 1998: G2.
  26. “California Birth Index, 1905-1995,” FamilySearch ( : 27 November 2014), Harry B Albretsen, 21 Oct 1916; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento.
  27. “California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994,” FamilySearch ( : Sat Mar 09 16:29:03 UTC 2024), Entry for Harry B Albretsen and Henry S Albretsen, 21 October 1916.
  28. “California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994,” FamilySearch ( : Sun Mar 10 15:51:50 UTC 2024), Entry for Lois B Albertson and C H Downs, 25 November 1919.
  29. “United States Census, 1920,” FamilySearch ( : Fri Mar 08 12:07:05 UTC 2024), Entry for Harry B Albretson, 1920.
  30. “California Marriages, 1850-1945,” FamilySearch ( : 24 March 2020), Henry S. Albertson, 1920.
  31. “United States Census, 1930,” FamilySearch ( : Sat Mar 09 16:36:39 UTC 2024), Entry for Henry Albertson and Mary J Albertson, 1930.
  32. “United States Census, 1940,” FamilySearch ( : Sun Mar 10 14:17:51 UTC 2024), Entry for Henry Albertson and Mary Jane Albertson, 1940.
  33. “California, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1940-1945,” FamilySearch ( : Fri Mar 08 01:34:15 UTC 2024), Entry for Harry Bradbury Albretsen and Mary Jane Albretsen, 16 October 1940.
  34. “United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946,” FamilySearch ( : 5 December 2014), Harry B Albretsen, enlisted 13 Dec 1942, Albany, New York, United States; citing “Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938-1946,” database, The National Archives: Access to Archival Databases (AAD) ( : National Archives and Records Administration, 2002); NARA NAID 1263923, National Archives at College Park, Maryland.