Johnny Bond

Trumpet player and novelty singer Johnny Bond worked with a variety of bands in the early and mid-1940s. A New Haven, Connecticut, native with a husky voice, Bond was part of Jeff Snavely’s band in Chicago in early 1940. By August 1941, he was with Mitchell Ayres, staying until October 1942, when he left to become part of Jerry Wald’s orchestra. He stayed with Wald only a few months before returning to Ayres in May 1943, where he remained until the band broke up in May 1944. While with Ayres, Bond also served as part of the orchestra’s sextet, The Jammers.

Bond fronted his own outfit in mid-1944 before joining Vaughn Monroe near the end of the year, staying until mid-1945 when he left for George Paxton’s orchestra, where he first worked with vocalist Rosemary Calvin. When Paxton reorganized in May 1947, reducing the size of his band, Bond was let go. He then formed his own quintet, working at the Club Stop 33 on Long Island. By late 1947, though, Bond had joined Ray Eberle’s orchestra, where he once again worked with Calvin.

Bond stayed only a short while with Eberle. By early 1948, he was leading his own combo again, with Calvin as vocalist. By late 1948, however, both he and Calvin had returned to Paxton, where they stayed until Paxton scrapped his band in early 1949 to start a music publishing house. Bond then formed his own group again, with Calvin as singer, this time with much more success.

The Johnny Bond Orchestra was hardly an “orchestra” in the traditional sense, being comprised of only five musicians, though those five musicians managed to create a very full sound. The group focused on novelty tunes but didn’t limit themselves to any one particular style, playing Latin, Dixieland and bop all in the same set. Bond’s band recorded on the MGM label in 1949 and signed with Capitol in 1950. Calvin often received co-billing. Pianist Ozzie Landez also sang, as did Bond. The group lasted into at least 1951, when Bond settled in his hometown and began to work locally.

By the mid-1950s, Bond had joined Sammy Kaye’s orchestra. He quit and rejoined Kaye multiple times throughout the rest of the decade and into the early 1960s, working as an arranger and as subleader during his period with the group. Bond, who had started out playing violin as a youth, had switched away from trumpet to clarinet by this time. He often appeared on Kaye’s television program, sometimes fronting his own Dixieland outfit.


  1. “Yale Grid Star Has Ace Outfit.” Down Beat 1 Apr. 1940: 20.
  2. “On the Records: Mitchell Ayres.” Billboard 17 Jan. 1942: 64.
  3. “Al Donahue, Sellout; Mitchell Ayres Ditto.” Down Beat 1 Feb. 1942: 8.
  4. “Ayres Has Jam Unit.” Down Beat 1 May 1942: 23.
  5. “On the Stand: Mitchell Ayres.” Billboard 5 Sep. 1942: 20.
  6. “Changes in Personnel Of Bands.” Down Beat 15 Dec. 1942: 35.
  7. “Vaudeville Reviews: Earle, Philadelphia.” Billboard 19 Dec. 1942: 18.
  8. “Philly Earle Off.” Billboard 26 Dec. 1942: 14.
  9. “Vaudeville Reviews: RKO-Boston, Boston.” Billboard 22 May 1943: 14.
  10. “Boswell, Ayres Ork Low 16G in Philly.” Billboard 19 Jun. 1943: 17.
  11. “Balto Hipp $19,200.” Billboard 15 Apr. 1944: 28.
  12. “Strictly Ad Lib.” Down Beat 1 Sep. 1944: 5.
  13. “Monroe Whips Stiff Competish in Philly to Rack Up Fat 28G.” Billboard 6 Jan. 1945: 29.
  14. “Monroe Comes Over Mountain.” Down Beat 15 Jan. 1945: 1.
  15. “Vaudeville Reviews: Orpheum, Los Angeles.” Billboard 14 Apr. 1945: 27.
  16. “Night Club Reviews: Panther Room, Hotel Sherman, Chicago.” Billboard 1 Sep. 1945: 32.
  17. “Paxton Music Tops, Success Is Certain.” Down Beat 15 Sep. 1945: 3.
  18. “Advanced Record Releases.” Billboard 19 Jan. 1946: 80.
  19. “Johnny Bond Fronts.” Down Beat 16 Jul. 1947: 3.
  20. “Trade Tattle.” Down Beat 17 Feb. 1948: 18.
  21. “Trade Tattle.” Down Beat 10 Mar. 1948: 22.
  22. “Trade Tattle.” Down Beat 19 May 1948: 7.
  23. “Vaudeville Reviews: Capitol, New York.” Billboard 18 Dec. 1948: 47.
  24. “Capsule Comments.” Down Beat 29 Dec. 1948: 11.
  25. Advertisement Billboard 19 Mar. 1949: 43.
  26. “On the Stand: Johnny Bond.” Billboard 31 Dec. 1949: 31.
  27. “Music As Written.” Billboard 1 Apr. 1950: 45.
  28. “Music As Written.” Billboard 3 Jun. 1950: 18.
  29. “Music As Written.” Billboard 19 Aug. 1950: 17.
  30. Alpert, Irwin. “Night and Day in New Haven.” Sunday Herald [New Haven, Connecticut] 21 Jan. 1951: 5.
  31. “Records Available on Ten Top Tunes from 1945-1950.” Billboard 17 Mar. 1951: 137.
  32. Alpert, Irwin. “Night and Day in New Haven.” Sunday Herald [New Haven, Connecticut] 11 Nov. 1956: NH-6.
  33. Alpert, Irwin. “Night and Day in New Haven.” Sunday Herald [New Haven, Connecticut] 29 Sep. 1957: NH-9.
  34. Alpert, Irwin. “Night and Day in New Haven.” Sunday Herald [New Haven, Connecticut] 10 Feb. 1957: 20.
  35. Neigher, Harry. “Harry Neigher.” Sunday Herald [New Haven, Connecticut] 14 Sep. 1958: 27.
  36. “TV and Radio Program Guide.” Toledo Blade 27 Dec. 1958: n.p.
  37. Alpert, Irwin. “Night and Day.” Sunday Herald [New Haven, Connecticut] 17 Dec. 1961: 37.
  38. Alpert, Irwin. “Night and Day in New Haven.” Sunday Herald [New Haven, Connecticut] 5 Aug. 1962: 21.