Terry Allen

Vocalist Terry Allen joined Red Norvo in early 1938, where he worked alongside famed singer Mildred Bailey, who was also Norvo’s wife. When Bailey left the band in early January 1939, Allen remained as sole vocalist.[1] By August 1939, Allen was with Larry Clinton, where he stayed until joining Will Bradley’s orchestra in January 1941. When the band’s co-leader, Ray McKinley, split the group in January 1942, Allen remained with Bradley.

After Bradley decided to give up leading his band for health reasons in June 1942, he offered Allen the job of fronting it. Allen turned him down and instead decided to sign with Claude Thornhill, where he replaced Dick Harding. Allen stayed only a couple of months with Thornhill before joining Hal McIntyre’s orchestra. He soon fell victim to the draft, however, leaving in October for the Navy. He was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, where he sang with Saxie Dowell’s naval band.

Allen apparently suffered an injury or affliction in 1944 as he spent two-and-a-half months in the hospital before being given an honorable discharge mid-year. Reports suggested he would form his own band. He instead joined Johnny Long’s orchestra, though he did not stay. He earned his own daily CBS radio program in September and became a regular performer at the famous Stage Door Canteen.

Allen recorded for the Atlantic label in 1948, singing film composer David Broekman’s “Jade Green,” an experimental, exotic tune. He continued singing into the 1950s.


  1. Norvo’s band went through a contentious “split” at the end of 1938, losing several key members. It appeared for a while that the orchestra had disbanded as Norvo and Bailey began to work solo. Norvo brought the band back after the new year, though, with mostly new members. Some blamed Bailey’s meddling and Norvo’s lack of leadership for the turnover, while Norvo insisted that the break had only been due to many of the band’s members being ill. ↩︎


Previous <<
Play > Pause ||
Next >>
0:00 / 0:00
Select a song to play
Play All
  • A Serenade to the Stars
    Red Norvo (Terry Allen), Brunswick (1938)
  • I Have Eyes
    Red Norvo (Terry Allen), Brunswick (1938)
  • You're a Sweet Little Headache
    Red Norvo (Terry Allen), Vocalion (1939)
  • Have Mercy
    Red Norvo (Terry Allen), Vocalion (1939)
  • 'S Wonderful
    Larry Clinton (Terry Allen), Victor (1939)
  • A Table in the Corner
    Larry Clinton (Terry Allen), Victor (1939)
  • How High the Moon
    Larry Clinton (Terry Allen), Victor (1940)
  • You Forgot About Me
    Larry Clinton (Terry Allen), Bluebird (1940)
  • Call It Anything, It's Love
    Will Bradley (Terry Allen), Columbia (1941)
  • I Need Somebody to Love
    Will Bradley (Terry Allen), Columbia (1941)
  • I Guess I'll Be on My Way
    Will Bradley (Terry Allen), Columbia (1942)
  • Seeing You Again Did Me No Good
    Will Bradley (Terry Allen), Columbia (1942)
  • I'm Getting Tired So I Can Sleep
    Claude Thornhill (Terry Allen), Columbia (1942)

All recordings are from the Internet Archive's 78rpm collection. Copyright owners, please see our removal policy.


  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981.
  2. The Online Discographical Project. Accessed 27 Jul. 2015.
  3. “'Illness Split Ork', Says Norvo.” Down Beat Jan. 1939: 2.
  4. “Terry Allen Changes.” Down Beat Sep. 1939: 13.
  5. “F. Leary Junks Horn to Sing.” Down Beat 15 Nov. 1939: 4.
  6. “New Recordings Are Announced.” Berkeley Daily Gazette 4 Sep. 1940: 8.
  7. “Butch Stone, Carroll Join Larry Clinton.” Down Beat 1 Feb. 1941: 12.
  8. Gum, Coburn. “On the Records.” St. Petersburg Times 1 Jun. 1941.
  9. “Separate Bands for Will and Ray.” Billboard 31 Jan. 1942: 9.
  10. “Here's That New Will Bradley Band.” Down Beat 15 Apr. 1942: 3.
  11. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 27 Jun. 1942: 21.
  12. “Will Bradley Drops Band.” Down Beat 1 Jul. 1942: 3.
  13. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 8 Aug. 1942: 23.
  14. “McIntyre Has New Boy Singer.” Down Beat 15 Nov. 1942: 2.
  15. “Saxie Dowell Defends Bands in the Service.” Down Beat 1 Jan. 1943: 11.
  16. “Music Grapevine.” Billboard 5 Aug. 1944: 16.
  17. “T. Allen, Ex-Gob, With Long.” Billboard 26 Aug. 1944: 16.
  18. “Music Grapevine.” Billboard 16 Sep. 1944: 19.
  19. “Terry Allen Grabs Weekly Air Show.” Down Beat 1 Oct. 1944: 13.
  20. “Music Grapevine.” Billboard 7 Oct. 1944: 20.
  21. “Premature Singling and Fronting Hurts Chirps, Sideman, Say Handlers.” Billboard 2 Mar. 1946: 16.
  22. “The Wax Works.” St. Petersburg Times 28 Nov. 1948: n. pag.
  23. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 18 Dec. 1948: 35.
  24. Niccoli, Ria A.“Dixie Gets Daily Radio Airing.” Down Beat 23 Mar. 1951: 4.