Trumpet player Dick Barrie was a member of Kay Kyser’s orchestra before he formed his own group in February 1936. The young band, with an average age of 22, proved popular among the dance crowd and quickly attracted radio interest. Vocalists were Barrie himself, Anita Boyer, who was Barrie’s wife, and Kenny Stoker. The orchestra also featured the Three Shieks vocal group and a glee club. Later male vocalists, in 1939, were Eddie Metcalfe and Burt Rogers. The orchestra recorded on the Vocalion label in 1938 and 1939 and had their own radio show on the Mutual network.
Boyer quit the band in the summer of 1939, joining Tommy Dorsey in October of that year, and the couple subsequently divorced. Blanche Labow replaced her as vocalist. The group was active through at least September 1941. Sometime soon after that, though, Barrie scrapped it and returned to being a sideman again, working in Cecil Davidson’s orchestra in early 1942, acting as the band’s emcee as well as playing trumpet.
In February 1943, Barrie formed a new six-piece outﬁt and hit the cocktail lounge circuit. Sax player and arranger Ted Phillips was named alternate leader in case Barrie was called into the service, which happened by mid-year when Barrie entered the Navy. He spent the rest of the war as a ﬂight instructor at Lockport, Illinois.
Dick Barrie was the brother of singer Gracie Barrie, who married saxophonist and bandleader Dick Stabile. In January 1941, Barrie’s trumpet was apparently stolen.