Swing pioneer Mal Hallett graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music. During WWI, he entertain troops in France as a member of Al Moore’s orchestra, and during the 1920s he led his own jazz band. In the 1930s, Hallett formed a very progressive dance band that spent most of its existence touring the New England area.
During its heyday, Hallett’s orchestra featured many young musicians who would go on to become big stars in their own right, such as Gene Krupa, Jack Teagarden, Frankie Carle, Jack Jenney, and Toots Mondello. Vocalists over the years included Irene Daye, Jerry Perkins, Judy Darling, Buddy Wellcome, Teddy Grace, and Kay Marie Baird. Though the group had many followers the band’s hard hitting style kept them from ever achieving any big success. Hallett was also older than most of the other swing leaders, and he had trouble connecting with the younger fans. Mal Hallett passed away in 1952.