Big Band-era orchestra leader-singer Russ Carlyle donated $20,000 of arrangements to the Central Lakes College instrumental music department in Brainerd.
Carlyle said he wants the music to be used in teaching college students "an appreciation and understanding of music when, back in the early days of Big Band, style and showmanship played a big part in the success of some of the biggest names in the business."
Carlyle's music has been performed from coast-to-coast in dance halls, night clubs and theaters. He had a national radio show and was enjoyed by audiences at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas and the Blackhawk Restaurant and Aragon and Trianon ballrooms in Chicago.
Before becoming a professional band leader, Carlyle performed as half of a comedy team with Joey Bishop. In 1972, when Bishop guest-hosted "The Tonight Show" for Johnny Carson, Carlyle and wife Patty Clayton landed a coveted TV appearance. It had been nearly 20 years since Carlyle's other network appearance on the "Jack Parr Show."
Frank Sinatra recorded several Carlyle numbers during his career. Through the years of live performances, Carlyle recorded dozens of albums, including a 12-CD showcase of his career, "The Romantic Style of Russ Carlyle, Living Forever in the Memory of Time."
In retirement, he has written movie scripts and several books, including a novel, "Soul of a Child."
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