Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 12 June 1909, Corona NY; d 20 March 1989, Sheboygan WI) Arranger, bandleader. One of the best-known writers of stock arrangements for music publishers, he wrote hot arrangements as well, and young musicians like Buck Clayton found them challenging: playing in a dance hall, Clayton wrote many years later, 'I could see then that I had a lot to learn. ''Business In F'' and ''Business in Q'' ... used to hang me every night.'
Bleyer led his own dance bands e.g. at Earl Carroll's Club in Hollywood late '30s, and recorded for Vocalion. He arranged and conducted for shows; became famous late '40s-50s as Arthur Godfrey's music director on popular radio and TV shows, and led the band on Godfrey's novelty records.
He formed the Cadence pop label '53; his own top 40 hits included 'Hernando's Hideaway' (from Damn Yankees), 'The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane' '54, clever arraangements in first-class recorded sound. The label had huge hits with the Chordettes, Julius LaRosa, the Everly Brothers, Andy Williams, seminal rock single 'Rumble' by Link Wray '58. Bleyer married Janet Ertel, one of the Chordettes, who were from Sheboygan.
A subsidiary label, Candid, was started '60 for jazz and blues with Nat Hentoff in charge, recording Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Booker Ervin, Cecil Taylor, Otis Spann, Lightnin' Hopkins, Abbey Lincoln etc, some albums later reissued on Andy Williams's Barnaby label. Candid Productions (owned in the 1990s by the British producer Alan Bates) has reissued superb original albums, recorded new ones by Donald Harrison, Claudio Roditi etc, and reissued items from the Choice label ('70s NYC).