British dance band
British dance band is a genre of popular jazz and dance music that developed in British dance halls and hotel ballrooms during the 1920s and 1930s called a Golden Age of British music prior to the Second World War. Thousands of miles away from the origins of jazz in the United States, British dance bands of this era played melodic, good-time music that had jazz and big band influences but maintained a peculiarly British sense of rhythm and style which came from the music hall tradition. Comedians of the day or music hall personalities would sing novelty recordings backed by well-known British dance band leaders; some of the British dance band leaders and musicians went on to fame in the United States in the swing era. Thanks to Britain's continuing ballroom dancing tradition and its recording copyright laws, British dance music of the pre-swing era still attracts a modest audience, which American dance music of the same period does not. Famous British dance band leaders and musicians included: Many popular singers rose to fame as vocalists on recordings by the British dance bands.
They are not always attributed on the record label, except for the description "with vocal refrain", but an experienced listener can identify the voices of these otherwise anonymous singers. Famous British dance band vocalists included: The Squadronaires are a Royal Air Force band which became the best known of the British service dance bands during the Second World War, with hits like "There's Something in the Air" and "South Rampart Street Parade", they played at dances and concerts for service personnel, broadcast on the BBC and recorded on the Decca label. Many of the members played as side men in Bert Ambrose’s band, they continued to be popular after the war under the leadership of Ronnie Aldrich. Other British service dance bands included the Blue Rockets and the Skyrockets. Cafés, clubs and restaurants in London noted for British dance band music during the Golden Age included: The 1935 British musical comedy film She Shall Have Music featured Jack Hylton as himself in a speaking role, his orchestra.
The 1937 British musical comedy film Calling All Stars featured Bert Ambrose, Carroll Gibbons and Evelyn Dall. The 1938 British musical comedy film Kicking the Moon Around featured Bert Ambrose and Evelyn Dall; the BBC Radio programme Dance Band Days ran from 1969 to 1995 with a playlist of British dance band music. It was presented by Alan Dell, subsequently by Malcolm Laycock; the programme was transferred to Sunday Night at 10, until the British dance band content was dropped by the BBC in 2008. The BBC Radio programme Thanks For The Memory presented by Hubert Gregg featured British dance band music, ran for 35 years until his death in 2004; the English television dramatist Dennis Potter was responsible for repopularizing music from the British dance band era in several of his works, with his actors miming period songs in Pennies From Heaven and The Singing Detective. James Nott, Going to the Palais: a social and cultural history of dancing and dance halls in Britain, 1918-1960 James Nott, Music for the People: Popular Music and Dance in interwar Britain Abra, Allison.
Review of "Going to the palais: a social and cultural history of dancing and dance halls in Britain, 1918–1960." Contemporary British History 30#3 pp 432-433. White, Mark; the Observer's Book of Big Bands: Describing American and European Big Bands, Their Music and Their Musicians, in The Observer's Series, no. 77. London: F. Warne, 1978. ISBN 0-7232-1589-8. "The British Dance Band encyclopaedia - mgthomas.co.uk". Retrieved 24 April 2012. "John Wright's The British Dance Band Show podcasts - r2ok.co.uk". Retrieved 25 April 2012. "Memory Lane magazine - memorylane.org.uk". Retrieved 26 April 2012. "The Golden Age of British Dance Bands - facebook.com". Retrieved 25 April 2012. "Everybody Dance: The Very Best Of The British Dance Bands". Europeana. Retrieved 2012-06-10
Dese Dem Dose
Dese Dem Dose is a 1935 instrumental composed by Glenn Miller and recorded by The Dorsey Brothers orchestra. Dese Dem Dose was recorded in New York on February 6, 1935, was released as a 78 by The Dorsey Brothers on Decca paired with "Weary Blues" as Decca 469B. Ray McKinley, the drummer in the Dorsey Brothers band, recalled: "Glenn did write a few things for us. I remember one thing called'Dese and Dose' that he wrote and we recorded, he used to carry a little organ around with him to work on." The recording was released on the 1950 Decca LP Dixieland Jazz, 1934-1935, Volume 1 by the Dorsey Brothers' Orchestra, DL 6016, as an album of 78s as A-689, as an album of 45s as 9-255, the 1999 Avid compilation The Dorsey Brothers, the 2010 Hallmark album Bring Back The Good Times, the 2006 album Essential Collection on West End Records, the Circle collection The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, 1935, the 2010 Hallmark collection The Fabulous Dorseys Play Dixieland Jazz. Ray Noble and his American Dance Orchestra performed "Dese Dem Dose" as part of a medley, "Dese Dem Dose/An Hour Ago This Minute/Solitude", on April 17, 1935 live at the Rainbow Room in New York, recorded and broadcast and released in 2008 on the live CD by Galaxy Music, The Rainbow Room New York Presents Ray Noble & His American Dance Orchestra: Original Live-Recordings 1935 and the 2011 album The Very Best Of Ray Noble & His American Dance Orchestra on Platinum Collection.
The radio announcer introduced the performance as follows: "'Dese and Dose'. Hot and fast but still with that underlying note of sophistication that distinguishes Ray Noble's music." Glenn Miller was in the Ray Noble orchestra at the time on trombone and had organized and rehearsed the band. Glenn Miller appeared with the Ray Noble Orchestra that year in the Hollywood movie musical The Big Broadcast of 1936. Ray Noble paid Glenn Miller "for working on The Big Broadcast of 1936, so that Glenn's total weekly pay ranged from a one-week low of $130 to a one-week high of $356."Jazz trumpeter Billy Butterfield and Andy Bartha performed "Dese Dem Dose" in the early 1970s, a performance, released on the 2005 live album Take Me to the Land of Jazz. "Dese Dem Dose" was released in 2008 by the Colorado jazz band The Jazz Cookers on their album Live At Brix. The Dorsey Brothers' Orchestra consisted of the following members in 1934-1935: Ray McKinley on drums. Glenn Miller was an arranger in the band. Charlie Spivak and Bob Crosby were members during this period.
Simon, George Thomas. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. NY: Crowell, 1974; the Dorsey Brothers. Discography. Red Hot Jazz website. Levinson, Peter J. Tommy Dorsey: Living In A Great Big Way. Da Capo Press, 2005. Sanford, Herb. Tommy & Jimmy. Arlington House, 1972. Korall, Burt. Drummin' Men: The Heartbeat of Jazz; the Swing Years. Oxford University Press, 1990, p. 100. Online version on the Red Hot Jazz website. Online version. Archive.org. "Dese Dem Dose", track 8
Royal Academy of Music
The Royal Academy of Music in London, England, is the oldest conservatoire in the UK, founded in 1822 by John Fane and Nicolas-Charles Bochsa. It received its Royal Charter in 1830 from King George IV with the support of the first Duke of Wellington, it is one of the leading conservatoires in the UK, rated fourth in the Complete University Guide and third in the Guardian University Guide for 2018. Famous Academy alumni include Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir Elton John and Annie Lennox; the Academy provides undergraduate and postgraduate training across instrumental performance, jazz, musical theatre and opera, recruits musicians from around the world, with a student community representing more than 50 nationalities. It is committed to lifelong learning, from Junior Academy, which trains musicians up to the age of 18, through Open Academy community music projects, to performances and educational events for all ages; the Academy’s museum is home to one of the world’s most significant collections of musical instruments and artefacts, including stringed instruments by Stradivari and members of the Amati family.
It is a constituent college of a registered charity under English law. The Academy was founded by John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland in 1822 with the help and ideas of the French harpist and composer Nicolas Bochsa; the Academy was granted a Royal Charter by King George IV in 1830. The founding of the Academy was supported by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, he was determined to make the Academy a success. The Academy faced closure in 1866; the Academy's history took a turn for the better when its appointed Principal William Sterndale Bennett took on the chairmanship of the Academy's Board of directors and established its finances and reputation on a new footing. The Academy's first building was in Tenterden Street, Hanover Square and in 1911 the institution moved to the current premises, designed by Sir Ernest George, built at a cost of £51,000 on the site of an orphanage. In 1976 the Academy acquired the houses situated on the north side and built between them a new opera theatre donated by the philanthropist Sir Jack Lyons and named after him and two new recital spaces, a recording studio, an electronic music studio, several practice rooms and office space.
The Academy again expanded its facilities in the late 1990s, with the addition of 1-5 York Gate, designed by John Nash in 1822, to house the new museum, a musical theatre studio and several teaching and practice rooms. To link the main building and 1-5 York Gate a new underground passage and the underground barrel-vaulted 150-seat David Josefowitz recital hall were built on the courtyard between the mentioned structures; the Academy's current facilities are situated on Marylebone Road in central London adjacent to Regent's Park. The Royal Academy of Music offers training from infant level, with the senior Academy awarding the LRAM diploma, B. Mus. and higher degrees to Ph. D; the former degree GRSM, equivalent to a university honours degree and taken by some students, was phased out in the 1990s. All undergraduates now take the University of London degree of BMus. Most Academy students are classical performers: strings, vocal studies including opera, woodwind and choral conducting, percussion, organ, guitar.
There are departments for musical theatre performance and jazz. The Academy collaborates with other conservatoires worldwide, including participating in the SOCRATES student and staff exchange programme. In 1991, the Academy introduced a accredited degree in Performance Studies, in September 1999, it became a full constituent college of the University of London, in both cases becoming the first UK conservatoire to do so; the Academy has students from over 50 countries, following diverse programmes including instrumental performance, composition, musical theatre and opera. The Academy has an established relationship with King's College London the Department of Music, whose students receive instrumental tuition at the Academy. In return, many students at the Academy take a range of Humanities choices at King's, its extended academic musicological curriculum; the Junior Academy, for pupils under the age of 18, takes place every Saturday. The Academy's library contains over 160,000 items, including significant collections of early printed and manuscript materials and audio facilities.
The library houses archives dedicated to Sir Arthur Sullivan and Sir Henry Wood. Among the Library's most valuable possessions are the manuscripts of Purcell's The Fairy-Queen, Sullivan's The Mikado, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Serenade to Music, the newly discovered Handel Gloria. A grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund has assisted in the purchase of the Robert Spencer Collection—a set of Early English Song and Lute music, as well as a fine collection of lutes and guitars; the Academy's museum displays many of these items. The Orchestral Library has 4,500 sets of orchestral parts. Other collections include the libraries of Sir Henry Otto Klemperer. Soon after violinist Yehudi Menuhin's death, the Royal Academy of Music acquired his personal archive, which includes sheet music marked up for performance, news articles and photographs relating to Menuhin, autograph musical manuscripts, several portraits of Paganini
The City on the Edge of Forever
"The City on the Edge of Forever" is the twenty-eighth and penultimate episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek. The episode had several writers contribute to the finished product including: Harlan Ellison, Steven W. Carabatsos, D. C. Fontana, Gene L. Coon and a final re-write by Gene Roddenberry; the episode was directed by Joseph Pevney and first aired on NBC on April 6, 1967. In the episode, after a medicated Doctor Leonard McCoy travels back in time and changes history, Captain Kirk and Spock follow him to correct the timeline. In doing so, Kirk falls in love with Edith Keeler, but realizes that in order to save his future, he must allow her to die; the episode received widespread critical acclaim and has been stated to be the best episode of the entire franchise, with it fondly received by cast and critics. Elements such as the tragic ending were highlighted by several reviewers, it won several awards, including the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Episodic Drama on Television and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy is treating an injured Lt. Sulu when the Enterprise is rocked by a time distortion and McCoy accidentally injects himself with an overdose of a dangerous drug. Delusional and paranoid, he flees from the bridge to the transporter room, beaming himself down to a nearby planet. Captain James T. Kirk leads a landing party to look for McCoy, they come across an ancient glowing stone ring, which turns out to be the cause of the time distortions; the "Guardian of Forever" explains that it is a doorway to any place. While Spock is recording historic images from the portal, McCoy escapes through it; the landing party loses contact with the Enterprise, the Guardian informs them that McCoy has altered the past, that the Enterprise, all that they knew, were gone. The Guardian permits Spock to follow McCoy in an effort to repair the timeline. Spock attempts to time their passage so as to arrive ahead of McCoy, they find themselves in New York City in 1930, during the Great Depression.
After stealing clothes from a fire escape in order to blend in, they meet a woman named Edith Keeler, who runs the 21st Street Mission. They're given a place to sleep, along with doing odd jobs to earn money. Spock works to devise a method of interfacing with his tricorder to analyze its recorded images to determine how McCoy has altered history. While they await his arrival and Keeler spend time together, Kirk begins to fall in love. McCoy stumbles into the mission, unnoticed by Kirk and Spock, Keeler nurses him back to health. Spock completes his work and discovers that Keeler was supposed to die that year in a traffic accident. In the altered timeline, Spock learns that Dr. McCoy saved Keeler's life, Keeler founded a pacifist movement, causing the United States to delay its entrance into World War II and allowing Nazi Germany time to develop nuclear weapons, with which they will conquer the world. Kirk admits his love for Keeler, Spock answers that Keeler must die in order to prevent billions of deaths.
On her way with Kirk to see a movie, Keeler mentions McCoy. Kirk and excited, tells her to stay where she is and calls for Spock to tell him; the Starfleet trio reunite in front of the mission. Curious, Keeler crosses the street to join them, she steps in front of a fast-moving panel truck. Kirk turns to save Keeler from the truck. Kirk blocks McCoy from saving her, she is struck and killed. A stunned McCoy can't believe. With history restored, Spock, McCoy return to the Guardian's planet where the rest of the away team is waiting; when the Guardian offers "more such journeys are possible", a brokenhearted Kirk states "Let's get the hell out of here!" and they all beam back to the Enterprise. The writing of this episode took over ten months, from the initial pitch by Harlan Ellison to the final re-write by Gene Roddenberry. Steven W. Carabatsos and D. C. Fontana, both story editors on the show, undertook re-writes of the teleplay, changes have been attributed to producer Gene L. Coon; the experience led to animosity between Ellison and Roddenberry for the rest of the latter's life, in particular over a claim by Roddenberry that Ellison had the character Scotty dealing drugs in one version of the script.
The episode overran the production schedule. Mistakes were made in the set design with an instruction for "runes" misconstrued as a request for "ruins". With Matt Jefferies ill, Rolland Brooks designed the set and the Guardian of Forever, to the surprise of Jefferies on his return. Harlan Ellison was one of the first writers recruited by Gene Roddenberry for Star Trek. Roddenberry was aiming to have the best science fiction writers produce scripts for the show, had identified Ellison immediately. Rather than being assigned a pre-written premise, Ellison was allowed to develop his own and propose it in a 10-page outline. Ellison was inspired by reading a biography of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, thought that it would be an interesting idea to have Kirk travel back in time and fall in love with a similar woman of good intent, but someone who must die in order to preserve the future. Ellison considered that it would have a heartrending effect
Albert Allick Bowlly was a British vocalist, popular during the 1930s in England. He recorded more than 1,000 records, his most popular songs include "Midnight, the Stars and You", "Goodnight, Sweetheart", "The Very Thought of You", "Guilty", "Love Is the Sweetest Thing" and the only English version of "Dark Eyes" by Adalgiso Ferraris as "Black Eyes" with words of Albert Mellor. Bowlly was born in Lourenço Marques in the Portuguese colony of Mozambique, his parents were Lebanese. They moved to South Africa. Bowlly was brought up in Johannesburg. After a series of odd jobs across South Africa, including barber and jockey, he sang in a dance band led by Edgar Adeler on a tour of South Africa, Rhodesia and Indonesia during the mid-1920s, he was fired from the band in Indonesia. Jimmy Liquime hired him to sing with the band in Singapore. In 1927 Bowlly made his first record, a cover version of "Blue Skies" by Irving Berlin, recorded with Adeler in Berlin, Germany. During the next year, he worked in London, with the orchestra of Fred Elizalde.
The onset of the Great Depression in 1929 resulted in Bowlly being made redundant and returning to several months of busking to survive. In the 1930s, he signed two contracts—one in May 1931 with Roy Fox, singing in his live band for the Monseigneur Restaurant in London, the other a record contract with bandleader Ray Noble in November 1930. During the next four years, he recorded over 500 songs. By 1933 Lew Stone had ousted Fox as bandleader, Bowlly was singing Stone's arrangements with Stone's band. After much radio exposure and a successful British tour with Stone, Bowlly was inundated with demands for appearances and gigs—including undertaking a solo British tour—but continued to make most of his recordings with Noble. There was considerable competition between Stone for Bowlly's time. For much of the year, Bowlly spent all day in the recording studio with Noble's band and recording the evening with Stone's band at the Monseigneur. Many of these recordings with Noble were issued in the United States by Victor, which meant that by the time Noble and Bowlly came to America, their reputation had preceded them.
He performed in England with his band, the Radio City Rhythm Makers. But by 1937 the band broke up when vocal problems were traced to a wart in his throat causing him to lose his voice. Separated from his wife, with his band dissolved, he borrowed money from friends and traveled to New York City for surgery, his absence from the UK in the early 1930s damaged his popularity with British audiences, despite his association with pianist Monia Liter as his accompanist. His career began to suffer as a result of problems with his voice, which affected the frequency of his recordings, he played a few small parts in films, but the parts were cut and scenes that were shown were brief. Noble was offered a role in Hollywood, although the offer excluded Bowlly because a singer had been hired. Bowlly moved back to London with his wife Marjie in January 1937. With diminished success in Britain, he toured regional theatres and recorded as as possible to make a living, moving from orchestra to orchestra, working with Sydney Lipton, Gerald Bright and Ken "Snakehips" Johnson.
In 1940 there was a revival of interest in his career when he worked in a duo with Jimmy Messene in Radio Stars with Two Guitars on the London stage. It was his last venture before his death in April 1941; the partnership was uneasy. Messene had a drinking problem; when he showed up for work, he was unable to perform. Bowlly recorded his last song two weeks before his death, it was a duet with Messene of Irving Berlin's satirical song about Hitler, "When That Man is Dead and Gone". In December 1931, Bowlly married Constance Freda Roberts in London, he remarried in December 1934 to Marjie Fairless. On 16 April 1941, Bowlly and Messene had given a performance at the Rex Cinema in Oxford Street, High Wycombe. Both were offered an overnight stay in town, but Bowlly took the last train home to his flat at 32 Duke Street, Duke's Court, St James, London, he was killed by a Luftwaffe parachute mine that detonated outside his flat at ten past three in the morning. His body appeared unmarked. Although the explosion had not disfigured him, it had blown his bedroom door off its hinges, the impact against his head was fatal.
He was buried with other bombing victims in a mass grave at Hanwell Cemetery, Uxbridge Road, where his name is given as Albert Alex Bowlly. A blue plaque commemorating Bowlly was installed in November 2013 by English Heritage at Charing Cross Mansion, 26 Charing Cross Road, described as "his home at the pinnacle of his career". Sid Colin and Tony Staveacre, Al Bowlly Ray Pallett, Good-Night, Sweetheart: Life and Times of Al Bowlly Ray Pallett, They Called Him Al: The Musical Life of Al Bowlly
Sussex, from the Old English Sūþsēaxe, is a historic county in South East England corresponding in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded to the west by Hampshire, north by Surrey, northeast by Kent, south by the English Channel, divided for many purposes into the ceremonial counties of West Sussex and East Sussex. Brighton and Hove, though part of East Sussex, was made a unitary authority in 1997, as such, is administered independently of the rest of East Sussex. Brighton and Hove was granted City status in 2000; until Chichester was Sussex's only city. Sussex has three main geographic sub-regions, each oriented east to west. In the southwest is the fertile and densely populated coastal plain. North of this are the rolling chalk hills of the South Downs, beyond, the well-wooded Sussex Weald; the name derives from the Kingdom of Sussex, founded, according to legend, by Ælle of Sussex in AD 477. Around 827, it was absorbed subsequently into the kingdom of England, it was the home of some of Europe's earliest recorded hominids, whose remains have been found at Boxgrove.
It is the site of the Battle of Hastings. In 1974, the Lord-Lieutenant of Sussex was replaced with one each for East and West Sussex, which became separate ceremonial counties. Sussex continues to be recognised as cultural region, it has had a single police force since 1968 and its name is in common use in the media. In 2007, Sussex Day was created to celebrate history. Based on the traditional emblem of Sussex, a blue shield with six gold martlets, the flag of Sussex was recognised by the Flag Institute in 2011. In 2013, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles formally recognised and acknowledged the continued existence of England's 39 historic counties, including Sussex; the name "Sussex" is derived from the Middle English Suth-sæxe, in turn derived from the Old English Suth-Seaxe which means of the South Saxons. The South Saxons were a Germanic tribe that settled in the region from the North German Plain during the 5th and 6th centuries; the earliest known usage of the term South Saxons is in a royal charter of 689 which names them and their king, Noðhelm, although the term may well have been in use for some time before that.
The monastic chronicler who wrote up the entry classifying the invasion seems to have got his dates wrong. The New Latin word Suthsexia was used for Sussex by Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu in his 1645 map. Three United States counties, a former county/land division of Western Australia, are named after Sussex; the flag of Sussex consists of six gold martlets, or heraldic swallows, on a blue background, blazoned as Azure, six martlets or. Recognised by the Flag Institute on 20 May 2011, its design is based on the heraldic shield of Sussex; the first known recording of this emblem being used to represent the county was in 1611 when cartographer John Speed deployed it to represent the Kingdom of the South Saxons. However it seems that Speed was repeating an earlier association between the emblem and the county, rather than being the inventor of the association, it is now regarded that the county emblem originated and derived from the coat of arms of the 14th-century Knight of the Shire, Sir John de Radynden.
Sussex’s six martlets are today held to symbolise the traditional six sub-divisions of the county known as rapes. Sussex by the Sea is regarded as the unofficial anthem of Sussex. Adopted by the Royal Sussex Regiment and popularised in World War I, it is sung at celebrations across the county, including those at Lewes Bonfire, at sports matches, including those of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club and Sussex County Cricket Club; the county day, called Sussex Day, is celebrated on 16 June, the same day as the feast day of St Richard of Chichester, Sussex's patron saint, whose shrine at Chichester Cathedral was an important place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. Sussex's motto, We wunt be druv, is a Sussex dialect expression meaning "we will not be pushed around" and reflects the traditionally independent nature of Sussex men and women; the round-headed rampion known as the "Pride of Sussex", was adopted as Sussex's county flower in 2002. The physical geography of Sussex relies on its lying on the southern part of the Wealden anticline, the major features of which are the high lands that cross the county in a west to east direction: the Weald itself and the South Downs.
Natural England has identified the following seven national character areas in Sussex:South Coast Plain South Downs Wealden Greensand Low Weald High Weald Pevensey Levels Romney MarshesAt 280m, Blackdown is the highest point in Sussex, or county top. Ditchling Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex. At 113 kilometres long, the River Medway is the longest river flowing through Sussex; the longest river in Sussex is the River Arun, 60 kilometres long. Sussex's largest lakes are man-made reservoirs; the largest is Bewl Water on the Kent border, while the largest wholly within Sussex is Ardingly Reservoir. The coastal resorts of Sussex and neighbouring Hampshire are the sunniest places in the United Kingdom; the coast has more sunshine than the inland areas: sea breezes, blowing off the sea, tend to clear any cloud from the coast. Most of Sussex lies in Hardiness zon
The Rainbow Room is a private event space on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Rockefeller Center, Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Run by Tishman Speyer, it is among the highest venues in New York City; the Rainbow Room serves contemporary American cuisine. Opened in 1934, it was a focal point for the city's elite as well as one of the United States' highest restaurants above ground. Due to World War II, the Rainbow Room was closed from 1942 to 1950; the restaurant received renovations in 1965 and 1985–1987, both of which sought to restore its original 1930 decor. Suffering from a decline in business following the financial crisis of 2007–08, the Rainbow Room closed in 2009; the restaurant reopened in 2014 following a renovation. In 2012, the Rainbow Room was declared a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 2017, the American Institute of Architects gave the Rainbow Room an award for outstanding interior architecture. Since the Rainbow Room reopened in 2014, its food has received positive reviews, but has been described as expensive.
During the 1920s, John D. Rockefeller Jr. had conceived the site of the current Rockefeller Center as a location for the Metropolitan Opera, but these plans were shelved and the plans evolved into a mass media complex, leading to the construction of Rockefeller Center. The complex's flagship RCA Building opened in May 1933. Shortly after the RCA Building's opening, there were plans to use the space above the 64th floor as a public "amusement center"; that section of the building had several terraces, which could be used to construct a dance floor, observatory and landscaped terrace gardens. Frank W. Darling quit his job as head of Rye's Playland in order to direct the programming for the proposed amusement space. Many of New York City's buildings in the 1930s had restaurants or exclusive clubhouses on the top floors of their buildings; this stemmed from a tradition that started in the late 19th century, after the introduction of elevators. The specific idea for a restaurant atop the RCA Building may have been inspired by the Cloud Club, a lunch club in the Chrysler Building.
On the 65th story of the RCA Building, the builders constructed a two-story space intended for a dining room with a high ceiling. The plans called for two restaurants on the 65th Floor; the Rainbow Grill, a small casual-style eatery, would occupy the western portion of the floor, while a larger restaurant for dancing and entertainment, comprising the future Rainbow Room, would be located in a larger space on the eastern part of the floor. There would be private dining compartments on the floor below; the Rockefeller Center Luncheon Club, composed of Rockefeller Center tenants, would eat lunch at the Rainbow Room from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. More established restaurateurs believed that the juxtaposition of the two eateries was an unwise business decision, but Rockefeller ignored them. To transport visitors to the top floors, Westinghouse installed eight express elevators in the RCA Building, they moved at an average speed of 1,200 feet per minute and made up 13% of the building's entire construction cost.
One elevator reached a top speed of 1,400 feet per minute and was dubbed "the fastest passenger elevator ride on record". These elevators cost about $17,000 a year to maintain by 1942. Rockefeller Center opened an observation deck atop the RCA Building's 67th, 69th, 70th floors, above the future Rainbow Room, in July 1933; the only entrance to the observatory cut across the 65th floor, where the Rainbow Room would soon be located. The Rainbow Room was used as enticement for visitors to the observation deck, who were told that "if you behave and do your jobs right when you die you'll go way up to the Rainbow Room." The director of the proposed restaurant did not want to "sound like an ordinary Eighth Avenue food joint", he wanted to avoid using the word "restaurant" itself. For him, the optimal name would reflect the eatery's exclusivity. At first, the restaurant was to be known as the "Stratosphere Room", whose name evoked the stratosphere, the second layer of atmosphere above the earth. In August 1934, the Stratosphere Room became the "Rainbow Room", which drew its name from a model of organ that changed colors based on the tone of the music.
The indirect lighting of the Rainbow Room did just that. The lights accompanied the sounds of a Wurlitzer organ, but the organ was assailed for its "funereal" quality, it was used from 1935 to its removal in 1986. Rockefeller Center Inc. hired the lawyer Francis Christy, to be the Rainbow Room's owner in name only. This was because each nightclub owner had to be fingerprinted in order to comply with the state law at the time, the true owner of Rainbow Room did not want his fingerprints on record; because Christy had verified himself to the state as the owner of Rainbow Room, it was legal for the restaurant to operate. The Rainbow Room opened to the public on October 3, 1934, at a 300-guest party sponsored by the Lenox Hill Neighborhood Association; the opening celebrations were attended by a multitude of high-society individuals with "a dazzle of surnames that ran from Astors and Auchinclosses to Warburgs and Whitneys."The Rainbow Room was allowed to serve alcoholic drinks because the United States Constitution's 21st Amendment had repealed the United States' prohibition on alcoholic beverages in 1933.
Rockefeller was not a drinker himself: on opening night, a critic for the New York Daily News had written, "throughout his life, whenever he has been asked'Wot'll it be?', has always replied,'milk'." However, Rockefeller reluctantly agreed to operate the Rainbow Room, since no one else would take the risk of operating the