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Lola Sugia (1960) sings Johnny Forrest's hit...
18 Apr 2010
(26 Feb 2010)
Lola Sugia sang with bands and orchestras led by Pep Perry, Curt Sykes, Gordon Greene, Max Pillar, Clyde Jensen, Don Anderson, Jackie Souders, Norm Hoagy, and at Seattle's Town and Country Club with the Wyatt Howard Band.
Frank and Lola Sugia worked with the finest NW musicians. Some of their favorites were the players in the Seattle Rhythm Kings, led by trumpeter Don Anderson. The band included Don Anderson on trumpet, Rollie Morehouse on clarinet, Chuck Metcalf on bass (and later Red Kelly on bass), Dave Coleman on drums, Mike Hobi on trombone and John Wittwer on piano.
Lola Sugia's favorite band to sing with was Norm Hoagy's band, including instrumentalists Sal Carraba, Dave Stetler, Red Kelly, Jim Weaver, Wayne Saxe, Dave Tuttle and Stan Keen.
Lola Sugia sang with many prominent dance bands and orchestras. Among the hundreds of talented Northwest musicians that she performed with are trumpeter Marv Thomas (father of Seattle's hottest trumpet player, Jay Thomas), Dave Tuttle (father of Seattle drummer Marty Tuttle), Rollie Morehouse, Dave Stetler, Carle Rising, Tiny Martin, Gordy Challstedt, Kenneth Johnson, Don Anderson, Kenny Nelson, Phil Odle, Dave Coleman, Benny Witte, Hayden Shaner and Al Turay, to name just a few.
Some of the living descendants of Seattle's Jackson Street era of jazz are Don Anderson Jr. (son of trumpeter Don Anderson), Jay Thomas (son of trumpeter Marv Thomas), Marty Tuttle (son of trombonist Dave Tuttle), Lynn Durfy (daughter of saxophonist and arranger Ken Johnson), Sue and Peter Sugia (son and daughter of Frank Sugia), Darsie and Bard Beck (sons of Frank Sugia) and vocalist Maia Santell (daughter of Lola Sugia, daughter of "Tebby", saxophonist and clarinetist, and niece of Frank Sugia accordionist and band leader). Are you a descendant of a jazz, swing or big band musician that performed in the Seattle area during the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's or 60's? If so, it is time to start a Facebook group called, "Descendants of Jackson Street Jazz"!!
Lola Sugia's brother and Maia Santell's uncle, Frank Sugia, was known as "Seattle's most popular entertainer". He played with Jackie Souders at the Olympic Hotel's Spanish Ballroom in 1936 and in later years he opened the Olympic Bowl with Joe Venuti. The same day he graduated from Seattle's Franklin High School he went to San Francisco to work with Paul Martin's Band. He and Joe Venuti performed for Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Sugia attended the University of Washington, studying composition and arranging. He worked with only the finest musicians, including Joe Venuti, Hayden Shaner, Gary Steele, Floyd Standifer, Dean Hodges, Bob Winn, Red Kelly, Bud Schultz, Don Smith, Al Turay, Dave Coleman, Al Wied, Glenn Martin, Rollie Morehouse, Tiny Martin, Mori Simon and Gene Sargent, to name a few. Some of Sugia's friends and associates include Norm Bobrow, Gene Boscacci, Stan Boreson, Al Bianchi, Albert and Victor Rosellini, Larry Nelson, Walt Evans and Joe Petosa. For three decades Sugia led the strolling minstrels at Frederick & Nelson each Christmas season and delighted children at the department store's yearly "Christmas Breakfast", with special guest, "Santa Claus". In 1969 he opened his own restaurant, called "Sugia's After Five", located on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle, and he performed at some of the best known clubs in the country, including The Casa Villa, The Town and Country Club (the dinner set, preceding Wyatt Howard's Orchestra), Rosellini's 410, The Olympic Bowl, The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, The Red Carpet, The Italian Village, The Sirloin Inn, The Carriage Inn, The Elks, The Thunderbird (hotel chain), the Washington Athletic Club and the Trianon Ballroom, to name a few. According to Sugia, the after-hours clubs were the places that musicians hung out to hear "real music" and jam with other players, strictly for the love of jazz, as opposed to their nightly gigs where musicians performed commercial music--primarily for their audience. Players couldn't wait to finish their regular gigs to listen to the best jazz, blues and swing musicians that were playing at after-hours joints like the Black and Tan, The Congo, The 908 Club, The 605 Club and the Cabbie Club, located in Seattle's International District and in Seattle's Central District. In 1962, during the Seattle Word's Fair, Sugia and his trio were aired "live" at the Space Needle on KOMO TV (channel 4 Seattle) for a series called "World's Fair Holiday".