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Johnny and Anita Peschang Hanson, Savanna-Hanover
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The Steve Stevens Orchestra Project web-site is dedicated Trumpeter Johnny Hanson and Clarinetist Anita Peschang Hanson who have contributed much history including 8 copy negatives of the Steve Stevens Orchestra taken in 1946 and 1947, the largest amount of historical material about Wayne King offered to the Project, Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954, The History of American Popular Music, and more than 100 pages of correspondence. Updated January 19, 2002

September 1946 handbill with Trumpeter Johnny Hanson

Memories of Trumpeter John Hanson:

9/27/01 - "...On the subject of Steve Steven's possbile recording. When I was a senior at STHS (Savanna Township High School), Dick Fuller had a recording machine up on the top floor, with a package of blank recording disks. Paul Hansen and I got up there after school hours (probably in the fall of 1942) and made a 2 1/2 or 3 minute recording, Paul on Drums and myself on cornet. I had the recording at home, and my dad gave it to Paul's dad in 1946. Now Paul's dad is gone and I don't know where it went."

9/27/01: "Now, on the subject of a Steve Stevens'recording, I was not part of his band during my high school days, and it is possible that there might have been a recording made. Bob Mitchell would have the best memory of this."

"After the war, I do not remember a recording being made. If any of his dances were recorded, it is possible that could have been done without the bandmembers having been aware of it."

1/14/00: "Rene (widow of Savanna Band Leader Charlie Bertch) reminded me of Blendon Law's musical activties. Blendon, a bass player, worked with a lot of the bands - 1946-1947. I remember him when Anita (Peschang) and I played jobs with Glen Law's band. Rene Bertch informed me that Blendon is still working...known as The Blendonaires."

1/14/00: "The hillbilly/cowboy band, I believe, was Tom Owens Cowboys. I suspect I heard them in Shannon (Illinois) during a 4th of July celebration probably 1947 (?). They played a street dance while we (Steve Stevens)played in, I think, a townhall there. They were popular. And, I think, based in Cedar Rapids (Iowa). Dressed in in blue style silk shirts, and bandana type kerchiefs in place of ties. They did make quite an impression."

1/01/00: "There was a ballroom in one of the large Main street buildings on the second floor, in the same block as Ballas' Tavern, on the same side of the street, but in the middle of the block. When I was maybe 8 years old, used to get into it from the alley. (I remember the roof was partially open and the floor was sagging.) Also when I was very young, I vaguely remember my parents going up a stairs to a second floor dance hall, known as the Odd Fellows Hall. Whether these two were really the same hall, I don't know. Somebody like Bud Riddle might be able to clarify it." (Scott Law, note: they were two separate dance halls).

1/01/00:
"...Bob Davis was a rarety in that he played both the trumpet and saxophone."

"...Marv was in the Navy. I was in the Army. I was in a dance band called "The Bombadiers." When I came home before being mustered out, I was in the Fort Custer Military Band."

4/21/99: "...By 1947, the money for bands was drying up. The ballrooms were emptying. Very few bands got through the 1950's. In the the late 1940's, I heard many of the name bands at the University of Illinois proms at at Urbana. They (bands) were still drawing up to $5,000 for the one-night stands (Claude Thornhill, Gene Krupra). Between 1951 and 1957, I heard Armstrong, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Stan Kenton, Mugsy Spanier, Duke Ellington, but not at dances. They were playing concerts in theatres."

Jan. 17, 1999: "...I distinctly remember the one Saturday night I played at Brigham's with Glen Law. Brigham saw me take the horn out of the case and he went berserk. Brigham said 'I don't allow trumpet players in the bands I hire.' Well he got one that night. This is the make-up of Glen's band in 1946: Glen - alto sax, Blendon Law - Bass Fiddle, Helen Law - piano, Wade Law (I think) drums, Anita (Peschang) Hanson - clarinet, John Hanson - trumpet. Anita and I only played occasional jobs with him. Helen Law was always brought to jobs by her husband Judd Law but he did not play in the band. I seem to remember that Ralph Bailey sometimes played bass fiddle in place of Blendon Law."

Johnny Hanson mentioned in the diary of Lyle Ham:

April 13, 1946: Lyle Ham's diary entry stated "...There are just four of us--Marvin, John Hanson on trumpet and Wade Law on drums. It sounded pretty good at practice, although it will take a little while for me to get used to playing with a band gain."

October 16, 1946: Lyle Ham's diary entry stated "I was at the dance above Ballas' Sat. night. Stevens, Marv Johnny Hanson and all the boys played. We went out to Wade Law's afterwards and had hamburgers."

Memories of Clarinetist/Vocalist Anita Peschang Hanson by husband John Hanson:

Jan. 14, 2000: "...Other changes on the preliminary sheet were Harry Peschang, trombone and C melody sax, rather than piano, and (Anita's) mother Thirza (not Thurza) played piano (not a vocalist)."

Jan. 17, 1999: "...Glen Law had a band that played for dances and weddings around the Savanna area, probably from the 1930's on. My wife (Anita Peschang)and I played some jobs with Glen after 1946 into 1947. Glen played at the Savanna Moose, Brigham's Barn dances (5 miles north of Savanna on old Route 80 now 84)."

Jan 17, 1999: "...My wife, Anita, played during that 4 year period ('46 to '50) with a square dance group headed by Charlie Bertsch, who was a farmer in Derinda. They actually played in various barns for Saturday night dances (Kennedy's Barn in Pleasant Hill being the one she (Anita) can remember."

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