According to Charles Champlin, there are no living and active surviving band leaders now that Woody Herman has died ("Woody Herman: Elegy for a Swing Giant," Oct. 31).
May I remind him that not only am I quite alive and performing with my big band all the time right here in the Los Angeles area, but also there are four other still very active leaders--Les Brown, Tex Beneke, Bob Crosby, Benny Carter, all from the Big Band Era.
Please tell Champlin to put away his horn and not bother playing taps, since the era has not ended.
P.S. In the East, there are still Lionel Hampton, Ray McKinley and Les and Larry Elgart.