ABBPS on Display at WGBH Event

ABBPS has partnered with WGBH to bring a 1920s flair to Boston at WGBH’s “An Evening Inspired by Downtown Abbey.” Attendees to WGBH’s gala will travel back in time to mid-1920s Britain to revel in the music, dance, food and fashion that make the era portrayed in the series’ fifth season so appealing. ABBPS president, Dan Gabel, and the High Society Orchestra, featuring vocalist Elise Roth, are the star performers at the event.

ABBPS will help transport attendees back to the 1920s with displays of period memorabilia. The ABBPS collection includes Vaughn Monroe’s trombone and arrangements from the Henry Busse library, all generously donated to ABBPS’s library for preservation for future generations.

Za Za Ludwig Band Photo

ABBPS Preserves Cullen Band Arrangements


This past week, I had the pleasure to meet Mr. Steve Cullen of Medfield, MA. His father, Steve Cullen Sr., led a successful dance band in New England during the 1930s, and before that played with one of the most popular groups in the area during the 1920s, “Za Za Ludwig and his Vaudeville Boys.” Ludwig was quite a popular act, and always had a good band.


Incredibly, the entire music library of the Cullen band was preserved all these years, organized in boxes and through an alpha-numeric catalog system. Last Wednesday, I went to Steve (Jr)’s house, and we spoke about the band, his fathers story, and the arrangements. Most generously, Steve donated the arrangement library to the ABBPS!


Steve Cullen’s arrangements wouldn’t be filed away someplace, but rather played and made available. Already, four of the arrangements were played by Dan Gabel and the Abletones at a dance gig! The tunes were a hit as the dancers loved the music, and the band did a great job sight-reading the charts.

Listen to the recording above. The recording features:
  • Satin Takes a Holiday
  • The Umbrella Man
  • There’s Frost on the Moon
  • Music, Maestro Please
We are looking forward to bringing more of these wonderful arrangements from Steve Cullen’s collection back to life!