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ABBPS Preserves Cullen Band arrangements

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

By: DAN GABEL 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:

  • Satan 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!

Zaza Ludwig's 'Vodvil' [Vaudeville] Band, circa 1927.

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