Robert Frederick Graettinger was born in the small town of Ontario (California) in 1923. Little is known of his early musical experiences, except that he played the saxophone during his high school years. At the age of 17 he heard a series of performances by Stan Kenton in Hollywood, and at this time he showed them an arrangement which he had made. “The arrangements were amateurish, but ambitious. Stan encouraged the boy to keep writing, and forgot him”. (Straight Ahead, page 134) Six years later, Kenton again received an arrangement, Thermopylae, from Graettinger, and immediately hired him. He saw Graettinger as someone who would be able to help him achieve his goal of shaking off the dance-band image, opening the way to appearances in prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall…..Download booklet
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