Pastor, Tony (originally, Pestritto, Anthony/Antonio)

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Pastor, Tony (originally, Pestritto, Anthony/Antonio)

Pastor, Tony (originally, Pestritto, Anthony/Antonio), pop band leader, vocalist, saxophonist; b. Middletown, Conn., Oct. 26, 1907; d. New London, Conn., Oct. 31, 1969. From about 1927, he worked with various local bands, then played with Irving Aaronson (1928–30). He led his own band in Hartford, Conn. (1931–34), and became a mainstay of Artie Shaw’s bands (1936–40). He became a star with Shaw (his zany vocal on “Indian Love Call” was on the other side of Shaw’s hit “Begin the Beguine” in 1938). He formed his own band in late 1940 and achieved considerable success, having had more than a dozen top 20 hits in the 1940s, and continued to lead his own band until 1959. From then onwards, he appeared with his family vocal group, which also featured his sons Tony Jr., Guy, and John. In the spring of 1968 he was forced to retire through ill health; he died a year later.


Tony Pastor (1949); Dance Date Series (1950).

—John Chilton Who’s Who of Jazz /Lewis Porter