Frank L. Ryerson
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Frank L. Ryerson

Frank Layton Ryerson (3 July 1905 in New Jersey - 15 May 1995 in Clearwater, Florida) was an American trumpeter, composer, arranger and educator.[1][2] As a trumpeter and arranger, Ryerson performed and recorded with several big bands, beginning in 1927, including Mal Hallett and His Orchestra (and also arranger; 1936), Glen Gray and His Casa Loma Orchestra (1939, 1940, 1941), Jack Teagarden (1939), Jimmy Dorsey, and Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra (1944)[3]

Ryerson co-wrote the Jimmy Dorsey hit "Blue Champagne" written in 1941 and covered by The Manhattan Transfer in their 1975 album titled The Manhattan Transfer.[4]

He also wrote the stirring "Lament in D Minor." By 1949 he was the orchestral arranger for Vaughn Monroe.[5]

Raised in Paterson, New Jersey, Ryserson was a longtime resident of Paramus, New Jersey.[6]

For the remainder of his career he was an educator. In the 1950s he ran the music program for the Paramus Public Schools, becoming in 1957 the music director at the new Paramus High School where he created a student concert band, marching band and big-band style dance band, arranging many of the charts himself and introducing innovative techniques to the marching band not common at the time. The organizations were known for their high quality and enthusiasm from the beginning. He wrote the alma mater lyrics (sung to the tune "Aura Lee", popularly known at the time in the form of Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender"). He also during this period led and played trumpet in a small professional dance/jazz combo and provided private trumpet lessons at his home in the adjacent town of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, to students from the surrounding area.

In 1976 Ryerson retired and moved to Clearwater, Florida. Nineteen years later, on May 15, 1995, at the age of 89, he died there.


  1. ^ ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, Third edition, compiled for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, 1966 OCLC 598257
  2. ^ ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, Fourth edition, compiled for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, by Jaques Cattell Press, New York: R.R. Bowker, 1980 OCLC 7065938, 802158882
  3. ^ Jazz Records, 1897-1942, by Brian Rust (1922-2011), Arlington House Publishers (1978) OCLC 3649797
  4. ^ The Manhattan Transfer, Atlantic (1975) OCLC 58785147, 17644901
  5. ^ 1949 newspaper articles and photograph posted on the Vaughn Monroe Appreciation Society website, maintained by Louis J. Kohnen, Jr. (of East Rochester, New York) and Claire Schwartz (of Dearborn, Michigan) (retrieved 29 May 2013)
  6. ^ "Ryerson Guest Conductor at Final Village Band Concert", Paterson News, August 12, 1966. Accessed August 19, 2020, via "Frank L. Ryerson of Paramus will be guest conductor, at the final Village Band performance of the year, tonight at the Frank Kasschau Memorial Shell on Veterans' Field.... Ryerson, a native of Paterson, has written a number of song hits and has appeared in Hollywood films. He is now band director of Paramus High School."

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