Bernie Cummins

b. Bernard Joseph Cummins, 14 March 1900, Akron, Ohio, USA. Bernie Cummins, dance band leader, started his musical career in drumming. As his group grew, Cummins became its leader. In 1919, they performed their first ballroom performance at the Toadstool Inn, Indiana. His group included sidemen such as Walter Cummins (his younger brother), Carl Radlach and Paul Miller, Paul Roberts and Bernard Rohenstien. In 1919, they played their first ballroom engagement at the Toadstool Inn in Indiana. Their most notable engagements were at the Aragon Ballroom and Trianon Ballrooms, Edgewater Beach Hotel, and the Blackstone Hotel (all Chicago), as well as the Raddisson in Minnesota, the Muehlbach in Kansas City, the Roosevelt in New Orleans, the Baker and Palace of St. Francis in San Francisco. They also performed at Denver’s Elitch Gardens. Cummins’ group was not only the most popular on radio, but also one of the most recorded dance bands in history. They had contracts with Gennett, Vocalion Records. Bluebird Records. Decca Records. Brunswick Records. Victor Records. Columbia Records. These were all major record houses at the time. The band’s popularity in the 1950s allowed its leader to find work on the Las Vegas entertainment district. He eventually retired as a bandleader in 1959.

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