Lester Raymond Brown was born on March 14, 1912 in a brick house at the corner of East Grand Avenue and 2nd Street in Reinerton (Tower City P.O.), PA. to Ray W. and Hattie Brown. In 1926, his father bought a bakery in Lykens and the family moved to that town.
While attending Duke University, Les became the leader of the Duke Blue Devils Dance Band. The summer after his senior year, he took the band on an east coast tour that ended with the Blue Devils disbanding when several members returned to finish college in the fall.
Les would become an accomplished saxophonist, composer and band leader in the big band era moving to NYC and eventually to California. He eventually formed his own band which became known as “Les Brown and his Band of Renown.”
The band’s big break came with the song “Sentimental Journey”, co-composed by Les and sung by a young girl named Doris Day.
When Bob Hope hired the Band of Renown as his band, they became a favorite with servicemen as they followed Bob on his USO trips from Korea to Vietnam.
The band survived when most big bands folded during the nineteen-sixties. They became the house band for the Steve Allen Show, the Dean Martin Show as well as playing for all Bob Hope’s television specials.
Les Brown Sr. left the stage for the last time on January 4, 2001.