Massachusetts native Frank Perkins (1908-1988) made his name as a composer while working for Warner Brothers in Los Angeles. His works crossed genres from songs, notably “Stars Fell on Alabama”, to light classics like Fandango to a wealth of television and film music. He was nominated for an Oscar for his work on 1962’s film version of Gypsy, in which he served as conductor, arranger, and music supervisor. He graduated in 1929 from Brown University (with an economics degree), then toured Europe as a pianist in the 1930s before returning to the US and forming his own dance band. Subsequent work with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians led to the job at Warner Brothers in 1938, where he stayed until retirement in the late 1960s.
Floyd Werle (1929-2010) was a University of Michigan alumnus who served as the arranger for the US Air Force Band for 32 years. He created hundreds of arrangements and was renowned for his harmonic daring and orchestrational finesse. He arranged Perkins’s Fandango in 1954. Here it is (with the first 8 or so bars cut off) performed by a very fine German band:
And here is Perkins’s own orchestra performing his original version:
The fandango is a song and dance form from Spain and Portugal that originated in the early 1700s. It became popular as an instrumental form for serious treatment by composers by the end of the 18th century. It is a 3/4 dance that is accompanied by castanets and often features a descending harmonic progression. See one early treatment by Luigi Boccherini:
And another that focuses on the castanet-bearing dancers:
Sadly, Fandango for band is currently out of print. Write a review of it on the JWPepper site so we can push to get it back!