Name: Puerling, Gene
Historical Note: Eugene Thomas Puerling was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 31, 1929. Puerling worked as a disc jockey in Milwaukee before moving to Los Angeles, where he worked for Les Baxter and Gordon Jenkins. He was a founding member of the innovative jazz vocal group the Hi-Lo's, which got their first break from Jerry Fielding, who signed the group with Trend Records; they later moved on to Starlite Records, and the group was also briefly associated with Mitch Miller of Columbia Records. Puerling and the Hi-Lo's acheived stardom with appearances on numerous television shows, including those of Steve Allen, Peggy Lee, Nat "King" Cole, Frank Sinatra, Garry Moore, and Andy Williams, but their most durable association was with the Rosemary Clooney show, where they became the house vocal group in 1956. The Hi-Lo's disbanded in 1964 as national musical tastes changed, but Puerling formed a new group, the Singers Unlimited, with Len Dresslar, Bonnie Herman, and Hi-Lo's alumnus Don Shelton. Pianist Oscar Peterson recommended the group to the MPS record label, where they recorded multiple albums. Puerling was nominated for 14 Grammy awards, and won in 1982 for his arraangement of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" as sung by the Manhattan Transfer. Throughout his career, he collaborated with distinguished instrumental arrangers, including Patrick Williams, Frank Comstock, Marty Paich, and Rob McConnell, among others. He continued arranging for numerous groups, including Chanticleer, and a reunited Hi-Lo's in the late 1970s. Gene Puerling died in Marin County, California, on March 25, 2008.
Sources: "Gene Puerling of the Singers Unlimited," Daily Independent Journal (San Rafael, California), January 6, 1973, page 35 [M3], via Newspapers.com, viewed December 15, 2020. https://www.newspapers.com/image/74373822/ Wikipedia article on Gene Puerling, viewed December 14, 2020 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Puerling Philip Lindley, "The Story of Hi-Lo's," via Singers.com, viewed December 14, 2020. https://www.singers.com/jazz/Hi-Loshistory.html Jackie Russell, "Just for Girls ...Four Guys with a Yen to Sing," Pasadena Independent, December 23, 1954, page 12, via Newspapers.com, viewed December 15, 2020. https://www.newspapers.com/image/620136847/ Lee Hildebrand, "Another Round for the Hi-Lo's," San Francisco Examiner, August 4, 1985, page 361, via Newspapers.com, viewed December 15, 2020. https://www.newspapers.com/image/461461549/ Valerie J. Nelson, "Noted vocal arranger led the Hi-Lo’s quartet," Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2008, viewed December 14, 2020. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2008-apr-02-me-puerling2-story.html Gene Puerling at FindAGrave.com, viewed December 15, 2020. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/25714978/gene-puerling Jesse Hamlin, "Gene Puerling - Grammy-winning arranger dies," San Francisco Chronicle, April 3, 2008, Updated: Feb. 9, 2012 7:27 p.m., viewed December 14, 2020. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Gene-Puerling-Grammy-winning-arranger-dies-3221307.php
Note Author: Maristella Feustle
Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Puerling, Gene