was already an in-demand studio trumpeter and arranger in the mid-'30s, when he was still less than 25 years old. In the '40s he was the orchestra director for
on some of that artist's most classic recordings; considered such an essential part of
knowledge, in fact, that a record label reissued two volumes of material in a series entitled Perry Como: The Russ Case Collection. Yet it would be hard to single out any particular credit as being most important in this artist's diverse and musically sophisticated career.
His talents as a composer and arranger were largely self-taught, but good enough to keep him employed through most of the big-band era. He began learning the trumpet as a child. Case
was still a teenager when he joined the staff of WOC radio in Davenport, OH, as a music arranger, sometimes getting to toss in a solo here and there. From here he moved on to Chicago, where he picked up a decent gig with the Frankie Trumbauer band. The Paul Whiteman Orchestra
was the next job, requiring a move to New York City. Whiteman kept Case
on the case writing arrangements for both popular and classical concerts. Following the second World War, NBC radio snatched up Case
for its studio orchestras, and from there, he proceeded into television. Episodes of so-called "classic television" such as the Pulitzer Prize Playhouse are very likely to have incidental and theme music scribbled out by Case
. The Case
studio orchestra backed up singers such as Julius LaRosa and Eddy Arnold on variety shows. Case
, in the manner of other studio arrangers such as Mitch Miller, also put on an A&R hat, working as the RCA's director of pop music. It was in this capacity that he wound up arranging what would be one of Como
's giant hits, "Till the End of Time." Case
's job at the time of his death in the early '60s was as arranger for The Jackie Gleason Show, and he also arranged and conducted several Gleason albums.
There is also a fairly large amount of material that was released under the name of Case
or his orchestra. Much of this material was done at the height of the hi-fi era, with the expected result that Case
dabbled in goofy percussion albums and created tracks such as "Doll Dance" that underwent reappraisal in the '90s when a new wave of interest developed in the type of records swinging bachelors had stuck on their turntables back in the '50s. Case
also conducts and plays on the original studio cast albums of shows such as Oklahoma!, The Music Man, Finian's Rainbow, The King and I, and My Fair Lady.