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Big Time Operator and the Swing Kids

big time operator

Big Time Operator and the Swing Kids

Big Time Operator

I performed with Big Time Operator from December 1996 to May 1999. Performed throughout Southern California, the West Coast, Las Vegas, toured through Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Performed at Disneyland and Disney World in Orlando.

I had the opportunity to play all the classic swing and big band songs with BTO, and at every gig it seemed I did two to three drum solos, and most known for my drum solos on Sing, Sing, Sing.

BTO was in five episodes of the short-lived television series, Nightman.

We put out a great swing/big band album, and our version of Sing, Sing, Sing (with my drum solo) still gets airplay on the local Jazz radio station.

Retro Enthusiast
At the Hard Rock Hotel [Front] Warren Lovell and [Left to Right] Jamie Tobitt, Nathan Mills, Shannon Dailey, myself, Rick Cunningham, Tom Bishop, Jim Weiss, Marc Rosen, Ladd Wardani.

Some memorable gigs with the band were at The Viper Room, and once Keanu Reeves’ band, “Dogstar”, opened up for us there. And where I also ran into Brian Setzer (who said I did a nice drum solo), and Bruce Willis. We also did some memorable stints in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, Hard Rock Hotel, the legendary Desert Inn, and the Freemont Street Experience. And we got the opportunity to open for Donna Summer at the MGM Grand.

with big band at disneyland
At Disneyland, Carnation Stage.

Another memorable venue was the swing nights at The Derby in Hollywood, where we once received a request from actress Geena Davis, who requested Fly Me To The Moon, and I remember her and her significant other dancing alone on the dance floor while everyone watched.

carlos_derby
At The Derby in Hollywood

Yet another memorable gig was performing a wedding reception at the Beverly Hills home of movie producer Irwin Winkler. Actor/director Jon Favreau was there. And chef Wolfgang Puck made a special dinner for the band.

For the three years I’d been with Big Time Operator, we’d won The San Diego Music Awards – Best Big Band category for 1997, 1998, and 1999.

And in one of those years, we also won the Jim Croce Music Award, presented to us by Ingrid Croce.

There was a rich history with this band that I appreciate and look back on fondly. It was a great ride for me. I don’t regret that time in my musical life. Even though it was a different time and place.

carlos rull at croces
At Croce’s Top Hat

The Swing Kids

Our gratitude goes out to the Swing Kids who brought the Swing Revival to life back in the 1990s, at first when it was an underground movement to its prominence in the late 1990s. To me, it was a golden era of reviving a music, dance and culture that our grandparents and great-grandparents started back in the 1940s. May the movement be kept alive in our hearts.

More on Big Time Operator

big time operator
Sunday August 13, 2017 by Carlos Rull
Filed as: Drums, Music
Retro Enthusiast
Wednesday January 9, 2013 by Carlos Rull
Filed as: Drums

Thursday February 1, 2007 by Carlos Rull
Filed as: Music


About the author:
Has 3157 Articles

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

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