Boy Goes to Town

Stan Hasselgard's background 

Åke Hasselgård was born in Sundsvall, a town some 50 kilometers north of Stockholm, on October 4, 1922. He was a clever boy, who sailed through school and continued to a high school in Uppsala in 1939. From there, he went straight to the Uppsala University where he graduated in English and art history in 1947.
He also showed a remarkable talent for music, playing along records as a kid with his recorder – until his parent bought him a clarinet for his 16th birthday in 1938. He never learned to read music!
He encountered other jazz enthusiasts already in high school and formed a small swing group that won an amateur contest in December, 1940. This led to the formation of a more permanent band, the Royal Swingers, that triumphed in a larger amateur band contest the following year, arranged by the dance hall Nalen and the jazz magazine OJ in Stockholm. This established the Royal Swingers as local stars, playing for local student balls and also appearing in Stockholm.
The band was featured in a "swing evening" at the Stockholm Concert Hall, secured a radio broadcast and recorded four sides for Brunswick in July, 1942.


October 4, 1922  born in Sundsvall, family later moves to Bollnäs
1940 Small group in Uppsala
1941 Royal Swingers wins OJ's contest
1942 Military service
– 1945 Royal Swingers
1945 Arthur Österwall at Nalen
1946 Royal Swingers/Simon Brehm
1946 – may 47 University
April 1947 Elitorkestern
July 1, 1947 arrives in New York after a week at sea
December 1947 recordings in LA
Jan-Feb 1948 Jubilee sessions, Capitol session
June-July 1948 w Benny Goodman
October 1948 first two weeks own band at Threee Deuces
Nov 18, 1948 V-Discs
Nov 22, 1948 takes off to Calif
Nov 23, 1948 dies