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Les Elgart, 77, who died Saturday of...


Les Elgart, 77, who died Saturday of a heart attack in Dallas, played a big part in the history of big bands.

Mr. Elgart, a trumpeter, wrote the theme song for Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" show. He also led a dance band with his brother Larry during the 1950s, 10 years after the big-band sound was at the height of its popularity.

The Les and Larry Elgart Orchestra produced more than 50 albums, including The Elgart Touch and For Dancers Also, both of which made the top 15 on the Billboard chart.

Mr. Elgart also played with the Charlie Spivak, Woody Herman, Bunny Berigan and Raymond Scott bands.

Mr. Elgart moved to San Antonio in the late 1960s, then to Dallas in 1977. The Elgart brothers stopped performing together in 1967.

His wife, Joerene Elgart, said many music lovers still remember the man known as the "trumpet player's trumpet player."

She said he continued to tour the world with The Les Elgart Orchestra.

The day before his death, Mr. Elgart was putting together a program for a tour this fall, his wife said.

Verner E. Suomi, 79, who developed satellite technology that revolutionized weather forecasting and atmosphere studies, died Sunday in Madison, Wis. He invented the spin-scan camera, which enabled weather satellites 25,000 miles above the equator to capture pictures of Earth.

Donald R. Carpenter, 64, a novelist and screenwriter whose credits include the 1973 film "Payday," died Thursday in Mill Valley, Calif., apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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