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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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CONLON, Jud. (Cuba City, WI, 1910-Chicago, IL, July 28, 1966). Justin N. Conlon's early days in Dubuque where he attended COLUMBIA ACADEMY and COLUMBIA COLLEGE. He played the accordion and was active in musical groups including the Vested Choir directed by Father Alphonse Dress. This may have led to his mastery of vocal arranging. He played accordion at the Hilltop Casino until 4:00 a.m., sleep, and then get up for his college classes.

In high school he formed the Justin Conlon Orchestra. By the time he was in college, the group toured the Midwest and was often featured on WMT-Cedar Rapids, WHO-Des Moines, and WOC-Davenport.

Conlon's first major arranging work was with the famous Kay Kyser Orchestra. Bing Crosby then hired Conlon to make arrangements and vocal backgrounds for his radio series. Crosby also spotlighted the Jud Conlon Rhythmaires for over eight years on CBS. He went on to work for Andy Williams and Guy Lombardo. In the mid-1950s, Conlon began collaborating with satirist, Stan Freberg. Conlon's arrangements appeared on nearly all Freberg's comedy records as well as on his "Stan Freberg Radio Show." He also worked on the television program "Frankie Laine Time." (1) For most of his career, Judd served as a musical arranger for Walt Disney. Among his credits are the Disney movies Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), and Babes in Toyland (1961).

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3anDVTuDFE‎ "I Waited a Little Too Long," Jud Conlon's Rhythmaires



1. "Jud Conlon," New York Times, Dec. 15, 2013. Online: http://www.nytimes.com/movies/person/695900/Jud-Conlon

Tigges, John. They Came From Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1983, p. 38-39