One of the first musicians in the band and one who helped start the band was drummer Bobby Harrison. After playing with the Continentals, Harrison went on the road with Frank Sinatra, Jr. and then Si Zentnor and Juliet Prowse. He now plays in Las Vegas. Other well-known musicians who have played with the band more recently are saxophonist Kirby Campbell, at one time the busiest studio musician in New York City, and Bob Havens who was the featured trombonist on the Lawrence Welk show for its entire twenty-two year run. The Continentals Band is best-known for having played more than five hundred Saturday night engagements at the Radisson Governors Inn in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
The Continentals Dance Band was first organized in 1957 as a sixteen piece orchestra. Leon had just been discharged from the Navy, and he and other musicians in the Raleigh area were looking for an opportunity to play dance music. The band's first engagement was playing for the Miss Raleigh pageant in 1958. Soon afterward they were playing for college dances at N.C. State, Duke and UNC. Many of the early musicians were college students and members of the National Guard Band. The band quickly grew in popularity because they played dance music while other bands in the area played jazz.
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Since 1957, in over 1500 engagements, Leon Jordan's Continentals has played music of the great Big Bands. They play music from notable bands such as: Glen Miller, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Harry James, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Johnny Long, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Herb Alpert, and many more.
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