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The Work Begins

In the beginning of 1945, agent Johnny Coon approached Warren about starting his own band. Warren, who had only previously been gigging with several other groups, was hesitant at first. He said to Coon, "Why should I want to lead my own band?" In reply, Johnny said "You'll make an extra five bucks a night. And I can put you in the Continetal Hotel Sky Roof every Saturday Night." With this simple sentence, the Warren Durrett Orchestra was born. The band played its first job on February 3, 1945. 


Warren had an ongoing relationship with the conservatory. For many years, the early band played duel concerts with the conservatory choirs and orchestras.  Mrs. Durrett  reminisces, "We would come to UMKC and listen to the lab bands all the time. We were always busy – he was – looking for musical talent."