“Tan Tan” , and the fabulous Fitz Vaughn Bryan Orchestra

Fitz Vaughn Bryan was a highly respected , popular musician, composer, arranger and band leader from Trinidad and Tobago. He was born August 13, 1917 in Tunapuna, Trinidad, and formed the Fitz Vaughan Bryan Orchestra in 1955.

“Tan Tan” by the Fitz Vaughn Bryan band was probably one of the biggest dance hall hits ever in Trinidad and Tobago , and I do remember this Fitz Vaughn composition dominating the local music charts for some time in the early sixties.

fitz vaughn
Fitz Vaughn Bryan

Tan Tan was composed by Fitz Vaughn, and was a great party tune.

For an entire generation of young adults, the Fitz Vaughn Bryan Orchestra was considered by many to be the best big band/ dance band of Trinidad, and the band included some notable musicians of that era including the likes of guitarist Les Sargeant , Frankie Joseph on trumpet and Simeon Cabellero ( Oxley) on trombone.

I remember hearing somewhere that the tune “Tan Tan” was a salute to Bryan’s favorite aunt, and it remains a sweet , enjoyable dance piece from yesteryear.

I’m sure this tune will stir fond memories among old time Trinis out there.

It certainly does it for me.

Tan Tan” by the Fitz Vaughn Bryan Orchestra

This sweet interpretation of the Fitz Vaughn Bryan hit is performed by steel-pan maestro Robert “Robbie” Greenidge , and features a fine saxophone solo by veteran sax-man , Frankie Francis.

Robert “Robbie ” Greenidge – Fitz Vaughn Bryan”s “Tan Tan”
Robert “Robbie ” Greenidge – Fitz Vaughn Bryan”s “Tan Tan”

And , music fans and culture lovers , do check this one out.

“Mas in yuh Mas” is a fine example of the up-tempo sounds of the calypso dance bands of the nineteen fifties , as heard in dance halls , and on the streets at Carnival.

The Fitz Vaughn Bryan Orchestra – “Mas in Yuh Mas ” 
The Fitz Vaughn Bryan Orchestra – “Mas in Yuh Mas ” 


This rousing version of jazz great Dave Brubeck’s hit “Take Five” demonstrated why the band was so beloved , and the members so highly respected as musicians.

The Fitz Vaughn Bryan orchestra – Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five”
Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” by the Fitz Vaughn Bryan Band

The Fitz Vaughn Bryan Orchestra was a mature seasoned dance band and their experience made them one of the top music bands of the fifties into the early sixties.

Domenico Modugno’s “Volare” was an unusual hit . It was sung in Italian , no one knew what it meant but it became a world wide hit , and was song of the year in the US.

It was also very popular in Trinidad.

Here’s the band’s version of “Volare

The Fitz Vaughn Bryan Band – Domenico Modugno’s “Volare”

One of the things that made the Fitz Vaughn Bryan band so popular with music lovers of the fifties and sixties was their varied musical repertoire.

In those days , party goers enjoyed a variety of music styles ,from the Fox Trot to Bolero , cha cha cha , Castilian and of course calypso. Fitz Vaughn’s band mastered them all.

Here , a popular DJ introduces the band as they play a beautiful rendition of “Oh, Danny Boy” in the Fox Trot tempo , at a band competition held at Queen’s Hall in Port of Spain, some time in the late fifties or early sixties.

One can hear the crowd’s appreciation as the band excels during their performance.

The Fitz Vaughn Bryan Band – Oh, Danny Boy

And finally , the very best arrangement of Sparrow’s “Dan is The Man” bar none, was done by the Fitz Vaughn Bryan Band.

I can still remember partying to this in Palm’s Club , San Fernando.

Sparrow’s “Dan is the Man” by the Fitz Vaughn Bryan Band



For those interested in more of the great music by the Fitz Vaughn Bryan Band , here’s a link to a YouTube playlist I created for your enjoyment.

A playlist of favorites from the fabulous Fitz Vaughn Bryan band

2 thoughts on ““Tan Tan” , and the fabulous Fitz Vaughn Bryan Orchestra

  1. Excellent record of the magic of Fitz Vaughn Bryan. Just one correction – Tan Tan was released in 1956; the other instrumental hit of that year was Taboo by the Cyril Diaz Orchestra. Of course 1956 was the year of Sparrow’s Jean and Dinah and the rest is history as they say. Kenty Noel

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