Orchestra leader Vincent Lopez was a fixture on the nation's big band scene of the 1920s, '30s and '40s.
Lopez was born in Brooklyn in 1895 and learned to play the piano as a child. His father wanted him to become a priest and sent him to a monastery for training at the age of 12.
The abbot heard him play the piano and sent the boy back home, urging his parents to arrange a musical career. That same year he began playing professionally.
Lopez, whose orchestra theme song was "Nola," performed at New York's Hotel Taft for 27 years. In addition, he operated his own nightclub, the Casa Lopez, in New York for a time. Xavier Cugat, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, and Artie Shaw are among the famous musicians who played in his band over the years.