“720 in the Books“. This is a song title. Yeh. Pretty funny title. It was made popular in the late 30′s-early 40′s by Jan Savitt’s big band and received it’s title from it’s place in the band’s book of arrangements when no one was able to come up with a better name for it. Hence “720” was the number assigned to it.
Jan Savitt (born Jacob Savetnick; September 4, 1907 – October 4, 1948), known as “The Stokowski of Swing”, was an American bandleader and musical arranger. His band The Top Hatters was formed in 1937 and began touring the following year. Their songs include “720 in the Books”.
Turns out “720” was also my childhood home address (720 Laramie, Manhattan, KS) all the way from pre-school, elementary, junior high, senior high, through two of my university years, before I transferred from Kansas State University to the University of California, Los Angeles.
It was an address known well by the towns people as well as the surrounding area. Few had not heard of my father Matt Betton and his Orchestra. It was an address known nationally and internationally as well. If you happened to be affiliated with the world of jazz education the address for Jazz Education Press was also 720 Laramie, as it was Matt Betton who had the vision, passion, and brought to fruition the International Association for Jazz Education. Through the effort of John Conyer during the 112th Congress, H.R. 2823, the “National Jazz Preservation and Education Act of 2011″ was passed, establishing jazz education programs in the schools to ensure this uniquely American Musical genre lived on.