Carl Frederick Tandberg (1910-1988)

Bass fiddle musician who recorded with Glen Campbell and Frankie Ortega

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Carl Frederick Tandberg (1910-1988) Bass fiddle musician who recorded with Glen Campbell and Frankie Ortega (March 22, 1910 – August 26, 1988)

Parents:

Carl Frederick Tandberg (1910-1988) circa 1950-1960

Carl was the son of Thorvald Martin Tandberg I (1874-1970) of Portland, Maine; and Alvilde Marie Naess (1875-1933) of Kristiania, Oslo, Norway. Thorvald was the son of Andreas Tandberg (1846-1910) of Hønefos, Norway; and Valborg Margrethe Fisher (1848-1915) of Kristiania, Oslo, Norway.

Birth:
Carl was born on March 22, 1910 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

Siblings:
Ethel Valborg Alfrida Tandberg (1898-1995) who was born in Norway and married Clifford Edward Milner (1892-1980); Thorvald Martin Tandberg II who may have died as an infant; Ralph Christian Andreas Tandberg (1901-1995) aka Thoralph Tandberg, who was a safety engineer, who married Sigrid Andreassen (1905-1940) and after her death married Esther Ruth Clyde (1895-1973) and after a divorce married JoAnn Losey; Yolanda Christina Tandberg (1902-2003) who married Joseph Nathaniel French, who was an architect; and Thordis Tandberg who died when she was 14 of spinal meningitis. All the other children were born in Kristiania, Oslo, Norway. There were two children stillborn.

Marriage:
He married Alice Nazian Gonyer (1909-1992) of Orono, Maine around 1929 in New York. They had met at a dance in Orono. Her family was originally French Canadian and Catholic.

Queens, New York:
In 1930 Carl and Alice were living at 88-08 171st Street in Queens, New York and paying $50 a month in rent. Carl was already working as a musician.

Children:
He had two children: Carol Fredricka Tandberg (1933- ) and Eugene Ralph Tandberg (1939- ).

California:
He was the first Tandberg in the family to move to California. His brother Ralph was the next to move to California after the birth of Pauline and they both lived together. He lived in Burbank and worked as a guard at the NBC studio and at KTTV.

Music:
He worked with Shep Fields (1910-1981) and His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra. He worked with The Jerry Blaine (1910-1973) Orchestra in 1937. While working at a music publishing company he met Glen Campbell and collaborated on several recordings. He worked with the Frankie Ortega Trio in Las Vegas and at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach for  11 years. He moved to Burbank, California in the 1940s and worked as a musician in Alhambra, California at Dick White’s Rickey’s Lounge, starting in 1957 with Paul Peters and Stan Seltzer.

Security guard:
He worked at Bob Hope’s house as the security at the gate after he retired from music.

Death:
He died on August 26, 1988 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California at 78 years old. He was buried in Eternal Valley Memorial Park in the Garden of Prayer in grave 435E.

Bands:

  • Shep Fields (1910-1981) and His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra
  • The Jerry Blaine (1910-1973) Orchestra
  • The Frankie Ortega Trio

Discography:

  • Glen Campbell; The Legacy (1961-2002)


Memories about Carl Frederick Tandberg:

  • Adelma Tandberg on May 12, 2006 said: He was a bass fiddle player for a band operated by a man called Shep Fields (1910-1981).
  • June Tandberg on May 12, 2006 said: He was a bass fiddle player with the Frankie Ortega Trio in Hollywood, California.
  • Pauline Dutton on May 24, 2006: He was guard at the Burbank studios and he knew Bob Hope. He painted pictures of farmhouses and his brother Ralph painted seascapes. Carl sold tiny paintings on tiny stands at the local drug store. His wife made memory books and made old TV Guides into papier-mâché art work for people’s weddings. The trailer that they lived in was damaged during the Sylmar earthquake of February 9, 1971. Carl played at a restaurant at Alhambra, and he had a tiny pinky ring with a sapphire in it. He took me for my first soda. His wife was ill in her last years but he died before her, maybe of a heart attack. Carl was the first to move to California [in the family], and he lived in Burbank.
  • Carol Tandberg (1933- ) wrote on May 29, 2006: He moved from New York to Califonia in 1945. He lived for a time in Long Beach and Los Angeles and then moved to Sun Valley. They ultimately moved to Sylmar where they both passed away. When Carl was a young man, he played the tuba in bands and traveled the Vaudeville Circuit on the east coast. Somewhere along the line he changed to the bass fiddle. He met Alice in Orono, Maine at a dance and they were eventually married in New York in 1929. He worked with many bands in New York before moving to California. There he worked with such bands as the Frankie Ortega Trio in Las Vegas and also [in] the Balboa Bay Club for 11 years. He worked at a music publishing company where he met Glen Campbell. They collaborated on many demo records and finally had an album of their own [that may have been] called “The Blue Grass Boys”. Carl played at “Rickey’s” in Alhambra and when the trio broke up, he became the maître d’hôtel of the restaurant, which was downstairs. He then took a position with a security company and was a set watcher at KTTV, channel 11 and [he was] also at the home of Bob Hope as a gate guard. He finally retired for good and became diabetic. He died of a heart attack.
Image:
Carl Frederick Tandberg (1910-1988) circa 1940-1950. Image from the collection of Carol Tandberg and Bob Lancaster.