Thaddeus Piaseczny, also known as Ted Herbert, 90, died Saturday night, May 27, 2006 at the home where he was born on Cypress Street in Manchester, New Hampshire. He died peacefully with his family by his side.
Ted was born one of seven children in Manchester on December 18, 1915 to Stanislaw Piaseczny and Karolina Herbut. He attended Hallsville grammar school in Manchester and night school at Lawrence High School in Massachusetts.
His first job was attending to farm chores at the old Huse Farm on Mammoth Road, thus began his love for horses. He moved on to jobs in the local shoe shops to help support the family. At the age of eight Ted learned to play the violin, his first instrument, as therapy to heal a broken right arm. At fourteen, Ted picked up the saxophone and the clarinet and started playing in local bands and dances.
In 1935, the Ted Herbert Orchestra was officially formed. The band played for high school and college dances and ballrooms throughout the Northeast and New York State. He traveled with and conducted concerts for such stars as Rudy Vallee, Patti Page, Frankie Lane, The Four Lads, The Four Aces, The Ames Brothers, Tony Bennett, The McGuire Sisters, Jerry Vale, Julius LaRosa, Peter, Paul and Mary, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Della Reese, The King Family and The Superemes. He resumed his band career and in 1946 Ted began to play at the famous Hampton Beach Casino for what became 26 consecutive summers as the house band playing six nights a week. His Big Band’s last ten years were spent as the house band at Danversport Yacht Club, in Danvers, Mass. He retired in 1990 after 55 years in the band business. He brought the band together one more time in 1997 for a concert at the Palace Theater to benefit the Arthur Mirable Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Ted was drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed in the Pacific Theatre, Australia and New Guinea serving with the 2nd Brigade Amphibian Engineers under General Douglas MacArthur. Ted participated in 68 combat landings including the battle for Leyte Island in the Philippines where the battle for their liberation began. He was transferred to duty as a musical conductor for many dances and USO shows accompanying such people as Joe E. Brown, Gary Cooper and John Wayne. Ted also had the honor of playing for two of General MacArthur’s birthday celebrations in Townsville, Australia.
In December, 1945, Ted returned home and married the former Gertrude Warchol. They had three children, Thad and twins Marlene and Mark. In 1958 he became the owner of the original Music Mart located at the corner of Bridge and Elm Street in Manchester. The business, located adjacent to Manchester City Hall, grew up to a large retail operation with 50 music teachers and close to 1,000 students, promoting music education throughout the State. Ted also served on the NH Commission for the Arts for eight years.
He is survived by his children, his sister, Emily, and his grandchildren, Michael, Kathryn and Samantha.
(photo courtesy of the Union Leader)