Bob Hope's Band Leader Dies

updated 04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/06/1997 12:00AM

Musician Les Brown, 88, whose Band of Renown accompanied Bob Hope on decades of TV specials and on army tours -- and who helped convince the Grammy people to make their awards ceremony a televised event -- died in Los Angeles on Thursday of lung cancer. He had scored his first No. 1 hit during World War II's Big Band era, "Sentimental Journey," with a young vocalist named Doris Day. His band, with Brown at the baton, was still touring as recently as six months ago, says the Associated Press.

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