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Welcome to the Manager's Corner

For almost the entire two decades of their existence, beginning as their Talent Scout on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, Arnie Koch was the Salt City Five/Six Personal Manager. Under his management, the band had three recording contracts and two major talent agencies: Music Corporation of America and Associated Booking Corp. They played in about every major jazz club in the U.S. Fortunately for his family, Arnie never had to give up his day job with General Electric in public relations.

Jazz Appreciation Society's Farewell to Jack Maheu

By Chris Baker |
Via Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse
Jack Maheu, whose career as a top jazz clarinetist spanned more than 50 years and included many appearances in Upstate New York, died on Aug. 27, 2013, in Ithaca, N.Y. He was 83 years old. Maheu suffered a severe stroke in 2006 and had been living at an Ithaca nursing home for the past several years.

Danny D'Imperio's History of the 5/6

The Salt City Five received national attention after winning the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts live TV show in 1952 when Arnie Koch introduced them as the Talent Scout. Godfrey enjoyed them so much that he put them on Arthur Godrey and Friends. Originally from Syracuse, N.Y. (The Salt City) the members were students at Syracuse University and, except for Alger, played in the Syracuse marching band.

Jack Maheu Obitiuary - Offbeat Magazine 10/1/13

Jack Maheu Obituary-Offbeat Magazine - 10/1/13


The last surviving member of the original Salt City Five – Don Hunt – died Aug. 5 in Lyons, N.Y. at age 87.
His inspired skills on the trumpet were a major factor in the Salt City Five’s rise to fame,” said former SC5 manager Arnie Koch. The band also featured trombonist Will Alger, clarinetist Jack Maheu, drummer Bob Cousins and pianist Charlie French.

Alger Tribute

On July 7,1992, Jack Maheu learned that his longtime partner, Will Alger, had died in his sleep that morning.
Later, when the “Salt City Six Plays the ‘The Classics’” was re-released, Jack dedicated it to “Uncle Will Alger” with these words:
“Will and I wanted pretty much wanted the same things that music could give: a swinging band, good tunes to play, honesty in interpretation (a minimum of B. S.), a dollop of showmanship, and the exhilaration and excitement that good ensemble dixieland jazz could give to the listeners.


It was on Sept. 22, 2006 that three of the five original Salt City FIve members appeared at a “Jazz ‘N Caz” concert. It was their last appearance together. Arnold Koch, longtime manager of the Salt City Five/Six, introduced the evening....

Fifty-four years ago, five guys from Syracuse, three of them from the Syracuse University Marching Band, started a dixieland band called the Salt City Five. They were: Will Alger, trombone, Jack Maheu, clarinet, Don Hunt, trumpet, Bob Cousins, drums, and Charlie French, piano. It is our loss that neither WIll nor Charlie are still with us.


When it comes to the Salt City Six, former drummer and longtime mainstay, Danny D’Imperio, gets the award for “Treasure Hunter of the Year” for discovering the master of a never-before- released session recorded in Rochester, N. Y. on April 2, 1978. It was last recording of the band and is
excellent. Personnel include: Jack Maheu, clarinet; Will Alger, trombone and vocals; John "Punch" Thomas, trumpet; Barry Keiner, piano; Barney Mallon, bass; Danny D’Imperio, drums. Added artists included Charlie Mussen, banjo and Carol Leigh, vocals.

Toots Thielman With the Five

If someone had walked into Almalfi’s Restaurant in Syracuse one evening in 1953 they would have seen the eventually world-famous Toots Thieleman playing harmonica with the Salt City Five.

Arthur Godfrey Show

The Salt City 5/6 website ( has added under “Music” a rare audio recording of the band’s winning performance in June 1952 on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts and later on Arthur Godfrey and His Friends. My son, Carter Koch, took an old audio cassette of the shows I’d found and did wonders to restore it. In 1952, Arthur Godfrey dominated radio and tv with Talent Scouts on tv Monday evenings and Arthur Godfrey and His Friends on Wednesday evenings plus a radio program every weekday morning.