Bandleader Dick Jurgens was a prominent figure in the sweet style of swing music, achieving his greatest popularity in the late '30s and early '40s. He was credited with co-writing several hit songs, among them "Careless," "Elmer's Tune," and "One Dozen Roses." The son of Dietrich Heinrich Jurgens and the former Clara Matilda Erath, Jurgens showed an early interest in music, studying with Henry E. Marvin, Robert Fenton, and Harry Wills. He was dismissed from his high school orchestra for playing popular music and jazz, but that only encouraged him to organize his own dance orchestra, which he first did in 1928 while still in high school. (He always worked closely with his brother, Will Jurgens, who eventually became his personal manager.) In 1933, he graduated from Sacramento Junior College (he also attended the University of California at Berkeley) and immediately turned to bandleading full-time, earning his first important engagement at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. He was signed to newly formed Decca Records and had his first recording session on October 22, 1934. Singer Eddy Howard, who would be an important part of Jurgens' band during his 1934-40 tenure with it, first recorded with him on the 1935 Decca single "The Martinique."