Brass Bonanza, also known as the “Hartford Whalers Victory March” was adopted by the Hartford Whalers as their theme song during their tenure in the World Hockey Association, and remained so through their years in the National Hockey League. It was originally written by Jack Say.
Jack Say (b. 12-Aug-1922, d. 04-Jul-2017), an aspiring musician whose real name is Jacques Ysaye, sold a piece of music to a record library and moved to Austria. Former Whalers official George Ducharme came across the piece. According to Ducharme: “It was one of those lucky things,” he recalls. “The song was handed to us – arranged and orchestrated – in 1975–1976 and we didn’t have to do a thing… “During the second season the team was in Hartford (1975–1976), I began to notice that there was something missing in the atmosphere in the building. We needed something, like a theme song, to add to the excitement when a goal was scored. But coming up with the right song was a different matter,” he said. “I had the record at home for a couple of weeks,” Ducharme said, “but never played it. Then, one Sunday, we had company over and one of the guests played the record for fun. When I heard the song I knew immediately it was perfect for us.” He used it as a “bridge” on a 1976 Whalers highlights LP – the song became a hit, and stuck with the team from then on.
According to Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant, “Gordie Howe once began humming Brass Bonanza in my ear. He said he loved to hear it as a visiting player for the Houston Aeros, but hearing it every night with the Whalers “began to drive me nuts.””
The following is an excerpt from an article by Jeff Jacobs which appeared in the Hartford Courant:
Jack Say, an aspiring musician, sold a piece of music to a record library and moved to Austria. Former Whalers official George Ducharme came across the piece, used as a “bridge” on a 1976 Whalers highlights LP. Ducharme liked the beat. The song became a hit. The song is “Brass Bonanza.””Brass Bonanza” is our mantra. Nobody’s going to Cleveland, Nashville, Atlanta or Portland as long as “Brass Bonanza” lives. We’re all going to the playoff promised land in 1997. This is the word of the Archangel Guido…
|Full LP Version|
|Live Game Version|
|Remix (in the background)|