In 1939, Clebanoff joined the Illinois Works Progress Administration, or WPA, Symphony. Clebanoff took this opportunity to play to a wide and varied group of audiences. Although he took a leave of absence in 1943 to work for the New Orleans Orchestra, Clebanoff returned to Chicago in 1945, where he produced a string orchestra of his own: The Clebanoff Strings. Many pieces were created in collaboration with this orchestra.
In 1958 he issued his first LP with Mercury, Moods in Music, featuring musette and his "echoing" violin to great success. He then recorded several marvelous film themes LP's with songs such as: "Secret Love" (featured in Calamity Jane), "Song from "Raintree County", "Wild Is the Wind", "A Certain Smile", and "The High and The Mighty."
Clebanoff's music inspired a global following due to his unique style and superb musicianship. Clebanoff also worked with other a musicians including fellow Chicagoan Caesar Giovannini, a superb pianist, and Wayne Robinson as arrangers. Clebanoff is known for his love of creating and producing new music as well. By the mid-1960s Clebanoff's music had shifted from strict film and classic pop music to more modern popular music (pop) with limited success. He left Mercury and recorded only one album for Decca - Once Upon a Summertime.
Some of Clebanoff's albums include:
- Accent on Strings! (1960, Mercury MGD 16 (mono), SRD 16 (stereo))
- Clebanoff Plays More Songs from Great Films (1959, Mercury SR 60162)
- Clebanoff Plays Songs from Great Shows… (1959, MG 20416)
- Exciting Sounds of the Clebanoff Strings & Percussion (Mercury MG 20869 (mono), PPS 2012 (stereo); 1969, Mercury Wing SRW 16396 (re-release))
- A Film Concert by the Clebanoff Strings, Orchestra & Chorus (1964, Mercury MG 20887 (mono), SR 60887 (stereo))
- King of Kings and 11 Other Great Movie Themes (Mercury SR 60640)
- Love Themes from Great Films (Mercury MG 20578 (mono), SR 60238 (stereo))
- Lush, Latin, and Bossa Nova Too! (1963, Mercury MG 20824 (mono), SR 60824 (stereo))
- Moods in Music (1958, Mercury SR 60005)
- Music of Great Women of Films (Mercury Wing SRW 16399)
- Once Upon a Summertime (1968, Decca DL 74956)
- Songs from Great Films (1958, Mercury MG 20371)
- Strings Afire (1962, Mercury PPS-6019; SRW 16394 (later re-release))
- Teen Hits Played the Clebanoff Way (1964, Mercury MG 20929 (mono), SR 60929 (stereo))
- Today’s Best Hits (1963, Mercury MG 20791 (mono), SR 60791 (stereo))
- Twelve Great Songs of All Time (Mercury MG 20720)