Woody Herman reassembled his orchestras from the 1940's to the 1950's to different 'herds', which were continuously active, but which were different line-ups put together by the band leader. In the sixties, however, the naming of the herds was not so strict anymore, which caused several discussions in music history about the existence of the herds starting from 1956.
The first appearance of the expression 'Thundering Herd' was in 1961, when Columbia released a compilation of Woody's bands between 1945 and 1947 (First and Second herd stage). Later, in 1967, the Woody Herman herd underwent a renaming for the occasion of 1967 Monterey Jazz Festival in September. The recording of this performance was called 'The Thundering Herd' and was released on Verve records in 1968. It was, however, not a typical change of bands, but the renaming of the current Woody Herman Herd in this period. Starting from the early 1960's, the herds were hit by frequent exchange of musicians, mostly driven by financial backgrounds of the band members.
The expression 'Thundering Herd' was active in its pure form until the mid of the 1970's, starting from 1976, this name was modified, but not abandoned.