Alvin McBurney was born in Oakland, California, in 1908 but grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Early in life he had a knack for music and electronics. When he was eight, he built his first radio, and within a couple years he was one of the youngest ham radio operators in the country. In his teens, he was given a banjo as a birthday present.
Anita Belle Colton (October 18, 1919 – November 23, 2006), known professionally as Anita O'Day, was an American jazz singer and self proclaimed “song stylist” widely admired for her sense of rhythm and dynamics, and her early big band appearances that shattered the traditional image of the "girl singer".
Artie Shaw (born Arthur Jacob Arshawsky; May 23, 1910 – December 30, 2004) was an American clarinetist, composer, bandleader, actor and author of both fiction and non-fiction.
Bennett Lester Carter (August 8, 1907 – July 12, 2003) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader. With Johnny Hodges, he was a pioneer on the alto saxophone. From the beginning of his career in the 1920s, he worked as an arranger including written charts for Fletcher Henderson's big band that shaped the swing style.
Bernie Hanighen is best remembered for writing the lyrics to Thelonious Monk's standard 'Round Midnight. Hanighen, however, was not only a lyricist but a composer as well.
He collaborated with lyricist Johnny Mercer on many songs including When A Woman Loves A Man, popularized by Billie Holiday, as well as songs in more of a novelty vein such as Poor Mr. Chisholm (a hit for Fred Astaire).
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first major hit and signature song of the same name as well as the similarly named 1973 album, he has led a commercially successful career as a solo artist since the 1970s, having released 12 studio albums from 1971 to 1993 as well as one studio album in 2001.
Robert J. Sherwood Jr. (May 30, 1914 – January 23, 1981), known professionally as Bobby Sherwood, was a guitarist, trumpeter, bandleader, and radio host.
Buddy Morrow (born Muni Zudekoff, aka Moe Zudekoff; February 8, 1919 – September 27, 2010) was an American trombonist and bandleader.
George Holmes "Buddy" Tate (February 22, 1913 – February 10, 2001) was a jazz saxophonist and clarinetist.
Chester Burton "Chet" Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001), known as "Mr.
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson (born Edward L.
Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
Gene Norman, jazz impresario, disc jockey and label president, passed away peacefully at his home in Hollywood, California on November 2nd 2015. He was 93.
Born Eugene Nabatoff in New York and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at 18, Gene began his radio career in San Francisco, before relocating to Los Angeles in the 1940s.
Harry Haag James (March 15, 1916 – July 5, 1983) was an American musician who is best known as a trumpet-playing band leader who led a big band from 1939 to 1946. He broke up his band for a short period in 1947 but shortly after he reorganized and was active again with his band from then until his death in 1983.
Hoagland Howard "Hoagy" Carmichael (November 22, 1899 – December 27, 1981) was an American songwriter, musician, actor, singer and attorney.
Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (September 20, c. 1890 – July 10, 1941), known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer. Morton was jazz's first arranger, proving that a genre rooted in improvisation could retain its essential characteristics when notated.
Jo Elizabeth Stafford (November 12, 1917 – July 16, 2008) was an American traditional pop music singer and occasional actress, whose career spanned five decades from the late 1930s to the early 1980s. Admired for the purity of her voice, she originally underwent classical training to become an opera singer before following a career in popular music, and by 1955 had achieved more worldwide record sales than any other female artist.
Martin Denny (April 10, 1911 – March 2, 2005) was an American pianist and composer best known as the "father of exotica." In a long career that saw him performing well into the 1980s, he toured the world popularizing his brand of lounge music which included exotic percussion, imaginative rearrangements of popular songs, and origi
Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer, jazz pianist, and actor. He recorded over 100 songs that became hits on the pop charts. His trio was the model for small jazz ensembles that followed. Cole also acted in films and on television and performed on Broadway. He was the first African-American man to host an American television series.
Pierre Dewey LaFontaine Jr. (July 3, 1930 – August 6, 2016), known professionally as Pete Fountain, was an American jazz clarinetist.
Wonga Philip Harris (June 24, 1904 – August 11, 1995) was an American musician, actor and comedian. He was an orchestra leader and a pioneer in radio situation comedy, first with The Jack Benny Program, then in The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show in which he co-starred with his wife, singer-actress Alice Faye, for eight years.
Red Norvo (born Kenneth Norville, March 31, 1908 – April 6, 1999) was an American musician, one of jazz's early vibraphonists, known as "Mr. Swing". He helped establish the xylophone, marimba, and vibraphone as jazz instruments. His recordings included "Dance of the Octopus", "Bughouse", "Knockin' on Wood", "Congo Blues", and "Hole in the Wall".
Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones (December 14, 1911 – May 1, 1965) was an American musician and bandleader specializing in spoof arrangements of popular songs and classical music. Ballads receiving the Jones treatment were punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells and outlandish and comedic vocals. Jones and his band recorded under the title Spike Jones and His City Slickers from the early 1940s to the mid-1950s, and toured the United States and Canada as The Musical Depreciation Revue.