ARTISTS & PERFORMERS

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Artist Photo Artist Bio
Bunny Berigan (November 2, 1908 – June 2, 1942) was an American jazz trumpeter and bandleader who rose to fame during the swing era, but whose career and influence were shortened by a losing battle with alcoholism that ended with his early death at age 33 from cirrhosis. Although he composed some jazz instrumentals such as "Chicken and Waffles" and "Blues", Berigan was best known for his virtuoso jazz trumpeting. His 1937 classic recording "I Can't Get Started" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1975. He attended the University of W... Continue reading
Cab Calloway (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994) was an African-American jazz singer and bandleader. He was strongly associated with the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City, where he was a regular performer. Calloway was a master of energetic scat singing and led one of the United States' most popular big bands from the start of the 1930s to the late 1940s. Calloway's band featured performers including trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham, saxophonists Ben Webster and Leon "Chu" Berry, New Orleans guitar ace Danny Barke... Continue reading
Carmen Cavallaro (May 6, 1913 – October 12, 1989) was an American pianist. He established himself as one of the most accomplished and admired light music pianists of his generation. Known as the “Poet of the Piano”, he showed a gift for music from age three, picking out tunes on a toy piano. As a young pianist, he toured Europe, performing in many capitals. In 1933 Cavallaro joined Al Kavelin's orchestra, where he quickly became the featured soloist. After four years he switched to a series of other big bands, including Rudy Vallee's in 1... Continue reading
Carroll Gibbons (January 4, 1903 – May 10, 1954) was an American-born pianist, bandleader and popular composer who made his career primarily in England during the British dance band era. In his late teens he travelled to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1924 he returned to London with the brassless Boston Orchestra for an engagement at the Savoy Hotel in the Strand. He liked Britain so much that he settled there and later became the co-leader of the Savoy Orpheans and the bandleader of the New MayFair Orchestra, which recorde... Continue reading
Charlie Barnet (October 26, 1913 – September 4, 1991) was an American jazz saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. His major recordings were "Skyliner", "Cherokee", "The Wrong Idea", "Scotch and Soda", "In a Mizz", and "Southland Shuffle". Charlie Barnet was born in New York City. His parents divorced when he was two, and he was raised by his mother and her grandparents. He learned to play piano and saxophone as a child. He often left school to listen to music and to try to gain work as a musician. By sixteen, Barnet had done road work with a ... Continue reading
Charlie Spivak (February 17, 1905 or 1907 – March 1, 1982) was an American trumpeter and bandleader, best known for his big band in the 1940s. He played with Paul Specht's band for most of 1924 to 1930, then spent time with Ben Pollack (1931–1934), the brothers Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey (1934–1935), and Ray Noble (1935– 1936). He played on "Solo Hop" in 1935 by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He spent 1936 and 1937 mostly working as a studio musician with Gus Arnheim, Glenn Miller, Raymond Scott's radio orchestra, and others, followed by perio... Continue reading
Chick Webb (February 10, 1905 – June 16, 1939) was an American jazz and swing music drummer as well as a band leader. From childhood, he suffered from tuberculosis of the spine, leaving him with short stature and a badly deformed spine; which caused him to appear hunchbacked. The idea of playing an instrument was suggested by his doctor to "loosen up" his bones. He supported himself as a newspaper boy to save enough money to buy drums, and first played professionally at age 11. At the age of 17 he moved to New York City and by 1926 was leadin... Continue reading
Claude Hopkins (August 24, 1903 – February 19, 1984) was an American jazz stride pianist and bandleader. Claude Hopkins was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1903. His parents were on the faculty of Howard University. A highly talented stride piano player and arranger, he left home at the age of only 21 as a sideman with the Wilbur Sweatman Orchestra but stayed less than a year. In 1925, he left for Europe as the musical director of “The Revue Negre”, which starred Josephine Baker with Sidney Bechet in the band. Later, (1932–36) he led a ... Continue reading
Claude Thornhill (August 10, 1909 – July 1, 1965) was an American pianist, arranger, composer, and bandleader. He composed the jazz and pop standards "Snowfall" and "I Wish I Had You", the latter recorded by Billie Holiday. Thornhill entered the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music at age 16. That same year he and clarinetist Artie Shaw started their careers at the Golden Pheasant in Cleveland, Ohio with the Austin Wiley Orchestra. Thornhill and Shaw went to New York together in 1931. Claude went to the West Coast in the late 1930s with the Bob H... Continue reading
Clyde McCoy (December 29, 1903 – June 11, 1990), was an American jazz trumpeter whose popularity spanned seven decades. He is best remembered for his theme song, "Sugar Blues", written by Clarence Williams and Lucy Fletcher, and well as the co-founder of Down Beat magazine in 1935. McCoy was a member of one of the families of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, and was based at various times in Los Angeles, New York City, and at Chicago's Drake Hotel, where he first performed "Sugar Blues" in 1930. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6426 Hol... Continue reading
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