Famous Big Band Musicians in History

Birthdays in Music

  • 1905-11-19 Tommy Dorsey, American trombonist and big band leader (Opus No. 1; I'll Never Smile Again), born in Mahanoy Plane, Pennsylvania (d. 1956)
  • 1909-01-15 Gene Krupa, American jazz and big band drummer (Benny Goodman, Sing Sing Sing), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1973)
  • 1912-03-14 Les Brown, American big band leader (His Band of Renown - "Sentimental Journey"), born in Reinerton, Pennsylvania (d. 2001)
  • 1919-04-06 Paula Kelly, Grove City, Pennsylvania, American big band singer
  • 1922-03-02 Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis [Edward F. Davis], American jazz saxophonist (Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band), born in Culver City, California (d. 1986)
  • 1925-06-05 Dorothy Claire [Marietta Wright], American big band singer (Bobby Byrne, Winchell & Mahoney Show), born in Laporte, Indiana (d. 1982)
  • 1926-07-02 Billy Usselton, American big band jazz saxophonist (Les Brown and His Band of Renown), born in New Castle, Pennsylvania (d. 1994)
  • 1929-04-17 James Last, German-born composer and big band leader, born in Bremen, Germany (d. 2015)
  • 1930-10-08 [Park Frederick] Pepper Adams, American jazz saxophonist (Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band), born in Highland Park, Michigan

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

1943-07-05 Actress Betty Grable (26) weds big band leader Harry James (27)

Film actress Betty Grable
Film actress
Betty Grable

Deaths in Music

  • 1939-06-16 Chick Webb, American jazz drummer and big band leader (b. 1905)
  • 1956-11-26 Tommy Dorsey, American trombonist and big band leader (Opus No. 1; I'll Never Smile Again), dies at 51
  • 1978-10-10 Ralph Marterie, American big band leader (b. 1914)
  • 1986-11-03 Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis [Edward F. Davis], American jazz saxophonist (Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band), dies of cancer at 65
  • 1992-04-02 Paula Kelly, American big band singer, dies at 72
  • 1992-04-05 Anthony "Tony" Papa, big band leader, dies at 65
  • 1994-09-05 Billy Usselton, American big band jazz saxophonist (Les Brown and His Band of Renown), dies at 68
  • 2001-01-04 Les Brown, American big band leader (His Band of Renown - "Sentimental Journey"), dies at 88
  • 2015-06-09 James Last, German-born composer and big band leader, dies at 86