Famous Band Leaders in History

Events in Music

  • 1940-03-03 American bandleader Artie Shaw records "Frenesi" on RCA Victor label

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1944-12-15 Bandleader, Major Glenn Miller, lost over English Channel

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • 1995-01-30 Kevin Eubanks officially becomes band leader of "The Tonight Show"

Birthdays in Music

  • 1727-03-30 Tommaso MFS Traetta, Ital's opera composer/band leader (Farnace)
  • 1873-09-21 Papa Jack Laine, American musician and pioneering bandleader, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1966)
  • 1890-06-06 Ted Lewis [Theodore Leopold Friedman], American entertainer, bandleader and musician (Is Everybody Happy?), born in Circleville, Ohio (d. 1971)
  • 1893-03-18 Jean Goldkette, French jazz pianist & bandleader, born in Valenciennes, France (d. 1962)
  • 1893-12-02 Louis Freeman, Scottish band leader, born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 1994)
  • 1894-01-31 Isham Jones, American musician, bandleader and songwriter (Star Dust, I'll See You in My Dreams), born in Coalton, Ohio (d. 1956)
  • 1896-01-17 Harry Reser, American banjo player and bandleader (Sammy Kaye Show), born in Piqua, Ohio (d. 1965)
  • 1897-05-14 Sidney Bechet, American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist and band leader, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1959)
  • 1898-03-26 Charles Shadwell, British conductor, bandleader, and founder of the Cambridge Concert Orchestra, born in Pershore, Worcestershire (d. 1979)
  • 1898-06-01 Edgar "Cookie" Fairchild, American bandleader (Jerry Colonna Show), born in NYC, New York (d. 1975)

Person of interestDuke Ellington

1899-04-29 Duke Ellington, American bandleader, composer and pianist (Take the A Train), born in Washington, District of Columbia (d. 1974)

Jazz Musician and Composer Duke Ellington
Jazz Musician and Composer
Duke Ellington
  • 1899-05-06 Billy Cotton, British bandleader and entertainer, born in Smith Square, London (d. 1969)
  • 1900-01-01 Xavier Cugat, Spanish American bandleader (married Abbe Lane, Charo), born in Girona, Catalonia (d. 1990)
  • 1901-02-16 Wayne King, Savannah Ill, saxophonist/bandleader (Waltz King)
  • 1902-02-12 William D Revelli, Spring Gulch Colorado, band leader
  • 1902-03-30 Ted Heath, British musician and band leader (d. 1969)
  • 1902-06-06 Jimmie Lunceford, American saxophonist and bandleader, born in Fulton, Mississippi (d. 1947)
  • 1903-12-17 Ray Noble, English bandleader, comedian and actor (The Very Thought of You), born in Brighton, Sussex, England (d. 1978)
  • 1903-12-28 Earl "Fatha" Hines, American jazz pianist and bandleader (Deep Forest), born in Duquesne, Pennsylvania (d. 1983)
  • 1903-12-29 Clyde McCoy, American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, born in Ashland, Kentucky (d. 1990)

Person of interestGlenn Miller

1904-03-01 Glenn Miller, American bandleader and jazz composer (Glenn Miller Orchestra-In the Mood), born in Clarinda, Iowa (d. 1944)

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • 1904-04-10 Nick Stuart, Romanian-born American bandleader and actor (Secrets of Chinatown), born in Abrudbánya, Alsó-Fehér County, Austria-Hungary (d. 1973)
  • 1904-08-21 [William] Count Basie, jazz musician and band leader ( "One O'Clock Jump"), born in Red Bank, New Jersey (d. 1984)
  • 1905-01-13 Percy Humphrey, American jazz trumpet player and bandleader, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1995)
  • 1905-05-08 Red Nichols, American jazz cornettist, composer and jazz bandleader, born in Ogden, Utah (d. 1965)
  • 1905-08-20 Jack Teagarden [Weldon Leo Teagarden], American trombonist and actor (Meet Band Leaders), born in Vernon, Texas (d. 1964)
  • 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)
  • 1905-12-14 Sydney Lipton, British bandleader, born in London (d. 1995)
  • 1906-06-18 Kay Kyser, American bandleader and radio personality (Kay Kyser's Kollege), born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina (d. 1985)
  • 1907-10-19 Roger Wolfe Kahn, American bandleader (d. 1962)
  • 1907-12-25 Cab[ell] Calloway, American bandleader (Minnie the Moocha, Jazzball), born in Rochester, New York

Person of interestLouis Jordan

1908-07-08 Louis Jordan, American musician, songwriter and bandleader (Caldonia), born in Brinkley, Arkansas (d. 1975)

Musician Louis Jordan
Musician
Louis Jordan
  • 1908-09-06 Paul Lavalle, American bandleader (Cities Service Band of America), born in Beacon, New York (d. 1997)
  • 1908-09-07 Max Kaminsky, American jazz trumpeter and bandleader (Max Kaminsky Orchestra), born in Brockton, Massachusetts (d. 1994)
  • 1909-04-01 Eddy Duchin, American pianist and bandleader (Eddy Duchin Orchestra), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 1951)
  • 1909-05-30 Benny Goodman, clarinetist and bandleader (King of Swing), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1986)
  • 1909-08-17 Larry Clinton, American trumpeter and bandleader (d. 1985)
  • 1910-01-09 Dick Henry Jurgen, American swing music bandleader, born in Sacramento, California (d. 1995)
  • 1910-01-21 Eua Sunthornsanan, Thai composer and bandleader (d. 1981)
  • 1910-05-23 Artie Shaw [Arthur Arshawsky], American bandleader, jazz clarinetist and actor (Begin the Beguine), born in NYC, New York (d. 2004)
  • 1910-10-10 Milt Larkin, American jazz trumpeter and band leader, born in Navasota, Texas (d. 1996)
  • 1910-12-17 Sy Oliver, American jazz arranger, songwriter and bandleader (Yes, Indeed!), born in Battle Creek, Michigan (d. 1988)
  • 1911-01-22 Bruno Kreisky, Austrian bandleader/chancellor (1970-83)
  • 1911-11-12 [Wilbur] Buck Clayton, American jazz trumpet player and bandleader, born in Parsons, Kansas (d. 1991)
  • 1911-12-14 Spike Jones [Lindley Armstrong Jones], American bandleader (Der Fueher's Face, Cocktails For Two), born in Long Beach, California (d. 1965)
  • 1911-12-15 Stan Kenton, American musician, jazz pianist, arranger and bandleader (Artistry In Rhythm), born in Wichita, Kansas (d. 1979)
  • 1912-03-14 Les Brown, American big band leader (His Band of Renown - "Sentimental Journey"), born in Reinerton, Pennsylvania (d. 2001)
  • 1912-12-25 Leighton Noble, singer/bandleader
  • 1913-07-22 Gorni Kramer, Italian bandleader and musician, born in Rivarolo, Mantovano, Italy (d. 1995)
  • 1913-08-13 Anna Mae Winburn, African American band leader of all female band (International Sweethearts of Rhythm), born in Port Royal, Tennessee (d. 1999)
  • 1913-08-23 Bob Crosby, American jazz singer and bandleader (Bob-Cats), born in Spokane, Washington (d. 1993)
  • 1914-01-09 Kenny Clarke, American jazz drummer & bandleader (Epistrop), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1985)
  • 1914-02-12 Gordon "Tex" Beneke, American saxophonist/bandleader/vocalist (Glenn Miller Orchestra), born in Fort Worth, Texas; (d. 2000)
  • 1914-12-29 Billy [Dorothy] Tipton, American jazz pianist/saxophonist/bandleader, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 1989)
  • 1915-12-25 Pete Rugolo, bandleader/arranger (Fugitive)
  • 1916-01-09 Vic Mizzy, American composer and band leader (Green Acres and The Addams Family themes), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2009)
  • 1916-01-12 Jay McShann, American jazz pianist & bandleader, born in Muskogee, Oklahoma (d. 2006)
  • 1916-03-15 Harry James, American swing-era bandleader, trumpeter and husband to Betty Grable, born in Albany, Georgia (d. 1983)
  • 1916-11-06 Ray Conniff, American bandleader and musician (Ray Conniff Singers), born in Attleboro, Massachusetts (d. 2002)

Person of interestBuddy Rich

1917-09-30 Buddy Rich, American jazz drummer and band leader (Buddy Rich Band-Away We Go), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1987)

Jazz Drummer/Band Leader Buddy Rich
Jazz Drummer/Band Leader
Buddy Rich
  • 1917-10-02 William Marshall, American singer, bandleader and actor (State Fair, Pennsylvanians), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1994)
  • 1917-12-11 Dámaso Pérez Prado, Cuban bandleader and musician, born in Matanzas, Cuba (d. 1989)
  • 1918-05-23 Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, band leader and record producer, born in Seattle, Washington (d. 1985)
  • 1919-03-11 Mercer Ellington, son of Duke Ellington, American composer & bandleader, born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1996)
  • 1919-04-12 Billy Vaughn, American singer and bandleader (Sail Along Sil'vry Moon), born in Glasgow, Kentucky (d. 1991)
  • 1921-06-01 Nelson Riddle, American Grammy Award winning bandleader, conductor and orchestrator for Capitol Records (Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Dean Martin), born in Oradell, New Jersey (d. 1985)
  • 1922-03-20 Larry Elgart, bandleader/alto sax (Elgart Orchestra), born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • 1923-04-20 Tito Puente, American bandleader (Dance Mania), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2000)
  • 1924-06-26 Syd Lawrence, British bandleader (Syd Lawrence Orchestra), born in Wilmslow, Cheshire, England (d. 1998)
  • 1924-10-13 Terry Gibbs, American jazz vibraphonist and band leader (Steve Allen Comedy Hour), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1925-08-27 Tony Crombie, English jazz drummer and bandleader, born in Bishopsgate, London (d. 1999)
  • 1925-09-02 Hugo Montenegro, American composer and bandleader (d. 1981)
  • 1926-09-17 Bill Black, band leader and bassist who worked with Elvis, born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1965)
  • 1927-04-08 Oliver "Ollie" Mitchell, American musician and bandleader (The Wrecking Crew), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2013)
  • 1927-07-07 Doc Severinson, [Carl], bandleader/trumpeter on the Tonight Show, born in Arlington, Oregon
  • 1928-04-08 Monty Sunshine, British jazz clarinetist and bandleader (Petite Fleur), born in Stepney, London (d. 2010)
  • 1928-09-15 Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader of the 1950-60s hard bop era (The Black Messiah), born in Tampa, Florida (d. 1975)
  • 1929-02-25 Tommy Newsom, American saxophonist and bandleader (Tonight Show), born in Portsmouth, Virginia (d. 2007)
  • 1929-04-06 Arthur S Taylor Jr, US drummer/band leader (Taylor's Wailers)
  • 1929-04-17 James Last, German-born composer and big band leader, born in Bremen, Germany (d. 2015)
  • 1931-07-06 Danny White, American singer and bandleader, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1996)
  • 1934-02-07 King Curtis [Curtis Ousley], American musician, bandleader and saxophonist (Memphis Soul Stew), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 1971)
  • 1935-02-12 Gene McDaniels, American vocalist (A Hundred Pounds Of Clay), songwriter (I Feel Like Making Love) and actor (Young Swingers), born in Kansas City, Kansas ( d. 2011)
  • 1935-03-31 Herb Alpert, bandleader/trumpeteer (Tijuana Brass)/CEO (A & M)
  • 1935-05-21 Terry Lightfoot, British clarinetist and bandleader (New Orleans Jazzmen), born in Potters Bar, England (d. 2013)
  • 1935-08-03 Vic Vogel, Hungarian-Canadian pianist, composer and bandleader, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1937-07-28 Peter Duchin, American pianist and bandleader (Peter Duchin Orchestra), born in NYC, New York
  • 1938-07-06 Franco Luambo, Congolese composer, guitarist and bandleader (Masumbuku), born in Sona Bata, Belgian Congo (d. 1989)
  • 1939-03-23 Pepe Lienhard, Swiss band leader and entertainer
  • 1944-01-10 Frank Sinatra Jr., American singer & bandleader (Golddigers), born in Jersey City, New Jersey (d. 2016)
  • 1944-07-24 Barbara Thompson, jazz musician/composer/bandleader
  • 1957-11-15 Kevin Eubanks, American jazz bandleader and composer (The Tonight Show), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1967-12-05 René Shuman, Dutch bandleader and singer, born in Geleen, Limburg, Netherlands
  • 1973-06-26 Paweł Małaszyński, Polish actor and band leader (Cochise), born in Szczecinek, Poland

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

1918-07-02 Jazz orchestra band leader Duke Ellington (19) weds high school sweetheart Edna Thompson

Jazz Musician and Composer Duke Ellington
Jazz Musician and Composer
Duke Ellington

LoveWedding of Interest

1937-06-26 Actress Mary Pickford (45) weds actor and band leader Charles Rogers (32)

Actress Mary Pickford
Actress
Mary Pickford

LoveWedding of Interest

1940-02-13 Actress Lana Turner (19) marries bandleader Artie Shaw (29)

Actress Lana Turner
Actress
Lana Turner

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

LoveWedding of Interest

1945-10-17 Actress Ava Gardner (22) weds band leader Artie Shaw (35) in Hollywood

Actress Ava Gardner
Actress
Ava Gardner

Deaths in Music

  • 1936-04-13 Milton Brown, American swing bandleader, dies at 32
  • 1939-06-16 Chick Webb, American jazz drummer and big band leader (b. 1905)

Person of interestGlenn Miller

1944-12-15 Glenn Miller, American bandleader and jazz composer (Glenn Miller Orchestra-In the Mood), dies in a suspected plane crash at 40

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • 1947-07-12 Jimmie Lunceford, American saxophonist and bandleader, dies at 45
  • 1951-02-09 Eddy Duchin, American pianist and bandleader (Eddy Duchin Orchestra), dies of acute myelogenous leukemia at 41
  • 1956-10-19 Isham Jones, American musician, bandleader and songwriter (Star Dust, I'll See You in My Dreams), dies at 62
  • 1956-11-26 Tommy Dorsey, American trombonist and big band leader (Opus No. 1; I'll Never Smile Again), dies at 51
  • 1959-05-14 Sidney Bechet, Americanjazz clarinetist, saxophonist and bandleader, dies at 62
  • 1962-07-12 Roger Wolfe Kahn, American band leader (b. 1907)
  • 1965-05-01 Spike Jones [Lindley Armstrong Jones], American bandleader (Der Fueher's Face, Cocktails For Two), dies from emphysema at 53
  • 1965-06-28 Red Nichols, American jazz cornettist, composer and jazz bandleader, dies at 60
  • 1965-09-27 Harry Reser, American banjo player and bandleader (Sammy Kaye Show), dies at 69
  • 1965-10-21 Bill Black, American band leader and bassist who worked with Elvis, dies of a brain tumour at 39
  • 1966-06-01 Papa Jack Laine, American musician and pioneering bandleader, dies at 92
  • 1966-09-28 Lucky Millinder, American R&B bandleader and singer, dies at 56
  • 1969-03-25 Billy Cotton, British bandleader and entertainer, dies at 69
  • 1969-11-18 Ted Heath, British musician and bandleader (b. 1902)
  • 1971-08-13 King Curtis [Curtis Ousley], American musician, bandleader and saxophonist (Memphis Soul Stew), murdered at 37
  • 1971-08-25 Ted Lewis [Theodore Leopold Friedman], American entertainer, bandleader and musician (Is Everybody Happy?), dies of lung failure at 81
  • 1973-04-07 Nick Stuart, Romanian-born American bandleader and actor (Secrets of Chinatown), dies of cancer at 69
  • 1974-08-09 Bill Chase, American trumpet player and bandleader (b. 1934)

Person of interestLouis Jordan

1975-02-04 Louis Jordan, American musician, songwriter and bandleader (Caldonia), dies of a heart attack at 66

Musician Louis Jordan
Musician
Louis Jordan
  • 1975-02-20 Edgar "Cookie" Fairchild, American bandleader (Jerry Colonna Show), dies at 76
  • 1975-08-08 Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader of the 1950-60s hard bop era (The Black Messiah), dies of a stroke at 46
  • 1978-04-03 Ray Noble, English bandleader, comedian and actor (The Very Thought of You), dies at 74
  • 1978-10-10 Ralph Marterie, American big band leader (b. 1914)
  • 1978-12-17 Don Ellis, American jazz band leader (b. 1934)
  • 1979-07-28 Charles Shadwell, English conductor and bandleader (b. 1898)
  • 1979-08-25 Stan Kenton, American musician, jazz pianist, arranger and bandleader (Artistry In Rhythm), dies at 67
  • 1981-04-01 Eua Sunthornsanan, Thai composer and bandleader (b. 1910)
  • 1983-04-22 Earl "Fatha" Hines, American jazz pianist & bandleader (Deep Forest), dies at 79
  • 1983-07-05 Harry James, American swing-era bandleader, trumpeter and husband to Betty Grable, dies from lymphatic cancer at 67
  • 1984-04-26 William "Count" Basie, American jazz musician & bandleader, dies at 79
  • 1985-05-02 Larry Clinton, American trumpeter and bandleader (b. 1909)
  • 1985-07-23 Kay Kyser, bandleader (Kay Kyser's Kollege), dies at 79
  • 1985-10-06 Nelson Riddle, American Grammy Award winning bandleader, conductor and orchestrator for Capitol Records (Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Dean Martin), dies of complications from cirrhosis of the liver at 64
  • 1986-06-13 Benny Goodman, clarinetist/bandleader (King of Swing), dies at 77
  • 1989-01-21 Billy [Dorothy] Tipton, American jazz pianist/saxophonist/bandleader, dies at 74
  • 1989-09-14 Dámaso Pérez Prado, Cuban bandleader and musician, dies at 71
  • 1989-10-12 Franco Luambo, Congolese composer, guitarist and bandleader (Masumbuku), dies from AIDS at 51
  • 1990-10-27 Xavier Cugat, Spanish-American bandleader, dies at 90
  • 1991-09-26 Billy Vaughn, American singer and bandleader (Sail Along Sil'vry Moon), dies of cancer at 72
  • 1991-12-08 [Wilbur] Buck Clayton, American jazz trumpet player and bandleader, dies at 80
  • 1992-01-03 Anthony Del Casino, band leader (Charlie Barnet Band), dies at 79
  • 1992-04-05 Anthony "Tony" Papa, big band leader, dies at 65
  • 1993-03-09 Bob Crosby, American jazz singer and bandleader (Bob-Cats), dies of cancer at 79
  • 1994-03-06 Leighton Noble, singer/Bandleader, dies at 81
  • 1994-03-09 Louis Freeman, Scottish band leader, dies at 100
  • 1994-06-08 William Marshall, American singer, bandleader and actor (State Fair, Pennsylvanians), dies at 76
  • 1994-09-06 Max Kaminsky, American jazz trumpeter and bandleader (Max Kaminsky Orchestra), dies at 85
  • 1994-11-18 Cab[ell] Calloway, US band leader/actor (Missourians), dies at 86
  • 1995-03-16 Sydney Simone, band leader, dies at 80
  • 1995-07-19 Sydney Lipton, British bandleader, dies at 89
  • 1995-07-22 Percy Humphrey, American jazz trumpet player and bandleader in New Orleans, Louisiana, dies at 90
  • 1995-08-03 Jose B M Barreto y Casanova, pianist vocalist bandleader, dies at 88
  • 1995-10-05 Dick Henry Jurgen, bandleader, dies at 85
  • 1996-01-05 Danny White, American singer and bandleader, dies at 84
  • 1996-02-08 Mercer Kennedy Ellington, trumpeter bandleader/composer, dies at 76
  • 1996-08-31 Milt Larkin, American jazz trumpeter and band leader, dies at 85
  • 1998-05-05 Syd Lawrence, British bandleader (Syd Lawrence Orchestra), dies at 74
  • 1999-09-30 Anna Mae Winburn, African American band leader of all female band (International Sweethearts of Rhythm), dies at 86
  • 1999-10-18 Tony Crombie, English jazz drummer and bandleader, dies at 74
  • 2000-05-30 Tex Beneke, American bandleader and musician (b. 1914)
  • 2000-05-31 Tito Puente, American bandleader (Dance Mania), dies at 77
  • 2001-01-04 Les Brown, American big band leader (His Band of Renown - "Sentimental Journey"), dies at 88
  • 2001-03-07 Frankie Carle, American pianist and bandleader (b. 1903)
  • 2002-01-03 Juan García Esquivel, Mexican band leader (b. 1918)
  • 2002-10-12 Ray Conniff, American bandleader and musician (Ray Conniff Singers), dies at 85
  • 2003-02-01 Mongo Santamaria, Cuban percussionist and band leader (b. 1922)
  • 2004-12-30 Artie Shaw [Arthur Arshawsky], American bandleader, jazz clarinetist and actor (Begin the Beguine), dies at 94
  • 2005-11-01 Skitch Henderson, English-born bandleader (b. 1918)
  • 2006-08-23 Maynard Ferguson, Canadian jazz trumpeter and bandleader, dies at 78
  • 2007-02-02 Joe Hunter, American pianist and bandleader of The Funk Brothers (b. 1927)
  • 2007-02-12 Peggy Gilbert, American jazz saxophonist and bandleader (b. 1905)
  • 2007-04-28 Tommy Newsom, American saxophonist & bandleader (The Tonight Show), dies at 78
  • 2010-11-30 Monty Sunshine, British jazz clarinetist and bandleader (Petite Fleur), dies at 82
  • 2011-05-07 Big George, British broadcaster, composer, bandleader and musician (b. 1957)
  • 2013-03-15 Terry Lightfoot, British clarinetist and bandleader (New Orleans Jazzmen), dies at 77
  • 2013-05-11 Oliver "Ollie" Mitchell, American musician & bandleader (The Wrecking Crew), dies of cancer at 86
  • 2015-06-09 James Last, German-born composer and big band leader, dies at 86
  • 2015-07-19 Van Alexander, American composer and band leader (A-Tisket, A-Tasket), dies at 100
  • 2016-03-16 Frank Sinatra Jr, American singer/bandleader, dies at 72