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Woody Herman


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May 16, 1913 - October 29, 1987


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"Woody Herman and his Swingin' Herd" perform at Radio-Canada, Montreal in January 1964.

Clarinet saxophonist Woody Herman began leading the first in a succession of groups billed as "The Herd" that would prove to be one of the most popular big bands of the 1930s.

As a boy growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin he was influenced by his fathers infatuation with show biz to begin performing in vaudeville first singing and dancing before taking up clarinet and saxophone by age twelve.

The first incarnation of "Herman's Herd", that become known as "The Band That Plays The Blues" for a preponderance of blues arrangements, made their debut recording titled 'Wintertime Blues" for Decca on November 6, 1936.

He would organize a second band under the name in 1947 and continued to perform with various others all using the "Herd" title until his death in 1987, influenced greatly by the Duke Ellington.


Woody Herman, clarinet & leader
Bill Chase, trumpet
Don Rader, trumpet
Billy Hunt, trumpet
Danny Nolan, trumpet
Gerry Lamy, trumpet
Paul Fontaine, trumpet
Kenny Wenzel, trombone
Phil Wilson, trombone
Henry Southall, trombone
Nick Brignola, baritone sax
Jackie Stevens, alto sax
Carmen Leggio, tenor sax
Sal Nistico, tenor sax
Nat Pierce, piano
Chuck Andrus, bass
Jake Hanna, drums

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