Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Nicholses in:
 • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
 • Los Angeles
 • Los Angeles County
 • California
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Loring "Red" Nichols
Original name: Earnest Nichols
Birth: May 8, 1905
Weber County
Utah, USA
Death: Jun. 28, 1965
Las Vegas
Clark County
Nevada, USA

Jazz Bandleader. Born in Ogden, Utah in 1905, at the age of four he was playing cornet, but was also thoroughly schooled in violin and piano. By age 6 he was appearing at socials and in street parades. At age 12 he played dance music in his father’s dance band. In spite of his strict musical upbringing, he loved jazz, and left home at 17 for New York City. There a young Red Nichols was in demand for his keen ability to sight-read. He recorded for Thomas Edison, and formed a jazz band and signed with Brunswick as “Red Nichols and the Five Pennies”. In addition, he also recorded as “The Red Heads“, “The Charlston Chasers,” “The Louisiana Rhythm Kings“, and “The Arkansas Travelers“ for other labels. In 1924 he played in the pit of a Broadway show, and 1925 saw him in one or more recording sessions daily. He was unquestionably the most-recorded musician of his time. In 1927 he recorded “Ida”, which became Brunswick’s first million-seller. In the late 1920's, his ensembles included musicians Joe Venuti, Adrian Rollini, Pee Wee Russell, Miff Mole, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw. During 1928-1929, Red Nichols toured the West Coast, and in the early 1930's he led big bands, including the orchestra for Bob Hope’s radio shows. Returning to small group jazz in the late 1930's, he traveled between the East and West coasts, but when his daughter became gravely-ill in the early forties, he and his wife Willa moved to San Leandro, California, where she lived with relatives while his band toured (his daughter eventually made a full recovery). He quit the music business and went to work in the shipyards during the war. Eventually he put the “Five Pennies” back together, regaining his popularity playing clubs. A short story, “Intermission”, in Reader’s Digest, documented Red Nichols’ remarkable life, and in 1959 Paramount released a biopic 'The Five Pennies” with Danny Kaye as Red, and Barbara Bel Geddes as Willa. He played all his own trumpet parts for the film, but did not appear. The film brought him new fame, and he toured Europe as an Ambassador of Goodwill for the United States State Department. The band recorded albums for Capitol Records, and played lucrative engagements until his death of a heart attack in Las Vegas in 1965, where he and the Five Pennies were playing. The University of Oregon (Eugene), houses his personal papers; his private collection is in the Archives of Recorded Sound, University of Kansas, (Lawrence). (bio by Verne Langdon) 
Family links: 
  Willa Inez Stutesman Nichols (1902 - 1979)*
*Calculated relationship
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Court of Remembrance, niche 60780
GPS (lat/lon): 34.14977, -118.32049
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 762
Loring Red Nichols
Added by: Robert A. Zraick
Loring Red Nichols
Added by: A.J. Marik
Loring Red Nichols
Added by: A.J. Marik
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

One of the all-time jazz legends. His records from the mid-1920s sound amazingly modern to this day!
- Jon Nelson
 Added: Oct. 9, 2016

- Sharisse
 Added: Jul. 7, 2016

- Blue Lady
 Added: Jun. 28, 2016
There are 113 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.2 after 53 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service