James Dugald “Jimmy” McPartland

James Dugald “Jimmy” McPartland

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 13 Mar 1991 (aged 83)
Port Washington, Nassau County, New York, USA
Burial Elmhurst, DuPage County, Illinois, USA
Plot Ashes interred with his mother
Memorial ID 6753479 · View Source
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Jazz Musician. A cornetist, he is remembered for performing and recording with most of the greats of his lifetime, in the process helping to create the style known as Chicago Jazz. Raised in Chicago under rather unsettled circumstances, he took-up the violin at five and the coronet at 15 and was later to credit music for rescuing him from a life of crime. While in school he was part of a noted ensemble called the Austin High Gang, a group whose members included saxophonist Bud Freeman and drummer Dave Tough and later boasted such future grandmasters as clarinetist Benny Goodman and drummer Gene Krupa. At 17 he got the opportunity to move to New York and replace the legendary Bix Beiderbecke in the Wolverine Orchestra; Bix liked what he heard and indeed helped Jimmy choose the coronet he was to use for the rest of his days. The next few years were spent back-and-forth between Chicago and New York; in 1927 he joined Ben Pollack's band where his fellow members included Goodman along with trombone giants Glenn Miller and Jack Teagarden and with whom he recorded 1928's "Room 1411". In New York he played with small bands and worked as a Broadway pit musician, then in 1930 he returned to the Windy City. Jimmy played gigs at top nightclubs as part of the Embassy Four and as leader of his own groups then from 1936 until the outbreak of World War II was with Jack Teagarden's Big Band. In the US Army from 1942 on, he landed at Normandy Beach on D-Day, performed in USO shows, and while in Belgium met his future second wife, British pianist Marian (Turner) Page, who was later to achieve iconic status as Marian McPartland. After the war the couple returned to Chicago where they formed a trio, but after a few years Jimmy encouraged Marian to start her own group as her style was somewhat different from his. Jimmy shared a Grammy Award with Willie "The Lion" Smith for the soundtrack of the 1954 movie "After Hours", earned praise for his acting in a 1956 episode of "The Alcoa Hour" entitled "The Magic Horn", appeared in a production of "Showboat", and in 1961 was featured on Garry Moore's DuPont Show of the Month in "Chicago and All That Jazz". Divorced from Marian in the late 1960s, he continued performing with her occasionally and kept up a busy schedule into the 1980s. After appearing on Marian's popular radio show, Jimmy was cared for by her during his terminal illness and remarried her two weeks prior to his death from lung cancer. In 1992 he was posthumously elected to the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame and today much of his massive recorded legacy remains available.

Bio by: Bob Hufford

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 4 Sep 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6753479
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Dugald “Jimmy” McPartland (15 Mar 1907–13 Mar 1991), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6753479, citing Arlington Cemetery, Elmhurst, DuPage County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .