Musician. Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, he was a pianist arranger, composer, and bandleader, often credited as the progenitor of cool jazz. In the 1930s, he worked as studio musician and began to play with the big name bands of Benny Goodman, Hal Kemp, Ray Noble and Glen Miller. He was serving as musical arranger for the Bob Hope radio show when he formed his own orchestra in 1940. For the next few years, he toured all the resorts performing and his orchestra was a tremendous success with jazz fans. After serving in the US Navy during World War II, he reorganized his orchestra, but couldn't survive the downturn in the band business and only played occasionally until the group broke up in the early 1950s. He died of attack in Caldwell, New Jersey. In 1984, he was posthumously inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith