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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by warnergt, Jul 7, 2012.
Happy Birthday Doc Severinsen!
His birthday is today. He is 85 years old.
Date of Birth: 07/07/1927
Happy birthday to Doc
I did not know he was still alive...
Wasn't it, Doc Severinsen first, then Kevin Eubanks and now Rickey Minor for the Tonight Show band leader?
The band was founded in 1954, coincidental to the NBC Symphony Orchestra being disbanded. Its first long-term director was Skitch Henderson (195457). Henderson was replaced by Jose Melis in 1957, when Jack Paar took over as host from Steve Allen. Henderson returned in 1962 when Johnny Carson took over from Paar. Carson increased the band budget, and Henderson created a major jazz big band by hiring some of the best jazz musicians from the touring big bands which were going out of business at the time, and by commissioning charts from top jazz arrangers. The new band included Clark Terry, Bobby Rosengarden, Doc Severinsen, Urbie Green, Ed Shaughnessy, and Ernie Royal, among others.
In 1966, Henderson left the show and was replaced by Milton DeLugg, who in 1967 was replaced by Doc Severinsen. Severinsen continued to add important musicians to the band, including Louie Bellson, Allen Vizzutti, and Snooky Young. The show's move from New York to California effected a significant change in the band's personnel. In 1992, when Jay Leno replaced Carson, Branford Marsalis took over as musical director, and a new smaller band was formed. Marsalis was succeeded in 1995 by Kevin Eubanks. This ended the tradition of a large in-house studio orchestra on American Television.
In June 2009, Conan O'Brien took over hosting duties from Leno. Max Weinberg likewise replaced Kevin Eubanks as band leader, with the erstwhile house band from Late Night with Conan O'Brien forming Max Weinberg and The Tonight Show Band. Eubanks and his band migrated to The Jay Leno Show in September 2009 as the Primetime Band. When Conan O'Brien left The Tonight Show in February 2010, Leno came back as host for a second tenure, bringing back Kevin Eubanks, who took a more limited role in Leno's second run as host. Eubanks announced his departure from the show in February 2010; his last show was May 28, 2010.
On June 7, 2010, Rickey Minor officially became the new bandleader for The Tonight Show Band, writing a brand new theme song which has been shaken up for the third time in one year (including Conan O'Brien's version). Minor claims that the new band will bring a brand new tone and energy to the show. Minor has said he's been approached by approximately 75 artists after being hired for the show, some of whom include Smokey Robinson, Nancy Wilson, Steve Vai, Arturo Sandoval, Bret Michaels, Snoop Dogg, Shania Twain, and more who will eventually sit in with the band.
I remember watching Doc play Flight of the Bumble Bee on trumpet on the Tonight Show. Yikes, that guy was good! And, Johnny Carson was the best comedian ever in late night TV, IMO.
I was 9 when Doc became the Tonight Show band leader, and anytime I could manage to get my parents to let me stay up late enough, I'd watch the Tonight Show to see the band play. Later in my teens I was into Grand Funk, Steppenwolf, and The James Gang, but anytime I passed the tube and Doc and the band were playing, I stopped and listened. Even though I was not into big band jazz at the time, the sheer musicianship and excellence grabbed my attention.
Happy Birthday Doc. Thanks for the great music and for expanding my horizons.
Loved watching Johnny talk to Doc during the monologue. Doc's wardrobe was a hoot! Must have been a great gig....
(loved the late Tommy Newsome too!)
For me, mention the name "Carson" and Doc is the first name that comes to my mind - not Johnny's sidekick Ed.
I remember Johnny congratulating Newsome on air when Tommy
got his doctorate.