Friday, January 27, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Buddy Morrow

Artist:Buddy Morrow
Song:Night Train
Album:A Big Band Buddy

Trombonist Buddy Morrow was best known for his days with Tommy Dorsey in the 30s and other big bands in the 40s. But he also had brief success with his own band in the 50s. His recording of Night Train charted in 1952 and became a jukebox favourite especially with strippers. Morrow continued to perform big band swing until his 2010 death. He was born Muni Zudekoff Feb. 8, 1919 in New Haven, CT. He studied trombone at what became Juilliard and then moved to New York in 1936. He performed as Moe Zudekoff for trumpeter Sharkey Bonano and then he moved on to the bands of Eddie Duchin, Vincent Lopez and Artie Shaw. He joined the Tommy Dorsey band in 1938 and changed his name to Buddy Morrow. He also recorded with Paul Whiteman. In the 40s, he replaced Ray Conniff in the Bob Crosby band. And while in the service during WWII, he recorded with Billy Butterfield. After the war ended, Morrow unsuccessfully tried to start his own band. Then he worked for Jimmy Dorsey and Morrow became a session musician. His session work led to a contract with RCA Records. Night Train reached #27 on the hit parade. Night Train started out as a Johnny Hodges sax riff in the Duke Ellington song That's The Blues, Old Man. Jimmy Forrest performed the solo when he was in the Ellington band. In 1951, Forrest expanded the solo into the full song Night Train and topped the R & B charts. Basically, Morrow's recording is the white version of a black recording. That sort of thing was very common in the 50s as white radio stations would not play back artists. Of course lots of folks have recorded Night Train, most significantly James Brown. Morrow's version became very popular with strippers so it was a jukebox staple for years. Morrow continued to record in the 50s. You can get a good sampling on this comp from the British label Jasmine. Morrow also recorded two albums of TV themes in 1959. In the 60s, Morrow was a member of The Tonight Show band. And for many years he led the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and toured the nostalgia circuit. He was given a lifetime achievement award by the International Trombone Association in 2009. Buddy Morrow died on Sept. 27, 2010 at age 91. Here's a video for Night Train by Buddy Morrow.

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