'Tonight' band drummer Ed Shaughnessy dead at 84

LOS ANGELES, May 27 (UPI) -- Ed Shaughnessy, a U.S. jazz musician who played drums with Doc Severinsen's Tonight Show Band for nearly three decades, has died, his family said. He was 84.
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People in the news

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By United Press International

Nat King Cole's wife Maria dead at 90

BOCA RATON, Fla., July 11 (UPI) -- Maria Cole, wife of late music icon Nat "King" Cole and mother of singer Natalie Cole, died in Florida after a bout with cancer, her children said. She was 90.

Black stars' enclave gets landmark status

NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Tuesday named a Queens neighborhood -- which housed Jackie Robinson and James Brown -- a historic district.

Trombonist Benny Powell dead at 80

NEW YORK, July 4 (UPI) -- Trombonist and jazz educator Benny Powell, best known for his work with Count Basie's big band, died in New York at age 80.
Springsteen charity gig's surprise guest

Springsteen charity gig's surprise guest

RED BANK, N.J., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Bruce Springsteen made an unbilled appearance at a New Jersey charity event that raised $250,000 for the Parker Family Health Center in Red Bank, N.J.

Tap dancer Jimmy Slyde dead at 80

BROCKTON, Mass., May 18 (UPI) -- Jimmy Slyde, a leading U.S. tap dancer during the big-band era, has died in Hanson, Mass. He was 80.

Jazz sax player Herman Riley dies at 73

LOS ANGELES, April 25 (UPI) -- Saxophonist Herman Riley, known for his soulful sound while working with Count Basie and other jazz greats, has died of heart failure at 73 in Los Angeles.

Remembering the Armadillo

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A marker commemorating the Armadillo World Headquarters, the place where many of the nation's best musicians gathered in the 1970s, was dedicated Sunday.

Historic piano raffled for $10 a ticket

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A piano played by Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino is being raffled to raise money for Family Elder Care in Austin, Texas.

Jazzman Lucky Thompson dead at 81

SEATTLE, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Influential jazz saxophonist Eli "Lucky" Thompson has died in Seattle at age 81.

New CD set features 23 NEA Jazz Masters

NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Verve Records has released a special compilation CD in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts' expansion of its NEA Jazz Masters program.

Photographer presents a new sort of jazz

NEW YORK, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Carol Friedman has photographed and designed hundreds of jazz, soul and classical music CD covers through the years.

Basie box set filled with enduring gifts

The Count Basie Orchestra was the hardest swinging big band in American jazz history, arguably even the most swinging band of any size and context.
KEN FRANCKLING, United Press International

Boston adds jazz repertory group

BOSTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Boston has joined the ranks of U.S. and European cities that have their own resident repertory jazz orchestras.
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Count Basie

William "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Basie led his jazz orchestra almost continuously for nearly 50 years. Many notable musicians came to prominence under his direction, including tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie's theme songs were "One O'Clock Jump" and "April In Paris".

William James Basie was born to Harvey Lee Basie, and Lillian Ann Childs, who lived on Mechanic Street in Red Bank, New Jersey. His father worked as a coachman and caretaker for a wealthy judge. After automobiles replaced horses, his father became a groundskeeper and handyman for several families in the area. His mother, a piano player who gave Basie his first piano lessons, took in laundry and baked cakes for sale and paid 25 cents a lesson for piano instruction for him.

Basie was not much of a scholar and instead dreamed of a traveling life, inspired by the carnivals which came to town. He only got as far as junior high school. He would hang out at the Palace Theater in Red Bank and did occasional chores for the management, which got him free admission to the shows. He also learned to operate the spotlights for the vaudeville shows. One day, when the pianist failed to arrive by show time, Basie took his place. Playing by ear, he quickly learned to improvise music appropriate to silent movies.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Count Basie."
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