Clyde McCoy 1912-1990

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Blind Bruce, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

    Apr 17, 2009
    Winnipeg Canada
    Does anyone know what kind of mute that Clyde McCoy used? It sounds like a Harmon style but I have never seen any photos of him playing. He sounded a lot like Harry James when he wasn't "fooling around".
    Those were tough times for a band leader.
  2. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    The closest thing to it is the H&B "Pixie" mute, a small straight made to work comfortably with a plunger. His mute was made by Conn in th 1920's of brass. I was a friend of his nephew, John McCoy, and had a repair shop in Tampa. John Brought me Clyde's mute, all torn up. Clyde suffered some dimentia in his last years and had put the mute in a vice, trying to recork it. I repaired it and received nice thank-you note from Clyde. BTW, Clyde's plunger was an old metal ice cream dish.
  3. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Clyde played a harmon on Sugar Blues.

    I usually use a Pixie and plunger when I play it, although I sometimes use a harmon if I am miced.

    Check your email.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    A fine trumpet player that got the most out of the notes below high C!
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    It was a Harmon mute with the stem pushed all the way in and the hand opening and closing the opening at the stem cup end.
  6. Fatso DiMARTINo

    Fatso DiMARTINo Pianissimo User

    Jun 6, 2009
    Rochester, NY
    Ed Kennedy: Thanks for that info. Currently there's a listing on eBay for an ordinary Harmon mute, where the seller is pitching how the Harmon is the "EXACT" mute Clyde McCoy played on "Sugar Blues." I knew way back when I was a tot in the '60s, mesmerized by hearing "Sugar Blues" for the first time, that the Harmon did not really get Clyde's sound. That Clyde played a Harmon "Wow Wow" is a suprisingly common misconception among trumpeters. Indeed, the real Sugar Blues sound is achieved with an old brass "door knob" or "Baby Door Knob" (Pixie) mute tight into the bell, used with a plunger. Oh, if only you knew the make of Clyde's ice cream dish!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  7. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    A lot of disagreement over this.

    I use both when I play "Sugar Blues"

    The Harmon gives the brighter sound that we hear on the record, the Pixie (which I have) and plunger gives a far more gutteral sound.

    Hear is a pic from the Columbia album "Sugar Blues" I also somewhere have a pic of Clyde using the Harmon.

  8. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Clyde McCoy Publicity Photo
  9. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    Apr 5, 2008

    Music de luxe!

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