Original Tonight Show Trpt Section? (East Coast Sound!)

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by shofar, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. shofar

    shofar New Friend

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    Nov 25, 2003
    Hey guys...I thought that Ralph Scaffidi (stage name Ralph Fey I think) was actually the first lead player om the original tonight show, and definately had that east coast sound, but pretty good high chops and a lot of stamina. And as I inderstand it, Jimmy Maxwell was playing second book, and Doc was playing the third book, don't know who played the fourth book. I know Ralph traveled for short periods at a time with some of the popular big bands to cover their lead book until they would get a regular. I know he didn't like being on the road much, so he wouldn't commit for any particular amount of time. They would usually ask him to sub on the lead book while they replaced their last lead player.

    Ralph was my trumpet teacher and was an incredible player. Mary was a great player as well. They were both wonderful people, but have both passed away. Some of you may know Ralphs brother Rudy Scaffidi (lives in OH), who I have never met (just spoke with on the phone), but I know has played and traveled with many of the popular big bands over the years.

    I also think Ralph's wife (Mary Osborne) was the guitar player on that same show. It would be great to hear from others that have a better take on this, or if you knew Ralph and Mary.

    See ya, Rog
     
  2. shofar

    shofar New Friend

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    Nov 25, 2003
    One other thing I thought of. I know that Ralph and Doc would go to lessons together with Benny Baker. Ralph used to say that Benny was the best he had ever heard and a great teacher. Seems like there isn't any information on Benny?

    See ya, Rog
     
  3. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Hi

    Here's a part of an interview with Doc and and English music magazine " Jam " about the time Doc was playing with his group "Xebron" when he discusses Benny Baker.

    JAM: Who was Benny Baker?

    DS: He was Toscanini's first trumpet player. Benny was legendary. And the sound that he got was just incredible. When Toscanini couldn't get the fiddles to understand how he wanted something to sound, he'd have Benny play it for them.

    JAM: So you studied with him formally?

    DS: Yes. Even when I was quite busy in the studios, I had my lesson with him once a week. I studied with him until he had his stroke. Then, after that, he just felt he couldn't teach anymore.

    Larry
     
  4. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Hi all,

    On the record album " Skitch Henderson and the Tonight Show Orchestra "
    ( 1957 ) the trumpet section is listed as Dick Perry, Johnny Frosk , Doc Severinson and Clark Terry.

    Snooky Young, Tommy Newsome and Ernie Tack made the trip to Los Angeles with Doc Severinson to do the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Doc rewarded their loyalty with a start to finish position with the band for the entire duration of the bands tenure.

    Larry
     
  5. MPM

    MPM Pianissimo User

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    Nov 10, 2003
    Granted he wasn't in the "original" section, but Bob McCoy, mentioned on another thread, too played on the show in NYC.

    Bob is one of my favorite lead-trumpet players!
     
  6. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles
    " Right you are, cup mute breath " ( that's a joke )

    I have pictures of Snooky in the section, Joe Moralle in the section, Bob McCoy playing and also the great Ernie Royal.

    After Skitch Henderson left with the departure of Steve Allen as host in 1957 ( 54' - 57' ) and Jack Paar took over the reigns ( Jack actually fired Skitch ) and guy named Jose Melis was named director until 1962 when Johnny Carson took over and appointed Doc.

    In the early days, subbing in the trumpet section was quite common as playing the Tonight Show was no more a prestigious or important a job than playing Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle, Sid Ceasar, Dinah Shore , etc. of which had live ensembles in what was the great ' New York " scene including the live " Artists " club/dinner theater scene and Broadway.

    Your buddy,

    Larry

    Larry
     
  7. MPM

    MPM Pianissimo User

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    Nov 10, 2003
    ahh ... may the blue bird of happyness drop a MTV Bach on your door step!!

    Yea those days in NYC & the old LA days .... must have been great!
     
  8. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Hi

    Talking about the Tonight Show trumpet section under Skitch Henderson, I came across another album , circa 1956 , that featured Skitch and the TS orchestra listing Bernie Glow, Snooky Young, Jimmy Maxwell , Mel Davis and Clark Terry as the trumpets section.

    It only mentioned Doc S. as a writer of one of the tunes recorded, but not as a player.

    More NY Scene players that were not mentioned and deserve recognition:

    Jimmy Nottingham
    Jim Bossy
    Ron Tooley
    Cecil Bridgewater
    Danny Moore
    Jimmy Owens
    Dick Williams



    LG
     
  9. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    John Frosk
    Jimmy Maxwell
    Bob McCoy
    Dick Perry


    This is the section I remember before the show moved west. They came to the Denver Trumpet Symposium and were amazing. Some of the touring big band players of the day were around and played and everybody was impressed.....until these guys played!! We heard the real difference in a great trumpet section that worked together and blended/balanced/style, everything at the highest level. Time was perfect, phrasing, everything.

    John Frosk was one of the finest Lead players in history.
     
  10. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY
    At the Apollo Theater the trumpet pool consisted of:
    E.V. Perry
    Dud Bascomb
    Money Johnson
    Lamar Wright Sr.
    Johnnie Grimes
    Dick Vance
    I am sure I left of some of the really forgotten uptown heroes.
    Wilmer
     

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