Sam Donahue

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Sam Donahue, appearance at the New York jazz club Aquarium, approx. December 1946.
Photograph by William P. Gottlieb .

Sam Koontz Donahue (born March 18, 1918 in Detroit , Michigan , † March 22, 1974 in Reno , Nevada ) was an American jazz musician who emerged as a saxophonist , trumpeter , arranger and, above all, band leader of swing .

Live and act

Sam Donahue had his first band with young musicians in Detroit since 1933, which Sonny Burke later took over; he then played in 1938/40 with Gene Krupa and His Orchestra and then worked with Harry James and Benny Goodman . With his own band he performed on the east coast a. a. at Glen Island Casino and Frank Dailey's Meadowbrook . In 1942 he served in the US Navy; There he played in the US Navy Dance Band , initially led by Artie Shaw , with whom he toured Europe during the war years and enjoyed great success. Donahue led the band until 1946 and then reformed his own pre-war band, with which he appeared at the Paramount Theater ; one of his soloists was u. a. Doc Severinsen . In the 1950s he worked with Gene Krupa, Woody Herman , Tommy Dorsey and Billy May . From 1951 to 1965, after a brief stint in the Stan Kenton Band, he led the Tommy Dorsey Memorial Band , which performed with Frank Sinatra and Charlie Shavers . He then worked as a band leader in the Playboy clubs and continued to play swing style.