recognized as one of the all-time great trombone players. He first came
to prominence as a featured performer with such leading orchestras as
Tommy Dorsey, Paul Whiteman, Artie Shaw and Jimmy Dorsey. His
outstanding musicianship has been evident through the years, not only
in the world of Big Bands, but also as a featured artist with
symphonies as well as jazz groups. Buddy was also in demand for the
recording industry and active as a staff musician and leader with many
of the major radio and television shows.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Buddy's future as a musician was virtually predestined. Several generations of his family had played in leading orchestras all over Europe. By the time he was thirteen, he was playing with local dance bands, and at fifteen he joined the Yale Collegians and toured the East Coast playing college dances and parties. Buddy often sat in at the various jam sessions at the famous Hickory House in New York City, where he played with well-known musicians like Harry James, Buddy Rich and Bunny Berrigan. Artie Shaw was one who heard Buddy and advised him to move to New York. Buddy did, Artie introduced him to various contractors around town, and Buddy's career was off and running. Shortly after that, Buddy auditioned at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music and received a full scholarship. He joined the Eddy Duchin Orchestra and stayed until Artie Shaw called him for his newly formed orchestra. When he left Shaw, it was back to New York again.
There soon came a call from Tommy Dorsey, and Buddy joined his Orchestra, forming a friendship that lasted over the years. After that stint, he joined Paul Whiteman and the Chesterfield Radio Show. Next came the Bob Crosby Orchestra and a move to California, where Buddy lived for about a year. Then it was a hitch in the Navy. When he came home, he joined the Jimmy Dorsey Band and got his first taste as an orchestra leader when Jimmy took sick and asked him to fill in.
Through the years, Buddy Morrow had become so highly regarded in the music world that RCA Victor signed him to form an orchestra and record under his own name. Buddy began experimenting with style and instrumentation and took the band out on the road. One night in Detroit, Buddy came across an exciting rhythm and blues number and insisted that the band record it. The song was "Night Train", and it became a national sensation, selling over a million copies. The Buddy Morrow Orchestra had established itself as one of the biggest musical attractions on the road, setting attendance records in leading ballrooms and theaters from coast to coast.
Among Buddy's other hits are "One Mint Julep", "I Don't Know", and "Hey, Mrs.Jones". Buddy's albums include "Night Train", "Big Band Guitar", "New Blues Scene", "Impact", "Campus After Dark", and several albums in tribute to both Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey.
Buddy has freelanced in the recording, radio and television industries, was a staff musician at CBS, conducted the Jimmy Rogers Television Show and on staff at NBC for years as a featured player on the "Tonight Show".
Buddy Morrow, as conductor of the "The One and Only Tommy Dorsey Orchestra" from 1977 until September 24, 2010, insisted that the band retain the authentic sound and style of the late Tommy Dorsey and still have the elasticity to meet every musical situation. They played dances and jazz concerts, both with the same high level of expertise.
The band's repertoire embraces not only the classics of the original Dorsey Orchestra, but also the spectrum of popular music from Dixieland, rhythm and blues and intricate ballads to progressive jazz and contemporary tunes. Its library also has a nostalgic representation of those familiar tunes of the 40's so irreplaceable to the many who loved and still remember "Big Bands".
Buddy Morrow was one of the rare and original Big Band leaders in recent; a man whose skill on his horn was both an inspiration to his band and a thrill to audiences wherever he appears. The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra led by Buddy Morrow represented explosive and swinging Big Band entertainment at its best.
Buddy died in New Haven, Connecticut, on Septemer 27, 2010; three days after his last performance fronting the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.