Artist picture of Woody Herman And His Orchestra

Woody Herman And His Orchestra

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Early Autumn Woody Herman And His Orchestra 03:10
Blues Downstairs Woody Herman 02:50
Tenderly Woody Herman 02:57
Midnight Sun Woody Herman, Tito Puente 04:16
Early Autumn Woody Herman And His Orchestra 03:13
Blue Flame Woody Herman & His Orchestra 03:18

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Biography

Woody Herman – born on May 16, 1913, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – was one of big band and swing music’s most influential artists. Nominated for many Grammy Awards – and winning three - over the course of his career, Woody Herman steered his orchestra into many different directions, creating music that was comforting while also remaining cutting edge. As a clarinetist, saxophonist, singer and band leader, he came to prominence in the late 1930s. As a child performer, he started as a tap dancer and singer in vaudeville before he started playing the clarinet and saxophone at the age of 12. He later began to perform with orchestras led by Harry Sosnick, Gus Arnheim, and Isham Jones. When Isham Jones, who was a successful songwriter, decided to retire his band in order to enjoy his songwriting royalties, Woody Herman stepped in and, in 1936, Woody Herman and His Orchestra was born. The ensemble was known by many names throughout the years including the Band That Plays the Blues and variations on the name Woody Herman and the Herd (i.e.: Second Herd, Third Herd, Fourth Herd, etc.), the Young Thundering Herd, and others. Woody Herman and His Orchestra scored many hits including “At the Woodchopper’s Ball” (1939), “Blue Flame” (1941), “Blues in the Night” featuring vocals by Woody Herman (1942), “Caldonia” (1945), and “Sabre Dance” (1948). Like most of his contemporaries, the big band and swing groups that had been so important just a few years before saw a downturn in popularity after the end of World War II. However, Woody Herman kept different variations of the band going until his death on October 29, 1987, at the age of 74. During his lifetime, Woody Herman and His Orchestra released hundreds of recordings including singles, EPs, and albums. Three of his albums won Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Performance – Large Group (Instrumental): Encore: Woody Herman 1963, Giant Steps (1973), and Thundering Herd (1974). Since his passing, there have been numerous compilations including Blowin’ Up a Storm: The Columbia Years 1945-47.