Joe Haymes

Decades Active: 1990s 2000s


1908, Marshfield, Missouri, USA, d. 1964. A self-taught pianist, Haymes turned to music after an early career in the circus. He developed his musical skills, became a successful arranger, writing charts for Ted Weems and others, and then formed a band of his own, playing high quality dance music. Haymes maintained his high musical standards by hiring first-rate musicians, amongst them Pee Wee Erwin, Bud Freeman and Toots Mondello. In 1934, before the band had a chance to make its name, Haymes dropped out, leaving the others to continue under the leadership of Buddy Rogers. Almost at once, Haymes set about building a new band, which took to the road playing high-quality dance music. The following year, the new band was taken over in its entirety by Tommy Dorsey, who had quit the band he co-led with his brother. Dorsey even acquired Paul Weston, a fine young arranger Haymes was nurturing. Haymes tried again, but his later bands failed to achieve popularity, even...

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