Robert Leo Hackett, 31 January 1915, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, d. 7 June 1976, Chatham, Massachusetts, USA. After learning to play a number of instruments while still at school, including cornet and guitar, Hackett became a professional musician when barely into his teens. For the first few years he played violin and guitar but by 1934 he was concentrating on cornet. In 1936 he briefly led his own band, then moved to New York where he played in the society dance bands of Meyer Davis and the Lanin brothers. In 1937 he moved towards the more jazz-orientated currently-popular big bands, working with Joe Marsala and Red McKenzie. In 1938 he was one of the guest musicians at Benny Goodmans prestigious Carnegie Hall concert. At this time Hackett was leading a band at Nicks, a prominent New York nightclub. The last few years of the 30s found him working in radio in New York, on motion pictures in Hollywood, making records and leading his own bands, big...
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