Weldon Leo Teagarden, 29 August 1905, Vernon, Texas, USA, d. 15 January 1964, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. One of the giants of jazz, Teagarden began playing trombone and singing in and around his home-town, encouraged by his mother, Helen Teagarden, a pianist. From his early teens he was playing professionally, touring with various bands, notably that led by Peck Kelley. He continued to gain experience with a number of bands, his reputation spreading ahead of him until, by the time he reached New York City in the late 20s, he was ready for the big time. He joined Ben Pollack in 1928 and through his work with this band, and numerous record dates, he frightened just about every other trombone player in the country into either changing their approach or contemplating premature retirement. He recorded extensively with small bands and with Paul Whiteman, and appeared frequently on radio, sometimes forming his own small groups. An attempt at leading a big band was...
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