Joe Bushkin Biography

7 November 1916, New York City, New York, USA, d. 3 November 2004, Santa Barbara, California, USA. While still in his early teens Bushkin played piano (and trumpet) with New York dance bands, and by the mid-30s was a regular sitter-in along 52nd Street, playing and recording with Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier and Billie Holiday. He joined Bunny Berigan’s big band in 1935 and spent several years with Joe Marsala before taking up an offer from Tommy Dorsey in 1940. One of Bushkin’s songs, ‘Oh Look At Me Now’, was recorded by Dorsey and the band’s singer, Frank Sinatra, and became a success. After war service Bushkin worked with Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong and accommodated changes in musical taste by easily shifting into a more commercial mode during the 60s and 70s. Although semi-retired, in the mid-70s Bushkin was tempted back into the spotlight by an invitation to accompany Bing Crosby on a tour of the USA and Europe. Bushkin continued to work hard in subsequent decades, effortlessly blending with latter-day mainstream jazzmen such as Warren Vaché Jnr and his son-in-law Bob Merrill.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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