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Castle, Lee (originally, Castaido, Aniello)

Castle, Lee (originally, Castaido, Aniello)

jazz trumpeter, leader; b. N.Y., Feb. 28, 1915; d. Hollywood, Fla., Nov. 16, 1990. His brother Charles is a trombonist. He played in junior bands on drums, began on trumpet at 15, and became professional at 18. He worked in the mid-1930s with Joe Haymes, Dick Stabile, and Artie Shaw, before joining Red Norvo in July 1937. He joined Tommy Dorsey in September 1937, leaving the band when Tommy sent him to study with the Dorseys’ father in Lansford, Pa., and returned in late 1938. He played briefly with Glenn Miller, then with Jack Teagarden from April-December 1939. He led his own band in 1940, was briefly with Will Bradley, then joined Artie Shaw in early 1941. H led his own band from March 1942—adopting the name Castle at this point—signed the band over to Richard Himber in late 1942, then joined Benny Goodman until late 1943 (appearing in the films Stage Door Canteenand The Girls They Left Behind). He again led big bands in the 1940s, forming the Dixieland outfit in 1949. He was with Artie Shaw (1950), then the Dorsey Brothers (from 1953); fronted Jimmy Dorsey’s Band during that leader’s last illness. Shortly after Jimmy Dorsey’s death in 1957, the band was divided into two memorial orchestras, one under each brother’s name. Castle assumed leadership of the Jimmy Dorsey Orch., which he continued to lead into the 1980s.


The Lee Castle Jazztette (1952); Dixieland Heaven (1957). A. Shaw: Sugar Foot Stomp (1936). T. Dorsey: I Never Knew (1938); Sentimental and Swinging (1955). W. Bradley: Basin Street Bougie (1941). J. Dorsey: So Rare; Sophisticated Swing (both 1956).

—John Chilton, Who’s Who of Jazz/Lewis Porter

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