McGarity, (Robert) Lou(is)

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McGarity, (Robert) Lou(is)

McGarity, (Robert) Lou(is), trombonist, violinist, singer; b. Athens, Ga., July 22, 1917; d. Alexandria, Va., Aug. 28, 1971. He began playing violin at the age of seven. Ten years later, he won the state high school contest on violin and shortly afterwards began specializing on trombone. He gigged with various bands while studying at the Univ. of Ga. (1934–36), then joined Kirk DeVore’s Band in Atlanta (1936). During 1937 he worked with saxist Nye Mayhew’s Band in N.Y. and Boston, and then with Ben Bernie from early 1938 until joining Benny Goodman in October 1940. He left Goodman in autumn 1942, and worked with Raymond Scott at CBS before serving in the U.S. Navy, beginning in the fall of 1945. He rejoined Benny Goodman from early 1946 until August 1946. He left Goodman on the West Coast, did regular studio work, and also worked with Red Nichols at the Morocco Club, Los Angeles. He moved back to N.Y. in June 1947, and worked regularly as a studio musician (including another spell with Raymond Scott). McGarity also frequently appeared with Eddie Condon’s Band for club dates and recordings. Ill health temporarily curtailed his activities from 1957, but he returned to full schedule in the 1960s. He toured the Far East with Bob Crosby (late 1964), and continued to play with Crosby in N.Y. through 1966. He played with World’s Greatest Jazz Band (1968–70), and then resumed studio work. He suffered a heart attack in summer 1971 while working at Blues Alley, Washington, D.C.


New Orleans Jazz (1953); Some Like It Hot (1959); Blue Lou (1960).

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

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McGarity, (Robert) Lou(is)

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