McGhee, Howard (B.; aka Maggie)

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McGhee, Howard (B.; aka Maggie)

McGhee, Howard (B.; aka Maggie), jazz trumpeter, composer; b. Tulsa, Okla., March 6, 1918; d. N.Y, July 17, 1987. His family moved to Detroit during his infancy. He played clarinet in high school band, then switched to trumpet. Worked locally prior to joining Lionel Hampton for two months in September 1941. He joined Andy Kirk from November 1941-August 1942 (featured on “McGhee Special”) and again during the summer of 1944; in between, he worked with Charlie Barnet. He had brief spells with Billy Eckstine and Count Basie, and then was with Coleman Hawkins in N.Y and Calif, from November 1944 to March 1945. He led his own small band from 1945 to 1947, took part in freelance recordings, and worked with George Auld’s Band. He did several “Jazz at the Philharmonic” tours in the late 1940s, and took his own small band with Jimmy Heath to Europe in May 1948. In November 1948 he led the Jimmy Heath Band under his name for a series of dates in Detroit and at the Apollo Theater in Harlem as part of a show. In December he reformed a small group with Heath which went first to N.Y. Beginning in November 1951, he toured the Pacific area, Japan, and Korea with a small band led by Oscar Pettiford, and remained briefly with the band after Pettiford was deposed in January 1952. He played occasional club dates during the 1950s, and some gigs with Machito’s Band, but his problems kicking drugs led to long periods of inactivity. He also worked with rock oriented groups, one of which recorded. During the 1960s, he was again active, playing various jazz festivals, touring Europe in fall of 1964, and working briefly with Duke Ellington (1965). In 1966, he formed his own big band, but within a year was touring Europe again as a soloist. During the 1970s he arranged, composed, and performed with his own quintet and big band. By the early 1980s, heart troubles curtailed his performing, although he occasionally continued to appear; he died in 1987.


Howard McGhee Sextet (1947); Sextet with Milt Jackson (1948); Howard McGhee’s All Stars (1948); Night Music (1951); Jazz Goes to the Battlefront, Vol. 1, 2 (1952); Howard McGhee, Vol. 2 (1953); Return of Howard McGhee (1955); Bop Master (1955); Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries (1956); Music from “The Connection” (1960); Together Again! (1961); Sharp Edge (1961); Maggie’s Back in Town (1961); Dusty Blue (1961); Nobody Knows You When You’re Done (1962); House Warmin’! (1962); Cookin’ Time (1966); Just Be There (1976); Here Comes Freddy (1976); Jazz Brothers (1977); Live at Emerson’s (1978); Home Run (1978); Young at Heart (1979); Wise in Time (1979).

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

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McGhee, Howard (B.; aka Maggie)

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