McPartland, Jimmy (actually, James Douggald/Douglas)

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McPartland, Jimmy (actually, James Douggald/Douglas)

McPartland, Jimmy (actually, James Douggald/Douglas), cornetist, trumpeter; brother of Dick McPartland; b. Chicago, March 15, 1907; d. Port Washington, N.Y., March 13, 1991. His father was a music teacher. Jimmy started on violin at five, then switched to cornet in the early 1920s. He formed a band with his brother and several of their friends (Jim Lanigan, Bud Freeman, Frank Teschemacher, Dave Tough, and pianist Dave North) that subsequently became known as The Austin High Gang, though they originally gigged as The Blue Friars. He got his first professional work with Al Maid’s Band in 1923, subsequently playing with other local bands before moving to N.Y. to join The Wolverines. He played alongside Bix Beider-becke for five nights until Bix left to join Jean Goldkette. McPartland left N.Y. with The Wolverines to play in Miami and Chicago; the band played in Chicago under Dick Voynow’s leadership, and later Jimmy fronted the band when they were billed in Des Moines and Chicago as Husk O’Hare’s Wolverines in May 1926. Jimmy then worked briefly in Detroit before joining drummer Bill Paley’s Band at Friars’ Inn, in Chicago in late 1926. Early in 1927, he joined Ben Pollack at The Blackhawk, Chicago, and subsequently went to N.Y. with Pollack, remaining with the group until autumn 1929. At the same time, he played on many freelance recording sessions including small group dates with Benny Goodman in 1928. McPartland worked in Broadway pit bands and with various local N.Y groups through the early 1930s. He returned to to Chicago (c. 1934) to join his brother’s Embassy Four. After a long spell of touring and residencies in New Orleans, Chicago, and other major cities, he left to form his own band. From 1937 until 1940 played mainly in Chicago, then came to Nick’s in N.Y. (early 1941). McPartland briefly returned to Chicago, then played with Jack Teagarden in N.Y. until joining the U.S. Army in late 1942. He served in Europe, took part in the Normandy invasion, then played in the service show “Bandwagon” where he met and married pianist Marian Page in February 1945. Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, he led his own bands in Chicago and other major U.S. cities; he also visited Britain in 1949 and 1954. Beginning in 1953, he worked regularly in N.Y. He continued to work regularly throughout the 1960s-80s, mainly with his own groups, but also in spells with Bud Freeman, Peanuts Hucko, and Tony Pareti. He also made several international tours, including a tour of South Africa in 1971–72 and of Britain in 1985. He made his last concert appearance in 1990. Although he divorced Marian in 1970, they remained friendly and continued to perform togther occasionally; when he was suffering from lung cancer in 1991, she remarried him two weeks before his death.

Discography

Middle Road (1956); After Dark (1956); Jimmy McPartland’s Dixieland (1957); Meet Me in Chicago (1959); Jimmy McPartland and His Dixieland (1959); Bossa Nova Plus Soul (1963); That Happy Dixieland Jazz (1965); Jimmy McPartland on Stage (1966); Ambiance (1970); McPartlands Live at the Montice (1972); At the Festival (1979). b. goodman:“A Jazz Holiday,” “Wolverine Blues,” “Jungle Blues” (2 takes), “Room 1411” (1928).

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

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McPartland, Jimmy (actually, James Douggald/Douglas)

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