Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b c'16, Newell NC; d 31 Oct. '72, Parkersburg WV) Violinist, bandleader. Raised on farm; led band at Duke. U. '32, competing with rival college band Blue Devils led by Les Brown. Pro from '37; played for dancers yet steered clear of purely mickey-mouse sound. Hit record '40 "A Shanty In Old Shanty Town', with hip vocal by the band. Generally regarded as Mr Nice Guy in big band business; popular on radio, made some films but failed to break into TV. Occasionally played Las Vegas late '50s; Returned to Marshall U. early '70s intending to teach.