Woodrow Charles Herman (Woody) (Milwaukee (Wisconsin), 1913 - May 16, Los Angeles (California), 29 October 1987) was an American jazzclarinetistsaxophonist -(altand soprano), singer and big band leader.


 [verbergen*1 the beginning

The beginning[Edit]Edit

Herman was a musical prodigy on the clarinet. When he was 9 years old, he performed in vaudevilletheatres, also as a singer and dancer. At the age of 15, he became a professional saxophone player. In 1931 he met a novice actress, Charlotte Neste, with whom he would later marry. In Chicago , he played briefly in the band Tom Run's, in which he also sang ("Lonesome Me" and "My heart's at Ease" are the first footage of Herman as a singer). After that he joined he toured with Harry Sosnik and Gus Arnheim.In 1934, he went to the Isham JonesOrchestra, which had many popular songs to his name, such as "It Had To Be You". Jones had at one point enough of its existence as a band leader, wanted by the royalties from his songs live and stopped with it, in 1936. With the important members of the band started now own Woody Herman Orchestra.

The Band That Plays The Blues and First Herd[Edit]Edit

Woody Herman's first band was known as The Band That Plays The Blues, because of his adaptations of bluessongs. In 1939 Herman scored a big hit with "Woodchopper's Ball" and became one of the leading orchestras in the late swingera. The band would over the years undergone several personnel changes. In 1944, Neal Hefti, among others, Ralph BurnsFlip Phillips and Bill Harris joined the band. The group in this compound are called Herman's Herd went, and would later be called First Herd, because there are still different Herd would follow. The repertoire of the Group changed. Herman's First Herd was now influenced by the music of Duke Ellington and Count Basie. The Group combined bop and swing in lively, swinging arrangements. In late 1944 it closed First Herd a record deal with Columbia records and in February 1945 "Caldonia" was included, which was a big hit. Other hits were "Laura" and "Northwest Passage". The band became very popular and even knew Igor Stravinsky to impress. The classical composer composed specially for the Orchestra "Ebony Eyes" (1945, in the words of Herman "a very delicate and very sad piece"), which in March 1946 had its premiere in Carnegie Hall . The band won In 1946 in the magazinesdownbeatMetronomeEsquire Billboard and the polls of the best Orchestra. At the height of the (commercial) success, stopped Herman with the band, to give more attention to his wife, who had an alcohol problem. In that year, 1946, laid more swing-Bob orchestras: it was the end of the swing era.

Second Herd and other bands[Edit]Edit

Woody Herman came with his Second Herd In 1947, of which the saxophone section with four saxophonists (three baritone saxophonist tenor saxophonists and a) would be known as the Four Brothers. Were the saxophonists Zoot SimsHerbie StewardSerge Chaloff and Stan Getz. ' Four Brothers ' was also the title of a song by Jimmy Giuffre, which the Group took up in december that year. Other band members includedAl CohnOscar Pettiford , Gene Ammonsand Shelly Manne. The group scored hits like "Early Autumn" and "The Goof and I". In 1947 the band appeared in the film New Orleans. The Second Herd, which is also influenced by bebop (told in e.g., "Lemon Drop"), was active until 1949.

After the Second Herd many other Woody Herman Herd formed, large and small, that may no longer be as original, but always guaranteed musical quality. The Third Herd (1950-1956) toured with success in 1954 by Europe. This was followed by Anglo American Herd (formed in 1959) and Swinging Herd (1962). In the 1960s the Orchestra underwent influences from the rock-'n-roll. At the end of the 1960s took Herman different jazz rockmusicians in his band on.

1970s and later[Edit]Edit

Herman toured extensively in the 1970s. In 1974 New Thundering Herd are Woody Herman and accompanied singer Frank Sinatra in a series of concerts, ' The Main Event ', including the televised concert inMadison Square GardenNew York. In 1976 fourth Herman are 40-year anniversary as a band leader with a concert at Carnegie Hall, New York. In the 1980s, Herman returned back to the pure jazz. Around 1980 he got a record deal with Concord and made some plates. He worked on the West Coast and returned back to New York in 1985, where he with again young musicians played in Blue Note Jazz Club. In 1986 followed his 50th anniversary with a new Orchestra.

By a tax liability from the sixties (thanks to an incompetent manager) Herman was forced to act in the 1980s. When he could no longer tour due to illness, the tax authority came along and he lost his home and belongings.

Woody Herman was an important swing-clarinet player, but his biggest merit was that he was innovative and creative bands formed with high musical quality. That makes him one of the important personalities in the jazz of the twentieth century.

Woody Herman died in 1987 at the age of 74 from complications of pneumonia.


  • Clancy, William-Woody Herman: Chronicles of the herd-Schirmer, New York, 1995
  • Read, Gene-Leader of The Band: The Life of Woody Herman-Oxford University Press, New York, 1995

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.