skip navigation
Doc Severinsen

Doc Severinsen

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Also Known As: Died:
Born: July 7, 1927 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Arlington, Oregon, USA Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In addition to being the single most recognizable (and snazzily dressed) musician on television for decades, Tonight Show bandleader/trumpeter Carl "Doc" Severinsen was a serious jazz musician who played with many of the greats. Born on July 7, 1927 in Arlington, Oregon, Severinsen was a trumpet prodigy, going pro before graduating from high school. After a stint in the Army during WWII, he went to work as a trumpeter for the NBC network in 1949. He began playing on The Tonight Show under bandleader Skitch Henderson in 1962, actually preceding Johnny Carson's arrival as host. He became the bandleader five years later, and remained in that position until 1992 when Carson retired. Severinsen's outrageous outfits and knack for comedic banter did as much as his considerable musical gifts to make him a foil for Carson and a celebrity in his own right. But Severinsen also maintained a sideline as a jazzman. Before ascending to bandleader status for Carson, he recorded with a multitude of jazz giants including Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Oliver Nelson, Anita O'Day, Lena Horne, and many more. He also had a long solo career that began with 1961's Tempestuous Trumpet on the audiophile Command label. He...

In addition to being the single most recognizable (and snazzily dressed) musician on television for decades, Tonight Show bandleader/trumpeter Carl "Doc" Severinsen was a serious jazz musician who played with many of the greats. Born on July 7, 1927 in Arlington, Oregon, Severinsen was a trumpet prodigy, going pro before graduating from high school. After a stint in the Army during WWII, he went to work as a trumpeter for the NBC network in 1949. He began playing on The Tonight Show under bandleader Skitch Henderson in 1962, actually preceding Johnny Carson's arrival as host. He became the bandleader five years later, and remained in that position until 1992 when Carson retired. Severinsen's outrageous outfits and knack for comedic banter did as much as his considerable musical gifts to make him a foil for Carson and a celebrity in his own right. But Severinsen also maintained a sideline as a jazzman. Before ascending to bandleader status for Carson, he recorded with a multitude of jazz giants including Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Oliver Nelson, Anita O'Day, Lena Horne, and many more. He also had a long solo career that began with 1961's Tempestuous Trumpet on the audiophile Command label. He remained on Command through 1970, subsequently recording for ABC, RCA, and others. In the early '70s he released a pair of albums in partnership with Henry Mancini that found their way onto the lower rungs of the pop album charts. Though Severinsen's career slowed down in the '90s he continued recording and performing into the 2010s. Over the course of his career, Severinsen was also heavily involved in orchestral music, working as the pops conductor for a number of orchestras including The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, The Buffalo Philharmonic, and The Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute