b. 17 February 1907, Kiev, Ukraine, d. 1 March 1982, Greenville, North Carolina, USA. Spivak learned to play trumpet as a small child growing up in the USA. In his mid-teens he joined Paul Specht’s orchestra where he remained until 1930, moving on to the Ben Pollack band. Later, he was with the Dorsey Brothers orchestra, artists such as Ray Noble, Raymond Scott, Bob Crosby and Jack Teagarden, and also played in the New York studios. In 1939 he formed his own big band which, after a shaky start, became very successful. Thereafter, with only a short break through illness, he led the band for much of the next four decades. A skilled trumpeter, on the sweeter side of the swing era, Spivak’s musical longevity owes much to his ability to see what the public wanted and then make sure that he delivered. His last residency, in Greenville, South Carolina, began in 1967 and continued until shortly before his death in 1982.
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