Eddie Kusby

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Eddie Kusby was a top studio trombonist for more than three decades beginning in the late '30s, and a name that seems to drop off the lips of any trombonist once they start talking about great brass players.…
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Eddie Kusby was a top studio trombonist for more than three decades beginning in the late '30s, and a name that seems to drop off the lips of any trombonist once they start talking about great brass players. Kusby studied with Jerry Cimera in Chicago, learning a great deal of trombone technique from a man who had also taught many other studio giants, such as Roy Main and Lloyd Ulyate. Kusby played first trombone on staff with the Columbia film division, blowing both regular and bass trombone on many a film soundtrack. Studio trumpeter Uan Rasey, responsible for the startling trumpet figures in the film Chinatown, apparently once even offered to pay to be able to sit and listen to Kusby practice. Kusby's playing was not confined only to film and television studios and the anonymous creations that result. In the '40s, he worked on the road with the big band of Ted Weems, and perhaps his most famous playing on record is the arrangement of Henry Fillmore's composition "Lassus Trombone" recorded by Spike Jones & His Other Orchestra. This tune is a trombone warhorse, sometimes known as the "trombone national anthem." With Kusby having never made much of a name for himself in jazz-soloist circles, this track is frequently misidentified as the work of one of the more famous players of that era, most often, Tommy Dorsey. The project itself was one of Jones' attempts to diversify from the madcap antics of the City Slickers, but it didn't work out very well. The Other Orchestra was a full black-tie orchestra Jones assembled in 1946. The bandleader was trying to send a message to the public that he and his companions were all about crack musicianship, and that he was more than just the so-called "King of Corn." The message was soundly rejected and wound up costing Jones some 30 grand of his own money. "I guess he was trying to get rid of some money instead of giving it to the government," Kusby commented about this gig. He put his hand out once again to receive more money from Jones in 1963, when Kusby was called in to be part of the Spike Jones New Band for several albums, but this was a collaboration with Jones in name only; the bandleader picked the players and the tunes, but Carl Brandt did all the arrangements and served as the bandleader. The trombonist has several compositions to his credit, most notably "Love Is Everywhere," published in 1936 with co-writing credits for Case Kusby.