A very talented trombone soloist influenced by Jack Teagarden but possessing his own brassier sound, Lou McGarity was a strong asset to many bands and jam sessions. He started out playing violin when he was seven, not switching to trombone until he was 17. McGarity studied at the University of Georgia from 1934-36, gigged locally in the South (including with Kirk DeVore and Nye Mayhew), and toured with Ben Bernie from 1938-40 before hitting the big time with Benny Goodman from 1940-42. McGarity not only played with Benny Goodman's big band but with his smaller groups -- the first trombonist to do so. McGarity, who through the years often teamed up with his friend and fellow trombonist Cutty Cutshall (including with Goodman), worked with Raymond Scott's Orchestra at CBS from 1942-44, spent time in the military and then rejoined Benny Goodman for a time in 1946. Starting in 1947, he worked as a busy studio musician in New York, often appearing nightly with Dixieland-oriented musicians, including the Lawson/Haggart band, and with the many groups of Eddie Condon. He worked with Bob Crosby in the mid-'60s and was a key member of the World's Greatest Jazz Band from 1968-70 before bad health shortened his life. McGarity recorded as a leader for MGM (four selections in 1955), Jubilee in 1959, Argo in 1959 and Fat Cat's Jazz in 1970.
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